Taking the suggestions of well-traveled cruisers is the best thing for very first time cruise passengers to do. Why not learn from someone else’s mishaps or mistakes? Undoubtedly, you’ll still have a few of your own, but that is what makes your first cruising experience unforgettable.
You’ve got your cruise booked and are counting the days until you set sail. There are a few things for you to do before you even start to think about packing for your trip. Check with the cruise line to see what shots, if any, are needed for your trip. You’ll need to make a visit to your doctor to get current on any shots.
While you are at the doctor, inquire about tips on staying healthy and avoiding the flu or colds before you depart for your cruise. It is no fun having to travel sick or canceling entirely. Ask about seasickness remedies. Some of these medications are prescription only.
Refill on other prescription medications just in case they are scheduled to run out during the course of your trip. Often, insurance companies will make exceptions and allow a prescription to be refilled early if you are traveling with no access to a chain drug store. One last thing– get a note from your doctor on official letterhead listing your prescriptions and stating that they were all legally prescribed for you. A note will sometimes keep you from being detained while your medication is inspected if you have to go through customs.
Let the cruise line be aware of your dietary needs when you book your cruise if you are on a special kind of diet. Most diets are easily accommodated, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. A few weeks before you depart, check in with the cruise line again to review your reservations and special needs diet.
Pack a small emergency assistance kit for those “just in case” emergencies. Include antacids and anti-diarrhea medications for those episodes of “Montezuma’s Revenge” that seem to strike regardless of where you travel. Aspirin, antibiotic cream and aloe vera gel for sunburns also come in handy.
Stow away moisturizer, sunscreen and lip balm in your luggage too. You often tend to forget things like sunburn when you are having too much fun outdoors. Be sure to apply the sunscreen lotion before heading outside. Moisturizer and lip balm will help keep your skin soft. Sometimes the temperature change from cold air conditioning to the heat outside can damage the skin and dry it out.
Aside from the sunscreen, protect your skin by wearing sunglasses and hats. The sun’s reflection off the water can be quite bright when you are on the ship’s deck gazing at the waves. The sunglasses will protect you from harmful UV rays from the sun. Obviously, the hats will shield you from the sun’s rays and possible sunburn on your ears and face, two places that people sometimes forget to apply sunscreen lotion.
With the right preparation and precautions, you are well on your way to a happy and healthy first cruise. And when in doubt about something, ask your cruise line. They want to see to it that your cruising experience is trouble-free. Obviously they want you to sail with them again.