So you’re all booked and getting more and more excited about your upcoming cruise by the day, but maybe you don’t quite know what to expect on your first day onboard. Avoid common cruise faux pas and extra stresses by following our guide on what not to do on your first day onboard.
1. Don’t skip the muster drill
At some point within your first 24 hours onboard, you will be invited to attend a muster drill. This is a safety briefing which is mandatory for everyone onboard – whether this is your first or fifteenth cruise. It’s important to pay attention and find out all you can about staying safe at sea.
2. Don’t forget to book kids club
Most cruise lines offer kids clubs which are designated to specific age groups. If you get your little ones signed up straight away, they’ll have the chance to pop along for an introduction to staff, other children, and all the facilities they can enjoy with the club.
3. Don’t stay in your travel clothes
There’s nothing like getting into a fresh outfit to get your holiday started, and whether you’ve travelled for just a few hours, or almost a day before embarkation, travel clothes can start to feel a bit stuffy and binding after a while. Change into something new and you’ll soon be feeling more relaxed and comfortable.
4. Don’t use the lifts . . .
. . . if you can help it. Lifts can get considerably crowded on the first day, what with people ferrying their luggage to their cabins, and getting familiar with the layout of the ship. If you’re able to, opt for the stairs as much as you can, to free up the lifts for those less able.
5. Don’t dash to the buffet
While the 24 hour buffet can of course seem very attractive on the first day of a cruise, you can confidently bet that the majority of cruisers will be heading there as well. For this reason why not consider opting for a different dining venue on your first day?
6. Don’t forget to make your allergies known
Guests with dietary requirements should mention their needs to the maître d of restaurants they intend to dine in, even if these have been noted at the time of booking. This should help to ensure all mealtimes are enjoyable and without any annoyances or difficulties.
7. Don’t neglect the staff
The onboard crew are there to help your cruise holiday be the best it can be, and while they will always do their best to assist you, as any seasoned holidaymaker knows, not everything always goes to plan. Remember to be patient and friendly with the staff, and appreciate the hard work they do to try to keep everyone happy.
8. Don’t assume the main restaurant is your best choice
Many cruisers often disregard the speciality restaurants on the first day, but in actual fact this can be the best day to try one. There is often a variety to choose from, and they are more likely to be quieter and more relaxed on embarkation day.
9. Don’t get carried away with the drinks package
Whether your cruise is all-inclusive, or you’ve opted to purchase a drinks package, it can be all too inviting to want to ‘make the most’ of included drinks on your first day. Try to be sensible though, and avoid that horrible hangover so early on in the cruise.
10. Don’t stay in the sun all day
If you’re cruising in a sunny destination and haven’t been getting much sun at home, it’s understandable that you’ll want to stay out and enjoy it as much as possible. This can be a bad idea though, as you could suffer from sun burn, headaches, or even sun stroke. Try to avoid long periods in the sun, stay out of it when it’s at its strongest (usually between around 11am and 3pm), use plenty of sunscreen, and drink lots of water.
If you're new to cruising, be sure to take a look at our top tips for first time cruisers for more helpful information.