Very recently, and yes I will blog about it soon, we went on our first cruise. It was also our first holiday abroad as a family. As it was our first time on a cruise I wasn't sure what to expect and to be honest was nervous about the whole thing. I suffer from bad sea sickness, in fact most times I just look at a boat and that's it, so a cruise has never been on the top of my list but I have heard wonderful things so wanted to give it a go. I felt the boat move only once and was never ill. In fact I had more problems when we got home getting my land legs back.
I thought it would be nice to put together some top tips from our recent experience to help those who are also going on a cruise for the first time:
1. If the cruise line offers book ground transportation from the plane to the ship, and back again. This worked out a lot cheaper than us getting a taxi, we got there with minimum fuss and everything was taken care of. It was a lot less stressful
2. Have swim costumes, towels and a change of clothes with you to carry onto the ship. You board the ship before your room is ready. It could be several hours before you go inside your room. Having swim kit with you makes sure you can use the pool and relax on the ship. A change of clothes is also nice, just to freshen up after travelling.
3. A fellow blogger Su Tyler advised that on busy days such as Sea days have a look at what other activities are happening on board the other decks of the ship. There maybe a quite spot away from the hustle and bustle of the main activities.
4. A tip which came from Carnival cruises is to book a table at one of the on-board specialty restaurants. Many ships have a variety of restaurants on board, it makes for a great change and for something special to your holiday.
5. Check if you have been allocated a dinning time. Some ships do. Others don't and if not think about when the busy periods might be and avoid them.
6. If you can upgrade to a room with a window it is definitely worth the money to do so.
7. Pick your cruise line company. We went on a cruise with Disney and we heard a man complain that there were too many children on board and that they were ruining his holiday. Yes a serious complaint, which leads to the question who are Disney target audience and what are the likely average age range on that ship? Disney for example cater for kids and families with some adult only areas and other cruise line companies cater for adults with a few kids areas, others are in-between. It is worth researching the company to see what they have to offer, and the likely demographic aboard. Likewise don't let a bad experience with one company put you off cruising, try a different company.
8. Check out the ships. Cruise line companies often have more than one ship. They vary in size, as do the rooms inside and the facilities on board. Have a good look at the ship before you go.
9. We pre booked our port excursions as it meant we could plan our days. We found however we had booked too much and it would have been better to have had a few days on the ship. I would think about the excursions as they are worth booking. We found out that if on a pre booked trip and you get stuck in traffic which therefore leads to you missing your back on board time, the ship will wait. I am not so sure it would if you were not on a pre booked excursion.
10. If you enjoy it and want to do another book on board. We wish we had as we now realise the deal on board booking was actually really good.
We loved every second of our cruise experience and really think the way forward for holidays are cruising. Every day you wake up with some where new to explore. If it is a Sea day there is so much going off and we were very well looked after the whole time.
I have not been asked to write this post, it is all my own opinion.