'How to Cruise for Less'
- A Course Review
Steph - Cruise with Amber
I am of the opinion that you can never stop learning and neither should you. Having cruised for the past 15 years I like to think I know a bit about cruise holidays, but I know that there’s still so much to learn.
Learning is easy when you love your subject matter. So when Emma Cruises launched her ‘How to Cruise for Less’ course at her newly established Cruising Isn’t Just for Old People University, – my eyes lit up. Part of my day job (also known as the thing that pays for cruises) involves writing and delivering training course content for my clients, so I was also intrigued to see how a course such as ‘How to Cruise for Less’ would work.
Having now had the chance to work through the course myself, here’s my review of ‘How to Cruise for Less’. I’ll cover who it’s best for, what the learning experience is like and whether it’s worth the course fee.
Disclosure: I have not been asked or paid to write this review and the opinions expressed in it are entirely my own. However this review contains affiliate links, meaning that no additional cost to you I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Small commissions such as this help me with the running of this website and to share useful cruising content with you. If you do decide to use any of the links thank you! I genuinely appreciate your support.
Who is Emma and what is ‘How to Cruise for Less’?
Emma is a UK-based Cruise Blogger and YouTuber. She has been cruising since she was a child. Emma regularly cruises with mainstream cruise lines little as per night $50. She has developed an informative course filled with cheat sheets, tips, hacks, tools and guides which show you how to save money at every stage of the cruising process.
Who is ‘How to Cruise for Less’ great for?
It’s a great starting point for newbies to cruising
If you’ve been cruising a while, you might have forgotten about how many questions you had before your first cruise. When I first set foot on board, I was lucky enough to travel with my parents and my sister who had already taken multiple cruises and who could act as a guiding hand or be there to answer all the questions I had.
However if you are just starting out cruising and don’t have someone to ask and you don’t want to trawl through a whole internet’s worth of information to get to your answer, then this course is perfect for you. Emma has done all the hard work for you in ‘How to Cruise for Less’ and distilled all the information you need to get you cruising.
Regardless of where you are in the booking process, if you’re currently a little bit overwhelmed by this whole new world of cruise holidays, or you don’t know where to start and have eleventy-million Who? What? When? Where? Why? questions, I guarantee you will find most if not all of the answers here, in one compact, perfectly formed course.
It’s also a great refresher for seasoned cruisers
Following on from the point above, having been on at least 10 cruises over the past 15 years, I’ve still learnt a lot from this course. Let’s face it, once we’ve been on a few cruises we tend to get into a bit of a habit – what we like to do on a sea day, our embarkation day routine, where we like to stay before our cruise, where we like to cruise to, which cruise lines we like to cruise with. And there’s nothing wrong with this.
However these little cruise habits can sometimes end up costing us more money than we’re aware of. ‘How to Cruise for Less’ is therefore really useful for us seasoned cruisers to almost do a ‘mini audit’ of our cruise habits. It’s a great way to find out whether there are ways to be savvier on our cruises – whatever they may be – from an inside guarantee cabin on Costa to a Queen’s Grill Suite on Cunard.
When you read through all the research and information Emma has poured into this course you somehow get a new perspective on your cruise habits. It’s certainly helped me to identify new ways to save money in one area to help me splurge a bit more in another. Greater savings means more money for cruises whatever grade of cabin you’re in, right?
‘How to Cruise for Less’ also great for cruisers who have been loyal to one line so far and are tempted to try another cruise line – but just don’t know where to start. Basically the course kicks off on this exact topic. Emma has put together a handy flowchart (a genius idea) which is like a virtual desktop coach, taking you through some simple steps and questions that help you whittle down a list of relevant alternative cruise lines you might wish to try based on your preferences.
The way the flowchart is organised helps you to discover of similar cruise lines in terms of the onboard experience. So it’s great for identifying a cruise line which is a little bit different to what you’re used to, but not too different.
Alternatively you could use it to help you try out a cruise line which is completely different – if you’d like to really mix it up. I’m very much a visual learner (and I love a good flow chart) so this was a really engaging, informative resource and very easy-to-use.
What is ‘How to Cruise for Less’ like to complete?
It suits all learning styles
As I mentioned at the start of this post, one of the aspects of my day job involves designing training courses for my clients. The content has to be informative but also has to be engaging for a whole range of learning styles.
Each of us as a preferred learning style; some people like to read detailed lists, others like to watch videos, some people want the detail first whereas others want an overview of the key highlights. Some people like to work through a course sequentially whereas others (myself included) want to go straight to the content which is most important or interesting to them.
The way Emma’s ‘How to Cruise for Less’ course is laid out suits all of these learning styles. The different elements all link seamlessly to each other, so it doesn’t come across as ‘clunky’. For example you won’t miss out on content, and things still make sense if you haven’t watched the video first, but the video is a really good companion to the detailed lists and downloads available and they go together hand in hand quite nicely. Quite clever really, and not an easy feat to pull off. But Emma has done so with flying colours.
The content is flexible and user friendly
The courses I write involve content that requires sequential learning; basically, you have to complete module one before you can move on to the content in module two. Plus there’s usually a test at the end of each module before you can progress. So I was intrigued to find out whether Emma had decided to follow the same format for her course.
I was pleased to discover she hadn’t, and I’ll tell you why I was pleased. When you’re looking for information on any aspect of a cruise holiday you want to be able to get right to the heart of the information you’re interested in. You don’t want to have to ‘watch this video first’ or ‘complete this quick test’ before you’re allowed to gain access to module 2, for example.
So I was pleased to discover that Emma had put all the information at my fingertips right from the very start. So if you want to jump straight to Emma’s list of 50 of her favourite money-saving ideas then you can do just that. Perfect.
