Cruising for the First Time: A Complete Guide to Help You !

A fragrant breeze wandered up and trailed along my curls as I was embracing the yellow hues going down into the sea once more, for the last time.

‘Stay’ a voice within echoed

The ship was pacing to cross the Indian boundaries and before I would open my eyes the next day, I will be in my country. I will be home.

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Majestic Princess at Abu Dhabi Port

Yet my heart sank at the thought that I would be dis-embarking this ship soon.

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I couldn’t convince myself that this is the ‘one final day’ that I am standing on my favourite Deck 16, enjoying the flavours of theatre under the open sky.

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I am standing at Deck 16 of Majestic Princess

This is the ‘one final moment’ where I could make a choice to live through those precious moments I built, yet again, which shall remain etched in my mind forever.

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The Monsoon Flavours- Pic Credit: Abhinav Singh

I moved myself through each corner of Majestic Princess, thinking that I wouldn’t get to see this again. At least not anytime soon!

I wouldn’t be catching anyone at the breakfast table and hear their cruising stories. I wouldn’t be greeting anyone randomly and expect the same back.

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Food by the Sea 🙂

Neither I would look forward to fun activities the next day nor would I be hitting the floor with any and everyone.  I wouldn’t catch the dolphins dancing by my side either.

I was told that cruising is an unforgettable experience and after my 5 days sojourn on Majestic Princess, I would seriously urge you all- Go Cruise – at least once in your life

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Enjoying the blues from the room on Deck 10. Pic Credit: Abhinav Singh

Cruising is definitely an unusual experience and you must take a cruise once to understand. Those tiny instances of generosity and kindness through which you get to live, shall remain imprinted into your mind forever.

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Such a large hearted man I met on the cruise. Full of laughter and positivity. He gifted me a gold plated Kangaroo, though he tried to fool me that its pure gold 😉

I know what you would be thinking right now. I heard it from people that ‘Cruise is expensive. I need a lifetime savings’ or ‘Only rich people can afford it’

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Trying my best to pose like Kate Winslet- Epic Fail ! 😛

Seeing all the jazzy Bollywood and Hollywood movies, it is obvious that we think that cruise is only for rich people. But believe me it’s just a myth.  An international trip is far more costly than a cruise. You don’t believe me? I didn’t either…

Just like me, a lot of first-time cruisers often have many preconceptions about sailing and therefore I decided to make a ready guide (off-course with my limited knowledge 😉 ), to help you plan your cruise:

Pricing: The first thing which people asked me after I came back from Majestic Princess was how much does it cost me? Well, I was lucky that I didn’t have to shell out even a single penny but for those planning a cruise vacation; the price varies based on the brand, location, and the time of year.

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Generally, a cruise price starts from $100 per person/day for base cabin category which includes cost of the cabin, ocean transportation, all meals and entertainment on board the ship. The items of personal interest/ nature like liquor, shopping etc are excluded from the pricing. Now, if you compare this cost to a room in a luxury hotel, the inclusions in a cruise far outshines the overall benefits and facilities provided

If you ask me personally I would also suggest you to go for an advice from a professional distributor of cruises. They are the best bet to advise you completely on the cruises. Like mine maiden cruise voyage aboard Majestic Princess was facilitated by Cruise Professionals.

Seasickness & other health problems: Seasickness varies person to person. After what I experienced, there is nothing you would feel when the weather is mild and the sea is steady. Most of us started feeling dizzy on the third day of our voyage when the sea became a bit rough. But then there is nothing you should worry about. The best remedy to avoid seasickness (applied personally) is to distract yourself and get involved in activities.

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Yea that’s how I distracted myself 😉

Don’t, I repeat, don’t lock yourself in the room. That’s a common mistake people make. Also EAT. No matter how are you feeling- just EAT.

Green Apples and ginger generally works well during sea or motion sickness. There are certain certified and tested medicines available on-board the store for sea sickness as well, incase the need arises. The medical centers are available too.

Crowded or Claustrophobic? Probably not, but it depends on the ship and it’s size/ capacity. We only get claustrophobic on the smallest of oceangoing vessels. Fortunately, ships come in many sizes. Some are as large as shopping malls and comfortably accommodate thousands of people — they’re so large, you might almost forget you’re out on open water.

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I guess that’s a Palace on Sea. Don’t you think so 🙂

Bored? You have ample entertainment on Board: You can never get bore in a cruise. Why ? Because there are ample fun activities planned to entertain the guests throughout the day.

