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Cruise ships usually carry thousands of passengers. That means that getting on and off the ship could be a little chaotic.
A cruise passenger wrote on Reddit: “Get there very early as I always do to avoid the lines or get there late to avoid the lines. Getting on and off the ship is the worst part of a cruise.”
Passengers should be aware that if they arrive very early, some areas on the ship will not be open.
Cruise crew usually deliver luggage later on in the day, so passengers will need to bring swimming costumes in their hand luggage if they want to swim in the pool.
Arriving late is a risky move as the ship will not wait for passengers who miss the departure time.
If that happens guests will have to fly to the next port and meet the ship there which could be very expensive.
The passenger added: “People are people. Trying to find a lounge chair open by the pool on a warm cruise is not easy.
“There is a term used by frequent cruisers. Chair hog. Don’t get upset, just find another lounge chair in a less populated area.
“Nothing any of us can do about this so instead of becoming mad, just have a plan.”
Chair hogs are unfortunately usually a fact of life on a cruise and many passengers will try to save seats with towels.
Passengers could ask the ship’s crew to move the towel if no one comes back for several hours.
Some cruise lines will remove people’s belongings if they don’t return to the chair within a reasonable amount of time.
If guests are very worried about chair hogs, they could pay for a balcony room where they may have their own lounge chairs.
On the majority of cruise lines, passengers can purchase a drinks package to enjoy unlimited drinks.
However, the passenger warned: “Not all drink packages are made the same. Study what you get and stay within the parameters.
“Find a bar where you really like the bartenders and give them a tip on day one. Every time they see you, they will make eye contact and not forget who you are.”
Guests should check the terms and conditions of their drinks deal before purchasing as it may not be the best choice.
The passenger added: “Regardless of the preparation you will have, some things on a cruise simply cannot be planned for.
“The key is to go with the punches and stay flexible.”
Cruise lines may have to change the itinerary if there are bad weather conditions or a problem at a port.
Guests will need to be prepared for the unexpected on a cruise although the crew will do their best to keep them informed.
If there is bad weather, cruise ships usually have a whole range of indoor activities to keep guests occupied.
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