Taking the advice of well-traveled cruisers is the best thing for first
time cruise passengers to do. After all, why not learn from someone
else’s mistakes or mishaps? Of course, you will still have a few of
your own, but that is what makes your first cruising experience memorable.
You’ve got your cruise booked and are counting the days until you set
sail. However, there are a few things for you to do before you even
start to think about packing. Check with the cruise line to see what
vaccinations, if any, are needed for your journey. You’ll have to make
a trip to your doctor to get current on any shots.
While you are at the doctor, ask them about tips on staying healthy
and avoiding the flu or colds before you depart for your cruise. It
is no fun having to travel sick or canceling all together. Also ask
about seasickness remedies. Some of these medications are prescription
Stock up on any other prescription medications just in case they are
scheduled to run out during your trip. Often, insurance companies will
make exceptions and allow a prescription to be refilled early if you
are traveling with no access to a chain pharmacy. One last thing – get
a letter from your doctor on official letterhead listing your prescriptions
and stating that they were all legitimately prescribed for you. If you
have to go through customs, a letter will sometimes keep you from being
detained while your medication is inspected.
If you are on a special diet, let the cruise line be aware of this fact
when you book your cruise. Most diets are easily accommodated, but it
is always better to be safe than sorry. A few weeks before you depart,
check in with the cruise line again to go over your reservations and
special needs diet.
Pack a small first aid kit for those “just in case” emergencies. Include
antacids and anti-diarrhea medications for those episodes of “Montezuma’s
Revenge” that seem to strike no matter where you travel. Aspirin, antibiotic
cream and aloe vera gel for sunburns also come in handy.
Stow away sunscreen, moisturizer and lip balm in your luggage too. When
you are having too much fun outdoors, you tend to forget things like
sunburn. Be sure to apply the sunscreen lotion before heading outdoors.
Moisturizer and lip balm keep your skin soft. Sometimes the temperature
changes from the cold air conditioner to the heat outside can wreak
havoc on the skin and dry it out.
In addition to the sunscreen, protect your skin by wearing hats and
sunglasses. When you are on the ship’s deck gazing at the waves, the
sun’s reflection off the water can be pretty bright. The sunglasses
will protect you from harmful UV rays from the sun. Of course, the hats
will shield you from the sun’s rays and possible sunburn on your ears
and face, two places that people sometimes forget to apply sunscreen
With the right preparation and precautions, you are well on your way
to a healthy and happy first cruise. And when in doubt about something,
ask your cruise line. They want to make sure your cruising experience
is trouble-free. After all, they want you to sail with them again.
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