first time cruis­ers

Get the most out of your cruise ex­pe­ri­ence with th­ese five smooth sail­ing tips

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Better Travel -

1 Which cruise line is the best for me?

Your choice of cruise line will de­pend on your tastes and per­son­al­ity. Love art or his­tory? There are cruise ships with ex­perts on­board to school you in the daily port sites. Look­ing for some­thing that will keep the kids en­ter­tained? The range of fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment on ships, from surf­ing to dodgem cars, keeps grow­ing. Love ad­ven­ture? Ex­pe­di­tion ships ex­plore the North and South Poles. There’s a cruise line for ev­ery de­sire.

2 Where are the best cab­ins on the ship?

There are cabin types to sat­isfy al­most any bud­get. But it’s where your cabin is that’s im­por­tant. For a smoother ride and the con­ve­nience of be­ing closer to stair­wells and lifts on larger ships, choose a cabin lo­cated as close to the mid­dle of the ship as pos­si­ble.

3 Com­plete the pre-de­par­ture check­list on­line

Once booked, make sure you have all doc­u­ments with you for check-in, in­clud­ing your pass­port. Log into your cruise ac­count and com­plete pre-de­par­ture tasks from home, like print­ing off your board­ing passes and lug­gage tags. You can also add credit card de­tails, di­etary re­quire­ments, or even book a ta­ble at a restau­rant. Don’t for­get travel in­sur­ance.

4 Pre-book your shore ex­cur­sions

Shore ex­cur­sions in­clude your transport and the ex­per­tise of a lo­cal tour guide. Re­view and pre-book shore tours on­line, as some tours book out quickly. If you’re happy to go it alone, taxis are usu­ally stand­ing by at the cruise ter­mi­nal, but check in ad­vance the dis­tance from the port to your des­ti­na­tion.

5 Where can a cruise take me?

New cruise itin­er­ar­ies are added ev­ery sea­son. Whether it’s Asia or Europe, North or South Amer­ica – even the Rus­sian Far East – all of th­ese des­ti­na­tions make for a great cruise des­ti­na­tion.

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