10 Tips To Make The Best Of Your Cruise Vacation

Leave your cares at the habour and cruise away to paradise

By Nicole-Marie Ng; Images: Shutterstock.com

Sail the high seas while delighting in friendly service, fun activities and a constant flow of yummy delights. Leave your cares at the harbour and get ready to be pampered the entire time you’re on board.

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1. Check in late

Most cruisers are eager to get on the ship as early as possible; this means that the cruise centre will be especially busy during the first few hours of boarding. With most people entering the ship to have lunch at the buffet restaurant, you’ll be spending the start of your cruise queueing for a seat at the restaurant. Instead, have a more enjoyable lunch on shore and check in later. You’ll be able to walk right in and head straight to your room once you check in.

2. Hit the pool in the evening

The first cruise attraction many families hit is the swimming pool, leaving it crowded in the mornings and afternoons. If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, the pools are normally more empty in the evenings. Alternatively, head to the less crowded adult Jacuzzis for a dip or explore other parts of the ship and soak in the sun away from the crowd.

3. Go on tour

Many people choose to stay on board instead of exploring the various ports of call. Choose to go land-side as your cruise line will often have multiple tours that will take you take you around the city. Go shopping, on a food tour or to the various tourist points of interest.

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4. Learn something new

The cruise is packed full of activities at every turn so plan your day once you receive the activity list. Go to a yoga class in the morning and learn how to arrange flowers in the afternoon. Master the art of yelling “bingo” or pick up new dance moves at the disco.

5. Don’t miss the shows

Cruise lines regularly bring in top notch acts to keep you entertained while on board.  You may even have the chance to see a big name performer or comedian without any additional charge.

Royal Caribbean cruises also put on a spectacular ice show that enthrals the audience with its death-defying stunts and fun interaction portions.

6. Have a private dinner

Most cruise lines encourage group dining where you and your family share a table of 10 with other people. If making small talk with the same strangers every night isn’t your idea of an enjoyable time, ask for a private seat at one of the higher dining room floors.

Alternatively, consider dining at one of the ship’s specialty restaurants or at the buffet restaurant instead.

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7. Order everything on the menu

Many first time cruisers don’t know that even in the main dining room, you can order as many appetizers, mains and desserts as you like. Just make sure you don’t over-order and waste food.

If you have special dietary needs, ask for a special diet menu that includes vegetarian, lower sodium and lower fat options.

8. Take advantage of free room service

At any time of the day, use your room’s interactive television set to order room service. Don’t feel like waking up early for breakfast? Start your day right by having eggs and sausages without having to even step out of bed.

9. Pack light

As staterooms are normally very small, you won’t have space to walk around if you choose to bring a lot of luggage. Pack light and reuse clothes, just don’t forget to make room for your “formal night” outfit.

Using carry on sized luggage also has its advantage as you can check in and out of the ship quickly without having to wait for your luggage to be processed.

10. Pick the right time to go

Want to get a great deal on a cruise?  Set sail during off-peak months like April or August. Chinese New Year is a good time to sale too as people are too busy with festivities back home to sail. Look out for when the ship is undergoing renovation as that entitles you to 50% back on the price you paid as on board credit.

We hope these simple tips and tricks help make your next cruise vacation a more enjoyable one!

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