Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned traveler, one thing stays the same: pre-travel jitters will always be there. As excited as you may be, it can be very hard to calm your nerves, especially when you're preparing for a cruise. The preparation time is the same, whether it’s for a short cruise or a long one. But keep in mind that ample preparation is the key to enjoying your cruise. After all, you'll be spending a lot of money on your holiday, so you must be able to make the most out of it.
That said, here are some of the best tips that can come in handy when preparing for your next cruise adventure:
1. Pack Your Bags Wisely
When you're going on a cruise, the bulk of your efforts in the whole preparation process will undoubtedly go to packing. Especially if you're going to cruise for a long duration, you've got to have everything ready in your suitcase at least a week before your trip. Your main bags are going to comprise your carry-on bag and your check-in bag.
Here's a quick run through on how you can pack each bag:
- Your Carry-On: The carry-on bag refers to the one you're going to be holding and transporting personally from your current location to your first port of call. In most cases, you're going to be traveling through this first point by plane. Hence, your carry-on bag should have your essentials. This comprises your travel documents, a little bit of cash, your medicines, toiletries and a day's worth of clothes. Just in case your check-in luggage doesn't make it in time to your first port of call, you have a day's worth of clothes to enjoy the first day of your cruise effortlessly while waiting for your bag.
- Your Check-In Luggage: This check-in luggage holds the bulk of all your clothing, toiletries, and medicines. This is going to be your traveling closet. Depending on the countries that you're going to, you have to pack according to your itinerary and the climate. One good tip you can remember is this: if you're traveling with family, pack each of your belongings half and half in separate bags. For instance, have half of your clothing in one bag, and another in your check-in luggage. That way, should your bag get lost in transit, you don't lose all of your things. You still have half of your clothing pieces to use throughout the trip.
2. Be Prepared For Added Costs
After you've booked your trip, also make sure to anticipate additional expenses, most especially if you haven't booked an all-inclusive cruise. Travel companies like Cruise Agency have options for both an all-inclusive cruise and one that isn’t, so check which option is more suitable to your trip and budget. You must also anticipate all the possible expenses that can serve as add-ons, which can include spa services, beverages, and even tips. You should have some spare cash on hand, just in case you also arrive at a place that doesn't always accept credit cards.
3. Know The Dress Code
As you prepare for your trip, it's also imperative for you to be aware of the dress code of the cruise you're taking. This can differ from one ship to another, so it's best to check with the provider you're going for. Especially for evening galas on the cruise, you'll want to be able to dress appropriately. Sometimes, a nice top and slacks can work. But in some cases, a dress or even an evening gown is required. You should be prepared for these clothing requirements as well.
4. Know The Electrical Specifications
This may be one of the most neglected tips in preparing for a cruise. Unless you've invested in a universal adapter, you should also ask for the electrical specifications of the cruise you're taking.
Some ships follow European standard plugs, while others have US plugs. If you're a frequent traveler, however, it's highly recommended that you purchase a universal adapter instead. That way, you have something sure to use for your future travels.
5. Plan Your Itinerary
When you get down various ports, does the cruise company offer a tour as well? Or are you free to roam around the country at your own leisure and convenience? If you're free to plan your tours during the given timeframe, then plan your itinerary. Remember that you won't have so much time to roam around. Hence, you've got to plan strategically to cover all the places you wish to visit.
Preparing for a cruise can seem like a daunting task. After all, you're going to be heading out to different countries. For you to make the most memorable moments out of your cruise excursion, ample preparation is the key. Don't procrastinate. With these tips to guide you, you're sure to be cruising through your holiday—literally!—with calm and peace in your mind.