Top Tips for First-Time Cruise Passengers
Cruising isn’t rocket science. In a nutshell, it's a vacation aboard a ship that stops over several places. However, there are a few things that veteran cruisers wished they knew on their first trip. Here are some of them.
Tip #1: Bring a jacket or umbrella
During your cruise, you have to accept that fact that the weather won’t always be perfect during your stopovers. Whether you sail in the Caribbean, Europe, Canada or wherever, expect showers, snow or maybe even hail, depending on the climate during your visit. This is why you need to pack a jacket or umbrella to keep you warm and dry.
Tip #2: Check for auto-gratuity
The custom of tipping or gratuity has always been part of cruises. However, there are some cruise lines that allow prepaid tipping, so if you do take that option, remember that there’s no need to give another tip in addition to what you already paid for. Still, it’s encouraged that you still tip for outstanding service.
Tip #3: Skip the buffet on the first day
Don’t forget to stay away from the buffet, particularly on the first day of the cruise right after boarding the ship. This is the period when the buffet table is overflowing with ravenous passengers who spent their mornings rushing to and waiting at the port. The trick is to go straight to a dining room for your meal.
Tip #4: Read up on your ship beforehand
Cruise ships are huge floating resorts that are around a thousand feet long and several decks high. So unless you’ve ridden the same vessel several hundred times before, good luck getting around it on your first time. To make your initial encounter easier, read up on the ship before the cruise starts. You can find the necessary information online by typing (ship name) + deck plans in the search engine.
That way, you’ll know where essential places like restaurants, gym, theatre and spa are located. This would give you more time to enjoy the trip and make the most of the ship’s facilities.
Tip #5: Plan your port activities
You can’t just show up at a stopover and have no plan on what to do for the next two days or so. You need to prepare before the cruise by researching about your destination, arranging an activity in advance and perhaps booking a tour. Plan your port activities even if you only have a few hours at the stopover.
Tip #6: Bring sea bands for seasickness
Since it’s your first cruise, you probably don’t know if you get seasick or not. Either way, you should bring a medicine for motion sickness. Better yet, bring those Sea Bands wristbands that apply acupuncture to your wrist so that you won’t have to take any medicines.
Tip #7: Use the stairs
If you can help it, avoid using the elevator on your cruise. There are two good reasons: first, they’re almost always full of people; and second, you’ll need all the exercise you can get because of the staggering amount of fattening food.
Tip #8: Pack an extension cord
You’ll probably need to plug in more than one device or appliance while aboard the ship, so don’t forget to bring an extension cord, especially if your family is with you.