Have you ever thought you wish you knew then what you know now? This applies to going on a cruise as well, and experience teaches many lessons.
After you take a few cruises, you will start picking up on trends and nuances that as a first time cruiser you simply were not aware of.
Many of these lessons are generalizations, but they tend to be the opposite of what many who are new to cruises think about when they plan a vacation.
In the spirit of helping everyone have a better cruise, I wanted to share some of the major things I have noticed repeat cruisers do only after they cruise a lot.
Here are the top five things a veteran cruiser would tell someone new to cruising about the reality of going on a cruise.
You will be less picky in choosing a cruise to book
When you first start cruising, picking which ship and itinerary to sail on resembles the NFL draft in the complexity of weighing choices, but that process simplifies after you start sailing a lot.
People that cruise a lot look for pretty much any excuse to go back out to sea, so the decision on which ship or itinerary becomes less critical than it seemed early on.
Quite often, repeat cruisers need very little impetus to book something because their love of cruising compels them to book whatever is reasonable. After all, a day on a cruise ship is better than any day on land.
Crew members are super important
When you first start cruising, it is easy to notice how helpful crew members are, but the more you cruise, the easier it is to notice the superstar crew members.
Because people that cruise a lot meet many different crew members, when they meet a waiter, concierge, hotel director or entertainer that truly stands out from the rest, they will recognize the crew's talents and often seek out that crew member.
Ask a veteran cruiser who their favorite crew members are, and many can rattle off a list of memorable cruise line employees they have had the pleasure of cruising with over the years.
Some cruisers even go as far as to book a specific ship based on which concierge, host, or staff are working on a particular vessel.
You won't worry about getting seasick
First time cruisers are usually very concerned about if they will get sea sick on a cruise, because they are not sure what to expect on a cruise ship. But the more you cruise, the less of a concern getting sea sick becomes.
It is kind of like when you go ice skating for the first time. Your first time on the ice, your primary fear is if you will fall, and it dominates your thoughts. But as you practice and get better, you know you might fall, but it is not really a major concern anymore.
The same is true about getting sea sick. Sure, you might get sea sick on a cruise, but repeat cruisers know the symptoms are easily treatable, and as a result, does not matter as much.
Read more: How To Avoid Getting Sick on a Cruise
Cruise prices are a game
How do you get the best price for a cruise? First time cruisers probably approach booking a cruise like other forms of travel, but repeat cruisers know there is an ebb and flow to prices, and have all sorts of strategies for locking in the lowest price.
The key is to book early, vigilantly check prices up until final payment date, and rebook if there is a lower price.
In addition, you shouldn't be afraid to walk away from a sailing if the pricing simply does not make sense. Sometimes an itinerary or sailing looks really good, but the price just does not match what is practical, and repeat cruisers will know it is best to wait it out. Perhaps the price will drop later, or it may not. But there are plenty of other fun sailings to consider.
Special sailings are big events for cruise fans
There are certain types of cruises where you fill find lots of repeat cruisers love to go on.
Transatlantics, inaugural sailings and repositioning cruises are just some of these sailings. In short, veteran cruisers look at these sort of cruises as badges of honor. These are cruises that different from the rest, and have a certain je ne sais quoi about them that make them desirable to book.
In addition, these cruises tend to be reunions of sorts, where a lot of repeat cruisers that know each other will book it so they can see friends from past sailings.