5 Tips For Maximizing Your Cruise Experience

By Ariana Dickson, POPSUGAR

We have all heard the bright and sunny tales of Caribbean cruises. Some of us have likely swiped through an Instagram or two of our family and friends cruising through Alaska or maybe the Mediterranean. There are river cruises, repositioning cruises, those for adventurers, families, and the ones who prefer luxury. It seems that cruising triggers a different feeling in everyone. For some, it comes with the idea that it's merely a manufactured way to travel or cushy packaged holiday reserved for grandparents in retirement. For others, it's a cost-effective way to visit a few cities without having to conquer the logistics of flights. Whichever way you spin it, cruising does have its own unique formula. What makes it exceptional (or not) lies in the groundwork. Whether you're a cruise skeptic, planning for the first time, or preparing for your 10th voyage, there are ways to maximize the experience.


Pack everything you need for the first day in your carry-on.

[post_ads]Use those immediate hours on board as your time to jump right into vacation mode. Keep any and all important items in the bag that you plan to carry onto the ship. The rest of your luggage will be delivered to your stateroom later in the day, so you'll want your wallet, a change of clothes, and a swimsuit. Cruise ships are massive and getting settled may seem overwhelming, but if you stay ahead of the game, you can immediately begin to unwind. Tour the ship and get your bearings, arrange your spa appointments and dinner reservations, grab a drink, and find your spot poolside.


Catch the sunrise.

Floating in the middle of the ocean comes with its perks, like 24/7 panoramic scenery. One of the most unparalleled parts about cruising is the endless ocean views. The sights aren't just on land — there's a lot to see at sea. It's something that you'll never get staying at a hotel or traveling by plane, train, or automobile. With so much to do on the ship, you'll be happy that you got up extra early to take the time to appreciate where you are. Making the sacrifice will likely become one of the most memorable parts of your experience.


Prepare for port prior to getting on the ship.

As soon as you book, begin your planning. One of the major qualms skeptics have with cruising is the minimal time you're given to explore. In reality, the limit adds a sense of adventure and teaches you to prioritize. You won't want to use your time that should be spent relaxing in an attempt to coordinate your plans for the next day. Even though internet packages are available while on board they are still expensive and slow. Keep in mind what it is that you want to see, do, and taste prior to arriving so that no time is wasted. Forget the phone and unplug.


Consider opting to explore without a tour guide.

Cruise lines offer plenty of excursions for you to book, but they are usually expensive and extremely limiting. If you don't see what you want, you can always book your own activities through tour operators on the ground. Although, if adventuring is your thing, there is the option to wander. Add checking out train times, ticket prices, and whatever else you may need to your preplanning checklist. To fill each day to the brim with adventures rather than a cookie-cutter experience, you'll need to get off the ship early and optimize an itinerary that is ideal for you.


Don't miss pulling out of port.

The time you can spend in each destination may only be a few hours, but traveling from port to port is the kind of journeying that makes the cruising experience so unique. Pay a visit to the top deck to catch views of the city escaping into the distance. You may catch glimpses of distant islands and get a new perspective on the destination that you just spent the day traveling. While you're at it, get comfortable and stay to watch the sun sink below the horizon. The thrill doesn't have to begin and end in port.



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Travel Magazine: 5 Tips For Maximizing Your Cruise Experience
5 Tips For Maximizing Your Cruise Experience
Travel Magazine
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