1. Not all cruise lines are the same. When choosing your cruise keep in mind the activities and type of getaway you want to experience. Cruises range from luxury, family, adventurous with endless possibilities!
2. Research the activities available before booking. Do you want a family fun action packed Caribbean cruise or wine tasting down the coastline of California. The ports of call that you visit has activities that you should research as well. Feeling a little lost?
3. Talk to your travel advisor! Let them help guide you for your perfect cruise. Advisors can do as little or as much as you need. Most travel advisors have been on multiple cruises and offer extra first hand information. If you are unsure why using a travel advisors is beneficial for you, check out Why Use A Travel Advisor.
4. Review all of your documents/learn about check in. When booking a cruise it will be in your best interest to read all the information presented to you. Your legal name and birth date needs to match your passport/ID. When booking a great deal, be advised that the deposit may be non refundable. That you need to know all the information about what to do when for preboarding. It can be much to navigate, but it is worth it!
5. Make sure you arrive with more than enough time. Cruise ships depart on time and sometimes will not allow you to board if you show up only an hour early. My advice is if your ship departs at 4pm, be there by 12pm at the latest. Do not risk missing your cruise because you cut it close as possible on your flight.
6. Are gratuities included? Not always. Some cruise lines offer up prepaid gratuities some don't, it is best to look to see if they are added to your daily charge or overall cost. When tipping remember that cash is always the best way to go and it is okay to tip extra!
7. There is a misconception that you can only book shore excursions through the cruise line. Most ships want you to book with them and there are many benefits to it: example not being left at the port if your excursion runs over on time. Excursions often fill-up or you can find a one of a kind experience booking with an outside company.
8. Book travel insurance. You can expect the best, but sometimes the worst happens. There is a good reason to have insurance over your vacations. It is a financial investments where the return is your ideal getaway. If anything should go wrong from lost luggage to getting ill travelers insurance may help ease your mind. No one plans on getting sick, but life happens.
9. Pack what you need for your cruise. Other than clothing and sunglasses there are other things you may need to pack: Power strip make sure you check cruise policy. Sickness medicine incase you do get seasick. Electronic copies of all confirmations and important documents. Plug converter are useful on the ships that do not have standard US outlets.
10. Enjoy yourself immensely! Cruise ships can be overwhelming with everything that is offered. It is okay to slow down, or stay up and sleep in, or just have fun. You get to unpack once, adventure to several ports depending on length of time, endless entertainment at your fingertips, and delicious food and drink to enjoy!
Should you need a Travel Advisor feel free to contact Brandi at Bad Wolf Travel!