Your first cruise can be an absolute pleasure or a total disaster, depending on a number of different factors. Take these following top cruise tips for first timers into consideration and you will get the greatest value from your adventure:

  1. Planning

It is absolutely essential to plan ahead. First ascertain where you want to travel and then research different cruise lines to find one that has a good reputation and will provide you with the best value for your money.

Next, make your reservation well in advance. Make sure that you are aware of all the documentation you will need and get these together as soon as possible (do you need a passport or visa to visit any of the ports on the schedule). Complete all the necessary boarding documents and return to the cruise director.

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Know which pier your cruise is leaving from and make sure that you have transportation or that you can park your car safely for the duration of the trip. If you have any questions, contact your cruise line and they will be happy to assist you.

  1. Packing

Just like an airplane flight, you can pack a carry-on bag and check the rest of your luggage. A porter will help you check your luggage at the pier and then transport it to your room. Make sure that all luggage is properly tagged. Your luggage may take time to arrive in your room so ensure that all your basic necessities for one day as well as a change of clothing is packed into your carry-on. Documentation should also be packed in your carry-on.

  1. Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is one of the main concerns for most first time cruise travelers. Contact your doctor and ask him to prescribe motion sickness medication just in case. While you will be able to get these on board, it is best to have your own stash. Alternatively, take ginger tablets, ginger ale or ginger tea to help alleviate any sea sickness.

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  1. Alcohol

Some cruise lines allow you to bring your own alcohol. If so, do this to minimize your costs. Alternatively, buy alcohol at your different ports of call. Make sure that you read and understand the specific cruise policy regarding the amount and type of alcohol you can bring on board, if any. Don’t tip your server as a service charge is normally automatically added to your bill.

  1. Dining

Most cruise ships offer different dining experiences from the all-you-can-eat buffet to private dining rooms and even a grill on the deck. If you are planning to have a more private dining experience on your trip, do so on the first day as this is the busiest for the buffet. Remember that some ships still have a dress code for evening dining so make sure you pack appropriately.

If you take care of all the above and other specifications provided to you by your cruise director, you should absolutely love your first cruise and want to return for another.