October 1, 2023 / 11 mins read / CRUISES

Top 10 “You Need To Know” About Ocean Cruising

See our Top 10 Destinations, Activities, and "Do"s and "Don't"s related to Ocean Cruising.

Ocean cruising offers you the opportunity to explore various regions and countries across the globe. With some many choices, we thought you might want to learn about the top 10’s about ocean cruises.

What are the Top 10 Destinations for Ocean Cruises?

  1. Caribbean
    The Caribbean is a top cruise destination known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and vibrant culture. Cruise lines often visit ports in the Eastern, Western, and Southern Caribbean.
  2. Mediterranean
    Cruising the Mediterranean offers a rich blend of history, culture, and stunning landscapes. Popular ports include Barcelona, Rome, Athens, and  Dubrovnik.
  3. Alaska
    Alaska cruises provide opportunities to witness breathtaking natural beauty, including glaciers, wildlife, and fjords. Ports like Juneau and Skagway are commonly visited.
  4. Norwegian Fjords
    The Norwegian fjords offer dramatic scenery with towering cliffs, waterfalls, and serene fjords. Bergen and Geiranger are popular ports of call.
  5. Hawaii
    Hawaii cruises allow travelers to explore multiple Hawaiian islands, each with its own unique beauty and culture.
  6. Bahamas
    The Bahamas are known for their stunning blue waters and numerous islands. Nassau and Freeport are common stops.
  7. Northern Europe/Baltic
    Cruising in Northern Europe can take you to cities like St. Petersburg, Stockholm, and Copenhagen, offering a blend of history and culture.
  8. South Pacific/Tahiti
    The South Pacific offers idyllic islands like Bora Bora and Moorea, known for their overwater bungalows and crystal-clear waters.
  9. Panama Canal
    Cruising through the Panama Canal is a unique experience, with transits through locks and the opportunity to visit ports in Central and South America.
  10. New England and Canada
    Fall foliage cruises along the New England and Canada coasts are popular, with stops in cities like Boston, Quebec City, and Halifax.

What are the Top 10 Activities for Ocean Cruises?

  1. Exploring Ports of Call
    One of the main attractions of cruising is the opportunity to visit multiple destinations in one trip. Travelers enjoy exploring new cities, historical sites, and cultural landmarks during shore excursions.
  2. Relaxing on Deck
    Many cruise passengers love to relax on deck, soaking up the sun, reading a book, or simply enjoying the ocean views. Some ships have pools, hot tubs, and sun loungers for this purpose.
  3. Dining
    Cruise ships are known for their dining options. Passengers often look forward to indulging in a variety of culinary experiences, from fine dining to buffets and specialty restaurants.
  4. Entertainment
    Cruise ships offer a plethora of entertainment options, including live shows, musical performances, comedy acts, and themed parties. These activities keep passengers entertained during sea days and evenings.
  5. Water Activities
    Water lovers can engage in water sports and activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and swimming right from the ship or during shore excursions.
  6. Spa and Wellness
    Many cruise ships have onboard spas and fitness centers where passengers can pamper themselves with massages, facials, and other spa treatments, as well as maintain their fitness routines.
  7. Cruise-Unique Experiences
    Passengers often seek out cruise-specific experiences, such as attending onboard lectures, cooking demonstrations, or wine tastings. Some cruise lines also offer themed cruises focusing on specific interests like music or food.
  8. Socializing and Nightlife
    Cruise ships are known for their vibrant nightlife. Passengers enjoy mingling with fellow travelers at bars, lounges, and nightclubs, as well as participating in themed parties and dancing.
  9. Relaxing at the Beach
    On tropical cruises, passengers often look forward to relaxing on beautiful beaches and participating in water activities at the cruise destinations.
  10. Adventure and Exploration
    Some cruisers are drawn to adventurous activities like zip-lining, hiking, or wildlife excursions,  which are often available as shore excursions in various destinations.

Remember that the specific activities and amenities available can vary widely depending on the cruise line, ship, and itinerary. Passengers should research their chosen cruise to ensure it aligns with their preferences and interests.

