Why taking a cruise in your 20's is the best
First things first, I have heard SO many people say how they don’t think that they could go on a cruise because they will get seasick or dizzy, but I am here to tell you that you will be just fine!! I have been on 3 cruises and never once felt seasick, I’ll go even further to say that no one I was ever with felt sick, so I assure you it will be A-okay. But if you are prone to motion sickness, I say stock up on the patches, wristbands and any other contraptions to help keep you stable.
So what makes this different than any other vacation? In simplest terms, it is the easiest way to see the most places for the least amount of money. Think about it, if you cruise to the Caribbean for a week, you will likely be stopping in 3-4 ports, typically in different countries, sandwiched between days at sea. It’s the best way to sample the countries to see where you would like to commit a full-on vacation to in the future.
Another reason why this is especially good in your 20’s is because you likely have little money to spend on a luxurious vacation, and Pinterest boards that are making it difficult for you to settle on anything less than magical. This is for you, my friend.
When you pay for a cruise, you are paying for:
Lodging - Which is oftentimes a huge expense when on any other vacation
Unlimited food - Yes, it’s insane how much your body is capable of eating when you know it’s free
High quality service - The people who work on the ship are typically some of the most hospitable service workers ever
Now that I have convinced you that cruises are awesome, here are some tips & tricks that I’ve learned to make your experience even better.
Tips for Booking a Cruise
Back in 2017 when I spent hours searching for the perfect cruise for my friends & I, sites like Cruise Deals and Last Minute Cruises were my biggest asset in seeing what is out there in terms of cruise lines, ship sizes and dates.
Note: The only downside about taking a cruise is that the dates are obviously set ahead of time, which requires a bit more flexibility on your end.
My favorite cruise line is Royal Caribbean because they have absolutely mastered the art of hospitality. I have cruised with them twice now and their friendly employees and helpful directors elevate the experience.
What room to get? If you are looking to really go all-out, I would say you should get a balcony room. But, the interior rooms are cheaper and are perfectly fine for me! As for where on the ship to stay, I would say get a room towards the middle because you will miss the early morning anchor-dropping on the end of the ship which can be quite loud. I would also say that the floor level doesn’t really matter very much, so go for whatever you want on this one. If you are a claustrophobic person, maybe get a larger room with windows, I think that will help.
What to know before you go on a cruise
Flights to the port
If you are flying to the port, be sure to arrive the day before the cruise departs. It is sometimes tempting to take a cheaper morning flight the day of your cruise departure, but I’m telling you - DON’T RISK IT. I have heard horror stories of people missing their cruises because of bad weather/flight delays - I’m speaking to you MN readers. Plus, if you are paying to be on the ship, you might as well get there as soon as you can because it is SO fun to explore your new floating home.
Note: there are usually hotels near the ports that offer free shuttles to the cruise ship
Unless you are cool drinking water (and I think coffee?) all week, I highly recommend investing in a drink package. I am obviously a biggg Diet Coke guy, so I always opt for the soda package. Sure it might seem unnecessary, but it is so nice being able to refill your souvenir cup all week long. They also offer an alcohol package, but I have to warn you it’s rather expensive. If your idea of a good vacation involves endless piña coladas, this is definitely cheaper than paying per drink.
If you think about it, $40 daily / 4 drinks a day =$10 per drink which I would say is standard price. So, get 4+ drinks and you paid off your package
If you aren’t a fan of sharing cups/are a germaphobe and traveling in a group, I would suggest bringing a wristband or colorful tape to mark each cup since the cups are usually all the same and easy to mix up.
Most cruise lines will allow you to bring one bottle of wine on board the first day, but check the rules on that for each cruise because they may differ.
Days on Land
If you are dying to go on an excursion at one of the ports, go to the front desk on the first day to sign up for it as sometimes the more popular excursions or specific times can sell out. Otherwise, you can wait until the following days to sign up as well.
Days at the ports are your chance to explore the country, so I love to use them to their fullest! I like to wake up for the earliest departure to land (which sometimes means you walk off the boat & other times take a ferry to land). Make sure you know when you have to be back because the ship will leave without you!
Escape the port cities if you can. Now this is totally dependent upon the city and your preferences, but I always like to get off the beaten path. So, if I can hop in a taxi and explore a different area for the day, I go for it. Just be careful with this though because there are some countries where tourists are safest in the port area, so use your best judgement with this one. We did this in the Bahamas & found ourselves on a quieter beach which was awesome!
Okay so this has been different with every cruise, but dinners are considered a more formal event at night. They are included in your payment, which is awesome because they are usually 3-5 courses and absolutely INCREDIBLE. Because of this, you should know most places prefer you to be dressed up for these dinners. There is also usually one ‘formal night’ where guests are expected to dress in black tie. It’s actually really fun to dress up for these! (Don’t stress if you can’t bring your dressy clothes, just try to look a little nicer this night).
Typically when purchasing your cruise, it will ask you what time slot you would like to do for dinners. I always go for the later one so that I can spend the most time exploring the ports during the day. You also aren’t required to go to these dinners if you would rather lay low and go to the buffet instead, that’s cool.
There is usually no wifi aboard, and if there is it is EXPENSIVE, so just take this time to disconnect! I promise your Instagram followers will understand.
There are extra fees tacked on to your stay at the end (roughly $100/guest), so if you are on a strict budget, keep this in mind.
If there is something you want, ask for it! The job of the workers is to make sure you enjoy the experience, so if you are wanting some strawberries and they don’t have any out, ask one of the servers and they can likely make it happen! Be kind with this though!
Make sure to see the shows & the daily events. There are SO many fun things going on at all times which means you will NEVER be bored. Whether it be a limbo contest, BINGO tourneys or movies on the lido deck, be sure to check it out!
I swear I could talk for days, so if you have any more questions please let me know and I’ll do a part 2! Let me know below any cruises you’ve done before.
Cheers! xoxo -Katie