Cruising is one of the most affordable and enjoyable ways to explore the world, and an increasing range of people are booking cruises for the very first time. Preparing for your first cruise can be a daunting prospect, so here is a beginner’s guide to cruise holidays to help you know what to expect when you first set foot aboard.
Get to Know Your Ship
Whether you’re cruising on the giants of the ocean such as the Allure of the Seas or taking a more intimate tour on one of the smaller ships from the Captain Cook Cruises line, the trick to getting the most out of your voyage is to know your ship. Study maps of the layout before you leave, mark out points of interest, and then do a quick orientation when you’re on board. You’ll be walking around the ship like a veteran while other new passengers aimlessly wander and inevitably waste time getting lost aboard your cruise liner.
It also pays to know the level of technology offered, what facilities are available and where they are located. Always remember to pack small things such as a small extension lead and power board for all of your essential gadgets in case there aren’t enough plugs available on board.
Know Your Destination
The amount of time you’ll spend in port depends on the cruise you’re taking, but you can expect an average of 8 hours in most cases. This might not seem long, but if you’re well prepared then you’ll quickly learn to make the most of your time off the ship. Research places that you’d love to see while in port, and make sure to print maps to take with you. Getting lost in port seriously cuts into the time you could be spending exploring the exciting and diverse destinations throughout your cruise.
To Tip or Not to Tip?
Many liners will automatically charge you for gratuities when you buy from the bar. Make sure you check when you’re making your booking whether tips are included in the bill, or if you’re expected to manually tip the staff. This can save you from paying double every time you get a drink!
Make sure you’ve read and understood the dress code for your chosen cruise. Some will encourage relaxed resort wear at all times, while some have a strict no singlets or shorts policy during dinner. Many lines host formal nights where passengers dress in tuxedos and gowns, so it pays to be prepared!
It’s well known that many first time cruise travellers often over pack for their voyage, but nothing is worse than being underprepared for your cruise. It pays to bear in mind that even though you may be headed for a balmy tropical destination to soak up the sun, inclement weather can and does happen. Always pack a poncho and other quality wet weather gear just in case.
These top tips will help make your first cruise enjoyable and memorable in every way. Remember that the best thing you can remember to pack on your voyage is a positive attitude and a serious sense of fun!