When it comes to booking an effortless holiday, it's hard to beat cruising. Even if it's just a short stint on the high seas hitting the highlights close to home, cruising offers high value holidays that let you book, board and relax. While all-inclusive packages mean the logistics are covered, these highly practical tricks, tweaks and tips can help you maximise your high sea adventure.
Book mid-ship to avoid seasickness
If the idea of being lulled off to sleep by the gentle rocking of the sea is anything but relaxing, you can cut down on the motion of the ocean by asking for a stateroom on the lower levels somewhere close to the middle of the ship. It's a great option to help combat the effects of seasickness.
Pack a day bag
In all the hustle and bustle to get on the ship, you may not have immediate access to your bags. It's a good idea to pack a small day bag with all the essentials to get you through the first few hours. This is especially true if you're embarking with the family. If nothing else, toss in some swimmers and sunscreen so you can while the time away poolside.
Pack a power strip
Like most accommodation, cruise ship staterooms are often lacking when it comes to extra power outlets. This can make charging your devices a little tricky. This is why savvy cruisers always pack a power strip. Make sure you invest in a compact version with a surge protector. Many also now come with USB ports as well as outlets, which is great for charging all those mobile devices.
Bring a magnetic hook or two
Typical staterooms will only have one or two hanging hooks, which makes hanging up jackets or towels a little difficult if you're cruising as a couple or a family. Luckily a typical stateroom is made of metal, so tossing a couple of magnetic hooks in your day bag can help you create more hanging space.
Resealable plastic bags
When it comes to travelling, never under estimate the power of the platic bag. It's well worth putting a couple of these in your luggage as there is a whole litany of situations that call for a Ziploc. From waterproofing your phone for days at the pool to packing up damp swimmers or shoes on your last day, these little baggies always come in handy.
Store your luggage under your bed
Staterooms can start to feel crowded pretty quick if your luggage is laying around, which is why it's well worth taking some time to get organised after you board. Start by unpacking your suitcase and putting everything away in the cabin drawers and closet. Not only does this cut down on suitcase shuffling and wrinkled outfits, it also means you can store your empty suitcase under the bed and out of the way.
Charge gadgets with the TV
If you forgot to pack your power strip (see above) and all of your cabin outlets are currently being used, the TV can help you top up your gadgets in a pinch. Most modern televisions have USB ports around the back or along the side that you can plug your charger into for a quick charge.
Tap into free Wi-Fi
As technology works its way into all aspects of our lives, it's hard to imagine going even a single day without browsing. A cruise may just be the perfect opportunity to try out digital detox travelling, but for those not game to give up their gadgets, there are ways to log on for less. One of the best ways is to forego Wi-Fi while at sea and log on when you're on land. Plenty of restaurants and cafes offer customers free Wi-Fi, which is a great option. Alternatively, seek out tips from the crew on the best excursion spots that have free Wi-Fi. They're more than likely to have a tip or two.
Go far first
Speaking of excursions, perfecting your time on land is a key part of getting the most out of your cruise. While cruise lines will offer their own daily excursions complete with guides, it's definitely worth blazing your own trail every once in awhile. Just make sure you keep track of time. Cruise ships work on a very tight schedule and if you're not back onboard when it's time to depart, you will get left behind.
One way to make it easier to see everything you want to see in your allotted time frame is plan your day ahead of time and head to the farthest destination first. That way you can work your way back to the ship, hitting all the spots you want to see. It also ensures you're closer to the ship if you find yourself running short on time.
Wait until the last day to shop
If you love to shop when you travel, you don't have to miss out when you cruise. The majority of ships are decked out with storefronts showcasing the world's leading brands. In fact, many offer extravagant shopping boulevards that cater to the most discerning of tastes. If the shopping bug hits while you're at sea, it's worth holding out on making purchases until your last day. You're more likely to bag a bargain if you wait to buy as cruise ships are more likely to have a final sale toward the end of the itinerary.