Cruising is a vacation. Now understand that you are about to get on a ship with three thousand of your new “best friends.” A few tips can make the trip more memorable and fun.  After all, that is the point, right? Here are my top seven suggestions to consider.


photo (18)…Every year literally hundreds of cruise parties “miss the boat” and arrive too late to board.  Flight delays, traffic, bad weather and other delays can ruin your vacation. This is YOUR vacation. Why start it with stress and feel exhausted before you even set sail?

Booking your round trip transportation with Allpoints can help relieve some of the worries.  we recommend that you depart the Dallas or Fort Worth area allowing a extra hour and a half.  We will look at the time you want to arrive and schedule plenty of time for rest stops on the way down to the Port of Galveston plus traffic crossing Houston.  Find out more at our website


… by sending a welcome package to your cabin. Bon_Voyage_Cabin_Decoration_Zoom gifImagine arriving to your cabin and finding a gift package or flowers.  Nothing starts a adventure better than a surprise. Having a package purchased thru your sales rep or cruise agent is a great way to start your cruise.  Links to Galveston Cruise Line gift shops are listed here:

Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines

There are Champagne and Chocolate packages, Flower packages, and even themed packages for the kids.


… There is so much more to do on the ship that you may not even think of going to a crowded pool. At full capacity the royal caribbean pool Disney Magic can hold up to 2700 guests.  and most will have their eyes set on the vessel’s pools.  Unfortunately there are only a fraction of the chairs necessary to accommodate everyone.  Chairs get claimed early in the day and are not given up.  Select your swimming times accordingly.  Also, look for the Serenity Deck with bar service, plush loungers and whirlpools.


… and your own times. Some cruise lines still offer a rigid meal schedule. Others provide a freestyle dining, Usually buffet style. If your planning on dinner at one of the popular restaurants, be sure to set up your reservations as soon as Carnival Splendoryou are settled, either thru the purser’s office or your cabin steward.   If the ship is in port late try having a dinner in the local port.  Try room service for breakfast and have a picnic on the balcony.  Try a specialty restaurant.  While they will cost you extra the prices are still less than on shore.


… and skip the bussing hassles. If you are a seasoned cruiser, and have visited the ports previously, then you  know one of the best kept cruising secrets.  Stay on board and enjoy the pool with fewer passengers. The gambling rooms will becarnival cruise shore less crowded, the lounges will be quieter with more room to relax.  If this is your first time at the cruise ports, then it’s best not to see everything at once.  Pick and choose your itinerary.  Find one that isn’t completely full.  If you’re unfamiliar with the area, stay close to the ship.  There is usually a port desk manned to sign in when you want to go back to the ship.  BE AWARE, the ship will NOT wait.  It is required to leave on schedule.  Keep in touch with your phone.  If you’re lost, there is usually someone able to guide you back to the port desk.


… and enjoy a little bit of heaven on Earth. There is a lot of competition when it comes to at sea spas these days.  Make you reservations early if you want these services.  Also, inquire at the front desk about using the facilities without the norwegian cruise spamassage.  Often for $25 to $30 per day or $100 for a cruise length pass most lines will let you use the facilities, steam rooms, thalassotherapy pools, heated tiled loungers. There are also spa packages for men. This might be a good time to experiment with one.

7.  TRY THE DISCO….Carnival cruise comidy

…  or relax in one of the many lounges. Or maybe take in one of the variety shows.   Carnival also has a Comedy Club called the Punchliner.   Hey give it a try!  These spots tend to quiet down by midnight so fewer people will watch you get crazy.

These are just a few suggestions for making your cruise fun and most of all relaxing.

Karen O’Brien, CTC