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Advice & Tips

Cruise packing list: What to bring on a cruise

Once you have booked the perfect cruise and the countdown has officially begun, you will inevitably have to think about what you are going to need to bring. 

Packing for a cruise varies on the duration and destination, among other things. What you will want to bring on a Caribbean cruise, for instance, will differ from an Alaskan cruise

Cruise boarding times: how early to arrive to the terminal

When you check in for your cruise, you will either be assigned a check-in time or be able to select one yourself. This means that your cruise is approaching quickly! 

Do you have to stick to this time, though? What happens if you have to check out of your pre-cruise hotel hours before your scheduled time? 

Arrival times are meant to stagger the number of passengers boarding the ship at once.  It would not be fun if thousands of people all had the same idea of wanting to board the ship as early as possible. 

The costly cruising mistake newbies make planning their first cruise

When planning any vacation, nobody wants to think about wasting money. In fact, you want to do the opposite; you want your money to go as far as possible! 

On a cruise on Symphony of the Seas in January 2023, I booked a last-minute excursion to the water park on Perfect Day at CocoCay. I paid about $149 for this experience, while a family that I met onboard said that they secured tickets during a Black Friday sale for around $50 each. 

Your really dumb cruise line private island questions answered

With little planning required, cruise line private islands are often favorite ports among cruisers. 

If you are a first-timer visiting one of these islands, it is fair to assume that you have questions about about what’s included and how you should spend your day ashore. Will you, for instance, need to bring a towel from the ship? Can you sit on beach chairs for free? 

How to beat the crowds on your cruise ship

At double occupancy, Carnival Paradise, one of the cruise line's oldest and smallest ships at sea, can accommodate over 2,000 guests, meaning that even the smallest cruise ships can hold thousands of passengers. 

When launched, the highly anticipated Icon of the Seas will have a capacity of nearly 7,000 people. If you count the crew, this floating city will be able to host just about 10,000 people. 

10 Great Reader Comments on Cruising

If you are reading this, you are probably trying to learn as much as possible to help you prepare for your upcoming cruise. 

Those who have taken cruises in the past love to share their knowledge to help brand-new cruisers get the most out of their time onboard. While the experience will vary from cruise line to cruise line, there are some helpful tidbits of information that are applicable to nearly every ship at sea!

Here are 10 reader comments about cruising and how to help make your experience more memorable

Guide to weekend cruises: Tips for taking a 3-night cruise

When in the initial stages of the cruise planning process, you may feel overwhelmed with all the options available. You can find itineraries ranging from short weekend getaways to two-week long transatlantic voyages! 

Of course, not everyone is in the market for those longer cruises, whether it is because of budget restraints, schedules, or available time off. 

Guide to flexible dining vs traditional dining on a cruise ship

When you book your cruise vacation, you will notice that you have two options for dinner. You can either select a set time, meaning that you will dine at the same time each evening, or a flexible option that allows you to either make reservations in advance or show up to the main dining room whenever hunger strikes. 

8 ways to do things differently on your next cruise

While onboard a cruise, it is easy to get into a relatively set routine, such as heading straight to the buffet on embarkation day or for lunch each day. Likewise, you may love spending the days sitting by the pool without looking into the ship's activities. 

What to do if your flight gets delayed and puts your cruise at risk

While everyone hopes their cruise vacation will go as planned, unforeseeable circumstances may arise that could threaten you from even getting to the cruise port.

If you live close to the cruise port, like in southern Florida, you will likely have fewer issues getting to the port via car or train. However, if you live far away and need to take an airplane to the port city, you may run into more complications, such as a flight delay or cancellation.

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