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We asked our readers what one easy thing they do to make their cruise better

In:
06 Jun 2024
By: 
Calista Kiper

How can you make your cruise just a little bit better without much fuss?

How to make your cruise better easily

We wanted to find some more simple, low-effort ways to make your cruise a more enjoyable vacation, so we took to the Royal Caribbean Blog Facebook group to ask our readers what they do.

Hundreds of comments later, here are 12 easy things our readers do to make their cruise better.

1. Go with the flow

Odyssey deck

Karen Taylow Henelde commented: "Go with the flow and participate!"

One easy way to improve your cruise is by deciding to go with the flow of activities during your cruise.

Plans can change, and delays happen, so it's best to forgo any attachment to a specific outcome.

Leslie Lasage Babineaux expanded on this advice, saying to "take every moment as it comes, especially during embarkation and debarkation."

iSkate-Navigator-of-the-Sea

"I go with the same attitude with every day on the ship. Wake up and just go with the flow of the day. You never know what activities will be on the schedule that you will love. If not, grab a cocktail and sit by the pool or walk around the ship."

It's hard to predict what will be the most enjoyable activity until you get onboard, so going with the flow ensures you'll have a fun cruise!

Read more: 13 things I wish I'd done differently on my first cruise, from avoiding seasickness to eating at different venues

2. Get to know the crew members

Crew members

Making connections with crew members onboard just takes some kindness and conversation, and it can make your cruise so much better.

"Get to know some of the staff," Patty Vognild commented.

"Once you ask them some questions about their home/country and family they usually light up."

Asking others about themselves is an easy way to show care, and humanize crew members instead of ignoring them.

Celebrity spa cafe

Royal Caribbean crew members work hard on all aspects of the cruise, from covering entertainment to serving guests in the Main Dining Room, to the stateroom attendants cleaning your cabin every day.

"Making some of those connections makes the cruise more enjoyable!" Vognild added.

On cruises where I've befriended crew members (whether a bartender or a waiter), I've always learned more about the ship and felt like I had a friend to come back and see.

3. Order room service breakfast

Room service

Many readers commented that ordering room service breakfast is an easy thing that improves their cruise.

"[We] order room service for breakfast so we don't have to worry about crowds, clothes, or showers first thing in the morning," Melissa Renee said.

Continental room service breakfast is free and can be ordered as late as the night before.

Your food will be delivered right to your door at the time you select, and you can enjoy it from the comfort of your cabin.

Ordering room service breakfast, especially on excursion days, gives you extra time to get ready and help circumvent crowds at other complimentary venues.

4. Pre-pay gratuities

guest-services

Pamela Martin commented: "Pay anything at all before I set foot on the ship. No bills leaving."

Royal Caribbean allows you to pre-pay the obligatory gratuities before your cruise.

You can easily do this by contacting your travel agent, or logging onto the website and paying online.

Gratuity increase email

Experienced cruisers like to pre-pay their gratuities because it allows them to pay off the balance early and lock in the current gratuity rate.

If you prefer to budget and spread out your expenses, pre-paying is a smart idea.

Read more: We asked our readers what one thing they regretted packing for their cruise

5. Bring more money and fewer clothes

Mark Olwick gave some sound advice in his comment: "Take twice as much money and half as many clothes as you think you’ll need."

Bringing plenty of money, especially cash, ensures that you have enough to spend on souvenirs, food, and tips. 

While there is an ATM machine on your ship, it will come with a lot of fees, so grab your cash ahead of time.

Things to pack for a cruise

And when it comes to packing, you won't need as many clothes as you expect.

If you know how to pack efficiently and bring adaptable clothing, you'll save yourself space in your luggage.

Read more: 40 essential things to bring on a cruise

6. Go to the Main Dining Room

Dinner in the Main Dining Room

Dining at the Main Dining Room is free and easy to manage on board a cruise ship.

Tammy Baumann said she "very much [enjoys] the Main Dining Room."

Baumann recommends cruisers go "so [the staff] can spoil you, bring you your favorite beverage without you even asking, scrape away your crumbs, and honor you."

