First Time Cruisers | CruiseHabit

First Time Cruisers

From passport requirements to WiFi at sea, articles in our First Time Cruiser series aim to answer questions and offer tips to those new to cruising, but we bet there is something for even the most experienced of cruisers in each of these articles.  We've got information about tips/gratuities, what to pack, price drops, passports, sea-sickness, and more!

Have questions for us?  Reach out on Twitter or Facebook, and join us as we talk ship on our weekly Periscope broadcasts from ports or cruise ships.

Disney Fantasy in Falmouth Jamaica

Married or Divorced? What to Do If the Name on Your Cruise Reservation Doesn't Match the Name on Your Passport

Planning a cruise can be fun, but the ultimate goal is to sail, relax, and enjoy.  Because part of your cruise planning will require some documentation, let's look at what you need to do in order to ensure you're able to sail if the name on your passport, birth certificate, or other documents does not match the name on your reservation... Read more about Married or Divorced? What to Do If the Name on Your Cruise Reservation Doesn't Match the Name on Your Passport

Are Cruises All Inclusive?

We all want lower cruise fares, but getting charged for odds and ends may not be very relaxing either, so some guests prefer cruising where everything they want to do or purchase is included.  While all inclusive cruises are nothing new, there are more options than ever, and ways of packaging certain amenities for a flat cost, or even bundling some things in with your cruise fare on lines that aren't typically thought of as all inclusive.  Let's look at what it means to be an all inclusive cruise, what some cruise lines offer, and how to budget your next cruise including things you'd otherwise pay a la carte. Read more about Are Cruises All Inclusive?

What Is Onboard Credit (OBC) & How Can You Use It?

NCL onboard creditOnboard credit may be completely new to you, but even if you’re a seasoned cruiser there are probably things we can shed some light on.  Commonly abbreviated as “OBC” or referred to as "shipboard credit", onboard credit can be thought of as a gift card of sorts for a specific cruise - money that you can use on your cruise for any number of things, including beverages, shore excursions, retail purchases, and more.  What many people don’t realize is there are actually different types of onboard credit, which can affect how you can use it.  Let’s look at how you get onboard credit, what you can do with it, and what happens if you don’t use it... Read more about What Is Onboard Credit (OBC) & How Can You Use It?

What Is Muster Drill? The Least Exciting but Most Important Part of Your Cruise

The first day of your cruise is filled with excitement as you explore the ship and start your vacation, but safety is the priority, so you'll invariably be participating in a muster drill.  It may not be the most fun part of your vacation, but let's go over what muster drills are, why they're important, and how you can make the best of this "lost time" on embarkation day. Read more about What Is Muster Drill? The Least Exciting but Most Important Part of Your Cruise

Booking Shore Excursions Independently vs Booking Through the Cruise Line

Most cruises are about both the fantastic onboard experience as well as the ports of call you visit.  Whether sailing the warm Caribbean or historic Mediterranean, you’ll likely want some sort of plan for while you’re in port.  From guided tours to resort passes, or even helicopter rides to glaciers, you can book a number of tours through the cruise line - but should you book independently instead? Let’s look at the risks and benefits of each. Read more about Booking Shore Excursions Independently vs Booking Through the Cruise Line

Paying For Things In Other Countries - Changing Currency and Using Credit Cards

currencyWhether traveling by land or sea, paying for things can be a bit different in different countries.  Years ago, you simply changed currency at the purser’s desk on your cruise ship, but this is rarely done anymore.  Technologies and customs can make the simple process of paying for a meal, cab ride, or souvenir a bit confusing, but we’ve got some tips to keep things simple and more importantly, save you some time or even money... Read more about Paying For Things In Other Countries - Changing Currency and Using Credit Cards

How many bags can I bring on my cruise?

Airlines and other carriers restrict the size and weight of bags, have limits on the number of carry-on bags, etc.  What about cruise lines?  There is no shortage of advice about how to pack for a cruise, but how much you can bring onboard?  Let's look at how much of your world you can bag up and bring on a cruise and what cruise line policies say about how lightly you need to travel... Read more about How many bags can I bring on my cruise?