46 Cruise Tips for When You are Onboard

by Female Abroad

Once you are on board the ship, what is it actually like? That is certainly a question that ran through my head so while gathering advice I asked it and I asked it a lot. The list below are some of the more helpful thoughts I had been given as well as the repetitive ones that kept coming up.

Luggage & Preparation

  1. Celebrity is one of many cruise lines that will deliver your checked baggage directly to your stateroom. Due to this, it can be delayed so make sure you back your necessities like toiletries, change of clothes, swim suit, and medicines in a carry on so you can hit up the pool, bar, or lunch while you wait.
  2. You can make / use your own luggage tags but make sure that your cabin number and name are on them!
  3. If you use the online check in, print 3 copies of the paper work (one for you, one to leave for emergency, and one in case)
  4. Your credit card will be pre-authorized for a set amount of money so be prepared with a spare card. Each amount is different depending on the cruise as well as the length.
  5. Get copies of the deck plans from the purser for easy reference
  6. Properly unpack on day one and then go to explore the ship. This will save you time in the long run!
  7. Search your entire room for storage space as there will be some hidden (behind mirrors, under the bed, etc)
  8. Ask to have the mini-bar emptied so you aren't tempted and you get more space


  1. In the main dining room, ask the waiter for the menu of the next night. This will help you decide if you want to eat in port or at one of the paid restaurants
  2. Cafe's & coffee shops on board (even the paid ones) may have free sandwiches and pastries so make sure to ask
  3. some bars will have free snacks
  4. breakfast room service is usually free if ordered during regular hours
  5. If you are getting room service, have the waiter bring you a pitcher of ice water that you can keep in your fridge (if your stateroom has one) for when you get back
  6. You can order off the menu (ex. you loved the rice pilaf from dinner last night)
  7. You can order multiple items (have 3 appies, 2 entrees,, and 7 deserts if you want)
  8. Schedule your meals during shows so you miss the crowds
  9. Fee restaurants may be free or heavily discounted at lunch
  10. the main dining room is usually quieter at lunch than the Lido deck
  11. Paying for one meal is worth it


  1. Don't do everything offered on board
  2. Take time to relax and enjoy yourself
  3. Don't over eat or over exercise, you'll get sick and not enjoy yourself
  4. The purser desk may have free post cards and playing cards
  5. Photo department may let you put all your photos together so you can pick your favorites at the end
  6. Busy places on the ship are usually quiet before 9am and on port days
  7. Every morning the TV will usually broadcast a morning show with information on the ports as well as the days activities
  8. Make sure to read the daily bulletin! take a photo of it for easy reference
  9. participate in games to win free things
  10. Bingo will get you cash
  11. poker is full of newbies (great way to learn)
  12. Ask for special tours for honeymooners / people celebrating anniversaries (you might see the bridge or the kitchen)
  13. Wanting your own hot tub (or almost your own) then hit them up while everyone else is off enjoying the evening entertainment. During this time the pool side bars are usually closed so make sure to grab a drink to take with you.


  1. Try to keep the noise down at night as staterooms are restricted and are noise can be loud
  2. Prepare for noisy neighbors as your can't win back your sleep
  3. Decorate your door to make it easy to find as all the doors look the same and the hallways can be quite long
  4. If you find you legs are swelling, take the lifejacket and put it under the mattress to elevate your legs
  5. The thermostat might not work as it will be preset by the ship staff
  6. Move the mattress onto the balcony to sleep under the stars (if your room has a balcony, this would be awkward if you did not...)
  7. If you have a blanket hog, you can get separate duvets


  1. Learn where the gangway is so you can get off the ship faster during port days
  2. General any bottles of alcohol purchased in port or on the ship will be held until the last day of the cruise. Celebrity did not do this with us because we were concierge with a full drink package.
  3. Don't rely on your cell phone for time as it might not update as needed (may cause you to miss the ship!)
  4. Take a photo of the ships return time when heading out so you will know when to head back
  5. Pack a bag for your excursion the night before so you can just grab it and go
  6. Take your passport ashore and you can head to the local information booth to find out where you can get it stamped
  7. Skip the shopping talks / port meetings as any important information will be shown on the TV or listed in the daily

One thing to note is that most cruise lines will want you to set out your luggage BEFORE you go to bed on the last night of the cruise so they can be picked up and ready for port in the morning. Check with your cruise line (usually they want them outside your door by 10PM). Due to this make sure that you don't pack the clothes you will be wearing the following day, any toiletries you need, chargers, passports, the PJ's you will be sleeping in, and anything else you might need. You don't need to put your hand luggage outside, just your suitcase.