When it comes to cruising, there are a few tricks that can help make your vacation unforgettable and hassle-free. Here are our top 5 favorite tips for getting the most out of your trip:
1. Choose the Right Cruise
Although most people tend to focus on the destination or activities available in port, your ship choice may make or break your vacation. Some cruises are known for being family friendly, while others are better suited for a romantic getaway or singles escape. Each cruise line has its own personality, so you’ll want to be sure to choose the right atmosphere for you. There’s also a lot of variety among ships when it comes to onboard facilities. These days you can enjoy everything from fine dining and spa treatments to zip lining and water slides, all while still at sea! With the vast array of amenities and itineraries each cruise has to offer, you’re bound to find a boat that sparks your interest. Just be sure to match your preferences with a fitting ship. That way you can make the most of your vacation time, both at port and on the open ocean.
2. Only Pack the Essentials
Cruise ship cabins are small and storage space is limited so you’ll only want to bring the essentials. Even if you forget something, it’s probably available in the ship’s store or at a port stop. You also don’t need to bring your whole closet. For the most part, cruising has become a casual affair. Guests can typically get away without bringing any formal attire. It’s wise to look up the dress code ahead of time and plan accordingly. Don’t make the mistake of stuffing your suitcase to the point of barely being able to zip it. You can even take advantage of on-board laundry services if you run out of outfits. Again, only pack exactly what you need. There isn’t much room for storage in your stateroom.
3. Plan ahead for Port Days
To make the most of limited time in each destination, you’ll want to plan your port days in advance. Make sure to research each stop and learn about all the attractions available. You’ll be able to choose between booking a cruise-sponsored excursion, exploring on your own, or reserving a hybrid tour through a local provider. Being informed on your options ahead of time gives you a major advantage. You’ll be able to decide whether it’s worth it to book through the cruise line or save by scheduling your own day. With limited availability, popular excursions can also sell out quickly. So make sure to book any of those must-do tours in advance.
4. Read the Daily Bulletin
Many cruise ships have a daily bulletin detailing the next day’s activities. It can be found in your cabin when you arrive and is usually delivered every evening thereafter. Make sure to read this newsletter as it will give you a list of everything going on aboard the ship. You might even find something enjoyable on there that you would not have known about otherwise. If you throw it away without taking a look, you might miss out. Also, don’t think you’re too cool to participate in those silly cruise activities. You’re on vacation. Let your hair down and relax! Even if you just watch the corny games, it’ll make for some great entertainment and you might even meet some new people.
5. Extend Your Vacation
Whether your driving or flying to your departure destination, you should definitely consider a pre-cruise hotel stay near the port. Not only will you automatically extend your vacation, but you’ll also reap the benefits of a less-stressful commute to the terminal on your sail date. You won’t have to worry about missing your cruise due to a flight delay or traffic. Plus, If you’re already traveling all that way to get there, why wouldn’t you want to take the opportunity to explore. Just tack on a few days before your cruise to sightsee or visit attractions.
Especially in Port Canaveral, there’s no shortage of things to do; A few include visiting the theme parks, checking out the Kennedy Space Center, sight-seeing on the Orlando Eye, exploring the nightlife, or soaking in the sun on Cocoa Beach. If you’re trying to go easy on the wallet, you can even entertain yourself without having to spend much at all. Check out this list of 5 Free Things to do in Port Canaveral. If you want to take advantage of any of these activities before embarking on your cruise, be sure to extend your port stay by booking with Go Port Canaveral. We’ll take care of everything you need from hotel stay to cruise transportation so you can enjoy the fun part of your vacation.
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared on Go Port Canaveral Official Travel Provider and has been republished here with permission by Go Port Canaveral.