In a cruising career spanning over 20 years, Royal Caribbean Blog founder Matt Hochberg has sailed more times than most.

Whether his voyage is long or short, the Caribbean or Northern Europe, these decades of vacationing on the high seas have equipped the self-confessed adventure lover with the knowledge to ensure his cruise is a tidal wave of fun.

Here Matt shares his top tips from a Royal Caribbean Cruising expert.

 

Advice to First-Time Cruisers…

Research your cruise ahead of time. An educated consumer is an empowered consumer, and it’s going to make for better choices overall. Definitely, research, what the ship offers, the types of activities in the places your visiting.

I would also recommend for first-time cruisers, and all cruisers for that matter use a good travel agent. I use a travel agent every time I book my cruise, I recommend everyone use a travel agent. A good travel agent should cost you nothing extra and should provide you with some really great service as well as expert advice along the way.

 

My Top Packing Advice…

Think about each day what you’re looking to do. My advice is to look at a past cruise compass to see what kind of themed evenings there are, see if there’s formal night or a deck party. If there are activities, you’re interested in certainly pack for that. Obviously where the cruise goes will dictate the kind of clothing you wear.

 

Items I Always Carry to Shore…

I always carry, with me, my passport. Always bring your passport with you, so that way if you get stuck anywhere, you’ll have an easy opportunity to get home. I take some cash, and one credit card that I can use onshore usually visa or Mastercard is pretty widely accepted. I also bring my cell phone, which acts as a camera, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat.

 

The Items I Never Board A Cruise Without…

I bring all my fun toys with me I’ve got my camera, my phone, sunglasses, sunscreen, hat. Those are really important things to make sure you bring on your cruise. Especially the camera, there are so many great memories to take.

 

My Biggest Cruising Mistake…

Defiantly not using a travel agent. I tell people this all the time the benefit of using a travel agent is that if something goes wrong, if there’s ever an issue, having a travel agent is like having a lawyer if you’re going to go to court. Whether or not something goes wrong, it just makes your life easier.

And again, not researching, not looking ahead to where you’re going, what you’re doing onboard the ship. A really common example of this is someone who books a particular ship. Say they’ve gone on Oasis of the Seas, a big ship and they’re like I love Royal Caribbean cruising, let’s go on Brilliance of the Seas. Well, Brilliance doesn’t have a zip-line, or royal promenade or some of the other features the Oasis does. It’s not a bad choice by any means, but it’s a different type of choice. Again, research ahead of time, the places you’re going to make sure your making informed decisions.

 

My Best Insider Secret of Cruising…

The biggest insider secret of cruising is to book it as soon as you can. Do yourself a favour the earlier you book your cruise generally speaking the lower the price will be. When cruise ships are first put out for sale, it will obviously have all its rooms available, so that is where the lowest prices will be. But as people start to book rooms, there is less capacity available, and thus that drives prices up. If you’re looking for a deal on your cruise book it as early as you can.

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