It’s all fun planning and looking forward to a cruise. The expectations are pretty high, and to avoid being disappointed, here are points to note.
1. Dress code
This is one question most first-timers on a cruise have in mind. First, go through your itinerary to know how many formal dinners and events you will have. Then pack your clothes accordingly. For men, a suit with a long-sleeved shirt will do, but they can also do with slacks, a tie, and a button-down shirt. Women can wear an excellent fitting flowing dress or a little black dress. It’s all up to you; make sure it’s acceptable on the ship. Some cruise crew will turn you away from dinner if you are not formally dressed. Rugged jeans-shirts, tank tops, and shorts are not acceptable at dinner.
2. Getting the best deal
Please choose at least three cruise liners and get their newsletter. Go to the cruise liner’s website and look at their customer feedback, and from there, you can have a shortlist. After subscribing to the newsletter, you will receive an alert whenever special offers so you don’t miss saving opportunities. Most Yarra River Cruises offer discounts for repeat clients, state residents, special affiliations, and military personnel.
3. In emergencies such as family accidents and medical, how can you get home quickly?
In case of an emergency, you must notify the guest services on the cruise within the first 24 hours. They will arrange for you to disembark at the next port to get a flight home. Remember you need a passport and a photo ID to catch that flight. A birth certificate will not help. Some cruise liners will give a full refund inclusive of all travel expenses if you have to leave the cruise. That said, you cannot disembark at sea. It must be at a port of call.
4. Preventing motion sickness
If you or your loved one suffers from motion sickness, get a room in the higher deck. It is recommended to buy Sea bands, which are elastics that you wear around your wrist. They work by pressing pressure points. Dramamine and Bonine work when taken before you get on the ship and when motion sickness begins. Note to get the non-drowsy type, or you may end up sleeping throughout your vacation. If all these recommendations fail and you are also stuck in a lower cabin. Pack ginger candies, ginger-ale, or dried pieces of ginger as they can effectively deal with nausea.
5. Cabins with no windows
Yes, this is shocking for any first-time cruisers. As you go through cruise liners catalogs, you may be so caught up in the grandeur of the ship that you forget that all cabins are not the same. You may be surprised to know some resemble a coach in a train but with no window. If an enclosed room causes you discomfort, research what amenities are offered in various rooms and adjust your budget. It may not cost much, but you will enjoy the comfort. On the other hand, you can convince a friend to come along and split the cost.
6. Cruises are not equal
As you scout to book a cruise, you may be tempted to go for the cheapest deal. Assuming all cruises offer the same services and more so if they are going to the same destination, you may be in for a nasty surprise. Different cruise ships differ in their packages. One ship may offer five-star dining while another will leave the guests to choose as per their choice and maybe add extra entertainment. Click here to learn more.
First, know what you want, then look out for it. Once you spot the package that suits you, check out if they have any money-saving deals. Cheap deals may be good on your pocket but disastrous to your pocket.
7. Have a Day Bag
When you board the cruise liner, your bags will first be taken to your cabin, way before you are allowed entry to the room. It would be helpful to convert a foldup duffle bag to a smaller pouch or bigger bag. Pack some essentials like a bathing suit, sunscreen, book, and any medication you must have. You can go for a waterproof bag, too, so that it doubles up as a beach bag for when you disembark for a swim. This arrangement will keep you from panicking if you need something before you are allowed into your cabin.
8. No Boredom
It may be a deterrent to anyone never gone for a cruise to assume it to be boring. Especially when they think you will be in one place for such a long time. The opposite is true. A lot of effort goes into entertainment and keeping guests meaningfully occupied while enjoying themselves.
The list is endless, from dance parties, nightclubs, and pool-side contests. Remember you will also have chances to disembark at various cities and go on excursions which are leisurely paced. There are water-themed activities for kids separately and are attended to by the crew.
There is no shortage of activities on a cruise ship, and you may end up not having time to indulge in it all.
9. Get the All-inclusive Plan
The all-inclusive plan includes all meals onboard and selected drinks. The package may be pricey, but it’s worth it if you compare buying every meal for 1-2 weeks. The all-inclusive will let you relax by not thinking about what you will have for your next meal. Instead, relax and only be ready to spend cash on food when you disembark in a city. To make sure you are getting the best in your vacation, double-check what’s on offer and whether it’s worth spending on.
10. Planning is important
As said earlier, a cruise ship can be compared to a small town. That small town has people waiting eagerly for the next activity, visiting restaurants, markets, going on excursions, and others. Make plans in advance to avoid being left on board not knowing what to engage in. This is not the time to ‘wing it and take whatever comes along. Thousands of other tourists want to explore the same spots, so be prepared.
Ready to go on a cruise? Pack formal clothes for dinner and get a cabin in the upper levels to avoid motion sickness. Don’t go for cheaper rates, assuming all liners are the same. Scout for what you want and lookout for good deals. Get ready to have the time of your life with the various activities on board.