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Day of the Cruise - Bon Voyage

  Tips Home >> Travelling Tips >> Day of the Cruise - Bon Voyage


Does it help to arrive to the ship early on my sail date?
Yes, find out from the Cruise Line how early you can board the ship and try to arrive early. You’ll be able to avoid the crowds; you can use the extra time on board to confirm your seating assignment and be the first to make it to the sign up sheets. It could also help your budget when you take advantage of the free lunch that many ships serve while the passengers are boarding.
Should I carry on my own bags or let the porters do it?
You may not get to see them if you fly in and they load them right on board, but if you have your own bags and are physically able, consider carrying them on yourself. If you booked a room deep in the ship and brought lots of bags this might be a task, but you’ll have a head start on everyone else.
You can be all unpacked and enjoying the ship while others are still waiting for their bags.
It can take several hours for your bags to make it to your cabin and sometimes you get stuck wearing your dirty traveling clothes to dinner. Wouldn’t a shower and fresh clothes make you feel better?
There will also be less chance for your bags to disappear and some Cruise Lines state a liability maximum limit of $100.00 for your luggage.
What should I do when I first get on board?
You’ll probably find your cabin steward who can show you how everything works. Make them your friend, they can be very helpful.
If you have your luggage, it’s nice to unpack so you’ll get it over with and have some room in your cabin.
You should check to see if your meal seating confirmations are in your cabin, if unacceptable, you need to go see the Maitre d’.
Check to see when the lifeboat drills are scheduled.
If you plan on using the spa, salon or babysitting service, find them and sign up before all the good times are gone.
Check on the shore excursions if you know you are definitely going. See if you can sign up now, so you’ll be sure to get on before they sell out.
Any chance for an upgrade at the last minute?
Yes, if your ship has better cabins that went unsold you might be able to work your way into a free upgrade or at least one for a discounted rate. If the ship is sailing and the better cabins are empty, then anything the Cruise Line gets helps cut their losses. Check with the Purser’s office to see if there are any available. Some Cruise Lines will only accept cash or traveler’s checks for this upgrade, so you might need to plan ahead and bring some.
How do I deal with the ship’s multinational crew?
Cruise Lines recruit from all over the world, and getting to know your multinational crew may be one of the best parts of your cruise. The crew you deal with should all speak English, but they may not all be native speakers of the language. If they don’t seem to be following your request, try to speak slower and more clearly. Don’t embarrass yourself, by speaking louder or developing a fake accent that you think they will understand. You can also try some other alternative words that they might know to get your point across. Remember, English is a language that has lifts in England and elevators in the U.S., and depending on your location in the United States, you may need to order pop instead of soda to get a cola.
How do I pay for things on board the ship?
Most Cruise Lines have developed a billing system for your convenience. They will take an imprint of your credit card and set up a tab for the cruise. You will then receive a total bill at the end of your cruise. You might want to keep all those little receipts you sign to verify the tab at the end.
You can usually use a credit card, traveler’s check or U.S. dollars aboard the ship if it sails out of a U.S. port.
Personal checks are not always accepted or they may have limits, so you’ll want to check the Cruise Line’s policy on this if you plan on using this option.


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