5 Tips for Novice Cruisers

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Novice Cruisers

Have you ever wanted to hop aboard some gigantic ship and sail to a distant port of call? Do you want to take a vacation in which your travel time is occupied not by looking at directions or hustling to catch a connector flight, but by loads of fun and relaxing diversions? Would you like to be dropped off in an exotic island paradise so that you could bask in the sun, relax on a tropical beach, or experience local cuisine and atmosphere? Today, there are dozens of cruise lines around the world that cater to just such an experience. If you have ever wanted to try a cruise experience, but never followed through, here is a list of things that a novice cruiser should be aware of before booking tickets.

1. Compose a Plan and Research

The first step is to sit down at home and figure out the logistics of your trip. Answer questions that deal with the amount of time you want to spend, and the dates that you’d like to travel, then keep going. What climate do you want to step into and what do you want to do when you get there? Are you looking for culture or surf and sand, or both?

Once you list your needs and desires, research cruise lines, and the area of the world that you’re interested in. Look for itineraries and lists of amenities offered by the cruise itself and get the lay of the land concerning your ports of call.

2. Pack Light, Pack Smart

When discussing cruise tips for first timers, it’s important not to overlook the luggage situation. Pack light. You just aren’t going to need too much in the way of formal dress wear and your casual clothes can easily be laundered on the ship. You’ll probably want that extra space to haul back some souvenirs.

When you board, you’ll be handing off your luggage to a porter, who will see to it that it arrives at your room. This could take hours, though, and you definitely don’t want to spend your first day wishing that you’d put your bathing suit and other essentials in your carry-on.

3. Arrive Early

Any time you’re involved in time-sensitive affairs, follow the golden rule and give yourself extra time so that you are on sight when the time comes to transition. Get to your port of departure at least a day early so that you won’t encounter any scenario that will prevent you from boarding, such as a delayed or canceled flight or traffic issues. If you’re taking a long flight just to get to the departure point, give yourself a day or two to adjust for jetlag before your cruise, and its itinerary, begin.

4. Think Financially

Cruise ships are in the luxury business, and they want you to feel as though you are royalty when on board. This comes with a price, though. Little things like toiletries and batteries can be purchased on board, but for a pretty steep price. Hey, you’re paying for luxury, right? Consider bringing a little emergency bag with aspirin and other medicines, batteries, and anything else that you might need but don’t want to buy when you’re in need.

Consider traveling during off-seasons. In the tropics, for instance, hurricane season offers great deals with an assurance that, with proper planning, you can enjoy a great trip without too much risk of losing out on anything due to weather.

5. Be Prepared

Make sure that you’ve studied the ship’s itinerary so that you don’t get left behind at some exotic port halfway around the world. Carry the ship’s contact information so that you can make contact if you find yourself running out of time while visiting. Remember that there’s going to be so much to do that you can easily lose track of time. Wearing a watch will help to alleviate the potential stress of getting caught far away and missing a boarding call.

Remember, the first step to booking the cruise of a lifetime is knowing exactly what you want, then researching which cruise lines can offer that experience to you.