Getting Ready to Sail
Just booked your first cruise and not sure what to expect, how should you be getting ready to sail? Don’t be afraid to ask as You won’t be the only person as new2cruise is something that is trending in the travel industry right now.
With new ships being built each year this style of holiday, whether its ocean or river cruising will increase more and more. Whether you like small boutique ships or large floating resorts, the cruise Industry has something for everyone.
Families are attracted to the vast selection of entertainment available for all ages from teen clubs to onboard surf simulators and go-cart tracks of all things.
If you have just booked your first cruise, and got all your cruise confirmation information and are now wondering what next? Read on as we guide you through what you will need to do in preparation of your cruise.
No matter how you have booked your cruise, whether it was direct online with the cruise company or via a travel agent, you will be required to manage your cruise online.
Using a Travel Agent to book your cruise
One point to note here, cruise lines and travel agents have price parity, so it does not cost any more to use a travel agent. In fact, you get more service for the same cruise price. This is where using a travel agent can add benefit to your cruise holiday, as most agents will provide pre-cruise assistance at no extra charge.
A good cruise travel agent will also guide you to the right cruise for you and your party. Not all cruises are the same and choosing the right cruise is so important to the experience you will have onboard the ship.
A good agent will be able to explain the difference in cruise companies, the sizes of ships and the value of each cruise. The price difference on a cruise is mainly, but not totally, down to what’s included in the price, the standard of service on the ship (ie the number of crew to passenger ratio) and of course the size of the cabins.
Managing your booking online
Once you have your booking number you can log in to manage your booking online. Some cruise companies will require you to create your own login and password and from there you can manage all your preferences.
In the manage my booking section you will need to add your advance passenger information from your passport. Your passport will be required as part of your check in the documentation on the departure day of your cruise.
A credit card will also need to be added for onboard charges and gratuities. If you do not wish to pay any daily gratuities, you must on your first day onboard the ship, visit reception and request for them to be removed for the duration of your cruise.
Booking Cruise excursions
The main attraction of a cruise is the various ports that the ship visits and the ability to get off and explore. Depending on which cruise you have booked you may or may not have excursions included the cruise price.
If you have no excursions included you need to look at the ports you are visiting and decide if you need to book the ships escorted tour or if it’s easy enough to taxi or use public transport.
The pros of ship excursions
Booking the ship excursions is the easy and safe option, you don’t need to worry about your time or how you are going to get back in time for your sailing. You normally get priority disembarkation so you get a maximum time of the ship.
The cons of ship excursions
They are normally more expensive than doing it yourself, particularly in destinations with easy access to the port. If you are a group of four then factor in the cost comparison that you can share the cost of a taxi. For some destinations, especially those that require visas, the cruise excursion option can be the most competitive choice.
Booking Cruise excursions and speciality dining
Once in your manage my booking you will be able to explore each day of your cruise itinerary and see the various options available to you. This includes access to spa bookings, speciality dining, cruise excursions and other onboard activities.
To book simply make your selections and add to your basket. At the end simply checkout and pay using your credit card. You don’t need to book everything in advance and can take your chance on availability when on board the cruise. If there is an excursion that is a must, then book early as they can sell out.
We hope our guide has given you an idea of what to expect, now it’s time to plan that all important cruise wardrobe and find out what to pack for a cruise holiday.