A Beginner’s Guide to Cruising

by MarissaLana

Are you new to cruising? Check out these top ten tips for newbies.

Just booked a cruise but now you don’t know what comes after you board the boat? Don’t worry; here you’ll find out what and what not to do so your vacation can be smooth sailing from here on. Read below to learn ten insider tips on the do’s and don’ts of cruising so you can relax and enjoy the trip of a lifetime!

Cruise port
Cruise port

Cruise Tip # 1: If weight allows it, pack extra belongings. You never know what weather you may encounter and the last thing you want is to be caught in the middle of a rain storm when you didn’t leave enough space for your rain jacket. It’s better to be prepared than have it ruin your holiday. 

Cruise Tip # 2: If you’re prone to sea or motion sickness, start on the ginger a couple days before you depart for your adventure. Taking ginger root capsules have been proven to help eliminate sea sickness. 

Cruise Tip # 3: If it’s not too late, request a cabin in the middle of the ship on the 5th or 6th floor to prevent sea sickness. These rooms are not directly above the engine and the location makes for the least amount of swaying if the waters get rough. 

Sailboat in Rough Water, Ticonderoga Race
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Cruise Tip # 4: Again, if it’s not too late, book excursions early. Excursions can book out fast, so if you know what you want to do when you get to a destination, make it happen. Otherwise you can be left having to go for second best. 

Cruise Tip # 5: Depending on how confident you are, you can save money by booking excursions outside of the cruise company. The only downside to that is you’re not guaranteed that the ship will wait for you if your excursion group is running late. But this shouldn’t be a problem since tour companies make a living from cruise goers, so they know when you need to be back to the ship and don’t want to get a bad reputation. 

Cruise Tip # 6: Check to see if your ports of call accept foreign currency. If you’re on a Caribbean cruise, all islands will accept US dollars. So there’s no need to waste your time at currency exchange!

Us Currency, 50 and 20 Dollar Bills
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Cruise Tip # 7: If you want to be able to go to all the shows and entertainment on board you want, then choose your time dining. Back in the day cruising meant you had a set dining time and you were stuck sitting next to the same people night after night, and if there was a show on during your dinner that you wanted to see then too bad. Now, cruises have introduced your time dining where you can eat anytime between a set of hours. Bottom line: Eat when you want and be able to do what you want.

Coca Cola
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Cruise Tip # 8: Take the allowed quota of non- alcoholic drinks aboard. Depending on the cruise line, you’re normally allowed to bring a dozen drinks per person. There should be a mini-bar fridge in your room where you can keep the drinks cool. You may get parched when you’re in the room and don’t want to wait for room service. Or you may want to take a drink with you on an excursion. Either way, if you don’t want to be wasting your hard- earned vacation money on bottled waters or soda, your best bet is to think ahead and stock up. 

Cruise Tip # 9: Bring a multi plug. There aren’t many outlets in the cabins so if you want to be able to charge your camera battery, kindle, iPod and dry your hair all at the same time, you may want to invest in a multi plug.

Cruise Tip # 10:  Carry your own bags off the ship when you debark. You may be told that if you brought a certain amount of luggage that you have to check it in the night before and then you get it back after you debark. This may sound like the best option, but not if you have a flight to catch and don’t want to miss it. Checking in your luggage the night before means that your luggage isn’t released until your designated number is called, and if the debarkation is held up for some reason, you could be delayed up to a few hours. It’s much easier and quicker to bring your own luggage with you when you leave the ship and leave when you want, on time, knowing all your beloved souvenirs are safe and sound. Happy cruising!

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Updated: 09/14/2012, MarissaLana
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dustytoes on 12/12/2012

What excellent advice for anyone planning a cruise for the first time. Not many cruising people mention the possibility of sea-sickness and I know people who won't go on a cruise because they fear that the most. So thanks for that advice.

MarissaLana on 09/21/2012

Yeah I find multiplugs are good wherever you go as there are never enough sockets!

Mira on 09/19/2012

I, too, need to get a multiplug, and not just for crusing. Some cheaper lodging places don't have enough sockets . . .

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