What To Know Before Booking A Cruise – A great trip can be the vacation of a lifetime. Cruise ships are the pinnacle of ocean vacations, offering great food, fun games and exciting destinations all in one convenient package. Millions of travelers take trips every year, and there are always first-timers. If you are planning to go sailing on your first trip, you may have questions and concerns.
I used to work for a large cruise line and have been on literally hundreds of ships. Researching this article gave me the opportunity to reach out to sailors and get their advice on the main things you need to know before embarking on your first voyage.
What To Know Before Booking A Cruise
Don’t let a lack of planning and preparation lead to disaster! Take a few minutes to read these great tips; they will help ensure you are ready for your first trip.
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1. Book the trip that’s right for you. Most cruise ships cater to families, couples and singles, so they make sure there is something for everyone. But there are also themed tours that may feature specific music (disco, Soul Train, KISS), interests (Star Trek, zombies, Harry Potter) or activities (knitting, scrapbooking, genealogy). There are LBGTQ cruises and nude cruises. If you’re a retiree looking for some peace and quiet, here are a few things to know before going on a Carnival cruise: They cater to a young crowd and have a distinctly “fun” vibe. If you’re a young family looking for a budget-friendly getaway, there are a few things you should know before taking a Disney cruise to make it a lot of fun, but also cheap. So do your research. Talk to a travel agent. There is a cruise that is right for you.
2. Choose the right destination. Where do you want to go? What would you like to do? Does your family love the beach and hot weather? Then consider Mexico or the Caribbean. Or do you like cool cool and other attainable achievements? In this case, consider Alaska, Canada and Northern Europe.
3. Will young children enjoy the cruise? Of course they will. All major cruise lines offer kids’ clubs and babysitting services. The ship itself looks like a giant rock that gently lulls all passengers to sleep every night.
4. Buy travel insurance. You can book your trip in advance to get the best prices, but schedules are subject to change. If you’ve booked a prepaid non-refundable trip, keep in mind that good travel insurance is the only way to cover the cost of a last-minute cancellation. It can also cover baggage fees, sudden seasickness or other accidents. This is highly recommended. Your travel agent can tell you more.
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5. Plan trips to the beach in advance. Most people wait until they get on the boat to go on a shore excursion, and the ShoreEx crew is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. If your trip is for a beach holiday and shopping, you can of course wait until the last minute to book. But popular shore excursions sell out quickly. If you want to see the Blue Grotto in Capri or swim with dolphins or take a helicopter ride on a glacier, you need to book early.
6. Adjust the lighting. Don’t put off packing until the last minute! If you can, start packing a week early. Think carefully and think twice about everything you have to wear. If you can do without it, leave it. If you want to pack your clothes well, keep in mind that whatever you carry may have to do double duty and be worn more than once. Take comfortable shorts with you for trips to the beach and casual dinners. A good pair of jeans for evening. If you know you will be buying souvenir t-shirts, don’t bring too many t-shirts. Bringing the right shoes is harder than the right clothes. Bring pool and beach shoes and good walking shoes. You can leave your good cowboy boots at home, but if you’re planning a hiking trip, you’ll probably need hiking boots.
7. What is the dress code? Unless booked on a tour, the usual dress code is acceptable: shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops for casual dining, jeans and pullovers or button-down shirts in the main dining room. Formal nights may still be available in some luxury lines, so you may want to bring an evening dress or tuxedo.
8. Can I do laundry? yes! Cruise ships offer laundry and ironing services. It is a little expensive, but for a long trip or a large family, it can be worth it.
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9. Get vaccinated for traveling abroad. Check with your State Department which vaccinations are required for your area. In today’s time, the vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus is most needed. You may also need a flu shot and possibly even a tetanus shot.
10. Get tested for COVID. Check with your cruise line before boarding to see if they require a negative response to COVID. Most of them, even if you have been vaccinated.
11. Bring all necessary documents. Immunization records are now part of the “new” category and you may want to bring them, especially for COVID. Your tickets and itinerary, of course. Keep the originals in your valuables bag and the photocopies in your luggage. Don’t forget your ID cards and travel visas (if you need them), and above all, don’t forget to bring your passport. You must have a passport to visit other countries, including Mexico and Canada. Since most Alaska cruises also stop at Canadian ports, you will need a passport to come to Alaska. Passports are in the ship’s bag and are returned at the end of the ship. While Americans can travel visa-free to more than 140 different countries, you need a Cuban visa (called a Cuban Tourist Card) to enter Cuba; check with your travel agent about things you need to know before traveling to Cuba by cruise ship.
12. What about norovirus? Before the coronavirus appeared, norovirus was the most feared infectious disease in the oceans, and it still dominates. In fact, an infectious disease is second only to the common cold. It’s usually not as bad as the flu; it’s like a real cold, only with diarrhea.
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13. Use hand sanitizer! Your ship will have hand sanitizing stations set up in a number of places, particularly in boarding areas and dining areas. They are there for your health and safety. Use it!
14. Make sure you have your medication. If you need prescription medication, bring it with you. Keep one day’s worth with you, in your wallet, purse or pocket. If your luggage gets lost or is just delayed in arriving at the cabin, you’ll have everything you need to get you through the day.
15. Bring your own seasickness medicine. You can buy some from the ship’s shops, but it’s cheaper to buy them on land. Or try eating ginger and drinking apple juice, it can help reduce motion sickness and kids love it.
16. Bring a small bag for your valuables. I’ve already mentioned your important documents and prescription date, but here are a few more things you should bring: This cell phone is lost item no. 1 in all hotels. For sunglasses and reading glasses, it is better to get a spare pair as a spare. An electrical plug that most passenger ships have on foreign electrical systems and you may need to adapt it.
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17. Can I bring alcohol? Speaking of your medication, most cruise lines do not allow foreign alcohol on board. However, check with your itinerary as they may allow you to bring a bottle of wine or two. But if you were thinking of taking a 1.5 liter bottle of whiskey with you and nursing yourself the whole way, forget it.
18. Looking at yourself. The first steps are effective and as painless as possible, but patience is required. Lines can be long and move slowly. You’re going to have to stop. It can be hot. Have bottled water and another way to protect the young. Keep your basic documents (tickets and passports) at hand at all times. Follow all instructions of the ship’s crew.
19. Follow all PA announcements and safety instructions. The captain and skipper will sometimes give important messages. Attention! You will need to follow the instructions of any lifeboat and rig (and hopefully just practice). Emergency situations sometimes occur at sea, so you will need to follow the instructions of the crew.
20. Don’t get lost! Once in, navigate as best you can: which side is the front, which side is the back? Learn
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