Tips for first-time cruisers

Cruising is one travel option that leaves us with a lot of choices. Which cruise line should you choose? Which ship would suit you best? What excursions should you choose? What should you take with you? Here are our 10 top tips to hopefully help you along.

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1. Start with a short cruise just in case you really don’t like it. Many cruise lines offer “taster” cruises of two to three nights.

2. Make sure you spend some time researching the places you are going to visit before you leave home. Some ports are easier than others in terms of organising your own excursions. If you do some research before, it might help you decide if booking an excursion with the cruise line might be a better option that winging it on your own.

3. Avoid over packing – there are numerous shops on board and ashore if you should forget any essentials. Most cruise lines have a laundering service too.

4. Take a small carry on case with the things you might need for the first day on board such as swimming things and sun cream, as your large cases may not be delivered to your cabin until a few hours after you have boarded the ship.

5. Always take advice from a reputable cruise specialist travel agent who will help you select the perfect cruise to suit your personality and tastes or speak to people you know have been cruising.The activities available on board vary greatly between ships which is why it is very important to select a brand that matches your profile.

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6. Always carry your passport with you when you go ashore in a new country. It’s rare that you ever have to show to Customs in the port, but you should take it just in case.

7. Remember to leave plenty of time to get back to the ship. If you are not back in time the ship will sail without you, unless you are on one of the ship’s organised excursions.

8. Make sure you check the seasonality of where you are going, just because it is summer at home doesn’t mean you will get a tropical holiday elsewhere.