We traditionally send off a new cruise ship by smashing a bottle of champagne against its bow. Sadly, there’s no such tradition for first-time cruisers. All they get is the excitement of being introduced to this unique form of travel — and the stress of not exactly knowing what it entails.
We can’t offer you champagne, but we can offer some tips and advice.
There is a cruise line to fit your personality
Even if cruise lines seem similar at first, they all have their own perks and quirks. Picking the perfect ship is like choosing the perfect love match … it’s complicated. So how do you choose the best cruise ship for your very first cruise? Do your homework & find the cruise line that fits your lifestyle and budget.
When planning your trip, be sure to budget for extra expenses like alcohol, specialty restaurants, spa treatments, and gratuities. Most cruises are not all-inclusive.
Board early or late
At peak hours, boarding lines can get ridiculously long. If you do it smart even embarkation can be a fun experience. It’s generally best to be among the first or last on since both groups miss the bulk of the crowds.
Planning is key
So much to do, so little time. Plan your daily activities so you don’t miss anything! In between meals, port stops, evening shows, and relaxing by the pool, you’ll be surprised how little time you have to take advantage of everything your cruise ship has to offer.
Always ask a staff member for help
If you need anything don’t hesitate to ask. The ship’s staff are very accommodating, and they often go out of their way to accommodate your requests. The crew is fun to talk too!
Think that the difference between a 5-night cruise and a 7-night cruise is just two nights? Think again. Shorter sailings are great for a quick getaway, but if you’ve never set foot on a ship before, trust us when we say you need a full week to enjoy everything a cruise has to offer.
There you have it! Hopefully, these cruise tips will help you plan an amazing first time cruise. Do you have any of your own tips, please share them in the comment box below.
About the author:
This post was written by Shannon Mckee, founder of Access Cruise Inc. Access Cruise Inc is a Miami based cruise marketing and sales consulting group, specializing in product and business development within the cruise industry.
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Booking a Flight. When finding cheap flights, we try a combination of search engines to ensure we’re not missing out on the best deals. We use SkyScanner, Expedia, Kiwi.com, Kayak, and Google Flights, then compare them to the prices shown on the airlines’ website.
Booking an Accommodation. We prefer staying in hotels. Booking.com is our favorite when it comes to finding the cheapest rate. Again, it won’t hurt to check the hotel’s main website. They usually offer discounts for booking directly with them. For last-minute booking, check out HotelTonight. There are also other types of accommodation like Airbnb, hostel (Hostelworld has the largest inventory), and Couchsurfing.
Sightseeing & Tours. We like DIY tours – it gives you freedom and flexibility. You can take advantage of the CityPass and Sightseeing Pass. But we have joined in several tours that maximized our time and made our trip easier. Feel free to check out Intrepid, and Trusted Tours & Attractions for discounted offers.
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