First Time On An All-Inclusive Cruise? Here Are 7 Things You Need To Know

When it comes to vacations, we all try to have the best time of our lives, things don’t always turn out the way we planned. As such, all-inclusive cruises have become all the rage due to their ability to do what seems impossible — everything. It truly makes your jaw drop to see how they handle such a diverse mass of people and meet their needs at just about any hour of the day.

Still, if you happen to be going on your first all-inclusive cruise, there are a few things you should be thinking about before, and during, your trip:

1. Do Your Research! As with any successful vacation, the success of your trip comes from your willingness to research all aspects of your upcoming adventure. Sure, the planning may seem to take a little of the actual ‘adventure’ out of it, but given that this is your first cruise, you want to be sure you’re not left in the dark on any detail. Travel experts indicate that 75-80% of the success of a cruise comes from taking the time to research and plan your trip.

2. Choose the Right Ship – The nice thing about cruise ships is that you have a number of choices depending on your price point and list of requested amenities. Here’s where part of the research you do pays off. Always be sure to check into the actual ships rather than the cruise line as what is offered may greatly vary.

3. Set A Working Budget & Stick To It – When planning your first cruise trip, you want to be sure to create a budget. Nothing makes a vacation fall flat on its face quicker than money problems, especially if you know you paid too much for something. One thing to consider is how much it will cost to travel to the ship port. Does it makes more sense to fly or drive? Also keep in mind any special interests you may want to indulge while on your ship. Cruise lines actually offer themed cruises as well, so it’s worth checking out.

4. Choose the Right Time to Go – This is a little tougher to take into consideration as many of us have designated times when we can set off on a vacation. Still, if you want to get a great deal on a cruise, book during off-peak times as the lack of general traveling traffic has cruise lines more willing to lower pricing.

5. Plan Your Packing – Yes, you’re excited about your first all-inclusive cruise, but try to avoid massive amounts of luggage. Also, take the time to actually unpack. Living out of a suitcase is no way to operate on vacation. Plus, whether you’re making a run for the swimming pool, buffet table, or dressing for a formal event on board, it’s easier to get ready if you’ve got things available and visible.

6. Don’t Forget to Just Explore the Ship – Here are the simplest items to keep in mind for the first-timers on a cruise ship. While you’ve done your research and your attention is being pulled in every direction, take the time just to look around. Get familiar with the ship’s layout and take it as an opportunity to talk to others.

7. Find a ‘Special’ Place – Even when you’re on an all-inclusive cruise, being able to call a place your “go-to” hangout can be an easy way to decompress after a busy day. Remember — you’re on vacation, so relax!