There’s something addictive about cruises. Whether it’s the allure of the open seas, the onboard facilities, the fantastic social life or the wonderful service, once bitten by the cruise bug passengers keep returning for more.
In order to gain maximum pleasure from your cruise adventure, it’s always a good idea to listen to those in the know. Even a basic task like packing can be improved upon with a little advice.
Here are 10 tips that will give you an insider’s edge to life on a cruise ship.
Make use of the genie
This suggestion doesn’t expect you to rub a magic lamp and hope for the best. Passengers on Royal Caribbean®’s Ovation of the Seas® recently discovered that if they’d booked into Royal Class® accommodation they were entitled to make use of the services of their very own Royal Genie. No, the genie doesn’t appear attended by a puff of smoke, but they do come with a string of references from the British Butler Institute and their task is to make your life on Ovation of the Seas go as smoothly as possible.
Learning a new language
Seasoned sea dogs will never call your vessel a boat — it’s a ship, of course — and it’s always feminine. ‘Ashore’ is dry land as opposed to ‘aboard’ which only refers to the floor beneath your feet on your ship. It’ll probably take you the whole cruise to master all the terms of your new language, but this will be useful during your next adventure.
Pack like a pro
You really don’t have to include the kitchen sink when preparing for your cruise. You can buy most things onboard or at your ports of call. One essential piece of kit is a runner’s ‘flip belt’ to store your cruise cards, phones and cash while moving about. Steer clear of travel belts as they can be too bulky.
Include formal wear
There will be smart functions during your cruise and buying a new dress shirt can be a pain – make sure you include at least one collared shirt in your packing. Jeans and shorts are always vital but so are a pair of decent trousers. Check out the dress code before you leave home so you don’t leave any vital garments of clothing hanging in your wardrobe.
Make the most of your meals
With chefs Marco Pierre White, Jamie Oliver and restaurants like Nobu branching out into the cruise catering industry, as well as the high standard of other onboard catering, you’re in for a gastronmic treat. Meals are one of the reasons that cruisers love cruises.
Pace yourself – eating like a gourmand can be demanding so make sure that you enjoy all of your meals by only ordering what you know that you’re going to be able to finish.
Your new best friend – the concierge
You might not realise it but your concierge is most definitely the person who knows everything once you’ve set sail. They can deal with all types of queries and, in an emergency, even arrange for forgotten medicines to be provided.
Don’t forget to tip
Tipping isn’t mandatory but you’ll notice that seasoned cruise hands will always tip for services provided. Different companies have alternative guidelines for tipping – so look these up when you’ve booked your trip in order to be prepared. Lookout for your cruise line’s automated service charge system – this will save putting cash into envelopes at the end of your holiday – and will ensure all are tipped fairly.
Be careful how you pick your cabin
Position is everything when it comes to choosing your cabin. Take a good look at the plan when you’re making your selection and try and avoid those that are positioned close to the stairs or lifts. You won’t want to be kept awake by passersby or loud conversations in the small hours.
How inclusive is your package?
Read the terms and conditions of your deal when selecting your cruise. Even though meals and drink are included in most packages, having an extra glass of wine or an additional cocktail can add to your onboard expenses. If you’re at all worried by this either opt for a drinks package, these can be very generous both in the quantity of measures and the range of drinks, or see if your cruise line will allow you to bring your own wine and spirits onboard – some do.
Take part in the activities
You may dream of lounging on the deck catching the sun’s powerful rays but after a while you might get restless. To get the most out of your cruise try and take part in a new activity. Even if you’ve never thought of trying a cookery course or taking an exercise lesson, you’ll make new friends and get more out of your holiday if you sign up for lots of activities.
Now you’ve learnt out 10 insider tips you can get booking, check all our best cruise deals on our website here.
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