15 Cruise Tips That Will Make Any Trip Betterby Kayla Becker | July 29, 2016
The more you cruise, the more you know. That’s our motto, anyway. And since we spend a lot of time at sea, we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves that will make planning for your vacation much easier, so you can focus on relaxing.
Here are our best insider cruise tips for making your next trip a breeze:
Cruise Tip #1: Don’t wait until you’re on board to research your port.
The best shore excursions sell out quickly, so make sure to book online before your cruise. And if you’re going to plan your shore excursions yourself, don’t be surprised if the internet cuts out on you in the middle of the ocean. So do yourself a favor and take care of the planning at home before you set out on your cruise. It’s best to relax at sea, anyway.
Read More: How to Plan Your Own Shore Excursion
Cruise Tip #2: Plan your sea days in advance.
Spots for those relaxing massage treatments go fast on sea days — make sure you book these well before you leave for your cruise. Our favorite spas at sea for indulging in everything from facials to wraps? Those by Canyon Ranch, which has locations on Cunard, Oceania, Regent, and Celebrity ships, and the spas on the Viking Ocean Cruises ships.
Also, if you’re planning to spend the day by the pool, go early to snag deck chairs in your preferred location. On gorgeous days in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, these can be hot commodities, and the early bird gets, well, the best perch.
Read More: Spas At Sea: What to Expect
Cruise Tip #3: Buy day passes for a resort.
You have tons of activities to choose from in sunny ports, but if you envision your day as a beach trip, we recommend booking a day pass at a resort, especially if you are cruising in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. This will give you access to less crowded, more beautiful beaches and provide pool access, Wi-Fi, and a place to change and wash up.
Read more: 10 Caribbean Resorts with Day Passes
Cruise Tip #4: Download the ship’s app.
Ah, technology — embrace it, and you’ll find planning a vacation so easy. Many cruise lines have apps that will allow you to see the daily lineup of events and a deck plan without toting around a piece of paper. Carnival Cruise Line's app even lets you chat with your family across the ship, Disney’s helps you make sense of the cruise line’s incredible (and incredibly long!) roster of activities, and Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class app lets you track the progress of your suitcase to your cabin the first day of your cruise. Plus, look into other apps that can help you get the most out of your destinations, from car services that work in ports to apps that let you make restaurant reservations fast and easily.
Read more: 15 Travel Apps to Download Now
Cruise Tip #5: Pack water shoes.
It may not cross your mind, but trust us. The rocky waters of the Mediterranean and even some beaches in the Caribbean are no place to go barefoot. You can scratch your heel on shells or rocks, and if nothing else, the feel of seaweed on your toes can be unpleasant.
Read More: The Ultimate Caribbean Cruise Packing List
Kayla Becker is a New York City-based contributor to ShermansCruise and the assistant editor for the site.