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!

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Disney Fantasy in Falmouth Jamaica

Cruise Line Beverage Packages: Should you get a drink package?

Whether sipping a fruity drink by the pool or enjoying a pint at a pub, alcoholic beverages are ubiquitous with cruising.  The cost of those drinks can certainly add up, but in the past 10-15 years, some cruise lines have started serving up unlimited drink packages and other options which allow you to better manage your bar tabs and even coffee expenses.  The cost, benefits, and restrictions can vary by cruise line, so let’s explore the overall concept of beverages packages, and some of the things unique to the offerings on each cruise line... Read more about Cruise Line Beverage Packages: Should you get a drink package?

Demystifying Stateroom Types, Categories & Guarantees

qm2 room types

When booking a cruise you'll inevitably have to decide what type of cabin (aka stateroom) you want.  What's the difference between an inside and an ocean view?  What are all these numbers? G1, B13? Are we playing bingo or going on vacation?  It can be confusing, but it's important to really understand the differences, at least conceptually, so that you not only book the right room for you, but recognize value and see through some promotional gimmicks.  We'll look at the differences between stateroom types and categories and explain other things you'll run into, like guarantee rooms. Read more about Demystifying Stateroom Types, Categories & Guarantees

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