You’ve selected the dates, chosen the dream cruise itinerary and now all that’s left to do is read this 12 point guide for some last minute tips on how to make the most of your very first cruising adventure!
1. Step number one is, don’t forget your passport or any necessary visas. If you’ve got that sorted, you’re halfway there.
2. Complimentary kids club is quite possibly one of the biggest draw cards of cruising for families. Just be sure to check out the minimum age requirements before you travel. In-cabin babysitting is also an option on some cruises.
3. If you’re going on an island hopper cruise and wish to snorkel, you can always hire the equipment needed onboard or alternatively, just pick up your own snorkel and goggles which you can then use on many more cruises to come!
4. Pack hand sanitiser and depending on where you’re going, bug spray is another handy toiletry for island visits.
5. If you’re the one who is always up for a good time, and by good time I mean, if you like drinking Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain, then I’d suggest you seriously consider any and all beverage packages on offer with your cruise.
6. Book in for the sit down meal restaurants at the end of your previous night’s meal to make sure you always get your preferred dining time. Also if you like your waiter, choose the same table each time. This way you can build up a rapport with you waitor which gives the whole cruising experience a more personal touch.
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7. Lock away your wallet in the room safe once your board because you won’t be needing it anymore. Besides most amenities being all-inclusive, everyone receives a swipe card upon boarding attached to their credit card that can be used for alcohol, shore tours and gift shop purchases.
8. Check the ship’s daily newsletter for a list of the day’s activities, competitions and classes.
Most of these are included in your cruise package, so no need to even use your onboard swipe card. From theatre to karaoke and live music (the more professional kind),there’s also poolside competitions, deck parties, barefoot bowls and so much more.
9. After the muster drill on embarkment day, place your luggage which should have arrived outside your cabin door, inside your cabin and then head up to the main deck for the exciting ‘Sail Away’ party as you watch the port fade into the distance as you make way for open waters.
10. Give your family and friends left on dry land the ship’s emergency phone number. If they need to reach you, this is the number they will want stuck to the fridge. Check the cruise line’s website or your cruise documents for this number.
11. For a complimentary glass of champagne, head along to the art auction. Most cruises have a couple of auctions and you never know, you might just pick up something special to take home with you.
12. Finally, large cruise ships are equipped with stabilizers that make it hard to tell that you’re moving at all, but just in case be sure to pack some non-drowsy motion sickness tablets.