Cruise Tips for First-Timers

Cruise Tips for First-Timers
Travelers going on a cruise for the first time tend to have a lot of questions about packing and what to expect. Taking a cruise can be totally rejuvenating, or stressful if travelers are not prepared for the unexpected. There are a few tips cruise-goers should know before embarking on a trip so they can have a stress-free start.

Cruise Packing

Consider that amount of clothes you have to bring. Each cruise line has a dress code for different occasions. You can wear casual wear or resort wear during the day and you will most likely have to bring dressy clothes for formal dinners. Pack light and keep in mind that cruise lines do offer laundry services for an additional fee. Some even have coin operated laundry rooms with vending machines that sell detergent.

Carry-on Bag

Pack an extra set of clothes and things like medication, sunscreen and a few toiletries in your carry-on bag. The cruise line can take up to a two hours to get your checked in luggage into your stateroom or suite. Your carry-on can be a lifesaver should the airline or cruise line lose your bag.

Bring Documentation

Be sure to attach luggage tags to all of your bags and bring the necessary documentation you will need for your cruise. It will be your responsibility to find out if you need a passport or visa for your trip. You don't want to get denied at the port because you forgot to pack your passport or government issued identification.

Cabin Features

Most of the staterooms will have a TV with limited channels and chances are that they will not have a VCR or DVD player. Consider bringing an alarm clock with you or arranging wake-up calls because staterooms are usually not equipped with them. Some travelers also prefer to bring a flashlight or nightlight along because cabins can be dark.

Cruise Newsletter

The ship's newsletter will help you stay informed on all of the activities for the day. The newsletter is usually slipped under your door each night and lists upcoming shows and cruise attractions for the following day. It will also give you some helpful information about the ports you will be visiting.

Additional Expenses

There will be items that the cruise line does not cover in your vacation. Be sure to bring extra money for gratuity throughout your cruise."Travel and Leisure" advises first-timers that cruises are not all-inclusive and you may have to pay for water bottles and alcoholic beverages. If you need foreign currency, then it is best to get it beforehand. Some ships charge an expensive exchange rate while at sea.

Article Written By Stephanie Armstrong

Based in Los Angeles, Stephanie Armstrong has been a professional writer since 2006. Her articles have been featured on websites such as PopEater, Moviefone, AT&T, GoDaddy, The Frisky and more. Armstrong holds a Bachelor of Science in film and television from Boston University.

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