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What is a cruise to nowhere?

15th December 2020

Lasting between one and three nights and departing from a range of ports around the UK, a cruise to nowhere is an easy, affordable way to get your cruise holiday fix. [More]

5 Worst Mistakes to Make When Packing for a Cruise

18th March 2019

While there will be some exceptions, there are cruise essentials that you will need no matter which cruise line you sail with. Read on for the five worst mistakes you can make when packing for your cruise, and avoid a packing faux pas! [More]

What Not to do on the First Day of Your Cruise

29th May 2018

If you’re fortunate enough to have a cruise booked and coming up shortly, you’re probably getting more excited every day, and might even be thinking about packing and preparing to get going. If this is the case, take a look at our hints to help improve your holiday from day one. Even seasoned cruisers make faux pas on embarkation day, so we thought it would be helpful to put together a handy guide to explain what not to do on the first day of your cruise.

1. Don’t ignore the crew

The staff onboard the ship are there to help make your cruise holiday the best it can be, so take time to introduce yourself, and remember a friendly smile can go a long way. Embarkation day can be hard work for the crew, so try to be patient and remember you are not the only guest they are looking after.

 

 

2. Don’t rush to the buffet

Many cruisers consider the buffet to be their quickest and easiest option for the first day, and because of this, buffet restaurants tend to get very busy very fast. Keep this in mind, and consider trying a different restaurant in which you can enjoy a more peaceful atmosphere and great service.

3. Don’t miss the Muster Drill

Those who have been on a number of cruisers might feel that the muster drill – a safety talk – is not necessary for them. Remember however, that layouts and safety procedures are likely to be different on every ship, and attendance at the muster drill is mandatory.

4. Try not to use the lifts

If you can help it, try to use the stairs instead of the lifts on embarkation day. They can get very busy with cruisers getting to know the ship and of course transporting luggage to cabins, so avoid the wait and use the stairs - and in so doing you’ll free up the lift for those less able.

 

 

5. Don’t stay in the sun all day

When cruising in a sunny destination it can be all too tempting to bask in the sun all day soaking up the rays. This is a mistake however as too much time in the sun is likely to cause sunburn, headaches, and even sun stroke – putting a damper on the first few days of your holiday.

6. Don’t drink too much alcohol

If you’re on an all-inclusive cruise, or have opted for a drinks package, it can be easy to get a bit carried away on your first day onboard. Avoid a hangover so early on and try to limit yourself; a good tip is to drink one soft drink (preferably water) between every alcoholic one.

7. Don’t stay in the outfit you travelled in

Get in the holiday spirit straight away by changing your outfit as soon as possible. Getting out of your travel clothes will help you feel fresh and ready to get started with your cruise, whether this is by relaxing, swimming, or simply exploring the ship.

 

 

8. Don’t forget to mention dietary requirements

Even if you informed your cruise agent of allergies and dietary requirements at the time of booking, it’s a good idea to ensure this information has been logged by mentioning to the maître d of any restaurants you’ll be dining in.

9. Don’t automatically dine in the main restaurant

As with the buffet, many cruisers will look no further than the main restaurant for dinner on their first day. This means speciality restaurants usually have plenty of availability – so make the most of this and see what you’d like to sample onboard.

10. Don’t forget to book activities

Whether this be the children’s club for your little ones, a lesson on the surf simulator, or a space in the Pilates class, if there’s an onboard activity that you’re desperate to do, make sure you get it booked as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

See our advice for first time cruisers for more useful information.


Top First Time Cruise Tips

2nd February 2016

Top first time cruise tips

With one in three new cruisers vowing that they'll never take a land holiday again, it's easy to see why cruise holidays have flourished. You don't have to be a seasoned sailor to enjoy a cruise, and with a huge variety of ships and cruise lines, there's a voyage out there for everyone - all that's left to do is pick your dream destination.

You may be wondering how to ensure you make the most out of your cruise. As the leading experts, Iglu Cruise have collected the top cruise tips for you to enjoy on your very first cruise holiday - read on to find out more!