Emma does recommend that you watch the videos in order as the course has been designed in this way. However it is just a recommendation, it’s not prescriptive, and that’s what I like about ‘How to Cruise for Less’. By the way if you do want to watch all the 16 videos back to back in one session, you could easily do so in an evening without this being an onerous task. Quite the opposite – my recommendation would be to pair it up with a good notebook and a chilled cocktail or two, sit back and enjoy.
It's easy to navigate
I know I’ve already mentioned this but the way the course is set out means you can pinpoint the exact information you’re after very quickly. But what I wanted to add here is there’s also a lovely mix of well-designed and visually appealing checklists and flowcharts which makes both the course structure and the actual content itself really easy to use and navigate.
I can tell from the way Emma has researched and written this content that she is a very detailed person, but she has also understood how to present detailed information in an easy-to-use, practical and clear way so as not to confuse or overwhelm the learner.
The platform Emma has used to deliver the course is simple, streamlined and, and flexible for you to use on the go or sat at your desktop. You can basically learn ‘How to Cruise for Less’ anywhere.
Is ‘How to Cruise for Less’ worth the $59.50 course fee?
There’s no doubt about it - ‘How to Cruise for Less’ will save you money
This course will save you money and I’m not just talking about saving money just on your cruise fare here. This course will help you learn how to save money at EVERY STAGE of the cruising process. From a ‘cruise essentials’ packing list to ensure that you don’t have to spend extra on-board items you may have forgotten (we’ve all done it), to savvy ways to reduce your daily on board spend.
I can see how easy it would be for someone to recoup the course fee many times over their next cruise alone – regardless of whether they’ve already booked their cruise or are just teetering on the edge of phoning their travel agent.
As a family of four with school-age children, unfortunately we are restricted to cruising at the most expensive times of the year. Yet with Emma’s ‘How to Cruise for Less’ course, I’ve still managed to collect more than a handful of money-saving tips I can put into action straightaway to save more money on my next cruise.
For example, some of the tips I’ve collected so far are; what I can do when the price of my cruise goes down after booking, which is the best day of the week to book my cruise, a nifty way of how to use the guaranteed cabin trick for all cabin grades, a way to be first in line to get all the exclusive and limited discounts, and a way to get cold hard cash back on my booking. I’m sure I’ve missed a few on my first skim through and I’ll probably discover lots more.
It’s quite amazing value for money as you get lifetime access
Some courses ask you to pay an initial registration fee and then charge you monthly access fee. So once you stop paying your monthly subscription, you lose all that information. Not so with ‘How to Cruise for Less’.
Emma has made it a really easy for you to decide to sign up for this course – you get lifetime access for a quite affordable, one off payment. How amazing is that? I know Emma has plans to continually update and add to the course, and I can potentially see the course fee increasing in the future as people begin to realise just how much value is in ‘How to Cruise for Less’. But the great thing is if you get in early, you can secure this price as it is a one-off lifetime fee – it’s a no-brainer. Even if you use it just for one year, this works out as only 8p per day!
This means it presents exceptional value for money in terms of the savings that you will make by implementing Emma’s lists, tools and guidance again and again. Another thing I like about the course is that it is reusable. There are downloadable cheat sheets for you to use on multiple cruises. For example I’ll definitely be using the cruise essentials packing list. So the more you cruise, the more the value of this course increases over time.
If that wasn’t enough, I was pleased to learn that Emma is offering an audio consultation, once you’ve completed the course. So if you are eager to try a different cruise line but still have some reservations, then Emma can answer a specific question you have. Or alternatively if you’ve spotted a cruise deal and don’t know whether it’s a fair price, Emma can give you her thoughts and advice where appropriate.
The other beauty about this audio consultation offer is that you don’t have to use your consultation straightaway. For example there’s no pressure to use your consultation within three months. You can sign up for ‘How to Cruise for Less’, today then complete it at your own pace and use your audio consultation when it suits you best.
To be honest, in my opinion, I think the audio consultation with Emma is worth the course fee in itself.
No pressure – just cruise
One of the main things I really like about this course is that there’s no pressure selling elements. For example, when you purchase the course there’s no pressure to complete it quickly because you don’t want to spend another month’s access fee.
There’s also no constant up-sell throughout the course. Some courses give you limited information for your signup fee and then make you pay more for the advanced modules. For the $59.50 you get it all. Plus, there is no time limit to the audio consultation I mentioned. You can use it when it suits you best and you get the most value out of it.
You can tell that Emma has put ‘How to Cruise for Less’ together because she really wants people to benefit from the years of learning she’s built up to get the cheapest cruise possible for your budget and preferences.
By Emma’s own admission she is a ‘budget cruiser’ and loves nothing more than to find a bargain. One of the enhancements I like to see in the course going forward is perhaps other ‘how to save money’ modules focused on other aspects of cruising, such as river cruises or luxury cruising (I do love to cruise in a suite, so I’m always up for finding ways to do this for less or how to get the best deals on this category for cabin). But perhaps my wish list is a bit unfair and just me being greedy.
My overall conclusion is that it clear that Emma has put a lot of time, research and effort into creating this useful, flexible and user-friendly course. It’s definitely one I’d recommend.
If you’d like to sign up to Emma’s course, then here’s the link you need .
THANKS FOR READING
Hi, I’m Steph I’ve travelled around the world, backpacked across Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii and spent over 100 nights at sea. Having grown up by the coast, the sea is my passion and now I enjoy exploring the world on cruise ships with my family. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to keep up to date with my ever expanding set of port guides to inspire you on your travels plus money-saving cruise tips, ship tours and cabin reviews.