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Last updated on April 6th, 2023 at 04:55 pm
Thinking about taking a cruise? It just might be your best vacation ever. And, to make sure everything goes perfectly, check out our tips for taking your first cruise.
photo credit: Paradise via photopin (license)
Cruises are great packaged vacations for those who want to see a few different places but who don’t want to have to worry about planning the travel between destinations.
Vacationers’ needs are catered to, shore excursions allow you to experience attractions in each port stop, and you are able to stay in the same room for the duration of your vacation.
For a first timer, there can be a lot of misunderstanding and things that are forgotten when planning a cruise vacation. Here are some tips for taking your first cruise that will help make your vacation seamless and enjoyable.
4 Tips for Taking Your First Cruise
When choosing a cruise that works for you, bear in mind that most cruises do not include airfare or even transportation from the airport to the port. When booking the airfare to get you to the cruise, plan to arrive early.
Many people like to arrive the day before, just to be on the safe side. This will allow you some extra time to account for flight delays, or if you’re driving, traffic or bad weather.
If flight delays do occur, speak to the airport concierge as soon as possible, they will typically do everything they can to get you to your port on time for the cruise.
Also read: Flight Hack: How to Use the 24-Hour Rule to Save Big
Packing for your first cruise
Pack your essentials for the first day in your carry-on bag. With over 1,000 passengers all checking in, dropping their luggage, and boarding at the same time, it may take extra time for your luggage to get to you.
To avoid stress or awkwardness on day one, keep a change of clothes and anything you may need for your entire first day in your carry-on.
When it comes to packing, check the ship’s itinerary for dress codes for each night. Many cruises have formal nights or even theme nights. Make sure to pack an outfit that you are comfortable in for every occasion.4 Tips for Taking Your First Cruise | #travel Click To Tweet
Wifi on cruise ships is typically expensive and not very reliable. For these reasons, try to keep your wifi usage confined to the days when you are at port, where you can usually find a café or coffee shop to upload your photos and check your social media and email.
Before your ship sets sail, you will want to set your phone to ‘airplane mode.‘ That way you’ll avoid using battery power while your phone continually searches for a signal.
While on the ship, some families bring a set of walkie talkies to keep in contact with each other. (Here’s a set of walkie talkies that’s highly rated.)
The cruise line may also have an app for your phone that you can use (for a fee) that will allow you to communicate with others using the app.
Book shore excursions in advance
When choosing what to do while on shore, keep in mind that you have two options: those offered through the cruise line and independent tours from local companies on the ground.
Cruise tours will include everything from transportation, to the tour, and meals, and will make sure to have you back to the boat in time. Independent tours will be significantly cheaper, but will require you to plan your own transportation to get yourself back to the ship.
Taking a cruise can be a terrific way to travel if you want a trip that’s mostly done for you. And, it can be a great way to start (or restart) traveling if you’re apprehensive about planning everything yourself.
Have you been on a cruise? Experienced cruise-goers, do you have any other tips for taking your first cruise? Leave a comment below to share your experience.
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