Important Tips to Remember When Planning Your First Cruise

A little extra planning can go a long way when preparing to go on a cruise vacation. It can be hard to know where to start, what to pack and even what to expect while at sea. The following tips can help you prepare before going on a cruise. 

Shop Around When Booking Your Cruise.

Many people are tempted to base their decisions on which cruise to take based on price alone. While price may play a factor in selection, it can be a big mistake if you look only at the base cost offered for the cruise. It is also important to look at other factors, such as the time of year when the cruise is planned, what amenities are offered on the ship, whether the cruise vacation is tailored more towards adults or families, among other features. For example, many cruises will lower their fares during their “shoulder season” or times of the year when cruise vacations are not as popular due to choppier waters or lower temperatures. Other cruises may cost more but may also include extras, such as alcohol, shore excursions, or gratuities, into their prices whereas other cruises will charge those on top of the regular fare. 

Plan Ahead.

While a cruise may include several special amenities, it is important to know many of the specials included on a cruise fill up quickly. When booking a cruise, be sure to also see which add-ons the cruise allows passengers to book in advance. Plan out what types of special activities you would like to do on the ship and book them before boarding. That way, you will not end up disappointed in the event the activity you wanted to do, as well as the preferred time and date, does not fill up. 

Book the Best Cabin for Your Situation. 

It can be overwhelming when selecting the right cabin. Many different options are available when it comes to cabin options on a ship, and it is important that you select the best one for your preferences. The lower-priced cabins can often be small and increase the feeling of claustrophobia on the ship. However, if you do not plan on spending much time in the cabin, it may be best to book the lower-priced cabin if it is intended for sleeping only. If you have children with you on the ship, it may be best to book a cabin with more room and additional amenities. If you have younger children with you, it may be best to ensure that the cabin is child-proof and safe for younger passengers. If you are prone to seasickness, it may be best to secure a cabin location on a more stable part of the ship, such as a lower-level or mid-ship deck. 

Be Prepared for Lack of Contact.

Going on a cruise and getting away from it all can be a very tempting possibility. Many people prefer to not have access to Internet or Wi-Fi, while others may desire this resource. Internet access is somewhat available on most ships, but it is still limited. Some cruise companies charge higher rates for satellite-provided Wi-Fi, but even that service can be spotty. Make sure that loved ones know you may have little to no access to being reached for phone calls or texts. Additionally, prepare yourself for the fact that you will have limited access to social media and email while you are traveling. 

Pack the Essentials in Your Carry-on.

Many cruise companies offer to take your bags at the dock and deliver them directly to the cabin, but accidents can happen. It is not a complete impossibility that a bag can go MIA somewhere between the dock and your cabin. Make sure to keep all essentials in your carry-on, just as you would when flying. Important medication, sunscreen, extra clothing, and even your bathing suit should be included in the event the cruise company needs time to locate your luggage. Planning ahead can also go a long way in saving you money in the event you have to purchase these items on the ship. 

Explore and Carefully Research All Options for Shore Excursions.

Cruise lines will offer their own shore excursions, but this does not mean that you should limit yourself solely to those options. While exploring a port, you are not limited to what types of activities you can do for the day. Researching the different activities available and choosing which one’s interest you based on the activity itself and not the company offering the excursion can go a long way. However, we always recommend you fully research the excursion for safety before booking. 

Arrive to the Port Early.

Many passengers believe that they can arrive at the port of call the day of the cruise and be completely fine in boarding. However, cruises have a firm departure time, which means that if your flight is delayed or if you run into traffic, you could very well end up missing your cruise. It is always best to arrive to the city where your port of call is located at least the day before to avoid any unexpected delays. 

Keep Track of Your Onboard Account.

Not everything on a cruise ship is included in the cost of the basic fare. Many of the fun amenities that are so desirable come at an extra cost, and these extras can add up quickly. The last thing you want to do is get an enormous bill at the end of your cruise vacation, which is why we recommend you keep track of your onboard account. It may help to prepare a budget of how much you would like to spend while on your trip and check in to make sure you do not go over that budget. 

Plan for Possible Seasickness.

Suffering from seasickness can be a surefire way to ruin a cruise vacation. Many people assume that just because they do not suffer from motion sickness on land that they will be just fine at sea. However, that does not necessarily mean that they will not have any trouble while on their cruise. Certain precautions can help, including staying hydrated and rested and avoiding certain activities like reading or staring at a screen for too long. If you are particularly nervous about getting sick, you should also book a cabin that is in a more stable location of the ship. When in doubt, pack Dramamine or other supplement that could help in the event unplanned seasickness occurs.   


If you have been injured on your cruise, on a wet and slippery deck, down a poorly lit staircase or steep gangway, in port on an excursion, or on a tender boat- it is important that you speak as soon as possible with a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims against cruise lines. Most cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, MSC, Disney, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Regents Seven Seas and Oceania require that claims against them be pursued in a very specific place under very strict deadlines. Failure to comply with each individual cruise lines deadlines can result in a complete loss of any and all legal rights. 

Aronfeld Trial Lawyers is a personal injury firm located in Miami, Florida since 1991.  We have fought hard to hold cruise lines accountable when they put their profits ahead of passenger safety.  We are available 24/7 and encourage you to contact us even if you are still on your cruise. The sooner we can begin our investigation and preservation of key evidence, such as the CCTV footage of your trip and fall, slip and fall, assault or other type of injury the more likely we will be able to understand and prove how the incident occurred. Remember, the cruise lines have the most aggressive and well-funded defense lawyers in the world- protecting their profits.  You need an experienced legal advocate in your corner who will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical expenses, transportation reimbursement and pain and suffering.  Call us today and speak with a cruise ship claims lawyer about your potential claim- toll free 1-866-597-4529, 305-441-0440, or by email. We are ready to help.