47 easy cruise tips to enhance your cruise experience

Want to make your next cruise experience a breeze? Look no further! In this article, you’ll find 47 easy tips and tricks to enhance your cruise vacation. From booking restaurants for lunch to avoid crowds, to wearing matching t-shirts for easy identification, to using magnetic hooks in your cabin, these tips cover a wide range of aspects that will make your cruise life easier and provide a smoother sailing experience. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, these tips are applicable for anyone and are designed to make your life simpler and your cruise experience unforgettable. So let’s dive in and discover how to take your cruise to the next level!

Packing Tips

Pre-booking my time dining reservations

When planning for your cruise, one of the first things you should consider is pre-booking your dining reservations. Many cruise lines offer the option of “my time” dining, which allows you to dine at a time that suits your schedule. By pre-booking these reservations before your trip, you can ensure that you won’t have to wait in long lines or miss out on dining options during peak hours. This way, you can relax and enjoy your meals without any stress or hassle.

Completing online check-in

Before you embark on your cruise, it is essential to complete the online check-in process. This step not only saves you time but also helps ensure a smooth and seamless boarding experience. By providing all the necessary information in advance, such as passport details and emergency contact information, you can avoid unnecessary delays at the check-in counter. Additionally, completing the online check-in allows you to review and update your personal preferences, such as dietary restrictions or special requests, so that the cruise staff can cater to your needs better.

Printing luggage tags in advance

To avoid any confusion or mix-up with your luggage, it’s a great idea to print your luggage tags in advance. Most cruise lines provide printable luggage tags on their websites, which you can easily attach to your suitcases. By printing these tags at home, you simplify the embarkation process and won’t have to rely on handwritten tags or worry about lost luggage. Additionally, printing your luggage tags in advance allows you to have all the necessary information readily available, making the check-in process a breeze.

Bringing personal wine onboard

If you enjoy a glass of wine with your meals or want to have a bottle to celebrate a special occasion during your cruise, it’s worth checking the cruise line’s policy on bringing personal wine onboard. Some cruise lines allow passengers to bring a limited number of wine bottles, usually with a corkage fee, while others may prohibit it altogether. By researching and adhering to these policies, you can ensure that you don’t run into any problems or unexpected charges when bringing your own wine onboard.

Preparing a carry-on bag for the first day

When you first step onboard the cruise ship, there may be a time gap between your arrival and when your cabin is ready. To make the most of this time and ensure you have all the essentials on hand, it’s wise to pack a carry-on bag with the items you’ll need for the first day. This bag should include essentials such as medications, swimwear, a change of clothes, sunscreen, and any other items you may need before your luggage is delivered to your cabin. By having these items easily accessible, you can start enjoying your cruise from the moment you step foot onboard.

47 easy cruise tips to enhance your cruise experience

Onboard Tips

Booking restaurants for lunch to avoid crowds

One of the best ways to avoid crowds during mealtime is to book restaurants for lunch instead of dinner. By opting for a mid-day dining experience, you can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere and shorter wait times. Additionally, lunch menus often offer similar dishes to dinner menus but at a lower price, making it a cost-effective option. Don’t forget to check the onboard dining options and make reservations as early as possible to secure your preferred lunchtime and ensure a pleasant dining experience.

Wearing matching t-shirts for easy identification

Cruise ships can be vast and bustling with people, making it easy to get separated from your group or family members. To avoid this predicament and make it easier to locate each other, consider wearing matching t-shirts or other identifiable clothing items. This simple yet effective strategy can save you time and frustration when trying to find your loved ones in the midst of a busy onboard environment or during shore excursions. Whether it’s a fun slogan or a vibrant color, matching attire will make it easier for you to spot each other from a distance.

Reading past cruise compasses for activity schedules

If you’re curious about the various activities and events taking place onboard your cruise ship, a valuable resource to consult is the cruise compass. This daily newsletter provides a schedule of activities, entertainment options, dining hours, and other essential information for each day of your cruise. To further enhance your planning, consider reading past cruise compasses online, which can give you an idea of the types of activities and events that have been offered on previous cruises. By familiarizing yourself with past schedules, you can get a better sense of which activities interest you and plan your days accordingly.

