If you’ve never been on a cruise, you might have dozens of questions about where to travel, what to do and enjoy, and where you’ll sleep. We’ll cover all that and more in the following list of eight things you should know before your next cruise.
From learning about the cruise line’s alcohol, tipping and dress code policies to what you should avoid in port, how to avoid seasickness and how to prepare for the unexpected, this comprehensive list can help you avoid common mistakes and make your next cruise a trip of a lifetime.
1. Realize Your Cabin Location Can Impact Your Well-Being
If you have a habit of getting seasick on cruises, you might be better off in a room on a higher level of the ship. That’s because cabins on higher decks tend to make you feel less queasy than on lower levels. So if you’re prone to feeling nauseated, consider selecting a cabin on the higher levels of the ship. If that’s not possible for whatever reason, pack some ginger ale and crackers, or ginger tea, to help ease your seasickness.
2. Consider Traveling During Off-Peak Times
If you’re not under any time constraints and have a somewhat flexible schedule when it comes to the time of year you want to travel, consider doing so during more off-peak seasons. Additionally, if you can live with the risk of your trip being affected by severe weather, you could save some money as tickets tend to be cheaper during off-peak times.
You can also save some hard-earned cash by checking out the various packages offered by cruise liners. To get the most bang for your buck, consider splurging on an Alaska cruise package during off-peak times for the best rates.
3. Realize There Could Be a Dress Code
Even though you’re free to wear just about anything at all times, most cruise ships have a dress code during dinner that you should follow. No one wants to be turned away for wearing flip flops or sneakers in the dining hall. So, keep it classy with a dress or skirt and blouse with heels or flats, or a button-up, slacks and dress shoes for women and men, respectively.
4. Bring or Keep Cash on Hand
Even though you might have prepaid for your room, meals and activities, having plenty of cash on a cruise ship can be useful for tipping various service workers. Some cruise ships include tips with the price of the ticket, but it’s still customary to offer a small gratuity to staff members who go out of their way to assist you during your stay.
5. Don’t Pay Too Much for Internet
Ever been slapped with roaming charges? You’ll definitely pay a handsome price tag if you don’t turn off your data and connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi, which is usually free or included in the cost of the ticket. So, if you need to shoot off one last email or FaceTime your friends while you’re away, you shouldn’t have a problem.
6. Consider Cruise Length
According to USA Today, longer cruises tend to attract older crowds and shorter and more mainstream cruises usually attract younger crowds and families. So consider that when you’re planning your vacation. You’ll also need to think about how long you’ll be comfortable being out on the water and away from home or work.
7. Book Activities in Advance
Don’t want to miss out on your favorite activities while on a cruise? Then it helps to plan ahead. So don’t wait until you get aboard to start thinking about what you plan to enjoy while on the open sea. By that time, certain activities may already be booked or there may not be room to accommodate you and other members of your party. Knowing this, book your activities in advance to avoid any disappointment.
8. Know Not Every Room Has a Window
Never been on a cruise? Then you might not realize every cabin features a window. More often than not, cabins that feature windows will cost more than rooms without them. So if you’re not a fan of sleeping in a room resembling a train car, you could always opt for an upgrade.
Start Planning Your Next Adventure
Now that you have a better idea of what to expect on a cruise (and what to avoid), you can start planning for your next vacation with gusto. Whether you’re looking for a longer cruise or one that lasts only a few days, the above tips can help you decide on the next steps you should take toward planning your next getaway by sea.