Top first time cruise tips

Before you cruise

1. Do your cabin research

Some cruisers spend no time at all in their cabins, while others like a private suite for plenty of luxury. If you plan to be soaking up the sea, sights and sounds of your first cruise as much as you can, opt for an inside cabin which is often the cheapest option. Alternatively, if a quiet coffee on the balcony is more your style, choose a balcony stateroom. If you just aren't sure which cabin is right for you, your expert agent will be able to help you choose the best cabin at the best value.

2. Plan what you would like to do in the ports of call before you get onboard

Before your cruise departs, you'll have a good idea of the destinations you'll visit during the voyage. Make the most of your cruise by researching any particular excursions you may want to try in port - better yet, book your excursions pre-cruise to enjoy discounts and secure your place on the most popular activities.

3. Pack appropriately

There is no luggage limit on a cruise so you take as much as you like, but there are still some top cruise tips to keep in mind. On just about every cruise, there will be a formal night where guests can get dressed up in their finery. Remember to pack a cocktail dress or a suit for this, as some cruise lines can be strict about dress code.

It's also a good idea to pack some layers even if you're embarking on a voyage in the sun, such as to the Caribbean. The sea breeze can be chilly, so be sure to pack long sleeve t-shirts, a cardigan, and a raincoat. Here you can check out more information on what to pack for a fly cruise.

4. Choose a Cruise and Stay package

Depending where your cruise is departing from, it is often a good idea to spend the night before in a hotel. A Cruise and Stay package is tailor made to your needs, allowing you to relax in a luxury hotel and usually enjoy the best sights of the city before you embark on your cruise holiday.

On your cruise

1.Book reservations on embarkation day

While most guests will head to the buffet as soon as they embark, if not already as part of your booking, take advantage of the special offers at guest services and book your specialty dining, entertainment and even spa treatments on embarkation day. By being ahead of the game, you'll be able to secure the dining times and front row seats you've been dreaming of - there may even be some fantastic deals on offer!

2. Head to the pool, restaurants and activities on embarkation day while everyone is settling into their cabins

Alternatively, if you aren't fussed about making reservations on embarkation day, take advantage of the quiet pool deck and grab a sun lounger to start relaxing. Our top cruise tip is to pack your swimming gear, a spare change of clothes and a towel in a carry on bag to ensure you're all set for a peaceful dip in the pool. As well as fewer people here, you may find no queues for the exhilarating onboard activities, as well as quiet restaurants that are ready to treat you to a delicious meal with impeccable waiter service.

3. Check the daily cruise schedule

Every day you will receive a schedule of what is going on around the ship, including special entertainment and activities, as well as timings for port days. Have a look at this every morning so you can work out what you want to see, and ensure you don't miss anything. Perhaps best of all, you'll also be able to find out the daily offers of the day - cruise lines will usually offer a 'drink of the day', a special offer on dining, or a discounted price on selected spa treatments.
Top first time cruise tips

4. Head to the main dining room for breakfast and lunch

Many assume that breakfast and lunch onboard is served at the buffet, while the main dining room is only for evening meals - this isn't true! If you like your meal times to feel a little more upmarket, you can head to the main dining room for breakfast and lunch for top class waiter service to see you through the day.

5. Enjoy activities during days in port to avoid queues and enjoy off-peak prices

Port days will leave the ship much quieter than normal while everyone is onshore and enjoying the sights. If you're not fussed about certain ports of call, then take advantage of the empty ship to enjoy the most popular activities onboard. With less queues and off-peak prices, staying onboard during port days will prove to be some of the most action-packed yet!

6. Take advantage of the kid's clubs so adults can enjoy days and evenings to themselves

While cruises are a fantastic way to enjoy a holiday with the whole family, a romantic evening with your partner or a fun night with your friends is just what you need. Be sure to make the most of the kid's clubs onboard where expert hosts will entertain and look after the little ones. With fun and safe games in age-appropriate groups, the kids will make friends and memories to last a lifetime while the grown ups enjoy the late night entertainment.

