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A cruise line vacation is one of the most fun vacations you can have, lots of food and entertainment and waking up in a different location makes for an unforgettable time.
There are, however, a few things I wish I knew before going on my first cruise vacation!
There are different stateroom or cabin sizes that are available for you to choose from and of course that comes with a price tag.
The 4 basic categories are:
Inside cabins are the smallest sized rooms and have no windows to the outside.
Outside cabins also referred to as ocean views, and as you can guess the cabins with an outside view which can be a window or porthole. In most cases, the standard outside cabin is a bit bigger than an inside one.
Balcony or veranda stateroom which features a semi-private veranda that allows you to step outside without going to a public deck.
Suites are bigger cabins which quite often have a separate living and sleeping area and that often have two different levels which will include different amenities and perks.
Furthermore, some cruise lines offer a cabin category, called a mini suite, that’s halfway between a balcony and a suite.
If you are cruising on a budget and will be staying in a standard room, you should know that space is quite limited and packing just the necessities will save you stress and aggravation.
If this is a family trip, try to pack as compact as possible and share suitcases if you can.
A portable luggage system can help you stay organized and quickly find what you are looking for.
Know the ports and activities so you can have an idea of what you will need throughout the whole trip.
Always make sure to bring any medication you or family members will need. There is an infirmary on board, but they will only have common everyday medications.
Cell phones do not work at Sea, so walky talkies is the best way to communicate and find each other if you get separated.
Sun protection is one of the first things that you should have in your suitcase and that, of course, includes sun protection for your eyes.
Sunglasses are a lot more than a fashion accessory and you should always protect your eyes when exposed to the sun.
Now sunglasses for the kids are equally important and a good pair of sunglasses for the younger members of the family is a must.
Make sure to look at Real Shades, the brand offers a great selection of real sunglasses for kids.
Here you will find sunglasses for kids of all ages like the Adventure Toddler 2+ which features a lightweight pair of shades specially designed for kids ages 2 +.
The durable wraparound frame is specially designed to l protect your child from peripheral light, this pair incorporates P2 technology and offers polarized and polycarbonate lenses for maximum protection from the sun’s rays.
For older kids, they have the Blade P2 polarized glasses.
The polycarbonate frame is both shatterproof and impact-resistant. Furthermore, the glasses use P2 lens technology to provide both polarized and polycarbonate lenses and are a lightweight, resistant pair of sunglasses for older boys and girls.
More to love? The Real Shade sunglasses are very affordable.
One thing that is often forgotten, but I would highly recommend, is mosquito protection.
You can easily get a mosquito repellent band for each family member like the ones offered by Para’ Kito and forget about mosquito bites for the duration of the trip.
Remember, some of the Caribbean islands are home the the Zika and other mosquito transmitted diseases.
Before you go on the ship
As much fun as a cruise vacation can be, it can be equally awful if you get seasick and you want to prevent yourself from becoming one of those poor souls.
Do not wait to get seasick. If you have any tendency to get dizzy, seek alternatives to prevent getting sick.
While the ship will have loads of pills to help passengers that are usually available as soon as you get on the ship, I prefer a more natural approach like the Relief band for motion sickness.
The Reliefbands utilize neuromodulation, technology which basically uses the body’s natural neural pathways to regulate the various stimulus mechanisms causing motion sickness through small electric shockwaves that the ReliefBand delivers when you need it.
Easy to use and very user-friendly, this band has different settings to help you through. You can use as needed because there are no drugs involved.
Schedule ahead of time
There are many shows and activities on board and you can schedule the days and times you would like to go to these events, but they fill up quickly.
Do not wait until you are on the ship to try to figure out what you are going to do and when. Most cruise ship lines, allow you to schedule your onboard amenities and excursions weeks in advance.
If you need to be connected
When purchased ahead of time, cruise lines often provide pack deals that will include an internet connection and soft drinks (sodas are usually not included in the booking price). So, finding all this information sooner than later can help you to save some cash.
Make sure backpacks are lightweight
If you are planning on bringing backpacks for the computer or your adventures on the island, make sure they have all the features you need and a lightweight backpack is always the way to go.
For crowded places, a brightly colored backpack can help you locate someone quick and easy… I especially like the kids’ backpacks to be easily seen. Check out the Zipit large Grillz and soft shell backpacks.
Take special care in packing all baby’s necessities
If you are traveling with a small child, a box organizer for his necessities, like the ones you will find a Zipit, are a great idea.
Make sure to pack all he is going to need for the trip and keep them all in one place to ensure you are not forgetting something. You do not want to find out that you forgot to pack a sippy cup or even worse, a pacifier when you are at sea!
These boxes come in different designs and sizes and make a wonderful makeup and accessory bag as well.