Getting ready for your first cruise? Do you have everything packed you need? All of your paperwork? Do you know all the rules? Will you get left behind or get yourself in trouble somewhere? We took 5 tips that will help any first-time cruiser get their sea legs!
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Pick a cruise line that is best for your personality. Pick a time of year based on the locations best weather. Pick a cruise line that offers the best value for the price you are paying. Some of the highest cost with Cruises are hidden fees. Taxes, port taxes, tipping, drink packages, excursions, and onboard extras.
Know what you are paying for before you walk on the ship ready to enjoy the time of your life and you are handed an invoice for fees you didn’t account for. Understand what you are paying for before you book and pay. Watch for cruise deals, new cruise ships, and all-inclusive cruise ships. Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Disney and others all are different so do a comparison of what is best you.
You want to pack for all types of weather and events you will encounter. Think everything through – watch the weather prior to departure in both your departure city and points along the way. Make sure you have everything you need from Downy Wrinkle Free Spray for formal wear to a cruise card holder on your cell phone. Make you sure you are prepared for cruise excursions and know what to pack on and off the boat for different activities and cultures.
GO WITH VETERAN CRUISERS IF POSSIBLE
Traveling with people that have already been on a cruise before makes for a fun time. The veterans get to share their experiences and handle most of the stressful situations that you never thought of, like making reservations for dinner, understanding tender boats, understanding the itinerary, and how to really enjoy the cruise while first-timers are trying to figure the ins and outs of the trip for most of the cruise. Hint – pack a swimsuit in a carry on and hit the pool before the ship leaves port, while newbies leave it in their luggage that won’t be delivered until dinner. Also, try meeting friends prior on Cruise Critic. Some cruise lines have meetups from Cruise Critic that offer free giveaways and more fun.
GO WITH THE FLOW
Yes, you planned out everything down to the tip you give the shuttle driver. We know many of the disappointing moments in life are when we have expectations of something and reality isn’t what we imagined. However, the most fun you will have is when you go with the flow. You might not have an excursion planned for a location, then sit at a community table for breakfast and meet a couple that recommends snorkeling. You sign up and it can be the best part of your trip because it wasn’t planned! Don’t forget to also try to enjoy the port prior to departure in cities like Galveston, Fort Lauderdale, and Long Beach.
While people are working you are living! Enjoy the memories and save them on your phone to share with all your friends. Cruise lines are big on the photography business and most people don’t want to pay for them. They can be pricey so bring your own great lenses. Take pictures of the escargot that you eat at dinner, take a picture of you laying on a bed on the sand in your private cabana with your cocktail, or with your loved ones enjoying an amazing sunset that remembers to embrace the little things.