It’s okay if you’re feeling a bit nervous being a first-time cruise passenger. There’s plenty of things to be nervous about when you’re about to embark on a month-long journey aboard a ship. We’ve all watched Titanic, so the feeling is perfectly natural. But do you know that technology has made ships very safe these past decades? Sure, there are still incidents on the sea, but they’re also an exemption rather than a rule.
Know Your Ship
The first thing you need to do is get to know the ship and the cruise company. What is the reputation of this particular company in the industry? Was it involved in accidents previously? How did it react to these accidents? Are you, for example, familiar with the layout of the ship? It will help if you would know the parts of the ship since familiarizing yourself with its different components will put your worries to rest.
Probably, one of the most important things to read is a guide to ship bilge pumps. People often worry about the amount of water that gets into the ship’s hull because of the tiny cracks and gaps. What they don’t know—which will eliminate their worries—is that there’s a water pump in every ship to remove the bilge water. This alone will make you less worried about going on a cruise.
Book Through a Specialist
Cheap cruise offers online are hard to ignore. They’re attractive for a reason—a free extended stay, discounts on the use of amenities, and free meals for the duration of your stay on the cruise. But while these are all seductive, remember that the priority for a first-time cruise is to end up on the right ship. For this, you need a professional travel agent who will give you a list of recommendations. A good agent will ask what kind of vacation you want to have, as well as the sights that you’re interested to see.
Choose the Time Well
Spring break is not a great idea for a cruise unless you’re a college student on spring break, too. Try to avoid school breaks and holidays. Not only are these times more expensive, but you’ll also be with loud and rambunctious kids. They might not be your cup of tea if you are trying to relax.
Forget About Your Itinerary
The good thing about being on a cruise is that you don’t need an itinerary. You only need to know what amenities and activities are available on the ship. Everything is on the ship already that you don’t even need to go down each point of destination if you don’t feel like it. Cruise ships are full of amenities you wouldn’t find in any five-star hotel. The Disney Cruise, for example, is like Disneyland on water. As a kid at heart, you wouldn’t even need to get off the ship.
Get to Know Your Fellow Passengers
The point of traveling is to meet new people. It’s an exciting prospect because it’s not every day that you get to be locked in with so many different people with different interests, ethnicity, and lifestyles. Each cruise is different. International cruises tend to have more Americans and Europeans while Asian cruises have Chinese and Singaporeans. If you went on a cruise to Alaska, you’ll mostly have Americans as your co-passengers.
Try to strike up a conversation with your fellow passengers. You will learn a lot from them. So, think about the age group that you want to travel with since cruises have a family-friendly atmosphere.
Check the Weather
How’s the weather at your destination? How many stops will the cruise have and what will be the weather there? You have to pack accordingly. Retail stores tend to be expensive on the ship, so make sure you have everything you need with you. Whether you’re stopping to frolic on the beach or to take in some European sights, you need the perfect outfit for all your activities.
Bring Your Own Medication
Do you get seasick? Have you never tried being on a ship? Chances are that you’re going to get seasick whether you’re used to traveling or not. The sea has a different effect on people, especially if you’re going to be there for three days or more. So, bring your own medications since wouldn’t it be such a party pooper to feel bad while you’re on vacation?
Any self-respecting traveler or tourist will have at least thought about a first-time cruise vacation at one point. For first-timers, the process is always nerve-breaking. It doesn’t have to be. Enough knowledge will convince you that a cruise is just what everyone needs to experience once in their lives.