First time Cruiser Tips and Tricks

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Hey there first time cruisers! My name is Justin and I just wanted to share some basic cruise tips that might make things just a bit easier for you as you start cruising.

1. Remove Items you wont use.

Are those wine glasses destined to remain untouched throughout the entire journey? What about the redundant coffee table or the extra chair? Don’t hesitate to request their removal. The crew is more than willing to accommodate such requests, and you won’t be the first to ask. Clearing out these items not only creates additional space but also ensures a more personalized and comfortable setting for your stay. This includes the mini fridge items that are marked. Kids can sometimes use these and you end up with extra charges.

2. Free style Dailies of the days activities are available at guest services.

Head over to guest services, where you can easily procure a printed copy of the day’s planned activities and shows.

Free style Dailies
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3. Join the cruise Facebook Groups for your sailing date.

Most of these are private groups, so just ask to join and most moderators are quick to accept your request. You’ll find private events held on board that are fun and typically FREE or require minimal dollar contributions to participate. You’ll make new friends ahead of time. You’ll find great rate savings on excursions, get the insight on things ahead of time, They’re a great knowledge source and a source of fun!

4. Your own bottled wine, in your insulated cup.

 I’ve heard that people have (wink). If you’ve brought your own bottle of your favorite wine on board, use your travel corkscrew in your cabin to open it, poor a couple glasses into your insulated travel mug, and bring along to dinner. You’re able to bring outside bar drinks to your dinner table, so why not bring your favorite without worrying about that corkage fee.

5.  Plan your own shore excursions. 

 Research and plan your own excursions instead of booking through the cruise line. It can be more cost-effective and tailored to your interests.

6.  Reserve spa treatments and specialty dining in advance. 

 Secure your spot for popular activities like spa treatments or specialty dining by booking in advance. This ensures availability and sometimes offers early booking discounts

7.  Explore lesser-known deck areas. 

 Find quiet and less crowded deck spaces by exploring beyond the popular areas. It’s a great way to enjoy the view without the crowd. There are quite a few areas like this on the Pride of America. Deck 12 outside of the gym is one of them!

8. Use proper Elevator Etiquette.

• Take note of who’s there when you walk up.

 •   People in Wheelchairs, Mobility Scooters, People with Walkers or Canes, may not be able to get to the doors in time, so offer your assistance.

•   Do not GET IN the elevator to hold the doors as that will sometimes make it difficult for the rider to maneuver once inside the elevator in order to make room for others.

•    Wait for people to come out of the elevator before trying to get on, step aside from the door so it doesn’t cause a jam up.

•   Hold the door for others.

•   Step to the back of the elevator and make room for more.

•   Offer to press the floor buttons if you’re closest to the touch pad. Cover your face if you must cough or sneeze.

•   Use hand sanitizing stations when you exit.

9.  Pack a cruise-approved power strip. 

 Cabins often have limited power outlets. Bring a power strip with surge protection to charge multiple devices simultaneously without any issues. This is very important for those with C-PAP machines on the ship as there is no outlet next to the bed. 

10. Set your phone’s lock screen in case it gets lost.

We suggest taking a pic of your home address and your travel companions phone number and setting it ask your lock screen. If you lose your phone, the cruise Line can look you up to contact you, or the finder can call the number of the person your with to say “hey! guess what i found?” This is also great just in case you leave your phone in a taxi or Uber. We have had them return them to the ship many times for guests.

11.  Book the lowest category cabin you’re comfortable with and keep an eye on prices.

 Some cruise lines offer free or heavily discounted cabin upgrades closer to the departure date. Monitor prices and take advantage of potential upgrades for a more spacious and comfortable cabin.  

12. Ask for comfort items from your cabin steward.

Don’t be afraid to ask your cabin steward for anything that may make your stay more comfortableExtra hangers, blankets, pillows, fresh towels, a room fan, extra toiletries.

13. Dietary Restrictions are welcomed on all ships!

Gluten FreeVegetarian? Dairy or Egg Allergies? The cruise Line can accommodate you! Recommend notifying the cruise line in advance of sailing just call customer service, and they can make sure to set it up ahead. Forgot to call. No worries, speak to your dining room staff and they’ll take care of everything.

14. Mention a special occasion to get FREE stuff!

Working with your travel agent, you can tell them you’re celebrating something special and they can note your reservation which can sometimes land you a bottle of wine, a fancy dessert or a cabin gift. Though they’re not guaranteed, even mentioning to your server at dinner or your cabin steward.

