The Best First Time Cruise Tips You Should Know Before Departing

First Time Cruise Tips
Knowing exactly what to bring makes your life that much easier.
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The Ultimate Cruise Tips for First Timers

Cruises can be some of the most cost effective ways to travel if you know what you’re doing. They are packed with activities, food, drinks, and so much more for typically only a few hundred dollars per person. 

If you have never been on a cruise, you aren’t alone. Read through these eight tips to help get you well on your way to a successful cruise.

First Time Cruise

Top 8 Cruise Essentials

1. Buy a USB Multi Port

There is a very limited amount of outlets in your room on a cruise ship. So if you have a few electronic devices that will need charging, then a USB Multi-Port Charger is an absolutely must have item. 

Power strips with surge protectors are NOT allowed on a cruise ship and will be confiscated. If you absolutely must bring a power strip, ensure you buy one WITHOUT a surge protector.

Whatever route you choose, you will need one of them. If that’s the case, ensure you have enough USB charging cables for your electronic devices if at all possible.

2. Medicines/Motion Sickness

You don’t want to spend a week on the ship feeling sick and bed-ridden. Well, maybe not that severe, but you don’t want to be miserable on your first cruise dealing with headaches, upset stomachs, or worse: sea sickness. 

Get a little quart sized bag, typically used for carry-ons, and pack common medicine for things like headache, stomach aches, etc. The biggest one will probably be the motion sickness pill. If you have never been on a cruise before, or even a boat in general, then you will almost certainly get hit with some serious sea-sickness.

Taking the measures to combat that sickness is huge. I made that terrible mistake when I took a mini day-cruise in Spain. I couldn’t move or open my eyes the entire time, whenever I did, I would feel nauseous immediately. And I have been on a boat plenty of times!

So, take it from me, packing some simple medicines will go a long way.

Medicine

3. Steam Your Clothes in the Bathroom

Typically, when you go on cruises, you pack at least two nice or fancy outfits for a great night out. When you put those nice, fancy outfits into a suitcase, they tend to get wrinkled. 

Another thing to note, is that the small bathroom in your cabin combined with a super-hot shower makes for an excellent way to get the wrinkles out of your clothes, considering irons aren’t allowed on cruise ships.

If you aren’t happy with your shower steamed clothes, you can also pick up some wrinkle release. It’s a little bottle that you spray on your clothes and it gets the wrinkles out. Just like that. 

4. Bring a Collapsible Hamper or Laundry Bag

Cruise cabins are small, confined spaces. Those small confined spaces mixed with a few days of dirty clothes make for a pretty smelly environment. That’s why I recommend to take a collapsible hamper, it allows you to properly stow your clothes so that the smell doesn’t reach as far and can be contained to the small closet in the cabin.

Bonus tip: bring those little Renuzit fragrance things. The ones that open up and just sit there. 

Cruise Travel Tips

5. Pack a Set of Clothes and Swimsuit on Your Carry-On

With cruises, you have to check in bags like anywhere else. However, the cruise line will deliver them to your room later on in the day, typically around dinner time or even after.

That’s why I recommend packing a set of clothes and a swimsuit in your carry-on, so you don’t have to wait all day and potentially waste a lot of hours because you don’t have the right stuff to enjoy yourself.

You may get lucky and have your luggage delivered much earlier, but to err on the side of caution, pack some extra clothes in your carry-on.

6. Try to Avoid the Buffet

So there are multiple dining rooms and options for food outside of the typically buffet. I say to avoid the buffet not because the food isn’t good, but because the food that the dining room offers is better and more diverse.

If you want to try different styles, and not just eat the same thing every day, then check out the dining rooms. On top of that, when you first board, go to the dining room early to get to know where your seat is, and if you are sitting with the people you’re supposed to be sitting with.

Food and Drink

7. Budget More Than Think

This is the case for all trips, but cruises especially. Since most cruises to come with an all-inclusive option by default, you’ll find that the money you spend on drinks will go far beyond what you would imagine. I’m sure you know how carried away you can get when there’s a bit of alcohol in your system, now imagine that but you’re paying cruise prices for all of your drinks.

Some cruise lines offer an all-inclusive drink package. For example, Carnival Cruise Line offers the “CHEERS!” program which allows you to pay a flat rate of $51.95 per person per day for all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages that are below $20 per serving. 

In my opinion, that is worth it. If you know you are going to be drinking a lot, which you very likely are, then this will save you a LOT of money.

8. Read the Cruise Newspaper

When you are on a cruise, you will be receiving a daily “newspaper” that outlines various activities and opportunities going on around the ship. This is a great way to stay on top of everything and ensure you aren’t missing out on some fun things you would like to do.

One quick thing to mention, is that when you port, you don’t have to get off the ship. If you are docked somewhere that maybe you have no interest in, or there isn’t much to do, then just stay on the boat! With practically everyone else gone, that opens up the ship to you to explore without dealing without the crowd.

Currency Converter

In Conclusion

Ensure you take the right steps to preparing for your first cruise. Cruises can be some of the best experiences of your life, and you shouldn’t have to stress about random avoidable nonsense.

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About Troy

About Troy

Troy started his travel journey at 19 years old when he moved to Germany. Over the course of the following two years, he visited a total of 18 countries around Europe and the Middle East. He strives to see more of the world with each passing day.

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Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.