BY JOEY HAVERFORD IN TRAVEL HACKS
Cruise ships are among the top vacation ideas for those that like getting time away from home. It makes practical sense given the various positives associated with them. The fun aspect of spending time on a massive boat is already a cool thing for most of us. However, the various cruise ships have a ridiculous number of amenities offered for those that want to enjoy the time on there. Cruises typically go to various beautiful places that give the folks on them a chance to see new places when the ships stop from destination to destination before heading back home. Most cruises deliver the extra things that make it worth a tremendous trip depending on your preferences.
We will look at some of the things that most people don’t know about cruises before booking them. These things range from positive to negative when it comes to the overall experience on the ship. Some feature things that could have helped us out if we knew about the perks that came from being on the ship in the advertisement before getting on board. Others are lesser fun things that we could have avoided if we were aware of.
Find out just what interesting things about cruise ships usually are not known ahead of time. These are twenty-five things about cruise ships we wish we knew earlier.
25 — SHIPS AND BOATS ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
Most people don’t truly realize how massive a cruise ship is until they see it in person. Pictures deliver a nice visual, but something of that size needs to be witnessed in person to be understood. There is often an incorrect assumption that cruise ships and boats are similar.
The size shows them as drastically different vehicles in the oceans. Most cruise ships are large enough to fit on a boat on it. You will likely be stunned when seeing your cruise ship for the first time even if you read this article first.
24 — IDENTIFICATION IS IMPORTANT ASHORE
People sometimes mistake the concept of cruises as something that will see you only on the ship. While the most important perks do come on the ship, there are usually fun stops that allow you to get off and explore various places ashore.
Carrying your valid IDs with you is very important when going ashore and visiting new places. You may need it to get into certain places or enjoy a few activities that requires it. Another suggestion is to book the cruise in the same name as your passport even if it’s your maiden name since that will be needed in different countries.
23 — SEASICKNESS IS MORE COMMON THAN YOU REALIZE
One common issue to come for people taking cruises for the first time is seasickness being a pain to deal with. Some people assume only folks with other related issues like car sickness or airplane sickness will get sick on a boat, but that’s just not true.
Seasickness is different for everyone. You don’t need to have a history of getting sick in the air or in a car to deal with the stomach issues on a ship. Be wary just in case there’s a chance you could get seasickness.
22 — YOU CAN HAVE FUN EVEN IF YOU GET SEASICK
Someone getting seasickness is not going to ruin the entire experience of the cruise. It clearly would not be ideal, but these moments usually don’t last the entire trip. Most of the cruise is spent not feeling any impact of the ship moving.
Seasickness usually can be calmed down with the correct medication. Once that helps slow everything down, you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of your stay on the cruise. The fear of it ruining the cruise is typically not something you need to worry that much about.
21 — USE THE TELEVISION
There are typically television screens in the cabins on most cruise ships. Some people never even bother turning it on, thinking it’s just standard television channels, and no one wants to waste their cruise trip watching normal television.
However, there are other reasons to use the television. Important cruise information is usually shared on the television. Other channels provide beautiful views of the sea that you may not get from your porthole. There are multiple reasons to check out the television in your cabin at least to know what it offers.
20 — DON’T WAIT ON LUGGAGE
The instinct is to find your luggage before doing anything else on a trip. Most people want to make sure their suitcases arrive and take it back to their cabin. Unfortunately, the waiting time for the luggage is usually quite long.
The best bet is to walk around for a bit and explore the surroundings to see how the ship is set up. Unless stated otherwise, your luggage will likely get back to you after you spend enough time touring the ship and enjoying the start of your vacation.
19 — DON’T OVERSLEEP
Sleeping in is usually a fun aspect of vacation, but it can lead to some regretful moments on your first cruise. Many activities offered start in the early morning and that is the ideal time to try to hit up certain attractions you’d like to enjoy without much of a crowd.
The view during the morning is typically most beautiful as well which adds a fun dynamic to the cruise experience. If need be, sleeping in could be beneficial, but don’t let yourself sleep until the afternoon. Even if tired, napping during the day is a better call.
