Thursday, June 23, 2016

Advice for a First-Time Cruise

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!


PACKING
-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!

SCHEDULING
-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.)

PORTS 
-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

TIPS
-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

9 comments:

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

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

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  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

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  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.

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  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.

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

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  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!

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

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  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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