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Scott’s Top 10 Tips before you go on your first cruise


My name is Scott Lara and you may know me from Twitter @scottlara1961 or from my YouTube channel. 

I have been on many cruises and I want to share my top tips that will make your cruise more enjoyable.

Please share them with family and friends!

1) Pack Light.

There is LIMITED space in your stateroom, so less is better. Remember the “FASHION POLICE” will NOT be on board and taking notes that you wore something twice during your cruise.


2) Arrive a day early.

If you are driving OR flying in to the cruise port, get there one day early. You don’t want to miss the ship. Trust me on this.


3) Be prepared for the metal detector.

Have you EVER gone through airport security? HELLO! You will go through a metal detector when you arrive at the cruise port. Be courteous to other passengers by putting jewelry, cell phones, iPads, etc. in your carry on luggage so you don’t have to empty your pockets in the metal detector line. We all want to get on the ship as fast as possible!


4) Soda and Water.

My wife is a big soda drinker and I like bottled water. Unfortunately Carnival will only allow each person to bring a 12 pack of canned drinks PER PERSON as CARRY ON luggage. You are prohibited from carrying on bottled water! On other cruise lines, pack bottled water and sodas in a copy paper box. Throw a luggage tag on the box and “check it” curbside! Your beverages will be delivered to your cabin later in the day!

5) Lay down the rules for your kids.

If you are a parent of a child under 21, please remind them to be courteous to the staff on the ship, not to run wild down those LONG halls and NOT to cut in front of adults on the Lido Buffet! Parents. Don’t take a vacation from being a parent on the cruise! There are thousands of other passengers on board that have paid a lot of money for a restful, relaxing vacation. They have taken precious time off of work just like you!  Make sure your kids behave!


6) Deck Chair Hogs.

Don’t be a deck chair hog. Many cruisers wake up VERY early and put towels and books on prime deck chairs to SAVE them for later! Don’t be one of these abusers!


7) Be friendly and kind to the crew.

They are far from family and home. You can make new friends with these hard working professionals just by saying hello! Ask to follow them on Facebook! You’ve just made friends for life and they will be glad to see you on your next cruise! SUPER SECRET BONUS TIP:  Hand your cabin steward a crisp $20 when you first meet him (or her). You’ve just guaranteed great service for your entire cruise!


8) Prevent a very high cell phone bill.

Remember that you can avoid a HUGE cell phone bill when you get home if you contact your cellular carrier BEFORE you leave home. Get the details from your cell phone carrier on how to save money on texting and phone calls while you are on your cruise!


9) Have important documents firmly in hand. 

Have your CERTIFIED birth certificate/Passport, Government-issued Photo ID. and Boarding Pass IN HAND when you are walking towards the cruise port entrance. Nothing bothers me more (well except kids running wild down the halls) than people fumble, bumbling for crucial documents. Have them in hand so you can show the documents to the port officials quickly!

10) The rules don’t apply to me!

How many times have you been boarding a ship, walking past guest services or waiting for the tender to hear some boisterous person demanding special treatment? Cruises are supposed to be restful and relaxing, but there’s always someone trying to save 100 front row seats in the show lounge for relatives or friends who never show up. How about the Diamond VIFP Carnival cruise passenger who hates the Faster to the Fun guests? My least-favorite is the person in the Guy’s Burger Joint Line getting 12 different type of burgers for her 6 friends!

Have more tips? Please leave them in the comments section below!

Scott Lara @scottlara1961 on Twitter and Instagram and slara1961 on YouTube.


About Scott Lara

Navy Veteran, Travel Agent, love to cruise!

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