Advice for a First-Time Cruise

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Happy Thursday, y'all!  
I just returned from a cruise to the Bahamas on Saturday and I recapped Part 1 and Part 2 earlier this week.  I had some requests for tips and advice for cruising, and I am happy to oblige!  I loved the little tidbits of advice I received about cruising from a few readers, and I wanted to create a list of my own.  Hopefully, these tips will help you for your first cruise or your fifth cruise!

-Bring a jacket or a sweatshirt in case you get cold while on the ship.
-The only items of clothing that you need are dinner outfits, bathing suits, pajamas, and 1-2 lounge outfits.
-Don't pack a beach towel because the ships provide them!
-Bring way more sunscreen than you think you'll need.  You do not want to have to buy anything on the ship.....SO expensive!

-If you can, do the early dinner time.  This leaves time to see more shows after dinner!
-Excursions are so much cheaper at the port!  We saved $100 by buying our Atlantis pass at the actual resort instead of pre-buying on the ship.  (Not all excursions are offered at the port.)

-Carry some cash with you at each port and make sure you have one and five dollar bills
-Be prepared to be bombarded by locals at each port of call wanting you to get in their taxi or pay for their tour

-Take the stairs all the time!  It'll help you feel better about eating so much :)
-Deck chairs go fast so don't wait too long before going to lay out on your days at sea
-Get to know your room steward.  They are some of the nicest people on the ship and will help you out if you ever need it.
-If at all possible, try not to check your luggage when you disembark.  It takes so much longer to leave the ship and you're one of the last groups called.

What would I have done differently?
-I would have packed a small blanket because I did get a little cold each night while sleeping.
-I would have packed a few snacks for when I was hungry between meals.  The only food items available on my ship 24 hours was pizza and ice cream.  After eating more fattening foods for my meals, I did not want anything fattening for a snack.
-Check with your ship about bringing canned cokes on board.  If you're a coke drinker but don't want to order the drinking package, you may be able to bring a case of your own for your room.  Carnival allows it!  I'm a water drinker, but cruise ship water has a weird taste to it.  If I would have checked, I could have brought a case of Coke Zero.

Dustin's advice:
-Pack a few extra outfits in case you need them since there aren't any clothing stores on board (that you want to shop at) (Total opposite of what I said!)
-Pack an insulated water bottle (like Nalgene or Swell)--you will need this when you get off the boat and at the pool
-Dustin also says to bring cash in lower increment bills (He wanted me to reiterate this point ha)
-Take some sort of motion sickness medicine (or prescription patch from the doctor) with you in case the ocean gets rough
-Bring a carry on to the ship that has an extra outfit in case your luggage takes hours to get to your room like us
-Bring a backpack/bag to take with you off the boat
-Have sinus meds/Tylenol/cough drops in case you get sick  (Dustin had sinus drainage so we had to pay $7 for a small box of cough drops)
-Relax and enjoy it all!

Linking up with Annie today


  1. Definitely good tips! I wouldn't think about including medicine - you never think you aren't going to feel well on vacation!

  2. Thank you for all of these tips! Definitely helpful while we are planning and packing for our cruise!

  3. These are great tips Sarah! I love the tip to ask about a case is coke. We're not big alcohol drinkers but I would definitely want lots of regular beverages! I'm totally saving this post for when we eventually go on a cruise!
    Xo, Evelina @ Fortunate House

  4. We went on a cruise last summer and I have been on multiple and this was new to me...I was allergic to whatever laundry detergent they used! Every night when I would go to bed my entire throat and nose closed up and it was impossible to sleep! I had to buy medicine on the ship and it was so expensive.

  5. Great tips, especially the stairs. I think we took the elevators THREE times on our grecian cruise. It's a great way to get in a work out.

  6. I love taking the stairs! We always try to get extra steps in anywhere we can to enjoy eating extra, ha! Great tips!

  7. All such great advice!! We did the early dinner times on our cruise, too, so we could see more shows afterward! Definitely a great idea!

  8. YOU CAN TAKE YOUR OWN DRINKS?!?!! I had no idea! Definitely remembering this because yes, the ship water was awful on our trip.

  9. I had no idea you can take your own drinks on Carnival?! I swear their rules are changing all the time! I 100% agree about the snacks. It's a little frustrating to consider bringing snacks when everything is supposed to be provided on the ship, but I also usually get tired of the pizza and ice cream! So glad you guys had fun!


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