Wherever possible, opt for a balcony. Room options are typically either inside (normally no windows), outside, balcony or a suite (if you feel like pushing the boat out – pardon the pun!). If it’s possible, we’d recommend booking a cabin with a balcony. The balcony normally accommodates a couple of chairs and a small table, and gives you that extra bit of space to sit back, relax and watch the waves. Your balcony is also a great place to take advantage of free room service, allowing you to enjoy private dining with sea views. The most stable position is in the centre of the ship, but it’s also worth considering that the lower decks can be subject to a bit of vibration.
If you’re trying to keep your holiday costs low, inside cabins are the most cost effective option. For those on a budget it is worth bearing in mind that inside cabins can be the same size as outside cabins and you only use them for changing and sleeping.
Although cabins make the most of having a small space, they are, in general, smaller than the average hotel room. Plan carefully how many clothes you bring with you. It’s a good idea to find out how many “formal nights” your cruise holiday has planned and how strict the dress code is. This will give you an idea of how many different outfits to pack. Remember though, it’s a big ship and there’s a fair few other passengers on board so we doubt anbody will notice if you wear the same outfit twice.
Although you’ll see many different countries and/or destinations on your holiday, you only have to unpack once! Magical. Regardless if you are on the ship for 3 days or 3 weeks, making yourself feel more at home by unpacking (and not living out of a suitcase). This will make things so much easier when it comes to getting ready and will ensure that you relax into your holiday from day one.
Cruising is all about good food and good wine; the choice is always breathtaking. Forget the diet for a bit, and maybe bring some comfortable trousers with an elasticated waistband! If there is an all-inclusive option this can be excellent value as sometimes, especially on American ships, drinks can be expensive.
If there’s a certain day/evening that nothing on the menu quite takes your fancy, then that’s a perfect opportunity to book any of the specialty restaurants that your cruise ship offers. On the first night of your cruise, most passengers will dine in the buffet or main dining room because they are yet to discover the other restaurants on board. Use this to your advantage, because if you book a speciality restaurant on the first night, you may get a discount.
Explore your ship. There’s so much to do on board, that a day at sea can fly by! In the first few days of boarding the ship, take a walk around and familiarize yourself with what’s available and where everything is. Remember to check your daily newsletter, as there is so much to do on. It will also list any discounts and offer whilst on board.
Your cruise line will get in touch roughly 6 – 8 weeks before you board, giving you the opportunity to book your excursions. Check the shore excursions as soon as you can, as the popular ones can get booked up. You don’t have to go on an excursion in every port, sometimes it’s fun to wander around and explore yourself. Remember to take into account any time changes ashore. You don’t want to miss the boat!
Boarding can take some time, very similar to booking in for a flight. Usually, when you get to your room your bags are yet to arrive. So, take a carry on bag. Change into your swimsuit, order a drink, jump in the pool and relax whilst others are boarding. Don’t forget to pack any medications you may need for that day!
Remember your cruise card! Don’t worry about taking your passport with you each time you hop off the ship to explore. Just remember, as long as you have your cruise card, you don’t have to take it!
A cruise card acts as both your identification and your cabin key. You can also use this card to make purchases whilst on board the ship. It’s really clever how they do it, but all your details are hidden from view unless the card is swiped. This card is a substitute for your passport, which means you can leave your passport in the safe when you venture out!
Keep an eye on what you’ve spent on your cruise card by checking the TV in your room. This way, there are no nasty surprises at the end of the cruise!
Then speak to one of our Cruise Specialists.