First Time Cruise Tips
Essential tips for the first time cruiser
Packing – Half the Fun
The anticipation and preparation for any holiday play an important role. Especially when planning a first time cruise, packing is half the excitement. Although the destination of the cruise will determine what sort of clothes and equipment to take, there are certain essentials that one needs to pack no matter where the cruise is bound.
Beware of taking too much. First time cruisers are known to pack far more than is ever necessary. So make a list and stick to it. Don’t throw in last minute, “must-have- just-in-case” items that will never be used and will only take up room in the suitcase.
There are definitely essential items that should accompany you on any cruise. One or two bathing suits, a smart looking cover up of some sort to use from pool to cabin, shorts, shirts, a sweater or two for cooler evenings, a more dressy outfit for dining and don’t forget at least two hats (in case one blows away in a gust of wind.) Many cruises do require formal clothes for elegant dining but on today’s cruise ships, there is always a choice of less expensive restaurants and cafes so one need not be perturbed about not bringing a suit and tie. Don’t bring too many T-shirts as you will probably purchase some onboard the ship or at the ports.
Choosing comfortable clothes is the important. Skirts and trousers with elastic waists are very convenient and will accommodate the extra pounds you will surely gain by the end of the cruise. Wrinkle free clothing is ideal as most ships do not have irons.
Most cruises do offer a laundry service for an additional fee. Or you can hang the garment in the bathroom, turn on the hot shower and close the door. The steam will work on the wrinkles. Men should bring nylon swim shorts that can used as walking shorts as well. A pair with a pocket is very convenient.
Shoes are always a question on any holiday. They take up a lot of room and are rarely used. If you plan on embarking and sightseeing, which you should anticipate, bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Pool slippers are useful, thought the more ritzy cruises do supply you with them. In addition, casual shoes and a dressier pair are all you will need. Please do not bring new shoes that have never been worn. They can only cause you problems. If you insist on wearing them, don’t forget to bring band-aides.
Cosmetics and other Items
Don’t forget the sun block or sunscreen and your sunglasses. Packs of moisturized wipes come in handy, for children and adults. Bring a nightlight for the bathroom or a small flashlight in case you awake in the dark. If you wear contact lenses, don’t forget the eye solution. An extra pair of contacts as well as regular glasses is a very good idea as well. Tums or another antacid is recommended since the variety of food on the cruise can be very spicy for first time cruisers. And you do want to try everything!
Pack some toiletries in a separate bag along with a change of clothes in the event your luggage is lost or stolen.
A colored identification tag with your name, cruise line and ship, and your contact information should be attached to each piece of luggage including your carry on case. The color will help you identify your possessions more easily. In many cases, you will embark on the ship several hours before your cases arrive. If the ship starts to sail and you have not received your bags, then you can panic and call the purser.
All travel documents, cash, traveler’s checks, prescription drugs and other valuables should be transported in secure carry-on luggage only and must never be checked in.
To speed up the embarkation process, remember to have your tickets and travel documents signed and readily available at the cruise ship terminal. Embarkation is a harried time for passengers and crew so be patient. Everyone will get on board long before the cruise ship pulls anchor.
Once your travel documents have been checked, you will be directed to the walkway leading up to the ship. The ubiquitous photographer will be standing at the top ready to capture the moment. Don’t worry about your windblown hair, messed up make-up or tired brow. It’s all part of the experience.
There will be crew members to show you to your stateroom. As with a hotel reservation, you can tip them if you feel inclined. They are used to a few dollars for their service.
Checks are not usually accepted on a cruise, so have ready cash or use your credit card for your purchases. The newer cruise liners have ATM machines making cash readily available. Once you have established an account with your credit card, you can charge all purchases and service to your account. An itemized bill will be given to you the night before de-embarkation. Please check the items to ensure there are no mistakes. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the purser’s staff by the morning.
Cruise ships have telephone and message services. Usually the cost of a regular call from the cruiser is terribly expensive. Cell phones may work on some ships in some locations, so check with your provider for “roaming” capabilities.
Dining Onboard the Cruise
Dining on board your cruise ship is not only a culinary event but a social one as well. Strangers at first can become life long friends after only one meal together. But if you happen to sit next to someone totally not to your liking, be pleasant for the duration and then ask to be changed to another table.
Food on cruises is an epicurean’s delight with many exotic foods and cuisines. Since meals are all inclusive in the price of the cruise, you might as well enjoy yourself and taste everything. Usually there is a midnight buffet which you should not miss. But don’t overindulge here or you will regret it in the morning.
Health and Beauty
Pamper yourself aboard the cruise with a massage or facial. Spas offer relaxation and rejuvenation. Never spend more than 20-30 minutes in the Jacuzzi. And try it at night under the stars.
Remember to set appointments with the hair dresser and beauticians at the beginning of the cruise as the salon can get very busy. Tips here are anticipated.
Training sessions and workouts should be scheduled with the sports director. The gym is open to everyone anytime.
Contact us today and one of our friendly staff will help find the right cruise for you!