Using a good travel agent

When booking a cruise, utilizing the services of a good travel agent can be incredibly beneficial. A travel agent who specializes in cruises can offer expert advice, help you find the best deals, and take care of all the meticulous details involved in planning your trip. They can assist you in choosing the right cabin category, arranging transportation to and from the port, and even recommend the best excursions to make the most of your time in each port of call. With their extensive knowledge and connections within the cruise industry, a good travel agent can provide valuable insights and ensure a smooth, stress-free experience.

Participating in trivia sessions

Cruise ships offer a wide array of onboard activities to cater to every interest, and one of the most popular activities is trivia. Whether you’re a trivia buff or just looking for a bit of lighthearted fun, participating in trivia sessions can be an entertaining and engaging way to pass the time. Trivia sessions are usually held in various venues throughout the ship, and they cover a wide range of topics, from general knowledge to specific themes like movies, music, or even cruise trivia. Gather a group of friends or join a team onboard to test your knowledge and maybe win some exciting prizes.

Having a communication plan

Cruise ships are vast floating cities, and it’s easy to get separated from your travel companions, especially if you have different interests or prefer different activities. To stay connected throughout your cruise, it’s essential to have a communication plan in place. This can include designating a meeting point at specific times, using walkie-talkies or portable radios to stay in touch, or utilizing messaging apps available on the ship’s Wi-Fi network. By establishing a communication plan beforehand, you can easily regroup with your travel companions and ensure a stress-free and enjoyable cruise experience for everyone.

Booking in advance

To make the most of your cruise experience and secure the activities and dining options you desire, it’s advisable to book in advance whenever possible. Many cruise lines allow passengers to pre-book specialty restaurants, spa treatments, and even entertainment shows before their departure. By taking advantage of this option, you can secure your preferred times, avoid long lines or disappointment, and have a well-planned itinerary for your cruise. Keep in mind that some activities, such as shore excursions or popular shows, may fill up quickly, so booking in advance ensures you won’t miss out on any of the highlights.

Looking for deals

Cruises can be a fantastic value for your vacation dollar, especially if you’re savvy about finding the best deals and discounts. It’s worth taking the time to research various cruise lines, compare prices, and look for any special promotions or offers. Sometimes cruise lines offer early booking discounts, last-minute deals, or special perks like onboard credits or complimentary upgrades. Additionally, consider booking during the off-peak seasons, as prices tend to be lower, and you may find fewer crowds on the ship. By being diligent in your search and keeping an eye out for deals, you can make your cruise experience even more rewarding.

Using stairs instead of elevators

While it may be tempting to take the elevator when moving around the ship, using the stairs instead can provide multiple benefits. Not only does taking the stairs contribute to staying active and burn some extra calories, but it also helps alleviate congestion in the elevators, making it easier for everyone to get where they need to go. Additionally, taking the stairs provides an opportunity to explore different areas of the ship and appreciate its layout and design. So, whether it’s going up a few flights or descending to a lower deck, consider taking the stairs and enjoy the added benefits it brings.

Using room service for breakfast wake-up calls

If you’re not a morning person and find it challenging to wake up in time for breakfast, utilizing room service for wake-up calls can be a game-changer. Most cruise lines offer complimentary room service, allowing you to enjoy a continental breakfast or a hot meal without even leaving your cabin. By ordering breakfast the night before and requesting a specific delivery time, you can wake up to a delicious meal and start your day at your own pace. This convenient service eliminates the need to rush to the dining venues in the morning and provides a relaxed start to your day onboard.

47 easy cruise tips to enhance your cruise experience

Cabin Tips

Using a USB port outlet for charging space

With the number of electronic devices we rely on these days, finding enough charging space can sometimes be a challenge. Fortunately, many modern cruise ship cabins are equipped with USB port outlets, which can be incredibly useful for charging multiple devices simultaneously. By bringing your USB cables and adapters, you can take advantage of these outlets and free up prime electrical outlets for other purposes, such as using a hairdryer or charging larger devices like laptops or cameras. This simple tip ensures that you’ll have enough charging capacity for all your gadgets throughout your cruise.

Using magnetic hooks in the cabin

To maximize the storage space in your cabin and keep your belongings organized, consider bringing magnetic hooks with you. Many cabin walls on cruise ships are made of metal, which makes them ideal for attaching magnetic hooks. These hooks can be used to hang hats, jackets, lanyards, or even small bags, allowing you to keep everything easily accessible without taking up valuable counter or closet space. Additionally, using magnetic hooks can help prevent clutter and ensure that you won’t misplace any essential items during your cruise.

