First Time Cruiser
Travelers planning their first cruise vacation can benefit from picking up a few cruise tips from seasoned cruisers before heading out on their adventure. That said, it is also important to remember that your cruise or cruise package is your vacation, so be sure to enjoy it in your own way, while paying heed to the best cruise packing tips and cruise travel tips for every different type of cruise. Planning ahead is an important part of cruise tips, but only when combined with the spontaneity of being able to take an unexpected exploration trip at a moment's notice.
Cruise packing tips can be among the most helpful type of cruise travel tips. If you plan to travel anywhere cold, namely, Alaska, Antarctica or Northern Europe, layers are the key. In addition to warm parkas, winter sweaters and hats, bring along long-sleeved t-shirts and the like to allow you a choice between heavier layers and lighter layers while onboard the ship. Bring tennis shoes and walking gear as well as a few choices for formal events; long dresses for ladies and a suit or tuxedo for gentlemen. If you forget any of these items, they will, of course, be available for purchase on the ship, but likely at a much higher price than you may want to spend.
For warm weather cruising, cruise packing tips are slightly different. Cruises to places like the South Pacific, the Caribbean or South America during the warmest months will require shorts, skirts, and breathable cotton clothing. You will still want to bring a light jacket or a rainproof jacket, as tropical areas do experience rain. Cruise tips also recommend that you still bring along your formal gear, as almost no large cruise ship is exempt from those formal dinner evenings, and you will feel out of place without the proper attire. Comfortable walking shoes are also a must, particularly when you arrive at a port and plan to spend the day on land.
Another set of important cruise travel tips revolves around medical care and the issue of seasickness. Large cruise ships will have medical centers on board, and even smaller cruise ships will at least have someone who has Emergency Medical Training. Note, however, that you will likely be charged for these services, and if you are far away from home, your personal medical insurance may or may not be honored. Purchasing separate travelers insurance to cover medical expenses and other items like lost luggage or last minute cancellations are one of the more useful and important cruise travel tips. If you are among the percentage of travelers who experience seasickness, remember that for most people this sensation will disappear after a day or two. In the meantime, keep your stomach full of snacks (crackers and water are the best) and rest when you need to. If the symptoms continue or you just can't stand it, check into getting some seasickness pills (you can find these onboard the ship on every type of cruise), which take care of the problem very quickly.
Finding your way around onboard is another challenge for some first-time cruisers. Remembering the lingo for directions on board any type of cruises is one of the most helpful ways to sort it all out. "Bow" refers to the front of the ship, while "stern" refers to the back. Port is the left side of the ship (when facing the bow) and starboard is the right side. Since many of the directional signs onboard a cruise ship will use these terms, being familiar with what they mean can save you from wandering aimlessly through the narrow corridors of a large cruise ship.