It doesn't have to be a daunting prospect. If you arm yourself with all the info, it could be your best holiday yet.
Tip #1: Plan ahead
Plan for any special needs you might have in advance. For example, make sure your room has refrigerators if you require medication that needs to be a certain temperature. Book as early as possible if you require a wheelchair accessible stateroom, and double-check with the cruise liner that they can cater to any specific needs.
Tip #2: Read the fine print
It may sound obvious but forgetting documents happens all the time on cruise ships. Make sure you organise all visas and documents you may need in advance, to avoid what happened to this poor couple
Tip #3: Focus on the Bigger picture
Whether your attention is fixed on the destination or grabbing a bargain, make sure the cruise ship you’re looking at ticks as many boxes as possible. Are you interested in the entertainment on board? What demographic is it geared towards? What amenities does it have? Does it provide the support you or your partner need? These are just a few questions to ask yourself.
Tip #4: Consider going the long-haul
If you’re retired, 100-plus day world cruises are a winning way to see the world in comfort. Why not set up shop on a winding cruise around the globe and enjoy the ride.
Tip #5: keep some hand sanitiser on you
Getting gastro on holiday is not fun for anyone involved.
Small pre-cautions like this could prevent you being stuck in the bathroom.
Tip #6: Be realistic when considering shore tours
When booking shore tours, make sure you’re physically up to the task. If the cruise line doesn’t have enough information about how arduous or long the tour is, get in touch with them to get the details.
Tip #7: Take care of yourself
Don’t over-exert yourself and remember - you’re on holiday. If you have an action-packed schedule, try to pepper it with some downtime.
Tip #8: If solo, get connected
If travelling solo, join in group activities such as cooking classes and some group tours so you can hobnob with new, friendly faces. Also, have a look at our Solo page for a rundown of cruise ships with solo cabins. Cruise Critic
also recommends solo travellers have a look at river cruises - the competition means that they have regular sales that drop the ‘single supplement’ fee.
Tip #9: Don’t forget to look at the weather at your destination.
It's important to have a breakdown of the weather from region-to-region. Some people don't mind cruising in cooler climes, but if you want to spend most of your time on sun-bed, it pays to check.
Tip #10: Check your meds
Make sure you have enough medication to cover your whole trip. Peace of mind is a beautiful thing, and not all medicines are readily available on a cruise ship.
Tip #11: Grab a bargain
Aside from senior specials, there are usually some good deals to be had, so have a peek at some of your favoured cruise lines and see where they’re going.
Tip #12: Make sure you’re covered
Talking about peace of mind - take out cruise specific travel insurance. Even if you have health insurance, it doesn’t mean you’re covered. Take a look at 1Cover’s Cruise Insurance Pack
. On top of this, take some extra precautions with your goods and leave anything valuable at home.