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Caribbean Cruise Discounts!
Sixteen Tips That Will Get You Ready For Your First Cruise!
By Gail M. Davis
So, you're getting ready to take your first cruise? How
exciting! You've surely read through all the information that
your travel agent provided, and you've probably read everything
you could find on the ship's website, and if you had time, you
probably even checked out comments from previous travelers,
right? That's a great start! Here are additional tips that will
help your whole experience be more pleasant. I wrote myself
notes after my first cruise and have been using them every time
- When you pack, keep in mind that you won't need as many
clothes as you think you will. If you're taking a 7-day cruise,
you'll really only need 4-5 outfits. Trust me! That's the way it
works out. The days that you're on the open sea, you'll probably
live in a bathing suit and cover-up all day, if you're in warm
weather. If you'd rather have more clothes available even if you
don't wear them, keep in mind that your closet will be very
small and there's no room to leave your suitcase sitting out.
- Speaking of closets, take some of those hangers that you get
from your dry cleaners that you won't mind leaving behind. There
won't be enough for everyone in your room to use. It's a great
idea to pack your clothes already on hangers with dry cleaning
bags over them. It makes unpacking a breeze and really helps
ward off wrinkles!
- While we're on the subject of clothes, forget those fancy
outfits for dinner. Very few people "dress up" anymore on ships.
Instead, shoot for "casual elegance" and you'll fit right in.
Women, throw in a pair of heels to wear with your black capris,
or if you're a man, tuck your shirt into your khakis, and you'll
fit in perfectly!
- Take comfortable shoes!! Make it less about style and more
about comfort. You'll need them while walking around on the
ship, and you'll definitely want them when you go ashore.
- Don't be shocked when you see the size of your room and
especially your bathroom. Don't let the fact that you can sit on
the toilet, brush your teeth in the sink, and shave your legs in
the shower--all at the same time, spoil your trip. It will be
fun! You're only in your room to sleep and get dressed anyway.
- If you like to drink a lot of water throughout the day, take
your own water jug and have the bartender fill it up. It's a
hassle to constantly go get water and the glasses are really
small. Likewise, if you like soda, spend the money to purchase a
soda card. The ship will usually give you a thermal mug that you
can have the bartender fill up as often as you like. Take a
travel coffee mug too, if you like more than one cup at a time.
- If you must make a choice, choose the later dining option.
Even if you normally like to eat dinner early, you're not going
to want to rush back from shore to shower and get ready for
dinner at 6:00. You won't go hungry on the cruise!
- Consider eating dinner in the buffet hall a couple of
nights. You can dress as casually as you want (even bathing suit
cover-ups are acceptable), you can eat any time that you want,
and the food is the same as in the dining room!
- When you arrive on the ship, take the opportunity to go to
the dining room to check on your table arrangements. If you have
children, you may want to request a table with other children so
that your kids will have company. Likewise, if you have no
children, you'll probably want to request an adults-only table.
At the same time, request a larger table so that you'll have
dining companions. Even if you're shy about talking to
strangers, after the first awkward night, your dining experience
will be a lot more fun!
- If you enjoy soaking up the sun while the ship is at sea,
scope out a good spot away from the kids where you can quietly
enjoy your book. That won't be in the main area near the pool!
There are lots of spots tucked around the ship's deck that will
be perfect! Look early and you'll be able to reserve your chair
with a towel or book, while you go eat breakfast.
- Tuck a bag in your suitcase that you can use as a "pool bag"
to carry all your goodies that you'll need when you're outside
- Some areas of the deck are very breezy, so take a hat or
visor that will not easily blow off. If you're sunning yourself,
and you have longer hair, you may want to take a "buff" or
bandana to keep your hair out of your face.
- The sun can be very brutal on the open sea! Take plenty of
sunscreen and consider throwing a regular umbrella or even a
small beach umbrella into your suitcase. That can come in handy
when you want to remain outside but you've had enough sun.
- Take advantage of the activities. They really will make your
cruise experience more enjoyable. Don't miss the shows! They are
always excellent! Likewise, visit the nightclubs. They often
have live bands that are fantastic!
- While we're on the subject of activities, read the ship's
daily newsletter. You'll find out everything that is going on
from activities to shows to special shopping opportunities. In
the newsletter, you'll often see a meeting for "Friends of Bill
W." On my first cruise they met often and I found myself envious
that this group I assumed was a "reunion" group, met so often. I
later found out that it was a code for Alcoholics Anonymous. So,
now you'll be smarter than I was!
- Take several books if you like to read, although most ships
have libraries. Also take cards or a travel scrabble game in
case the weather is too bad to be outside.
Follow these 16 tips and you'll be well prepared for your first
cruise. What a fantastic time you will have!!
Gail M. Davis is the author of the weight loss advice site www.easy-weightloss-tips.com. For more tips on weight loss visit our site today!