Booked Your First Cruise? Here’s What You Should Know

New to cruises? Here's what you should know.
Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash

So, you’ve booked your first cruise. How exciting! Now that you’re ready to sail the ocean and visit some exciting destinations, there are some things you should know before heading out on your vacation that will make your first cruise even better. Here are five things you should know before your first cruise.

Prebook Activities Before Leaving

If you’re looking forward to dining at a particular restaurant, enjoying a relaxing spa, or taking a shore excursion, make sure you book these things in advance. Reservations onboard book quickly, especially during peak season. Also, this will allow you to budget better and avoid making rash purchases.

Don’t Assume the Cruise is All-Inclusive

Most cruises cover the cabin, meals, onboard activities, and entertainment, but you should budget for drinks, internet, shore excursions, gratuities, and taxes and port charges.

Arrive at Your Departure City Early

Avoid stressing about delayed flights and heavy traffic by planning to arrive at your departure city a day or more before the cruise. If you’re late, the ship won’t wait for you.

Pack a Carry-On Bag

You’ll most likely board the ship before your luggage gets to your cabin, so pack any necessities like medicine, important documents, and phone chargers in a carry-on bag. Pack some sunscreen and a bathing suit so you can jump straight into the pool.

Watch the Clock

Be aware that some ports are in different time zones than the ship’s clock, so make sure you’re following the correct one. Passengers are usually required to be back on board 30 minutes before the ship departs and if you’re late, the ship won’t wait.