A few cruise tips that were very helpful to me on my cruises.
- Always book an extra night (the night before your ship leaves) in the port you are leaving from. Especially if you’re coming from overseas. Because if you fly in to the destination you’re leaving from on the day your ship is departing and your flight has a delay, the ship won’t wait for you!
- Make sure you pack an outfit and your bathing suit in your carry-on, as sometimes it takes a while to get all luggage delivered to the cabins. And you don’t want to miss a minute of your vacation, do you?
- If your cruise line offers an online check-in, use it! It will speed up the process at the in-check desk before you can board the ship. Because they need a lot of paperwork, regarding passports, your address… So, it’s easier and quicker to do this at home behind your computer than having to do this at the beginning of your ‘relaxing’ vacation.
- There is a wide range of shore excursions, you can find these on the website of your cruise line. They give you all the information (like duration of the excursion, price, …). You can even book the excursion you want online. Sometimes it’s better you already look through the excursions, so you can decide quicker when you book them at the ship. Because the first day, you get so much information on what’s happening on the ship, during your trip … And people book (if they didn’t book them online) usually the first day on the ship, which means some excursions fill up quickly.But I’ve your not picky and you don’t mind if it’s not your first option, then you can even book just the day before you get to the port.
- The dinner is usually divided in two seatings. Well, they do have to feed all those people on the ship! You can choose between an early seating and a late seating. I’ve done both. These are the advantages and disadvantages I thought there are. Advantage of early seating is especially for the families with smaller children. The late seating is too late for them. Disadvantage is that the weather is usually still nice and you have to go freshen up for dinner quite early. The late seating, okay, you have to wait longer before you can eat, but you can enjoy your day to the fullest. Most shows start after the both seatings are over, so you don’t have to miss a thing! More on Food on Cruises
- Tipping on board: You will see, you will get pampered on this vacation. You have your own waiters and busboys at your restaurant tables. Your own Cabin Steward (who makes little animals with your bath towels!). Every day there is a kind of newspaper with all the information and activities of that day. Of course these services expect something in return. So, the cruise lines ask every passenger to tip these hard workers. Most of the cruise lines already count this in the price you pay for the vacation. But always check, so you don’t have an unwelcome surprise at the end of your trip. I think paying in advance is the best way. You get a voucher, you don’t have to worry about cash money to keep left towards the ending of your vacation. Another advantage is they charge what‘s recommended by them. If you feel the personnel isn’t worth this amount, you can adjust it. Or the personnel has made your vacation memorable, you can always slip in something extra together with the voucher.To find more on this topic, Cruise Diva can help you out. Here you can also find other useful cruise tips, like ‘What to wear?’ …