Top 10 Tips For First Time Cruisers
Cruising is a big new world for first timers and there is a lot to consider even before booking. So here are some tips to ensure your holiday at sea is smooth sailing and you find your dream cruise.
1. Big or small?
Decide if a megaliner with 4,000 passengers, a mid-size ship of 2,000 passengers or a smaller ship with 500 passengers is for you. The good news is that megaliners are built to cope with big numbers and there are places to escape the crowds. Areas away from restaurants and pools are often deserted.
2. Search for deals
Look out for special deals on our website and sign up to our newsletter to hear about the great deals first! You can also snap up bargains if you are prepared to wait until the last minute, bags at the ready. Consider early-bird discounts, and often back-to-back cruises come with fare reductions.
3. Try a short cruise first
Unsure about life on the high seas? Then try a two-night “cruise to nowhere” that heads out to sea and back. You will soon know if shipboard life is for you. Love it? Then book that 60-port world cruise with confidence.
4. Study the deck plan
Study the deck plan and if you are a light sleeper avoid booking near a stairwell or lift. If you enjoy going to the gym get a cabin on the same deck, or if you like taking a dip, check out the pool locations so you don’t waste time walking the corridors.
5. Check your passport
Cruising international waters? Then make sure your passport is valid for at least six months. Some countries’ visa regulations require visitors to have at least six months’ validity on their passports.
6. Use the maps onboard
Don’t know your aft from your stern? Don’t worry – pocket guides and ship maps near the stairs and lifts make it easy to find your way around. Check out the ship layout before you step aboard and rest assured you won’t be the first who thought they were heading to the gym but ended up at a dance class.
7. Consider the activities on offer before choosing your cruise
Want to brush up on your computer skills or hear an astronaut talk? It’s all on offer on various ships. Cruising provides opportunities to do all those activities you’ve always wanted to try but don’t have time for at home – from yoga classes to circus training.
8. Pre-purchase beverage packages to save money
Pre-booking beverage, coffee and spa packages can save you money. Beverage packages include wine, cocktails, beer and bottled water while coffee cards offer savings for a daily coffee fix. Spa passes give access to whirlpools and relaxation lounges where you can chill out. Call your Flight Centre consultant who can help you pre-book packages.
9. Check for dress codes
Check if there are any formal or fun dress-up nights and parties scheduled and pack for the occasions. Themed nights often include Hawaiian nights, back to school, Gatsby and white-themed parties so plan ahead.
10. Turn off roaming on your mobile phone
The minute you sail away hefty roaming costs set in. Switch your phone to flight mode and head to the free wi-fi areas at ports. Follow the crew who know all the wi-fi haunts. Phone calls and internet are always expensive at sea.