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- Pack Light – By this I mean pack only a few outfits and toiletry essentials, but bring an empty suitcase as well. Now this may cause some of the more efficient travel veterans to cringe at the idea of wasted space, but the truth is that more cruises (especially all-inclusives) have just about everything from food, to entertainment already accounted for. The empty suitcase is for souvenirs. Especially in Caribbean travel, you will be exposed to many small shops with beautiful clothing that you’ll want to show off on the deck immediately. Don’t worry about packing the right outfit, just find it!
- Exercise – There’s an old saying that “the best rest is rest earned.” Taking your cruise as an extended time to gorge yourself and lounge around all day is not only unhealthy, but it will minimize your experiences on the ship. Do little things like taking a morning or evening walk around the deck, or always take stairs rather than the elevator. Years from now when you’re reminiscing you’re not going to remember the day nap you took on deck. You’re going to remember the moonlit stroll you took after dinner, or how you felt after taking down the rock climbing wall for the first time.
- Pacing – The first night can seem like the most exciting. You’ve met new people, and the cruise ship festivities are starting to gain steam after all the procedural work of checking in. It must be time to cut loose and close down the deck bar right? I wouldn’t. You may not know it yet, but you’re probably exhausted from packing and maybe even jet-lagged from flying into the departure port. Meet people and enjoy your first night, but get to bed before it gets too late so you can get a jump on the next day, and eventually the next night.
- Manage Your Belongings – The few things you should bring on the cruise ship should be intelligently protected. It is never recommended to bring serious valuables on board. But if this cannot be avoided, than make sure to store them in the ship’s vault. Label everything you have with your name and deck number so that it can be returned to the steward if you misplace it.