New to Cruising? Cruise Specialists Shares Top Ten Tips for Smooth Sailing

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Cruise Specialists offers insider advice for first time cruisers to enhance their first trip at sea.

December 2, 2009 -- For a vacation that appeals to travelers of all ages, you couldn’t ask for a better getaway than a cruise. One all-inclusive price includes your accommodations, several dining options and a variety of entertainment venues. Cruising is an ideal vacation because it provides an economical and fun way for you to visit and explore several new destinations on one trip while only unpacking once.

If you are thinking about embarking on your first cruise vacation, you may need some help navigating your choices. Cruise Specialists’ ( seasoned cruise professionals have outlined some steps you can take to enhance your first trip at sea.

Before you book:

  • Pick a knowledgeable and reputable travel agency and agent to work with who can help you explore all your cruising options.
  • Figure out a budget for your cruise vacation ahead of time so your agent can help you get the most value for your dollar.
  • Have an idea of what kind of cruise experience you are looking for. For example, do you want a cruise geared towards families, a getaway for adults only, or one focused on adventure or learning? The right agent will help match you with the appropriate cruise line, ship and itinerary based on your unique needs.
  • Investigate the many different cruise lines to get an idea of what each offers.
  • Plan a shorter cruise of seven days or less for your first trip to get your feet wet and find out if you enjoy cruising.

Before you board:

  • Fly in to the city where your cruise is departing from at least one day early. This affords you plenty of extra time to make it to your cruise in case your flight is delayed or canceled.
  • Reserve shore excursions, spa treatments and specialty restaurants ahead of time. This way you’ll be guaranteed to get the tours and preferred times you want. If it’s not possible to make your appointments ahead of time, then do it as soon as you step onboard. Choice times and dates often fill up fast!
  • Fill out your boarding documents online before the cruise to save time during the boarding process, and don’t forget to bring the required identification you need to board such as a passport in most cases.
  • Pack some toiletries and a change of clothing in one of your carry-on bags. In the event your check-in luggage is lost or stolen and does not arrive at the ship, you will have some essentials to keep you fresh for a couple of days.
  • Bring along some necessities to have in your cabin such as bottled water, motion sickness medicine, post-it notes to leave your cabin steward any special instructions, and an extra surge protector or extension cord as there are often not enough outlets.

With a little research, planning and the help of a professional cruise advisor, you can make sure your first cruise vacation is an experience of a lifetime. For more information on upcoming cruises and special promotions, visit or call 800-544-2469.

About Cruise Specialists:
Cruise Specialists is an award-winning cruise and tour agency dedicated to arranging the most luxurious land and sea vacations for their clients. Cruise Specialists is a member of Virtuoso and has been sending clients on memorable world cruises, family reunion cruises, affinity group cruises, honeymoons and unique personal travel experiences since the company's inception in 1987. The agency has been recognized by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine, Travel + Leisure and other travel publications as one of the top luxury travel agencies for the past ten years. Cruise Specialists headquarters is located in Seattle, Washington with an additional office in Novato, California.


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Vickie Meeuwsen
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