18 — NO NEED TO BRING MUCH ENTERTAINMENT
Traveling can be a boring process for certain trips. Most people stock up on entertainment for flights with movies and television shows on their electronics to watch or books to read while spending the time in the air.
The biggest appeal for cruise ships is that you always have entertainment available. Every cruise ship has unique attractions from pools to water parks to spas to concerts to everything in between. Research all the entertainment available to you and avoid relying on watching Netflix on your phone to pass the time.
17 — STEWARD TAKES CARE OF YOU EARLY
One of the first things to occur during your time on a cruise ship will be meeting a steward. This usually occurs when you enter your cabin. The steward shows up to ask if you will be requesting any special needs or requests for your time on the cruise.
Common things including requesting extra bathroom towels or asking to have ice available in your room for drinks. This is something to take advantage of as it can benefit every single day of your trip. Don’t be shy when giving the details needed to your steward.
16 — CLOSE CURTAINS
A small tip for the time spent in your cabin is one associated with hotel rooms, Airbnbs and basically everywhere else you stay during a trip. Be sure to close your curtains whenever it comes time to wanting privacy.
No one wants to realize that others passing by or with a view of your window can see you taking a nap or anything worse. It is fun to have the view of the water and sky when looking out of it. That doesn’t remain the case when it comes time to sleeping or any other moments that require privacy.
15 — ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGES OFTEN WORTH MORE
The idea of paying extra for the all-inclusive perks often scares away certain people not wanting to pay too much for the cruise. Even the cheapest price for a cruise is typically an expensive cost at the end of the day as with most vacations.
The all-inclusive deals often do end up saving money at the end of the day. Certain cruises will charge you more than you expect for the better meals and drinks. You also could miss out on certain perks only available to those with that package. At least research the all-inclusive package before turning it down.
14 — PASSENGERS CAN GO TO THE BRIDGE AT CERTAIN TIMES
The bridge is the area on the cruise ship where the captain typically resides during the time moving. This is where the captain and other various members of the team work together to command the boat and make sure everything is in order.
Some people love the idea of getting a tour of the area. Not too many people usually do ask for a trip to the bridge, so chances are you’ll get one if you ask at the right time. Be kind and respectful when asking, as this is not part of the cruise experience. It is a favor typically granted by the team.
13 — TANNING COMES EASILY
Tanning is a fun part of any vacation when you’re spending time out in the sun. Many people want to lay out and just do nothing but enjoy the weather. The belief of many is that it will be hard to tan on a cruise ship given that there are so many things to do.
There is usually enough space towards the top of the ship where people tan or enjoy the weather. Outdoor pools usually reside there to give you the option of enjoying the sun or the water. Don’t worry about finding a spot to tan as there’s enough space for everyone.
12 — BRING A WATER BOTTLE OR COFFEE MUG
One small thing that many cruise ship folks wish they knew ahead of time was that bringing a water bottle or a coffee mug would be helpful. The plastic cups offered at various stations of the ship to get a glass of water are typically extremely small.
Water bottles are usually helpful in general as you don’t have to worry about refilling too often if you have one of a decent size. It is also more environmentally friendly to add another positive aspect of taking it with you on your cruise trip.
11 — BRING SUNSCREEN
Sunscreen is often something people regret not remembering to bring before any trip that sees you spending a lot of time in the sun. The purpose of sunscreen is to provide protection from the harsh rays that can cause sunburn, or lead to something much worse.
Cruise ships do often have you spend time inside, but most activities take place outside. Many of the cruise amenities are out in the sun. The time spent leaving the ship also has you directly under the sun. Bringing sunscreen is among the top things cruise passengers wish they remembered or knew about in advance.
10 — BOOK EARLY
The timing of when you book your cabin for a cruise doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it can be at the end of the day. There are many cabins available that may make you assume it doesn’t matter how far in advance you book it.
However, the best deals often come early in the game when most cabins are available. There are typically more deals offered as well. The feeling of frustration when talking to someone on the cruise and realizing they paid a few hundred bucks less by booking a month or two earlier will leave a sting.
