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by Elzette Smith (ReviewA)
on February 26th, 2019
A cruise ship is a vacation like no other; out at sea in the open waters, many happy vacationers just like you all together, and of course, never-ending entertainment and delicious food in abundance.  Ocean Cruises usually features a large ship, hundreds of passengers, and depending on your package, stopping in several ports for the day. It’s a floating holiday resort with many restaurants, dining rooms, bars and a range of on-board attractions and entertainment including the expected swimming pools, gyms, cinemas, live shows, with some liners offering a 4D cinema!
There are so many things to consider if it is your first time and it can all be a little overwhelming. But never fear when the ReviewA is near. We have put together a few handy First Time Cruise Tips to ensure you have smooth sailing,

1.         Your Passport & TRavel documentation

Even if cruise package does not stop at any international ports, it is best you take your passport with you as you may be traversing international waters. Ensure your passport is good for at least six months after your departure from your destination. And do not forget to include copies (certified if necessary) of all your essential travel documentation.

2.         Travel Insurance

Be prepared for the unexpected as unforeseen and unfortunate things can happen during any trip. While everything will most likely go smoothly, it is suggested to keep yourself covered with travel insurance. In case of sickness, injury, delays, lost baggage, or other mishaps, keep yourself covered to cover any losses or costs incurred.

Your travel insurance will most likely include medical cover but even if you have never been seasick before, chances are that if this is your first cruise, you could still encounter some nausea, as it’s likely to be a longer trip at sea than you’ve taken in the past. Pack an over-the-counter antihistamine meant for prevention of motion sickness or consult your doctor for prescribed medication or patches. Fortunately you will have plenty of access to drinks such as ginger ale, lemon juice, and peppermint tea which are also good for nausea.

PS - Another option to consider to book a cabin as close to the middle of the ship as possible because this area feels the least amount of movement while the ship is sailing.  

3.         BUDGETING

Cruises are a great value vacation, and while you do pay amazingly low fares, the bill does not necessarily stop there. Ensure you have done thorough research of all the expected expenses, such as port fees, cash for tips and gratuities, you may incur and budget accordingly.  Because budgeting requires a more in depth discussion we will expand on this in our next blog.

4.         Arrive on time – use a travel agent

Cruise ships are very strict about their timings for leaving port.  So, depending on how you will be arriving at the port, book flights, trains, or whatever means of transport you are using, so that you arrive as early as possible the morning you board the ship.  If you are flying, you may need to consider flight delays so consider flying in the day before you need to embark. We suggest the same for when you disembark, that is, booking your flight home in the late afternoon or evening so that you give yourself enough time after disembarking.  Some cruise line packages include flights and accommodation so look out for those options as well.

Cruising is unlike any other type of vacation, and while your cruise line likely will have great customer service, it’s not a bad idea to connect with someone who can help you plan and curate a trip catered to your specific needs. A travel agent can help you book cheap flights, find the right ship and cabin location, and help you get great promotions and perks once you’re on board. Most travel agents are experts when it comes to cruises, and helping you plan a great time on your cruise ship is just one of many ways they can save you a headache.

5.         PACKING your suitcase

Whilst you cannot predict the weather, reliable weather forecasts will help you know what you need to include in your suitcase.

You will most likely want to just relax in summer dresses, shorts or swimwear while on vacation but some cruises are known to have specific dress codes for the evening. Check the cruise line’s itinerary to see which nights are designated formal nights and which restaurants on board expect smart casual wear. Formal usually means a dark suit, tuxedo, cocktail dress, or evening gown, and smart casual calls for pants, jackets, dresses, and pantsuits. 

That is why it is also important to read up on the destinations you will be visiting.  Whether your ship will be docking in just one city or multiple ports, it’s always a good idea to know exactly what you can expect to do when you get there so that you can plan ahead and make the best of your time in port. Find out if there are any world-famous beaches that you can relax on, golf-courses you could play on, which landmarks you might want to explore, or the kind of local foods you could taste.


Our aim at The ReviewA is to assist you in being able to enjoy your travel experience as a customer which includes Ocean Cruises – a must many people’s bucket list.  We continue to provide for more helpful tips and information about cruising.  Look out for how to budget for ocean cruise expenses.