How to Ace Your First Cruise12:00 AM
Cruise holidays are a great way to explore some world class destinations whilst enjoying a relaxing break. Being on a luxury cruise liner takes the stress out of traveling, leaving more time to relax, enjoy the onboard facilities and take in the sights. If you’re planning to sail the seven seas, you’ll want to follow this handy guide.
Choose the perfect ship
Set aside plenty of time to research the different ships, comparing the facilities and accommodation options. It could be difference between the holiday of a lifetime or an experience you’ll be happy to forget. Whether you’re seeking family-friendly amenities or a smaller intimate cruise to rekindle the romance, the options are endless.
Pick the itinerary
Once you’ve selected an appropriate cruise line, you can now make a list of potential destinations. Consider what you want from the holiday whether that’s a beach paradise or European city tour. Fans of the outdoors may be more interested in an extreme cruise to the Antarctic or Alaska.
Book your cabin
First timers should book their cabin on one of the lower decks, midship - this is considered the best place to avoid seasickness. You’ll also want to consider the level of luxury as many rooms include additional extras such as a butler service or furnished balcony which comes at a cost.
Arrange a visa
Always check the visa requirements for your chosen destinations well in advance. Without a visa, the cruise ship may deny entry or not let you depart at a port of call.
Use a travel agent
Don’t’ make the mistake of booking the trip yourself in an effort to save money. Travel agents often provide the cheapest price and they’ll be able to guide you through any decisions and help with visa requirements. They may also include extras as an added incentive to book, which may include complimentary spa treatments or a room upgrade.
Consider the options
A selection of add-on packages can be bought to make you even more comfortable whilst travelling. This may include internet, a laundry service or access to exclusive restaurants.
Try all the restaurants
Once on board, make reservations with the ships smaller, specialty restaurants to see which ones you prefer early on. It can be tempting to dine at the main restaurant but don’t follow the crowd. Sample some of the smaller venues and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Do your homework
Before leaving home, research the sights and attractions for each port you will be stopping at. Shore excursions can be booked in advance, allowing you to get the most out of your limited time on shore.
Attend port talks
Many of the large cruise ships provide lectures and talks each evening on the following day’s port of call. This will provide essential information on attractions, how to get around and where to find an ATM.
Meet the crew
Becoming acquainted with the ship’s crew members is a great way to learn more about the facilities and the different ports of call that will be visited. Famed for their level of hospitality, cruise staff will be more than happy to help.
Follow these simple steps and you can be guaranteed a memorable cruise without any hiccups.
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