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Top 10 Cruise Holiday Tips!

With cruise holidays selling for as little as £400, it's no surprise that record numbers of UK holidaymakers are opting to take a cruise this year.

Passenger Shipping Association director, Bill Gibbons, has predicted the number of Britons taking a cruise holiday will continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace than in the past few years. One-third of all cruises last year cost under £1,000 and clients can expect even better value this year.

As a result, cruise lines are offering generous discounts to encourage passengers to continue buying during the recession. For the third year in succession, the UK cruise market achieved a double digit growth in 2008 when an 11% increase took passenger numbers to nearly 1.5m.

Top 10 Cruise Tips

1. Shop around - there are cruises to suit all budgets.
2. Book at least 120 days in advance as you are almost guaranteed a discount on the brochure price.
3. Take walkie-talkies to keep in contact with friends or family throughout the cruise as mobile phones do not work on many cruise liners.
4. Inside cabins are cheaper than outside or balcony cabins, but always ask what the upgrade cost is - it might be worth it!
5. Get the pre-paid gratuities removed when booking. Most companies have a gratuity programme but do not feel obliged to pay this as you can tip as you wish onboard.
6. Meals are normally included in the price for the cruise, so eat meals onboard. Most ships offer 24/7 dining, so you can eat when you want.
7. Select the second seating for dinner which gives you more time for activities during the day.
8. Remember that you might be travelling through a variety of climates so pack your suitcase for comfort.
9. Check on the dress code - formal, informal or casual? Bear in mind that, when dining onboard, often jeans, shorts and T-shirts will not be allowed in the main restaurants, even if the dress code is 'informal'.
10. Most important is to make sure you have travel insurance cover from the moment you book your holiday.

While it is important that you choose your cruise carefully, it is equally important to check your travel insurance cover meets your needs. Unlike some insurance providers, Flexicover Direct's Gold policy offers excellent cancellation cover of up to £5,000 per person and, for that trip of a lifetime, you can extend this up to £15,000 for an additional costs.

Have a safe and pleasant trip!