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Way back cruising was only for “posh” people who could afford it and could only be dreamt of by most people.

Now, travelling is getting cheaper and cheaper and the world is smaller. Cruising is no longer just for the social elite. It is now accessible to most people.

Cruise ship on dock

I will be giving you tips and hacks that you should know when you go on a cruise!

1. Know your cruise itinerary

What you should know (and bring) when going on a cruise (especially for first time!)

Photo Credit: Equinox – Caribbean Cruise Itinerary by Roger W / CC BY-SA 2.0

You have to know your itinerary very well in terms of which port (country) you will be visiting. Once you know, you can start researching on how the weather is going to be so you can plan the appropriate clothes to bring.

When staying at sea, your option to go shopping is limited. Very limited!

Say you will be cruising in the Caribbean, better plan for light clothes, shirts, shorts, flip-flops etc. Or if you’re sailing in Alaska, obviously you will need thicker clothes.

Knowing your cruise itineraries would also give you a heads up on what to see on a particular port. You can plan ahead the excursions that you may be interested in. The ships have their own excursion desks available for queries. Here is a sample cruise itinerary in the Caribbean

2.Formal Wear

What you should know (and bring) when going on a cruise (especially for first time!)

Photo Credit: Cafe Society Pink Gala and Art Show by moire g. / CC BY-NC 2.0

Yes, most of the cruise itineraries have at least one “Formal Night” depending on how long your itinerary is. You will have to bring a formal dress or clothes and shoes to match of course.

This is the time that they have everyone on the ship dressed up formally. You won’t be allowed to go in the main dining room unless you’re wearing the appropriate dress code (You can go to the Lido restaurant instead of a self-service buffet). It can be nice to get all dressed up once in a while. You’re on a cruise, make the most of it!

3. Medicines

What you should know (and bring) when going on a cruise (especially for first time!)

Like any other vacation, bringing your medicine is always a must.

If you have medicines prescribed by your Doctor that you need to take on a daily basis, you should take them with you. You should also bring OTC medicines just in case (such as pain relievers, cold and allergy remedies, anti-acids etc).

But remember, always read the label and follow the instructions, especially if you’re taking prescribed medicines as it could cause some serious health problems and nobody wants to get sick especially while you’re in the middle of the sea!

4. Chargers, cables and adapters

What you should know (and bring) when going on a cruise (especially for first time!)

Now that most of us depend on electronics such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, it is a must to have all your chargers ready.

I would suggest you take an international all in one adaptor with you. Most cruise liners have American and European sockets. I always have my chargers, cables and adapters placed in one small bag so it’s easy for me to find.

5. Laundry

Laundry service on the ship is quite expensive! Just like in hotels, they charge per piece and if you are on a tight budget, then I would suggest you wash your clothes. Some cruise liners have a self-service laundry area where you can wash your clothes yourself. These are normally coin operated.

I have also heard that there are some that don’t have a self-service laundry. Anyway, it easy to dry clothes such as undergarments and light fabric clothes can be washed and hanged in your cabin’s bathroom.

6. Free and Fee