10 Cruise Tips and Tricks to Help You Explore the World and Make New Friends
Life after 60 should be all about following your passions and exploring the world. Personally, I love the water, so, I’m always looking for cruise tips and tricks. Not only does cruising allow you to see the world from a completely new perspective, but, it is also a fantastic way to make new friends.
In addition, unlike the stereotypical lounge-in-the-sun-drinking-cocktails cruises of the past, modern cruises offer so many ways to learn new things and explore your passions.
10 Cruise Tips to Help You Get More from Your Next Trip
Cruises are fun and relaxing, especially if you think ahead and reduce your pre-cruise stress. Women travelers, in particular, also need to consider personal health and safety issues when planning a cruise vacation. As you prepare for your upcoming cruise, consider these ten essential cruise tips and tricks.
Read the Fine Print Before You Book and After You Board
Before you pay your cruise deposit, take time to read your entire contract so that you understand your cruise line’s policies. Pay particular attention to cancellation and refund policies.
Once your cruise begins, you’ll receive one or more daily bulletins in your stateroom. Read them carefully so that you will know what to wear to dinner, which special events take place each day and what schedule changes you should know about.
Buy Travel Insurance
Your travel insurance policy should include travel medical insurance, medical evacuation coverage, trip delay and trip cancellation coverage, at a minimum. Travel medical insurance is essential if you are a U.S. citizen covered by Medicare, as Medicare does not pay for any health care expenses incurred outside the United States.
For maximum flexibility, consider purchasing Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage; if you are worried about hurricanes, illness or some other issue not covered by a traditional travel insurance policy, you can use this coverage to recoup most of your prepaid trip costs.
CFAR coverage is expensive, but it does not cost as much as canceling your cruise and forfeiting all of your payments. Check out this article on how to find travel insurance after 50.
Leave Your Valuables at Home
For true peace of mind, bring costume jewelry with you on your cruise and leave your valuable pieces at home.
Bring a Carry-On Bag
Your carry-on bag should contain not only your prescription medications and other essentials, but also anything you might need to make the first few hours of your cruise more enjoyable. Pack a swimsuit, towel and book and head to the pool while you are waiting for your checked baggage to arrive in your stateroom, or toss in a pair of walking shoes and get some exercise on the main deck.
Create Multiple Outfits from Basic Pieces
De-stress your cruise by packing black, navy blue or neutral bottoms, colorful or sparkly tops and a couple of light, dressy throws or jackets to wear to dinner. Choose a similar color scheme for daytime wear. Choose fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily. Combine pieces in different ways, add a scarf or necklace to your outfits and enjoy your day. No one will notice if you wear the same pair of black trousers two or three times during the cruise.
Bring enough clothing so that you won’t have to do laundry for at least a week, and try to choose wrinkle-free fabrics. Standing in line at the ship’s laundromat is never the highlight of a cruise vacation.
Arrive at Your Embarkation Port One Day Early
Your cruise ship will depart on time, whether or not you are on board. Avoid problems resulting from late flights, highway traffic and bad weather by getting to your embarkation port the night before your ship sails. Book a hotel room, have the front desk clerk arrange a taxi ride to the cruise terminal and enjoy a quiet evening before you head to the ship.
Secure Your Stateroom
Always lock your stateroom door, and never assume that you are safe. Some crew members have universal keys that give them access to all staterooms, and fellow passengers may try to enter your stateroom without your permission.
Bring a safety device, such as a door stop alarm, that will alert you to unauthorized entry. Be sure to keep valuables in the ship’s safe, not in your stateroom.
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands frequently is your best defense against norovirus and other shipboard illnesses. Wash your hands in hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds, scrubbing well. Using hand sanitizer is helpful, but does not replace proper hand washing.
Go Ashore With a Group
There’s safety in numbers, as the old saying says. Don’t strike out on your own in an unfamiliar port. Instead, find a few people who share your interests and go on a shore excursion or independent journey with them.
You’ll enjoy your cruise vacation more if you eat and drink in moderation. You’ll be safer and healthier, too.
We hope you found these trips useful! Now, please, join the conversation.
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Learn more cruise tips to help you streamline your vacation planning process and save money along the way.