Top Tips From An Experienced Cruiser

September 23, 2014

I have been with for eight years and during this time I have had the opportunity to take many cruises; so many I have now lost count.

So yes, I would consider myself to be a seasoned traveller and there isn’t much you can teach me about cruises.

However, during my recent cruise I was left slightly red-faced by some obvious faux pas. In short I should have known better and its these tips I would like to share with you.


1)      Take full advantage of your ‘loyalty status’.

Having been awarded Platinum status with Princess Cruises one of the benefits is priority boarding. This means not having to wait in the long queues with the other passengers at check-in.

I basically queue jumped!

A great added benefit, from arriving into the departure lounge we were through the gates within no time. My in-law’s (who were not Platinum) were also allowed through so an all-round good start to our family holiday!

Tip: push your luck at check-in, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.


2)      Travelling with children

Do your research before you get on board.

What kids clubs can your little one join and what activities take place?

It’s not always easy to find.

Maybe join a forum where other parents can share ideas and practical tips.

Read the material provided in your cabin on the kids clubs ASAP. Take the leaflets to lunch with you if necessary. It was only the following day when I realised I had to register my four year old into the club. I was already a day late and missed the ‘name tag making’ activity. If I wanted him to be looked after on a day we were docked, I was supposed to pre-book his space. Faux par number one.

Tip: Buy/take a portable DVD player (remember the charger) a pair of kids headsets and a stock of four or five of their favourite DVD’s.


3)      Read the disembarkation notices

Was supposed to of expressed our preference of disembarkation by the end of day three by completing the forms. Didn’t read them until day four, so we didn’t get our preferred disembarkation and ended up with a time too late (the cab was picking us up at 10am), our disembarkation was 11.30. A wasted hour stood at reception trying to change it. Faux par number two


4)      Gratuities

I personally don’t mind paying them; I believe the staff and crew work hard. However, didn’t agree with my four year old son having to pay them. Straight to reception (flashed the platinum card) straight to the front of the queue. This also applied to suite and elite members too. No quibble and the grats were removed from his account.


5)      Use the launderette

Means you don’t end up back home with a suitcase full of dirty clothes, piles of washing and a heap of ironing. Take some $ quarters with you, a quick 25 mins wash and an 45 mins dry, all clothes are left lovely and clean ready for unpacking when you get home. Take a couple of wash tablets too. The ironing facility was good too.


This was the first time we had taken our son on a cruise and he thoroughly enjoyed it, as did my husband and my in-laws. The cruise was on the Emerald Princess from Southampton on the 24th May to France and Spain


Last tip: Always reconfirm your return travel arrangements either before you go on whilst on board. Our return taxi didn’t show up, it was cancelled by mistake. Faux par number three!

You can read more cruise reviews and blog posts from our staff here.

To avoid a faux pas of your own, make sure to follow our cruise guides!

If you’re a first time cruiser in need of advice why not call our First Time Cruiser’s Helpline on  – 0330 303 8344