What are the Top 10 Do’s for Ocean Cruises?

  1. Do Research Your Cruise Line
    Choose a cruise line that aligns with your preferences in terms of amenities, dining options, activities, and the overall atmosphere of the ship.
  2. Do Plan and Book Early
    Popular cruises and cabin categories can fill up quickly, so it’s a good idea to plan and book your cruise well in advance to secure the best options.
  3. Do Pack Wisely
    Check the cruise line’s dress code and packing guidelines. Be sure to bring appropriate clothing, including formal attire if required, and don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, medications, and travel adapters.
  4. Do Budget Accordingly
    Cruises often come with additional expenses, such as shore excursions, specialty dining, drinks, and gratuities. Budget for these extras to avoid overspending.
  5. Do Practice Good Hygiene
    Wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer stations provided onboard, and follow any health and safety guidelines, especially during times of illness outbreaks.
  6. Do Attend Mandatory Safety Drills
    Pay attention to the safety briefing and muster drill at the beginning of your cruise. Knowing the ship’s safety procedures is crucial in case of emergencies.
  7. Do Respect Fellow Passengers
    Be considerate of others by keeping noise levels down in public areas, not saving deck chairs, and queuing patiently in dining areas and for activities.
  8. Do Tip Appropriately
    Many cruise lines include gratuities in the fare, but it’s customary to tip extra for exceptional service. Check the cruise line’s policy on tipping for guidance.
  9. Do Participate in Activities
    Take advantage of the onboard activities and entertainment options. Cruises offer a wide range of experiences, so try something new and take the most of your time at sea.
  10. Do Be on Time
    Be punctual for embarkation, disembarkation, and shore excursions. The ship won’t wait for late passengers, and it’s respectful to fellow travelers.

What are the Top 10 Don’ts for Ocean Cruises?

  1. Don’t Overpack
    Avoid bringing excessive luggage, as cabins on cruise ships can be compact. Stick to essentials and leave unnecessary items at home.
  2. Don’t Ignore Safety Protocols
    Never ignore safety instructions or tamper with safety equipment. Follow the crew’s guidance in case of emergencies.
  3. Don’t Hog Deck Chairs
    Avoid reserving deck chairs with towels or personal items for long periods when you’re not using them. Share the space with other passengers.
  4. Don’t Skip Meals
    Take advantage of the included meals, especially in the main dining room. Skipping meals can lead to overeating at the buffet or specialty restaurants.
  5. Don’t Overindulge
    While it’s fun to enjoy the drinks and cuisine onboard, don’t overdo it. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to discomfort and poor decision-making.
  6. Don’t Interrupt Performances
    When attending shows and performances, be respectful of the performers and other audience members by refraining from talking or using electronic devices during the show.
  7. Don’t Forget Your Key Card
    Your key card is essential for accessing your cabin and making onboard purchases. Don’t forget it in your cabin when you leave.
  8. Don’t Be Disruptive
    Avoid loud behavior, especially in cabin hallways and late at night. Be mindful of the “quiet hours” designated by the cruise line.
  9. Don’t Bargain with Crew for Discounts
    The ship’s crew doesn’t have the authority to offer discounts or deals beyond what’s officially available. It’s best to speak with guest services or the appropriate department directly.
  10. Don’t Miss the Ship’s Departure
    Always be back on the ship well before the scheduled departure time when in port. The ship won’t wait for passengers who are late returning from shore excursions.

By following these do’s and don’ts, you’ll have a more enjoyable and respectful cruise experience for yourself and your fellow passengers.

It’s important to note that the appeal of ocean cruising can vary depending on the cruise line, ship, and itinerary you choose. Speaking to your travel professionals can help you research and take into account your preferences and priorities to select the right cruise for your needs and desires.

Ready to explore the ocean and all the amazing ports of call?

Talk to a personal travel manager from Gravitate by clicking on the Let’s Talk icon at the top of our menu bar and use our handy scheduling tool to book a date and time that works for you.

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