First Cruise

15 IMPORTANT TIPS YOU SHOULD NOT AVOID IN YOUR FIRST CRUISE IF YOU MAKE IT THE BEST CRUISE EVER.

A First cruise is very crucial Everyone is a bit excited during the first sea trip and they make various mistakes in the excitement. This is normal, I also did it, so that you do not do it, I gave 15 important tips to you.

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best First cruise

1.PACK YOUR BATHING ITEM IN YOUR SHOULDER BAG

Before You Reach the ship, the Porters will greet you and take your luggage. After completing all security procedures, they will be delivered to your room. It costs a healthy amount of time to complete. At that time you may feel the need for a light shower due to the hot weather inside the ship and walking on the road. How long will you wait for your luggage? So put some Toiletries in your shoulder bag which you will need temporarily. If you want, you can keep your power bank and do some simple things.

2.Ensure you always have the ship's contact information on hand

Always carry the ship’s contact information with you when going ashore. This information is typically provided in the newsletter delivered to your cabin each night. In the event of an emergency or any issues while you’re away from the ship, having this information readily available will allow you to quickly get in touch with the cruise line.

3. Pack additional toiletries

Indeed, sunscreen, aspirin, and Band-Aids are available on cruise ships, albeit at a premium cost. Cruise lines are aware that passengers rely on these essentials and price them accordingly in their onboard stores.

To avoid these inflated costs, I always pack a small “go bag” of over-the-counter medicines for every cruise. This kit includes everything from cold medicine to seasickness pills. While I rarely need to use any of it, having these items on hand ensures I’m not caught off guard by exorbitant toiletry charges.

Additionally, when considering sundries, it’s essential not to overlook extra batteries for your camera if you’re bringing one along. Being prepared with these small essentials can contribute to a smoother and more budget-friendly cruising experience.



4. Avoid the buffet during your initial day on board

The cruise ship buffet is typically packed on embarkation day as everyone heads straight there upon boarding. To steer clear of the initial rush and avoid the crowds, consider opting for an alternative dining option. Occasionally, a ship will open one of its table-served eateries for lunch on embarkation day, which tends to be much less crowded than the buffet.


 

5. Research ports ahead of time.

Certain types of vacations, like a beach trip, often require minimal advance research; you can simply show up and enjoy. However, most cruises differ in this aspect; thorough research beforehand is key to maximizing your experience. Port calls are central to most cruises and are typically brief, often lasting just a few hours. Having a plan for each port of call is crucial to fully immerse yourself in the cruising experience and ensure you don’t miss out on the opportunities each destination offers.


6.  There’s no need to feel obligated to do everything

While discussing activity sign-ups, it’s important to recognize that it’s perfectly fine to miss out on a few things. You’re not obligated to do everything. It’s beneficial to resist the urge to participate in every activity. Remind yourself that you’re on vacation to relax. Allow yourself some downtime. If you have a balcony, take advantage of it and spend a couple of hours simply gazing out at the ocean. You’ll appreciate the moments of tranquility amidst the excitement of your cruise.


7.  Consider joining a Facebook group dedicated to your cruise line.

Another excellent resource for gathering ideas on port activities, onboard experiences, and cruise packing tips is to join private Facebook groups dedicated to specific cruise lines. I’m a member of several groups, such as the Royal Caribbean Cruises group, the COPs (Cruisers Opinion Page) group, and the Holland America Line Fans group. These groups are populated by thousands of cruise enthusiasts who are often eager to share their insights and answer questions about their favorite cruise line, its ships, itineraries, and destinations. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting wonderful individuals in these groups, some of whom have become longtime friends on Facebook.

 
8.Carry your beverages on board

Many novice cruisers often assume they aren’t permitted to bring their beverages on board a ship. However, several cruise lines do allow this, typically with certain restrictions. It’s a savvy way to cut costs while cruising, especially considering the steep drink prices on ships.