Quantum-MDR-French-3

The Main Dining Room is a cruise institution, an elegant, complimentary venue where cruisers are served multiple-course meals.

Given its formality, the venue is a great place to relax and enjoy trying new dishes.

If you dine there every night, the waitstaff will get to know you and your preferences.

7. Unpack and organize your clothing

Freedom-Interior-Stateroom-3

One of the first things I do when I get onboard and inside my cruise cabin is unpack all my clothing and the majority of my items.

Tammy Albert does the same. "It's very hard living out of luggage!" She commented.

Unpacking completely allows you to make the cruise cabin your home, take stock of the things you packed, and organize the stateroom.

Elizabeth-luggage-symphony-clothes

Your clothes and items will be within reach, making it easier to get ready during the day.

Unpacking ultimately saves you time and space.

Read more: We asked our readers what one thing they wish they packed for their cruise

8. Enjoy the moment

Alaska paddleboarding excursion

"Take a moment to just enjoy the view with your own eyes," Tom Johnson advised.

"Yes, it is great to get a photo of something, but give yourself a chance to look at what you are seeing."

This is a great tip, not just for cruises, but for all types of travel.

Taking time to soak in the scenery and reflect on the wonder of your experience reminds you why you've traveled all this way.

Pause on the photos and entertainment, and just appreciate everything around you.

Read more: Best things to bring on a cruise under $10 I always regret forgetting to bring

9. Use a travel agent

travel agent

Booking with a travel agent was Jan Lefave's top tip.

Most agents charge no fees for their services, and it can save you a lot of time.

Since travel agents have access to better rates and often offer onboard credit, they'll also save you money on the cruise.

Antarctica

Travel agents can help with any of your booking and question questions, even when you're onboard the ship.

They'll offer peace of mind in emergencies, and allow you to use headspace for the more fun parts of planning.

"Life is too short to get hung up on silly things," Lefave commented.

10. Allow yourself to spend time indoors

Family surfside suite

"It’s ok to just chill in your room," Ian Hunter said.

"Sometimes I feel like I’m 'missing out' but if you just want to sit in your room or balcony and relax then that’s just fine!"

Cruise ships have endless activities available on board, not to mention the exciting ports of all that many cruises will stop at.

Staying inside your cruise cabin can feel like a waste of time when there are so many things to do. But it's your vacation and you're allowed to relax inside the cabin, or even take a nap.

"It’s your vacation and if you want some alone time to just relax and recoup then do it," Hunter added.

11. Arrive early for embarkation day

We always recommend arriving at the cruise port at least a day before embarkation day.

Ted Reighard mentioned this tip on the Facebook post, advising other cruisers to arrive ahead of time for embarkation day. 

If you're flying in, this might mean staying near the port the night before.

United plane at Fort Lauderdale airport

This just means moving up your travel plans by one day and is definitely worth it.

You'd never want to lose a cruise that cost thousands of dollars just because your flight got delayed!

The cruise ship won't wait for you, so plan to make sure you get on board.

12. Try new things

Learning to surf on Flowrider

Part of the beauty of cruising is getting the opportunity to try so many new things, from visiting new parts of the world to activities like surfing to tasting new cuisine.

Rowan Humphries's advice was: "Don’t be afraid to try new things."

"In the Main Dining Room, my aim was to try food that I wouldn’t normally eat at home."

Food from The Grove

Challenge yourself to try new things, and enjoy aspects that you won't get to try at home.

For Humphries, this meant eating things like steak and seafood, but it can look different for everyone.

Just encouraging yourself to step out of your comfort zone is one easy way to make your cruise exciting and enjoyable.

Read more: I went on Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas. Here are the 7 best things I ate on the ship.

We asked our readers what one easy thing they do to make their cruise better

Calista Kiper graduated from Wheaton College, IL, with a B.A. in English Writing. 

Growing up traveling around the world, she developed a passion for diversity and cross-cultural communication. From her first cruise on Wonder of the Seas, she has delighted in the intersection between travel, diversity, and writing in the cruising world.

Calista spends her free time reading, cooking, and researching the latest human-interest stories. 

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