A cruise is such a great choice for a vacation. If you are a first time cruiser you will definitely want to check out our top 15 best tips for first time cruisers.
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Top 15 best tips for first time cruisers.
#1 Fly in the day before
For those of us that have to fly to board a ship, save yourself the added stress and fly in the day before.
There are 3 main reasons for this:
#1 You do NOT want to miss your ship.
Arriving a day early gives you time should your flight be delayed or worse yet – cancelled.
#2 Gives your luggage time to arrive.
Should the airline lose your luggage or for some reason your luggage doesn’t make it on the same flight as you, there is time for the airline to gt it to you before boarding your cruise ship.
#3 You’ll arrive more rested for cruise day!
#2 Store your empty suitcase under your bed
Storing your luggage under your bed keeps it out of the way. You can also use it to store your dirty laundry, or the souveniers you have purchased.
Related Post: Important Cruise Accessories People Forget to Pack
#3 Bring a sweater or a cardigan
Eventhough you might be sailing to the warm Caribbean or the Mediterranean, the air conditioning in the dining room and other public areas can leave you feeling chilly so be sure to pack a cardigan or sweater.
#4 How will you carry your cruise card?
The cruise card is your boarding pass, room key and how you charge your onboard purchases. Some cruise ships have gone to a wristband, but for those still using a card (such as Carnival), you should decide ahead of time how you will carry it. There are a few options, actually all four of us carry their cruise card differently. Check out this post for some different options.
Related post: 27 Smart Cruise Cabin Organziation Tips
#5 Bring a waterproof phone case
A waterproof phone case is a must if you are going to the beach or planning any water excursions. We used this when we went to Stingray City on Grand Cayman. I used one similar to this, but have since broke it. I will definitely be buying another before our next cruise. I’d suggest testing it first by putting a piece of paper in it and submerging it in water.
Related post: 16 Best Things to Take on a Cruise
Related post: Important things to do after booking a cruie and before sailing
Get organized before your first cruise. Our Ultimate Printable Cruise Planner & Journal will help every step of the way, from planning your cruise, to preparing for your cruise vacation, to remembering your holiday. Check it out here.
#6 Check into drink packages ahead of time
You can log into your cruise line account and check the prices of their drink packages. Depending on what and how much you like to drink, these packages may be worth it for you. There are alchoholic and non alchoholic packages available.
What to pack in your shore excursion bag – Caribbean cruise
Best tips for first time cruisers
#7 Bring a carry-on when you board
Bring your swimsuit, sunscreen, medication and anything else you might need in the first few hours after boarding on the first day. Your luggage will be delivered to your cabin later that afternoon or evening. Pack what you will need to enjoy your afternoon.
You can find this cute carry-on on Amazon along with many other styles.
Related post – What to Pack in Your Cruise Carry On
#8 Bring your own travel mug
If you drink a fair bit of coffee, you might want to consider bringing your own travel mug rather than use the small cups provided on the cruise ship.
I just love my Yeti tumbler, I have added a handle to mine and take it everywhere.
What to Wear on a Carnival Cruise
#9 Bring your own water bottle.
This is a must for days in port. Buying bottled water can really add up. If you like to add ice to your water or beverage, choose a wider mouthed water bottle.
The Yeti water bottles come in several colors and open fully if you want to put ice in it.
#10 Check the main dining room menu ahead of time.
Each day, the menu will be posted outside of the main dining room. Most cruiselines also post this daily on their app. Seeing the menu ahead of time will help you decide if tonight is the night to try a different restaurant.
#11 You can order more than one appetizer.
In the main dining room if you are deciding between two delicious sounding appetizers, go ahead and order both. But of course, try not to waste food. It is a great way to try something new.
Related post: 19 Cruise Rules and Things to NOT do on a Cruise
#12 Bring several small bills.
Bring with you several small bills ($1, $5) for tipping the porter, for room service, or for tipping the shore excursion tour staff. You don’t want to have to ask for change.
#13 Try something new.
A cruise is a great opportunity to try something you normally wouldn’t. Order a food your have never tried from one of the free food venues. If you have a drink package, try something different.
#14 Pack some of each other’s clothes in each other’s suitcase.
If you are flying in to catch your cruise, consider packing in a way that each suitcase holds some of everyone’s clothes. That way, if one suitcase gets lost by the airline, everyone at least has a change or two of clothes.
#15 Check the deckplan before choosing a cabin
You can find these on your cruise line’s website. See what is above and below your cabin. Try to avoid being below the fitness gym as some have noticed the weights dropping being noisy. Also try to avoid being above or below the nightclub.
If the motion is a concern, choose a stateroom (cabin) that is mid ship and on one of the mid level decks. Cabins at the front of the ship or near the aft (back) will feel the most movement.
For 8 non-medicated ways to help with sea sickness check out this article.
I hope these best tips for first time cruisers have given you some great ideas and helped you to get that much more excited about your upcoming cruise.
Find more helpful posts here:
What to expect on a cruise – A guide for first time cruisers
8 Ways to help with Sea Sickness
11 Best tips for embarkation day
Cruise Luggage Tags – What you need to know
Packing List for a 7 Day Cruise to the Caribbean