5 Tips for First Time Cruisers

Thinking of taking your first cruise? Do it! Here are a few tips we think will help with your first cruise!

  1. Pack Smart.  Most 7 day cruises have two formal nights and most cruises under 7 days have only one.  Formal night on cruises means different things depending on the cruise line you are taking.  For example, most pants plus a nice shirt for men is acceptable and most any dresses for the ladies are fine.  In general, no matter what cruise line we travel on, I feel it is appropriate to wear pants when dining in the main dining room.  With so many choices of places to eat on most cruise lines, you may find yourself at the very casual buffet some nights or even more casual, dining in your room with room service.  Pack lots of comfortable clothes, when you are not at dinner you want to be comfortable exploring the ship, swimming, or relaxing by the pool. Over the years I have managed to reduce the number of clothes I need to take by almost 30% by just planning what our activities will be and wearing items such as jeans and khakis more than once.  
  2. Plan to walk.  Modern-day cruise ships are huge with many places to explore and things to do.  Throughout a day at sea, you may find yourself walking more than you do in the course of a normal day at home.   Additionally, at some piers, there is a long walk from the ship to the pier. Some of the walks at Cozumel piers can be almost a half-mile from the pier to port.  For this reason, we usually bring tennis shoes or comfortable walking sandals along with us on the cruise. Also since most cruises are filled with food and dining, I often commit myself to only using the stairs to help burn off the calories I will inevitably eat at dinner.  
  3. Pack a water bottle.  Water and most juices are free on the ship however the cups they offer are small and if you are a big water drinker you will find yourself going back and forth often.  For this reason, we always bring one thermos style water bottle on the ship for each member of the family. This allows us to keep water in our room overnight and also allows us to stay hydrated while lounging by the pool.  Most cruise ships offer bottled water for a fee, but we find the water dispensers provide cold and drinkable water.
  4. Explore.  Cruise ships offer so many amenities on the ships that often if we do not seek them out we may miss them.  Each day try to schedule one or two new things to do or eat. This method has helped our family enjoy and find new activities as well as new options for food and drinks across the ship.  Even if you find someplace enjoyable that you may think cant get better the first day, always try something new. You can always go back to that “favorite spot.”
  5. Have Fun! A cruise is meant to be relaxing and enjoyable. Spend time with your family. Try new drinks by the pool.  Explore new foods in the restaurants. Make new friends. A cruise ship is a melting pot of people and personalities we love to meet new people and get their stories, where they come from, what they like to do, and what they enjoy doing on the cruise ship. You never know you may get a great tip to try and love it!