We asked Elva, an experienced cruiser, for her top cruising tips. Here are her suggestions, we hope they will help you too.
When you are choosing the type of cabin to book, think about how much time you are actually going to spend in your cabin. I only use my cabin to shower and sleep in. Initially I thought it was great to have a suite or balcony cabin, then I realised how costly that was just to sleep in! I now take a midship, inside cabin on an upper deck. I still get the same food, activities, service, access to shows, in fact everything. The main benefit is that with the money I save I can do twice as many cruises!
Firstly, board the Ship ASAP.
Your luggage won’t be delivered to your cabin for quite a while, so take a carry-on bag with you for things you will need during the first few hours, such as swimwear, medications etc. Even though you won’t have access to your cabin, you will have access to the buffet for lunch and refreshments. You will also have access to all decks and swimming pools; so if it is hot or you are tired from travelling, you can hop in the spa or take a plunge! This extra time also allows you to explore the ship and find your way around before activities begin. After all, you have paid for this day too! So, maximise your holiday!
Dinner sitting – early or late?
If you are social or a night owl, I would suggest choosing the late seating. Then follow dinner by attending the show, followed by a night of dancing or partying! After all, you are on holidays, and you haven’t far to go home!
If you are doing a cruise where there are lots of port days, or you are doing a lot of cruise tours, make sure you can be back in time for your dinner seating, or be prepared to eat in the buffet on those days.
By the way, at dinner, don’t be afraid to ask for seconds. Sometimes the meals can be quite small. Or if you prefer, order two entrees.
Choosing a drinks package
Drinks on cruises are hugely expensive! I have cruised with people whose drink bill was as much as they paid for their cruise! Some of the cruise lines allow you to take a bottle of wine on board with you at each port, so if wine is your thing, check that out!
Take a pair of comfy walking shoes and a pair of thongs. Also, a couple of large ziplocked plastic bags which can be used to put sandy shoes or wet swimwear into from use on port days.
If you are inclined to get motion sick, though these days ships are built to handle sea conditions, take some Sea Bands and ginger with you. Also, in such a case of motion sickness, eat green apples which they have in the dining room – a crew member once gave me that tip.
Highlight your daily activities
Take a highlighter pen so that before you start the day, you can mark the activities that interest you. There are so many options, it is easy to overlook the things you prefer, a highlighter will make sure you don’t do this.
For port days, go online and check out the day tours available that you can organise yourself. There are many operators to choose from. Choose carefully, as tours can be one of the most expensive parts of your cruise holiday. There are also many taxis waiting at the ports.
Join in and try all the activities! This is a way to meet new friends and have fun doing so, and you might surprise yourself by finding new things to enjoy. There are various competitions, dance classes, karaoke, trivia, art and craft, card games, or just ask some people to join you for coffee or a cocktail!
See the shows
Go to the shows! They are usually amazing and have one to fit in with your dinner sitting time. Make sure you go in time to get a good seat!
Get to know the staff
Get to know your cabin and table stewards and the waiters at your favourite bars! They will be your best friends!
The most important thing is to leave all your worries at home. Hang them on a tree or bush in your yard and put your fun holiday mood in their place. Life is short so enjoy it!
These are some of my suggestions.
I hope they suit!