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The 10 best reasons to book a cruise this summer

The 10 best reasons to book a cruise this summer

What do you know about the experience aboard mainstream cruise ships? Sure, based on the ads and itinerary you might know about the giant water slide on board, or the various activities the staff has planned out for you – but what about the things you don’t know? What about the cruise ship secrets?

Here are 10 things you didn’t know about cruising that will get you further prepared for a trip:

1. Don’t worry about the ‘open container’ rule

Did you open a beer at the bar but decide you want to go back to your room? Don’t worry, you can! There’s no open beverage rule on board, allowing you to go wherever you please with your drink.

2. Pay extra for the balcony cabin

Who doesn’t love a good balcony view? Well, it’s even better when aboard a cruise ship as you have your own private view of the sea away from other passengers. Cabin views typically only cost a little more each day, so book in advance to beat other travellers. 

Hot Tip: Cruising on a budget? Ocean view cabins with an obstructed view can be a good deal. They’re sold as outside cabins but for the price of an inside cabin. Cabins with an obstructed view can include balconied cabins under the pool deck overhang, cabins above or adjacent to the lifeboats and forward balcony cabins close to the bridge wing limiting visibility.

3. Bring formal wear 

When you think cruise, images of Hawaiian shirts, sun dresses and bathing suits often come to mind, but you get to dress up too! Most mainstream cruises have formal nights, so don’t forget to pack a couple of nice outfits in between all those togs! The length of the cruise will often determine the number of formal evenings. It’s important that you check the cruise dress code as they vary depending on the cruise line.

For example Azamara dress code is “resort casual” and formal wear is not required. Carnival promotes “cruise casual” wear but for formal evenings requires “cruise elegant”. Most cruise lines will have written restrictions on what can and cannot be worn in areas of the ship so make sure you’re prepared before boarding the cruise. Dress code information can be easily found on a cruise lines website or you can ask your Hoot Cruises specialist.

4. Prevent sea sickness with elastics

A lot of people don’t know they’re going to succumb to sea sickness until it’s too late. Believe it or not, but elastic bands (sometimes known as Sea Bands) help push against pressure points and keep ill feelings at bay. If those don’t work, you can always pack some non-drowsy Dramamine or Bonine.

5. Pre-book your excursions 

Once you’ve booked your trip, do a little bit of research into the various excursions and book before you get on the ship. Most popular cruise lines will charge extra for a shore excursion, so it is important that you book before you get on. If you are unsure what shore excursion is right for you, speak to your Hoot Cruise Specialist you may find that if you have booked a luxury or river cruise your shore excursion is include in your fare.

Be sure to book in advance as exciting trips fill up quickly – you don’t want to miss out!

6. Room service is cheap 

You might expect that room service would be relatively expensive, but on many cruises it’s actually really cheap, if not free. Be sure to look into your cruises’ room service rates, and ask for the complimentary menu.

Cruise lines with no fee room service often applies to lines with a limited menu (like on Princess). Other lines only charge during certain periods of the day or for certain menu items while some cruise lines (like Norwegian and Royal Caribbean) will charge for every room service order.

7. Buy the bottle, not the glass

It’s almost always cheaper to buy a bottle of wine rather than glass after glass. And, if you don’t finish, the staff will put your room number on the bottle and you can have it whenever.

8. Bring your own power board

If you have multiple devices that need charging, pack your own power board as some rooms might only have a couple of outlets. And, depending on the country your cruise ship originates from, be sure to bring an international adapter.

It’s also important to know the voltage onboard the cruise line as you may need to bring an adaptor that includes a convertor. Many American lines have 110 voltage ports while Australian ports are 240 volts.

9. Catch the recording if you miss a show

Missed a show for an evening of relaxation at the spa? Don’t stress through your facial, just catch the re-broadcast on the ship’s channel.

10. Don’t stop at just one meal

Not feeling full after your first meal? That’s okay, because many cruise liners don’t limit you to just one round of food. Your cruise fare will always include food for breakfast, lunch and dinner and although not all venues are included in your fare (like specialty restaurants) the main dining room and buffet are always included, so ask for seconds!

Now that you know what to expect on a cruise, we bet you’re well excited for your first trip! Take these tips and schedule your next cruise trip with us – we make sailing easy!

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