First Time Cruise Tips
Cruising can be fun and exciting for everyone, particularly for new passengers. It is an experience that keeps experienced passengers coming back for more. Of course, you’d like to have a feel of the cruise experience and as a first-time cruiser, there are several mistakes you might make, calling unnecessary attention to yourself.
Well, you can avoid such embarrassing moment. After all, no one wants to be the center of attraction on board a cruise for no good reason. So if you don’t want to stand out as a new cruiser, avoid these common yet avoidable cruise mistakes.
How to Pick a Cruise
Many first time cruisers believe all cruises offer the same fun and excitement, but that’s far from the truth. All cruises are never the same. Each cruise line has its own unique personality, from adventurous lines that takes you off the beaten path to casual party lines that focus on merriment and enjoyable time to luxurious lines that offers an all-inclusive cruise providing guests with everything required for a wonderful vacation experience.
Choosing the wrong cruise line might cut your expectations short as it is nowhere near the activities, or options you hoped for. Do a thorough research about each cruise line before making payment. Check the available features, the most popular activities, and the different destinations. By doing this, you know exactly what to expect when on board.
Don’t Overpack for Your Cruise
Identifying a vacationer on a cruise for the first time is simple and easy. They struggle with their heavy pieces of luggage as they walk up and down the hallways. And even if they hand over their luggage over to porters, they still have other bags and/or suitcases waiting outside their staterooms. If you decide to stuff your luggage to the brim, you’ll go through a tough time trying to reach a home souvenir at the bottom. So learn to pack lightly.
Still, you want to bring all the essential items such as passport, in case you have to return home by flight from an entirely different country; prescription medicine; sunscreen; toiletries and sea bands. Although you can get some of these items on board, they are limited.
Even if you’ll have a need for all the items in your luggage – is there a suitable storage space for your luggage? Massive sized bags can neither fit into the compact closet nor under the beds in the cabin. Instead, your luggage will accommodate the little space left for moving through the cabin. Pack lightly and avoid all the stress. Rather pack clothes and accessories that serve dual purposes.
Click here to view a packing list for a cruise.
Sea Sickness Is Expected Yet Avoidable
Cruise ship moves in a completely different way from any other vehicle – trains, cars, planes, buses etc. Many first time cruisers believe that since they are immune to motion sickness in other vehicles, then it will be no different for cruise ships. Little did they know that, unlike other vehicles, a cruise ship is always on the motion. And the long duration of the movement can cause sea sickness.
Besides motion sickness, too much eating and drinking, sleeping late nights and being in close confines with a countless number of cruise passengers from different backgrounds can spread communicable disease.
When packing for a cruise vacation, bring along medication for stomach upset. Eat little, drink less and have enough sleep. Practice personal hygiene, wash your hands at all times to avoid any communicable germs on board.
Click here to read more about seasickness.
Don’t Book a Same-day Flight
It is true that you’re trying to minimize time away from work but having to fly to your cruise the same day your cruise is scheduled to leave is a NO- NO. Even if you’re dealing with a workaholic boss, do not book a same-day flight. Otherwise, get ready for a potential problem.
Odds are you might lose your entire vacation if you encounter flight delays, weather problems, breakdowns or late arrival of checked luggage. You don’t want these inconveniences to make you miss your dream cruise, do you?
As a rule of thumb, you should fly to your cruise at least a day before departure. This will afford you much time to get past any travel delays and more time to get prepared.
Pre-Book Shore Excursions
If you have a specific shore excursion in mind, don’t hesitate. Book it immediately. More so, you can plan shore excursions to meet your specific need. It is advisable not to sign up for shore excursions without proper research. Most shore excursions usually come with inflated prices and are sometimes over-crowded.
The best bet is to do some diligent research, find experienced private guides for tailor-made excursions. Other cruise activities you should book prior to embarking on the ship include spa treatments and specialty restaurants.
Don’t Forget Your Passport
Well, you’re going on a cruise so bringing a passport is pointless and needless. Many rookies cruising for the first time fall victim of this. Don’t get fooled; bring yourself a passport. This is very important.
Some cruise lines provide passengers with the options to either sail with a passport or birth certificate. Many first time cruisers opt for their birth certificate instead. Don’t join the bandwagon. What happens when something goes wrong with your ship in a different country? At this time, you’ll know the significance of bringing a passport.
With a passport, you can book the next flight back home. Without it, you’ll have to visit your country’s embassy and go through a lot of scrutinies to be granted visa back to your home country. This can be avoided with a passport handy. All in all, passports are the most convenient and best option whether cruising for the first time or the umpteenth time.
Selecting a State Room
Choosing the right stateroom is important for convenience and comfort. Generally, staterooms in the center of the ship are considered the most convenient. This is because you don’t feel the effect of the motion as much as other sides of the ship. To save cost, opt for a stateroom in the front or rear, however, it may not provide the much-needed comfort.
For luxury living, choose staterooms with a balcony and enjoy stunning ocean view as you cruise along the sparkling waters. The views and ocean breeze is worth every penny. More importantly, go for spacious staterooms to allow for easy movement.
Where Should I Set Sail?
First, decide on the right destination for you and choose the right cruise line. Make sure your itinerary aligns with your vacation destinations and what ports you want to visit. Next, figure out how much time and money it will take to get to the embarkation point. Some of the most popular cruises destinations for first-time cruisers include Alaska, Caribbean, and the Mediterranean
Below is a list of recommended cruise vacation destination according to your itinerary
- Nature lovers – Central America, Canada, Amazon River, Alaska, Norway
- Beachgoers – Mediterranean, Hawaii Caribbean, Bahamas, South Pacific
- Culture Enthusiasts – South America, Southeast Asia, European Rivers, Mediterranean