I love Cruise holidays- the joys of a hassle free all-inclusive stay, choice of activities, stopovers at some of the most scenic beaches and cities- there is so much to explore. Last year I sailed the Norwegian Cruise Line from Miami to Bahamas and experienced cruise holiday for the first time. This year I was on the Super Star Gemini Singapore-Malaysia-Singapore for three nights and loved every bit of it. I am no expert as I have just taken short cruises but there are some lessons that I have learnt and thought should share them on my blog.
1) Cruise Fashion
Its not just any holiday, it's a cruise holiday! So make sure you pack linen shirts, shorts and light chiffon or cotton dresses. Always carry a formal dress or shirt as Cruise Lines more often than not have a formal dinner or night where you are expected to be dressed formally. Don't forget to pack your swimsuit, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Ask Google about cruise wear. You don't want to go wrong with this one!
|Chiffon Dress is ideal for evenings on the cruise|
2) Check your Visa
Make sure you have a multi entry visa. The cruise stops in various countries so check if you need a separate visa for those countries. We didn't need a visa for Bahamas (they just asked for our multi-entry US visa) when we took the Norwegian Cruise Line from cruise capital of the world Miami for a three night Miami-Bahamas- Miami tour. We didn't need Malaysian visa either when we took Singapore-Malaysia-Singapore tour on Super Star Gemini ship (Star Cruise).
3) Less is More
Once on the cruise you will be given a daily itinerary. You possibly can't do all of the activities. Don't even try! Make up your mind what all you want to do...watch shows, grab drinks at the bar or just relax at the jacuzzi. Planning gets a whole new meaning when you are on the ship.
4) Tips for Day 1
Don't miss the sail-off on the deck..it is lot of fun. Have a look at this video of sail off dance on the deck of Norwegian Cruise Line. Do check out the reception and the bar for various offers. When we boarded the Norwegian Cruise Liner from Miami on Day 1 there was an offer for unlimited soda and alcohol for three days. It was valid only on Day 1.
5) Avoid Speciality Restaurants
Most cruise ships have ample of restaurant options that are included in your cruise holiday. But there are a few speciality restaurants that cruise ship has which are paid. Try avoiding them, they are fancy but the food is not great. Besides the fact that they are exorbitant. Restaurants in your city are much better so leave the experimental foodie in you back in town.
6) Try and Make Friends
A cruise holiday is ideal for honeymooning couples and to spend some romantic time with your loved one. But there will be many opportunities to make new friends, since you will bump into same people at the dinner table, casino or the bar. Its fun to make new friends and probably go watch shows with them or dance together at the DJ night. Cruise experience is also a lot about meeting new people from different countries and backgrounds.
7) Tips for the Disembarkation Day
To avoid last minute hasty bill payment or long queues at the billing counter, settle your bills a nigh before the disembarkation day. Collect a copy of your final bill, give it a thorough check and settle your dues. On the Disembarkation day if you decide to give your luggage to crew members, ensure that you are packed the night before but keep a hand bag with essentials that you will require on the disembarkation day- clothes, medicines, make-up and valuables.