Cruising Do's and Dont's


 

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  • Do pre-book your shows and specialty dining reservations. Reservations can go quickly and it is easy to take a few minutes and book them online before you leave.
  • Do complete your luggage tags and pre-cruise documents before getting to the port. I would also suggest a platic luggague tag holder if you don't receive one from your travel agent.
  • Do choose a stateroom in the middle of the ship if you tend to get seasick.
  • Do pack a sweater or jacket. It can be chilly in the restaurants and theaters.
  • Do budget for onboard expenses such as drinks, excursions, and gratuities. 
  • Do consider the season you’ll be cruising.
  • Do use the stairs.  It’s usually faster if only going up or down a couple of floors – and it’s better for your health.
  • Do consider using a qualified travel agent to book your cruise.  The service is free, and you’ll likely save money plus get extras that you wouldn’t receive if booking yourself.
  • Do purchase cruise insurance.You never know if something is going to happen that is a covered event and can allow you to recoup the cost and enjoy the trip at a letter date.
  • Do pack a power strip with USB plugs to charge all your electronics.  
  • Do take advantage of all the amenities offered. Cruiselines put out a daily newsletter of all the activities, events, and services available.  Most will be free and those that aren’t will be noted.
  • Do include in your carry-on: identification, cruise documents, medications, money, electronics and anything you may need until after dinnertime.  Luggage doesn’t usually arrive until just before or after dinner.
  • Do be aware that gratuities are either paid before cruising or charged to your onboard account.  This is an additional expense and not part of the cruise purchase.
  • Do register for any specialty restaurants, spa services or excursions on the first day of the cruise, if you forgot to pre-book these. If you want to have a quiet place to escape you may also want to look into the spa pass available on the first day. This gets you to access to the tubs and lounge area throughout the cruise and be a great escape.
  • Do chat with the crew.  They can provide insider information on the ship and ports of call.  Also, because the crew is from all over the world, it’s interesting to learn about their country.
  • Do be prepared to have your photo taken.  You can opt out, but it’s easier just to stop and smile.
  • Do arrive on time for the mandatory safety drill.
  • Don’t go on a European cruise line and expect American type cuisine and shows. And vice versa. Foods & activities are generally tailored to the region of travel.
  • Don’t neglect passport and visa requirements.   You don’t want to be denied boarding or not be allowed off the ship at a port of call!:: Don’t fly in the day your cruise sails.  You don’t want to risk missing your cruise due to a flight or transportation delay.  Plan to arrive a day early.
  • Don’t pack a hair dryer.  They are provided in each cabin.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen. It’s expensive to purchase on the ship.
  • Don’t wait to settle your onboard account the morning of departure.  Take care of it the night before if charges weren’t automatically made to your credit card on file.
  • Don’t get stuck with a huge cellphone bill.  Put your phone on airplane mode or check your carrier’s roaming charges.
  • Do use hand sanitizer when entering eating areas.  Let’s keep those germs at bay!
  • Do opt to eat breakfast and lunch in the dining room on occasion, instead of only eating at the buffet during these meals.
  • Do use a new plate each time you get more food at the buffet.
  • Do try new foods and drinks.  Try a small bit of curry or order an unusual cocktail.
  • Do be respectful to those serving you.
  • Do consider budgeting for one specialty dining experience.
  • Do bring on your own wine or champagne if the cruise line allows.

 

  • Don’t use your hands at the buffet – the tongs and spoons are there for a reason.
  • Don’t stand around in the buffet area looking out the window – move out of the way so people can get their food.
  • Don’t be scared to ask for something not on the menu. They can usually accommodate reasonable requests.
  • Don’t eat something if you don’t like it. Ask for something else.
  • Don’t pile your plate at the buffet. You can go back for more.
  • Don’t assume the “drink of the day” is a good deal.  Order it because you want it, not because you think it will save you money,
  • Don’t skip room service.  Many cruise lines offer this service for free, so check your specific cruise and dine in bed or on the balcony.
  • Do shower before entering the pool area. The showers are located right next to the pool.
  • Do research ports of call before sailing.
  • Do attend port talks if you haven’t researched the port of call in advance.

 

  • Don’t hog tables and chairs around the pool area.  Do your 3 kids really all need their own lounge chairs for the 30 minutes total they will be there?
  • Don’t think the casino has a good payout – this isn’t Vegas.
  • Don’t assume cruise ship excursions are the only option.  Research excursions offered by both the cruise line and independent operators before sailing.  
  • Don’t miss the shows.  They are included in your cruise purchase.