How to Get the Best Cruise Prices and Perks

Different people take different things into consideration when booking a cruise. Me? I love a good bargain, but there are other things that are equally if not more important than the fare alone. The following will show you how to get the best cruise prices and perks! Be sure to do your own homework and ensure you understand the terms and conditions when you book.
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What to Expect on Your Alaska Cruise

[caption id="attachment_347" align="alignleft" width="300"] Fishing with my mom in Alaska in the 1970s.[/caption] Even though I spent much of my childhood in Anchorage visiting glaciers, going fishing, and ice skating at recess; I am still in awe of this beautiful state. I never tire of hearing my fellow cruisers gasp when they see an eagle or catch a glimpse of a whale. However, the wild and wonderful nature of Alaska is exactly what makes it difficult to know what to expect on your Alaska cruise. When you consider the world of cruising, warm and sunny destinations are far more common. It's no wonder that going on an Alaska cruise sparks a lot of questions from future cruisers. Will it be cold? Will I see snow? Should I bring a bathing suit or shorts? Now that I have been fortunate enough to go on several cruises to Alaska, I am thrilled to share my experience and knowledge with you!
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What We Spent on Our Last Cruise

I remember seeing the final cruise charge statement awaiting our attention the night before debarking from our last cruise. As usual, I snatched the statement out of the mail slot and played the "Guess How Much We Spent" game with my husband Don.  Clearly, we aren't ones for keeping an eye on our expenses during the trip. I knew his guess of $800 seemed low to me, but I was still a bit shocked when I saw that the grand total was about twice that: $1660. Over the course of 11 days, all of those little purchases, drinks at the bar, and pulls at the slot machine can add up and become a bit of a blur.  Also, it's sort of easy to lose track when everything is paid for with an innocent-looking little piece of plastic that doesn't even bear the name Visa or MasterCard. I mean, it's just a room key, right? In all seriousness, we had a wonderful time and collected memories and had experiences that we will never forget. For first-time cruises or just the curious, read on to learn what we spent on our last cruise as well as get our opinions on what was totally worth it, what was just a necessity, and what we regretted.
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Avoid Gaining Weight on Your Cruise: The Buffet

Believe it or not, the buffet is actually a great place to save calories on your cruise. You control what you eat, how much, and when. In part two of our series "Avoid Gaining Weight on Your Cruise", we will show you how to be smart and make the buffet your best bet for controlling your weight on a cruise with healthy options.
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Avoid Gaining Weight on Your Cruise: The Dining Room

If you are new to cruising, you are probably not aware that every night, in the dining room, you will be treated to a four (or more) course meal. Generally, you select from an appetizer, a selection of soup and salads, an entree, and a desert. Factor in the basket of rolls on the table and the periodic appearance of a palate-cleansing sorbet and you are looking at a whole lotta calories. Using popular calorie-counting sites like Fat Secret and Calorie King, I put together calorie content of a typical dining room meal using counts from restaurants. A typical dining room meal of a dinner roll with butter, escargot, side Caesar salad, prime rib, a baked potato, and cheesecake will set you back about 2300 calories. Yikes. What can you do to stop the caloric insanity? In part three of our series "Avoid Gaining Weight on Your Cruise: The Dining Room" we give you our best advice for keeping those extra pounds away.
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