Though it is sort of preaching to the converted, we who participate here know cruising vacations are awesome. While many are now seasoned cruise veterans, we all had a first cruise where we did not really know what we were doing. On that theme, what are your top three tips to novice cruisers that you think will help make their first sailing a great success?
Three tips for new cruiser success
ToddRohl I have to say I don't agree. My husband and I always book an interior. We'd prefer to spend our money elsewhere other than the room where we don't spend a lot of time.
My top 3:
1. Don't be afraid to ask for more than 1 entree, especially on elegant night, when the lobster tail is available. So long as it doesn't go to waste.
2. Get involved. Meet new people! We've made so many friends on cruises.
3. Do your research and read your cruise contract!
My top 3 -Relax. Nothing will go as planned anyway (missed ports, cancelled shows, etc.) Take it as it comes with a laugh. There is always something to do on the ship (or on shore). Eat and drink until you are comfortable. Overindulge and you will hate yourself. Underindulge and you will be missing out. Be social. The ship is a small, temporary community.
1. Pace yourself. Don't try to do everything.
2. Ships' interiors tend to be cool/cold. Also the decks in the evening. Take sweaters/jackets/shawls.
3. Be considerate. Let people off the elevators before you get on.
I've just booked my 2nd cruise.. leaving in March. My things I learned from the first time....#1. not booking ships excursions. I now go to trip advisor, and research top 10 things to do. Checking reviews and keeping in mind our time. I've found that this is way cheaper and you can go and come when you are ready. #2. I wish we had let the photographers take more pics. We ended up wanting to buy one but only had 2 to choose from. I'd like to have had a formal night pic. #3. I hated disembarking on the last day. We didn't have to wait long in our assigned place but standing in line for over an hour down the staircase, through lines outside killed my knee. Then we had planned on checking our bags at the airport and going sightseeing in Fort Lauderdale..but the line was so long (2 ships had let out that morning) we decided to wait it out there. Our plane left at 5. We've ended up having to take this same flight time home this time. I thought we could pay for RCC valet service, but that doesn't work with this airline. Sighh. Not sure what to do for this one.
this is what we have done in the past:Cruise 1: when 3 day earlier to San Fran, found a hotel close to ship. made our own way there. Cruise 2: Ft Laud to Rome, went 1 day early, stayed at their overnight hotel for 2 nights, used their hotel/ship transfer Cruise 3: Panama, Ft Laud to San Diego (optional to Vanc), hopped off ship, stayed 3 more days, used transit buses to get around no problem, cab transportation to airport.
So, do you have to go from plane to ship/ ship to plane, no way, plan your vacation your way, with your own extras.
Your tip on finding the top 10 things to see in... is right on, we used it on our second cruise. Open your browse and search "top 10 things to see in........", sit back, have a cold one, and browse. We even got advanced tickets for some sights so we would not have to wait in line.
1) Read your cruise contract. Know what you are agreeing to before you book.
2) Be on time. The ship will sail without you. Understand ship's time vs local ports of call time.
3) Go with an open mind and relaxed attitude. Cruising is different from land vacations. It's all about new experiences and new ways to enjoy yourself.
Totally agree with this.
Great ideas everyone!
1) get to the port a day early - I do not want to be stressed from driving the day of the cruise
2) RELAX, even if you do not get to do everything on this cruise, you can take another cruise!
3) chill out and try something new!