Tips for your First Cruise
by Adam Cain
If you are thinking about booking a cruise, or have already booked one, and are busy preparing for it, here are some key tips to making sure you think of everything, before you find yourself aboard a cruise ship bound for the Middle East.
Many people wait until a day or two before departure before thinking about a lot of these issues. In a hurry to get everything sorted for departure, they often forget important things like tickets, passports or medicines. Plan well in advance and don't get caught out! Here are those top tips to ensure you book the right cruise and are well prepared for it when departure day arrives!
Understand what it is that appeals to you about cruise holidays. It will help you pick the right sort of cruise line and the right sort of route and routine. It might be that the food or the service is critical to you, or perhaps having a veranda to step out onto in the morning. Clarify what you really want and refine your enquiries based on those requirements.
Do as much research as you can about the logistics of your cruise, getting to the port, embarking and luggage tags. Lots of this research can be done easily from home with an internet connection.
Join online cruise sites, discussion boards and forums and talk to others about their experience of cruises. You could even find yourself talking to people who end up on the same cruise ship as you! It can be a great idea to get a feel for the questions you should be asking and the lines of enquiry you should be entertaining.
Research the ship. Spending a bit of time looking at the layout of the ship on a website will give you some information about the facilities on board, and will help you save time and effort working out where the gym, toilet and buffet are once you are aboard.
Explore the options available to you for shore excursions. Research the destinations of the excursions and the activities available. Make sure it is something that you really want to do, since paying for excursions which you either don't enjoy, or don't actually participate in, is a waste of time and money.
Pack light. This may be classic advice dished out for those taking a cruise, but you really don't need very much on a ship, unless you really want to dress up and dine with the captain on the formal dinner nights.
Take a carry-on bag with essential items, as sometimes it can take an hour or two for the cases to arrive. Have a great time on your first cruise!