It is always best to be prepared, especially if you embark on a project or journey you have never experienced before. For instance your first solo trip, you didn’t just pack your bags and wing the whole trip. You first plan all that you can, from the location to the transport. Despite all the preparations you do, you can never predict a situation, but being prepared and aware does help you when diving into unknown waters.
So what are the things you should know before you start your cruise journey? This article brings you all the vital information that you should know before planning a cruise.
1.Choose The Right Cruise
Since it’s your first time on a cruise, you will undoubtedly spend days researching cruise lines and itineraries. Still, instead of doing this, you might want to consider looking for travel agents who specialize in cruise travel and have a good number of cruise trips. Every cruise has its distinctive feature, no two cruises will be the same, and this is where cruise-experienced travel agents come into play; a cruise specialist will help you find the cruise that suits your preferences best.
The Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Alaska remain the most popular cruise destinations if you are looking for something different. A seasoned agent can find you a cruise to a remote island if that is the vibe you want. There are several features you can browse through before you decide on a cruise, so make sure you go through these features before making a choice.
Whatever ship and destination you decide on, make sure you buy travel insurance. This way, you stay protected if you fall seriously ill, have an accident, or lose your luggage.
2.Pick The Right Cabin
Let’s say you have gone through all available options and have finally selected a cruise of your preference; now what? Well, the best step is to choose your cabin. Cabin choices are pretty simple:
- Interior (No View)
- The Exterior (Ocean View Through A Window Or Porthole)
- Balcony (Exterior Cabin With A Balcony)
- Suite (A Large Cabin Mainly Consisting Of Separate Living And Sleeping Areas And A Private Balcony)
Newer cruise ships have also added another option: cabins that offer parklike atriums as a view. Thoroughly examine the deck plans to determine the staterooms you are purchasing. If you are a light sleeper, avoid cabins under the nightclub or just above the engine room. If you want to avoid the rock and roll involved in a ship and enjoy absolute stability, then reserve a midship cabin. That’s where you will avoid maximum movement.
If you look forward to specific cruise excursions and want to attend them, it is always best to pre-book. Famous cruise excursions with fixed space such as cooking classes at a chef’s private home or dog sledding fill up fast, so make sure you grab your seat as soon as your ship’s online reservation system opens. Prior bookings for tables at specialty restaurants, spa treatments, and shows are necessary.
Do not go overboard in the clothing department. Most times, travelers pack almost everything they own when packing for a trip, so avoid making this mistake. No one cares if you wear the same outfit twice. Travel light, pack enough washable and quick-drying outfits and clothes for your voyage. Make sure you toss in a sweater even on warm-weather cruises; ships tend to get chilly quickly. Pack a couple of pairs of shoes — one regular/walking shoes, a dressier pair for the dining room/shows, and finally a pair of flip-flops for the warm-weather cruises.
Most cruises also have formal nights where most passengers put on the glitz, but there is no need to dress in diamonds and tux. Women can easily get by with a cocktail dress or a dressy pantsuit, whereas men can always opt for a jacket and a tie. If you, however, want to avoid dressing up, you might want to hit the buffet, or this might be the perfect time to order in-room service. Most ships come with free self-service laundry rooms with iron as well as fee-based laundry services. The charge varies according to the item. During sea days, laundries are the busiest; washing before breakfast or late in the night will help you avoid the crowd. If you aren’t attending an offshore excursion, midday during port is also a great time to do your laundry.
Also, make sure to pack a dual-voltage extension cord. Cabins usually only have a handful of electrical outlets, which aren’t always accessible. A simple multi-plug is everything you would need to charge all your devices.
Try and arrive at least one day early at the departure point. This way, you do not have to worry about delayed flights or missing the boat. Once a ship starts the boarding process, its restaurants and other facilities become fully operational. You can leave your luggage with the porters and carry a small bag with all you might require to get by for a few hours. Before the ship leaves the port, you can accustom yourself to the ship’s layout, eat lunch, if you have a swimsuit and sunscreen packed in your carry-on bag, you can also lounge by the pool until called for “muster.”
“Muster” is a mandatory procedure to be followed by every ship before it starts to sail. “Muster” is an emergency drill procedure where each passenger gets emergency directions and guidelines. Every passenger is also accounted for with an orange life jacket for emergency use. Do not skip this procedure, and you best believe you do not want to be the person pegged over the loudspeaker.
6.Manage Your Money
Unless you have paid an all-inclusive fee, be prepared to shell out money during the cruise. Apart from the main dining room and buffet, you will pay for restaurants, wifi, shore excursions, and spa treatments. Even though you have registered a credit card at the beginning of your journey, it is best to carry a bundle of fives and tens for small purchases or tips.
There you go, six tips that you should know before you get onboard a cruise ship. It is always best to read a few helpful tips and tricks before going on a first-ever trip or vacation. Cruises can be fun and inexpensive if you do all the proper research beforehand.