Top three tips for boarding your Spring Break cruise
Before you set out on your much anticipated family cruise, here are three survival tips for families to ensure smooth sailing on embarkation day (day 1 of the cruise):
- Resist the urge to be the first person on the ship. This might be counter-intuitive given the amount of money that you spent on your cruise vacation, but consider the following: embarkation day offers limited services on the ship. The spa, kids programs, dining room (on most mass market ships), and the pool (on some ships) are closed. Don’t get me wrong, the ship is in full swing welcoming guests onboard and there is certainly plenty of food to eat, it’s just that you will have to compete for space with fellow passengers until sail away.
- Bring everything you might need for the afternoon in a carry-on onto the ship with you. Plan a change of clothes, bathing suits (assuming the pool is open), bottles, diapers, and walkie-talkies onto the ship when you embark. Although most cruise lines are quick about delivering bags, it could be dinnertime before you see all your belongings.
- Picky diners need shipboard intervention. Smart parents will make a bee-line to the maître d’hotel to request modifications to dining arrangements, if necessary. You can scope-out the dining room to see where your table is and make special requests if you need to. I usually special order curry at least once per cruise. The ship can accomodate “special curry dinner” but you have to ask in advance. Cruise lines can accommodate special diets (including food allergies) but they prefer to know in advance to allow for provisioning. However, if you forgot or if you need gluten-free, help with baby food, or have a special request, ask because the cruise ship will try their hardest to accomodate.
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