My husband and I recently took a cruise as our early 2018 Romantic Escape. During the cruise my husband and I had many conversations about how I could make preparing and enjoying a cruise more enjoyable for my clients. One of the many topics we discussed was preparing first time cruisers. As a result, I have developed the following checklist for first time cruisers. There are many other topics to discuss, I thought this would be most helpful.
1. Know the Dress Code Before You Pack
Many cruises, depending on the cruise line and length of trip, have dress codes for the dining rooms. Most 7-night cruises have 2 formal nights, the other nights are “Smart Casual”, meaning slacks for men. We saw many men and women turned away wearing shorts.
2. Pack a Beach Bag
When headed out on an excursion or sitting by the pool, you will want a beach bag to hold your stuff. Don’t forget the sunscreen and a hat!
3. Arrive 1-2 Days Prior to the Cruise
Travel mis-haps happen! Delayed or cancelled flights, weather etc…you don’t want to miss your cruise because your flight was delayed. Arrive 1-2 days early!! Most ports are in beautiful towns where you can spend a relaxing couple of days prior to your cruise. Who doesn't love to start their vacation early?
4. Check Your Cell Phone Plan
Be sure to verify coverage before your cruise. Most cruise lines have excellent wifi available at a daily cost averaging $10 per day for 1 device. Be sure you know what your cell phone plan covers.
5. Bring a Carry-On on the Ship
Your bags will be checked in at the port and put in your room at a later time. You may not see them for a while. When you board your ship, you will want a carry-on bag that has a swimsuit, sunscreen, sandals, swimsuit cover up, meds, and sea sick meds, a few cosmetics and possibly a change of clothes.
6. Get a Ship Map at Check In
These ships are very large and easy to lose your way. Bring the map everywhere, they are very small and made to fit in your pocket. If you lose it, don’t worry there are maps at almost every elevator to help guide you.
7. Avoid the Buffet When You First Board
Everyone is thinking the same thing as you. “Let’s have lunch when we board the ship!”. Unfortunately, that means all the guests are headed to the buffet. Most of the other restaurants will be open too. Head there instead, less crowds and better service.
8. Complete the Required Information
You will be required to complete personal information before you can check in via the cruise lines website. You will be required to provide personal information such as passport, address, credit card etc…depending on where you are traveling you may be required to get a visa.
9. Print your Documents
Prior to leaving for the port, print all your required boarding documents and luggage tags. Ensure you have the correct credit card information entered.
10. Bring Your Passport in Your Carry-On
You can not board the ship if you do not have your passport at check in. Do NOT leave it in your luggage. Keep your boarding documents and passports together in your carry-on.
These are just a few tips to help with preparing you for your first cruise. I will gladly help you through all the nuances of cruising when I book your cruise.