5 things to know before booking your first cruise

Have you been lusting after a trip on the open sea? If you're looking to book your first cruise, here are a few things you should know first.

5 things to know before booking your first cruise

1. Don't plan to work online

Most cruise ships have internet service that is frustratingly slow and very expensive. Only a couple of major cruise lines are beginning to include Internet service that is more reasonably priced for passengers. For now, do not plan to do any work online while you are on the ship. On the bright side, this gives you a fantastic excuse to leave work emails unread and escape social media.

2. Pack a surge protector

If you only heed one piece of advice, this should be it. Pack a surge protector or power strip in your suitcase. One thing you will notice is the limited number of electrical outlets inside your cruise ship cabin. A power strip comes in handy for charging all the electronic devices you bring on board.

3. Pack a carry-on bag

Depending on when you arrive, you may board several hours before your suitcase is delivered to your room.

  • Pack medications and anything else you will need within the first few hours of your trip in a carry-on bag.
  • Do not leave laptops, tablets or expensive cameras in your suitcase. It may get tossed around by the baggage handlers, and you do not want your valuables to be broken.

4. Bring cash

Although most cruise ships use a non-cash system for all expenses, bring cash for shopping at your ports of call. While there are cash machines on the ship, the transaction fees are usually quite a bit higher than they would be at home. You will probably be tipping service people here and there throughout your trip, so it helps to have some small bills on hand.

5. Do not try to bring liquor on board

This rules vary from one cruise line to another, but you are generally not allowed to bring bottles of liquor on board. Make sure you check before your trip since some ships do allow you to bring one unopened bottle of wine or a limited number of non-alcoholic beverages, like a 12-pack of soda. If the bottle has been opened, it will be discarded.

With these tips in mind you can now prepare to have the time of your life on your first cruise. Bon voyage!

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