Cruise Vacation – Travel Tips for Your First Cruise

Booking a cruise vacation and spending time aboard a cruise ship can be emotionally trying for first-time cruisers. The combination of sailing in the ocean and visiting new places can increase your stress. You can maximize your pleasure while minimizing anxiety during your cruise vacation voyage by following these tips.

Read more from our Experience Travel Blog: My First Alaska Cruise – By Robert Townshend.

Fly to Port the Day Before Departure Date

Weather, flight delays, and cancellations can all end your vacation at sea before it starts. To avoid missing the boat, book the flight to arrive at your departure port at least 24 hours before sailing time. Many ships embark from cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Houston. These are great cities to explore and have a mini-vacation within the day before you board the ship.

The Muster Station - Cruise Vacation Travelling Tips

Know Your Muster Station

Lifeboat or “muster” drills are conducted before the ship leaves home port. These exercises will let you know where to go and what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Check out our Cruise Deals & Special Offers.

Book Shore Excursions Through the Cruise Line

Leave it to the professionals to provide tours while in ports of call. Having sailed to these cities regularly, they know what areas are safe and unsafe at each stop. Another advantage to booking cruise-sanctioned tours is that the cruise line will be responsible if the tour bus is late getting back to the dock. They’ll either keep the ship in port or compensate you the transportation costs to rejoin the ship.

Shore Excursion - Cruise Vacation

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What You Should Always Take With You While In Port

Have a backpack with at least one credit card, some cash to tip drivers, and a change of clothes; if you’re late getting back to port and get left by the ship. It’s also advisable to take passports with you. However, most port agents will pull your travel documents if you’re discovered missing from the vessel at departure time.

Wear a Watch During Your Cruise Vacation

This is for the travellers that tell time solely by their phones. Remember, many islands in the Caribbean do not observe Daylight Saving Time, so local time may be an hour slow compared to ship’s time. Departure is always determined by the ship’s time. Which is what you should set your wristwatch for the duration of your cruise.

Always Return to Port Before Departure Time

Ships get billed docking fees for staying in port past departure time and usually won’t wait for latecomers. If you book a tour on your own, you will be responsible for travelling costs if you miss the ship. Chartering a tug boat to catch the ship or booking a flight to the next port can easily set you back over $1,000. So return to the ship well before sailing time.
Boarding a cruise ship for the first time can be a very overwhelming experience for even the most seasoned travellers. By following these points of advice, you can put your mind into relaxation mode while enjoying your cruise vacation at sea. ⬛


Cruise Vacation – Travel Tips for Your First Cruise – John Zeus
Feature Photo Source: iStock by license.

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