5 Ways To Improve Your Cruise Experience
Venturing to different parts of the world via a cruise can be a great experience and offer several things that booking a normal holiday just won’t provide. For example – If your goal is to sight-see, you can visit a different place each day without having to change hotels. If your goal is to relax, you can drop your kids off (if you have kids!) at the supervised kids’ club while you stare at the sea and read. A cruise is like a resort with all the amenities you desire on wheels, taking you from port to port but without gaining any air miles!
Below are 5 ways to improve your cruise experience and minimise the potential drawbacks of cruises:
- Choosing the right ship is not easy, make sure you do your research
There is a lot more that goes in to choosing a cruise then you may think. There are a lot of people who basically explain or picture a cruise being like Marmite – you either hate it or absolutely love it!
However, the ones who hated there cruise experience and have declared never to put themselves through that ordeal again, depending on their reason for this, some of them may have had a completely different experience if they had done more research on choosing the right ship for them. These are the following things you need to consider before choosing a ship:
- Time spent in each port – Make sure you are aware of how much time is spent at each port to see whether this caters to your itinerary goals.
- How many passengers does the cruise hold? – The most vital statistic about a vessel is the number of passengers it carries. Ship size determines a lot more than you might imagine – from what you’ll be able to see and do in ports of call, to what you’ll eat on board to how rested you’ll feel by the end of the trip.
- The difference between river cruising and ocean cruising – A) River cruises are much smaller than ocean cruises. You can expect to mingle with about 200 passengers on a river cruise, while ocean cruises can accommodate thousands. B) River cruise passengers tend to be a bit older, although lines are starting to see more cruisers who are younger but culturally minded, too. C) It’s a much easier boarding process on river cruises – forget long lines of thousands of people passing through immigration with x-ray scans, simply walk on and off the ship with little to no wait. D) River ships have just one or two main lounge and bar areas. E) Spa’s, treatment menus and other facilities won’t be as expansive as on oceangoing ships. F) Pools are not common on river cruises, but a few companies like AmaWaterways and Emerald Waterways offer one. G) River cruises don’t ban kids, but there’s not much to keep children, (especially under 7 or 8) entertained on-board and most cabins and suites only sleep two.
- Families don’t forget to find the answers to these questions – is there a kids club, what activities do they provide for kids, how child friendly are the pools, how big will my cabin be, will my cabin be conveniently located, can I dine when I want to in the evening, what will my family do in each port?
- Ship your luggage to the cruise ahead of your arrival.
Imagine travelling without having the hassle or stress of lugging your belongings to and from your destination. Imagine not having to worry about how many bags you would like to take or what weight restriction you need to abide by to avoid overweight hefty fines.
You can avoid all of this as well as the check-in desk and waiting at the luggage carousel (baggage claim) with Langlais.
Langlais door-to-door luggage services can arrange to collect your belongings from your doorstep and deliver them to the port. They’ll also handle your complex custom forms, clear any custom and security issues and track your luggage every step of the way. Arrive at your cruise with your bags waiting for you in your stateroom.
- Arrive a day ahead of your cruise departure.
This may sound like a simple tip, but many people just don’t end up doing it. Getting to your port city the night before gives you plenty time before your cruise departure, which equals less stress and unnecessary palpitations/arguments!
The other benefits of getting there the night before is actually getting a chance to explore the city you’ll be departing from and brushing up on the cruise information.
Also remember, if you choose to ship your luggage directly to your cruise via Langlais, don’t forget to pack a few things in your carry-on bag to tide you over before you board the ship.
- Book your shore excursions ahead of time.
The best shore excursions book quickly, so it’s a good idea to make your reservations before you leave home, if possible. Most cruise lines allow passengers to make these reservations online. If you can’t book in advance, then you’ll want to take care of this as soon as you get on the ship to avoid being disappointed.
- Consider staying on the ship during a port of call.
Don’t feel obligated to get off of the ship at all ports of call just to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. Staying on-board while the majority of the passengers are in port is a great way to enjoy all of the amenities of the ship without the crowds. This is especially true of larger ships that can hold thousands of passengers (such as Royal Caribbean’s twin 6,296-passenger ships), “Oasis of the Seas” and “Allure of the Seas.” It’s no surprise that on port days, the pool areas and spa are much less crowded than on “at sea” days.