Cruising can be very exciting, but there are few tricks to ensure you have even more fun:
- Choosing an itinerary: If you’ve never cruised before, you might not know how much or how little you will enjoy it. For that reason, be picky and choose carefully. For newbies, I suggest to start with a 7 night itinerary. That way if you don’t like it, you’re only onboard 7 days. Of course, if you’re a seasoned cruiser, and enjoy it as much as I do, 2 – 3 week itineraries are just right for most.
- If you Are Prone to Motion Sickness: If you are prone to motion sickness, stick to itineraries where the seas are generally calm. Alaska and the Caribbean are very popular for this reason. The Tasmanian sea, or Cape Horn, for example, might not be the best choice for those who get sea sick.
- Book a balcony cabin for your first cruise: even though they are more expensive, if you never cruised before, you might feel a bit claustrophobic in an inside cabin. Try to book a cabin in the middle of the ship and on a lower deck where you won’t feel the movement of the boat as much. For tips on choosing a cabin check this article.
- Familiarize yourself with the ship at embarkation: walk around the ship few times, get familiar with the ship. Check which of the pool is the best, check where the main dining room is, check where the lounges are.
- Don’t overpack: closets in the cabins are not very big and sometimes (especially inside cabins) there is no room to leave big suitcases. Pack strategically, don’t bring your full closet. Keep in mind that on the ocean even in a warm climate, the weather is unpredictable always pack a sweater or a light jacket. If you want more tips on what to pack here is an article about that.
- Don’t try to do everything: there is always a lot to do on a cruise, but if you try to do everything, and you are afraid of missing something, you will stress out for nothing. Keep in mind it is ok to relax. Tip: when you receive your daily program, mark few things that you really want to, and take a picture of it with your phone so that you can refer back to it later.
- The drinking package is not a marathon!: It’s not unusual to see people getting sick after day two because they drank too much in order to get the drinking package worth it! Remember if by day two you are sick and your cruise is only 7 days, half of your holiday is ruined! Same rule applies to the buffet!
- Specialty restaurants are great date nights: Some ships, nowadays, offer a lot of different specialty restaurants that have extra charges. Most of the times are themed restaurants (ie: Italians, Japanese, fusion etc.). The quality of the food however is usually very similar to the one in the main dining room. For that reason there is no need to spend more money for dinner. The only big difference is the smaller ambience and the more attentive service and different menu items. For that reason, they are perfect for a special occasion or a date night. Another tip regarding specialty restaurants is before you make a reservation, check the menu in the main dining room (it is usually posted in several area around the ship for the all day), that way you are sure you won’t miss anything.
- Keep shopping on board for the last day: if you see something you like at the gift shop or in one the shop on board don’t buy it on embarkation day. There is always a big sale at the end of the cruise buy it than it will be cheaper.
- Do some research about your ports before your cruise: read about your ports of call in advance. This will help you decide if you want to do an excursion or not in each port and if you decide for an excursion it will help you decide which one. Keep in mind that some ports (especially in the Med, Northern Europe and Asia) are great cities to explore there is no need for an excursion.
- If you’re not sure, ask your fellow passengers: on each cruise there are always passengers that have cruised a lot. If you’re not sure or you need some tips, ask them, you never know you might end up making a new friend!
I hope these tips are helpful and there will be more soon.
PS: Don’t forget your Gadgets! This article is our most popular as it covers all the best gadgets to take on board, to make your life easier!
In March 2017, Rick and Andrea started a Facebook Group called Travel Addicts as a way to share their travel photos and videos with the world. And boy did it ever grow! As of Feb 2020, the group has grown to over 200,000 members! One reason for their success is that they have done their best to ensure only those high quality content get shared, all while limiting the use of commercial content. This is a painstaking process – a labor of love that each takes both very seriously.
Thanks for reading!
Rick & Andrea