If you haven’t been on a cruise before, you might have a few questions. What should you pack for a cruise? Is there a certain etiquette to follow? And how can you make the most of your first cruise holiday?
Well we’ve got the answers for you. We took to our Facebook and Instagram pages to ask some of our most-seasoned cruisers what pearls of wisdom they’d share for anyone joining us onboard for the first time.
What should I pack for a cruise holiday?
After booking your cruise holiday, packing your case is probably the first thing you’ll do. And while you might have all your summer dresses, swimming shorts and sunglasses down on your packing list, there are likely to be a few items you’ve overlooked. Luckily for you, we’ve got some great ideas from our cruise fans on what you need to bring.
If you’re a big tech-lover, and plan on bringing lots of gadgets with you, Brian Hodge on Facebook told us the one item you can’t leave home without: “Take a strip plug with you so you can charge your cameras, phones and tablets at the same time.”
And while you probably don’t need to be reminded to bring your suncream and flip flops, Justine James’ recommendation on Facebook is probably one you hadn’t considered: “Take an alarm clock with you. We made the mistake of relying on our phones for the time, but with the time difference in each country and not having signal on seadays, your phone’s clock doesn’t automatically update and you might miss something you had planned to do.”
Claire Robson has a genius idea if you’re going on a cruise with your family, which she sent to us via Facebook: “Take a pad of sticky notes. We could never find each other as there was so much going on, so we used to stick a note on the cabin door to say where we were. It saved time wandering around trying to find everyone.”
Paula Clayton’s must-bring item is a lightweight jacket to fold up and carry in your bag at all times, because as sunny as the Mediterranean is, unfortunately we can’t guarantee the weather: “We got caught in the rain a few times and we were soaked and cold on the mainland, we couldn’t wait to get back to the ship.”
What should I do on a cruise holiday?
Our cruise ships have tonnes for you to do. From casinos to west-end worthy shows, fancy restaurants to sports, you’ll find something to keep the whole family occupied. We took to Instagram to get a few more great ideas to add to the to-do list…
With cabins as lovely as the ones we have onboard, and a ship full of great entertainment, it’s easy to see why @_pelder_ had to recommend this tip: “When you get to port, go on a trip – don’t just stay on the ship. There are amazing experiences and shore excursions out there and you’re missing them by staying inside.”
@Ord.m’s advice? Just relax: “Talk to people, remember it’s not a race to see everything in one go – just enjoy the destinations and the trips. What you don’t see this time you will see on your next cruise (and there will be a next one!)”
And here’s one that definitely shouldn’t be missed by @Jatinder.singh1: “A must-do is watching the sunset and sunrise. It was the best experience while I was on the cruise. Don’t miss it!”
How can I make the most of my cruise holiday?
Whether you love planning every minute of your holiday, or prefer to figure out what you’ll do when you’re there, there are a few things to prepare before you go and while you’re onboard to really make the most of your cruise holiday. One thing we’d recommend doing is grabbing the Life Onboard magazine, which you’ll find in your cabin, and giving it a read. It’s packed with useful information, from ship facilities to which restaurants to go to. We took to Facebook to ask our fans for some other great ideas – and they didn’t disappoint.
Marie Coleman has a great tip for before you go: “There are unofficial Facebook pages for each ship, so make sure you join those so you can get all of the info and tips from other seasoned passengers.”
Once you’re onboard, you’ll be invited to an orientation meeting. Camilla Peake’s top tip? Don’t miss it: “You’ll go round with a member of staff who will walk and show you the general layout. Join in, it will save you spending precious time wandering round.”
And last, but not least: “Just enjoy it.” says Sandra Adams on Facebook. “Read your daily bulletin so you know what’s going on onboard your ship, and plan your day/night. Also enjoy the amazing and plentiful food on offer.”