Insider expert Craig Dauphinee gives advice for making the most of a floating holiday.
1 Do your research before you board the ship and visit the ports. Read up on shore excursions that will be available and take a look at the amenities the ship has to offer.
2 If you're reluctant that cruising is for you, take a short sampler cruise to ease you in and let you get a taste of the cruising lifestyle.
3 One the cruise is underway, read the daily schedule as this provides information on activities, events, entertainment and other information
for guests. It will help you plan your day and make the most out of your time
4 Don't miss out on that special spa treatment, shore excursion, or anniversary dinner — they can all be booked prior to sailing.
5 Speak to the crew about their experiences in the ports of call — many can give you some advice and tips, just like having your own private concierge.
6 If you're looking for the ultimate oasis, find out whether your ship has an adults-only area. There are usually limited spots so try to book early.
7 Room service offers some great meal options, especially at breakfast. If you are rushing out in the morning for a shore excursion, order your room service breakfast the night before and it will be delivered to your cabin at your specified time. That way you don't need to put aside time for the buffet and can enjoy your breakfast on your balcony or in your cabin while you are getting ready for your day out.
8 The main dining room menus are planned in advance for your entire cruise. If you are trying to decide which nights you want to eat in the main dining room, which nights you may want to have a casual dinner, or a meal in an alternative restaurant, ask your waiter to show you the upcoming menus so you can plan accordingly.
9 Use of the showers, sauna, and steam rooms in the spa (but not in the thermal suite) are usually complimentary. Take advantage and pamper yourself.
10 Bring your mobile device and check whether you can download the company app, which is designed to assist you during your cruise. For example, we have the Princess@Sea app — you can message fellow passengers, and keep track of your account from your phone.
● Craig Dauphinee is Hotel General Manager for Royal Princess. See what life is like on board in The Cruise — Return to the Mediterranean, tonight at 7.30pm on Prime.