THE DO'S AND DON'T'S FOR FIRST-TIME CRUISERS
Published April 2, 2018
CRUISING 101: THE DO'S AND DONT'S FOR FIRST-TIME CRUISERS
For first-time cruisers, it is always good to know the do’s and don’ts before embarking. Now knowing what to expect? Here are 6 DO’S and 6 DON’TS of cruising.
1. Research Ports in Advance: Researching your ports in advance will optimize your trip. Showing up at a destination and not knowing what to do there or maybe even where you are supposed to be going is the worst, and is not optimizing the experience of your trip. Researching the options of excursions and what to do in the destination is always a good idea before embarking. These questions can be answered by your travel agent or professional or the destination website or the cruise line website.
2. Remember Gratuities are Included: Gratuities are included in the price of your drink, so be aware that if you tip on top of that, you are double tipping the waiter or bartender. If that is what you intended to do then by all means, but be aware that they are already included. There are alcohol packages and soda cards available for purchase upon embarkation.
3. Pack Smart: Make sure to pack according to where you are going. Keep in mind that most shore excursions run rain or shine. Packing a poncho or rain attire is always a good idea. Another tip, pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bags to change into upon embarkation as you might not see your luggage right away.
4. Research the Lay of the Land: It is always a good idea to research the design of the ship before sailing to get a better feel of where you are going. Some ships are very large and can be overwhelming figuring out all they have to offer. Another option is to take the ship tour onboard on Embarkation Day.
5. Book Everything Beforehand: Embarkation day is the perfect opportunity to book everything in advance. Reservations for special restaurants are always a good idea, making sure you don't have to wait for that day. Shore excursions can be booked onboard if not already booked beforehand. Another great tip is to book cabanas for the pools. Afterall, this is your vacation, make sure you are really enjoying it!
6. Meet Your Cabin Steward: A cabin steward or otherwise known as a maid in hotels, are responsible for housekeeping needs. Your cabin steward will visit at least once a day for services, it is always a good idea to meet your cabin steward not only for respect, but may get a little better service, or maybe a cute towel animal.
1. Avoid the Buffets on Embarkation Day: After waking up early to your embarkation time, you are eventually going to get hungry, and so is everyone else. For embarkation day, the buffets are the most crowded areas. A suggestion is to go to the other sit down dining areas as most of them are open, and aren't so crazy.
2. Avoid Elevators on Embarkation Day: Due to the large flow of people arriving all at once, the elevators on embarkation day are extremely busy and the waiting time is extremely long. Shed those extra pounds off and take the stairs if you can.
3. Don’t Skip the Muster Drill: The muster drill is extremely important. A muster drill is a mandatory exercise to show passengers what to do in case of an emergency. In an emergency, every ship has a different way of going about as well as the location o the muser station, which is where you are to go in an emergency. The muster drill will include demonstrations with life jackets and any other additional safety information. Please make sure you attend!
4. No Flammable Items: Even if you have managed to smuggle any flammable items, please do not use them inside your cabin. This includes; lighting a candle, ironing your clothes or plugging in a hot stove. Don't ruin yours and everyone else's vacation with a fire. Most lines allow blow dryers, curler and flat irons, just make sure they are turned off before leaving your cabin.
5. No Stealing Amenities: Please leave behind the towels or robes on the ship. If any amenities are missing, you will be charged an inflated price to replace the items at the end of your stay.
6. No Tape on the Walls or Door: Please refrain from taping anything on the walls or door, as it can peel off paint and destroy the decor. A tip, the door is metal, so bring small magnets if you want to hang anything on the door!