Its cruise season and many of you will be embarking on your first adventure at sea. For all the cruise virgins out there, this helpful guide could make your vacation the best and help you avoid the most common first timer mistakes. Chose the right trip for your lifestyle and pack the appropriate clothing and get ready for the time of your life. From singles cruises to senior cruises, we have it all covered, so bon voyage and enjoy the ride.

 

Bring the allowed amount of alcohol

Most cruise ships make a huge portion of their money on alcohol sales, so look into your chosen cruise company and their alcohol rules. Most boats will allow visitors to bring one bottle of booze on board per passenger so pack wisely. My wife and I enjoy different drinks so we pack one bottle each and will help us save about $100 per person at the minimum. Cruise ships have you trapped so there is no other way to buy drinks but from them. Another sneaky trick is to buy a “gift” of alcohol when on shore at one of your destinations and sneaking it back on board wrapped up. Some ships check when you board so don’t try this on the first stop.

Allow enough travel time

It’s important to give yourself enough time when you travel before and after your cruise. If your flight is delayed and you miss the cruise departure, your trip is officially forfeited and you won’t get a dime back, so make sure you leave yourself some serious safety time. I tend to get to the departure city at least 24 hours in advance just in case.  Same goes for when you return home as cruise ships can encounter delays as well. Don’t allow delays ruin your trip and plan ahead.

 

Bring all Documentation

Don’t forget the important things like Passport or Ticket info, the boarding process on a cruise is pretty quick and they don’t have time for delays. If you leave your passport, most likely they won’t even allow you on the boat if it’s an international cruise.

Extra Splurges

Most cruise ships are all-inclusive with meals, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t splurge on the extras, like fancy dinners.  Sure the normal included buffets are great usually but the fancy ala carte restaurants are 5-star and top notch. I usually will splurge and buy at least a few dinners out and I’m never sorry.

 

Don’t miss the free entertainment

Cruise ships offer tons of free entertainment and you should take advantage of them fully. From plays to comedians and music acts, cruise ships offer plenty of free entertainment that you already paid for, so don’t miss out.

 

Keep keycard on you all the time

Your keycard is your cash on a ship since most are cash free. Never leave your room without your keycard or you won’t be able to buy or do anything. They are used to check in at all the restaurants, bars and casino.

Pre Booked Tours etc

Every time the boat docks there are free tours offered by the ship that are an excellent way to see the destination. I don’t always take the tour because sometimes I just like to wander around certain locations.

 

Don’t forget these helpful tips when you take your first cruise.