Tips Before your First Cruise
The first time I went on a cruise, I didn’t really know what I was doing or how it all worked. For me though that’s half the fun of a new holiday. There are a few things though that I wish I would have known before we set sail for the first time.
Book within Your Means
Don’t stretch yourself, just go for the cabin you can afford. You may feel like you need a balcony because you are going on a cruise, but you really don’t. I am just as happy in an inside cabin as I am in a balcony cabin. You will still see just as much and you can always just go out on deck when you feel like you want to see what’s happening outside. It also depends on where you are cruising to. If you feel like you aren’t that bothered by what you will be able to see from the balcony then don’t pay for one. Read my tips here on how to book your perfect cabin.
Don’t be scared to book a discounted Cruise
If when you are booking your cruise there is something like an early booking price or a saver price this can be a really good option. I think sometimes people worry about which cabin they are in or knowing exactly what time and table they will have for their dinner in the evenings. If this is how you feel by all means book the higher price so you are sure of what you are getting. But if you are prepared to risk it a bit more you can normally get the option to book a guaranteed cabin for a lower price. This means that it will be allocated a few weeks before you sail rather than booking and choosing the cabin yourself.
Also if the company you are sailing with has set meal times and tables then you won’t be able to choose your time or sitting. I have booked saver prices quite a few times and this has never been a problem. I have always ended up in a really nice cabin, and if I’ve not been happy with my table allocation I just go along to the desk in the restaurant on the first night and they have always changed it for a table and time we wanted. Read my tips here on how to grab a bargain when booking your cruise.
Don’t panic about booking expensive shore excursions. If you have time before you go read up on the ports you are visiting and decide what you want to do. We tend to just disembark the ship on our own and explore the ports at our own pace. If there is really something that you want to do then you can book excursions but remember you will probably be able to book the same thing when you are off the ship and it will more than likely be cheaper. Read my review of our cruise to Norway here and find out how we managed our excursions with out booking any with the cruise line.
Cruise Ship Tipping
You don’t have to pay tips if you don’t want to. With some cruise lines, it’s included in the price you pay when you book. Others will have a set price per person for each day of your cruise. This can add quite a large amount to your final bill when you leave the ship which you may not have taken into account. Always make sure you check how much this will be before you go so you know it will be on your final bill. You can though remove this from your bill and pay the tips to the staff who have helped you yourself. Cruise tipping is always a contentious subject, read my blog about it in more detail here.
So those were my tips and I hope they will help you to really enjoy your first cruise. If you have any more questions you can ask me in the comment section below. Or contact me on Instagram or twitter.
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