Seasoned cruisers like nothing better than to tell first-timers about what to expect. Here’s one simple piece of advice: Listen to them! Bow to their knowledge and pick up as much information as you possibly can. Here’s a great example: Those who have cruised to and from Rome know that the actual destination is the port of Civitavecchia. This nugget of knowledge could save a lot of confusion – take it from one who knows! And a quick free tip to start with?
1. Be Prepared
There are innumerable ways to maximize the enjoyment of your first cruise, but the simplest point is: Do your research! A look at where you are heading, and the excursions on offer, is an exciting pre-trip treat. There’s nothing better to sharpen your expectation than by imagining the exotic locales you’ll be visiting while sitting at home.
2. Don’t Travel Light!
Another vital bit of knowledge is in what you pack. There is usually no luggage weight allowance, so you can take everything you need, but make sure the wardrobe space in your cabin is roomy enough.
Most cruises require formal wear, and a certain class of casual wear too. Don’t get caught out; prepare properly and you’ll look like the cat’s whiskers. I’ve witnessed many flustered passengers rushing to the on-board boutique to buy a bow tie, or even an evening jacket. Don’t be one of them. Save stress and money by taking your glam gear with you.
3. Don’t Let Sickness Spoil Things
Let’s be frank – occasionally things can get a bit choppy at sea. Although modern ships have sophisticated stabilizing equipment to combat this, I’d strongly advise that you pack some seasickness remedies. Ask your pharmacist, but there are some lovely colorful anti-sickness bands that can reassure you when the kids wear them.
4. Hydrate on the Cheap
Another thing seasoned cruisers do is buy bottled water and soft drinks on shore, rather than pay the bar prices. This means you will always have a refreshing drink in your cabin, without paying the earth for it!
5. Settle in Quickly
Finally, try this fun game as a way of working out your surroundings. On your first evening, split up and take half-an-hour to find as many exciting places on board as you can; the bars, the pool, the casino, the restaurants, for example. Jot them all down and meet up back in your cabin to discuss. Or play ‘first to find five loos’ – the permutations are endless. After a couple of sessions of this game, you’ll have your bearings and be raring to go!