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By cruisers, for cruisers: Passengers share their best tips for being back at sea

If you’ve got a cruise booked, it’s likely the first cruise you’ll be on in a while and it never hurts to brush up on some tips and tricks. There are also plenty of keen travellers gearing up for their first cruise ever, unsure of what lies ahead.

Knowing all this, Cruise Passenger have scoured some online cruise forums and gathered some of the best insider tips for long-term cruisers. Whether it’s as niche as getting walkie talkies for your travelling party, or some simple advice on what kind of cash to bring, we’ve got you covered with fifteen tips to know before jumping on your next cruise.

Who to tip?

Sarah Thomas wrote: “MUST DO 1ST…..TIP YOUR ROOM ATTENDANT….you will be rewarded with great service everyday.They will go above and beyond for you….THEN TIP THEM AGAIN on the second last day as you most likely won’t see them on the last.

“I also take a few koala toys in case they have kids.They are away from their kids for months at a time so its a little token gesture for them also.”

Heading to the islands?

Pat Naugle wrote: “Anyone going to the islands, perhaps take some school supplies to donate, they are much appreciated. Also some cash in AUD or US, to buys things at the stalls and to donate to the schools. Only notes, they can’t bank coins. At Mystery Island as you get off there is usually a lady with kids choir, you can give to her. At Port Vila, there used to be a lady that collected things for the hospital and schools and money donations. Hopefully she is still there. Her name is Chrissy.”

Sandra Morris wrote: “We also take little gifts for the children on the islands, once went and visited a school and the children were so excited and lovely having their photos taken, took school things like books, pens, pencils etc they were very excited.”

Scott Davis wrote: “Buy yourselves reef shoes to wear in the islands if swimming. These help a lot.. Also pack a set of goggles and fins for snorkelling. We bought ours on the ship (expensive) but absolutely loved it. Was amazing.”

Lillian Gibson wrote: “We only take small denomination money to the islands as they don’t have change to give you. We usually take $5-$10 bills or $2 coins.”

Be ready for island living.

Have your meds ready

Andrew Maunders wrote: “Take Gastro stop or something similar with you just in case you need it because they may not have it in the convenience shop on board.”

Robyn JC wrote: “Take tablets for sea sickness for the first 24 hours regardless of whether you think you’ll be sick or not. Take the first one before getting on board.”

Read Cruise Passengers full guide to seasickness here.

Get packing

Kym Mercer wrote: “Pack then take out half. Think about the day and where your cruising to. If going to south Pacific or warmer locations most will spend most days in summer wear. Think about shore excursion and what you’ll need.

“If you enjoy going to the gym bring work out gear. Most are easy dry so can wash out in your room and hang. There is an extendable line In the bathroom. I know we ( my adult daughter and myself) live in summer dresses and shorts and t-shirts/tanks on sea days.”

Plan ahead

Julie Davis wrote: “I purchase everything I need through my cruise planner as it’s in Aussie dollars, works out cheaper. Don’t read negative reviews as it’s always different . My grandchildren loved the kids club. They will take Aussie dollars on the islands.”

Stay connected

Steve Magill wrote: “We had 2.5 watt walkies on 2 of our cruises voyager and Ovation and they worked over the whole ship.. bloody brilliant in a group and never had anyone else on our channel..if people find them annoying too bad too sad… We never had anyone complain, if anything we had heaps of people asking where we got them and wishing they had got some.”

Karen Coomber wrote: “I would suggest finding a Facebook group for your cruise it’s the best thing there’s so many people wanting to share the experience you’re about to enjoy, happy cruising”

Loren Musson wrote: “If you have a multi USB charger, take that!! We also slip the odd packet of freddo frogs in the case because they don’t sell that sort of stuff at the general store. We pack a highlighter for the cruise compass and post it notes if you’re traveling with friends. We also love our own lanyards. Oh and a drink bottle!!”

Don’t lose touch with your loved ones on a big ship.

Love your coffee?

Lisa Porgazian wrote: “If you are a coffee lover, take your own! We take our favourite ground coffee and a large plunger. We take it to breakfast and the staff fill it with boiling water.

Want the best seat in the house?

Eugene Christakos wrote: “I also look at what side of ship I choose my cabin. I look at the ports visited and how the ship pulls alongside. I prefer a cabin which is facing the port more often. Gives you something to look at if you decide to sit on your balcony rather than going ashore.”

Want an early dip?

Emma Moore wrote: “Pack your swimmers in your onboard carry on. Sometimes you don’t get your bags for a while.”