Taking a cruise vacation can be one of the easiest getaways to plan. You only have to unpack once; all the food you could ever eat is right at your fingertips; and someone else is driving! There are, however, a few tips to make your first cruise an ocean breeze of a trip.
Don’t rock the boat
Modern day cruise liners have the latest mechanisms and technology for stabilization. So the chances of seasickness are greatly reduced. However, if that conflicting information between your inner ear, eyes and brain makes me (I mean you!) run for the nearest facility, consider preparing ahead of the nausea curve. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before boarding. Instead, hydrate (drink lots of water), put lemon or ginger lozenges in your mouth, and/or take antihistamines or scopolamine (with your doctor’s approval).
Ports of call
There will likely be many stops at different ports during your cruise vacation. These are the perfect opportunity to visit new cities and countries while soaking in the sights, sounds and tastes. Every cruise line offers guided shore excursions for each port of call on your itinerary. Book these early because space can be limited. If you do not get a reservation that you desperately wanted, all is not lost. There are options at the ports for guided tours by local groups. You will simply have to arrange these activities yourself.
If you’re worried about what to wear on your cruise ship, don’t. After you have chosen the perfect travel destination and cruise, simply read the descriptions about each trip. The cruise line will state clearly if there are formal dining requirements or other wardrobe considerations you should address.
Lost at sea
Keep in mind that today’s luxury cruise liners are, well, huge! Multiple decks and possibly thousands of fellow cruisers can make you feel lost on board ship. The solution is simple – a ship’s map. These are available on board or by download ahead of time. Get one! Until you learn your way around, you’ll be glad you did.
How would you like to pay
As a general rule, your stateroom key will serve as a payment method on board during your cruise. There are exceptions though. Gratuities, drinks and the ship’s casino can be three of them. You might want to take cash for these occasions. In the alternative, some cruise lines offer the option of purchasing drink packages ahead of time, as well as pre-paying your gratuities. If you are using cash, check well in advance for which currency is accepted on board. Don’t assume, or you could be unexpectedly short on funds.
These five tips for your first cruise vacation will make the trip more enjoyable. Be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming articles specifically written to help first-time cruisers.