Cruise ships are becoming more popular as vacation choices with each passing year. According to the Cruise Line International Association, nearly 28.5 million people went on a cruise in 2018, which is expected to rise to 35 million by 2025. Cruise ships are a great way to see many different places in a short time, and they can be affordable too. You don’t have to worry about travel logistics. Here are eight things that will help make your first cruise experience more enjoyable. Whether it’s your first time sailing or you’re a seasoned cruiser, these tips will come in handy.
Check if Your Health Insurance Covers You at Sea
Imagine being on a cruise and suddenly falling ill. Or, what if you have a medical emergency while the ship is docked in a foreign port? If your health insurance does not cover you internationally, you could be looking at a hefty bill. Most health insurance companies will cover you while you’re on a cruise, but it’s always best to check beforehand. It is also a good idea to have travel insurance. Although you may think you don’t need it, It can help protect you from paying for expensive medical bills, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and more.
Get the Necessary Documentation and Vaccinations
Some cruise ship service providers require that you have specific documentation and vaccinations before they will let you board the ship. For example, if you sail to certain ports in Mexico, Cuba, or the Dominican Republic, you may need a passport. Check with your cruise line to see what documentation they require. As for vaccinations, most cruise ship destinations do not require any specific vaccinations. However, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor to see if there are any recommended vaccinations for the areas you visit.
Learn the Secret Codes
Because cruises are often seen as a place to let loose and explore new sexual experiences, they’ve become a popular destination for swingers. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, it can lead to some awkward misunderstandings if you’re not in the know. Passengers have their own set of secret codes. By using codes, they can communicate with each other without alerting others to what they are talking about. Did you know the meaning of an upside down pineapple could signal a secret code by swingers searching for a swinger party on their cruise ship? So if you’re not interested in that kind of thing, it’s best to do your research before setting sail. Otherwise, you might end up in some very uncomfortable situations.
Check the Deck Plan of Your Cruise Ship
Your cruise ship’s deck plan is a map showing you where everything is on the ship. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the deck plan because it will come in handy if you ever get lost on the ship. The deck plans are usually available online, or you can ask for a physical copy when you board the ship. Knowing the deck plan is also helpful because it can help you find the best places to watch the sunset or stroll around the ship. The deck plan can also help you find the nearest exit in an emergency.
Notify the Staff of Any Allergies and Dietary Needs
When you are booking your first cruise, be sure to let the staff know of any allergies or dietary needs that you have. This is important because the cruise ship will need to make accommodations for you for maximum relaxation and comfort. For example, if you are allergic to gluten, the kitchen staff will need to know so they can prepare gluten-free meals for you. The same goes for dietary needs. If you are a vegetarian or have any other dietary restrictions, the staff will need to know to ensure options are available. It is important to note that not all cruise ships can accommodate every allergy and dietary need, so be sure to do your research before booking.
Time Your Booking Right
The time of year you book your first cruise can make a big difference in your price. Generally, the best time to book a cruise is during the off-season. The off-season for cruises typically runs from January to April. If you want to save money on your cruise, booking during the off-season is highly recommended. However, keep in mind that the weather during the off-season may not be ideal for cruising. For example, the hurricane season runs from June to November if you want to cruise around the Caribbean.
Book Your Shore Excursions Before Departure
Cruises offer shore excursions and guided tours that you can take while in port. These excursions can range from sightseeing tours to snorkeling adventures. If you are interested in taking a shore excursion, booking it before you depart on your first cruise is best. This is because the excursions fill up quickly and are often cheaper when booked in advance. You can book your shore excursions through the cruise line’s website or a third-party tour company. Booking early also has another benefit: it allows you to cancel your shore excursion 48 hours before the scheduled tour without paying a cancellation fee.
Mind Your Packing
When packing for your cruise, it is important to remember that you will be spending a lot of time in the sun. As such, you will want to pack items that protect you from the sun. This includes sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. It will also be good to pack comfortable clothing and shoes. Remember that you will be doing a lot of walking on the ship and in port, so you will want to wear shoes that are comfortable and easy to walk in. In addition, be sure to pack any medications that you take regularly. It is also a good idea to bring along a first-aid kit in case you get injured while on your first cruise.
Cruising is a great way to see the world and relax at the same time. Just remember to do your research before booking, familiarize yourself with the ship, and pack appropriately. And don’t forget to have fun!