First of all, welcome! Over the past years of cruise and land travel, I have had many "if-only" moments. If only I had reserved that excursion ahead of time, or if only I remembered to pack my water shoes. I have also gathered many helpful hints and much welcomed advice from experienced cruisers I've met over the years. I thought it would be great to have a blog or column just to share some of these morsels of knowledge with my fellow travelers.
Some of the travel tips I share here will seem obvious to seasoned travelers, who will be thinking - "yeah, no kidding - I knew that already." Please be patient. My goal is to offer advice to young people just beginning their traveling adventures or new cruisers embarking on an ocean journey for the first time. If my well-traveled friends learn something new in the process, or perhaps a refresher of something old and familiar, all the better!
Feel free to respond or offer feedback. This is a community - that's why we're here!
And so ... my first and probably best tip to begin this blog:
Have a Great Cruise - But Don't Expect Perfection.
Stuff happens. No vacation is perfect. Sometimes a meal might not be cooked to perfection. Or an evening show proves to be less than entertaining. Or your toilet clogs up. When I read poor or scathing passenger reviews of cruises, they are more often than not from first-time cruisers with unreasonably high expectations and ill prepared. Other times they seem to have been voiced by chronically picky people or folks who just like to hear themselves complain. Do your homework, learn about the cruise line, the ship and the destination. When choosing your cruise, make sure you and your ship are a good match. If you don't like crowds, long lines and belly-flop contests, pick a smaller ship with a more sedate crowd. Likewise, if you find sitting in a chair and staring out at the sea beyond boring (is that even possible?), pick a super mega-ship with non-stop entertainment. Most of all, be prepared for anything, and approach any mishaps with a positive attitude and calm demeanor. You and everyone around you will be much happier, resulting in a better cruise experience.