By Ryan Posa
Going on a cruise holiday can be a lot of fun. You can lounge on the pool deck, check out the shopping, entertainment and dining on board, soak up the sunshine and explore several different beaches and port cities. A modern cruise ship is like a floating city, so there is always something fun to do when you are cruising along the ocean.
With sites like Pricess Cruises sales springing up, booking a cruise online has become a lot more accessible and popular. However, if you have never been on a cruise before you might not know what to expect or how to act. What is the proper cruise ship etiquette? What should you do once you are on board? Here are some tips to keep in mind, so that you will know what to do on your first cruise.
Do arrange your spa and salon appointments as early as possible, as the appointments will tend to fill up quickly.
Don’t skip the orientation. It is mandatory and it will provide you with important information that you need to know in the case of an emergency.
Do bring a little extra cash and perhaps even some gifts and sweets to give to the staff. They will really appreciate it.
Don’t spend too much money on souvenirs that you will never use when you get home. You might wear that Caribbean-style clothing while on the beach, but you will probably not ever use it again at home.
Do take the stairs instead of the elevator when going between levels on the ship. You can waste a lot of time waiting for the elevator and taking the stairs will help you to burn more calories.
Don’t forget to put sunscreen on. You don’t want a painful sunburn ruining your vacation.
Do let your cabin steward know if you have any requests or special needs or if there are any problems with your cabin. If you suffer in silence, they won’t have a chance to make things right.
Don’t drink to excess. Its fine to have a few drinks and a merry evening, but too many drinks can lead to embarrassing yourself, possibly hurting yourself and then wasting one of your vacation days feeling horrendously hung over.
Do take the time to research the destinations that you are visiting when you disembark from the ship, so that you are aware of any local customs. For example, in some countries the standard of dress is more conservative due to religion, so it would be insensitive and inappropriate to walk down the street in your sleeveless top and shorts.
Don’t exhaust yourself trying to do it all on the first day on board. There are so many things to do on the ship that you can’t enjoy them all in one day, so pace yourself!
Do find out whether or not you can drink the water in port when you go ashore. In many countries, you will need to buy bottled water because the tap water is not potable.
Don’t be afraid to talk to other people on the ship – you might just make a great new friend who will make your holiday so much more enjoyable.
Do take the time to simply relax – you don’t have to fill every minute of every day with activities. Take a few hours and nap in a sun-lounger, read a good book or just watch the clouds in the big blue sky – you will feel so calm and relaxed afterward.
Don’t stress too much about the little details. Not everything will be perfect about your holiday and sometimes things will go wrong. Do your best to fix what you can and don’t spend your energy focusing on the rest.
Do take your camera and take lots of pictures! You will want to remember the great times you had on your cruise holiday for many years to come.
Don’t forget to pack a slightly formal dress or suit. Many cruises will have formal dinners and dances and it’s a lot of fun to get glammed up and strut your stuff during your holiday!
If you are not sure what to do on your first cruise, these dos and don’ts will help you to feel a little more prepared for the experience. Taking a cruise is a lot of fun and can be an opportunity to make amazing travel memories, so relax and have a great time!
Ryan Posa has criss-crossed the globe via cruise ships. From Alaska to Mexico to New Zealand, he has enjoyed the opportunities travelling aboard have provided to see beautiful and fascinating places. He is General Manager of Cruise Republic.