Cruise papers have arrived. It is official and soon it will be bon voyage. In the meantime, you are probably seeking travel tips for cruising. Included is advice from experienced travelers for first-time cruising.
Ready, get set, pack
A travel tip for cruising is packing lightweight and wrinkle-resistant clothing. Typical, wrinkle-resistant fabrics for packing include knit, cotton-blend, Lycra blend and jersey. Jersey is knitted wool or cotton, and is used in clothing, such as dresses and shirts. Packing a rain pancho or waterproof jacket is another travel tip for cruising. First-time cruising tip is to have extra space for any presents or souvenirs.
Air travel & transfers
Flying non-stop to your departure port is recommended. If a traveler makes air travel arrangements, and encounters delays, the ship will not wait. If cruise and air travel are booked with the cruise line, and the flight is delayed, the cruise ship handles the arrangements.
Upon arrival to the ship, be ready to tip one dollar per bag. First-time cruising tip is to attach cruise line luggage tags with cruising information such as ship’s name, cruising date and stateroom number.
Arriving at the ship (embarkation)
If traveling on a ship with 2,000+ passengers, expect long lines of passengers at check-in. Before boarding the ship, a photographer will snap a picture and all pictures will be displayed in the ship’s photo gallery. Once on board, another travel tip for cruising is grabbing lunch in the main dining room, if sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line or Princess Cruises. Others usually head to the long buffet lines. If you packed a swim suit in your carry-on luggage, head to the pool. As the ship leaves port, get a “ring-side seat” for the bon voyage. First-time cruising tip is to keep a cool head and remember: a cruise vacation is for enjoyment.
Booking shore excursions
First-time cruising tip is to book the ship’s shore excursions. It is a guarantee you will not “miss the boat.” Missing the ship incurs additional charges for continuing the cruise.
On board charges
When on board ship, a room card is issued, and backed by a credit card or a cash deposit. Unless an unlimited soft drink package is purchased, usually $5 to $7 a day, a charge for soft drinks is charged to the room. First-time cruise tip is to make daily notes of charges so there is no surprise when the final bill comes. Keep purchase receipts to balance against the final bill.
Shipping back to the states
When buying gifts in port, consider shipping them back. A first-time cruising tip is carrying goods around and boarding the plane can make it worth the cost of shipping.
Planning ahead for next cruise
A first-time cruising tip is booking your next cruise while on board the cruise ship for some of the best cruise rates, on-board credits and may include free shore excursions.
Travel tips for cruising include bringing backups of medications, sunglasses, contacts and eyeglasses. A small pair of scissors in checked luggage is handy as well as duct tape for taping shut shower curtains. Include small bills for tipping bus drivers and tour guides, another first-time cruising tip.
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