Speaking up if there is a problem

If you encounter any issues or problems with your cabin during your cruise, it’s essential to speak up and notify the appropriate staff members immediately. Whether it’s a malfunctioning air conditioner, a leaky faucet, or any other inconvenience, addressing the problem promptly allows the cruise staff to resolve it as quickly as possible. Cruise lines strive to provide exceptional service, and they depend on passenger feedback to rectify any issues and ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all guests. So, don’t hesitate to let the staff know if something is not up to your expectations or needs attention.

Bringing a pen and highlighter

You may wonder why you would need a pen and highlighter on a cruise, but these simple items can come in handy for various reasons. Carrying a pen allows you to easily fill out any forms or paperwork onboard or during shore excursions, saving you from searching for a pen or borrowing one from others. Additionally, a highlighter can be useful for highlighting important information in daily newsletters or excursion itineraries, making it easier for you to remember and refer to essential details throughout your cruise. These small items take up minimal space in your luggage but can greatly enhance your organizational skills and efficiency.

Storing suitcases under the bed

Cruise ship cabins are typically designed to maximize space and efficiency, and one of the most effective ways to free up valuable floor space is by storing your suitcases under the bed. Most cruise ships have ample space underneath the beds to accommodate standard-sized suitcases. By sliding your suitcases under the bed, you not only create an open area that allows for easier movement within the cabin but also keep your suitcases conveniently accessible, should you need to retrieve any items during your cruise. This simple tip can make a significant difference in the overall comfort and organization of your cabin.

47 easy cruise tips to enhance your cruise experience

Dining Tips

Planning on eating dinner together

One of the joys of cruising with friends or family is the opportunity to dine together and enjoy each other’s company. To ensure that you can dine together at the same table and time, it’s essential to make your dinner reservations well in advance, especially for traditional dining options. Most cruise lines offer both early and late seating options for dinner, allowing you to select the time that suits your group’s preferences. By planning on eating dinner together, you can create memorable moments, share experiences, and indulge in delicious meals while enjoying the attentive service provided by the ship’s dining staff.

Avoiding over planning

While it’s important to have a rough plan for your dining experiences onboard, it’s equally crucial not to overplan every meal during your cruise. One of the unique aspects of cruising is the flexibility it offers, allowing you to choose where and when to dine on a daily basis. By being too rigid with your dining plans, you may inadvertently miss out on impromptu dining opportunities, culinary surprises, or the chance to try various onboard restaurants. Instead, strike a balance between planning a few special dining experiences in advance and leaving some meals open to spontaneous decisions based on your mood or cravings.

Bringing Downy wrinkle release spray

Packing formalwear or outfits that easily wrinkle is common for many cruisers. To combat the wrinkles and maintain a fresh appearance throughout your cruise, consider bringing a travel-sized bottle of Downy wrinkle release spray. This handy product can help smooth out wrinkles in clothing quickly, without the need for an iron or steamer. Simply spray the garment lightly, give it a gentle tug to release any creases, and let it hang for a few minutes. The Downy wrinkle release spray works wonders on most fabrics, allowing you to look your best without the hassle of ironing or worrying about wrinkled garments.

Using green apples for seasickness

If you’re prone to motion sickness or want to be prepared for any potential seasickness during your cruise, consider packing some green apples. It’s believed that the natural properties of green apples, particularly the scent, can help alleviate nausea and reduce the symptoms of motion sickness. When the ship is in motion or if you begin to feel queasy, simply take a bite of a green apple or smell it to help soothe your stomach. This simple and natural remedy can provide some relief and make your cruise experience more enjoyable.

Finding alternatives to buffet lines

While cruise ship buffets offer a wide variety of delicious food options, they can sometimes be crowded and overwhelming, especially during peak dining hours. To avoid the bustle of the buffet lines and still enjoy a satisfying meal, consider exploring alternative dining options onboard. Many cruise ships offer casual dining venues, such as cafes, delis, or snack bars, where you can find tasty alternatives to the buffet. Whether it’s a made-to-order sandwich, a slice of pizza, or a fresh salad, these venues often have shorter queues and provide a more relaxed dining experience, allowing you to savor your meal without feeling rushed or crowded.

