Imagine waking up everyday in your familiar and comfortable hotel room, only to look outside the window and see a different city or town. A cruise is a great way to explore a new region in a relaxed, stress free way without having to look for and plan accommodation at each stop on your itinerary. It’s not only obviously popular with couples as the romantic appeal is hard to miss, it’s also great for families wanting to spend some quality time together and for solo travelers looking to meet like minded people. Cruising can be as adventurous, laid-back or fun as you’d like it to be, especially if you consider these 7 tips to enjoy a cruise holiday.
Find The Cruise That’s Right For You
With varied themes such as photography, salsa, wine, yoga, meditation, stargazing, cooking and non-stop partying, there’s definitely a cruise for everyone. It’s important to do your research and find the type of cruise that suits your interests and fits with how you’d like to discover a new region. This is true for everyone; whether you’re going solo and looking to connect with other travelers over common interests, as a couple that prefers a small group experience over a party cruise or as a family that would like to have plenty of on-board activities for children.
Some cruises are adults only, some require formal attire and others are more casual. There are luxury cruises with an onboard club, casino, spa and multiple restaurants, celebrity cruises that have distinguished guests and no frills low budget cruises.If it’s your first time and you’re confused by the many options, work with a cruise specialist travel agent to zero down on the one that’s right for you.
photo credit: The Queen Mary 2 via photopin (license)
Be a savvy cruiser and sign up for the Cruise Miles Rewards Programme to save money and take advantage of deals, promotions and other great loyalty benefits. Not only will you save money on your next cruise booking, you’ll also receive free hotel stays, regional flights and flight upgrades, free cabin upgrades and chauffeur transfers.
Choose The Right Cabin
Remember that with cruises, you pretty much get what you pay for. While there are cruise options to suit a range of budgets, it’s useful to choose a cabin that you’ll actually enjoy spending time in. If you know that a view and sunlight is important to you, then spend a little extra to get an outside cabin that lets you have that. Before you book, check that you’re comfortable with the bed type: king, queen or twin beds that are typically positioned together in standard rooms. Also study the cabin plan of the ship to ensure that you’re not next door to a karaoke bar or the children’s play area, especially if you’re a light sleeper.
photo credit: davitydave
Don’t Worry About Sea Sickness
A lot of people still worry about spending an extended number of days at sea and wonder if they’re going to get seasick. In reality, modern cruise ships are now very big and well designed to be stable. Vessels hardly ever experience the rolling effect that causes sickness due to stabilizers being put into position. If you’re still nervous, carry pills for motion sickness.
Mingle With Other Cruisers
A cruise is a great place to connect with other travelers and conversation flows freely at dinner tables. It’s easy to initiate conversation as you tend to see the same faces repeatedly over the duration of the trip and very often, there are plenty of onboard activities and games that encourage guests to mingle. The intimate setting on smaller cruise ships means that socializing is not a daunting task, even for introverts. The cruise experience and shore excursions can be a lot more fun if you’re friendly and open to meeting new people.
photo credit: Bourbon Dinner at Three Aces via photopin (license)
As with every other kind of trip, travel insurance is a no-brainer when you’re going on a cruise holiday. A policy that covers trip cancellations, missed connections, misplaced baggage and medical emergencies significantly adds to your peace of mind when you set sail on your journey.
You need to pack smartly for a cruise vacation, especially if you consider how small ship cabins usually are. This means that there’s no room for unnecessary items and clothing. Depending on the length of the trip, both men and women should pack smart casual daytime attire, swimwear, clothes suitable for activities such as hiking and kayaking on shore excursions, elegant semi-formal and formal attire for dressy dinners on a few nights each week. Pack the right kind of shoes for each outfit as on some cruises you’ll really want to show up at dinner looking your best. If you plan on using the gym on the cruise, don’t forget to pack your gym wear and shoes. Carry a small daypack or tote to use on shore excursions or to the pool. Bring your snorkeling gear, camera, travel adaptor, binoculars, toiletries, medicines and sunscreen. It’s also wise to carry a lightweight foldable bag for shopping at ports. Depending on how you like to spend your free time, it’s a good idea to bring your own books, movies and music.