Honeymoons.com knows the “in’s and out’s” of cruising, and we want you to know the most important questions to ask when you are considering a cruise for your honeymoon or next romantic getaway. Everything you should know about how to book your cruise, what to expect, what to pack and what to do while on board can be the difference between a great cruise and an bad cruise. Below we've compiled our best tips for cruising that gives you everything you need to know and do to make this style vacation one you will enjoy.
The #1 tip to know is that cruising is NOT for everyone. Be sure to read our tips before booking to esure your honeymoon is all that you want it to be!
1. Before Booking:
- Find out what the ship offers (i.e. the ships entertainment, size of ship, reputation of ship, dining options & when the ship was last renovated) and what is its ports of call (what's there to do at each port, how long you are there, etc).
- Ask the ship for a list of the excursions they offer at the ports as well as the list of pricing. This is important so you have an idea how much each port will cost, and you can see which ship offers the best port-of-call activities.
- Make note of what your package includes so that you can get the most out of your cruising experience. Be sure to Google the boat (and itinerary) to see what reviews have been posted.
- If it's in your budget - upgrade your cabin! It's your honeymoon - make it extra special by reserving a suite or VIP passes or at the least, a cabin with a balcony (you will be thankful for the extra space).
- If you are flying to your cruise, you need to leave plenty of time! Remember, the BOAT does not wait for anyone. If your flight is more then 5 hours in length, and the window is very close to the final boarding time, you should consider traveling the night before to ensure you do not miss the boat. Many cruise lines also offer pre/post night recommendations.
- Ask your booking agent what the average age of travelers on board will be. A good CRUISE agent will know what the ships demographics are. Certain ships and itineraries attract a certain age group and there is nothing worse then being the youngest (or oldest!) on board by 50 years. Part of the fun of cruising is enjoying the ships and the people you meet on board.
- When you book your cruise you SHOULD DEFINITELY take the insurance. If you wake up the week you are going on a cruise with an upset stomach, cold, flu or anything contagious, you risk being quarantined in your room for your entire trip - the bright side - you'll get lots of alone time with your new spouse - the down side, you just spent your entire honeymoon quarantined to a cabin. Get the insurance :)
- If you want to have Internet in your cabin and/or available 24 hours a day, ask what the options are before you book.
- Ask for details about the spa including how quickly the spa fills up. (You’d be surprised how fast all the treatments are booked) Find out how big the spa is and how far in advance you can book treatments if that is an important part of the trip for you.
2. Before Setting Sail:
- Pack something for motion sickness. The PSI Bands are wonderful and so is the ear patch. Do not wait to get on board to buy these items, plan for the worst and you will be happy to not have to use them verse stressed trying to find them!
- Pack comfortable shoes if the seas get rough you will want to have a pair of comfortable shoes to walk the deck.
- Pack a sweater each. Even if you are going to a hot climate, nights on the water get chilly.
- Make dining reservations with your travel agent, having to wait to talk to the restaurant manager can be time consuming and bothersome on your first day! Also, ask your travel agent if they can put in special requests for an extra romantic or secluded table - it is your honeymoon after all.
- If you have the option, pre-book your cruise excursions so you don’t have to worry about them selling out.
- Pack your swimsuit in your carry on so in the event your luggage does not get to your room before the bon voyage party, you can swim in the pool.
- Let the ship know about your special occasion (ummm hello - newlyweds!!!) They love to surprise you with special treatment!
- Pack a little bag to bring your personal items to the pool or to the beach and off the ship inside the ports of call.
- Book a couple's treatment at the spa or request access to the 'adults-only' section of the ship. Some ships even offer special VIP areas with extra luxurious perks - talk to your agent about your options.
- Don't miss the ship's bon voyage party - it's always a great time.
- If you are going to explore the ports of call on your own and not go through the cruise ship, be sure to use a reputable company. You need to leave extra time to make it back to the boat. They will not wait for you and you should know that when you book an excursion through the ship, they will NEVER leave you behind.
- Take advantages of the cruise photographers - it's a great way to get photos of just the two of you without having to use the selfie stick.
- Room stewards are usually VERY friendly and accommodating. Touch base with him or her when you first arrive to your room - they will give you the inside scoop on the ship, the best bars, the best activities etc. They are a life-saver!
- Check your on board account several times during the stay, things like beverages and shopping add up quick! You don't want a hefty bill at the end of your honeymoon to be a horrible surprise.
- Be sure to hit the captains dinner, most ships offer a complimentary cocktail party and it is always fun to mingle.
- When you are leaving the ship, understand your options for disembarkation. You can carry your luggage off or wait to be called. It is always great to tip the baggage porter, as they will get you out of the ships terminal very quickly.