How to Have the Time of Your Life on a Cruise!!
I absolutely love CRUISES!
The fiancé and I are scheduled to go on our second one, Sep 1 and we are VERY EXCITED!
Last year (2017) we had an absolute blast on the Carnival Sensation and this time around we will be embarking on a different boat, Carnival Glory!
We pick to go out of the Miami port because we enjoy the Caribbean Islands. Last year we visited Grand Turk- Turks and Caicos, Nassau-Bahamas, and Half Moon Cay- Bahamas.
This year we are going to visit Amber Cove- Dominican Republic, St. Thomas - USVI, San Juan- Puerto Rico and back to Grand Turk- Turks and Caicos.
Why are Cruises so Amazing?
For the last 5 years I have been traveling all over the world (30 + countries) and although historic trips are the best for cool insta photos and culture, cruises are the trips that I find fun and easy!
In my relationship, I am the person responsible for planning all of our vacations and adventures because the fiancé is responsible for taking all the beautiful shots. And to be honest, on the trips that are 3 weeks or more, it takes me about a month to plan/ research for our itineraries. I love it but sometimes it takes some serious work and consumes a lot of time. At this point in my life, when it comes to traveling I just want to go, have fun and have someone else plan my itineraries for me!
If you like: scheduled itineraries, plenty of excursions to choose from, nightly entertainment, food whenever you want, naps on deck with the view the ocean and close by land, gorgeous sunsets and sunrises, water themed parks , live music, casinos, room service at no extra charge, and the ability to relax and enjoy the ocean and the sun in a new country every day, then you should really consider booking yourself a cruise vacation.
Here is how You Can Make the Best Out of Your Cruise vacation!
1. If you know me, then you know that I am a HUGE advocate for waking up early and making the most out of your day.
Not just with traveling but in your everyday life! This really pays off on the cruise because when you wake up, you get to eat the fresh breakfast that has yet to be picked off by the hundreds of passengers. You can do so many great things by doing this!
-If you are into working out daily, each cruise has a track to enjoy a beautiful, mid ocean run.
-You can also enjoy a peaceful sunrise while eating breakfast and a fresh cup of coffee.
-Explore the boat and get yourself acquainted as to where everything is located. This will come in handy when you are rushing after dinner to catch one of the shows.
-Pick the best location by the pool or spa and keep it for the rest of the day
-Get out to explore the destination of the day earlier- get to know more of the town and avoid the lines through security.
-Another reason why this is fantastic is the obvious, you have more time to prepare what you need to along for that day. You're brain doesn't work the same when you are rushing! I forget everything and get flustered!
2. Optional- Get the drinking package
Yorni and I didn't actually get this package last time nor this time around because we are not too big into drinking. We try to be consistent with our diet while at home by eating the same while on vacation. We are huge lite weights and feel super dehydrated every time we go out to drink, even if its just one drink! So the $500 for two people doesn't make sense for us. In fact, last time we were on the cruise we had a total of 3 drinks the entire 7 days and if the need is there, they have plenty of bars that you can get yourself a cold one. Even at dinner you have the option to order something different.
SIDE NOTE- If you do decide to get this, get it prior to your cruise, because the price per person increases by $100-$200 when you walk into he boat.
SIDE NOTE 2: You could just bring yourself two wine bottles! Some cruises let you bring a bottle of wine per person. Check with your cruise line.
3. Attend The Shows in the Evening
I know that after a long day of exploring and being exposed to the sun can wear anyone out. But push through it because at the end of the night you will happy you did so.
Attending shows is MY FAVORITE PART of being on a cruise!!! I love them so much! Especially as a couple, It feels like we are going on a different date night each night. We got accustomed to going to dinner early to make it the shows.
-Each night there were at least 3 different shows to choose from right after the other. Comedy shows, family game shows, live bands or art shows. Yoni and I personally loved the fact that the comedy shows were adult only.
4. Dress up!
Every night a row of photographers line up by the casino areas with different backdrops and themes just to be your personal paparazzi! Work the camera!!!
-The next day you get to check out the fun pictures.
-We take at least one as a souvenir but if you are the kind of person who loves to have pictures of you and your family around or you and the hubby (like me) get yourself a picture package ahead of time so you don't end up spending so much money for each picture...I believe they are each $20 so it can get pretty expensive if they all look amazing!
5. Pick the Early Dinner option
-This is the key to being able to enjoy the evening and being able to make it to more than one show, if not all of them in the evening like us "show addicts" hahaha!
6. Spend Wisely- Book Excursions Prior to the Cruise
-Cruises may be a steal nowadays, but your total trip cost can skyrocket once you factor in shoreside sightseeing and activities.
-Decide well in advance how to spend your hours in port. Web access can get costly with a dollar a minute at sea, so waiting till you're on board to check out port options is expensive. And don't rely on the concierge desk, their goal is to sell you its tours. Start your excursion research right after booking a cruise and book it online too if possible.
7. Dance in the Night Clubs!
Latin Nights! The Spanish singers were a blast and it didn't matter who was watching or if we weren't dancing correctly, it's all fun!
8. Enjoy the Late Night Kitchen Food
-This was totally our weakness a the end of our dancing. It was relaxing. I took my heels off, sat outside and while hearing the ocean I enjoyed some pizza, Ice cream, or French fries. At 2 AM in the morning...it's the little things in life :)
9. Volunteer for Contests or for the Game Shows
-Did anyone ever tell you that being shy is a waste of personality? If not, I'm telling you now! IT IS. Especially on a cruise. Were you are 100% likely to NEVER see the same people ever again!Unless you are traveling with professionals for work or with your very conservative and judgmental In-laws, Have fun! Let loose. You are on Vacation!! Become part of the experience, indulge in your adventurous/spontaneous side and don't hold back. Do a belly flop competition, volunteer to spin the wheel on the game show at night, sing karaoke, go down the water slides! Have fun and make sure that at the end of the cruise you didn't wish you would have done something.
10. Don't Let the service fees scare you!***
-At the end of each cruise, you get a final bill for all of the things that you purchased while on the boat. In there will be a "Service Fee" however, most of the time when you book your cruise your service fee has already been taken care of. Take the time to go to the customer service desk before you leave (preferably on the last night) and let them know that you have already paid for all of your service fees at the time of booking.
There you have it!
I had the time of my life on the last cruise and I'm planning to do it all over again soon.
I will be putting these 10 suggestions to the test AGAIN in a few weeks and you will be able to follow me live via my Instagram Stories @thesweettravelife!