There are so many ‘do’s’ on a cruise holiday – your floating holiday resort is a world of opportunity, from once in a lifetime excursions to expert lectures and lessons to exciting onboard experiences.
If there’s one ‘do’ that’s a given it’s ‘have an amazing time!’
However there are some don’ts to add a flipside to the pretty cruise holiday postcard too. Be aware of these potential flash points to ensure that nothing spoils your dream cruise:
1 – Choose the wrong cruise
There’s so much out there in the cruising market that there really is the perfect cruise for everyone.
Except perhaps those with aquaphobia!
If you don’t have an irrational fear of water though there’s no need to compromise on your dream cruise holiday, whether that’s action packed or involves lots of lounging in the ship’s spa.
The key is to take your time researching your options and choose the right cruise for you – which are where the specialist cruise consultants of www.CRUISE.co.uk come in, of course!
2 – Pay more than you have to
Similarly, you’ll find cruises to suit all budgets but however much you have in the pot, you’ll want to get the very most bang for your buck.
Try booking your break either super early or really late (less than three months before departure) and sign up to the email newsletters of cruise lines that take your fancy so that you’re the first in the queue when it comes to flash sales (yes, it’s not just cheesy shopping channels that have them!).
We know you can’t wait to get your cruise holiday booked but sometimes patience can really pay off.
After all, no one likes to be the schmuck that paid more than every other person at his dinner table for the very same cruise. That can stick in your throat worse that a mis-judged mouthful of steak.
3 – Mention Titanic
Seriously, it might seem funny to make endless Titanic/iceberg references, especially as a first time cruiser but there are some people that are genuinely nervous or superstitious about cruising.
You wouldn’t get away with joking about air travel disasters while in the air, so try to refrain from the same on water – it’s the polite thing to do.
There is, however, nothing to stop you from packing your best Kate Winslet finery and a pack of felt tips and recreating that ‘painting scene’ in your cabin, if you feel that way inclined.
4 – Choose the wrong cruise companion
Go on a cruise, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. And three days in, when you’re eating every meal with them, going on excursions with them and following the same activity programme as them, and there’s another four/seven/eleven or more days left, will it still feel like fun? Cruising with your in-laws, friends or another family (and their ‘delightful’ children) can seem like a good idea (especially after a bottle or two of wine!) but make no mistake, family bonds and friendships have been lost at sea.
Whilst megaships can seem like they have plenty of space for groups to ‘do their own thing’, hiding from your mother in law at breakfast is likely to sour relations somewhat. Only cruise with people you’d be happy to spend a decent amount of time with daily.
5 – Park at Port
Save money before your holiday has even started and ditch the on-port parking for a secure long-stay car park further away. Most will have a free transfer service and a mild inconvenience will leave you with all the more to spend on holiday cocktails onboard.
6 – Try to smuggle in booze
Make no mistake, boozy cruisers, suitcases are checked. As are clear plastic ‘water’ bottles *nudge nudge wink wink*.
Toiletry bags containing clear liquids have also been known to have the sniff test carried out on them! It’s pretty embarrassing to be caught trying to smuggle alcohol onboard, so just don’t do it.
Enquire as to what you can legitimately carry on (many liners allow you to bring wine onboard), budget for drinks and spare your blushes instead.
7 – Diet
If there’s one thing that it’s pretty impossible to do on a cruise holiday, it’s diet – and why on earth would you want to when the food is so good, so varied and so, well, free!
By all means, go for a lighter lunch after a full English but you’re kidding yourself if you’re planning to keep up a strict salad regime in the face of endless menus full of tempting treats, all cooked for you without you having to lift a finger.
It’s what holidays are all about!
You can, however, always go some way to working off those ice-creams/pina coladas/five course formal dinners with a few laps of the running track, lengths of the pool or maybe a morning yoga session on the top deck.
Downward facing dog or hair of the dog – it’s your holiday!
8 – Tip
Many cruise lines either include gratuities in the up front cost of your cruise or add them onto your bill automatically as you go.
Either way, there’s no need to tip your server or steward in person, unless you’re feeling especially generous!
Confirm the gratuities situation before you cruise, so you know whether or not to leave the wads of dollars/stacks of pound coins at home.
9 – Go rogue
When you dock at your destination there’s nothing to stop you bypassing the crowds waiting for the organised cruise excursions and going your own merry way.
However, buyer beware!
Sticking with your cruise group will ensure that you’re back onboard in good time for disembarkment – could you really enjoy an amazing day out with a nagging worry about being stranded, unscrupulous taxi drivers going the long way round, getting lost, having to wait for other non-cruise members of a party or acts of God meaning that you, quite literally, miss the boat?
Add to this the fact that some ship-organised excursions are free, have expert (English speaking) guides and you get to share your experience with your fellow cruisers (hopefully, new friends!) and going rogue might start to appeal less and less.
10 – Say no
With endless activities, different cuisines, quality excursions, top of the range facilities and amazing entertainment programmes, there are lots of new experiences to try on a cruise holiday – many of them absolutely free of charge. However tempting it might be to sit on that sunlounger, kindle glued to hand, don’t say no to the brilliant and unique opportunities that a cruise holiday presents. Now where’s that zip line?