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Tips to Help You Get the Most out of Your Cruise

Taking a cruise is a popular vacation choice, with something to appeal to everyone—fantastic destinations, vibrant entertainment, activities for the whole family to enjoy and endless dining options, all the while surrounded by the beauty of the open ocean.

If you’re planning your first cruise, take a look at the tips below to make sure that your trip is smooth sailing all the way.

Choose the Right Type of Cruise

This might sound obvious, but you’ll enjoy your vacation much more if you select the right type of cruise. If non-stop entertainment, and every kind of bar and restaurant you can think of is your style, then you’ll love the super-sized cruise liners that resemble a floating Las Vegas.

But if you don’t like being surrounded by crowds of people, noise, hustle and bustle, then you’ll be better suited to the more select small luxury cruises offered by independent operators.

Plan Your Itinerary in Advance

Use the weeks and months before your trip to research each port of call on your journey. Find out the best places to eat, where to shop, which sights to see, and which activities sound like fun.

You can always change your mind on the day, but by planning your trips ashore in advance, you won’t waste any of the limited time that you have before you need to be back onboard.

Photo CC by Forget Someday.

Book Your First Night’s Dinner

On large cruise ships, most passengers will head to the main dining room for dinner on the first night, leaving many of the other dining venues virtually empty. S

ome cruise lines offer cut price menus and free wine in their specialty restaurants to entice first-night diners in to eat. So, if there’s a restaurant that you particularly want to try, then the first night is a good night to book.

Check Out the Week’s Menu in Advance

Menus for the main dining room are planned in advance, and as you might not like the choices on offer each night, it’s a good idea to ask at the purser’s desk for access to the menus. This way you know which nights to eat in the dining room and which nights to book a reservation in another venue.

Photo CC by Forget Someday.

Buy Your Wine by the Bottle

When you buy wine the bottle, it works out less expensive than ordering by the glass. Don’t worry about having wine left over that you can’t drink. You can take the extra back to your room, or have the waiter mark the bottle with your room number and serve it to you the next day.

Booking a Spa Cabin Could Save You Money

Spa cabins can work out to be less expensive than paying for a regular cabin and a spa pass. If you know ahead of time that you’ll want to indulge in lots of spa pampering, then check out the prices and see if booking the spa cabin gives you a better deal.

Spend some time planning the details of your trip before you go. Read as much as you can about your ship on the cruise lines website, and search out reviews and guides written by previous passengers, so that you know ahead of time what’s a hit and what’s a miss with your particular ship and its ports of call.

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Meg Jerrard is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

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