Cruising isn’t everyone’s preferred mode of travel. Still, travellers seeking an exciting way to travel to a new destination can reap the rewards of a few days out at sea. Cruising gives travellers the opportunity to experience a far-flung destination, all while having the comforts of a furnished room without the rigmarole of packing and unpacking, loading and unloading. To get the most out of your cruising travel plans, you just need to be equipped with a few very simple travel tips. Then, you can embark on a cruise that you’ll remember for years to come.
Which cruise should I book?
The answer to this question lies deep within your travel dreams. Is there a particular destination you’ve always want to visit? Is it safe to visit there currently? To get the most out of your cruising travel plans, it’s best to choose a cruise that will last a substantial amount of time so you can visit the sights you want to visit. Choose a cruise that has minimal days at sea and maximum days ashore. You don’t want to spend the bulk of your holiday time out on the ocean!
Before you leave home, research your shore options
Shore days are times when you can experience the destination you’re visiting while cruising. The cruise ship can arrange shore excursions for you so it’s simply a matter of booking the ones you want. If you choose to take a shore excursion, make sure it’s an activity that takes you ashore for a substantial amount of time. The best value options are those that take you on excursion from early morning to late afternoon and include at least one meal. Just be sure to book early, as spots fill fast. You can always explore a destination yourself, so it’s a matter of clearing customs and going ashore, then returning before the designated boarding time. If your boat has anchored off-shore, you can take a tender ashore as well. Be sure to research your own transport options such as local public transport, courtesy shuttles or trams, even bike-share programs or Uber. Surprisingly, some spots to visit may be close to the dock, depending on where you travel.
Where can I eat if I don’t go on a shore excursion?
If you have dietary requirements, particularly if you’re vegan, research places using apps such as HappyCow to discover the best places to eat and as close to dock as possible. If you venture further afield, be sure to allow ample travel time to return to the cruise ship.
Get amongst the cruise activities on board
Days spent at sea can get long and dreary. Though, cruises feature plenty of entertainment and you’ll have plenty to do. You receive a timetable in your room each night, giving you the lowdown of activities for the next day. There are yoga classes to participate in, daily deck-jogging, movie screenings, stage shows and more. Be sure to look out for your daily planner, and then turn up to what you want to do. Be aware that some popular activities may need you to book in advance.
Sample the food on-board and make the Maître d’ your new friend
There is an abundance of food on cruise ships and an unlimited number of cafeterias, eateries and dining rooms. Before you go on your cruise, let the cruise company know of your dietary requirements. When you do dine in the dining rooms, be sure to place your food order with the Maître d’ (or head waiter) the day before. The Maître d’ is the most knowledgeable dining room staff member so he/she can recommend specials for the day, check with kitchen staff about ingredients and confirm any tweaks meals will undergo to meet your dietary requirements.
When you’re dining in the more casual areas, simply ask kitchen staff about options and what they can do for you (time and resources pending, of course). Menus generally reflect the destinations you’re visiting, so this is the perfect opportunity to sample vegan versions of traditional dishes.
So, have you ever been on a cruising holiday? Do you have some tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about your cruising holidays and how you maximise on your cruising travel plans. Or, do you have a cruising holiday coming up? Tell me about your plans in the comments below.