We used to get an entire schedule on our mobile using the intranet during the night, to let us plan in advance on our day’s activity. You could go for Zumba classes or hit the gym directly in the morning. Or you can play games or attend mentalist classes in the princess theatre. If not this you can put your dance shoes on for cha-cha sessions in the atrium.

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My friend Runjhun enjoying here session of Cha-Cha at Atrium on Deck 5

If you don’t want to do anything, then you can go adore the paintings in the gallery or simply take a book out and read in library. The night had another charm altogether. Even my 5 days on cruise was short to explore & experience the ship fully and that’s why I said its huge.

Also you don’t entirely continue to sail on a cruise. You also dock. There are marked ports for a ship where it stops for a limited time. You can get out and explore the city as well but make sure to return on the designated time. The ship moves on time

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Me standing at Abu Dhabi Port

Babies on the cruise: Most cruise lines have a minimum age of 6 months as of the sail date. Consult the specific cruise to know the age requirements for babies, along with a detailed run-down of the amenities, the ship will provide for babies. Once again, it depends entirely on the brand you are choosing to sail. There are several kid-friendly cruise lines where babies sail free or for heavily discounted rates (taxes and fees will still apply). Majestic Princess has a special corner for kids on Deck 17 where they are kept involved throughout the day. So the parents can go and party hard 😉

 

Pay for stuff? All purchases on the ship are made using your cruise ID card, which is linked to your onboard account. At the start of the cruise, you’ll have the choice of depositing cash directly into your account or connecting it to a credit card. Tipping for the services gets credited into your account directly at the end of each day

Luggage onboard: Except for your carry-ons, your luggage is checked before boarding the ship. Make sure to pack all of your essentials (bathing suit, toothbrush, formal wear for dinner, etc.) Though the toiletries are provided on-board, make sure you carry them along, just incase you feel the need to use yours

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On-Board Entertainment

 Will I get my passport stamped? If you’re flying into a foreign country for your cruise, your passport will get stamped when you go through customs in the airport. For example I boarded the cruise from Rashid Port, Dubai wherein I got through immigration at the airport and had to submit the passport for stamps, while boarding the cruise. The immigration while dis-embarking the ship will also be taken care by the cruise authority. Just make sure to keep an eye on the mailers you receive in your room.

Got your answers? Or you want to know anything else. Feel free to ping 🙂

P.S. I was on on-board Majestic Princess on an invitation from Cruise Professionals

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10 thoughts on “Cruising for the First Time: A Complete Guide to Help You !

  1. I have been recently thinking about taking a cruise, after a very long ferry crossing from the UK to Spain which lasted 30 hours. I can imagine that on a proper cruise ship there are so many things to do! I do suffer from motion sickness but fortunately there are remedies for it and as long as you take your medicine you will feel fine. I’ve been through a very rough sea, with the ship rocking from one side to another and them “fall” from high waves and I felt completely fine. A cruise however must be a completely different experience with a ship so big.

  2. I have never been on a cruise because I’ve always had the impression that it’s really for rich, old folk. However, I know that’s not the case anymore. I also like the fact that cruises dock at different places so you can get mini impressions of each place.

  3. I’ve never been on a cruise but I have always wanted to. I think it’s something that everyone should try at least once. Your post definitely got me so curious. I hope I could try it soon, looks like you had so much fun!

  4. It’s in my bucketlist to go on a cruise. You’re very lucky to have gone on a cruise without spending a single dime! It looks like an amazing experience plus you get to visit new destinations at the designated ports. I would love to do this with my husband soon!

  5. I’ve not yet considered taking a cruise because of the same reason you’ve mentioned. I thought that cruise is for luxury travelers only. After reading this, however, I was quite convinced that it can be done well within budget.

  6. I have been on cruises and small ships before and I always get sea sick so I never imagined people having so much fun on a cruise. But when I saw all of the pictures you guys kept posting on FB during your trip – I kept wondering if I should give it another try. Now after reading your post, I really feel like boarding a cruise sometime soon 😀

  7. First time travelling on a cruise has many curiosities and also many myths are cleared. I also did my first cruise journey this year around Greek Islands and it was also cleared my myth that cruise journey are only for rich. Good you did some exercise on deck for distracting and ginger and green apples are useful tips for keeping sea sickness away.

  8. I so desperately want to go on a cruise someday. I am sure it will be an experience of a lifetime when it happens. There is no way one can get bored on the small moving city. Loved reading your experience of your maiden cruise. The best thing I liked about it was the open air theatre near the pool. 🙂

  9. The first is always special. You have summed up our trip so well. There was so much to do on this cruise that even 4 days were less. However, we made the most of it. My favourite was the deck area and the atrium of course.

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