Best Cruise Tips and Tricks

 

18 Tips Especially for the First Timers

Dreamed about that blissful, hassle-free holiday visiting places on a Cruise? And that dream is soon to be a reality? Great! If it is your first time to the world of Cruising, then this article is written for you. Here I am to help you with Best Cruise Tips and Tricks to get it right when you walk up the gangway for the first time.

Cruise holidays are becoming very popular these days. More and more companies are offering great deals on the cruise holiday packages to entice new customers. With more ships, more cruise ports and more itineraries to choose from than ever before, there has never been a better time to get onboard!

The best part is that cruise holiday offers the combination of comfort and convenience as it combines a lot of destinations into a hassle-free holiday! You don’t have to worry about how to get there, travel around, food and find accommodation – it’s all taken care of. No wonder the number of cruise-goers is rapidly increasing every year!

Thus for you, the nautical novice, here are my top tips and tricks for getting it right when you are planning to go onboard for the first time.


Choosing the Right Ship and Destination

1. It’s important to be sensible when it comes to choosing the right ship. It’s pointless booking a holiday on a party ship if you prefer to be tucked up in bed by 9 pm ready for a busy day exploring museums and art galleries! Vice-versa, if you’re hoping to dance until dawn, you will not enjoy on a ship where the entertainment consists of academic lectures.

2. Choosing the right destination is as important as the right ship. Don’t plan on travelling to the Caribbean if you’re looking for history and archaeology, and don’t book a cruise to Norway if you enjoy soaking in the sun on a beach!

In case you have not yet decided which continent to explore and what to expect there, check out my article on Top Destinations For Cruise Holidays to help you decide the places you want to visit.

Travel Insurance

3. Don’t try to cut corners on Travel Insurance. Ships have hospitals, doctors and nurses, but medical bills can soon add up in case of illness or accident. The insurance offered by the cruise lines typically has low limits and is priced very high. It also doesn’t offer as much protection as insurance offered by a third party.

Also, it’s important to go with a reputable and trusted company. I recommend my tried and tested company World-First. They are the Travel Insurance Specialists and do cover Cruise Travel Insurance. For a complete review of this company Click Here.

Early Bird

4. If you are flying long-haul, then travel at least a day early. Any potential delay won’t make you miss the ship. Another way is to combine your cruise with a few days at a nearby hotel.

5. Even if you are driving a long distance to the port, arriving a day early is a good option. You can stay at a nearby hotel and also park your car either for free or at a discounted rate as parking at the port can be very expensive.

Inside The Ship

6. Opt for an outside cabin, especially with a balcony. This is the preferred option for scenic cruising in a region such as Alaska or Norway. Inside cabins are cheaper though considering that many people are rarely in their cabin other than to sleep.

7. Spas and beauty parlours offer best deals on port days than on sea days. So look out for them. Even the hairdressing salon gets very busy for formal nights and the captain’s gala dinners. Make reservations early if you are likely to use them.

8. For the souvenir shopping, wait for the shops to offer discounts which are most likely towards the end of the cruise.

9. Be ready to offer tips to the cruise employees as they highly rely on tipping. From baggage handlers to room service waiters to casino waitresses, you’ll want to slip them each a few bucks whenever they give you good service.

Food and Drinks

10. “All-inclusive fare” does not usually include bar bills, except on high-end luxury ships. Look out for attractive deals on included drinks packages, often offered to encourage bookings.

11. You can bring a limited amount of alcohol on the ship which is usually one bottle per customer or 2 bottles per cabin (check with your cruise line). It will not last for many days though but looking at the prices inside, whatever you can bring will save you money.

12. The “all you can drink” packages are not good unless you are a heavy drinker. You will have to order around 7-10 bottles every day (both port days and sea days) before you save any money!

13. The first night on board, when many people are happy to settle for a buffet supper, it can be a good time to eat in a speciality restaurant. There might even be a discount deal or a free bottle of wine to entice you in.

Excursions Tours

14. Every day take a picture of the ship’s daily planner. This way you will have a copy of the schedule with you without having to carry the newsletter everywhere. Another reason is, months later when the memories will begin to fade, it will be a good reminder of where and when your pictures were taken.

15. The ship won’t wait if you’re late back to port unless you’re on official excursions. So better take ship’s excursion or use a reliable excursion provider and they should guarantee to get you to the next port if you arrive back late.

Last Day

16. Be prepared to leave your cabin by 8 o’clock on the morning of departure, even if your transfer is hours later.

17. On your last night aboard, if suitcases have to be left outside the cabin before you go to bed, don’t forget to leave an outfit for the morning!

Next Time

18. By the end of the Cruise, most likely, you would have enjoyed so much that you wouldn’t want to wait to come back for more. Book your next cruise while still on board to receive discounted fares or perks such as onboard credit.

Hope my Best Cruise Tips and Tricks will help you when you embark on your first Cruise Holiday. Feel free to ask any question or suggestion in the comment box below and I will be more than happy to answer.

 


 


CruiseDirect

14 Comments

  1. This website is great. never been on a cruise before but i’ll have to hold on to this page for when i do.
    never knew most of the info you put on here so i’m glad i stopped by.

  2. This is very easy to understand and an article full of good advice for people who have never been on a cruise like me, not that I ever thought about going on one, and one day I will! Good tips about all the discounts offered on a cruise ship, discounts for dining, spa, shopping and when to take advantage of them. The “all you can drink” package sounds very tempting but after this article I’ll prefer bring my own or just pay as I go, since I am not a big drinker. Definitely worth reading, because nobody else will give you that kind of information.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Andrea. I’m glad you liked the post and found it informative and useful. We all want to take advantage of the discounts, freebies and save money wherever we can. When I went on a cruise for the first time, I didn’t know about these things. Hence the article 🙂

  3. You give very good advice and you have a good website, I did my some first cruise some 4 years ago and I wish I had all the tips that you have given. The discount offers didn’t come into being for me because they were not explained properly especially the one when they give a cabin money to spend on board. Your site is well worth recommending.

    1. Thank you Pamela for sharing your experience. I can connect with you on that. It feels little overwhelmed when so many things are happening around you and you have no idea how to get the most out of your Cruise travel. Same happened to me on my first Cruise. It’s never too late though. Every time we learn something new, that the beauty of Travelling!

  4. This was such a fantastic read! I wouldn’t even think to pick up travel insurance, to be honest. Thank you so much for the info, I am better prepared for my future journeys

    1. Thank you Aj for stopping by. I’m glad you liked the post and found it useful for your next holidays.

  5. Good tips not only for the first timer but for anyone. Never took a cruise maybe someday as the cruise ships become more popular and plentiful with better service it will entice more people to take them. I think a cruise to do deep sea fishing would be nice.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Fred. Glad you found it useful. For deep sea fishing, The Caribbean or even Mexican Cruise is a good idea.

  6. Great advice. I haven’t been on a cruise before, but it makes sense to pick one with a theme that fits your personality. I tend to get motion sickness on boats. How do you counter that on a cruise ship.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Melinda. I would advise you to definitely pack your own seasickness remedy. However, in case you forget, head down to Guest Services and ask about sea sickness pills. They typically have them to give away to passengers.
      Thank you for bringing this up as many people tend to have motion sickness. Maybe I should add this tip to the post.

  7. Thanks for this very informative article. I enjoyed the read and for the moment felt as I was on the Cruise already. 😊 These are really good tips and I’ll make it sure to keep them in mind when going on Cruise. Cheers!

    1. Thank you for the compliment Blanka. I’m glad to know that you enjoyed the post and found it useful for your future journeys. Thanks for stopping by.

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