First-Time Cruising: What You Need to Know

January 19,2018 | Curiosity

Ever considered a cruise vacation? Whether you have an upcoming maiden voyage or are simply exploring options, we have helpful suggestions for first-time cruisers on everything from packing and planning tips to ways to get great deals and discounts while you cruise.


To ensure smooth sailing, follow this simple guide:


Getting Started


The first steps of planning are exciting, and finding the right cruise at the right price point takes a lot of careful thought and consideration. It’s always helpful to go into planning with a general idea of budget and what you’re looking to experience. When you’re ready to begin, a great starting point is a visit to AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia. Here you can find a range of deals on airfare, travel savings and cruises docking all over the world.  

Plan Your Land Excursions


Before you set sail, plan ahead with exciting excursions and tours that will allow you to fully immerse yourself wherever your ship will drop anchor. Collette and Grand European Travel offer limited-time offers and exclusive deals on a range of one-of-a-kind experiences – from savings on river cruises to guided tours in locations around the world. You can also rent a car to have the freedom to hit the road and explore a destination. With thousands of locations in more than 100 countries, Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent-A-Car have wallet-friendly offers and savings for AARP Members. Expert tip: opt for a car with GPS for easy navigation.


Pack Smart


Before you start filling up your suitcase, check the weather forecast for your travel days and port destinations so you can pack accordingly. If you’re flying to your port of embarkation, save room in your luggage by wearing your bulkiest clothes on the plane. When packing, lay everything out in one designated area and try on outfits in advance to make sure everything fits comfortably. It’s also wise to stick with a similar color scheme or “look” so you can save space by mixing and matching. Bringing an extra bag, or large ziplocked pouch, will give you a separate space to stow dirty clothes or wet swimsuits. To protect your eyes, be sure to bring sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection. Check out our Member Advantages deals with LensCrafters to select a pair that work for you or visit our Travel Essential Dealsfor savings on luggage and other must-haves.


Pay a Visit to the Drugstore


From getting prescription refills and medications to stocking up on sunscreen and travel-sized toiletries, it’s smart to take a trip to the drugstore before your trip. Visit Walgreens for exclusive offers on prescriptions and products as well as travel vaccinations.


Don’t Forget the Details


Paying attention to those little details can help smooth the waters for your trip. If you’re leaving a car at the airport when flying to your port of embarkation, opt for off-airport parking from Park Ride Fly USA. You should also create a list and double-check that you have everything on your way out – from your passport to boarding passes, important paperwork and itineraries. Before departing, you should also confirm that household items and logistics are in order such as having your mail held, arrangements for a pet or house sitter and contacting your bank to alert them of your whereabouts.



These articles present general information and are for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for legal, financial, medical, or other professional advice.

Sites to See: The Grand Canyon

June 19,2017 |Curiosity

3 Tips to Keep Your Smile Shining this Season...

October 13,2017 |Health & Wellness