top of page

14 CRUISE TIPS - What I Wish I Knew



Recently, we took a 7 Night Cruise to the Western Caribbean on Celebrity


Here are my 14 tips! What I wish I know before I went!



1. The App

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

Download the app as soon as you book the cruise. Upload your credentials. This is how I discovered my passport expired during Covid. BUT, for Caribbean travel all I needed was my license and original birth certificate. Thank goodness!





2. The Parking

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

I took a picture of my parking spot before we left, so I was free to forget about it!

FYI, parking is expensive. It cost us about $110 to park for the week.

Man! That is how they get you!





3. Check in

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

We signed up for a 1pm check in. They look over your Covid test results, your identification, and put your luggage through the x-ray machine. It was very simple! Oh yeah, this is where I found out I was trying to board the wrong ship!




4. The Room

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

We had a balcony room in the AFT of the ship, that is the back. I usually get motion sick and was afraid this would be shaky, but I was wrong and it was AWESOME! This room was great. It was and oversized room with a big balcony. The only downside was the balcony was not see through all the way around.



5. The WiFi

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

I thought the WiFi package that came with the cruise was an actual WiFi package.


I was wrong and had to upgrade to Premium.


Why? Because the regular television had 2 news channels FOX and MSNBC. I joked that


they wanted to have a civil war onboard. They also had some pretty good random movies, but I ended up upgrading ½ way through the cruise. There was a 3rd day discount.


Thank god I was able to get back to streaming Netflix.


OR - You can download movies, shows, and books ahead of time. Just to be safe.



6. The Drink Package

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

Originally, I had The Classic Package. This included an unlimited open bar and they gave this to my teenager but marked the card "Non Alcoholic". Huge waste of money!


I ended up doing an exchange for a PREMIUM Non Alcoholic package instead.



This meant we could get smoothies, juices, frozen virgin daiquiris and everything non-alcoholic.

I became a regular at the Spa Cafe with all the unlimited fresh juices. This also included the specialty coffee bar which was fantastic! They had a variety of desserts and great gluten free-vanilla muffins. LOVE!



7. The Spa

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

Ummmm. I get $60 hour massages all the time at home.

There was NO WAY I was paying $179 for a massage.

Nope!





8. The Fitness Center

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

Ok. So, there is a lot of amazing food on a cruise.


Here is my strategy.


First, always take the stairs, walk the outdoor track, and explore the ship for your morning walk.


Second, hit the gym. It is part of your cruise. The view from the gym is beautiful, and they have great equipment. Make sure to have your book, podcast or music downloaded. You can't count on the tv on the machines to work.


Also, fitness classes are about $20. I’m not a scheduler on vacation, so I did my own thing.



9. The Onboard Activities

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

So, many great activities on board. If you are fun and social there is dancing, trivia, gambling, comedy shows, Broadway-esk shows with great talent, singles meet-ups, painting, volleyball, and much more.





10. The Excursions / Safety

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

The excursions can be pricey but this is why a lot of people book a cruise in the first place. Everyone always has great reviews on snorkeling, Mayan Ruins, and Dolphin Swims.

If you book through the cruise line the tickets will be on your cabin door waiting for you, and if you get re-routed, like we did, the


cruise line will handle cancellations.


If you did it on your own, you have to manage that.


Also, some people go with local venders they meet up with upon exiting the ship, just use street smarts, and get back to the ship on time.


Take water with you and if needed, ship towels.


I would advise NOT renting a scooter or car in the port. We saw 2 separate cruisers get into serious accidents. The roads are not what we are used to and speed bumps are not marked.



11. Staying Onboard - No Excursion

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

Some of the best time on a cruise ship is when everyone leaves and you stay to enjoy the low occupancy of the ship. It really is kind of great!






12. The Food

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD. So much good food. I checked the restaurant menus everyday to see what was worth the 2 hour dinner. The buffet is always fast, easy, and good. BUT, you are not going to find your steak or lobster there. Some of our table neighbors ordered double meat. Now, that was smart. Also, if you are gluten free or have other allergies, double check with the buffet manager, do not trust the signage on the buffet. Many were mis-marked. Their managers really helped me out and hooked me up with good GF options, but I did have to ask every time. They said they are working on it.



13. The Return

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

Breakfast and the coffee bar are open until 9am.


We were able to disembark at 7:30.


You will need your license and passport, in my case, birth certificate, with you to disembark.


You can have your luggage collected the night before or carry it off with you. We carried it off.

I don’t like to wait around for other people.


We left our concierge/housekeeper a little something extra for taking great care of us for the week.


And, I actually remembered where we parked.



14. Packing

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

They said to pack light. I packed a regular overhead rolling suitcase. I wore all of my leggings and bathing suits with cover ups, but only a couple of other outfits. I came back with a lot of clean clothes.





Wrap Up

Cruise Tips, Michele Gerber

I’d say the best part of the cruise was having someone else cook, clean, make me juices, smoothies and coffees everyday.


The excursions were great, being taken care of and resting, really was my favorite part.

I felt like it was an all-inclusive luxury hotel on the water.


Next time we’ll invite some gal pals or maybe a couples trip.


I would even do the same cruise again to try new things.






Michele Gerber, I am a writer, producer, content creator,  professor, adventure seeker. and sadly, I've had to be gluten-free for over 15 years. So, I am kind of an expert. I  am passionate about, or maybe  obsessed with, entertainment  and my latest binges, my favorite gluten-free foods, projects and design,  and adventure.   And, I'll sprinkle in social commentary.  Because somethings need to be said Out Loud..

I am a writer, producer, content creator, professor, adventure seeker. and sadly, I've had to be gluten-free for over 15 years. So, I am kind of an expert. I am passionate about, or maybe obsessed with, entertainment and my latest binges, my favorite gluten-free foods, projects and design, and adventure. And, I'll sprinkle in social commentary.

Because somethings need to be said Out Loud.






Commentaires


Les commentaires ont été désactivés.