Travel Tips: Tips for your First Cruise

Taking a is a fantastic way to start the travel experience. For first time travelers, cruises are a great way to start to explore the world simply because the cruise line takes care of almost everything for you. There’s a reason they call them “floating hotels.” Meals are provided almost 24 hours a day, entertainment is always available, and you can visit some great destinations.

There are, however, some tips and tricks for your first cruise. Taking advantage of everything that a cruise ship offers requires a little bit of knowledge, but Travel Makers is here to help you out. Without further ado, here are our top X tips for first-time cruisers!

1. Pack for all weather, especially rain.

If you’re traveling to a tropical destination, like the Carribean, storms and showers can pop up in an instant. It’s then that you’ll be very happy that you brought that raincoat with you! Taking a small backpack ashore with you with a poncho or rain jacket in it is advised. While there are always shops and restaurants in ports that can shelter you from the storm, so to speak, you don’t want to get caught trying to get back to the ship in a rainstorm!

If you’re taking a cruise to somewhere with a temperature extreme, make sure to pack clothes for the opposite weather! The climate inside the ship is often on the cold side, so even if you expect the weather to be warm, the ship might not be. An extra sweatshirt or sweater goes a long way to make sure you’re comfortable.

2. The first day (embarkation) and the last day (disembarkation) are long, but they’re over pretty quick.

First-time cruisers should be prepared for a lifeboat drill on the day that they leave port. In most countries, these are mandated by the government and the cruise line, so don’t think you can hang out in your cabin. If you’re cruising in the summer, be warned that sitting for the lifeboat drill in a lifejacket can get pretty hot, so dress appropriately!

It’s also insanely busy on the ship the first day. Every passenger is ready to start their cruise, and they out and about exploring the ship. Because of this, expect every spot on the ship to be crowded on embarkation day.

The last day of the cruise, called disembarkation, is also insanely busy. It’s the exact opposite of Day 1, however. Instead of everyone trying to get to their rooms and explore the ship, everyone has their luggage with them and they’re trying to get off. Long lines at Customs (if you’re coming back into a country from an international cruise, which most are) make this a trying experience, especially for those with children. Again, wear layers and be prepared to adapt to to the climate back on dry land!

3. Bring something for Seasickness

While some people don’t get seasick, some do and don’t know it. The movement of the ship can send the most strong-stomached person running for the bathroom, especially if the ship gets stuck in a storm. A quick trip to your local pharmacy to pick up some Dramamine can be a lifesaver. You don’t want to spend your entire cruise sick, do you?

This goes double for people who don’t think they get seasick. We’ve seen family and friends that have never had a bout of seasickness suddenly realize that it indeed happens to them. Of course, shops on the ship always carry anti-seasickness medication, so don’t sweat it too much.

4. Use the Buffet, Live the Buffet, Love the Buffet

Cruise ship buffets are all you can eat, fantastic affairs that are open almost all the time. Usually located on the top of the ship near the pool, the buffet is a great option if you’re not feeling a fancy dinner or just want to grab a quick bite to eat in between meals. Sometimes you crave a plate of chicken tenders or or a slice of roast beef at 3 PM, and the buffet is the place where you can find almost anything a cruiser could ever want.

First-time travelers deciding on taking a cruise don’t have to worry about much, but it can be overwhelming. You can sign up for excursions, explore fantastic places and then return to a floating palace where everything is taken care of for you. Follow these tips, though, and you’ll be home free.

Image VIA: Royal Carribean Cruise Lines