Planning on taking a cruise vacation in the near future? Sitting on a cruise right at the very time of reading this post? Well, maybe this will help you or maybe it will just be little more than an entertaining “Told you so” but here are some tips and things we wish we knew before sailing off into the sunset on our first cruise:
1.Arrive several days prior
Okay so there are not all that many vacation days to take in North America but still, if you have even just a couple of days spare just make sure you take a flight into your departure city long before you are due to board the ship. Why? Not just to check out whatever city it is you are starting from but mostly, to reduce stress, to slow down, to start moving at your own pace and not be rushing across town as the ship is leaving. Even two nights in a city prior to the cruise departing is enough and will quite possibly be the best decision you make all vacation. Hotels Etc also offer great hotel discounts for these cities.
2. Read up on shore excursions before you arrive
Decisions are stressful and so too is deciding which tour/shore excursion you wish to take. Remove any risk of there being a panic and grab as many leaflets on board to read during the day while you sunbathe. Then fill out the form on board and get your name on the list before it sells out, because they do sell out and its usually because people are smart enough to read their leaflets while they sunbathe.
3.Know exactly when will be you at Sea
Why? Because there are no shore excursions. Why? Because there is no shore. And why is this important? Because this is exactly when the Spa Treatment room is most busy and yes you’ve guessed it, full. Check the calender for when you are at sea and book the spa room long in advance. Smart huh?
4.Unpack your bag
Treat it like your home, take our candlesticks, your favorite pillow and anything else in that suitcase and find a place for it. Seriously, get every single item out of the bag and put everything away, then do the same with your suitcase. Last thing you want (which most people end up doing) is to waste hours rooting through your bags for that elusive bikini, underwear or camera.
5.Choose dinner time wisely
On shore excursions during the day? Book dinner on the cruise ship for the later time. Wanting to avoid the crowds? Book breakfast for the earlier time. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t do this but it certainly makes things easier.
6.Get your laundry done all at once
Who are you travelling with? Put your laundry together and hand it in as one. Sounds cheap to say this but honestly, laundry facilities are no longer on board cruise ships and they charge an absolute fortune to do it for you – think $30 a load.
7.Bring an outfit for every dress code
Yes, there will be fine dining, sunbathing, cool evenings on deck, fancy jewelry and sporting activities. Make sure you take clothes for all occasions so as not to stand out too much and please, as we said before, make sure you unpack it all once you get on board.
You can find all the best cruise discounts, hotel offers and much more on Hotels Etc.