Our cruise community on the www.CRUISE.co.uk forum have been talking all week about tips and tricks for cruisers to make the most of their holiday.
Between them, this community have thousands of sea days under their belt, across all of the different cruise lines and they have racked up more sea miles than you could count!
We gathered the best tips that we thought could help anyone that is planning on booking a cruise, or someone that has already booked one and is awaiting their adventure. Read on for our top tips for a stress free cruise!
Booking Your Cruise
Hampshire Thorn from Fareham said: “My best tip is to fully research your cabin before booking – don’t just accept the cabin offered. You don’t want aggravation when resting so avoid cabins directly over or under theatres, sun decks, restaurants or noisy venues. Use the ship’s Deck Plan to look for a cabin with other cabins above and below and not next to a launderette.
If booking a balcony, obstructed balconies can be cheaper but for sometimes just a few pounds more you can get a clear view. Some balconies are larger than others, typically those at the aft, overlooking the ship’s wake and those on the edge of a protruding hump on the side of the ship.
And don’t forget, if you suffer from seasickness select a cabin in the centre of the ship on a low deck because you will get less movement and close to the lifts if you have problems getting around.”
Neil Down from Southampton agreed: “Check your cabin out before saying yes and make sure that it is not over, under or next to any space where noise will happen (deck chairs, anchors dropping, theatres or laundrettes)… Take some earplugs if you are with some who snores!”
Wavell, Edinburgh also had a handy tip about luggage: “If travelling from Scotland send your baggage to Southampton via the baggage handling company thus then being able to book a cheap flight and travel without check-in luggage.”
Bradbury from Coventry had a handy tip for when you get on-board: “On embarkation, cabins (staterooms) are often not ready until 1.30 / 2pm. If you are able to board the ship early, make sure you pack your swimming costume in the hand luggage and you can be the first to take a dip in that jacuzzi!”
Val from Wolverhampton had advice about where to dine: “When you board the buffet can be extremely busy, check to see what other lunch options are available; there might be a cover charge on some cruise lines, but it’s a nominal fee and it’s usually well worth it and it’s a great start to your cruise!”
Ilovesunshine from East Yorkshire knew how to bag a good spa treatment: “If you like spa treatments try to have a look around shortly after boarding. Most cruise lines have a free raffle with really good treatments offered as prizes. Even if you don’t win they usually offer discounts just for attending.”
Jocap from Cumbria advised: “Send the fastest eater to the theatre with everyone’s jackets, that way they can be used to reserve a whole block of seats. The bonus of getting there first is that you can also grab the aisle seats.”
Jimtheoldsalt from Felixstowe jokingly pointed out: “The most likely place to get seasickness is in bed, so do not go to bed whilst on a cruise…”
Garfield from Waterlooville added: “My best ship tip is make sure you’re on board before they leave…”
Handy Things to Bring
Harry from Hastings pointed out: “[It’s] always handy to take a short lead extension multi plug for the many rechargeable items everyone seems to have nowadays. Very often the only plug available is tight to the desk top not allowing room to plug the item directly into it.”
Lawnmowerman from Tain recommended: “Magnetic hooks can be very versatile. So much metal in your cabin – they stick almost anywhere… & take a torch – and make sure the batteries are fresh!”
Taffy from Wales had lots of good advice: “If you’re new to cruising then finding a good agent is a must. Pay and plan as much as you can before the cruise. Pack about half what you first thought of. Leave your clothes on their hangers [so it’ll be] easy to unpack and repack your cases. Wear your tight fitting cloths early in the cruise, they will not fit later! Ask if you’re not sure – and just enjoy it…”
Andyn from Kensworth joked: “At the Captains cocktail party ask the Captain ‘who’s driving?’”
Cooke from Ashby advised: “Make friends with the cabin steward(ess), they can be very helpful and a good source of information. Talk to the restaurant manager or Maitre’d, they’ll remember you.
When you are ordering your food, look at the waiter, same when you are saying “thank you”, look at the person and smile. A smile goes a long way. To sum up, be nice to the crew, they are doing their best!”
Where to Get Advice
Cornish Girl from Falmouth pointed out: “You can also just visit the forum where there are lots of well-seasoned and experienced cruisers who have a wealth of knowledge and are only too pleased to give advice, although I am well-travelled I have picked up some great tips on the forum.”
Bradbury from Coventry said: “My best tip, is if you have any questions about anything to do with cruising, then visit the www.CRUISE.co.uk Questions and Answers page and ask that question.
There are an abundance of experienced cruisers only to pleased and willing to answer your question, no matter how trivial or daft the question is, we have heard them all before. You will get loads of good advice.”
(You can visit the Question and Answers page here!)
Bradbury also had some cost cutting tips: “Bottled water purchased on board ship can be expensive, we just buy bottled water when ashore for drinking whilst touring the ports. However one of the first requests I make to our Cabin attendant is that he leaves us a jug of drinking water with ice on a daily basis.
On our last cruise he would replenish this on both the morning service and the night time turndown. So we had drinking water all the time with no cost.”
Ilovesunshine from East Yorkshire recommended that you: “Consider booking cruise and flights separately and spending at least one night in hotel pre and post cruise if it is somewhere interesting. This way you have more control of which airline you fly with and flight times.
You can easily do this yourself or if you prefer a package www.CRUISE.co.uk will put one together for you.”
And finally, our last tip came from Jimtheoldsalt from Felixstowe: “My tip is that you go on your cruise with the attitude that you are going to have a great time no matter what the ship, guests and weather throw at you.”
Do you have any tips for avoiding a stressful cruise? What routine do you swear by on your holidays? Leave us your thoughts and comments!
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