You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Tips for first-time cruisers


Have you never taken a cruise before? Well, Cruise 1st appropriately enough has gathered a list of first-time cruiser tips, contributed to by yours truly, to inspire you to step aboard with the following helpful suggestions. 

Emma Gray of Emma’s Travel Tales starts off by suggesting port research. Not only is it important to consider what to do onboard — including packing for the proper dress codes as she also points out — but she indicates, as we too have shared, that sometimes shore excursions can be had cheaper if booked on your own. Of course, brands like Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises now guarantee their tour prices.  

Among others, Becky Wiggins of English Mum adds to the research suggestion in regards to selecting a cruise line that is best suited to you and your personality. She continues on to mention picking the ideal cabin on a specific ship from there. Once onboard, she also recommends exploring the ship to get your bearings and understanding of where everything is for the vacation ahead. Besides researching on your own, she suggests taking advantage of the services of a knowledgeable travel agent as well.  

CruiseHive’s editor, Emrys Thakkar, also reiterates the importance of orienting yourself onboard in addition to taking the lifeboat drill seriously for your and others’ safety. Besides packing for the right dress codes, Harry Cotterill of Cruise Cotterill thinks it’s a good idea to make a master list of things to bring so that something isn't inadvertently left behind. He also believes planning a cruise in the range of 4-7 nights as a good cruising sampler, and I agree. Even a 3-night from a convenient homeport would be a good first taste to see if the at sea lifestyle is one for you.  

Meanwhile, Marian Krueger at TravelShopGirl adds consideration for being polite to the crew and tipping them as well. They deserve it. Being mindful of the time onboard and off is also crucial according to her. You don't want to miss that shore excursion leaving the ship, and, even more importantly, you don’t want to miss the ship if you’re late returning to the port from a shoreside experience. I would chime in to also say be conscious of any time changes. Be sure your watch is set to the ship’s time to ensure you’re on schedule for everything.  

My contribution to the list is to mostly throw some of that pre-planning out the window. Allow enough room to explore and let the wind catch your sails to experience something onboard or off you might not have considered before. However, one thing to always plan out in as much advance as possible is specialty dining. With so many restaurants onboard ships these days, there are plenty of options to accommodate everyone, but the most popular ones fill up the quickest.  

———  

(TravelPulse is a leading travel authority on the web, providing consumer travel news and insider tips and advice for an ever-changing travel world. Read more stories at travelpulse.com)


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Southwest Airlines to end practice of overbooking flights
Southwest Airlines to end practice of overbooking flights

Southwest Airlines plans to stop overbooking flights — an industry practice implicated in an ugly incident on a United Airlines flight that has damaged United's reputation with the flying public.  Last year Southwest bumped 15,000 passengers off flights, more than any other U.S. airline. Carriers say they sometimes sell more tickets than...
The Inn at Little Washington offers a peek at its carefully concocted grounds
The Inn at Little Washington offers a peek at its carefully concocted grounds

Joneve Murphy reaches beneath a row cover and pulls a baby French breakfast radish from the loose, dark soil. She hands it to her boss, chef Patrick O'Connell, who carefully brushes off the dirt, removes the roots and bites into half of it. The radish, he declares, should be paired with foie gras.  This verdict is from the palate that has launched...
May blooms with events around the state
May blooms with events around the state

From Mayfests and Cinco de Mayo celebrations to craft brew experiences and music jams, May teems with festivities and fun. Road trip your way to a good time at these Texas festivals and events. Fort Worth May 4-7: Find four days of fun at the 45th annual Mayfest, taking place on 33 acres in Trinity Park. Mayfest draws around 200,000 each year with...
Love thrills? Can’t-miss rides and coasters coming to Texas this year
Love thrills? Can’t-miss rides and coasters coming to Texas this year

Sometimes you just can’t beat the whooshes, whirls and splashes of an amusement park. And according to the International Association of Amusement Parks, a lot of people really, really love them. In 2017 alone, parks in the United States and Canada are expected to entertain 412 million people and generate $23 billion. We’re lucky in Texas...
6 in-town getaways to make Mom’s day
6 in-town getaways to make Mom’s day

It was a typical weekend day. Our oldest had a soccer game, our other son had martial arts and our toddler had a birthday party to attend, the moments in between a chaotic dance of making meals, shuttling kids across town and squeezing in last-minute errands. What wasn’t so ordinary was that by midafternoon, my mom and I were beginning an early...
More Stories