In my experience there are two types of people: those who have been on a cruise and loved it, and those who have never been on a cruise and are unsure about it.
I have been on a couple of cruises, and I’ve learned a few things along the way that I thought I would share if you are one of those people on the fence. We just booked another cruise for 2019 with Disney, and we are so excited to get on that boat!
Booking my trip with my RBC Visa Infinite Avion card allowed me to earn RBC Rewards points that I can redeem for other aspects of my trip like my flights, or my hotel before hop on the ship! I always use my RBC Visa Infinite Avion card so that I can earn points on all of my purchases so that I can put it towards my next vacation.
There are a few things I really wish I knew before I booked my first cruise, so here are my 5 tips for cruising!
Make sure you arrive one day prior to your departure date!
Although it may be cheaper to fly in and hop directly onto your cruise, it’s a risky move. It’s MUCH more expensive to face a flight delay or cancellation and to arrive after your ship has already departed. You then need to fly into the next port to catch your ship, which is beyond stressful. Every port that hosts a departing cruise ship tends to have hotels and resorts nearby meant for incoming cruisers, so look for a deal in advance and book yourself for a relaxing stay the night before!
Pay close attention to where you book your room.
It can be so confusing choosing a room since there can be so many different categories or room types on each ship. The first thing you want to think about is if you need to worry about being seasick or not! The more central and lower you are in the ship, the less you will feel the swell and rolling of the waves. The higher cabins at the front and the back of the ship will rock the most. Inside cabins tend to be the smallest, and don’t have a window to the outside on most ships. An outside cabin may have a window, or on a ship like one of Disney’s it may have a video screen instead of a window. Some rooms on the lowest level of the boat again may have no window, while on the opposite end of the spectrum you can choose a room with a balcony with space to sit outside. Finally a suite is a larger cabin that has extra perks, amenities, and a separate living area.
Personally I love having a balcony! I’ve cruised before without one, and I missed the opportunity to see our boat leave a port, or just to have that extra space outside to enjoy the weather.
Do your research on each port.
There is always a long list of excursions for each port, but you need to ask yourself if you even need to sign up for one! I found it frustrating on my first cruise to find out that instead of signing up for an expensive excursion, I could have just walked off the boat to the beach. It’s very important to know each port to determine what kind of excursion you want, if any. There are some ports that may not have a lot to offer, and it might be a great day to stay on the boat while everyone else gets off!
Keep your carry on and pack it accordingly upon arrival.
It’s often hours before your luggage makes it to your room. You’ve boarded the ship, and now what? You probably want to swim in the pool, but if you don’t have your luggage that’s out of the question! We always keep one carry on with us and include all of our swim gear so we can have fun on the boat while we are waiting for our luggage. We always keep our camera and other things we don’t want to be without for a few hours.
Choose the right dinner seating for you.
Luckily cruises tend cater an earlier and later seating times. For example, there are often two shows in the theatre on a cruise ship each night to accommodate diners who eat earlier or later. There are some benefits to a later dinner seating: the earlier seating can often conflict with on-shore excursions and guests sometimes don’t get back to the boat in time for dinner. A later seating can mean that after dinner, suddenly the days’ activities catch up with you, and you may not want to stay out much later! Both have
pros and cons but I prefer the earlier seating so I can stay up a bit later and enjoy the amenities on the boat.
I hope some of these tips were helpful if you were looking into booking your own cruise!
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Items in this post may have been provided to me for review, but all opinions are fabulously my own. This post contains affiliate links.