Have you decided to take the plunge and go on that cruise you have been eye-balling? Guess what? You are almost guaranteed a great time. We say “almost” because there are a couple things that you can do to make sure that you go on board prepared for all eventualities. The following are some tips for preparing to have the best cruise vacation ever.
Read past cruise reviews
The surest way to get a feel for life on board a cruise ship is to read what past travelers have said about the specific cruise you will be going on. Not only will this help guide your decision on which cruise to book. But also, even after the decision has been made, you will get a good idea of what to expect from activities on board, food choices, port stops, and more.
Guard against injury
Being injured on a cruise ship excursion does happen on occasion. And knowing that you are prepared is the best way to peace of mind. In a medical study conducted over the course of 3 years, it was found that 663 injuries were reported to the cruise’s medical center. The injured person’s median age was 72 years. Injuries were most common within cabins at 20 percent and bathrooms at 13.4 percent. Injuries to the lower body were the most frequent at 43 percent and open wounds were a common injury type at 41.6 percent.
If you or your traveling partner need special assistance in moving about, look for rooms designed for those with limited movement. Also, research cruise ships that are tailored to your needs and interests. And always be sure to get any small injuries checked out by staff to avoid minor concerns turning into larger ones.
Research your itinerary
Reading up on the various ports of call your cruise will be stopping at will enhance your enjoyment of the trip. History and historical sites, local wildlife, best eating spots, what to buy as souvenirs… the more research you do, the more you can pack in to each stop. Do not leave this to the last day. Looking forward to an event, anticipating it, and planning for it can increase your enjoyment of the event itself!
Understand your dining options
The dining menu is there as a guide. Quite often, you can ask for what you want and get it, too. Particularly if you have special medical or dietary restrictions you must follow. Or, if you just want something with fewer calories to keep your weight in check during your vacation. On some cruise liners, you can take a look at the week’s menu in advance. Getting a peek at the week’s menu will allow you to plan for alternatives on days when you do not care for the course being served in the main dining room. Most cruise lines will have specialty restaurants that are separate from the main dining room. So take a look at what they have to offer. Also, some cruises offer free room service. While this means different things on different lines, you may be able to get breakfast in bed… if you ask.
Drinks may not be included
Often, cruise liners make their big bucks by making drinks not included in your all-inclusive fare. Which may result in your drink tab reaching alarming proportions fairly quickly. How does one combat a steep alcohol bill on a cruise? Look for a cruise that allows you to bring your own wine and alcohol on board. These allowances usually come with some restrictions, such as a corking fee if you drink your wine in a cruise dining venue. (If you drink it in your cabin, there is no fee.) So take this into consideration if you are planning to let loose and drink up during your vacation.