The sun is shining, the waves are gentle and the boat is unbeatably luxurious. You knew a cruise would be the best idea for an inexpensive and lavish getaway. Now if only you could get past the mobs of ship passengers. Rubbing elbows with your fellow travelers can be a fun in moderation, but no one wants to be packed into the pool deck with strangers. Luckily, beating the crowds takes only a little bit of forethought and finesse.
Show Up Early
The early bird gets the worm when it comes to the cruise ship. Everything from your parking experience before boarding to your early morning breakfast can be enhanced if you get the jump on the other passengers. Especially when it comes to parking, do yourself a favor and show up a day in advance to the port city. You can find a hotel to stay at, and the staff will often let your park your car in their lot free of charge over the duration of your trip, according to Time magazine. Plus, you’ll be ahead of the lines at check in, and you won’t risk missing your boat.
Get Out Of The Buffet Isle
By all means, enjoy the buffet while you’re on your cruise, but if the experience ever gets too crowded or repetitive, there are other places you can eat to get a change of pace. Feeling indulgent? Stay in when you wake up and order room service. Just make sure it won’t come with an extra fee. While you’re in port, get off the beaten path and ask some of the locals about their favorite restaurants. Better yet, use your time in port to make a reservation at one of the fancier onboard restaurants. It will be empty while the masses are on shore.
Stay Aboard The Boat
In fact, much of the boat clears out when you’re docked, according to The Travel Channel. It’s the perfect time to stick around and enjoy the onboard facilities with relative privacy. Head to the vacant pool deck or enjoy some sunbathing while you can snag a few seats. Your stay on the ship will suddenly turn into a relaxing experience. Plus, you won’t get stuck at the tourist attractions on land with the masses of other travelers.
Memorize The Map
The massive ship layout can be a little overwhelming, especially for cruise novices, but taking a look at the layout can be incredibly beneficial. Some mega-ships have decks that passengers never find out about during the voyage. These areas can be serene spots compared to the overcrowded pool on the main deck. Better yet, some boats have adult only areas where you can escape the families and take some time to relax in quiet comfort.