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Quick Tips for First-Time Cruise Passengers

Quick Tips for First-Time Cruise Passengers

Taking a cruise appeals to many people for its simplicity as a vacation option. But there’s actually a lot to think about and prepare for, and there’s a lot that can affect how enjoyable your time on board and at ports will be. Savvy cruisers are well acquainted with key ways to stay safe and healthy on their trips, and they know the ins and outs of getting the most out of their voyage time.

These tips for first-time cruise passengers help usher you along the learning curve faster than you might otherwise get through it. Read them over to spare yourself some “learning experiences” on your first cruise or two.

Cruise Tips for First-Timers

  • Learn how to pack for a cruise so you have everything you need (and don’t have to overpay for something you forgot on board or at a port)
  • Understand exactly what’s included in your cruise fare and what will cost extra (even if you book an “all-inclusive” package)
  • Research your ports and create a plan that fills your time with things you really want to do
  • Pay attention to safety advice and warnings about tourist traps that aren’t worth your time or money while looking into ports
  • Pack a swimsuit or other desired clothing in your carry-on so you don’t have to wait for your baggage to arrive before you can get comfy or take a dip
  • Bring along diphenhydramine, ginger, a seasickness wristband, or other preferred preventatives or remedies if you’re prone to any type of motion sickness
  • Take it easy at the buffet if you’re susceptible to getting seasick too, and limit or avoid heavy, greasy, fatty, and spicy foods
  • The buffet is usually a madhouse after embarkation; if they’re open, check out one of the dining rooms instead
  • Steer clear of the elevators on embarkation day, or you’ll probably lose a lot of time
  • Give yourself a leisurely self-guided tour of your cruise ship after getting settled in on embarkation day
  • Make spa or salon appointments and special dining reservations as soon as possible, because they can book up quickly
  • Carry around hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently during the trip—especially before and after eating, using the restroom, and touching public surfaces and items—to reduce the risk of getting norovirus or other illnesses
  • You’re a lot safer on a cruise and at ports when you’re not alone; if you’re a solo traveler, make a friend early on and use a buddy system
  • Cabin doors don’t always close automatically; be sure to always close yours securely and lock it
  • Leave unnecessary valuables at home and use your cabin safe for important and expensive items you do bring
  • Pace yourself on the alcohol and remember to drink plenty of water
  • Most major cruise lines include a gratuity on bar tabs (but feel free to tip extra for great service)
  • Never accept an invitation to crew quarters; it can get you evicted from the ship at the next port, and get the crew member fired
  • It’s easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and excitement and buy a bunch of souvenirs and cruise clothes; it’s also easy to regret all that wasted money when you’re staring at the pile of stuff when you get home

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