Here are the things I did not know when I first cruised:
#1: You Don't Have To Book A Shore Excursion
On my first cruise an announcement was made on the first day telling us shore excursions were selling out faster than expected for the voyage and excursions were practically the only thing to do in a port of call. Shore excursions are not the only thing to do in a port of call. Most ports have a variety of shops and things to do without booking a shore excursion. However, shore excursions can be a fun way to experience the port of call you are visiting!
#2: The Muster Station Drill Is Actually Important
It felt like 100 degrees in Galveston the day my first cruise departed. I was zoned to the only outside muster station on the ship and got to burn while listening to the safety announcements. On this cruise, we had to wear our lifejackets, which made the heat feel worse. Due to my first muster station drill experience, I often discounted the importance of the muster station drill. This drill contains information that has the ability to save your life. No matter how hot or cramped you are during the drill, always listen!
#3: Using The Stairs Is A Good Form of Exercise on A Cruise
Throughout my first cruise the elevators appeared to be the most popular form of transporting passengers from deck to deck. During my first cruise, we got fed up waiting for the ship's elevators so we took the stairs to get to our destination quicker. The extra stair climbing is a great way to start burning off food calories.
#4: Cruise Ships Sail Long Periods Of Time Before Getting A Rest
Most cruise ships sail daily for years before getting a break. This means as you get off your cruise ship more passengers will get on the same day. The crew members onboard work hard on these turnaround days to insure the ship is clean for the new embarking passengers. After years of sailing, the cruise ship will often go out of service for a few weeks to get maintenance, upgrades, or some type of work done in drydock. After drydock, most cruise ships will resume non-stop cruises.