A cruise vacation is an ideal way to visit numerous destinations on one trip. Cruising takes the hassle out of travel by providing a largely inclusive experience that reduces the work of planning a vacation. Before you ship off to sea for the first time, it is important that you learn how to make the most out of your cruise. Here are four things to know to ensure that you have a great first-time cruise experience.
Read Reviews First
Not all cruise lines are created equal. You can choose the best cruise line and ship for your family’s needs by reading reviews and asking to get recommendations from friends and seasoned travelers. Beware of cruise lines with a record of passenger injury from things like slips and falls and food poisoning. Choose a cruise line that has a stellar safety record and a reputation for providing quality food and entertainment.
Don’t Try to Do Everything
A cruise should be a time to relax and rejuvenate. Trying to pack too many activities into your itinerary will only leave you feeling rushed and frazzled. Instead, it is a good idea to pick a few highlights that you want to experience on the ship and focus on really enjoying those activities. When in port, it is also recommended to not try to cram too many sites into your plans.
Plan Your Transportation Carefully
Most cruises leave the port of origination in the late afternoon. Unless you live close to the port, it is recommended to plan your arrival for the day prior to sailing. You do not want to risk airline delays, traffic, or other issues that may cause you to miss your sailing time. Likewise, you want to give yourself plenty of time to disembark the ship before having to make the trek home.
Making Your Budget
While most cruises are marketed as all-inclusive affairs, it is important to understand the entire cost of this type of vacation. The biggest thing to budget for above and beyond the cost of the cruise is any on-shore excursions that you plan on enjoying. Other things to consider include tips, premium dining upcharges, alcohol, professional photos, and spa services. Check with your specific cruise line to educate yourself about these additional costs.
Going on a cruise for the first time can be a fun experience, but it’s important to plan properly to make the most of your time. With the right plan and attitude, your first adventure in cruising will be a trip to remember. Bon voyage and safe sailing!
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