Cruising can provide a wonderful, relaxing and even an exotic holiday. However, a little forethought is required to assure that your holiday is a non-stressful cruising experience.
Cruisers must be diligent with passports and identity cards issued. They must be carried when departing the cruise ship, even in a port of call. When the passport is not needed, place it in the safe in your cabin but carry the cruise identity card at all times.
Embarkation is a very busy time for crew members and those colourful pre-printed tags that arrive with your cruise documents are meant to be used to direct luggage to your cabin. Making calls to the reception desk at midnight about misplaced luggage is not the way to begin your cruise adventure.
Bring all personal essentials such as makeup, toiletries and camera batteries. They may not be available in the ship’s store or in the port of call or are likely to be costly if they are.
Do not attempt to bring liquor or beverages on board. Your luggage is x-rayed and the beverages will be confiscated. Instead of paying drink by drink, some cruise lines now offer a beverage program at a preset fee. You can drink away without running up a hefty tab.
It is exciting to head away on a cruise and just as easy to pack too much. But lest not forget, excess luggage will get in the way and the closet space on a ship tends to be smaller. Make a list and check it; then leave that third pair of sandals at home.
As on any holiday away, prescribed and non-prescribed medicines should be packed in the carry-on. Pack an antacid because you may be tempted to try different types of spicy foods for the first time.
The easiest way to ruin a great cruise holiday is getting sunburn. Slather up with plenty of sunscreen and in a stronger SPF and bring along an extra tube. Don’t forget to re-apply after swimming. Cover up with a hat and sunglasses for added protection.
Although the grand days of formal wear on most cruise lines are over, inappropriate clothing choices are a huge faux pas. Cruise lines wish to maintain a more elegant standard at their evening meals. Many people come totally unprepared. Casual smart means attire like sports jackets for men and smart pantsuits or dresses for women.
Although the one about “when does the midnight buffet begin” seems silly, never feel intimidated to ask questions. Listen to the wealth of information offered during the daily seminars by the Cruise Director on ports of call, packing up and general cruise holiday information. That is what they are on-board for.
Custom forms will be left in your cabin to fill out as well as additional colour-coded tags near the last day of the cruise. Securely lock the luggage, make sure tags are attached and place outside the cabin door that evening. Do not pack items that will be needed for the morning such as toiletries, medicine and the ever important passport.
Written by Veronica Shine