There’s nothing quite like a cruise to help you unwind. The scented ocean breeze, calming open water and the chance to see several destinations in one holiday, they all have a unique appeal and a cruise can make it a reality. If you have never cruised before then some aspects can seem a little daunting, but here are five things to help you on your way and to keep in mind before you embark on your first holiday at sea.
Get there the night before
While this may seem obvious, it’s one of the most important things to bear in mind. The number of people who miss cruises because of traffic, delayed flights and other weather-related travel issues is in the hundreds. The ship will not wait for you because you’re running late. Don’t make your cruise by the skin of your teeth – so if you are travelling independently, leave the stress of the road at home and get to the port the night before.
Don’t forget your medications
There are many things which can go wrong on holiday – the problem with things going wrong on a cruise is that it can prove expensive to visit the ships Doctor. If you have a condition which requires constant medication, make sure you pack enough for your trip. While you’re at it, make sure you pack the essentials like seasickness tablets, paracetamol, sunscreen, after-sun (just in case) and anti-diarrhoeal medication. It also never hurts to have your own little bottle of hand sanitiser.
Take note at lifeboat drills
We have all seen Titanic and nobody wants to be Jack, so when attending your Muster Drill please take note of everything that is said to you. The drills are there to save your life should the worst happen and it is important you know where your designated muster station is and which lifeboat number you are.
Get the right insurance
Travel insurance can be a (financial) life-saver when on holiday abroad. Nobody wants to think about broken bones or severe illnesses while, but these things happen. Foreign hospitals and if worst comes to worst, repatriation, can be extremely expensive, so get your insurance and make sure you have your paperwork to hand. If you’re travelling through any European countries, make sure you have a European health cover service like an EHIC which grant you access to state-funded healthcare in all EU and ECC countries.
Know the dress code
Last but not least, check the dress code before you go. There will always be some cruisers who insist on dressing to the nines, but don’t feel obliged to dress up if you don’t have to. However, some cruises insist on formal attire for their formal nights, so if you want to take part, make sure you look the part. While you’re at it check the cruise’s bathrobe policy. In most cases the bathrobes either supplied or available on request. If you want one and they aren’t supplied, be sure to pack your own. Just be aware that these bathrobes aren’t comped. If you like yours enough that you want to take it home, be prepared to pay for pleasure.
What advice would you give to someone that is about to embark on their first ever cruise holiday?