by Steve Theunissen
You’ve been planning it for years – your dream vacation. You’ve been working overtime and you have finally reached your savings target.
Now, it’s green light time – you’re taking your spouse on a Discover Italy cruise. Amid the excitement, however, is a slight feeling of trepidation. You want this Italy cruise thing to be the trip of a lifetime, yet, you’ve never been on a cruise ship before. What will it be like, what things should you know, what protocol should you follow? Well, relax, my friend – we’ve got more veteran cruise tips than you can shake a stick at. Read on to ensure that your Discover Italy Cruise is everything you dreamed it would be.
Tip 1: Boarding
The boarding process is quite involved so you’ll need plenty of patience right off the bat. After passing through the Discover Italy cruise ship’s initial ID checkpoint, you proceed to the passenger security screening area. Here you’ll walk through an airport style metal detector while your carry-on luggage is x-rayed. Now, your ready to check in with your Discover Italy Cruise line. You will proceed to a large room that resembles an airline ticketing area. A cruise line agent will check you in. Make sure you have your ID, tickets and credit card handy. You’ll then be issued a plastic card with your name on it. This is your boarding pass, room key and onboard credit card all rolled into one. Lose it and your dream Italy cruise may become the stuff of nightmares.
At this point the cruise line will also want to see your Government issued travel documentation. This may include passports, visas, birth certificates and driver’s licenses. You should bring all of these things with you.
Your next step will be to board the ship via the gangway. You will scan your key at a kiosk on the way through to let your Italy Cruise director know that you’re onboard. You are now free to roam the ship.
Tip 2: Your Cabin
Be warned – cruise ship cabins are small, usually about half the size of your standard hotel room. Bright sunlight in the early morning can be a problem at sea, so if you like it dark get an inside cabin.
If your cabin sleeps four people, it will have fold down bunks on each side that frame two single beds that are pushed together. Be aware, too, that most cruise ships don’t have irons in cabins, so it pays to bring your own. There will be a small closet to one side of the cabin door, with the bathroom opposite. The cabin will also feature a small writing desk, chair and a built in shelf for the TV. Don’t expect to catch the latest episode of your favorite show, however. Reception on cruise ships is a lottery and you could end up watching a game show from Belfast.
Tip 3: Exploring the Ship
Your Discover Italy Cruise ship will be organized by decks. The lower decks are for the engines, crew and general operations. The middle decks contain the passenger’s cabins while the upper decks house the ship’s public rooms. The top decks are for outdoor recreation. On the public deck, you’ll find a large theatre which is used for seminars during the day and live entertainment at night. You’ll also find a movie theatre, a library, a card room, a sports bar, a gymnasium and, of course, the formal restaurants.
You will also find a guest relations desk on the public deck. They’ll help you out with any enquiries and they’ve got a ready supply of motion sickness pills.
Computer and internet kiosks will be scattered around the public desk. Be aware, however, of the costs of usage – they can be expensive!
Tip 4: The Outdoor Rec Area
The top decks is where you’ll find the outdoor rec area. There’ll be plenty of pools and hot tubs here, along with lounge chairs for sunning. You should know that, while the hot tubs will contain fresh water, the pools will have sea water in them. The sun at sea is surprisingly intense, so you should be diligent about protecting your skin. The wind can also be strong on the top deck, which makes playing basketball an interesting proposition. There’s also a walking track around the perimeter of the deck. A golf practice area is also available with professional tutelage. Shuffleboard and pingpong are further diversions.
Your Discover Italy Cruise awaits. Take heed of the foregoing tips and you’ll be assured of the trip of a lifetime.
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