Travel Tips You Should Know as a First Time Cruiser
Many people are on the fence when it comes to cruise vacations. Others decide to give it a try only to find out that cruises are completely different than anything they’ve imagined. Namely, all cruises are different and the prices and offers can vary widely. So, it pays off to read the fine print before booking anything. Steer away from common mistakes first-time travelers make and navigate the high seas like a seasoned sailor. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your shipboard vacation.
When planned right, cruises are a special treat. One of the advantages is that you’ll get everything neatly wrapped up in one package, including transportation, accommodation, entertainment, and meals. However, putting all your eggs in one basket could also prove to be a disaster. Thus, it is highly advisable to do a thorough research and keep all options open. Contact agents, read reviews, and see what the experts have to say. See what the best cruise deals in 2018 are and get familiar with the people that swear by them.
One of the key decisions is certainly which ports to visit. There are no hard rules to follow here, so you should feel free to follow your dreams. Most often, there are excursions offered in almost every port, but they are not everyone’s cup of tea. Those who want to wander on their own should check out the places and sites they would like to visit before the ship sails. Unlike airports, on cruise ship docks, one cannot expect to find helpful materials. Also, remember that you have to be back on time in order not to miss the ship.
All Hands on Deck
Considering the amount of time you’ll spend onboard, finding the right ship is paramount. For instance, in case you want to go on a family vacation, you should opt for a ship that offers family and kid-friendly activities, amenities, and programs. There are cruise lines for virtually any type of traveler, so do your homework. Price is an important element, but you should focus on the personal travel style and needs. Review websites like Cruise Critic can be of great help when figuring things out.
Furthermore, note that timing plays an important role. Top deals usually require you to book either late or early. For those who book early, not only are the rates affordable, but they also give you a chance to choose the cruise dates and cabins and possibly gain access to extra amenities on the ship. On the other hand, last minute deals do not offer the same level of freedom in terms of selecting the dates, cabins, locations, port of embarkation, etc. Then again, if you browse various websites, it is possible to discover affordable last minute deals that can save you up to 50%.
Packing is always one of the most tedious aspects of traveling. On a cruise, there is so much to do that many travelers struggle to come up with a packing list. Well, start by consulting the dress code, list of amenities on the ship (especially if there is a laundry facility), your itinerary, as well as the weather prediction. Make sure to bring a carry-on luggage with you and put all the essentials inside, such as your bathing suit, first-aid kit, sunscreen, change of clothes, and toiletries. Also, keep in mind that it takes quite a while for the checked luggage to get to your storeroom.
Finally, being a tech-savvy traveler pays off in many ways. First off, bear in mind that cell phone roaming and Wi-Fi charges can bite off a big chunk of your budget. Therefore, you might need to turn off your phone’s data and cellular services once you leave domestic waters. Check out the best international plans and download apps such as magicApp that allow you to make calls from your smartphone via Wi-Fi. You will be able to stay in touch with family members and friends while saving a considerable amount of money.
So, newbie cruisers, brace yourself. You have to make informed decisions in order to find the cruise that matches your specific needs and expectations. Cruises include a lot, but they do not have it all. So, get your ducks in a row and weigh the pros and cons of different offers. If you start planning well ahead of time or manage to snatch the last-minute opportunity, you should be able to find cruises at a discounted rate. Pack right, travel with winds in your sails, and forge some ever-lasting memories.