The Intelligent Cruiser Review
When I saw The Intelligent Cruiser advertised, I simply had to buy it.
There were two reasons for my decision, irrational as it may seem.
Firstly because it promised to show me some ways I could pay less for a cruise. So I wanted to see if it really worked.
Secondly, if it did, I wanted to review it for the website.
So is it as good as it claims to be?
Well, you decide. Here’s my review…
Written By An Insider
The Intelligent Cruiser is written by a chap by the name of David Kirkland, whose credentials are: he was a 3 stripe officer on a major cruise line for 10 years, and was “forced to quit because he no longer wanted to trick passengers into spending obscene amounts of money”.
Hence he reveals the so-called “insider secrets”.
Save Money on Board Ship
From the point of view of cruise companies, the more you spend on board, the better. In reality, as most of the things you’ll need have already been included in the price of your cruise, there’s little need to spend much more.
The Intelligent Cruiser reveals some of the ways you’re encouraged to spend more onboard. It also shows you how to avoid these – and how to end up getting some good bargains!
The key phrase of the book is:
Enjoying the perfect cruise has absolutely nothing to do with how much money you spend.
The author explains how the charging system works, and documents the sort of expenses you can expect. Then he gives the reader some alternatives that would cost nothing or very little.
Some tips may be obvious to most people, but there are a good number of valuable gems.
And we personally used these gems to find the right time to get the best prices for what we wanted to buy.
Obviously of great interest is a particular section describing 6 ways to cruise for free.
It’s actually very practical, and there’s a fair chance you may be one of those people eligible for a free cruise.
If not, there are some very practical guides to getting extra cruise fare discounts. And some practical ways to receive VIP treatment.
After reading the book, we saw some people actually putting into practice one of these ways to cruise for free, proving to us that it can be done if you know how.
10 Steps to the Perfect Excursion
On our website, we look at excursions and how to avoid paying inflated fares. The Intelligent Cruiser goes even further, demystifying the common myths and giving you 10 practical steps to get the very best experience from an excursion.
The book goes into considerable detail about excursions, leaving the reader with a decent amount of background knowledge to allow you to make up your own mind.
On our second cruise, emboldened by what we’d learned from the Intelligent Cruiser, we were a little more adventurous when it came to excursions.
As a result, we went on many more trips for a fraction of the cost that we would have paid previously.
The Art of Bargaining
Because, in many of the ports visited on a cruise, bargaining with shopkeepers and market stall holders is considered normal, there’s a useful section on the art of bargaining.
Now bargaining and bartering isn’t the norm for most Brits. That includes us! But some appropriate bargaining helped us get some very good prices on our trips out.
And if you’re an art lover, there are some good tips about ships’ art auctions, including some important things you need to know before you start to bid.
Protecting Your Belongings
Although theft is very rare on a cruise holiday, the Intelligent Cruiser gives some very good recommendations on protecting your belongings – all contributing to a stress-free, relaxing holiday.
That’s one of the things I like about the book: As well as the saving money aspect, the author tackles subjects we may not consider much on holiday, but which still contribute to enjoying a successful cruise.
Getting Things For Free
The 12 part section entitled “Expert Tricks For A Hassle-Free Cruise” (from the team of senior cruise ship officers) is quite practical.
For instance, I learned a little tip about attending the “Spa Tour” on the first day. On that tour, the staff usually choose random passengers to demonstrate their treatments and massages for free. That would make my wife a very happy lady! We haven’t benefited from that, but we did win a £50 spa treatment voucher, simply because we entered the competition they held on day one.
There are many more practical ideas. Some of them are obvious, such as collecting air miles to allow you to fly for free.
Other ideas are so simple, yet immensely practical. For instance, there’s a good tip about how to get free flowers in your cabin. On our first cruise, I paid in advance for a display of roses. They were a lovely surprise for my wife when we boarded. But unfortunately they didn’t last the cruise. How nice it would have been to get some flowers for free by following this particular tip.
Another practical tip shows you how to – and why you can – get a free upgrade.
This is a tip we used to great effect on our second cruise. We booked the cheapest cabin we could find – and received a free upgrade!
In fact, not just one grade up …but at least 2 grades. We were located just down the corridor from the £10,000 suites. Talk about being with the elite!
Imagine how we felt when we received that email telling us we’d received the upgrade!
There’s much more in the Intelligent Cruiser than I’ve mentioned here, but those are a few bits I considered to be of particular interest for the first time cruiser.
The Problems With The Book
On the downside, for the UK reader: unfortunately, the book is written mainly for the American reader. So many of the websites referred to are US websites.
However, most of the information is applicable to any cruise worldwide. So I, as a British reader, still gained much valuable information and useful advice.
One other thing to consider is that this is an ebook. It’s not a physical book you can hold in your hand. That can be a disadvantage if you like to read on the go – unless you have an iPad, or a Kindle, or such like.
It could also be an advantage though, as it means there’s no delivery charge – and there are no postal delays. It’s an instant download to your computer or e-reader. If you wanted a printed version, you could easily print your own copy at home.
The price is in $US. However, at the checkout, it’s converted into pounds sterling – at which point the VAT is added too. You can see a demonstration of that in the short video below.
So Was It Worth The Money?
It isn’t cheap.
But as I mentioned earlier, when we booked our second cruise we tried out one of the ideas we’d learned from the book. We booked the lowest priced inside cabin we could find, we applied the tip from the book …and we received a free upgrade!
So for that one benefit alone, the book proved its worth to us.
It’s well written with good English. And it’s well laid out, making it easy to read. So, quality wise, it scores well.
It also comes with a 60-day money back guarantee in case you don’t feel it will save you money on your cruise.
But I think the main scoring point is in the quantity of information.
I certainly wasn’t disappointed with the purchase.
In my opinion… a good book well worth checking out.
One last thing… if you do purchase the ebook and use the information in it, I’d love to hear what worked well for you too.
I hope you get as much practical information from it as we did.
Similar Cruise Books
Cruise More For Less
There’s now a similar book to The Intelligent Cruiser.
It’s called Cruise More For Less.
I’ve bought it and I enjoyed it. I even bought the 2020 update for it.
Cruise More For Less covers some of the areas that are also in The Intelligent Cruiser – but other topics too. And it’s more up to date.
It also seems to cater more for the British cruise market.
One day I’ll write an in-depth review of it.
But if you want to check it out yourself, it’s here: Cruise More For Less.*
[*that’s my affiliate link so I’d receive a small commission if you purchase the book via my link – which helps towards the upkeep of this website]
The Cruise Traveller’s Handbook
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