Whether it’s your first cruise ever, or you’ve been on a number of cruises before, there are a few tips that can help ensure your cruising experience is wonderful. I personally think cruises are a fabulous way to travel because you can enjoy various locations, without having to lug your bags around and continuously unpack and repack your things. Cruises are also a great way to visit a variety of destinations that may otherwise be too expensive to fit into one trip – as your transport and accommodation prices are one. Here are my top 5 tips for going on a cruise:
1. Arrive at Your Departure Point a Day Early
I would actually advise arriving a few days early, so you have some time to explore your departure port too. But at the very least you should arrive a day early. This will allow you time to stock up on a few basic supplies to take on the cruise if you’ve not found them already, but most importantly it will give you some leeway if something goes wrong. If your arrival flight is delayed, or you have car troubles and arrive late, you could end up missing your cruise! For this reason, arriving a day early means you have plenty of leeway should something go wrong before your Ambassador Cruise Line cruise.
2. Pack Your Basics in Your Carry On
I always suggest packing the essentials in your carry on for two reasons. This means if your luggage gets lost on your flight, you have at least enough to survive a day or two before replacing clothes. I would include at least your swimwear, a change of clothes, your sleepwear and also your toiletries. But the other advantage of packing this way is that you arrive ‘ready to go.’ You wont have to dig through your main luggage in order to find your swimsuit before hitting up the jacuzzi. You can arrive to your room, and if you want, get changed and get right into the action!
3. Think About Drinks
Are you wanting to drink a bit? Cruises can be a little expensive for drinks, especially if you’re looking to enjoy some cocktails or some finer alcohols. For this reason I suggest researching in advance to see what your cruise line offers. Depending on how much you’d like to drink, it may be worth buying a drinks package whether that’s an unlimited drinks package, or a set number of drinks. Buying these in advance tends to be much more affordable than paying per drink, and it also means that you can enjoy without worrying about your final bill, which for me is a nice perk too! Some cruise lines will also allow you to bring your own alcohol on board, so for that reason I suggest researching to see if that’s an option for you too.
4. Plan to Tip
No matter where in the world you go on your cruise, tips are an appreciated part of the business. Whether you choose to enjoy the on board salon, or want to show appreciation to your favorite bar tender, tips are the way to go. Some cruises prefer a collective tip in an envelope at the end of your stay, which is then divided amongst all employees. This is a great way to ensure those working behind the scenes, such as the kitchen staff etc also receive tips too. There are some instances where you’ll want to tip directly, regardless of whether there is a collective tip system. One of these cases is for the staff who will help with your bags on arrival and departure. You may also prefer to tip bar staff directly in order to enjoy more attentive service. Regardless of who and how you tip, it can be a helpful idea to plan in advance your tip budget.
5. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Although cruising is a very secure way to travel, no matter how you’re traveling things can crop up. For this reason I think travel insurance is essential. Image you have an accident on board and need to be air lifted to a hospital? This could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, or more. Having travel insurance provides a peace of mind that you just can’t get otherwise, and for that reason I feel it is an essential for taking a cruise!
Cruising is such a fun way to travel and I’m sure with these tips your next trip will be the best ever.