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The first time on cruise is a mix of excitement and uncertainty. Not knowing what to expect or if it’s even for you. Chances are you’re doing it with someone you know – but what if you love it and they don’t like it? How will you know what to do or where to go.

If you’re new to cruising, then you’re likely to make some mistakes. Whether it’s ending up with a big tip bill or choosing the wrong companion – the first time will be a major learning curve.

To help you on your journey, the Cruise Passenger team has compiled a list of top five tips to help you avoid making the same mistakes

1. Keep it casual

The Titanic has left us all with this image of five-class dinners, ballroom dancing and balls. And while yes most cruise ships do offer a high-end dining experience, you’ll find yourself feeling quite silly walking into the main dining hall for your all-you-can eat buffet in a ballroom gown.

Make sure your outfits choices range from poolside, gym (Royal Caribbean and P&O have some daring activities on board their ships), smart casual and formal.  This way you have an outfit for all occasions. P&O cruises also won Cruise Passenger Reader Choice Award 2015 in Best for First Timers category

2. Do your research on tipping

Tipping is a tricky topic, because unlike North Americans, Australians aren’t accustomed to tipping in our everyday life.

Some cruise lines have tried to make it easier for cruisers by including the tip in the cost of their purchase. Other lines allow you to choose which staff members you’d like your tips to go to and how much you pay.

Either way do your research before you sail off because you don’t want to end up with a large tipping bill at the end of your cruise, nor do you want to upset any of your favourite cruise staff by under tipping. Read our good guide on cruise gratuities on everything you should know about tipping.

3. Pack some ginger tablets

You may have never experienced motion sickness in your life, but when the water gets rocky your stomach may get achy [I’m not a poet and I know it].

Even some of the most experienced cruisers will tell you rough sea conditions can get the better of them.

So keep some ginger tablets in your luggage just incase you end up feeling queasy.

4. Ditch the gadgets

iPads, MP3 players, mini laptops, normal laptops – these are the items you have in your luggage. But what you really only need and are only likely to end up using is the digital camera to capture the breathtaking views and your ‘Kodak moments’.

There’s so much to do on ships these days and there’s so many port of calls that the chances of you pulling out your laptop to watch a movie is unlikely – especially on your first cruise when should be trying to take in as much of the experience as possible.

5. Keep an open mind

Leave behind all the uncertainty and make the most of your time of board.

Find out what your cruise director has planned for the days you’re on board and do as many of them as you can. Tour your ports and really absorb as much of the cruise as you possibly can. Because before you know it, you’ll be typing away at your table again wishing you were ice skating on the Voyager of the Seas.

An extra tip from us: read Cruise Passenger magazine

Whether you’re an experienced cruise or if it’s your first time, Cruise Passenger magazine has all the information you’ll need if you’re planning, dreaming of or getting ready to board a cruise.

So subscribe to us now! For more details click here

An extra tip courtesy of Australian singer and songwriter, Kasey Chambers:

Take enough underwear

The ‘Not Pretty Enough’ singer says make sure you’ve packed enough underwear because you don’t want to find yourself running out mid-cruise.

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