Booking that upcoming cruise was a complete breeze, thanks mostly to the Travel Advisor who took care of all the fine details for you, but what now? What comes after all the paperwork is done & payments are made?

Do you patiently strike out the calendar – four months, three days and hours – until you board your cruise? Or should you be out shopping for that perfect, new swimsuit?

You could do both those things BUT you should probably also tick off a few other vital items that’ll ensure you have the perfect holiday from the moment of embarkation.

From picking your cabin to choosing your shore excursions, here are our super helpful tips on everything you should do after booking a cruise – all of which BTW, your Travel Advisor is ready and waiting to help you with.

Get cracking!

 

1. PICK YOUR CABIN

First-time cruisers, this one might make or break you so it’s really important to pick your cabin wisely.

Any Travel Advisor will tell you to pick mid-ship, mid-deck and an ocean-view cabin – why? Because this positioning feels the least of the seas (touch wood) and the view can help with sea sickness (rare but it can happen – just stare at the horizon). After that, you’re good to go.

 

2. PARKING AT THE TERMINAL

Most airport parking companies will offer cruise terminal transfers, so don’t feel obligated to park at the terminal & pay astronomical fees. Alternatively, check out transfers from your doorstep and leave your car safe at home.

 

3. BOOK SHORE EXCURSIONS

We never thought we would be passionate about shore excursions but they are absolutely worth their money.

Most cruise ports are not in the centre of the city so getting to the heart of a destination with no prior knowledge is not recommended. Even more convenient is that shore excursions are they are preferred operators with the cruise lines – meaning you won’t get left behind if they’re running late.

There are often a few shore excursions to choose from but your Travel Advisor can talk you through your options.

 

4. TRAVEL INSURANCE

Your Travel Advisor will encourage you to secure this as soon as you’ve booked the cruise, because if you can’t afford insurance then you can’t afford to travel.

It’s the single most important thing for any holiday and should be included in the cost of your deposit for the cruise. Why? Because if anything happens and if you want to be a stress-free holidaymaker, it’s easier to get it out of the way straight away.

 

5. DRINK PACKAGES

If you’re planning on sipping martini’s & lounging by the pool while you recover from the morning’s coffee – calculate your spending and buy the drinks package.

Most cruise lines will have heaps of different options to cater to everyone and they end up being quite cost-effective in the long-run. You can also do this before you go or the first day of the cruise.

 

6. KEEP  YOUR INFORMATION UP TO DATE

There is nothing worse than getting to the cruise check-in counter & your name is ‘Bob’ instead of ‘Robert’. Awkies.

Check your passport matches all of the information on your tickets and if you are heading into international waters – treat it like an international flight (the same rules apply).

 

7. DON’T FORGET FOREIGN MONEY

Okay, don’t go crazy but if you are booking shore excursions and they stop in little villages or towns, get a few dollars out to help the economy. If you’re doing the Pacific Islands, some places will accept AUD but will give you change in their currency.

 

8. CRUISE WITH A BUDGET

This is a little guide to not getting caught with a $5,000 bill after you realise that the long island iced teas you’ve been buying are not included in your drinks package.

Work out a very rough budget to how much you want to spend each day. If there are quite a few ‘sea days’ – add a bit more on those days because the temptation of lollies, blackjack & perfume gets very real.

We love the $50 per day budget but you could also go the entire cruise without spending a cent – it’s the best.

 

9. UPON BOARDING

Last, but not least, love the staff on-board. The best part of cruising is there are so many different cultures and backgrounds, with everyone working around the clock just for you. If you befriend Norma in the Deck 7 bar – she may give you extra cookies – you just never know!

 

We said it would be a brief guide but these handy tips can transform you from a worry wart into a Relaxed Raymond. Enjoy!

 

What are some of your tips for stress-free cruising?