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Essential Cruise Tips


Cruise expert, YouTuber and author Gary Bembridge helps you discover, plan and enjoy unforgettable cruise vacations with his tips packed show. For more visit and and look for his books including "The Cruise Traveler's Handbook" and "Essential Cruise Tips".


London, United Kingdom


Cruise expert, YouTuber and author Gary Bembridge helps you discover, plan and enjoy unforgettable cruise vacations with his tips packed show. For more visit and and look for his books including "The Cruise Traveler's Handbook" and "Essential Cruise Tips".




4 Things You Should NEVER Buy From Your Cruise Line! (Podcast #395)

While Cruise lines make it easy and convenient to book and buy most things for a cruise directly with them, have you stopped to ask if it’s in your best interest? I have! Cruise lines are banking on us not shopping around and discovering that some non-cruise line alternatives not only cost less, but are better, safer, and more comprehensive. Including as you will hear, one that I think will totally surprise you. Join me, Gary Bembridge, as I help you get cruising right by knowing the 4 things you should stop buying through the cruise lines and why.


Offbeat Cruise Tips ALL Seasoned Cruisers Swear By! (Podcast #394)

I reveal 5 tips, tricks and hacks that experienced and smart cruise passengers that I have met on recent cruises agree are ones that savvy cruisers all use and know about – but not everyone does to knows about!


Smart Cruisers NEVER Go It Alone In These Ports. Here's Why (Podcast #393)

I look at the four times I recommend cruise passengers take a cruise line excursion rather than any other alternative for exploring a cruise port like self-touring or independent tour guide or company


5 Cruise Excursion Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Cruise (Podcast #391)

I look at 5 biggest mistakes that cruise passengers make with cruise excursions, often ruining not only their time in port but putting a huge dampener on their total cruise.


Changes EVERYONE Cruising in 2024 Needs To Know About (Podcast #392)

After listening to what cruise lines are telling investors they're doing this year, I'm convinced that in 2024 we are going to be facing five new and unwelcome challenges. But I also have some suggestions on how to work around these and get ahead of them, including one solution that you may not even realise is possible.


How To Pay NOTHING (Or Next To Nothing) To Cruise! (Podcast 390)

I'm going to show you how seven of my friends paid nothing, or next to nothing, to go on cruise vacations in the last year, and how I've been offered 11 free, or almost free, cruises in that same period too. Some may not work for you today, but may one day, some will once you know how, but I can guarantee the last one you can do for sure.


I Put The Luxury Cruise Line Regent To The Test! (Podcast 389)

I was having a great time on my recent Regent Seven Seas cruise before I started speaking to fellow guests. Some first-timers as well as long-time regulars raised issues which made me wonder if I was being too forgiving. After all, the trip had cost me a lot and it is worth being picky! So, after digesting it all and taking on board their thoughts, here’s what I believe the line does well, differently, and what doesn’t work for everyone - and why.


Best and Worst Things About Cruising Japan (Podcast 388)

We are only ever likely to go to Japan once in our lives and so it's important to get it right. While I didn't get everything 100% spot on, I now know what future cruisers to Japan need to know to avoid my mistakes, work around downsides, and ensure they have the best time.


People Are Still Falling For These 6 CRUISE TRAPS! (podcast 387)

The cruise I'm on right now has inspired me to make this video. I'm an Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas, and I've met many first time cruisers and repeat cruisers who have tripped up and fallen for 6 traps that are out there right now that cruisers are falling for that I want to make sure that you know about so you don't fall into those traps. Links to fare tracking mentioned in the video:


I Put Royal Caribbean "Royal Suite" Cruising To The Test (podcast 386)

When I think of Royal Caribbean, I think of feature-packed mega resort ships, with good value cabins. However, I have seen Royal Caribbean now has some of the biggest and most expensive suites money can buy at sea. So, instead of using some savings to book a smaller luxury cruise line that I usually would, I decided to splash that cash on a Royal Caribbean suite to see if I would get all the service, glitz, and glamour they promise in their “Royal Class Suites”.


I Try ROYAL CARIBBEAN To See If It's For Cruisers Like me (Podcast #384)

I like cruising on small and medium-sized ships that aren’t busy, and a bit laid back. But I also love going to Vegas, with its big brash shows, buzz, and excitement. So, I decided, to see if a big resort ship would work out for people like me, so I nervously booked myself on Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, which at the time was the second-biggest ship in the world, holding up to 6,680 passengers. Now that I've experienced the best and worst of a mega ship resort cruising, I now know who should or shouldn't be booking themselves on one of these. And why!


