Take a watch, keep your medications handy and remember to relax.
CRUISE TIPS — A wise man once said “Everyone needs to experience a cruise at least once in their life.”
Ok, so that wise man was me, and I’m actually not as wise as I think, but this still holds true. A cruise isn’t just something that you go on; it’s an experience that cannot easily be duplicated.
Between the all-you-can-eat-buffet-twenty-four-hours-a-day and the basking in the sun every minute you can, to the gentle rocking of the boat, they are an experience that is hard to top. To make the most out of your cruise experience, here are some helpful pointers.
1. Research and Compare
There are hundreds of different cruise lines, ships and destinations. Take a look at what their ports of call are, or what stops they make. See what activities they have and if you’re traveling with children, make sure they have activities for the kids (there usually are not many places for them to go once you leave land). Also check for prices, make sure you compare them with other lines and see if you’re getting the best deal.
2. When you arrive
When you arrive on the ship, you’ll go to your stateroom and most likely your luggage won’t be there yet. They will take it to your room for you but not until later in the day. So make sure everything you will need immediately is in your carry-on bag like medications, identification, and maybe even your swimsuit if you want to go take a dip in the pool.
3. On the open water
While on the open water sailing, the crew offers many activities to keep the passengers busy. But if these don’t appeal to you, or you just want to kick back and relax, you might have to come up with your own entertainment. Don’t forget to pack a few books to read, and maybe your MP3 player in case the music they play on the deck doesn’t appeal to you.
4. Oops, I forgot my sunscreen
We all forget things, but if you forget something on your cruise it’s not the end of the world, since there is most likely a store on board. But forgetting things like sunscreen, aloe vera (in case your sunscreen doesn’t work as well as advertised) or batteries and film can turn out to be pretty pricey. Just think of the prices in airports as cheap compared to prices on a ship. So double check your list and make sure you really have everything with you.
5. Speaking of sunscreen
Try as hard as you can to not get sunburned on the first day of your cruise, as this can become cumbersome for the rest of your trip. There’s nothing worse than getting burned and then being out in the sun for another week. Use a good sunscreen to start and if you’re looking for the ultimate tan then don’t worry, you still have the last half of your cruise for fun in the sun.
6. Need cash? Forget the ATM
The ship will probably have an ATM for you if you need some cash for your stops or for your tips for the crew. But the ATM will charge you a fee for using it, a standard procedure among ATMs these days. If you want some money with out the fee, just go to the casino onboard if they have one and charge it to your room card, which will come off of your debit or credit card anyway. That way you can get cash without using an ATM and getting a fee.
7. Time to head for shore
The boat will offer shore excursions where they arrange for you to participate in activities on land. Depending on where your cruise takes you, this can include things like snorkeling, scuba diving, boat rides, or transportation to and from places. This is a very good way to participate without worrying about anything. But the drawback is they can be expensive, and you can usually find the same thing yourself right off the pier for half the price. But if you do things on your own, just find a trustworthy respectable place to guide you in your activities.
8. What time is it?
I am not someone who wears watches but on a cruise it’s a must. Carry a watch with you wherever you go and you won’t regret it. You don’t want to be stuck out on land wondering what time it is as your boat is leaving. Also, it helps to have an alarm clock (which isn’t always provided in your room) if you don’t like wake-up calls.
9. This is so much fun
I think you’ll find yourself saying this over and over as you sail through the ocean. Take advantage of every opportunity you can because before you know it, it will be over and you’ll be back at your job or in school daydreaming about it. So use your time and don’t forget to seize every moment of the day.