I Booked My First Cruise… Now What?

Cruise ship
Somewhere across the sea my vacation's waiting for me! Image courtesy of Collegiate Cruises

The great thing about blogging for Travel News Notes is the travel tips that come our way. As an avid traveler myself, it’s an added perk to the job.

Now, I’ve never been on a cruise, but recently I got a few tips for first time cruisers from travel agent and cruise expert Ellen Paderson. Hopefully these tips will be helpful to all the readers out there who are in the same boat as to me 🙂

  • Pack light Instead of packing a specific outfit for each day, try and pack matching  and like colors  instead. This way you can easily interchange clothes and it’ll cut down on your luggage space.
  • Take a flashlight This is a famous just-in-case tip that’s pretty universal,  especially for campers and the like. It’s always a good idea to have a flashlight handy on the off chance your cabin looses power.

  • Bring water bottles or a self-filtering water pitcher Water on the ship can get expensive so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
  • Put vodka in water bottles Alcohol can get pretty pricey as well, but this rule only applies for the 21+ crowd. And it might be a good idea to double check your cruise line’s policies and procedures on this one.
  • Bring a carry on with a bathing suit and other important items Just like airlines, cruise ships process your luggage separately and it can sometimes take a while for it to make it’s way to your cabin. So be sure to pack a carry on with the necessities like your bathing suit, toiletries, and other personal items you don’t want to lose.
  • Book shore excursions with your travel agent Don’t like the sound of some of those shore excursion itineraries? Well you can book your own with a travel agent! Often times booking your own excursion is a cheaper way to go as well. Oh, and less crowded too!
  • Notify the cruise company of special dietary restrictions Vegan? Food Allergies? No problem, just be sure to notify the cruise line 60 days in advance of any special dietary requests.
  • Pack a written list of your medications Your list should include the drug name, dosage instructions, doctor’s name, etc. just in case you lose your meds.
  • If you tend to get motion sickness, see your doctor There are medications that will help prevent seasickness, so make an appointment with your doctor before hand to make sure you’re ready to go on departure day.
  • Make sure your passport is not more than 6 months to expiring You can never go wrong with an up to date passport, but there are so many ways to get screwed up with an outdated one, especially if your going to port in any foreign country. Renewals take an average of 6 weeks so the sooner the better or you’ll be paying up to $200 in rush fees.

There you go, your first cruise demystified! Our cruise expert Ellen Paderson has more great advice on cruises here.