So you’ve decided to finally take the plunge and go on a cruise, but how do you prepare for that holiday of a lifetime? Of course you’ve researched the ship and the wonderful destinations you’ll visit, but what else should you do and more importantly what should you pack? Here are some of our quick and easy Tips for Happy Cruising.
POWER UP – READY TO GO
Modern cruisers come with loads of modern equipment (smartphone, camera, laptop, action cam,…) so it is might be useful to bring a power strip and a travel adapter (though some staterooms now also feature usb-charging points making our lives much easier). An absolute must however are extra memory cards and extra/external batteries. There is nothing more annoying than running out of power or memory during a shore excursion. Trust us, we’ve been there.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
While a lot of people still think cruising is for the elite, who show up for dinner in black tie and glamorous evening gowns, most cruise lines nowadays opt for a more casual style. So you could easily go freestyle all the way and do without a suit and tie and just put on some clean jeans and a shirt, but it never hurts to look a little posh on gala night.
So whether you decide to dress up or down is essentially up to you. However one of the essentials any (future) cruiser should certainly remember to pack is something white. Al cruises have some sort of themed-nights (seventies-disco nights, beach parties,…) and most also have a white party. So you can never go wrong with packing some white clothes. And yes, a cruise is the perfect excuse to bring out that seventies’ wig and those platform shoes.
GO WITH THE FLOW
Personally we like to go with the flow and don’t really book a lot of onboard activities in advance (part from certain shows that have limited capacity, Cirque at Sea for example). And so what if that Spa treatment can’t be booked anymore, they’re overpriced anyway, there’s loads more fun and relaxing things to do around the ship.
PUT IT ON, THEN WORK IT OFF
It’s a known secret that going on a cruise often results in putting on some weight. So you might want to take some measures to prevent or at least keep the extra “luggage” under control. Here’s our battle plan: for the first part of the cruise we sample whatever the kitchen has on offer (or in plain English eat whatever we want) and as we get near the end of the cruise (and we’ve tasted everything) we try to say no, no, no, no ,no and only order one dessert.
Another thing that helps is booking a cabin as far away from the restaurants as possible, using the stairs from time to time (it takes forever waiting for the elevator and it’s always crowded anyway) and finding out where the gym is.
Oh, blaming the kitchen crew for preparing those delicious meals and desserts doesn’t help, we’ve tried it.
We know alcohol onboard can be rather expensive, but instead of trying to smuggle alcohol on board in one of those rum runners (and risk getting caught, getting contacted by security and most importantly have your precious alcohol confiscated) why not get a drinks package. We’re pretty sure it will cover all of your booze needs without having to be sneeky.
SAY THANK YOU
One last thing, if you do need to be cheap on the booze, please don’t be cheap when it comes to tipping/rewarding the crew (or treat them like you’re better than them), because they are the guys and girls who work hard every day to make your vacation the best vacation ever. While it’s becoming more and more common practice to prepay gratuities you can of course still give a little extra for exceptional service.
While a cruise vacation, like any other vacation, costs money, it is more affordable than you might think. Check out “Free cruise fun“ and discover all the fun things you can do on board that are absolutely free.
Whatever you do, it’s up to you. Which brings us to the following: definitely don’t forget to bring your good mood and relax because you’re here to have fun! We hope you can use some of these tips and have the time of your life and remember, what happen’s on the ship stays on the ship… or gets posted on social media.