Top 5 Things to Know Before You Cruise
If you’re a first time cruiser, here are some things to know before you go.
1. First and foremost figure out what type of cruise would best suit you. Large ships with lots of activities and dining options where the vessel is as much the attraction as the ports; smaller boutique ships that can provide a more up-close-and-personal experience by getting into remote places; a river cruise where you hop off each day to wander European cities or even drive it yourself up the Murray…
2. Find out what is included. Meals will always be included but some packages throw in your drinks and excursions in the main price, others charge them as extras. Most cruise lines have a daily gratuity fee added to your room for service. Be aware of this and check to see if it’s already included in your total cost, or will be added daily once onboard so there are no surprises.
3. Do a bit research on the ports you are visiting before you travel. If you book the ship’s shore excursions you will be well taken care of, but they can be more expensive than pottering off and doing your own thing. You may find there’s shopping and outdoor dining (with free WiFi!) and is all you fancy. It is also a good idea to book your shore excursions before you go so you don’t miss out. You can usually do this on the ship’s website.
4. Have a budget in mind for your onboard spending lest you swipe your card willy nilly and get a shock at the end. Budgetty types can get a daily printout from reception.
5. Most cruise lines have a daily gratuity fee added to your room for service. Just be aware of this and check to see if it’s already included in your total cost, or will be added daily once onboard.