First time cruising is exciting yet it requires patience and a lot of research to make the most out of your planned cruise. The cruise ship is packed with a lot of goodies from activities for children to the activities that old people want to engage themselves into. It is only right that when going on a cruise for the first time you should be able to make the most out of your money.
First time cruising is tricky. Here are some of the things that you need to prepare for.
Pre-cruise Studies: Always research about the cruise ship and the trip itself. Everything else that you need should have been pre-arranged from the cabins you’ll be sleeping in to the food that you’ll dine.
Don’t double tip: When paying for your trip you have already been charged about 10-15% for every meal that you will be having. It is really not that necessary to give tips.
When it rains pack right: When traveling on a cruise ship, it is always a must to be prepared with clothes and other stuff that you can wear when it rains. You can’t always be so sure that the weather forecast is right. Sometimes there are sudden splashes of rain and you don’t want your travel experience to be ruined just because you were soaked in the rain.
Stay slim amidst the all-you-can-eat buffet: Remember that all of these are paid for. If you wish to stay slim despite the huge amount that you paid for then that’s completely your discretion. In case you really want to enjoy that sumptuous feast, here’s what you can do. Instead of taking the elevator when roaming around the ship, why not try taking the stairs for a change. This is to ensure that you’ll burn those calories just right.
Design a Ship Tour for Embarkation Day: You don’t want to waste your time and energy sitting on a cabin while waiting for your ship to arrive at the pier. You can explore the ship. Take a map of the whole ship. You can use the map provided after you book for that cruise. Look at the main areas that you will be going like your cabin, the dining area, and other parts of the ship where passengers are allowed to explore.
Here is an overview of cruise vacations for first time cruisers.
Many first-timers are confused about what’s included in your cruise price. As a general rule, meals, snacks, onboard activities and entertainment are included in the stateroom prices. Here’s some great news that might surprise you: even room service is included! Beverages such as water, juice, tea and coffee are typically included, as well. Other beverages, such as those from the bar – soda, beer, wine and cocktails – are an additional cost. You’ll also have to pay extra for babysitting, salon and spa services, gambling and purchases from the gift shop. Fortunately, all these expenses are charged to your room, alleviating the worry of carrying cash everywhere onboard.
There are other activities that you’ll have to budget for, namely, shore excursions. There are many options available, from simply shopping forays to extensive guided tours. Most cruise lines have specialists that can help you book your offshore activities. It’s typically wise to utilize this service, as the cruise experts have loads of experience and know which companies are reputable, and which to avoid. Many activities book up quickly, so plan ahead. It’s also a good idea to book spa and salon appointments well in advance.
Many cruise lines factor gratuities into your final bill when the cruise ends. Others leave this amount up to you. If you’re in charge of the tip, follow this rule of thumb: $3 per person, per day for your cabin steward, busboy and cabin steward. All gratuities should be paid in cash when the cruise comes to an end. When it comes to bar beverages, you’ll have to pay at the time of service. Your servers are there for one reason: to serve you and make sure you have the best cruise experience ever. Treat them well.
Nothing says great food like a cruise. Everybody knows that cruises are notorious for exceptionally delicious cuisine and abundant dining options. Buffets, niche restaurants with high-end specialties, elegant dining rooms, cozy room service, on-the-go snack bars – they’re all yours. Try them all! Room service is usually available 24 hours a day while other options have limited hours, some serving late into the night or early in the morning. Main dining hall times frequently begin around 6:30 p.m., and permit seating through 8:30 p.m. Submit your preferred times in advance whenever possible.
Special dietary needs? No problem. Cruise lines employ top chefs who are well-versed in all kinds of dietary specialties. Vegetarian, kosher and low-fat diets being the most common special needs, these dishes are abundantly available. More specialized needs can easily be accommodated, as well. Be sure to consult your vacation cruise specialist in advance and speak to them about your dietary restrictions. That way, you can be sure to secure a perfect culinary experience.
Not sure what to pack? You’re not alone. Most cruises are seaside-casual during the day, and more formal at night. When packing formal attire, men can’t go wrong with a nice, dark suit. Ladies: pack your lovely cocktail dresses. Make sure all your fabrics are appropriate for the climate in which you’re sailing.
Check with your vacation expert to determine the level of formality aboard your ship. Some lines are far more formal than others, and require tuxedos and gowns. Don’t have a tux? Check to see if rentals are available on board. Many offer this amenity. If dressing up isn’t your thing, don’t worry; most every cruise line offers exclusively casual dining options.
If you’re a water person, don’t forget to pack plenty of swimwear. Those who bring only one or two bathing suits will likely have to buy more onboard. The same goes for basic toiletries.
Afraid you might fall prey to the dreaded motion sickness? If you’ve suffered from motion sickness before, there’s a strong chance it could happen again. Some people don’t realize they’re prone to motion sickness until the ship departs. By that time, there’s no turning back, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Though all modern ships have top-notch stabilizers to reduce excess movement, it’s a great idea to bring along medication or other remedies if you’re concerned you might get seasick. Also, stick to the lower decks, as you’re more likely to feel motion at higher levels.
Today, cruises have Wi-Fi so Internet connection wouldn’t really be that much of a problem. Instead of wallowing yourself in your social media accounts, you can go around and look for other activities that are going on at the various stations inside the ship. It will let you see how beautiful the ship is. You will also get to experience a lot of amazing activities happening while in the cruise.
Don’t forget to enjoy and try to document every piece of that memory for keepsakes. It is always good to have something that you could look back into for years. Those memories of your first time in a cruise will be rooted in your heart and mind always.