Know Before You Go: 5 Handy Cruise Tips

Mind these cruise tips if you're new to cruising

Are you new to cruise vacations? Whether you're exploring a variety of cruise destinations or simply enjoying the amenities on board your cruise ship, knowing some of the ins and outs of cruising before you set out to sea can enhance your entire travel experience. Here are five cruise tips to help you save time and make your trip more meaningful.

1. Plan a Cruise Early

Once you decide to take a cruise, you can start planning where you'd like to go and what you want to do. Take time to figure out what kind of cruise works best for you, then try to book as early as you can. Booking early means you'll have more choices for accommodation, such as a specific area of the ship that you would like to stay in. You can often book six months to a year in advance.

2. Choose Off-Peak Travel Times

There are excellent opportunities to cruise throughout the year, but the most budget-friendly times to book are non-holiday periods. And if you're looking to avoid crowds, you might want to choose an off-peak time such as May or September, when school is in session.

3. Book Shore Excursions Early

There is a wide variety of memorable shore excursions to choose from on every cruise. To make sure you get to see all the cities, historic sites, and other attractions you're interested in, be sure to book as early as possible.

4. Check Customs Regulations

Many travelers like to purchase foods and spices from international destinations, but they don't always get to bring them back home. Be sure to check customs regulations regarding plants, foods, spices, and other items you may consider purchasing on your trip.

5. Arrive a Day Ahead

If you're flying to your port, try to be there a day early so that you'll easily be able to meet your departure time. That way, you can help avoid potential flight delay issues and spend the extra day relaxing before you set off on your cruise.

Enhance your cruise vacation by taking note of these and more insider cruise tips, and you'll make memories that will last a lifetime.