As the weather heats up and we start the slide toward summer vacation, it’s time to start thinking about travel plans. Whether you are looking for family fun, a wild girl’s weekend or a romantic getaway, a cruise can be an appealing option. A vacation at sea, with stops in a handful of tropical isles, has enough variety to satisfy serious wanderlust. But, they are also easy to plan, and, with the captain at the wheel, you have a built-in designated driver for your entire time aboard. All you really need to do it relax and have fun. But, there are a few things you shouldn’t do during your cruise vacation.
Leave your workout gear at home: Taking a break from your fitness routine sounds like the ultimate vacation treat. But, all the fine restaurant-quality foods served aboard cruise ships can leave you feeling a little sluggish, not to mention the larger numbers you might see on the scale once you get home. Cruise ships generally have very nice gyms with machines overlooking the ocean. Plus, most have walking and jogging tracks rigging one of the upper decks, ready for you to put in some miles while breathing in the salt air. And don’t forget the free yoga and fitness classes that are sure to be part of the daily offerings. So, be sure to pack your Nike shoes and your favorite workout clothes for a few calorie-burning sessions at sea.
Skip formal night: Many of today’s travelers are forgoing this cruise staple. When trying to cram everything into an already overflowing suitcase, hauling along a nice dress and a suit seems formidable. However, the food in the main dining room is seriously upgraded on formal night and it’s worth it to get gussied up to enjoy the feast afloat. Plus, formal night isn’t as intimidating as it sounds to novice cruisers. On most cruise lines, the level of dress on the upscale evening will range from true formal to business casual. While it’s fun to show up perfectly coiffed in a long flowing gown, you can indulge in the festivities with a simple little black dress, some pretty jewelry and a pair of statement heels from Boston Proper. Plus, you’ll probably find several others occasions aboard to wear these pieces to, making them multitasking vacation wear.
Stick to the ship’s excursions: No matter which cruise line you sail with, they will offer a range of excursions and activities at each port of call. You’ll be offered everything from beginner scuba diving classes to tours of Mayan ruins to beach days complete with endless margaritas. But, all that fun comes with a hefty price tag. Those excursions are also guaranteed to be packed with your fellow travelers. What the cruise line won’t tell you is that you have many other options for how to spend you time in ashore. Private, local tour operators offer the same excursions for a fraction of the price of the tour company, plus many more that you can’t book aboard the boat. Just do extensive research in advance to be sure you are selecting a reputable and safe company. And, don’t think your options are limited to one of the adrenaline-fueled adventures or a day aboard a silent ship. There are plenty of low-key options for going ashore, including walking city tours. These are perfect for lacing up you comfy Converse shoes and getting a better feel for the local life.
Forger warmer clothing options: If you are headed for the classic Caribbean cruise you will need a stash of loose, comfortable clothing fit for hot, humid destinations. But, a suitcase busting with shorts, flip flops and tanks will leave you lacking. Though your island stops may have soaring temps, the ship probably won’t. From your stateroom to the dining room, many areas of the ship are kept to chilly temps to order to keep guests comfortable on warm days. Packing a snuggly sweater, a pretty wrap and you fur-lined Ugg boots will keep the chill at bay no matter where you are on the ship.