If you are a cruising newbie and want to see what all the fuss is about, it is understandable that you will be a bit apprehensive about what to expect when you climb those steps and embark on a great adventure at sea.
Here are some pointers and tips to help you make the most of your first of what will hopefully be many cruise holidays, once you get the bug for travelling and seeing the world from different ports.
All the dining facilities and shore excursion offers can seem a bit daunting if you are not used to cruising, which is why it pays to plan and book ahead of your trip where you can.
As with any good restaurant or facility, you often have to make a reservation in order to ensure that you get that romantic dinner you planned or the series of spa treatments that you promised yourself whilst on board.
It is also a good idea to take a look at the shore excursions being offered at an extra cost, so that you have already booked your intended trips well in advance of arriving at the port in question or even before you set sail at all.
Shore excursions offer you the chance to pay for a guided tour or visit to a particular place of interest, so if you want to visit Pompeii when you visit Naples for example, you can book an excursion that will take you there and bring you back to the ship in good time for sailing to your next destination.
Most cruise lines such as P&O Cruises amongst others, offer you the chance to book some of your chosen shore excursions online in advance of your sailing date.
Once you have your booking confirmation number, you should be able to visit the cruise line website and make an online booking for the trips that you want to go on. This will save queuing during your time on the ship to book at their reservation desk and will ensure that you are not disappointed, as popular excursions do sell out and some passengers don’t always get what they want if they leave it to the last minute.
A major feature and attraction of cruising is the incredible array of food that you will be offered on board.
Most cruise ships have a main dining room which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and you will also find a buffet restaurant elsewhere. The standard of food and culinary delights is often very high on most cruise ships and it is unlikely that you will ever go hungry on a cruise ship.
Although freestyle dining is more popular these days and there are more informal dining options on many ships, many still have a formal dining night such as Captain’s dinner, where everyone is encouraged to dress smartly and enjoy the top cuisine being served.
You can often choose between regular or flexible dining, so if you want the same table and same time for dinner, choose regular dining. You can always choose one of the speciality restaurants on board for a special night if you want to, and don’t have to go to the same restaurant every night.
Cruising holidays can often be as formal or informal as you want them to be and when you consider the excellent dining options, entertainment and facilities on offer, you will soon feel part of the cruising club.
Michael Wilson is the Managing Director at Bolsover Cruise Club, a company his parents founded in the late1960’s, originally known as Bolsover Travel. Michael is passionate about the business, taking interest in all aspects of it. When he’s not working, Michael enjoys spending holidays with his family, watching rugby and gardening.
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