Invaluable travel advice for first time cruisers – What you should know

If you are worried about what to expect during your first cruise trip, here’s something to help you out. Embark on your vacation prepared, to get the best experience from your first cruise trip. For our newbie travelers, we’ve narrowed down a few tips that will help you navigate your plans better.

Budget it

Most of the cruises are not all-inclusive. So before you plan your trip you need to be sure of your travel budget and other expenses like alcohol, restaurants, spas, casino, adventure sports etc.

Know more about the ports

It’s always better to know more about the sea ports in advance to make productive use of your time. You can make constructive use of all the spree time. When it comes to cruise lines they usually give generic information about the ports. Also, it hurts to waste your time trying to skim through apps at the last minute.

 Cruise line alcohol policy

Alcohol policies differ across the cruise lines. Some lines have specific rules about drinking age, bringing your own booze on-board, free drinks or in general about the alcohol served in specialty bars. Mostly European companies like Costa cruise have a considerably lower drinking age. But this is not the same for other lines. Few cruise lines charge a corkage fee for drinking your own booze in the dining room. So find out more about your cruise lines alcohol policy in advance to avoid spending extra. Also, avoid double tipping as most cruises charge 15% service charge on the bar bill.

Cruise line dress codes

Confused about what to carry for your cruise trip? Whether to pack in a tuxedo or more casual wear? Like the alcohol policy, even the dress codes vary from one cruise to another. There are no mandatory rules but it’s always better to dress appropriately to avoid any unflattering experiences. So do your packing based on your cruise line policies. It’s good to bag both resort casuals and formal evening wear to be on the safe side. Also add lightweight clothes, waterproof jackets or a poncho to your must-pack list.

On board activities

From basking in the sun, indulging in massages, gambling in casinos to grooving to the musical night, you could enjoy an array of activities on-board.

Cruise ships offer umpteen number of activities such as pool games, musical performances, kid’s recreational activities, gym and spas, rock climbing, trivia contest, wine-tasting etc. So getting bored while cruising is out of question. Instead you will be occupied and entertained with a series of interesting activities.

Irrespective of your preferences you will find a way to keep yourself engaged and entertained.

Laundry services

Cruise ships mostly offer on-board laundry services for a charge. You can leave your laundry in the bag located outside your stateroom for the steward to pick up. The smaller cruise lines are exceptions since they have self-laundry systems. The charges for laundry differ as per the cruise line and by the number of items.  You would be expected to pay for the wash and press services.

If it is a self-service laundry then there will be ironing boards available for you to use. You could reach the housekeeping staff for any inquiries related to laundry services.

Asking the right questions while deciding the cruise line should help clearing your doubts and prepare you on what you can expect when you cruise. We hope this list has been useful to you in your planning.

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