On the ship, they have photographers roaming the ship taking photos of passengers to remember their trip. You have to buy the photos if you want to take them home, but not if you don’t want them. In other words, you can get your photo taken by a professional photographer and only have to pay if you actually decide that you want the pic. If you decide you don’t like it, then there is nothing out of pocket. Have a cruise tip that we left out? Have you used a tip above that worked like a charm? Let us know in the comments below.
Cruise ships continue to get grander with every new ship. That means crazier attractions like waterslides, go-karts, robot bartenders and whatever else the cruise lines can imagine. If you want to experience these attractions, wait until later in your cruise. The first day or two will have everyone waiting in line to get in. Instead, if you just wait until the initial rush has died down, you can join the fun without having to wait in a line.
Lose your camera? Good luck getting it back. To increase your options, write your home address and email address on a piece of paper and take a photo of it. This way if someone finds your phone and looks through your pictures, they can see where to return your camera. It’s no guarantee that you’ll get it returned, but it’s an easy way to improve the odds.
Cruise lines offer early debarkation to passengers that want to carry all their bags with them. This seems like a great idea as it allows you to get off the ship first and get back home quickly after your cruise. The problem is that everyone else has the same idea. Lines for early embarkation can stretch around the ship and take an hour or more to get through. Thankfully many cruise lines are getting better at the process, which is speeding things up somewhat. It can also be faster if you use a passport to sail instead of a birth certificate. Facial recognition at some ports matches with your passport can get you through quickly.
Like Las Vegas, you’ll find you that you actually spend less time in the room than you anticipated. If you’re out and about and wondering what activities are coming up next, you don’t want to have to carry around the full daily newsletter that contains that day’s schedule. Instead, an easy thing to do is take a picture of the daily planner on your phone or camera. This way you have a copy of the schedule with you without having to carry the newsletter or go back to the cabin to see what’s going on. You can also download the cruise line’s app, such as the Carnival Hub app, which lists everything going on that day and much more.
It’s easy to underestimate just how quickly you can burn from the Caribbean sun. Whereas it might take 20-30 minutes to start getting burned back home, the more direct rays closer to the equator can do the same damage in just half the time. The bad thing is that if you get sunburned, it can put you out of commission for several days, putting a damper on your cruise. Instead, the best thing to do is prevent getting burned. Wear wide-brimmed hats and put on plenty of sunscreen.
Everyone seems to have their own home remedy for curing seasickness. There is only one method we know of that makes actual scientific sense, however. If you are prone to seasickness, then you want to book a cabin as low in the ship and as close to the middle of the ship as possible. Think of the ship as a teeter-totter. It’s the middle of it that would move the least as the ends rise and fall. There is less motion mid-ship, which will help you feel better when the seas are a little rough.
Maybe it’s an old wives’ tale, but green apples are supposed to be a natural cure for seasickness. That’s why you’ll often find them at the buffet. Grab one or two the next time you are feeling queasy and test it out.
Vegetarian? Gluten-free? Food allergies? No matter your dietary restrictions, the cruise lines can accommodate. Don’t wait until you are on the ship to tell the cruise line about your diet restrictions. Call as soon as you book and speak to a customer service agent. They can update you on food options and also make a note on your account to notify the crew.
We’re usually not a fan of downloading a new app if we don’t have to. But cruise line apps are extremely helpful. These programs include daily schedules, messaging to others on the ship, ship maps, and even tracking of your onboard spending account — all from your phone. We’d suggest everyone download the app before your cruise to use onboard. It’s much faster to download over wi-fi instead of using your cellular network or the ship’s Internet. Learn more about Carnival’s app, Royal Caribbean’s app, and Norwegian’s app.