5 Things Not to Do on Your First Cruise
5 Things Not to Do on Your First Cruise
So, my first cruise -- a weeklong in the Caribbean -- wasn't perfect (credit the rain, a couple lackluster shows and some canceled activities), but it was still pretty fun. It took us a couple days to figure out how to make the most of our time while on the ship. As the days progressed and we learned the lay of the ship, our experience improved greatly. We might have thought we knew a lot about cruising, but until you actually get on the ship and experience a cruise … well, you experienced cruisers know what we mean. So, take note and learn from our first-time cruise.
Don't overdo it and tire yourself out on the first day On-Board.
Most contemporary cruise ships are really bigger than you think. These ships are composed of deck upon deck of cabins and public spaces and can accommodate thousands of people. The last thing you want to do is wear yourself out trying to find every nook and cranny of the ship even before your ship is underway. It's easy to want to see and do it all on the first day but...Don’t!! You have time over the next several days to take it all in and discover the ship.
Don't try to eat at every specialty restaurant.
Most cruise lines have built into their ships multiple specialty restaurants [at an additional cost]; especially the newer ships. These restaurants can be fantastic - the ambiance is quieter, the service is stellar, and the food is oh-so yummy however, you could end up shelling out a fistful of cash by the time your cruise ends. AND, you risk missing out on some of the special food items found in the ship's main dining room. During our cruise, we were in such a hurry to start trying out the specialty restaurants that we neglected to realize that the first night in the main dining room they were serving lobster. Not only that but if you wanted more than just 1 of anything, including the lobster, all you had to do is ask. And you didn’t have to pay a dime more. They don’t do that in the specialty restaurants. And, what made it worse is that everyone was raving about the quality of the food which was included in the cost of your cruise fare.
Don't think you're too cool to participate in the crazy cruise activities.
Sure, you can sit in your cabin all day or lodge about on the pool deck, but some of the best fun comes when you get into the music and onboard action put together by the Activities Director and staff. No, we don't mean singing karaoke or playing bingo, we found that even watching as a spectator at some of these on board events caused us to bust a gut laughing and having a great time. And don't forget, cruising's much better when you meet new people -- and these cruise line organized activities are the best way to do so.
Don't stay in your cabin for hours at a time.
While a few naps here and there are nice (especially if you have a balcony to veg on), if you spend too long in your cabin, you're sure to miss out on some fun on board activities. It took us a couple days to realize we were missing things like movies on the big screen, trivia sessions and game shows like "Battle of the Sexes." When cruising, there's something going on every hour of the day, and the only way you're going to have the best time possible is to venture out of your cabin and get involved. Every night you return to your cabin an overview of the next day’s activities will be on your bed awaiting you. With a marker read through it and highlight the things you want to do or that sound fun and…go do it!
Don't forget to be nice to the crew.
These cruise members work hard for your enjoyment. Remember to smile at them and thank them for their hard work. You'll be rewarded with personalized service and great conversation. It was awesome to have crew members addressing us by our names and stopping in the halls to chat with us. Be sure to set the right tone from the beginning, and your effort will surely be reflected in your experience.
BONUS TIP: Here is an Insider Travel Agent Tip that is sure to make your Cruise a memorable one!
As you make your way into your new cabin, the first opportunity to meet your Cabin Steward take a $20 dollar bill folded in half and extend your handshake with the $20 Bill in your extended hand. Look him or her in the eye, shake their hand and say " I look forward to an Extraordinary Cruise Experience for the Next Week! ". Smile and trust me, your name and the rest of the crew will know who you are before you head to bed that first night. We have been doing this for years and we have never been disappointed. You will be surprised at the special treatment not only by your Cabin Steward but by your Maitre De and wait staff at Dinner.
Give it a try for your next cruise!