I Cruise The World's Top-Rated Line That Few Have Heard Of! (Podcast #385)

The “cruise bible”, the authoritative Berlitz “Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships”, has for years said this line has the best ships in the world, but almost no cruisers outside its home country have ever heard of it, even though it's 50% owned by Royal Caribbean, a line everyone’s heard of. So, I decided I should test the line out to see if they were better, and if I would recommend that cruisers like you consider taking a risk and cruising a line you’ve never heard of.


Things Expedition Cruises Don’t Tell You (Until It's Too Late!) (Podcast #383)

At the start of my recent Greenland Arctic expedition cruise, an ominous notice appeared in the daily program. It required us to attend a mandatory (written in capital letters no less!) meeting at 5pm. Having been on four previous expedition cruises to Antarctica, the Arctic and Galapagos I knew to expect this meeting. But most did not, and many were confused as we’d had the muster drill which they thought was the only mandatory requirement on cruises. Concern grew when the Expedition Director made an announcement saying failure to attend would have significant implications for the cruise. This got me thinking I should talk about this and 5 other things that I only found out about after boarding when I started going on expedition cruises.


The Cruise Lines Everyone Is Raving About RIGHT NOW (And Why!) (Podcast #382)

I’ve been diving into the latest cruise line reviews, reviewing all the comments and messages I receive and comparing that with my own recent cruising experiences, and from all that I came across five cruise lines that passengers seem to agree are the hottest cruise lines right now, ones rising with the tide and floating above all others, so ones perhaps you should consider more than ever before right now. Here’s what I found.


Cruise Lines To Steer Clear Of These Days. And Why! (Podcast #381)

As none of us want to waste our precious vacation time and money on anything but those cruise lines on top of their game, I've been diving into the latest cruise reviews, pouring over the thousands of comments and messages I get, and been cruising on many cruise lines to see which are hot - and which are not - right now. Based on all that here are the lines I think you may need think about carefully, and why.


Seasoned Cruisers Have STOPPED Packing These. Here's Why! (Podcast #380)

There are things I no longer pack for a cruise as things have changed, others I pack different things to do the same task, things I have always packed for a cruise vacation and still do and some things I don’t understand why people pack for a cruise at all. Find out what they are and why you should rethink what you pack for a cruise


My Solution To The Biggest Issue With Cruises These Days! (Podcast #379)

With cruise lines now pretty much able to sell their ships out completely at a hundred percent or higher capacity, I want to tell you how you can hunt down and find cruises and cruise ships that are not going to be completely packed to the rafters and will have the best cruise experience. This is the techniques that I use.


Crafty Ways To Steer Clear Of The Crowds On Busy Cruises (podcast #378)

Cruise lines are packing their ships full these days. They're admitting that they're selling at 100% or higher capacity. So, ships are really, really full, and I've seen this firsthand on a recent cruise, like MSC Cruises, Norwegian, or Caribbean, even Princess in Alaska. So, I want to share with you proven techniques to deal with managing crowds and avoiding crowds.


Hot Issues Dividing Cruisers RIGHT NOW! (Podcast #377)

On my last cruise, a Windstar Fjords cruise, I posted clips on Instagram of the best attended event of my entire cruise. It immediately ignited a fiery, lively, and divided debate about if the event was a good idea or not. It got me thinking about other things that I talk about on social media or in my videos, that spark heated debates and where cruisers fall into “for” or “against” camps, with few on the fence. So, let's find out where you stand on these right now as I suspect that, like me, your stand is shifting as we face a new world of cruising.


I Cruise The World's "Most Popular" Small Ship Line: Windstar (Podcast #376)

After loving recent cruises on 600 and 700 passenger ships, like Oceania Insignia, Azamara Quest and Seabourn Encore, I wanted to see if going ever smaller was even better, so I booked myself on an 11-night Windstar Star Pride “Lands of the Midnight Suns”. Now this ship only holds 312 passengers, and they claim to be the market leading small ship line and have both these yacht style engine-driven ships that I went on, but they also have sailing vessels as well.