Whether you are going on your first cruise or your twentieth, it is always an exciting experience to be savored. But having the best time possible often comes down to proper planning, so here are five things that you need to know before boarding day arrives.
- Know the Deck Plan
Familiarise yourself with the deck plan before you book your cruise because this will help you to choose the best cabin. Be careful about booking one too near to the disco or other entertainment venues because the noise could keep you awake late at night or early in the morning. You may want to choose one near to an elevator to reduce the walking distance. If you suffer from seasickness, try to stay in the middle of the ship on a lower deck to avoid the worst of the movement in bad weather.
- Prepare for Embarkation
Embarkation can be a hassle and can involve lots of queuing as everyone passes through security and goes through the check-in process. You may want to arrive a bit later once things have got moving to avoid the worst of the queues.
Double check you have all your documents before you arrive, and plan to arrive a day early if you are flying in. This gives you time to adjust, and you can plan your transport to the cruise without worrying about delayed flights.
You may also want to take a bag with you to carry onto the ship with your essential items in case your luggage is delayed.
- Plan to Save
There are many ways to save when you book a cruise. You can start to do this well in advance by choosing the best cruise and booking early while cruise lines like Cunard Line want to fill up their cabins. Alternatively, wait until the last minute. This is more risky, but again it can be a good chance to get lower prices.
You may also want to book a repositioning cruise, which is when a ship moves to another season and you can go along for less than a standard cruise. Also consider booking your own excursions rather than going through the cruise company.
- Plan Your Food
If you have any dietary requirements, make sure you make preparations for these early. Whether you want to eat vegetarian, gluten free, low-salt, vegan or even kosher food, make sure you find out whether this will be available in advance. It should be, but always let the cruise line know before in case they need to make any special preparations.
- Pack Smart
Packing is a big issue and you want to make sure you pack properly for your cruise. The aim should be to pack as little as you need but enough to be comfortable. That means clothes that are suitable for the type of weather you can expect (check in advance), swimwear and beach clothes, flip flops, snorkel, hat, gadgets and chargers, a small bag for excursions, a small first-aid kit and sunscreen. Also make sure you take some local currency for the destinations you will be visiting as well as your credit card.
It makes good sense to prepare properly long before boarding day arrives when you book your cruise. So keep these considerations in mind and plan properly for your cruise to ensure you have a fantastic time when you finally get on board your ship.
As the Managing Director of Bolsover Cruise Club, Michael Wilson, oversees all aspects of the business. Originally known as Bolsover Travel, the company was started in the 1960’s by his parents. In his off time, Michael loves to enjoy his family, his garden and watching his favorite sport, rugby.