International cruises are a great way to see different parts of the world at a relatively low cost. If you’ve never embarked on an international cruise, keep one in mind for your next vacation. But don’t set sail without first reading these 8 tips for first-time international cruise-goers.
1) There’s an app for that: Depending on the ports you’re visiting, you may be able to find mobile apps containing city guides. Some of these apps work offline, meaning if you download the app ahead of time you don’t need data to access them. These city guides contain troves of valuable information for tourists, from maps and restaurant reviews, to local attractions and more.
2) Currency Exchange: If you’re heading to Europe or somewhere else that doesn’t accept the U.S. Dollar, visit your local bank or a currency exchange service. If you go through a bank, note that it may need to order the currency you request. This could take a few days, so plan ahead.
3) Call Ahead Sailing: If you plan on bringing your mobile device on your trip, call your cell phone provider ahead of time. Some service providers offer “cruise plans” which give you a fixed amount of data, text messages and voice talk minutes. Without a plan, you could return home to find a crazy high bill.
4) Bag it Up: Pack a lightweight beach bag in your luggage; something you can carry around while touring ports. You’ll likely be spending several hours at each port, so it’s important you have something in which you can pack towels, sunscreen and fun gifts you pick up.
5) Save Space: You never know what kind of fun items you’re going to pick up at each port, or even on your cruise. To ensure you can bring it all home, be sure to leave some extra room in your luggage.
6) Do Your Homework: Prepare for each port by planning which restaurants and attractions you want to visit. Of course, you can always call an audible. But doing research in advance can’t hurt. Be sure to print out the list and take it with you.
7) Learn the Language: On most international cruises, you’ll be surprised by how many people speak at least semi-fluent English. But it’s always good to memorize a few common phrases for those awkward moments where the language barrier manifests itself
8) Snap a Pic: While most ports don’t require cruisers to carry their passports around, it’s important you have all the info on your passport available in case of emergency. The best way to do this is by taking a picture of your passport, which you can present to officials if you’re in a pinch. Lock your actual passport in a safe inside your cabin. You do NOT want to lose this.
We hope you have the safest and most relaxing trip you can, but if something happens and you need the help of a maritime lawyer after your cruise is done, the maritime attorneys at O’Bryan Law can help you fight for justice.