Going on a cruise is a fantastic adventure. You get to visit so many places, but the comfort of a cruise ship will make you feel at home no matter where you go. If you’ve never been on one before, a cruise is not quite the same as other holidays. There are lots of ways to prepare so that you can make the most of your experience. Here are five helpful cruise holiday tips:
1. Choose the right cruise
This might seem like an obvious point, but every cruise is different, and are not all priced the same—some are aimed at specific groups such as couples, families or over 50's. For a more tailored experience, seek out a cruise for a group that's relevant to you. You'll see that a cruise holiday isn't quite as expensive as you first thought.
Every ship is also unique. Think about the kind of facilities you want on board – are you looking for water parks and ice rinks to keep you active while you’re at sea? Or do you fancy a more sophisticated experience with fine restaurants, chic bars, and a relaxing spa? With a bit of research, you’ll be able to find the right ship for you.
2. Pack smart
Packing for a cruise is a little different to packing for your average holiday. The weather will vary between sea and port days, so even if you’re heading somewhere warm, throw in a few layers. If you’re struggling to fit everything in, try rolling your clothes instead of folding. Many cruise lines run formal evenings or events, so a smart outfit won’t go astray either.
Other handy items to bring include spare clothes hangers and an extension cable for charging your electronics. Before you depart, check the list of prohibited items because these vary between cruise lines. Dangerous goods are an obvious no-go, but some companies allow alcohol to be brought on board while others don’t.
3. Make yourself at home
The beauty of a cruise is that you can visit multiple destinations without hauling your bags between airport terminals and hotels. Once you unpack, your cabin is your home for the duration of your cruise. The sooner you unpack, the sooner your hassle-free experience can begin.
Make use of all the storage space available – ship cabins are full of clever nooks and crannies for stowing away your things. It will also add to your experience if you keep your cabin tidy. After all, they’re not the most spacious rooms in the world!
4. Get to know the ship
Cruise ships can be huge and brimming with all kinds of facilities that you might not even know about before you board. Take some time on your first few sea days to see what’s on offer. After all, it would be a shame to discover an incredible restaurant on your very last day!
Once you know your way around, you can pick the places you like best to spend your time. If you keep going back each day, chances are you’ll start to notice familiar faces amongst the staff and other passengers.
5. Plan ahead for days on shore
As you approach each port, you should already be thinking about what you want to do there. Getting to see so many cities is great, but your time in each one is limited. If you plan to take to the streets yourself, research the attractions on offer and decide where you’re going to go. You might need to book tickets online in advance.
Alternatively, the cruise line will offer various excursions for passengers, ranging from tours to activities. These are ideal if you want to explore without the stress of planning out your own itinerary.
If you have any tips for going on a cruise, share your experience in the comments below!