Cruise holidays: Guests share the ‘first thing’ passengers must do – ‘Get it out the way’

Jane McDonald takes part in painting challenge on cruise

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Boarding a cruise ship for the first time can be overwhelming. What’s the first thing passengers should do?

One Reddit user asked: “I am going on my first cruise at the end of the month. Does anyone have any advice on what I should do right after I board?”

A regular cruiser replied: “Muster. First thing. Don’t think about doing anything else first. Do the damn muster and get it out the way.”

A muster drill is a mandatory safety exercise for passengers when they first board a cruise ship.

Guests are told where to assemble in the event of an emergency and taught how to don a life jacket.

Some cruise lines offer an online muster where passengers can use an app to receive their safety briefing.

However, some ships might offer the muster after everyone is onboard in which case passengers might have some time to kill.

Another passenger said: “On my last cruise my friend and I wore bathing suits under cover ups to maximise pool deck times.”

One said: “It’s fun to come prepared with your pool gear, hop in the hot tub with a drink in hand, and watch as everyone walks by wishing they had thought of that.”

The first day could be the perfect time to enjoy a cruise ship’s pool or hot tub facilities while it’s quiet.

Passengers should be aware that they might not be able to access their cabin luggage straight away.

If guests want to get straight in the pool, they’ll need to have their swimming costumes in their hand luggage.

It’s also a good idea to carry a small sun cream in hand luggage to avoid getting caught on the first day.

A passenger added: “Definitely try to get acquainted with the floor plan ahead of time. I went on a ship and I was so confused by the layout.

“Not understanding how that worked made my exploration a bit confusing but also very necessary.”

Many cruise lines have an app which will include a ship floor plan for passengers.

One guest said: “Our favourite thing, if we get early enough boarding, is to eat lunch in the dining room.

“Starting off with a delicious and elegant meal is a treat. Then, if our room is available, I like to go and take a nap.

“My second favourite thing is to visit the atrium, the open space in the middle of the ship. I’ve done numerous cruises and seeing the atrium is always a ‘wow’ moment.”

The ship’s atrium is also a great place to get bearings and find helpful crew members for information.

After that, many passengers like to join in with a ship’s sail away party and wave goodbye to port with a drink.

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