7. Switch your phone's data roaming off, and make use of Internet cafes or Wi-Fi packages

Whether you like to be disconnected from the outside world or record every highlight of your holiday on social media, there's no doubt that data roaming charges can often bring unwelcome surprises when you return home. Avoid the charges by switching off data roaming on your mobile. If you'd like to get online, enjoy the Internet Cafes onboard, or opt for a Wi-Fi package.

8. Make use of the laundry services

While there are no limits to how much luggage you'd like to bring on your cruise holiday, overpacking can lead to feeling overwhelmed in your stateroom. Save space and reduce clutter by packing a small tupperware of laundry detergent. Whether you'd like to make use of the self-service washing machines or simply wash your clothes in your cabin's bathroom, you'll be able to re-wear your favourite pieces throughout your cruise holiday.

Know before you go - staying safe abroad

25th June 2015

Updated March 2018

Ensure smooth sailing on your next annual holiday with some simple and easy safety tips.

 

 

Research your destination of choice
If you are visiting a place for the first time, it's always worthwhile reading up a little bit about what to expect when you arrive. From cultural differences and local customs, to current affairs, avoid awkward surprises by being well informed. The official British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) website offers up-to-date global travel advice.

Inform family or close friends of your trip
Whether you're heading off alone, as a couple, or a family, it's a good idea to let loved ones know of your travel plans. This will make it easier to locate or contact you if necessary.

Consult a medical professional
You might need vaccinations before you travel, or to carry prescribed medication on your trip. Consult your doctor before you depart if you have any questions or concerns regarding your health whilst abroad.

 

Stepping off the ship for a day or two?

Use official and registered taxis
Your cruise line should be able to advise you on safe local taxis to transport you to and from the ship. Avoid unwanted situations by only using official and registered taxis during your stay.

Learn some basic local language
Knowing a few basic words or sentences in the local language can work wonders on your trip. Useful ones include hello, thank you, no thank you, excuse me, and help!

Avoid unknown and remote areas at night
The atmosphere can completely change when the sun goes down, sometimes for the better but unfortunately sometimes not. Get a sense of your surroundings and avoid dark alleys, beaches, or unknown areas at night. Walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas is also not advised.

Don't show off your flashy gadgets
Use a camera strap to keep a good grip on your camera. Try not to openly advertise flashy gadgets if you're visiting a crowded place, and and beware of pick-pockets.

 

 

Keep your bag zip at the front
Making sure your bag zip is at the front where you can see it means it’s less likely for pickpockets to unzip and access your valuables. If you have a backpack and are walking through a market or crowded area, wear it the other way around and on your front so that you can see it at all times.

Take only what you need
Work out how much money you will need for the day, and if you're travelling with others divide it between you. This means that if your money is lost or stolen, you will still have enough for your trip stored safely onboard.

Be wary of “friendly strangers”
Unfortunately not everyone who acts friendly wants to be your friend. Pick-pockets often work in teams and use distraction techniques. Try to suss the person out, and if you feel uneasy, politely decline their conversation but make sure you know where your valuables are whilst doing so. Placing your hand in your pocket or on your bag will reassure you that you’re still holding what you should be.

Try to avoid accepting gifts or leaflets from strangers; this is a known distraction technique.

 

 

Know where your passport is?

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) reported that in 2016 more than 21,000 British passports had been reported lost or stolen. Avoid falling victim to passport theft with some excellent tips from stealth crime expert James Freedman outlined below.

  • Be aware of your surroundings, and strangers who take an unusual amount of interest in you
  • A damaged passport cannot be used for travel, so value it and keep it safe
  • Lock your passport in a safe
  • Make two photocopies of your passport – leave one with friends or family and take the second with you.
  • Check the entry requirements of your destination before you go
  • Ensure you fill in the emergency details before you go



    While it is important to consider the safety aspects of any travelling experience, you should not let these distract you from having a fantastic time. The chances are that you won't experience any trouble during your cruise, so relax and enjoy the new experiences that are sure to fill each and every day.

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