Thinking about booking a holiday cruise? Maybe you want to get out there and experience the world. Maybe you want to relax on a boat for a few days. Either way, hopping from port to port is a spectacular way to de-stress, see some sights and have a great time. You’ll also want to get the most out of your cruise. But it isn’t as easy as getting to the boat on time.
So, how can you have the vacation of your dreams? Read on to discover how to take a cruise like a real professional.
Arrive and Depart Stress-Free
Arriving and departing to and from a cruise is one of the most important parts of the whole experience. It’s also one of those parts that people tend to overlook. You shouldn’t make the same mistake. You don’t want to embark on your journey stressed out, angry at your companions and feeling anxious. You want to kick your vacation off the right way.
According to Cruise Critic, the best way to begin your holiday is to arrive at your port of departure at least a day early. Unless you live next to the departure port, you’ll have to fly or drive in. Even if you’re driving, consider springing for a nearby hotel the night before. That way, you’ll arrive with plenty of time. Plenty of time means at least two or three hours before you’re set to leave, to be safe. It’s also a good idea to double check your documents the night before, ensuring you have your passport and visas in order.
Are you ready to board? Calm blue waters, great entertainment and delicious food help to make this an unforgettable experience.
When it comes time to say goodbye, do the same thing. Even if the ship is set to dock at a certain time, things happen. It may arrive several minutes or even hours late. If you’ve booked a flight that is dependent on the ship docking on time, you might be out of luck. You won’t get any money back and have to wait for who knows how long — you don’t want that! Give yourself a buffer to avoid it.
Get the Most Out of the Nightlife
There are plenty of good reasons to take a cruise, and one of the best ones is the nightlife. It’s always popping, so make sure you take advantage of it. How can you do that? Do some research beforehand. Start by going online to the website of your cruise operator where they’ll most likely have a list of different activities.
Going out for a night of dancing at a nightclub? Bring your ID with you, as some venues are 18 and up or even 21 and up if you’re cruising somewhere in the United States. If you’re not into dancing, choose a cruise with low-key bars or live entertainment like comedy, magic shows or musical acts. But also, don’t be afraid to do things you wouldn’t normally do on land, and make sure to pack some appropriate clothes for the night. We’re talking dresses, suits and other high-class options you may not normally think about.
Of course, you’ll want to get the most out of your cruise ship experience, and the nightlife doesn’t stop with bars and shows. What better way to pass the evening than by strutting through the casino like you run the place? It’s a good idea to try something you’ve never done before, so choose a game you wouldn’t normally play. Of course, you don’t want to go in ill-prepared. So, if you’re planning on hitting the roulette table, it pays to learn how to play roulette before you spin the wheel. It can be an ultra-fun experience alone or with a partner.
Unsure about where to go on your cruise? Check out the top destinations in the world to give yourself some ideas.
Make Mealtime Memorable
Mealtime onboard is a fascinating time. But thousands of eager passengers lining up to sample tempting treats from near and far can put a damper on your dining experience. The crowds that flock for food can be daunting. Luckily, there are ways to avoid eating along with the masses if that’s something you don’t want to do.
Follow these tips for a mealtime miracle onboard your favorite cruise ship.
If you want to avoid the crowds, make reservations for a different time or at another onboard restaurant out of the main dining room. Of course, dining alone is impossible — unless you order room service. Room service is available on most cruise ships and is even complimentary sometimes. You can order in, savor your meal and then venture out to enjoy the nightlife along with your fellow passengers.
If you’re a real connoisseur of cuisine, consider opting out of the buffet or main dining options altogether. Time magazine informs us that many cruise lines offer package upgrades on food, which include exclusive dining experiences at restaurants or private locations. These generally get you better food, and the prices may be cheaper, too.
Another good idea is to purchase an unlimited drinks package, especially if you’re keen on fancy cocktails. These packages may seem expensive at first, but it’s likely they’ll be much less of a burden on your wallet than all those £15 drinks will be when your tab is added up at the end of the night.
What to do at the Port of Call
Often, we forget that almost the entire point of going on a cruise is to visit exotic places. When the cruise ship docks, that’s your chance to get off and explore the local life. You don’t want to miss it. You may not ever get another chance, and it’s good for you to get off the ship and stretch your legs for a little while.
That said, you don’t have to get off the ship at every port of call. You might be better off staying onboard some of the time. That’s because your shipmates will be gone, and you’ll be in a classic “Home Alone” type situation — you’ll have full run of the ship. You can book a spa day with nobody else around, relax at the abandoned pool or eat in the empty dining room. The crew will be much more attentive to you since there are no other passengers around. Sound great? It’s quite an experience.
Need more cruise advice? Check out these tips on what you should and shouldn’t purchase on your cruise.
Taking a cruise is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It’s sure to inspire your sense of adventure, titillate your taste buds and provide you with all the entertainment you could want. By following these tips, you can eliminate holiday stress and take your cruise like a real professional. Haven’t booked a cruise yet? Go ahead and get on it!