Tips for Cruising
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 consider a cruise for your honeymoon or romance travel. Knowing 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. The list below will give you everything you need to know and do to make this style vacation one you will enjoy and consider doing again!
Know that a cruse is not FOR EVERYONE. Be sure to read this before booking to esure your honeymoon is all that you want it to be!
We have listed the items you should consider before booking, after booking and once you set sail to help make your cruise the best it can be!
Before Booking you should investigate:
- What the ship has to offer passengers, I.e the ships entertainment, size of ship, reputation of ship, dining options & when the ship was last renovated.
- Research the ships ports of call including what there is to do at each ports, how long you are there and the surrounding areas around the port.
- 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 the ports will cost and you can see which ship offers the best for port-of-call activities. (if there is nothing to do at the ports other then the excursions you will want to make sure you can afford the extra fees & charges to enjoy the time off the ship!)
- Take nothing for granted, ask as many questions as possible and more importantly be sure to be aware (take notes) of what your package includes to make sure you get it once you are on board! (i.e. room amenities, complimentary packages, ship board credits and complimentary items) Once you are on the ship you won’t remember what was part of your deal and what was not!
- Before you book, you should investigate what the cruise lines POST CRUISE customer service policies are! If it is write a letter and wait 4 ~ 6 weeks till someone addresses your issues, you will have to be willing to write a letter should you be unhappy with the trip.
- Investigate reviews on the ship; be sure to Google the boat to see what reviews, if any, have been posted.
- KNOW what size your cabin is. So many people book a room and do not realize that most staterooms are VERY Small! If you have never cruised before and it is a special occasion like your honeymoon, you will want to spend the extra money to get a room with a balcony, it makes a huge difference. And if you like, or need space, you will want to book the biggest room your budget allows.
- Copies of what the entertainment is usually like on board, you may want to ask for a sample of the itineraries and ship details.
- Understand that 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. With airport delays and security problems you will want to eliminate any stress before you board.
- ALL cruisers should also know that you can usually board the ship much earlier then the paperwork says, so you will want to be at the ship on time, if not earlier! The best way to check this is to call the ship and ask them what time they are going to be letting passenger’s board. (You will also want to ask if your room comes with any special boarding time or VIP service.)
- Ask your travel agents 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 on board by 50 years or being the oldest by 50 years on board! Part of the fun of cruising is enjoying the ships and the people you meet on board.
- When you book your cruise you SHOULD Most 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. This is not a joke and they take this VERY VERY Serious. You will be asked, the second you arrive at the dock, to fill out a health questionnaire. You need to be honest here, but be reasonable, if you have a headache and are feeling nauseated and exhausted from travel, do not put that down! You only have to put down if you have a virus, flu, or anything that can be contagious. Keep in mind, if you do feel this way you should consider postponing your cruise. The cruise company has the right to quarantine you to your room up to the entire length of your stay!
- Understand the ships dining options and ask what places are open at what times. If you are concerned about finding food you like, ask them to mail you some ship dining details so you can book a cruise based on your food likes and dislikes.
- If you want to have Internet in your cabin and/or available 24 hours a day, ask what the options are before you book.
- If you have children traveling with you, ask what the kids programs they offer.
- 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.
Things to know before you Set Sail!
- Pack something for motion sickness. The PSI Bands are wonderful and so in 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 and gift shops on board can get pricey.
- Pick your dining options in advance with your travel agent, having to wait to talk to the restaurant manager can be time consuming and bothersome on your first day!
- If you have the option, pre book your cruise excursions so you don’t have to worry about them selling out.
- Arrange your post trip travel arrangements. Do not rely that the boats Internet will be working.
- You may be able to check in early and board before the listed boarding time, call ahead and ask!
- You may want to put a bottle of wine or something special in your suitcase to enjoy in your room.
- 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 if you have a special occasion, honeymoon, birthday or anniversary 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.
Things you need to know when you are on board.
- The ships bon voyage party is always a great time, you should make a point to make this event.
- If you are going to explore the ports of call on your own and not go through the cruise company, 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 go on a ship excursion they will NEVER leave you behind.
- If you are a soda drinker, you will want to buy a soda card. The money you save over the course of the cruise will amaze you.
- Formal night is formal. Take advantage of the photographers and leave some extra time before dinner to have your photo taken.
- You will want to plan your evenings and days in advance. It can be overwhelming when you see the daily activities and if you do not plan well you may miss it all. Also, in the event that none of the ships activities “float your boat” check out the ships library to take out some great board games, cards or books to pass the time while you are at see.
- You will want to ask your room steward to explain how things work on the first day.
- Check your on board account several times during the stay, things like beverages and shopping add up quick! Don’t be shocked on the last day.
- Be on the look out for deals towards the end of the trip, you will notice that the ship may discount times more towards the end.
- Be sure to hit the captains dinner, most ships offer a complimentary cocktail party and it is always fun to mingle.
- Optional dining is fun to try at least once, book the first night of your cruise so you can plan or cancel should you change your mind.
- If you want to go see the nightly show at the theatre then be sure to eat early to get a good seat or arrange to eat at the same time each day to not miss it.
- 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.