Cruise expert explains how to avoid ‘bigger queues’ on the ship

Yasmin Pekel, CEO of Blue Cruise, told there are a few ways to lessen the chance of spending a cruise holiday stuck in queues. It’s even something to consider during the booking process.

Travel off-season

“For those wanting to avoid crowds, it’s always best to avoid booking during the peak season or the school holidays, as these times will be very busy.

“Instead, choosing to travel in the off-peak season, or outside of peak embarking, disembarking and eating hours, will lead to far shorter queues.”

School holidays will always be busier than term-time cruises so might be best avoided if possible.

If Britons need to travel during school holidays, they could try visiting a destination that’s not in peak season.

Avoid peak times

“If you want to avoid queueing up for lunch, it may be worth changing your usual eating hours around. For example, being one of the first people to arrive at breakfast could save you from queueing altogether while getting the freshest food, and vice versa for lunch and dinner.

“Alternatively, if you want to avoid queues when embarking or disembarking, it is usually best to do so after everyone else has. As a bonus, this means you get some extra time relaxing in your cabin before a hassle-free departure while arriving late (but not before the ship leaves) means you can explore your port city longer.”

Eating an early or late dinner should mean guests avoid the busiest periods and may be able to enjoy their food in peace.

Guests should make sure they are back at the port with plenty of time to board if they are planning on being one of the last on.

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Follow the instructions

“You should receive instructions regarding embarking, disembarking and the general ins and outs of your ship before departure day.

“These should let me know what time to get there and if there are any specific rules, such as one-in, one-out systems at busier restaurants.

“You should always make sure to read these thoroughly, as they can contain important information – and help you to avoid the bigger queues.”

Guests will usually be given a specific time to embark if they’re on a large cruise ship which should help them escape queues.

Pay extra

“Investing in priority boarding and disembarking is a great way to avoid queues. And, in most cases, priority is much cheaper than you think – costing anywhere from £10 to £30 and helping you to relax as soon as possible.

“You can also invest in drinks packages or book ahead of time for restaurants, helping you to avoid queuing at the bar or restaurant.”

Priority boarding can help to take the stress out of embarkation and will give tourists the chance to explore the ship before it gets busy.

A drinks package might not always help passengers cut the queues but it will mean they don’t get any surprises on their bill.

Be flexible

“One of the main reasons people book cruises is to not only adventure but also to relax. By not committing to any set times, you can help keep your cruise as stress-free as possible.

“Alternatively, if you really want to avoid the queues and the restaurants are all busy, you can even order room service!”

If passengers book a balcony room, they can even enjoy their breakfast or lunch al fresco with sea views.

Guests who want to enjoy the ship could choose to stay onboard while the ship docks so they can enjoy the pool or other activities while it’s quiet.

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