7 Things All First Time Cruisers Need to Know


3. Plan Your Embarkation

As you board a cruise ship for the first time, chances are you’ll be dazzled with the visuals, hospitality and the energy being generated to reflect the “vibe” of the cruise (i.e. luxury liner or party boat). Take this in and enjoy it, but know that your first few hours on board are crucial in terms of planning for the duration of your cruise. If you’ve not pre-booked excursions now is the time to do it. Popular excursions sell out quickly. Planning a trip to the spa? Special embarkation day deals are often offered, as are port day specials. Appointments for these often fill up quickly as well. Purchase any packages (i.e. drink packages, dining packages, activity packages) right away; they are usually cheaper on day one, and you’ll get the most mileage if you start using them immediately. Research what your options are before you get on board.

Cruise drinks

4. Pack Like a Pro

In addition to packing your clothing (be sure to consult on your ship’s dress code to make sure are appropriately attired), there are a number of little odds and ends to include on your packing list. Your stateroom will have most of your creature comforts, but there are a few must-haves that veteran cruisers include in their suitcases. Outlets are at a premium in these spaces, so a power bar comes in handy, especially if you’ve got multiple devices to charge. Ziploc bags offer many uses, including packing wet bathing suits, toothbrushes and open toiletries. A travel alarm clock is useful, as many staterooms are not equipped with a clock; LED tealights shed a useful spot of light as bathroom night lights. Closet space is limited, so an over-the-door shoe caddy offers extra storage for shoes, t-shirts, socks and underwear. Extra hangers make life easier as well.

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