First Time Cruisers: 15 Do’s & Don’ts For Sail Day!


If you’re a first-time cruiser you may have some questions about what to expect when the cruise ship sets sail to your vacation destination.  Below is a list of embarkation day do’s and don’t’s compiled from our extensive cruise history and others cruisers that have travelled with us!

DO take a tour of the ship!  You’ll be on the boat for a few days and you would want to know where the restaurants, clubs, spa and work out rooms, pools etc. are.  We recommend starting at the top and working your way down. (There will be a newsletter in your room daily with a list of activities and locations for your review)
DON’T head straight to the buffet.  On sail day, it’s one of the most crowded places onboard because everyone comes hungry for lunch. Instead, check out your dining options. Sometimes other venues are open for a first-day lunch, and they aren’t such madhouses.  We usually get pizza or hamburgers from one of the other dining areas.

DO take photos– lots of them! We take so many pictures on our vacays that it always makes people on Facebook and Instagram want to travel with us, plus when you come home, it will be a quick mental getaway in your mind!

DON’T take the elevator if you don’t need to. The elevators are mad slow! On our last cruise, my friend and I decided that we would take the stairs wherever we needed to go, when I came home I had actually lost 2 pounds!

DO arrange your spa and salon appointments, as the most popular treatment times book up quickly. Not sure what you want? Take a spa tour. You might get to sample a massage or win a free treatment in the first-day raffle.

DON’T spend the day in your travel clothes. Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on so you don’t have to wait for your luggage to arrive for you to slip into sandals, shorts or swimsuits and hit the pool or lounge chair.

hot-tub-royal-caribbeanDO take a dip in the pool or hot tub. They’re often uncrowded on the first day because many people haven’t followed the advice above and brought a change of clothes. But why wait to begin your vacation? The pool is open!

DO book shore excursions, and ask the tour desk any questions you might have. Some tours have limited space and sell out, so book early (if you haven’t pre-booked).  We have loads of fun on these.  Check some of the pics out in the photo gallery!

DO buy a soda card or alcohol package (if you’ll be drinking quite a bit).  Iced tea and lemonade are free in the buffet area and for room service, I have survived just drinking those free beverages on a 7-day cruise.  However, if you know you need soda everyday or alcohol you may want to consider getting one of the drink packages.

man-ship-cell-phoneDO make your last phone calls, texts and tweets while your phone can access land-based cell towers and you’re not paying sky-high satellite Internet and roaming fees.

DO unpack your suitcases, and get that task (and your luggage) out of the way early. Decorate your cabin and door if you like to personalize your home for the vacation. It is a Superbowl Cruise- show your love for your team!!!!

DO meet your cabin steward and make any requests you have.
DON’T skip the muster drill. It will provide important information in case of an emergency. Plus it’s mandatory, even if you have cruised before.

DO head up on deck for sailaway. It’s festive, with live music and flowing drinks, and it’s a fun way to kick off your cruise.

DO watch the sun set over the ocean, go to the welcome show, hit the casino, sing karaoke and shake your booty at the disco — your cruise starts tonight!