For instance, Disney Cruise Line permits adults to bring up to two unopened bottles of wine or Champagne or six beers onto their ships at the beginning of a cruise and at each port of call. It’s important to note that these beverages must be packed in carry-on luggage. Royal Caribbean also allows a bring-your-own allowance, which includes two bottles of wine or Champagne per cabin upon boarding, along with up to a dozen standard cans, bottles, or cartons of nonalcoholic drinks.

However, it’s worth noting that many cruise lines impose a “corkage fee” if passengers wish to consume their wine in an onboard restaurant. It’s essential to thoroughly review the guidelines for your specific cruise line before attempting to bring any drinks on board.


09. Avoid double-tipping for drinks and spa treatments

Many cruise ships now include an automatic gratuity on bar bills, typically ranging from 18% to 20% of the total. This practice is also becoming more prevalent in ship spas. However, many first-time cruisers may not be aware of this and inadvertently add an extra tip at the “additional tip” line on bills at cruise ship bars and spas. To avoid double-tipping, always inquire whether a gratuity has already been included before adding 15% or 20% to the total. This ensures you don’t end up tipping twice for the same service.


10. Avoid booking a cabin near an elevator.

Not all cabins on a ship offer the same experience. When selecting your room for your first cruise, it’s advisable to steer clear of those located near elevators and above late-night venues like nightclubs, as they can be noisy. Cabins situated below the pool deck, near the anchor, or adjacent to casinos may also present noise-related issues.


download apps


11. Download the cruise app for convenient access to important information and services.

An increasing number of cruise lines now offer apps that you can download to your smartphone prior to sailing. These apps offer various features, but many provide a daily schedule of activities and display all your reservations. Some also allow you to make restaurant reservations and book shore excursions and other onboard activities. Additionally, a few apps even enable you to order drinks and other items to your location on the ship. The best part is that these apps function onboard even without purchasing a Wi-Fi package, making them a convenient tool for maximizing your cruise experience.


12. Consider signing up for private tours during your cruise

Frequently, independent tours offer a more intimate experience compared to those arranged directly through cruise lines. While visiting the same sites, independent tours often utilize smaller vans instead of large motorcoaches, resulting in smaller groups of six to eight people rather than nearly 40. Additionally, if your group is sizable enough, you might have the option to book a private tour with an independent tour operator.


13. Consider utilizing a travel agent to book your cruise

Considering the intricacies involved in booking a cruise—trust us, there’s a lot to consider—we highly recommend utilizing an experienced travel agent specializing in cruises to assist with your arrangements. A knowledgeable travel agent will inquire about your specific interests, travel preferences, and style, guiding you to the ideal cruise line, ship, itinerary, and cabin to suit your needs. Moreover, should any issues arise before, during, or after your voyage, the agent can provide valuable assistance.

Furthermore, travel agents often have access to additional perks such as extra onboard credit and other incentives that may not be available when booking directly with the cruise line.


14. Consider signing up for activities either in advance or shortly after boarding the ship

Some cruise lines offer the option to sign up for shows, tours, and other activities—including reservations at specialty restaurants—prior to sailing through online portals. If you have specific preferences, such as securing a seat for a particular show or a reservation at a specific restaurant, it’s advisable to take advantage of this option. It’s not uncommon for popular shows, tours, and dining times to fill up quickly in advance.

If you haven’t signed up for activities beforehand, another strategy is to do so shortly after boarding the ship. However, the necessity to rush to sign up for activities at the beginning of your voyage largely depends on the ship you’re on. For instance, I’m more cautious about pre-booking activities when sailing on a large ship like Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, where thousands of passengers may be vying for the most sought-after reservations.


15. Consider purchasing travel insurance.

Unforeseen circumstances can disrupt your cruise or any travel plans. Whether it’s the sudden onset of illness necessitating a cancellation before departure or requiring emergency medical attention during the cruise, or unexpected flight cancellations causing you to miss your ship’s departure, these scenarios can occur. Having travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection in such situations. Consider comparing top travel insurance providers and exploring options such as Cancel for Any Reason add-ons to find the coverage that best suits your needs.

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