It’s anticipated that in 2018, more than 27 million people will go on a cruise. Most of those cruises will head for the Caribbean. Other popular destinations include the Mediterranean, Alaska, Europe, Australia and even China.
There are some important things to know if you’re next vacation is a cruise, including some things the cruise lines won’t tell you. If you need some great cruise advice before you book your next vacation, keep reading.
Great Cruise Advice
Think it’s All Included?
Think again. Some of the best cruise advice is to remember that all-inclusive doesn’t mean everything’s included. Although your ticket includes a lot, make sure you know exactly what it doesn’t include.
Much of your food comes with the cost of the ticket. But be sure you know which of the ship’s restaurants are included. Some of them will be fee-based, and you’ll pay much more for food on board ship than on land.
If you plan on using the Internet while on board, you might want to rethink that. Internet charges are not always included, and they can be expensive.
Expect extra charges for alcohol as well. Cruises are stocked with alcohol, and most cruisers like to drink.
Although booze costs extra, don’t be surprised if there are lots of noisy, rambunctious people making full use of the bar on your cruise.
How’s Your Immune System?
A cruise packs a lot of people into a small amount of space, and it does it many times a year. This means cabins are a breeding ground for germs. Norovirus is one of the more publicized health hazards, according to the CDC investigations over the last few years.
If you have a compromised immune system, that doesn’t mean you can’t cruise. It does mean you should take precautions, such as washing your hands well.
And here’s some cruise advice, you don’t need to be afraid of the ship’s drinking water. Cruise ships make their own drinking water, and it’s safe. You’ll save money if you drink the tap water instead of buying expensive bottled water.
Make sure you pack a carryon because you won’t always have immediate access to your luggage after you board.
There are several things you won’t need to worry about packing, including a hairdryer, shampoo, conditioner, and soap. Like any vacation, limit the amount of stuff you bring so you’ll have room to buy some souvenirs.
The Jacuzzi is Full!
Glossy brochures showing sexy couples lounging in the jacuzzi aren’t real. Don’t expect to have privacy in the pool or jacuzzi area.
The exception may be if you skip a port of call. When others are off the ship, you may have a little more quiet time, but don’t expect it.
There are hundreds of other people on board, some of whom will share your love of the pool and jacuzzi.
Ports of Call
If you picked your cruise based on a specific port destination, you may be disappointed. Mechanical problems, bad weather, and political instability may all cause the ship to skip a port.
If you do get to the port you want, remember not to book a tour guide from the ship. The ship’s tour guides will cost you much more than finding your own guide when you reach the destination port.
Some of the best cruise advice is also plain good advice. Cruise ships have crime. It’s important not to leave any valuables unattended. It’s tempting to leave your new cellphone on the chair when you take a dip in the pool, but it’s not a good idea.
You may feel safe on a cruise since everyone’s on vacation and having a good time. Unfortunately, you need to be as careful on a cruise ship as anywhere else.
Sexual assaults occur on cruises, often to minors and often committed by staff members. Be aware of your surroundings, and don’t send your minor kids out alone.
Be aware of your surroundings when you’re off the ship in ports of call as well. Tourists are often victims in areas surrounding ports. Some cruise ship passengers have been robbed at gunpoint while out on excursions.
Choosing Your Cabin
Be careful when choosing your cabin, especially if you have trouble sleeping. Look at the cruise ship floor plan, and choose a room that’s away from elevators and stairwells.
It’s also important to pay attention to what’s above your room. If it’s the dance floor, you might be kept up until late with folks tromping around over your head. Avoid a room under the gym and watch out for connecting cabins. Early ticket purchase allows you to get a good deal on the best rooms.
Beware of cabin upgrades offered by the cruise line. The room may be fancier, but you won’t have a choice about room location. You might end up in a noisy room across from a major venue.
The Balcony View
Unless you spend a lot of time in your room, skip the added expense of a balcony view. You’ll get plenty of great views from all over the ship. With so much to do on a cruise, chances are the balcony is an extra expense you don’t need.
Be On Time!
Here’s a piece of cruise advice you’ll be glad you had. Before the cruise starts and when you’ve left the ship to explore destination ports, always get back to the ship on time.
There are no exceptions.
If you’re not back to the ship before the scheduled departure, it will leave without you. You’ll have to lose precious time and money to get back on board.
Is It Time for a Cruise?
Although some of this cruise advice may leave you feeling like a cruise isn’t for you, don’t be discouraged. Millions of people take cruises each year and have the vacation of a lifetime.
The majority of cruisers say that given the opportunity, they’d book again. If you’re ready to book your cruise now, check out booking services here.