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Top 5 Cruise Tips

Going on a cruise? Whether it is your first, third, tenth, or billionth time going on a cruise, the following 5 tips will help you have a successful cruise vacation.

1. Passports
If your cruise ship starts and ends in the same U.S. port, but stops at ports located in other countries, do you still need a passport? No. While it’s not required to have a passport with certain cruise itineraries, it is highly recommended. Passports are important for those who get stuck in a country after they missed their cruise. They also come in handy if there is a medical emergency and you are required to stay in the country for a procedure or medical attention.

2. Insurance
Travel protection is beneficial and highly recommended no matter where you purchase the insurance. But in the end, is it better to purchase an insurance waiver from the cruise line or to purchase protection from a supplier such as Travelex? Depending on the travel protection plan you purchase from a third party, it may include anything from trip cancellation, pre-existing medical conditions, emergency medical coverage, and more. The cruise line insurance waiver often limits the amount covered for medical emergencies and doesn’t cover a lot of what a third party can. Cruise waivers cover airfare only if it was purchased through the cruise line. FYI – it’s a bigger hassle to get reimbursed through the cruise line than it is with a third party protection plan.

3. First Day Onboard
On the first day of every cruise, there is a required “muster drill” that you must attend to learn about safety procedures. Besides that, your first day is yours to do as you please. Unpack your bags, check to make sure everything is working properly in your state room, and take a tour of the ship. Sign up for shore excursions, activities, and spa appointments if you haven’t already done so. Take a nap, get some food, and relax. Start your cruise on deck as the festivities begin and your cruise sails away to your first port destination. It’s time to party, so get your vacation going the way you want!

4. Sea Days
What you shouldn’t do on any day, but especially on a sea day is to do absolutely nothing and stay locked away hidden in your state room. Cruise lines will have shows, events, and activities that will leave you anything but bored. You can find out what the cruise line offers in their daily bulletin. Relax on deck with a good book or take a dip in the pool. Just don’t cram your day with so much though that you forget to relax and enjoy all the activities.

5. Eat Healthy
Although it is not a prime time to be on a diet during vacation, there are a few things to remember if you want to stay healthy. Your body will probably thank you for it later too! Take control of how much you eat, aka portion control. This includes potentially asking for half portions or skipping a dessert or two. Balance your meal intake (not all your meals should be heavy with starches), pace yourself, and don’t eat too late unless you are going for a hardcore dance off soon after. For a bit more physical activity throughout the day, take the stairs instead of the elevators.

What advice would you give to someone going on a cruise for the first time?

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