Are you planning your first a cruise, Here are some first time cruise tips to get you started, and going in the right direction. By now you have probably done all the research on cruise lines, and have booked the cruise that you think fits you best. But now you’re trying to figure out the minor details that make the difference between a good cruise and an amazing one. Here I will go over some first time cruise tips to help you plan your vacation accordingly.
First Time Cruise Tips
- Arriving to Port. If you’re flying into port it is always a good idea to try getting in the day before the cruise sails. There are numerous cases that people have had problems with their flights and missed the ship’s departure. I for some reason you are unable to make it the day before, try arriving before noon on the day of the cruise. The day of departure, I recommend getting to port early, while some people say against this, I believe in getting to port early to get the most out of the day. Some cruise lines will go as far as sending you emails telling you when to get to port, I have always ignored them and never had a problem.
- What to pack on your carry-on. You should always pack your electronics in your carry-on bags to avoid any damage. If the company allows you to bring wine aboard, it is required to bring those bottles with you on your carry-on. I also pack some medicine just in case the bags take longer to get delivered, and a light change of cloths. Everything else can go in your bag that gets delivered to the room, just keep in mind that in some rare cases the bags take longer to get delivered. For a complete list of what to pack click here.
- Make the most out of your first day. Boarding day is one that we wait for with anticipation, that is why you should enjoy this day to the max. Go explore the ship, walk around the spa, take a look at the kids club (some ships have incredible kid areas), get to know the ship! This is the time that should use to scope the ship and look for places that you enjoy the most of your vacation. Another good tip that some people suggest is to eat lunch at the main dinning room instead of the buffet, on most cases it is less crowded and they serve great food. Don’t forget about muster drill, it is a tedious and boring part of the cruise, but the faster everyone gets down there, the faster the ship can be underway.
- Bring anti-nausea medication. It is very likely that you will never need it, but if you do it is a good idea to be prepared. I usually carry ginger pills, Bonine, and the pressure point bracelets.
- Dress Code. I am not a fan of dressing up on vacations, and I usually do extensive research on how to get out of it. That said, most cruise lines have 2 formal nights on the 7 day cruises. The formal wear varies from cruise line to cruise line, for the most part men can wear nice pants, a long sleeve shirt and tie. If you wish to wear something more formal, that is good as well. For women a cocktail dress or gown will do. My personal point of view is that I am on vacation and I want to be as relaxed as possible.
- Staying fit. It is a well known fact that most cruisers cruise for the joy of the incredible food that is available throughout the cruise. I have always had a problem abiding by any of this, but if you want to stay fit, try to use the stairs as often as possible. Also go on walks around the ship to try to burn as many calories as possible. Most ships also have great gyms that are available for everyone to use. Lastly also remember that the main dining room offers low calorie options on every night, I have personally tried several options and most are very good.
- Gratuities. Most cruise lines are adding the gratuities to your account either by days, or a total amount before the cruise ends. The amount ranges from $11.50 to $14.00 per person per day, additional gratuities are also welcomed. Another thing to note is that each drink you purchase has a 15% gratuity charge attached to it.
- On-board account. One of the most crucial first time cruise tips is to keep a close eye on your onboard account. It is very easy to underestimate what you have spent aboard and go over your budget.
- Dailies. Possibly one of the best first time cruise tip I can give you is to go over the daily newspaper each day. There is substantial information there you can really benefit from.
- For more detailed First Time Cruise Tips click here.