If you have never been on a cruise, you will find that it is a very different experience from any vacation you have ever had before. It is always helpful to know what you can expect and what you need to do to prepare. When you are properly prepared, a cruise can provide you with the getaway experience of a lifetime. Here is what you need to know before you prepare for your first cruise:
• Expenses – Make sure you have a full understanding of what is and is not included in the basic cruise fee. Some cruises will include hotel luxuries such as free room service in the basic price while others do not. By being sure of what will cost extra and what is included, you can make sure you take enough extra money.
• Seasickness – If you have never been on a ship before, it is impossible to predict how it will affect your body. Speak to your doctor about getting some medication for seasickness. Just be aware that these medications can cause drowsiness, so you will have to be careful when taking them.
• Weather – What you need to pack will depend largely upon where you are going on your cruise. If your destination is the Caribbean, you will need sunscreen, a swimsuit, and other warm weather wear. On the other hand, if you are cruising to Alaska, you will need some warm clothing.
• Plan for crowds – Cruise ships can be extremely crowded. If you are traveling with a group, make a plan for vacation tip times and locations to meet up in case you are separated. Avoid elevators and other areas that stay overcrowded. After all, will it really kill you to walk up and down stairs?
• Monitor your drinking – If you aren’t traveling with children, you may find yourself cutting loose from time to time. If so, pace yourself while drinking. Alcohol and a rocking cruise ship can add up to equal disaster. It is also a good idea to see if it is ship policy to automatically add the tip to drink charges. When you double tip, you are simply wasting your money.
• Limit calls – Take care of all of your business and tie up loose ends before leaving on your cruise. Your cell phone may not work on the ship and you will be stuck making calls from your room phone. While this doesn’t sound like a bad idea, that can change quickly once you realize that calls can cost as much as $15 a minute. If you find that you absolutely must make a call, wait until you are in port and use a landline.
• Be punctual – At the end of the cruise, make sure you are packed and ready to depart at the scheduled time. It takes the staff of the ship a good deal of time to prepare for the next passengers, so it is vital that you don’t hold things up when it is your time to leave.
Jenni D. is a writer for TopCareers.com If you are interested in earning the top jobs and being able to travel a S