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11 Jul

10 Things You Should Know Before You Cruise

So you’ve decided to be a cruiser!

There is sooo much to love about taking your holiday on the water.

If you’re a first-time cruiser, I have a few tips of my own and have interviewed the experts, so here are our combined tips that we hope you will find helpful:

  1. First and foremost figure out what type of cruise would best suit you. Large ships with lots of activities and dining options or smaller boutique ships.
  2. Compare cruises and find out what is included. Some include all drinks and excursions in the main price, others charge them as extras.
  3. If you’re travelling with children, get a photo ID card organised for them, otherwise you will have to carry their passports off the ship at every port. High school kids will probably have one, you can use your driver’s license, so just pop into a photo booth and make one for your under 12s.
  4. Take a small day pack not only for your shore jaunts, but you will have your main luggage collected the night before you disembark so will need this for clothes and toiletries.
  5. Do a bit research on the ports you are visiting before you travel. If you book the ship’s shore excursions you will be well taken care of, but they can be more expensive than pottering off and doing your own thing.
  6. Most cruise lines have a daily gratuity fee added to your room for service. Just be aware of this and check to see if it’s already included in your total cost, or will be added daily once onboard.
  7. Book your shore excursions before you go so you don’t miss out. You can usually do this on the ship’s website.
  8. Have a budget in mind for your onboard spending lest you swipe your card willy nilly and get a shock at the end. Budgetty types can get a daily printout from reception.
  9. A warning: If you’re going to Venice, DO NOT purchase a knock off handbag. The police prosecute buyers not sellers and you could be pinged for €350 and marched to la stazione di Polizia.
  10. And finally this piece of sage advice: Lose a couple of kilos before you go as the food is so lovely and there is so much of it so easy to put a couple of kilos on!!