First time Cruiser

Discussion in 'Cruises' started by terminador2, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. terminador2

    terminador2 New Member


    My husband and I are first time cruisers and we're planning our cruise. what things do you recommend packing and what other tips can you advice? many thanks
  2. VacationBuddy

    VacationBuddy Administrator

    hi there,

    Here are a few first time cruiser tips:

    - If you cruising Alaska, Antarctica or Northern Europe, make sure you pack warm comfortable clothing such as winter sweaters and hats. Also, bring trainers, smart wear such as long dresses for ladies and a suit for gentlemen.

    - If you're cruising the Caribbean or somewhere warm make sure you pack comfortable gear such as shorts, skirts, and breathable cotton clothing. Also, bring a rainproof jacket and of course, formal gear, for formal dinner evenings.

    - Purchase separate travel insurance to cover medical expenses, lost luggage or last minute cancellations.

    - Also, if you suffer from sea sickness make sure you keep yourself hydrated and take with you seasickness pills.

    Hope this helps
  3. The Travel Slut

    The Travel Slut 6 continents, 87 countries & 64 cruises so far

    The Travel Slut®’s Tips on cruising:

    I do not consider myself an expert on cruising but I have cruised over 50 times on at least 10 different cruiselines and at least 30 different ships and I find cruising to be my favorite form of travel for several reasons.

    1. Someone else drives
    2. Someone else cooks
    3. Someone else cleans
    4. You only unpack once
    5. You usually get 3-5 locations for the price of one and this is especially
    good when you are in an unfamiliar area and want to get a "taste" of what
    the area has to offer.
    6. You can make many decisions or none at all--and you are always right
    7. Being on or near water and sea air can be very calming
    8. The likelihood of picking up a "bug" from unpure water or food is slim
    9. You can experiment with new and perhaps unusual food, drinks and
    10. Your travel budget is easier to manage.

    As a 1st time cruiser you will want to:

    1. Study the ship to learn how to navigate between decks
    2. Sign up early for things that require reservations (like dinner, tours, etc)
    3. Find your "quiet-time spot"-whether it be the library, a secluded part of a
    deck, or even inside your cabin with the privacy sign displayed
    4. Know how and where to muster in case of an emergency
    5. Enjoy a verandah cabin at least once
    6. Don't be afraid to ask any crew member a question you have.
    7. Take time to relax--you don't have to do "everything" that is available
    even though you may be tempted
    8. Try new things and activities that you would normally not experience
    9. Keep an open mind about weather (as you would for any travel)
    10. Study your ports and if you decide to disembark, note the time the ship
    leaves port and be 30 minutes early and carry the name and phone number of
    each port's ship-contact person.

    How do you choose a cruiseline?

    It can be difficult to answer although fortunately you will have plenty of choices. As a veteran of over 50 cruises, I can tell you that cruiseships, cruiselines and cruise destinations are as varied as the passengers who board them.

    All cruiselines have deals and all claim fun (perhaps some, like Silversea are lacking deals and don't tout fun as much as luxury).

    Questions to ask before you cruise:

    What can you afford to spend per person? Cruises are all-inclusive to some degree (cabin, meals plus on-board entertainment) but bar drinks, sodas, spa services, and shore excursions are extra. Some upper end cruises are truly "all-inclusive" however.

    How many days can you afford to get away? Cruises range from 2-day "cruises to nowhere" to 120-day around-the world voyages. Most are in 4, 5, 7 to 10 or 11 day intineraries however.

    Where do you want to cruise to? Cruises go to every continent. American 1st time cruise passengers enjoy cruising to the Caribbean Islands, Bahamas, Alaska, Hawaii or Bermuda.

    Do you mind flying to where you embark or do you only want to drive to the closest port? Many people live within driving distance of a port and this can save you money.

    What kind of cabin will you be comfortable in? Inside cabins are cheapest but are windowless and may seem cramped (although use of mirrors can create the illusion of more space). Many ships feature balcony cabins which are both romantic and handy.

    Do you want to meet lots of new people or would you rather keep yourselves? Some cruise ships have fixed seating at dinner time, some have alternative or anytime dining and some only have a few tables for two. Most people sit at large tables with other cruisers. If that doesn't appeal to you then look for cruise ships that offer flexible dining options.

    Do you want to get dressed up or do you prefer to be casual? For casual, don't choose a cruise that has any or many formal nights although on formal nights, you can always eat at an alternative restaurant or in your room.

    Are you considering getting married on board or having a special occasion? Most ships contain small wedding chapels and meeting rooms. Some cruiselines many allow onboard weddings taking place in the couple's home port, with guests disembarking before the ship sails but this is rare.

    Is having an on-board spa important?

    Is having children's facilities important?

    Is having a casino important?

    These are just a few to consider.

    Regardless of your choices, you will be right in your decision and if not, you have the option to change.

    I hope this helps. If you have specific questions to ask, feel free ask me.

    In the meantime, take care, travel safe and have safe fun. :)

    Ann, T.S.

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