47 easy cruise tips to enhance your cruise experience

Entertainment Tips

Looking for kids sale-free deals

If you’re traveling with children and want to make the most of your cruise’s entertainment offerings, keep an eye out for kids sale-free deals. Some cruise lines offer discounted or free fares for children, making it more affordable to bring the whole family onboard. Taking advantage of these deals allows you to enjoy all the family-friendly activities, shows, and attractions the cruise ship has to offer, while also providing a memorable experience for your children. From onboard water parks to kids’ clubs and character meet-and-greets, there is no shortage of entertainment options to keep the little ones entertained throughout the cruise.

Talking to crew members

Cruise ship crew members play a vital role in ensuring a pleasant and memorable experience for passengers. They are knowledgeable about the ship’s amenities, can provide useful tips and recommendations, and are often happy to engage in friendly conversations. Don’t be shy to strike up a conversation or ask questions when you encounter crew members throughout the ship. Whether it’s your cabin steward, a bartender, or someone from the entertainment team, talking to crew members gives you an opportunity to learn more about the ship, its various offerings, and the cruise line itself. Plus, they often have interesting stories and insights that can enhance your overall cruise experience.

Taking advantage of benefits when staying on board during ports

While many cruisers look forward to exploring the ports of call and embarking on exciting shore excursions, staying onboard during port days can offer unique benefits. The ship tends to be less crowded, allowing you to enjoy a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, onboard facilities and amenities, such as pools, spas, or restaurants, are often quieter and more accessible on port days. You’ll have the opportunity to indulge in these amenities without the usual crowds, making for a more serene and enjoyable experience.

Using free trams at Royal Caribbean’s private island

If you’re cruising with Royal Caribbean and making a stop at their private island, CocoCay, make sure to take advantage of the free trams available on the island. CocoCay is designed to offer a variety of beach destinations and activities, and getting from one area to another can involve some walking. However, to make your exploration easier and more efficient, Royal Caribbean provides complimentary trams that transport passengers around the island. These trams run at regular intervals, allowing you to hop on and off as needed, making it a breeze to explore all the attractions and enjoy the stunning beach views at your own pace.

Registering kids for Adventure Ocean

If you’re traveling with children and want them to have a fantastic time onboard, consider registering them for Adventure Ocean. Adventure Ocean is a supervised youth program that offers various activities, games, and entertainment for children aged 3 to 17. Divided into age-appropriate groups, the program ensures that kids have a fun and engaging experience while giving parents some much-needed relaxation and adult time. From arts and crafts to scavenger hunts and themed parties, Adventure Ocean provides a safe and exciting environment for kids to make new friends and create lasting memories.

Participating in Vitality spot raffles

Many cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, offer Vitality spot raffles as part of their onboard entertainment. These raffles usually take place during fitness classes or activities held in the ship’s fitness center or other designated areas. By participating in these raffles, you not only have a chance to win exciting prizes, but you also motivate yourself to stay active and enjoy the ship’s fitness offerings. From spa treatments and specialty dining vouchers to onboard credits or even a free cruise, these raffles can add an extra element of fun and anticipation to your cruise experience.

Watching YouTube videos for ship information

To familiarize yourself with the ship’s layout, amenities, and various offerings, watching YouTube videos can be incredibly helpful. Many avid cruisers and vloggers share their cruise experiences and ship tours on YouTube, providing you with a virtual glimpse of what to expect onboard. These videos often include cabin tours, restaurant reviews, and insight into the ship’s entertainment options, giving you a better understanding of what awaits you during your cruise. By watching a few videos before your trip, you can feel more confident and informed, making it easier to navigate the ship and take advantage of everything it has to offer.

In conclusion, by following these comprehensive packing, onboard, cabin, dining, and entertainment tips, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable cruise experience. From pre-booking dining reservations and completing online check-in to utilizing magnetic hooks in your cabin and participating in onboard activities, these suggestions aim to enhance your cruise and make it a truly unforgettable journey. So, don’t forget to plan ahead, pack wisely, and embark on your cruise adventure fully prepared for a fantastic time at sea.

47 easy cruise tips to enhance your cruise experience

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