Cruising 101: Make Your First Day Count!

Cruise Ships
Photo By: Port of San Diego (Creative Commons)

You’ve been waiting for this day, lost a few nights of sleep packing for it, and spent a good portion of your savings to enjoy this precious adventure on the high seas. There is so much to do, so much to see, so much to experience. So, where do you start? Well, get it right on your very first day onboard.

It may be all thrill and excitement at the sight of the ship’s amenities, the infinite stretch of ocean, and your itinerary for the next few days, but it always pays to make conscious effort to maximize your first 24 hours on the ship. Here are a few suggestions on how to make your first day a sign of even better things to come on your most-awaited cruise:

Unpack Later

You’re now aboard the ship, and have been assigned your cabin. Your huge luggage bag is comfortably parked in a corner of the room. That huge bag is calling out to you. Ignore it! Well, at least for now. Unpacking at this point and getting your cabin in complete order may not be the best idea, as it would most likely eat up a good portion of your time.

Cruise Suitcases

Photo By: Sean and Lauren (Creative Commons)

Once you’ve seen what your ship offers, what your itinerary is for the next days, and what activities you can take part of are, you can move on to unpacking the things you think you may need. This way, you don’t deal with the unpacking stress on the first few hours of your cruise, and you also end up minimizing the clutter in your cabin by bringing out only the items you will actually be using.

Get A Drink, Grab A Bite

Cruise Drink

Photo By: Dave Herholz (Creative Commons)

You know that ‘standard’ cruise photo, the one where you’re reclined on a beach chair, soaking up the sun on deck, and sipping a tall drink – make sure to get a snap of that on your first day. Not just for posterity’s sake, but simply because lounging on the deck with a refreshing drink is definitely a great way to kick off your first day on the cruise. Especially if you’ll be traversing through warmer weather, starting with consistent hydration on your first day is an absolute must. Trying out the cruise cuisines is also worth making time for on your first day. Sample the eats, and take note of your favorites. Make sure to ask about their daily specials!

Check Your Shore Tour Details

One of the best parts of a cruise is when you stop at your port of call. A whole different adventure awaits! Make sure that you make the most of it by making bookings before you even board the ship.

Excursion Desk

Photo By: Brian Hubbard (Creative Commons)

On your first day, make a call to your travel agent or get in touch with the person who would be handling your excursion. Verify all the details like schedules, point of contact, and itineraries to make sure that you’d have a fun, hassle-free time at your destination. Doing this early on will allow you to enjoy two things: One, the opportunity to make adjustments for any possible problems. Two, have peace of mind for the rest of the trip until you arrive at your port of call.

Book Your Spa Appointments And Make Dining Reservations

You may not need a massage on your first day, but you’ll surely find yourself wanting it later on. You’ll be surprised how the ship’s spa may be that one amenity that gets awfully crowded really fast. Treatments can be very in demand, and you’d want to have it at your preferred date and time.

Ship Spa

Photo By: Iglu Cruise (Creative Commons)

The same goes with specialty restaurants onboard – the lunch buffet may be the focal point of everyone’s attention on the first day. So, training your sights on other dining venues, and making early reservations may give you that dining advantage moving forward. Early bookings will let you grab those very in-demand seats even during those busy dining hours.

Explore The Ship

Cruise Deck

Photo By: Bill Taroli (Creative Commons)

Your first day is probably the best time to get to know the various nooks and crannies of your cruise ship. Do you know where the buffet is laid out? Do you know where the purser’s desk is? Do you know which cafe offers the best brews? Do you know the fastest way to the ship’s pool? These places and many others are some of the places you’d likely frequent onboard – it helps to know where they are on your first day.

Take Part In Introductory Activities, And Sign Up For More

One of the best things about going on a cruise is the wide array of activities you and your group can enjoy. Sailaway festivities are definitely worth getting dressed up for. Make sure to be on the pool deck for this – you wouldn’t want to miss out on the free-flowing cocktails, happy crowds, live music, and dancing under the carpet of stars.

Sailaway Party

Photo By: flickrized (Creative Commons)

Don’t be tempted to stay up very late though, and steer clear of that terrible hangover by not going on an all-out drink spree. You’d want to remember your first day high by being up, awake, and enthusiastic the next day.

No dull moments on a cruise for sure, with musical shows, dining specials, magic shows for the kids, and even onboard singing contests! Find out their schedules on the first day and sign up or register to get the best seats in the house. With all that to punctuate your first day on cruise, you’ll definitely be looking forward to more onboard and onshore adventures.