Theodore Slate - Oct 30, 2007

For those holiday-makers taking to the water for the first time in their life, a holiday on board a cruise ship can be quite daunting. Not only it is a totally different environment from those known before, yet many are unsure of how to prepare for such trips. When the basic advice is taken into account, most would agree that if common sense were applied and a little knowledge acquired, one could conclude that cruising is not essentially different from other holidays.


Common sense applies mostly to the weather and what to pack for trips on the water. It would be ludicrous to take summer gear when cruising around Alaska in winter, just as anoraks are not necessary in the Caribbean. However, passengers should remember to take flip-flops on all cruise trips as they are a must in summer and in winter. They are particularly useful for moving between the swimming pool and the cabin. One further tip- laundry can be rather expensive on board, especially on luxury liners, so taking enough clothing is strongly recommended.


Many passengers are unsure as to precisely what they are paying for. Most cruise prices include the trip, the room and some food and beverages. Many luxury cruise lines do not charge extra for certain alcoholic drinks and food is usually available for regular prices.


The question of tipping is one which frequently occurs on the lips of first time cruisers. It is important to know that luxury cruise liners forbid tipping in any shape or form. Others offer prepaid gratuity options. It is also worthy of note that the average tip for a ship attendant is $3.50 per day.


Finally, the most important thing to know about the cruise industry is that the easiest way of booking is on the internet. Again, this does not exclusively apply to cruise liners. Each major cruise line has its own website with specific details about price, facilities and possibilities of answering your enquiries.


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