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What to Expect on Your First Cruise

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If you’ve never been on a cruise, it can be a daunting prospect for your yearly vacation. Rather than spending a week in a hotel, you’ll be staying on a boat surrounded by water. This change in scenery can make cruises intimidating for many first-time sailors. If you’re unsure what to expect on your first cruise, here are a few things to put your mind at ease. 

Cruises Aren’t All-Expenses Paid

If you don’t know what to expect on a cruise first time, you should know that it’s not all-expenses-paid. While your initial fee covers your room and board on the cruise ship, certain features will cost more money. For instance, the ship’s bar operates on a separate fee from the rest of the dining services. If you’re buying drinks every night, you’ll accumulate quite a tab that’ll go on your card. These charges add up fast, so make sure you include them in your overall vacation budget. 

Along similar lines, certain services require early booking to assure you get a spot. Things like specialty dining, on-shore adventures, and salon treatments can be pre-booked to eliminate long wait times. By reserving your space ahead of time, you can eliminate the stress of securing a spot at your favorite attractions. Cruises have plenty to offer both on and off the ship, so pre-booking can help you get everything done that you want to. No matter what destination you’re headed to, make sure your budget is well-planned. 

Cruises Don’t Have Strict Dress Codes

Another thing to know about cruises is that they no longer have strict dress codes. While many people associate cruises with upper-class dining and dress, that is no longer the case. Nowadays, many people wear relaxed casual clothes around the ship. Certain cruise lines have formal nights available, but these are optional for each passenger. If you don’t feel like dressing up, you can easily get by with jeans and a casual shirt for meals. Rather than dressing formally every night, opt for comfier clothes for the duration of your stay. 

During the majority of your cruise, you’ll be either enjoying the amenities on the ship or exploring on-shore. Depending on what destination you chose, you may want to pack clothes comfortable enough to walk around in. Many ports of call will have museums or tourist attractions that you can tour, so having comfortable shoes is a must on a cruise. Of course, you’ll want to pack a swimsuit on any cruise. The ship itself will have a pool, hot tub, and fitness area, so having clothes to relax in will help make your trip enjoyable. By packing the right clothes for your trip, you can eliminate stress. 

You’ll Be Able to Get Off The Ship

Finally, it’s important to remember that you won’t be stuck on the ship. When you think of a cruise, it’s easy to associate it with water and nothing else. The thought of being stuck in the ocean for days on end can make people nervous, but it’s a misconception when it comes to cruises. Each cruise package has at least 3 ports of call, where you’ll be able to disembark and explore the port city. Depending on what trip you chose, you could be visiting iconic cities like Juneau, Alaska, or Cancun, Mexico. 

Because you’ll be getting off the ship regularly, it’s important to choose your vacation based on your ports of call. While the ship itself has plenty of attractions to choose from, the majority of your memories will be made on land. Before you book a cruise, check out where the ship is stopping. You could get to explore some sunny beaches or ancient ruins, so don’t be worried about spending too much time on the ship! 

Overall, going on a cruise is nothing to be nervous about. If this is your first time getting onboard a cruise ship, there’s no need to worry. Plan ahead a little and have a great time! 

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