When it comes to cruising, a little planning goes a long way. So if you’re getting ready to book your first cruise, or are counting down to departure, here are a few things you need to know to cruise like a pro:
1. Do your research. Book the ship you want and match the cruise to your interests. While today’s cruises offer a huge array of activities and entertainment, they’re designed to appeal to certain types of holidaymaker. Find your perfect ship and you’ll have the time of your life from the moment you step aboard.
2. Know what’s included. Make sure you understand what’s included in your cruise fare, so you can budget for any extra activities and facilities.
3. Plan in advance. When it comes to specialty dining, spa treatments, shows and excursions, be sure to book in advance wherever possible. This will save you time queuing on your first cruise day, and ensure you get to do everything on your list.
4. Book an onshore excursion. However tempting it is to venture off by yourself at an exotic port, onshore excursions are a great way to see the best of the destination. Cruise lines today offer a massive choice of excursions to suit various interests and travelling styles, from active adventures to shopping tours. Plus, when you book the official ship excursion, you will always get back to the ship on time!
5. Pack smart. Take the time to work out what you will and won’t need. Think about your excursions and onboard activities, including nightlife, special events and fitness. Not sure where to begin? Download our handy packing checklist.
6. Never, ever leave without travel insurance. We might be stating the obvious but there’s nothing more important than comprehensive travel insurance.
7. Learn new skills. Every cruise ship is different, but most offer the opportunity to learn a new skill while onboard. It might be cocktail mixing, salsa dancing or even digital skills to help you edit and share photos with those back home. Where else can you try so many new things in one place?
8. Don’t try and do everything. With activities and events everywhere you look, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and think that you need to do everything. You don’t. Select activities based on what you know you’ll enjoy and what you want to try. Remember, this is your holiday – it should be relaxing!
9.Make friends. Depending on the ship’s size, you’re likely to see the same people again and again. Especially if you share similar interests. So take the time to get to know them and you never know, you could become lifelong friends.
10. Take the stairs. Wherever possible, take the stairs between decks rather than the life. This is the easiest way to keep trim while you’re enjoying all the deliciousness served up at every meal!