Planning any big holiday can be slightly nerve wracking- after all its both money and annual leave on the line! To help abate those fears, here are our five top tips for ensuring smooth sailing on your next cruise:
Read the Reviews.
Reviews are the best way of getting the inside scoop on what you can expect whilst on board. After all- every company will say they have amazing service, but that isn’t always true! Cruise Critic or Cruise Mates are both useful to help you evaluate the best option. Look out for complaints that appear in multiple reviews- this is a major red flag!
Scanning the reviews can also help you identify the style of the cruise. After all, if you are looking for a romantic getaway, then any provider that targets families or college students is a no-go!
Sign up for mailing lists.
Cruise operators and travel agents will send mail outs with hot deals. If you are flexible on the timing of your trip, then waiting for a sale can be a good way to reduce the cost of your holiday. However, because these deals tend to get snapped up fast, it’s best to already have a good idea of what you are wanting.
Seasickness is any easy way to ruin the most well planned trip. Many consider the size of the ships prevention enough- although this isn’t always the case.
If you are travelling with someone prone to seasickness, we recommend:
- Targeting cruises that stay closer to shore- they are generally much less bumpy than those that head into international waters. Alternatively, perhaps consider a river cruise – that way waves won’t be a problem at all!
- Choose your cabin wisely- windows or balconies are ideal for getting fresh air without heading to the deck. If that’s not possible, aim for a cabin lower in the boat- the closer you are to the bottom, the less movement you’ll feel!
- Pack some seasickness tablets- preferably the non-drowsy kind. Taking them a day or two in advance of your trip will ensure that they are in your system in time. Dramamine, Sturgeron and Sea Legs are common brands.
Investigate domestic options
Going overseas tends to add cost and hassle to cruising. This is due to the need for visas, passports, flights, and (potentially) vaccinations.
Cruising domestically can be a good choice to avoid this hassle. A popular choice is cruising down the Mississippi with the American Queen Steamboat Company in a journey popularized by Mark Twain. Other domestic cruise options include to Alaska, or around the Hawaiian islands.
De-stress your trip
This may sound redundant, but there are some simple ways to make your trip as stress free as possible.
- Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly- you don’t want to cut into your precious vacation time looking for where to buy a sweater. Similarly check if there’s any dress codes for events.
- Ensure you can disconnect from work. Try and set yourself up to only be contactable in the event of an emergency. Just knowing that you may be contacted by work at any time adds stress.
- Choose your travel companions wisely- you’ll be spending a fair bit of time with them!