21 Jun Insider Tips on Cruising
The more you travel, the more you learn. You learn about what kinds of food you should and shouldn’t eat, which items are indispensable and which are superfluous, where the best spots are to stay and which ones to avoid, and the list goes on and on. Unsurprisingly, cruising is no different, so we’ve summed up a few essential cruising tips that we’ve picked up over our many years out on the water.
What to Pack
First thing’s first, be smart. You don’t need to take along your entire wardrobe, but remember to check your cruise line’s dress code. It’s likely that you’ll need at least one formal outfit for evenings, but other than that keep it casual and comfortable. And, regardless of what the forecast says, take something warm along – just trust us on this one. Onto more practical things. Pack at least one change of clothes and the majority of your medical essentials (take note of liquids’ restrictions) into your carry-on. That way it’ll always be close at hand, and if your main luggage is delayed you won’t be stuck in the same clothes. Bring some wine – most cruise lines allow it and it’ll save you a good chunk of change. Throw in a set of earplugs, even the supposedly quieter rooms aren’t completely silent, and you don’t your trip ruined because you tossed and turned all night. Lastly, bring your own coffee cup, cups and mugs on cruise liners are notoriously small.
Unlike bars and restaurants on the mainland, there’s no rule against “open beverages” on cruise ships. You’re free to pick up a drink and roam around to your heart’s content. Instead of buying wine by the glass, order a bottle – if you don’t finish it a water can mark it for you and save it for another night. Similarly, you can order buckets of beer at a slight discount. Buying a souvenir glass can also be far more rewarding that you might realise – usually, you can refill them at a discount!
When eating in the main dining room, you’re entitled to as many appetizers, entrees and desserts as you please. Additionally, you can order smaller portions of entrees as starters if you feel like trying sure but don’t want to commit to a full meal. If you’re not in the mood to face the dining hall and its many patrons, order-in! Most cruise lines offer room service, but take note that surcharges may apply in some cases. Speaking of the main dining hall, part of the appeal of cruise lines is the variety of their offering, and that extends to culinary pursuits. Don’t forget to check out other on board restaurants. If you’re feeling peckish, don’t immediately reach for the menu – on most cruise lines complimentary snacks are available, you just have to ask. Similarly, you can often find free treats, like no-brand ice cream, hidden in plain sight.
You know how most cruise ships are made of metal? Same goes for the cabins, which means they’re magnetic. Bring along a few fridge magnets to stick all your invites, itineraries, and notices to the wall. Inside cabins, by definition, have no windows. If you’re longing for line to the outside world, switch your TV to the bridge cam, hit mute, and boom: artificial window. And, talking of TVs, if you travel with more than the usual amount of electronics, pack in a power strip with multiple outlets. Also, remember to thoroughly explore your cabin, as small as it may seem there are often additional storage compartments which can make all the difference in such a confined space.
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