If you’re going on a cruise soon, then you’ll no doubt want to make sure that you’re properly prepared for it…especially if it’s your first one! The good news is that you’ll only need to pack and unpack once, but there are many other things to remember when going cruising. You’ll enjoy yourself no matter what, but just to be sure, here are the ins and outs of preparing for your cruise:
Don’t Forget About the Extra Cost
The majority of cruises aren’t all inclusive, so you need to be prepared for extra costs. You’ll more than likely need to pay for drinks, excursions, restaurants, spa treatments, video games, dry cleaning, and internet use – this will quickly add up! Cruising is still great value, but just be prepared for any related costs.
Make Sure You Include Tips in Your Budget
It’s normal to tip workers on a cruise ship, and it will seem rude if you don’t. This means you need to budget for extra tips for waiters/waitresses, beauty therapists, and other workers on the ship.
Don’t Pack Too Much
The average room on a cruiseship is about half the size of an average hotel room. Try to pack as lightly as possible to make sure you’re comfortable in your little room. You can still get away with quite a lot, but try to be conservative. A luxury ship like the Allure of the Seas might have a little more room, but be prepared to live in a confined space for a while.
Consider the Dress Code
Not every ship requires you to dress up for evening meals anymore. On a lot of ships you can even wear jeans in the dining room at night! During the day most ships are casual, but some cruises do have more formal nights. Make sure you know the dress code of the ship you’ll be travelling on so you take a good variety of clothing.
Be Aware of The Electrical Specifications
Many big cruise ships provide a U.S style current and plugs, but many international ships could have other standards. Make sure you know these before you go on your cruise. Nearly every ship will provide you a hairdryer, so you probably won’t need to pack one.
Find Out What Toiletries are In the Cabin
Many cruise ships will give you shampoo and soap, beach towels, hair dryers, conditioner, and sometimes other toiletries. If you need something specific, normally you just need to ask. Irons are considered a fire hazard, so you won’t be allowed these in your cabin. A more upscale cruise line will have more toiletries and amenities to offer you.
Make a List of Important Items
Make a list of important items that you just won’t be able to live without on your trip. It can be expensive to buy forgotten items when out at sea, so try not to forget anything important. Make sure you take an alarm clock, batteries, feminine hygiene products (should you need them), insect repellent, sunscreen, over the counter cold medicine, sandals, sports wear, sunglasses, and a light windbreaker jacket.
Even on an all inclusive cruise, you may be put in a situation where you need some cash. Some trips do have ATM’s, but the surcharges are massive. You’ll need cash if you plan on going to the casino on board, or if you plan on going on a shore excursion.
Look Into The Cabin’s Beds
The majority of newer ships usually come with two twin size beds pushed together to make a king sized bed, although they can be separated. If you want to know before you book, you’ll need to contact the cruise agent to see what kind of beds they have on board.
Get a Passport
If your cruise is calling in to a foreign port, then you need to have proof of citizenship proven with a passport. Taking a passport is always a good idea, no matter where you’re going. You never know what might happen – you may have to leave the ship early and go home. With no passport, what would you do then?
Check Your Documents
When your cruise tickets and documents come make sure you check them over very carefully to ensure that they’re perfect. Mistakes do occur though, so make sure they have the right date, the right destination, and the right airport if you’ve bought an air-and-sea package.
Tips for Cruising With Kids
Many cruise ships have an age requirement for kids. Some cruises say 12 weeks and up, others say 6 months. Use your own judgement to decide whether a cruise is the best choice for your family.
You should choose your cabin wisely depending on the age of your children, the layout of your cabin, and the cost. Also check the bathroom to see if there’s a bath – you may need to request one if your kids need one.
Prepare your kids for the cruise by explaining to them what you’re going to be doing, telling them about the amenities on board and showing them places you’ll be visiting.
Once on board, try not to stray too far from the kids daily schedule. Let them nap if they need to, and don’t let them stay up too late past their usual bedtime.
Be flexible on the ship. It’s always worth going on a couple of excursions with the kids if you can!
Saying that, you could also take advantage of the fact of an excursion one day and stay on the ship while everyone else is out exploring. You’ll have the facilities all to yourselves!
Buy your kids a cheap camera so they can take pictures of the things they like past and enjoy documenting their holiday.
Cruises are a great way to enjoy a trip as a family, couple, or group of friends. Like being in a travelling hotel, fully equipped with everything you could possibly need and the most helpful staff ever!