What's The Deal

Tips for a smooth cruise

August 24, 2008|By MICHELLE DEAL-ZIMMERMAN | MICHELLE DEAL-ZIMMERMAN,michelle.deal@baltsun.com

This week, on the What's the Deal travel blog (baltimoresun.com/travelblog), we're talking about cruising with Micha Berman, who grew up in Baltimore and spent a year as an assistant cruise director on a Carnival ship after graduating from college. He turned that experience into a book, Permanent Passenger: My Life on a Cruise Ship, which he discussed last weekend in an appearance at the Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore. I asked him to offer some advice on cruises:

Will tipping cruise workers get me anywhere?

"The truth is, cruise workers like cabin stewards and waiters make most of their money from tips, and cruise lines make it very clear to passengers how important this tipping is and how to do it properly. Money talks, so good tipping will always help, but also getting to know crew members, being friendly helps, too."

What's your advice for first-time cruisers

"First, I would say do your research. If you are looking to party and see beer-drinking contests, Carnival is a great bet. However, if you are looking for a romantic getaway with five-star dining, Windstar might be perfect. Second, come with an open mind and be willing to try new things. You will meet new people from all over the world, and ports offer new cuisines and sights. Finally, be careful. Cruise ships sometimes seem like Vegas on water, and often people think they are safe from the dangers on land. However, you have to be careful."

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