How to Make the Most of Your Cruise

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cruiseThere is no vacation quite like a cruise. The experience of staying in a floating luxury resort moving swiftly from one port to another can be both exhilarating and relaxing. With hundreds of different ships and routes, it’s easy for vacationers to find the perfect fit. On the other hand, being on a cruise can sometimes feel overwhelming, given the multitude of activities and the size of many ships. With a bit of advance planning, however, travelers can feel confident about getting the most out of their cruise.

As with all vacations, making the most out of a cruise starts at home. Begin by doing plenty of research, as cruise lines offer widely different experiences. Event-focused cruises can be fun, but don’t forget to consider excursion destinations. When you’re getting ready to ship out, pack a carry-on bag with everything you can’t live without, as well as a spare outfit, as flying to your destination and then navigating the cruise boarding process may result in luggage delays. You should also consider arriving a day early, which will help you to avoid the headaches that come with missing your boat in the event of a delayed flight. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to delay your departure a bit. Try to aim for the latter half of the boarding period in order to avoid massive crowds when the ship first opens.

For experienced cruisers who are becoming acquainted with a new ship, the first step of the journey is guided exploration. Many ships offer guided tours on the first day out, and experts recommend attending them. Nearly all first-time cruisers discover that their rooms are smaller than they expected, so try to pack and plan accordingly. An early night in is often the best plan for the first evening, so try to make the most of it by asking for the restaurant’s menu for the week and various other event itineraries. If you plan to take advantage of excursion tours or shipboard entertainment, be sure to sign up as soon as possible, as space is often limited.

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