Smart Tips For First Time Cruisers
Cruising is a great way to vacation…the sun, the sea, the great food, the activities, the excursions and the new friends you can meet – it doesn’t get much better than this! In a previous article on Cruising, I gave you some great Tips for the Perfect Cruise…If you are a first time cruiser, those tips will be very helpful, but today I have some specific tips for your first cruise.
Before You Book Your Cruise…
- Use a qualified travel agent: One of the first, and big mistakes first time cruisers make is trying to book their own cruise online…hiring a qualified travel agent who is specialized in cruising can be one of the best decisions you make. They can offer you a wealth of information and resources to help you choose:
- The cruise that’s right for you
- There are leisure cruises and activity packed cruises
- Cruises for the young or cruises for the “young at heart”
- The cruise line
- Each cruise line has their own style and feel
- The type of cabin (stateroom)
- Not all cabins are created equal
- Maybe you get seasick…which type of cabin is best for you?
- The itinerary
- Give your travel agent a list of things you would like to see and do, and he/she will guide you to your perfect destination.
- The cruise that’s right for you
After you’ve booked…
It’s time to start getting excited, your cruise is becoming a reality! Take a few minutes and research the ship you will be cruising on. You can do an online search to learn about your ship, but keep in mind, your travel agent will be able to give you a lot of this information. Things you will want to know are:
- Dining times and what the options are
- Dress codes for different occasions
- Which shore excursions are offered
- Policies and expectations for gratuities
- Special events and activities you can participate in
The first thing you should pack are your Passport and any other travel documents, but not in your suitcase…they need to be handy for boarding, and you will be boarding without your luggage (it will be brought onboard separate, and left in your stateroom.
- Take time as soon as possible to explore this beautiful floating palace “fore and aft”. Discover where things are located such as restaurants, the laundry, the dining room, the spa, where the entertainment is held and so much more.
- With all the great food you can eat almost anytime, people claim they gain 10 lbs. while on board – it wouldn’t be hard to do. So, take time each day to take advantage of the ship’s decks, and go for a nice walk out in the fresh air. Sure, you could use a gym…but that’s inside! Plus, though there are elevators on board you could use the stairs instead.
- Be your own photographer – at every dinner and at other times during your cruise, you will have plenty of opportunities to have your picture taken, but they are not free (they can be pricey), so be sure to have your camera at the ready and take your own pictures, when and where you want to.
- The weather can be as unpleasant on a cruise as it is on land…since you may find yourself inside for a while, make sure you have a good book to read or a game to play.
Beware of Scams!
Yes, even in the cruise business, there are scams that you need to watch out for!
The problem with their “advice” is it isn’t a human on the other end. They don’t understand the personalities of each cruise line and ship. The just read a sales pitch which doesn’t mean they are qualified to find the best for you. A written text doesn’t replace a live person who has cruised a lot and knows all of the ships.
Additionally, the client who sent this to me had received it telling him his cruise price had gone down in price. Not true. I called the company to see and was told that they didn’t show that price existed. (That particular cruise line will not drop the price on this cruise as it is almost sold out.)
So where does that company get their info? They are a scam, although I am sure people believe them, like my client did, they are giving out false information. The other thing is if that price did exist, my client couldn’t get it because he already was paid in full. But they don’t tell you that. Most of those promos are for new bookings. I even tried upgrading him, but the next level would have cost $1000 more!! Just another reason to use a qualified, experience travel agent to book your cruise.
Are you ready to start planning your cruise?
I am a seasoned traveler and travel agent… Contact me, together we can plan an awesome cruise.