1. Don't arrive at the ship until an hour or two before it takes off in order to avoid lines! Everyone tries to get on the ship as soon as possible, so you can easily spend an hour or two parking and waiting to get through security/fill out forms.
2. Keep your boarding passes you printed out, your passport and/or birth certificate, and any other important documents you think you might need in a folder that you can easily access. You'll have to pull out these documents multiple times before you're allowed on the ship.
3. Buy yourself some of those motion sickness patches. Never know if you'll need one or not and you don't want to pay the jacked up price at the ship store. (Also take whatever medicine you think you might need. It's just so expensive on the ship.)
4. Order however much food you want....in whatever order you want it. Too good to be true, I know; I thought so, too. I didn't know until this cruise that you can order your meal in any order (dessert first, possibly? ;)) or maybe even skip the entree and just get appetizers.
5. Formal wear night isn't really all that formal. Ladies, feel free to show up in a cute sundress and flats, or even a casual skirt. Men, any shirt with a collar is great.
6. Skip the room with a balcony or even a window! An interior cabin can save you quite a bit of money and you'll probably be spending most of your time out and about anyway. Tip: if you get seasick in an interior room, turn the TV to the channel showing the front of the ship and focus on the horizon. It works wonders.
7. Take the time to unpack your clothes the first day and slide the suitcase under the bed if it'll fit or store it in a closet. It'll make your cabin seem less crowded and everything more organized.
Alaskan Cruise Tips:
1. No matter what time of year it is, take at least a light to medium weight winter coat, gloves, a scarf, and a hat. You won't believe how cold and windy it can get when the ship's moving. Maybe even throw a few hand warmers into your suitcase. Take advantage of the hot chocolate too!
2. Don't forget your umbrella, waterproof shoes, and sunglasses.
3. Take your swimsuit. There were times when we were stopped at a port that it was definitely warm enough to lay out in the sun or jump in the pool. Don't forget a pair of flip-flops for wearing while walking to and from the pool!
4. Check out the week-long spa pass! It might just be the only warm spot you'll find all week long. :)
5. Take your binoculars - you never know when you'll see some wildlife.
Know of any great tips or tricks that I haven't included? Leave a comment below!