ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Getting the Most out of Your Cruise Vacation

Updated on August 28, 2019
Paddygsound profile image

As an experienced cruiser, I've got tons of tips to make your next cruise vacation a breeze.

Prioritize, Plan and Then Party

I love going on cruises. I have been on a few over the years, and I am still amazed by how much there is to see and do on them every day.

It is virtually impossible to get around the whole ship in one trip or to take part in everything that they have to offer, but that won't stop you trying to fit it all in.

To get the most out of your vacation, plan things ahead of time. This will save your feet for by stopping you having to endlessly wander, looking for things to do.

Make sure you do your research before you leave and seeing what the ship and ports have to offer just makes good sense. The Internet available on cruise ships but it is not great being both very expensive and not always reliable, so it doesn't pay to leave it till you are on the ship.

Prior to leaving a little research will give you a decent idea of what to expect on your trip, reducing the chances of overspending, travel stress and the likelihood of missing out on all of the fun things on offer.

Smaller ships allow for the opportunity to really get around and really take in all that is on offer, however, mega-ships through sheer size make it almost impossible to get around and see everything thing on offer.

Researching the ship before boarding allows you to get the most out of your journey. I suggest being familiar with at least the basics like venues, activities and entertainment that will be available during your trip.

Whether it be a certain kind of music, entertainment, or maybe you just want to treat yourself to that full body massage. This is your time to pick your goals for your cruise.

This is also true of the ports that you will be travelling to. If you are fully versed in what is available you will be able to more easily arrange things to get the most out of your journey.

A good tip if you don't go ashore at every port, is to make sure you read your daily cruise planner, as the cruise lines offer the most beautiful treatments and massages on those days when the ship is almost empty. It can be the perfect chance to spoil yourself whilst the ship is quiet.

I scored the most luxurious Swedish massage with all the trimmings through doing this. It was amazing how she worked all of the muscles and relaxed them to the point I walked out of the spa feeling like a million dollars.

Whilst on your cruise pay attention to your cruise compass or cruise planner as they are called, these are delivered to your stateroom. These gems hold everything you might need to know about your trip on a daily basis.

The internet is your friend when it comes to getting the most out of your cruise. A little research will help you to know what is what with your trip and any quirks to keep in mind.

I have found that the best results are found online resources like https://www.cruisecritic.com.au/ and Facebook groups have the most to offer. I use Cruise Critic for example to get an idea of what to expect and what is worthwhile keeping in mind when booking and taking a cruise. I find that reading through the experiences of other people takes the uncertainty out of the trip for me and allows me to truly relax.

What is your favourite cruise-line?

See results

Plan Ahead

The problem with cruising is that there is a necessity to plan at least some of the things that will happen. Doing so will get some bucket list items done and at the very least ensure that you have a bit of variety during your trip.

Making sure that you book the right kind of dining option and pre-booking all tours as soon as possible are perfect examples. Planning these ahead of time reduces the chances of you being disappointed these sell quickly once everyone is on the ship.

Having every moment of a cruise planned out can quickly suck the fun from it, but having expectations that aren't met means disappointment and even regret. So if you've been dying to eat at the speciality restaurants or get a treatment at the spa, then be sure to book.

A little planning will mean more opportunity for laying back on a sun lounge with a good book and a cold drink.

Be Flexible

Get the most out of your cruise vacation by keeping it loose. By loose I don't mean your clothing (though that can help, with the buffets), but be a little bit flexible. This will reduce the chances of killing those holiday vibes because of unnecessary stress.

No one wants holiday stress so be prepared and a little bit flexible with showtimes, for example, you don't always have to go to the first one as they are always the first choice for almost the whole ship.

If you plan ahead, go for the anytime dining options, this allows you to, as the name suggests, dine at any time. Set time dining can be fine but it will mean that you are likely dumped with half a table of people you don't know every evening that you dine in the dining hall. I personally like the intimacy of a smaller table, even if it does mean a few minutes wait time occasionally.

A perfect example of the benefit of being flexible whilst on holidays was on my first cruise where I almost missed out on going to my favourite Island, Amedee Island. Through being nice to the staff and flexible within what I was happy to do, they were able to help me get those tickets to the island, even though it meant a bit of legwork for them because the had to change booking back and forward.

See my article about the beautiful Amedee Island here.

I am forever thankful to those staff on the Carnival Spirit, their help made for a truly amazing first cruise

Even if I hadn't been able to visit Amedee Island, being flexible with my plans meant that, had I missed out I still would have had options, just at another island.

So keep it cool people and you will enjoy your trip more.

Plan Your Naps and the Way You Attack the Snacks

It is easy to party all night long on a cruise. The problem though is when you have a port day the next morning. Trust me I have seen a few green looking faces making a b-line to the buffet to get at the greasy breakfast hangover cure. Burning the candle at both ends \can mean that you miss out on things because you are feeling poorly.

Going straight to your tour the next morning hungover or still drunk is the worst. So unless you have the strength of five people, be mindful not to party too hard every night. Especially on those longer cruises.

I always make sure that I get a good night sleep and lay off the booze at least on the nights before shore days. Otherwise, you'll end up falling asleep on your tour guide or worse.

If for you the party goes all night long, make sure to book tours for later in the morning or afternoon to save yourself any trouble or having wasted opportunities because you were too tired to enjoy them fully.

Eat properly at least some of the time and try to keep your mealtimes semi-regular. For one thing, you will ensure that you know what time it is as there is a tendency to become lost in time on a cruise ship and secondly it will keep your energy levels up and give you the opportunity to sample the wonder that is cruise ship food. My personal favourites are steakhouses, like Celebrity's Tuscan Grille or Royal Caribbean's Chops Grille.

If entertainment trumps food in your book I would suggest skipping the dining rooms and speciality restaurants unless you booked an early seating and heading for the buffets for faster feeds or there is always room service if you can't bring yourself to leave the comfort of your stateroom.

All these tips should help ensure you get the most out of your trip.

If you have any more tips or tricks for getting the most out of your cruise journeys, please comment below as I would love to hear from you.

Bon voyage

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Paddy

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)