Everyone wants their cruise to be the best possible experience. Whether people are bound for an adventure destination or plan to soak up the sun between ports of call, it pays to be prepared. Here are six tips everyone needs to have before they go on a cruise.
Arrive a Day or Two Early
Especially in winter, arriving early allows for bad weather and other travel delays. Enjoy the destination city for what it has to offer. Arriving at the last minute with ticket clenched in hand may feel like a victory, but it makes for a tense beginning. Arrive in time to unwind first, and board the boat feeling already relaxed.
Research Shore Activities
Cruise brochures and online sites detail the activities available at each port of call. Once aboard, attend information sessions. Is a five-hour trip to a crowded tourist site worth the time and money spent? Maybe so. Or this might be the port to explore an independent interest.
Dine on Your Own Terms
Get to know the maitre d’ at the start of the cruise. He may reserve a coveted table for two as the cruise progresses. On the night before a shore leave, order breakfast in the cabin. Avoid the lines as everyone else queues up to eat before disembarking. For a shore excursion, save time and money by asking the kitchen to pack a lunch.
Pack for Your Activities
Think through the planned activities carefully while packing. Patagonia cruises that bring travelers on rustic adventures require appropriate travel and camping gear. If the plan is to hit the pool as soon as the cruise ship embarks, pack a bathing suit in the carry-on luggage.
The spa on board is usually crowded. Stay on board when everyone else is on shore leave. Get a day pass and enjoy the spa facilities at leisure. On a big ship, find al fresco seating far from the pool area. Enjoy a private space away from the crowded pool.
Add Something Special
On a scenic Alaska cruise, it’s worth it to splurge on a balcony room. The balcony gives a great view of the sights. A balcony room also provides privacy on a romantic getaway. On an adventure cruise, stay an extra day or two at the last destination to explore the local culture.
Think through the goals of the cruise. Plan ahead for the best possible use of the time. Enjoy the cruise to the fullest.