Cruising Tips

Cruising is a great way to take a vacation with your family and friends, a group and now even by yourself.  It is one of the best way to vacation because it is considered an all-inclusive and it is perfect for any budget.  Your on-board activities, most meals, snacks in between meals and your entertainment is included in your cruise price.  Some cruises will also include your flights, gratuities and insurance depending on the cruise line and travel agent. Your only extra expenses will be drinks, specialty restaurants, shore excursions and services like massage or hairstyling if you choose to use it.  The best part of the cruise is you only have to unpack one!  There are so many different cruise lines that one can choose from. There are inexpensive cruises, river cruises, luxury cruises, themed cruises like a mystery  or smooth jazz cruises and so on.  With so many different choices, it can be hard to choose which cruise would be right for your and your family.  Below are some questions that can help you make the right choice when picking a cruise.  

  • What are your vacation exceptions? Are you interested in learning about history or different cultures?
  • Do you want to relax and enjoy the fun in the sun? Do you want to visit a city each day or spend time on the sea a couple of days?
  • How long would you like to cruise for 2 nights, 7 nights, 12 nights or longer? If you are a first-time cruiser, a good suggestion is to pick a cruise no longer than 7 nights. You can also try a Cruise to Nowhere which is a 2 day cruise on the sea so you can get a feel for what cruising is like!
  • Do you want to be able to drive to the port or are you OK flying to your place of embarkation?
  • Are you looking for a lifestyle cruise such as Singles, Family, Seniors, Gay and Lesbian Cruising?

The cruise lines below have been voted best in each of their categories. You can find one below that fits your cruise personality!

Best inRomanceBest for EntertainmentBest for FamiliesBest for Budget Conscious CruisersBest for SeniorsBest for Singles
PrincessNorwegianDisney CarnivalHolland AmericaNorwegian
Paul Gauguin Disney Carnival NorwegianCunard Crystal 
Windstar Royal CaribbeanRoyal CaribbeanMSCPrincessRoyal

 Once you have found the cruise you like, below are some tips that will help you once you get on the ship:

  • Take a surge protector because they do not have many electrical plugs on the ship. Curling irons, hot combs and clothing irons cannot be used on the ship and will be confiscated if found.
  • Some cruises have formal nights. Take a formal outfit just in case you want to eat in the dining room on formal night. This consists of business casual collared shirt and slacks for men; a dress or dress pants and nice shirt or skirt for ladies. No jeans or athletic shoes. You do not need a formal/after 5 outfit. This not necessary on Norwegian Cruise Lines as they have freestyle cruising, the freedom to do, see and wear anything you want!
  • Bring some Dramamine (motion sickness pills) just in case the boat may become rocky. You can also get some pills at the customer service desk or drink ginger ale and eat saltine crackers.
  • Pack small and light. Try to pack enough in a rollable carryon back that you can put in the overhead compartment of an airplane. In doing so, you will be able to take your luggage with you and not have to worry about the porters bringing it to your room, unless you want to bring it yourself.
  • Resist the urge to by any jewelry or clothing on the boat until the last night. Many items are discounted then. However, if you want to purchase bottles of liquor at great prices, purchase them immediately because they sell out quickly.
  • Unless you want to, do the salon and spa services when you get back home. They are expensive and they try to sell you products in the process.
  • Women will not be able to go on the cruise if they are in their 24th week of pregnancy as of their embarkation date. Infants three months old or less are not allowed on cruises.