Statistics show that a significant number of first-time cruisers become repeat cruisers, because of the overall satisfaction with their vacation experience.
If you are thinking of taking your first cruise, what if you could get onboard knowing the things that veteran cruisers already know? We can help with that! Here are some tips that should help you feel less like a cruise newbie:
- Study the ship’s deck plans, which most cruise lines publish on their websites. See where the pools, spa, fitness center, dining rooms and restaurants, lounges and shops are located in relation to your stateroom. When you get onboard, you’ll be better able to orient yourself.
- Read up on the ports you’ll visit. The cruise line will offer pre-arranged shore excursions. However, those excursions don’t always cover the entire time in port or allow for the experience you might like. Do a little research, but also enlist the expertise of your travel agent to help craft the shore excursions that will delight you.
- Don’t bring too much cash. You can charge any onboard purchases to your account, which you can settle with a credit card at the end of the cruise. If you want to take some cash when you go on shore, withdraw a small amount from the onboard ATM.
- Make the most of embarkation day. Some ships offer “embarkation day specials” in their spas and specialty restaurants; take advantage of the opportunity for discounted spa treatments and gourmet dining.
- Don’t try to skip the required muster drill, a time for you to practice what to do in an emergency. When the alarm sounds, put on the lifejacket you’ll find in your stateroom and report to your muster station. Don’t try to hide in your stateroom – the crew will check to make sure it’s empty.
- Don’t tip at the bar, because most cruise lines automatically add service charges of 15 percent or more to bar bills (and specialty restaurant bills, too).
Here are a few quick packing tips that will help you look and feel like a cruise veteran. Be sure to bring along:
- Some clothespins to keep the bright morning sun from coming through where your curtains meet.
- A nightlight to help you navigate the unfamiliar stateroom in the dark.
- A highlighter to mark things you want to do in the ship’s daily bulletin.
For even more tips, ask your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.