During the past few years of cruising, I have slowly learned a few things that have helped me before and during a cruise. Here are the 8 tips I’ve come up with so far to get the most out of cruising:
- Have important documents ready to go. It seems that no matter what, there is always one person who forgets to print out luggage tags. Make it a priority to print out luggage tags as well as any needed documents before you even pack. It’s a lot better to do it before hand then having to rush and do it at a hotel.
- Don’t over pack. What I like to do is look at the itinerary for the week and make a list of the number of days labeling them as day at sea or port day. This way I can see what I need, instead of just throwing everything I own in my suitcase. I also like to list the number of nights so am sure to have enough dinner/evening outfits. I usually plan a outfit per night then take one or two extra. This prevents me from over packing, but still allows me to have a few extra choices once I’m there.
- Take advantage of packing cubes. Packing cubes really do help to organize and fit more into your suitcase. I also like them because it makes unpacking in your cabin a lot easier. The packing cubes I got from Amazon also came with a bag for dirty laundry. It’s good to have a bag like this to throw all your dirty clothes into so they can stay in one place and then you worry about it when you get home.
- Don’t forget essential items. Sunscreen is extremely important to take and though you don’t want to over pack, make sure to have enough. There isn’t a CVS or Target on the ship and most essential items like sunscreen, toothpaste, or Advil are always overpriced on the ship. In my opinion, it’s better to have an extra bottle of sunscreen than to run out halfway through your cruise.
- Pack an extension cord. Ship cabins can be limited when it comes to outlets. Usually there is only one per room, so taking an extension cord will allow you to have more spaces to plug things into. This way you can make sure all of your cameras and phones are charged. This is especially helpful if you have more than two people per room.
- Keep all documents in one place. When you are boarding your ship, it’s a good idea to have all your documents ready and in one place. This way you go through the boarding process as quick as possible. We usually keep ID’s, boarding passes and any other documents we need in an envelope so that it is all together and ready to go instead of having to search in your bag for them.
- Get up early on port days. I find that getting up early on port days has its benefits. It allows you to beat some of the crowd and gives you the most time while at the port. And even if you end up spending only a few hours off the ship and come back early, you get to come back to a mostly empty ship since most people will still be off exploring. I think port days are also a great time to use the ships pool or any areas that are usually packed with people on sea days.
- Learn quick hairstyles. Ok, so this one may seem silly to some, but the first cruise I went on I spent way too much time messing with my hair and trying to get it to look good. And even when I got my hair looking perfect, I would go outside and the wind and humidity would ruin the masterpiece I just spent so long creating. Since then, I have taught myself to do different braids and up-dos. I save so much time and frustration by incorporating simple French braids and buns throughout the cruise. So if you have uncontrollable hair like me, then consider learning some fun new hairstyles that will keep you hair all in one place and also save you time getting ready.