If you’re considering going on a cruise, you’re already one step closer to a great vacation! But like all new adventures, you probably don’t know what to expect. That’s where I come in. Here are my top 7 things a first-time cruiser should know!
1. Don’t worry too much about seasickness
Cruise ships are built for stability, if they weren’t we’d have a major issue right?! But some people are simply more susceptible to motion sickness. I’m one of those people and I didn’t realize it until I was already on board a ship. As a first time cruiser you have no idea what to expect on
2. Dress code
Dress code? What dress code! Everyone cruises with different expectations. Some are in it to win it. From tailor-made dresses to months of dance rehearsals, some cruisers go all out in order to win every competition on board. Then there are those who cruise to unwind, lounge in the sun and just relax. If you’re in it to win it, pack your ball gowns and suits, if you’re just going for a relaxing vacation, then it’s all swimsuits, sunblock and summer wear for you!
3. Book shore excursions early
Resist the urge to “see how it goes” or book your excursions last minute. The trips planned by MSC often have a maximum capacity, so once that capacity is reached, you won’t be able to book it. Avoid this by booking early. All excursions can be viewed on your MSC profile before your trip. Look through everything, check online reviews, compare notes with the people you’re travelling with and then book your favourites – the early bird catches the worm, or in this case the last spot on the most popular excursion.
4. Get ready to eat to your heart’s content
Because most meals are buffet style, most people expect very little from the food on board. Major mistake! The food is great! The cruise staff cater to everyone so you’ll definitely be eating all your favourites. Food is often served from 6am all the way until 2am so whether you’re an early eater or very late snacker, the MSC cruise food won’t disappoint you or your preferences.
5. Find a ship map
Any given cruise ship has over 14 decks open to the public. Every deck is also split into a north and south side and everything looks the same – one wrong turn and you could keep walking in circles instead of heading straight. Find a map and always keep it in your bag, that way you’ll never have the chance to get lost. And if you’re not great with a map then simply stop one of the cruise ship staff and ask for directions, they’re approachable and friendly!
6. Check plug sockets
Cruise ships tour the world giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy them – so they also cater to international cruisers. Call your local cruise offices to double check basic amenities like plug sockets. Something small like bringing along the wrong plug could mean no phone to document your dream trip at sea.
7. Make use of the cash-free system
Once you’re on board your cruise ship, you’ll be issued with a personalised keycard. It will have a photo of yourself, your cabin number and will also serve as a room key, access card AND debit card. The cruise ship will have multiple paypoint stations. Insert your debit card and cruise card into the machine and it will load money onto your cruise card. That way you won’t have to carry around any unnecessary cards while you’re on board and payments become so much easier.
Cruising is one of the most relaxing vacations I’ve ever taken. Everything is taken care of, all you need to do is show up on time and enjoy. Do you have a question about cruising? Leave me a comment below and I’ll ease any concerns you might have.