Take control of your cruise
By Patti Pietschmann Travel Diva
1–Cruise control. Whether you’re a first time cruiser or veteran clip and save the following tips. They can greatly enhance your experience from start to finish. And don’t think you know it all, you may forget some.
2–This is absolutely essential. Set up your stateroom safe with a good combination. Make sure you jot it down somewhere. It’s easy to forget. Trust me, it has happened. Then lock up money, passports, airline tickets and jewelry. We also put our cellphones in the safes.
3–Double check that all your mobile devices are operating. Make sure you log on to the ship’s WiFi. Also check that you have either free Internet service or need to purchase minutes. If you brought a camera make sure it’s loaded with film. If you experience any problems go to the computer room to talk to the techs there.
4–Double check that any shore excursion reservations you book on line have been made. There should be confirmations in your stateroom.
5–Talk to your or room attendant (or butler if you have one) to discuss any needs with them. Do you want any special services such as mixed nuts delivered daily. Early turn down etc.
6–Unpack now, don’t wait. Put your bathing suits somewhere in close reach so you have them in the morning if you swim early. Hang up any formal wear etc. to get the wrinkles out.
7–Make any calls from your cellphone before the ship sails or you’ll be stuck with roaming charges unless you have a plan.
8–Be prepared for the mandatory life boat drill. The time of the emergency drill will be posted in the ship’s newspaper.
Make plans for the evening
9–Look over the activities offered, also listed in the ship’s paper to plan ahead for which ones you may need to sign up for. Then keep a list pasted to your mirror or wall. Always remember to bring scotch tape, magnets or other fasteners to post reminders. We usually tape invitations, shore excursion notices etc. to the mirror in the bathroom.
10–Once all that’s out of the way take a walk around the ship, if it’s your first time on this one, to orient yourself as to where things are. You’ll want to know where the gym is located to work off calories and stay in shape.
11–Make appointments for spa or salon treatments if you didn’t do that on line or you could miss out. You can call or walk over to the spa. Remember there are usually discounted prices on port days.
12–Plan ahead for evening activities. Check out bar hours for pre-dinner drinks. Also make note of entertainment options, listed in the paper so you don’t miss the show. Before you go to bed be sure to set your watches and devices to ship’s time. Some suites/staterooms now have clocks. But you need to have the correct ship time when you go ashore. Or you could miss the boat. And that wouldn’t be good.