Top 5 easy cruise tips: from you

cruise tipsSubmitted in the last month or so by readers who have “been there, done that” on a cruise vacation, these tips ring loud and clear as good advice. Regardless of where your ship is sailing to, from Alaska to Barbados, these tips are good ones to follow

“Get there early”
Arrive early in case you are able to get on board and begin becoming familiar with the ship. One of the keys to enjoying cruises is making the most of every moment. Be that spending most of your time doing nothing or attempting to do everything there is to do (you can’t) on the ship, getting on board early is a good idea.

“Luggage is important”
Keep in mind that you may have a long haul from parking to ship, so be sure large luggage is on wheels and keep carry-on’s as light as possible. Unlike a land hotel, your luggage will be delivered outsidee your stateroom in the hallway by your cabin. Be sure your luggage is locked and keep valuables in your carry-on bag.

“Get the right size cabin
The cabins are small. Don’t try to cram too many people in one cabin. It is true that the third and fourth guest in a cabin are discounted and there is a reason for that; sharing a cabin with three others is hard to do. Also, if you are a big or tall person, the twin, sofa or pullman bed might not work for you, let alone the bunk beds.

“Use the safe
Before determining if you want to take valuables along, check to see if the ship has safes in each stateroom. Usually, safes are equipped to hold jewelry, wallets and other small valuables. Best bet? Leave the diamond tiara at home unless you’re just too excited about the Royal Wedding and have to play it out in real life.

“Carefully consider dining
Most ships offer more than just two dinner seatings each night, one early and one late. The relatively new “open seating” option is a good choice for those who don’t want to be locked in to a specific time. With Early seating being around 6PM and late around 8PM, one of those might not work for you. Open Seating allows guests to dine when they want and with whom they want.

Do you have tips to pass along? Things you do on a cruise that are set in stone must-do’s for you?

Flickr photo by Dennis from Atlanta