First Time on a Cruise


With springtime in the air many of my friends want to get out of the cold air of Utah. They ask me for ideas and I always ask if they have ever been on a cruise. Cruises are great! What more could you want than a trip that includes food and a place to stay with tons of free entertainment all for a great price. Cruising gives you a great way to see many different areas which you may want to return to for an extended time.

What is Included on a Cruise?

family eating on cruise Cruises can be one of the most affordable vacations you take as family or as in my case with your friends because almost everything is included. Imagine a vacation where you could get food any time of the day and as much as you wanted all for free. Sounds pretty awesome right? Well on a cruise that is what you get! Most cruise lines have a main buffet open almost all hours of the day, a main dining room, and a lot of other free restaurants along with some specialty restaurants that cost a few dollars extra. On Carnival they have late night dessert buffet where you can get chocolate covered everything, and all other kinds of desserts along with 24 hour pizza all for free. Other cruise lines offer similar type of food options. Trust me you won’t go hungry EVER. Most cruise lines offer free water and things like lemonade but soda and other drinks cost additional money.

rock climbing on a cruise ship After filling your belly you don’t just have to go back to your stateroom but you can go to the free comedy shows, plays, play basketball, hit the gym, mini golf, swimming, or even zip line or rock climb on some cruise ships.  Really there are so many free activities on the ship it is hard to be bored. Of course for me I love just reading up on the deck enjoying the sun.

Optional Cruise Activities

cruise ship casino If you want to skip the crowds at the free activities maybe you want to hit the spa or the casino. Even if you don’t gamble it is kind of fun watching a poker tournament or roulette. You could also eat at a specialty 5 star restaurant on board.



Cruise Sea Sickness

dramamine Many of my friends ask me if they will get sea sickness on their cruise. The problem is that some people suffer from sea sickness with hardly any motion and others have no problems at all regardless of how much the ship is swaying.  Just because you get motion sickness on roller coasters, small boats, or in the car doesn’t mean you will get sick on the ship. Most cruise ships are around 800-1000 feet long, that’s more than 3 football fields long. It takes a lot for them to sway very much at all. However I was worried my first time taking a cruise so I brought some Dramamine and took it at night before bed and had some ready just I felt sick during the day. (This only happened one day while we were in a big storm and the boat was swaying pretty badly) If you don’t want to take Dramamine or are worried it will make you drowsy you can try a few other things.  Many any people have found a natural way to prevent sea sickness is taking ginger which you can buy as a gum or a tablet at Wal-Mart or on Amazon. Some people choose to go to the doctor and get a prescription or try wearing a patch behind their ear. I am not a fan of the patch because well they look goofy on my brown skin. Some people have had luck with acupuncture bands like BioBands. If you are worried about being sea sick on your cruise I would maybe bring a couple of different remedies and switch if yours isn’t working.

Shore Excursions

michael sproul shore excursion What should you do when you get to port? Whatever you want! When a ship reaches one of its stops you have a choice. You can get off and go explore or stay on the ship. Obviously most people get off and hit the ground running. You can either book a shore excursion from the ship or on your own. Most of the time you can find deals on your own for a lot cheaper but some people don’t want to spend time looking or feel safer booking from the ship. I have done both and surprisingly I had an awful experience with the cruise ship excursion when they left us at Xcaret and never picked us up. Luckily for me I had already been to Playa Del Carmen so I knew how to get back to Cozumel. If you do not want to spend money on shore you can always hit the beach or take a tour of the town on your own.

Random Notes for your First Time on a Cruise

carnival cruise formal dinner michael sproul All of the cruise lines ask you bring a passport; however if you do not have one do not worry, as long as you have a copy of your birth certificate you will be fine.

There are not usually luggage restrictions for cruises like there are on planes except your carryon which is nice.

There is usually at least one formal night per cruise which requires you to wear Sunday best if you would like to eat in the main dining rooms. (You can always eat at the buffet if you don’t want to pack Sunday clothes)

Once you take a cruise you will be hooked. The convenience, the food, and the amount of fun you have will keep you coming back for more.

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Michael is an avid traveler and has visited many countries throughout the world. He loves sharing his experiences with others. He also currently writes for and

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