15. Free Alcohol at the Art Auctions.

Want to get a cheap glass of champagne, stop by the art auction on board. They offer glasses of bubbly to help set the ambiance and they’re FREE.

16. Put Phone on Airplane Mode.

Save yourself the trouble of discovering a crazy high phone bill due to your data connecting to ship data and racking up charges you didn’t even know were happening. There’s free w-ifi in most ports, buy the wi-fi package on board, and check with your phone carrier about international travel rates before you go

17.  Download the cruise line’s official app. 

 Many cruise lines have dedicated apps providing real-time information, deck plans, and the ability to book activitiesDownloading the app can enhance your onboard experience. 

18.  Use distinctive luggage tags or ribbons. 

 Make your luggage stand out by adding unique tags or ribbons. This makes it easier to spot your bags in crowded embarkation and disembarkation areas. This will help you more than you know if your luggage gets lost on the ship. Crew will be able to find it much easier.

19. How To Cure Seasickness.

Besides Sea-bands and Nausea meds, you can try green apples if the buffet offers them, they help ease queasiness and mild sea sicknessGinger Candies are a great upset tummy friend but they can be kind of spicy.

20. Bring your own wine.

Most Cruise Lines will allow you to bring up to one bottle of wine per cruiser on board in your carry on luggage. Check corkage fees before doing so and don’t forget to pack a corkscrew in your checked Luggage!

21. Bring a refillable insulated cup.

Insulated Cups will be a life saver. The cups will help you keep those drinks colder and lessen waste of a water downed drinks you never got to finish.

22. Prop open your refrigerator door.

Most Cabin Refrigerators are hidden away behind a cabinet door. If you prop this door open while the fridge is in use, the fridge will stay a lot colder for you and the temperature will regulate it a lot better.

23. Miss your scheduled dining time?

Did your family a little Longer to get ready than expected. Did you Lose track of time? Maybe your show got out late. That’s ok! Just show up at the dining room when you’re ready and though you may not be seated at your normal table, they will normally still seat you and take just as good care of you!

24.  Arrive early for embarkation. 

  Arriving early ensures a smoother embarkation process with shorter lines. You’ll have more time to explore the ship and settle into your cabin before the crowds arrive. 

25.  Check for onboard credit promotions. 

 Take advantage of onboard credits by booking during promotional periods. These credits can be used for various onboard expenses, such as excursions, spa treatments, or specialty dining. Make sure to ask for a print out of your invoice. On the Pride of America Non-Refundable credits will not show properly on the app or TV. You may have over $100 in credit you don’t know about.

26.  Follow disembarkation tips. 

 Familiarize yourself with the disembarkation process. Pack essentials in a carry-on, settle any onboard charges the night before, and choose a later disembarkation time for a more relaxed exit. 

27.  Roll your clothes instead of folding them. 

  Rolling clothes saves space in your luggage and helps prevent wrinkles, making it easier to unpack and organize in your cabin 

28.  Reserve specialty dining on formal nights.

 Take advantage of formal nights for a more intimate and upscale dining experience at specialty restaurants, as many passengers may choose to dine at the main dining room.  

29.  Familiarize yourself with complimentary amenities. 

 Cruise ships often offer free amenities like fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, and educational lectures. Take advantage of these opportunities to enhance your cruise without additional costs.

30.  Bring a highlighter for daily schedules. 

 Stay organized by highlighting activities and events in the daily cruise schedule. It helps prioritize your day and ensures you don’t miss out on anything you want to experience. 

31.  Pack a portable power bank. 

 Ensure your devices stay charged throughout the day by having a power bank handy, especially during excursions where access to power outlets may be limited. 

32.  Pack a door organizer.

 Maximize storage space in your cabin by hanging a door organizer. It’s perfect for storing small items, toiletries, and daily essentials

33.  Join cruise line loyalty programs.

 Take advantage of loyalty programs to earn points and enjoy perks such as priority boardingdiscounts, and exclusive events on future cruises

34.  Request a towel animal demonstration. 

 Check the daily schedule for towel animal folding demonstrations. Learn the art and impress your friends by creating your own adorable towel creatures. 

towel animal demonstration
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35.  Use a magnetic clip to secure your beach towel.

 Prevent your beach towel from flying away on windy days by using a magnetic clip to attach it to your sun lounger.