5 Things You Should Know Before You Cruise
Before I get into the 5 things that we don’t always hear about cruising, I want to share this short anecdote, that involves my brother on his first cruise.
My brother and his wife were newly married, and soon after buying their first home, decided they wanted to go on their first cruise.
Of course, my husband Frank and I had cruised a few times, as had some friends. However, my brother told us that he absolutely wanted to be surprised and experience cruising all on his own.
We were under strict orders not to tell him anything about the cruise ship, itinerary and ports of call, or even activities on the ship.
He let us know, that if he had questions he’d ask, but he did not want any unsolicited advice.
So, of course we obliged. As he had a question about a specific excursion or online check in, we answered, but nothing more, as per his wishes.
They were going on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas, a very beautiful and fun ship for a young couple.
Well, they had a great time and really enjoyed it (and have cruised many times since then).
However he came home and said, among other things…
“Why didn’t you tell me the pool was saltwater? My eyes were burning for a full day!”
It seemed he jumped right in and this didn’t occur to him.
By the way, something to know is that some cruise ships have salt water in their main pools (and don’t desalinate much). All cruise ship pools are ocean water, but some are worse than others.
Anyway, we laughed and reminded him of his wishes…
Moral of the story – a little knowledge is never a bad thing 😉
Things to know if you’re cruising for the first time
1. You’ll feel the ship move
2. Cruise ship excursions are expensive
When you first book your cruise, you may not be aware that there are a few extra expenses to consider. Cruise gratuities and shore excursions are extra costs of cruising, that are important to be aware of.
Depending on your cruise itinerary, the extra cost of shore excursions, can really add up. Many excursions can be $50-100 per person or more.
3. The pool and hot tub will likely be packed
If you’re imagining days by the pool that look like the cruise brochure, that’s probably not going to happen.
The fact is, the pool areas and hot tubs will be crowded, especially on hot weather cruise itineraries.
Personally, I love sitting by the pool and taking in the sun and the ocean breeze on the pool deck, so I have some tips to share.
1. Get up early if you want a lounge chair close by to the pool. While you don’t want to be a chair hog, you can grab a couple chairs early in the day and leave occasionally to grab a bite to eat or go into the pool.
Another great location for deck chairs, is the top deck, just one level over the pools. It does tend to be breezy, so make sure to use towel clips to keep everything from flying away.
2. If you’d like a less crowded pool area, you may want to choose a cruise line or cruise ship that offers more space per passenger and that attracts a slightly older demographic. More family orientated cruise ships do tend to have busier pool areas.
4. Your cruise itinerary can change
5. Cruise ship balconies are small
No matter which type of stateroom you’ve chosen, cruise ship cabins are on the small side (unless you have a suite). However, it may surprise you to know that the outdoor space, balconies or verandas are on the compact side too.
Final thoughts: 5 Things No One Tells You About Cruising
There are so many things to know when you’re cruising for the first time, that we don’t always remember the less obvious cruise truths.
These aspects certainly won’t detract from an amazing cruise. However, I believe that we’ll never be disappointed if we know what to expect.
If you’re going on a cruise for the first time, you may enjoy these posts with awesome cruise tips, to help you have the very best cruise vacation!
What things have you found surprising, that aren’t often talked about when it comes to cruising? Please let me know in the comments below.
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