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Cruise 102

Updated on November 24, 2011

So you've read Cruise 101 and now all you need is Cruise 102 to get you ready for your first cruise ship holiday.

Aloha Dress
Aloha Dress

Selection of clothes

It is easy to be weighed down with an overabundance of clothes when packing for a cruise holiday especially in view of the fact that there are so many events and special occasions over the days to cater for. So how can you reduce this quantity? My suggestion is to mix and match your clothes are far as you possibly can.

The allowance for weight per person is unlimited when cruising unlike that of the airways so while this allows you huge scope for variety of clothes to take while cruising, what about the dilemma you can be in should you be taking a return flight home?

Just to complicate matters you may well be sailing into different hemispheres and hence a change in climate has to be catered for.

An all weather jacket is the most useful item of clothing you will pack as many a time a view from an outside deck especially in early mornings or evenings is often the case, and be
assured it will possibly be very cold at
those times.

Choosing your dining time

There are a few choices when it comes to dining each with benefits to suit all passengers.

My husband and I decided before taking a recent cruise from Sydney to Honolulu, to opt for “My Time Dining” considering the fact that the cruise would take seventeen days and that seemed a long time to be with the same group of people for dinners.

After a few evenings of dining with different people at the tables set for eight, we decided to rather request a table for two as we prefer a quiet dinner time.

This flexibility being available makes for ideal dining for all.

My tip for “My Time Dining” is to book a table for two if that is your choice, as these tables are very popular. This dining arrangement is not available on all cruise liners.

Theatre time

Of the abundance of entertainment on board, my husband and I favor the evening theatre shows never missing one night.

To avoid clamoring for preferred seats in the theatre we always attended the first show.

Giving ourselves additional time before the show began, we would settle back with a cocktail and watch as others stroll in.

The theatre was always full before the show began and just as full for the second show, but the difference was in the fact that those who chose the second show had congregated at the entrance doors eager to surge forward as soon as the first crowd left.

Most people were rushing towards the favored seats. Personally I don’t like to be in crowded situations so sitting back with a cocktail with time to relax before a show is my choice.

Travel Insurance

My travel agent said the following to me at the time of my booking when the subject of Travel Insurance came up “If you can’t afford insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. I thought that drove the importance home to me.

The brochures in mentioning this matter obviously don’t make it compulsory but I advise you to view it as such because should you need medical attention the costs will astound you.

Numerous other benefits can be derived from Travel Insurance which brochures pertaining to this insurance point out, but I am urging those who are thinking of a cruise holiday to make absolutely sure their medical needs are fully covered.

Medical requirements

This is not the ideal time to experiment with your medications. I saw a woman become very ill on one cruise as she had decided to cut back on her medication reasoning that the restful holiday would suffice.

Take along your medical records as you will be asked by the doctor onboard for such should you need medical attention.

As previously mentioned I strongly encourage you to take a supply of medications for those irritating once in awhile medical problems most of us circum to, eg:- skin allergies, sinusitis, aches and pains.

The onboard supplies in the general store are limited.

To avoid dental or optical problems occurring during your holiday make sure you have had a check up prior to leaving.


Don’t be shy to request an upgrade which your travel agent can monitor prior to the departure date. An upgrade could either be the cabin grading or the deck level and while there are no guarantees there is no harm in trying.

Public holidays

Check against your itinerary which week days you will be in ports for on shore time and note whether they fall on public holidays or not.

I happened to be on a Pacific Island cruise that fell during the Easter holidays and found that some shops and public transport services were closed for religious reasons.

No doubt this would not be reason for rescheduling your holiday but would save you any disappointments en route.

Last Tip

Inquire as to whether or not a travel agent is a "Accredited Cruise Consultant".

With this qualification the Travel Agent will be able to give you expert advice on choosing the best cruise option to suit you.

Bon Voyage!

Pictures Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line


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    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Pleased you stopped by to read my article. We don't always consider these matters when booking overseas trips.

      I have just made bookings for a flight to South Africa and had to work around the school holidays of both countries, not easy!

    • Michael J Rapp profile image

      Michael J Rapp 6 years ago from United States

      More great info. I've definately learned the hard way to check holidays and school schedules before planning a cruise date.

    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 6 years ago from George, South Africa

      I know how cold it gets in Sweden from memories of my visit there many years ago. Too cold to tell the friends upon my return home.

      During our hot summer days I wish for a holiday in the snow, so are we ever happy?

      A happy new year to you!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 6 years ago from Sweden

      Great tips! I would love to go on a cruise some time again.

      On this cold Swedish Christmas morning, his hub got me to dream of warmer weather.

      I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday!

      All the Best,


    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Pleased you enjoyed the article and benefited from it.

    • profile image

      Jayden 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing all the good tips and advice on cruising.