The tips you need to know before jumping on a cruise

The tips you need to know before jumping on a cruise

The earlier you book, the cheaper

Sorry, procrastinators: Most cruise lines now favour early booking promotions over last-minute deals, and the least expensive rooms sell out first. For the lowest price, book right when we announce an itinerary, often about 18 months out.

Got robbed? Not our problem

We’re not required to report thefts of less than $10,000, so no one knows how much petty crime really happens on board. But it’s a lot: Leave your valuables at home.

We can protect you from pirates

We really do train for pirate attacks (even though they’re extremely rare). We can’t share many details, but let’s just say that our ship’s fire hoses are good for more than fighting fires.

Leave your car off-site

If you’re arriving by car, do not park in the cruise terminal, as they invariably charge a small fortune. Off-site car parks typically cost half as much, offer shuttle service to port, and have your car waiting with the AC on at trip’s end.

The threat of sexual assault is real

You’re twice as likely to be sexually assaulted on a cruise as you are on land, a 2011 study found, and two thirds of assailants are crew members. Yet cases are hard to prosecute, with alcohol often involved and police often not on board. Stay safe by sticking with a friend.

Written by Michelle Crouch. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.