Everything You Need To Know About Cruises – As Head of Navigation, Gene Sloan oversees navigation content at TPG and has written many of TPG’s flagship navigation manuals. He has spent nearly 30 years writing about cruise ships and cruising. And he is one of the most famous authorities in the world on this topic.
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Everything You Need To Know About Cruises
For beginners You only need to unbox it once. Even if you are traveling from one place to another. You don’t have to go out every night to find a restaurant. They are usually just a few steps from your cabin and there is a table waiting for you. You will have no problem finding entertainment.
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But even though it’s simple Even sailing can be daunting for first-timers. What should you bring? What should you plan to do in your portfolio? What is the best way to book?
As the head of The Points Guy’s cruise content team, I get these types of questions all the time.
This leads me to the tip below. If you’ve read this far You’re probably a first-time cruiser looking for advice for an upcoming trip. And that’s what this story wants to show. It includes my list of 21 ways to make your first cruise go more smoothly.
The list is based not only on my own experiences cruising for more than 20 years, but also on the observations of more than 100 cruise fans who share their tips with TPG in lively discussions on the topic at TPG. Lounge on Facebook (if you’re not already a member) We encourage you to join)
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If you follow just one tip in this matter. It should be this advice. It’s the only way to make sure you don’t miss your boat. Which is something that happens to cruisers more often than you might think.
Many cruises depart in the afternoon. So taking a plane or driving to the port on the morning of departure might seem like the norm. But all it takes is a moderate flight delay or a pileup on the highway to derail those plans. If you arrive at the pier late The ship won’t wait for you.
If you are traveling abroad for a cruise. We recommend arriving at the pier 2 or 3 days in advance. This is not just so you don’t miss your boat. It also gives you time to recover from jet lag. European cruises in particular are port-intensive and involve a lot of travel. So you want to be refreshed and ready to go as soon as your cruise begins.
When you first arrive on the ship Before you even get on the boat. You will be greeted by porters who will carry your luggage away. It will be delivered to your room later. This is extremely convenient. This is because there is no need to drag your bags throughout the check-in process. But it also means you may not have access to your baggage for several hours on your first day on board.
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Be sure to pack any items you think you might need for the first hour of your cruise in your carry-on. This means things like medicine and phone chargers. This includes swimsuits, hats, sunscreen, and other items. That will allow you to head over to the poolside deck to start the fun.
Use this strategy when packing for a cruise: Throw all the clothes you think you’ll need for the cruise in a pile. Then take out half. You won’t need it. Trust us.
Most cruises these days are casual. And you only need a few outfits to rotate throughout your trip. If things are dirty, no problem. Many ships have a laundry room on the cabin deck where you can wash a load or two every few days. You can send the cleaning cloth on board. They usually return within a day or two.
The extra cost of washing a few loads of laundry on board is a small price to pay for not having to carry a large suitcase as you travel to and from the ship. You’ll also want to save space in your suitcase for the little treasures you’ll find along the way.
Major Parts Of A Cruise Ship
Many first time cruisers think they can’t bring their own drinks on board. But many lines will allow this. There are usually some limitations. This is one way to save money on a cruise. This is because the prices of drinks on board can be high.
One line that will let you be your own bartender is Disney Cruise Line. Adults can bring two unopened bottles of wine or champagne or six bottles of beer on board Disney ships at the start of the cruise. Ships and at every port. Please note that these drinks must be packed in carry-on luggage. At Royal Caribbean, your bring-your-own allowance is two bottles of wine or champagne per cabin upon boarding. Plus standard cans Another dozen bottles or cartons of non-alcoholic beverages
One caveat: Many calls charge a fee. There is a “corking fee” if you wish to take your wine to the ship’s restaurant. Be sure to read your line rules before bringing your drinks on board.
Yes, you can find sunscreen, aspirin and band-aids on cruise ships. But you will have to pay for it. Cruise lines know you’re a captive audience and price their ship’s stores accordingly.
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I have a small “medicine bag” filled with over-the-counter medicine that I have to toss into my suitcase on every cruise. They contain everything from cold medicine to seasickness medicine. I rarely use it. But I’ve never been hit with a crazy toiletry bill.
Even though we’re talking about miscellaneous things. Don’t forget extra batteries for your camera if you bring them with you.
In addition to additional toiletries Cruise regulars often bring Clorox wipes or something similar to wipe down cabin surfaces upon arrival. (And also to lead shore excursions.) I admit I’ve never done this before. Even though I know I should do it. Only to wipe the remote control of the TV in the cabin.
Many cruisers won’t head to a ship that doesn’t have air fresheners in their rooms. Foldable shoe rack (which hangs in the cabin bathroom to store toiletries) Highlighter (to highlight activities in the daily planner) and a lanyard (For securing the cab, keycard). Of course I’m too cool to wear a keycard lanyard around my neck. This means I lose a card or two on every trip. They always give me a new one at the reception. My cruise team colleague Ashley Kosciolek also gets away with wearing a mooring pad on a boat. But that didn’t stop her from writing this awesome guide to the coolest cruise lanyards.
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Some cruisers even swear by boat magnets to attach to dinner invitations. Field trip tickets and other important documents on the cabin wall. The walls on ships are usually made of metal. (Although it looks like wood But thanks to the faux wood veneer) and it will hold the magnet. Some cruisers also carry magnets with hooks to hang clothes and other items on the wall.
There’s nothing more addictive than a cruise ship buffet on embarkation day. Everyone boarded the plane and headed straight for it. To avoid the buffet crowd on the first day Instead, head to the secondary restaurants that are available. Ships sometimes open a restaurant that serves table service for lunch on the day of embarkation. There will be far fewer people than at a buffet.
There are certain types of vacations, such as beach vacations, where you don’t need to do much research in advance. You just show it off Most cruises aren’t like that. At least if you want to get the most out of them. The heart of most cruises is at port, which in many cases is of very short duration. This usually takes only a few hours. You want to have a plan for what to do in these ports. Otherwise, you’ll be missing out on most of the boating experience.
When you know which port you will be visiting Instead, do as much research as you can at travel sites like The Points Guy At TPG, we’re starting to create a series of home port and destination port guides for everywhere from Port Miami to Bora Bora.
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Another great place to get ideas about things to do in port and on boats. And what to bring on a cruise ship are the many private Facebook groups dedicated to specific lines. I belong to these groups, including the Royal Caribbean Cruises group, the COPs (Cruisers Opinion Page) group, and the Holland America Line Fans group. You’ll find thousands of cruise enthusiasts on these pages. who are often willing to answer questions about their favorite cruise lines, ships, and