As an experienced cruise traveler, Andrew Gordon of Chelmsford, Massachusetts has set sail on over a dozen voyages worldwide. Through his blog “Andrew Gordon’s Travels”, the Belmont native shares insider tips and recommendations to help fellow cruise fans plan the perfect vacation at sea. Here are some of Andrew Gordon’s top tips for making the most of your cruise experience.
Book the Right Cabin
According to Andrew, choosing the right cabin is one of the most important factors for an enjoyable cruise. He recommends opting for an outside cabin for natural light and views, or upgrading to a balcony cabin if possible. Avoid interior cabins which can feel cramped. Location also matters – book near attractions but away from noisy areas like above nightclubs. Andrew Gordon Chelmsford prefers midship cabins for ship motion.
Plan Excursions Ahead
To avoid disappointment, Andrew Gordon advises pre-booking shore excursions before your cruise. Popular tours can sell out, so reserve your top 3-4 choices at each port of call. Check reviews to find excursions tailored to your interests, whether it’s history, nature or activities. Andrew enjoys interactive tours that provide cultural insights beyond what’s offered on the ship.
While main dining rooms offer assigned seating, Andrew says cruising allows flexibility. Try all dining options – casual buffets, poolside grills, specialty restaurants. Reserve favorite spots early or expect to wait. Andrew enjoys exploring new global cuisines and finds value in including one nicer dinner out per week. Sample the free room service too for convenience between late-night shows.
With so much to do in ports, Andrew recommends budgeting time to unwind on the ship. Try a massage, book a spa treatment or relax by the pool. Take an onboard class like cooking or photography. Check the daily planner for trivia, dance lessons and other activities. Andrew enjoys stargazing from the deck on calm evenings. Leave room to serendipitously discover new spots and activities each day.
From drinks to excursions, cruising can become pricey if not planned properly. Andrew Gordon Chelmsford advises budgeting for onboard spending money separately from your fare. Consider drink packages if you’ll consume alcohol daily. Bring a few favorite non-alcoholic drinks like soda on board to save costs too. Andrew finds value in specialty dining packages and recommends exchanging cash for onboard credit for the best rates.
Pack Light & Smart
Space will be limited, so Andrew’s packing philosophy is “you don’t need as much as you think.” Focus on versatile, wrinkle-resistant pieces and pack clothing for multiple purposes. Leave room in your bag to pick up souvenirs too. Andrew always brings a power strip, travel adapter, toiletries, medications and a small first aid kit for emergencies.
I hope these insider cruise tips from seasoned cruiser Andrew Gordon of Massachusetts help you plan an amazing vacation at sea. Be sure to relax and immerse yourself in the cruise experience – you’re on vacation after all! Let me know if you need any other cruise planning advice.