11 things to think about before going on a cruise

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Cruising can be a lot of fun, but there’s a few things you can think about in advance to make the trip a whole lot easier to enjoy. Here’s our list of 11 tips to think about before you go on a cruise, so you have the time on your life on your next cruise.

1. Watch the cost of alcohol

Being on holiday is all about relaxing and having a good time, and for some people that includes a cold beverage during the day or with an evening meal. But those drink costs can quickly add up. If you’re adding drinks upon drinks onto your bill throughout the cruise, you might find yourself being given a hefty bill that you hadn’t budgeted for. Instead of buying your drinks as you go, try and get cheap drinks on your cruise, or buy a drinks package so you know exactly what you’re spending as you go.

Read more: Tips for first-time cruisers from the Travel at 60 community

2. Bring a reusable water bottle

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Filtered water is usually available at water stations throughout the ship, but it pays to have an easily accessible bottle of water on you at all times, especially when you’re on deck, enjoying activities or in your cabin. Bring along a water bottle so you can refill it as you go.

3. Know ATM fees are high on board

Cruises are cashless premises, so you’d be forgiven for just bringing your ATM card and not really expecting to use it. But if you do need to withdrawal cash as you go, just remember you will be hit with a large transaction fee that can often go up to $10 per transaction. Always bring cash with you to avoid this added expense.

4. Spa treatments and the hard sell afterwards

A massage or a manicure is a great way to relax and unwind during a holiday, but be aware of the hard sell that will most likely occur afterwards. A nice bottle of body lotion might just set you back a whole lot more than it would on dry land, so be wary of the prices you’re paying before you get too excited.

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Read more: How to get the most out of a river cruise

5. Cruise cabin cards and cashless charging

Remembering that cruises are cashless areas, the cruise line will have your credit card number on file and will charge your cruise cabin card just like a credit card if you purchase products and services. Be aware of the prices you’re paying before you say yes to anything.

6. Data roaming charges can really hurt

Uh oh, if you forgot to turn off your mobile phone data while you’re on a cruise, then that is going to be one expensive mistake. And if you think uploading a simple photo or making a quick phone call won’t break the budget, think again. Connect to the Wifi instead and don’t get a shock when you get your next phone bill.

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7. Formal wear is important on board

Being a first-time cruiser, you might not think it entirely necessary to pack a ball gown for the formal dinner evenings, but you might just feel out of place when you see everyone else getting all dolled up. At least pack an outfit that you can dress up with accessories, makeup and jewellery.

8. There is two ways to arrange excursions

Off-shore excursions can be bought through the cruise line itself, which is a great idea if you’re worried about not being back at the boat in time, but you can stand to save some money if you buy the excursions from other companies at port. It’s really up to you and what your budget and time management skills are like.

9. Sticking to a budget is possible

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Remember, at the end of the day, this is your holiday and your budget, so it’s important to remember to stay within your means. It might be fun to go all out and spend up big while you’re on holiday, but remember that you’re going to be left with the bill at the end of it. Stick within your budget and have a blast with what you can afford.

10. Cruises are full of free activities

One of the best ways to stick within your budget is to organise free activities as you go. There are plenty of free events and activities on board that will have you meeting people and having fun regardless of how much money you spend.

and our favourite tip for cruisers… 

11. Bring a roll of gaff tape

You might not believe it, but a roll of gaff tape can come in very handy on a cruise.  Consider that cruise boats sell high prices “towel clips” for holding your town on the deck chairs in the breeze; act as a lint roller or tape the curtains in place for . good night’s sleep.  

Do you have any other tips for first-time cruisers? Let us know your tips in the comments section below.

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