Cruise ship tips

How to prepare for a week on the open water


The Carnival Conquest docked in Amber Cove, Dominican Republic (Photo courtesy of Miranda Coolican)

JP Colvin and Miranda Coolican, Authors

When it comes to cruising, the first step is to choose the perfect cruise line for the ultimate vacation. Certain cruise lines and ships pertain more to adults, while others are more designed to cater to the needs of families. According to Cruise Critic, the most common cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Disney, and Princess all have certain ships that are most kid friendly. It is important to research which ships are the most suited for one’s vacation desires; whether it be a party cruise or a cruise for the whole family of young and old to enjoy. With such a large variety of cruises, there is surely a boat for everyone.

After finding the perfect ship, it is important to bring all the essential items for a cruise. First there’s the essentials like clothes (formal and informal), toiletries, and swimsuits. But possibly the most important thing to bring is sunscreen. Skin damage is the most common health complication on cruise ships, and it can leave a person itchy and uncomfortable. According to the Huffington Post, “Cool and refreshing, water seems like the antidote to sunburn. But its reflectiveness can increase UV intensity by up to 50 percent, leading to both a painful burn and long-term skin damage.” It turns out that the water surrounding the cruise ship can actually contribute to the passengers’ sunburn even in the shade. That is why it is important to use sunscreen on all exposed parts of the body so as to avoid blistering, peeling, and all the other painful effects of sun damaged skin. Another important item to bring is a medication such as Dramamine to deal with nausea. Many people think that they will not experience any motion sickness on a cruise ship because of its size, but it is actually very common for passengers to experience uncomfortable nausea even if they already have their sea legs. It is imperative for people who are about to cruise to keep things like skin damage and nausea in mind before their trip in order to avoid discomfort and have the best trip possible.   

Every cruise makes at least a few stops on its journey. It is important to learn about all the ships destinations in order to make the best of the experience. In some foreign countries it is easy to come across sketchy areas that put American tourists in harm’s way. Before venturing off the ship it is paramount to do some internet research or ask crew members on the ship about the area and the best places to visit while in port.

Many Battlefield students enjoy cruises with their friends and families regularly. Like senior Reilly Wagner, who has been on six in her life. According to her, “Cruises are just such relaxing vacations. They’re such a good way to unwind during a stressful school year. Also you get better at cruising with experience. After so many cruises I never forget the right amount of clothes and sunscreen.” There are hundreds of people like Reilly who love to go on a nice relaxing cruise to take a break from the stress of school, work, and other responsibilities. With all the right preparations anyone can cruise successfully.