9 — PACK SMALL ITEMS
Shopping centers are typically offered on cruise ships to provide things you’ll need for your stay. Little necessities and toiletries will be in the stores, but the price will be higher than you’d like given the lack of other stores available on a cruise ship.
The mental lapse of forgetting a toothbrush or earplugs could lead to you paying more than you’d like for the items that will stay with you for a few days. This is one simple yet noteworthy thing worth keeping track of before packing for your next cruise.
8 — NO SHORTAGE OF FOOD OPTIONS
Many people going on their first cruise will fear that none of the food options available will be ideal for them. The worry of only a handful of restaurants to choose from could leave a picky eater having a horrible time.
Luckily, cruise ships usually offer variety for everyone to choose from. You never had to spend that time worrying or researching. Great meal options will be available at many different places to choose from, with a few buffets to add even more variety to your dining experience.
7 — BRING MEDICINE FOR COMMON THINGS
Medicine can be necessary for those that deal with minor issues when going on a cruise. Anyone making the mistake of forgetting medication could be in for a tough time. This even extends into smaller things.
If you need help to deal with allergies or common headaches or any small annoying thing that bothers you in everyday life, it is best to make a list and ensure you remember to bring it. These medications may be offered at one of the shops, but you’ll get ripped off paying too much for them.
6 — SPA DEALS ON THE FIRST DAY
Most people on a cruise ship don’t like to visit the spa early on the first day. The introduction to the ship is usually served touring it and then enjoying some of the smaller things like the restaurants or the pool area.
Spas may be the best thing you’re missing out on depending on the cruise. Many ships will feature spas offering a special deal on the first day. The people to get there earliest will have little perks offered that save money if opting for the same-day service. Relaxing to start your cruise experience may be the best bang for your buck.
5 — THE CAPTAIN IS OFTEN TREATED LIKE A CELEBRITY
One big surprise people realize on cruise ships for the first time is that many passengers love the captain. Not only does this person get the respect and trust in steering the ship, but quite a few folks will approach the captain when they are out on the ship.
Some folks go as far as to request a photo with the captain as a memory from the trip. This could be annoying if you’re eating in a restaurant and pick a table next to the captain. If you don’t like the big crowds at certain fun places on the ship, be wary of the captain’s presence there.
4 — SHOW UP EARLY AT EVENTS
Many cruises offer incredible entertainment for folks to enjoy. The events can range from plays to concerts to magic shows depending on what the cruise of choice is offering. One common trend is that getting there early will pay off in the end.
The best seats are worth getting since cruise ship venues can have hit or miss seating. You won’t have a horrible time if you get there for a late seat, but the people to get a comfortable seat with a perfect view usually are the ones enjoying it the most.
3 — PAY ATTENTION TO ALL MAPS AND ARROWS
The cruise ship first-timers to not realize how big the ship is can get intimidated with the experience of figuring everything out. Directions are extremely important, and maps are usually offered to find your way around the ship.
It can still be a tough thing to figure out with the maps, so always paying attention to the arrows is a wise move. Many people think it is a small thing and often lose track of where they are going before needing to ask for help to find their cabin. Keeping the map on you at all times and taking pictures of the arrows are things most of us wish we knew to do beforehand.
2 — NOT ALL CABINS HAVE WINDOWS
Some folks will see a great deal for a cabin on a cruise ship and book it immediately expecting the same experience as everyone else. One small difference that can come if you don’t pay close attention is the lack of a window or porthole in your cabin.
A few cabins on each cruise will not give you a view of the ocean or anything at all. These are usually cheaper, so it could be a positive to take advantage of if windows aren’t important to you. However, the folks to get unpleasantly surprised at the lack of a window certainly wish they knew this sooner.
1 — THE EXCURSION PRICE IS WORTH IT
Many cruise ships will offer fun excursion packages to take part in exclusive activities outside of just the normal fun amenities available. The idea of paying extra when the cruise already provides many fun activities seems foolish to some.
However, there is a good chance you’ll regret missing out on fun activities that could be once in a lifetime. Some of the excursions include experiences like touring secret caves or getting to swim with dolphins. These are things worth the price that you’ll end up regretting when hearing about others experiencing it.
References: Telegraph, Carnival, Street Directory