2022 is almost in the books. So much has happened in the past twelve months. The cruising industry bounced back strongly. The only direction now is forward. Everyone has been looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping. Now, Christmas Day is approaching. It’s almost time to exchange presents. Before everyone knows it, it’ll be time to pop open the champagne and celebrate the start of 2023. Cruising during the holiday season can’t be more special. Getting away from the brutally cold weather is a must for many. When the countdown hits zero, everyone shares their New Year’s resolutions. There is a long list of things everyone intends to improve on, or not do anymore. Here is a list of the top five New Year’s resolutions for cruisers. They are resolutions that are more than just words. They’re resolutions that will most definitely have a long lasting impact on future cruise vacations. Before leaving for the cruise terminal, cruisers should focus on the following.

5. Adhering to their arrival time! This is a new habit which will require getting used to. New habits are always a challenge to get the hang of doing. No longer do cruisers specify the estimated time of their arrival at the pier. No longer do they show up at their leisure. When completing the online check-in process, cruisers are assigned a designated arrival time. The sooner cruisers complete on the online check-in process, the earlier the arrival time they’ll be assigned. Cruisers must complete the online check-in process to be assigned an adequate arrival time. Cruisers should think of it this way-the sooner they arrive, the sooner they can check in. The sooner they can get checked in, the sooner they can board the vessel. The sooner they can board the vessel, the sooner they can go to the buffet upstairs. Also, they can attend the one-on-one safety demonstration prior to sailing.

4. Planning smarter! It’s the truth. A cruise vacation does require a tremendous level of planning. When “planning” is brought up, the question often raised is “How do we best plan for a cruise?”. It’s sophisticated, but not complicated. Cruisers, first-time or seasoned, should always do their planning for each and every cruise. Not every cruise vacation is the same. Each and every port city is different. Some cities offer plenty of choices of transportation-choices which cruisers should not pass up on. The smarter the choices they make, the less money they can save getting to and from the cruise terminal. For instance, the New York area has multiple transportation choices for getting to and from each of the three cruise terminals-Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Cape Liberty (Bayonne, NJ). Knowing how to get to the pier without any hardship battling traffic is a plus. Each itinerary is different, requiring cruisers to plan accordingly. Put it this way-discovering new ways of getting to and from the cruise terminal can be a huge plus in the long run. Adequately researching an itinerary is vital. Who wants to be caught off guard, when planning could have made life easier. A bit of planning and research goes a long way.

3. Packing smarter! Of all the most important matters involved in cruising, packing is the most vital. No matter what the length of cruise, the itinerary, charter or not, cruisers should be prepared when it comes to packing their luggage properly. The first things that should go in any cruiser’s carry-on bag is travel documents (passports, passport cards, and/or birth certificates). Note-travel documents are not limited to just those items. Packing the proper travel documents depends on a variety of scenarios; whether a cruiser is an expectant mother, an infant, or a minor requiring a parental consent letter. Note-travel documents DO NOT belong in checked luggage. Packing a change of clothes is also a must, in case luggage should be delivered to the stateroom late. It does happen! Further, for fun sake, cruisers should also find out what theme events are going on aboard ship. For example, for the 70s Disco Inferno Street Party onboard Royal Caribbean, 70s articles of clothing such as Afro wigs are most recommended. Those who do their packing adequately are sure to have a memorable time onboard.

2. Eating and drinking smarter! When it comes to being on vacation, of course it’s time to let go of inhibitions. Yes, it’s a period of time to lift all of the restrictions of normal everyday structure and the craziness of life itself. That’s all true. When on any cruise vacation, it’s still best to maintain good eating and drinking discipline. Yes, it’s fun trying new things. There’s nothing wrong with having not one, but two lobster tails on the lobster night in the main dining room. Cruisers are encouraged to enjoy all that the dining staff and the menu has to offer. However, it’s best that cruisers maintain their discipline with eating and drinking. No one is trying to steal the lobster! There is no need to take a massive load of bacon and sausage at the breakfast buffet, like they’re collector’s items. Just because it’s a vacation, doesn’t mean that healthy eating and drinking habits take a back seat. Having a few less specialty cocktails goes a long way. Refraining from hogging the sausage and peppers or the penne with the executive chef’s top secret recipe meatballs is too a healthy habit to practice. When cruisers maintain their good eating and drinking habits, it poses as a positive reflection on them and fellow cruisers too.

1. Being on time, all the time! While on a cruise, the ship will be stopping at ports-of-call. Ports-of-call may include the cruise line’s private island (ex. Ocean Cay and Coco Cay). Once guests have their stateroom key cards swiped, they head ashore and enjoy whatever activities and opportunities that await. Ports-of-call are always exciting; seeing new places for the first time, duty-free shopping, mixing and mingling with friendly locals, and going on shore excursions. It’s all good. However, when it is time for the ship to set sail again, all guests are responsible for being onboard on time. The words “on time” should be in all cruisers’ dictionaries. When the crew uses those two words, they are punctual. All guests must be back onboard ship on time, thirty minutes prior to sailing time. For example, if the ship is setting sail at 5 pm, 4:30 is the all-aboard time for guests. 4:30 means 4:30! No one wants to show up late, watching the ship sailing out without them. It pays to be onboard on time, every time, all the time.

The year 2022 is almost in the rear view mirror. Not only is the year 2022 going to be in the rear view mirror, but let it be known that the year 2023 will be filled with plenty of new positive opportunities. They’re opportunities, but New Year’s resolutions which all cruisers should put to practice as the new year begins. At some point in the coming year, millions will be going on their first ever cruise vacation, or possibly their fiftieth. No matter what the circumstances, cruisers should commit to the five New Year’s resolutions for 2023. To ensure a smooth and memorable sailing day, cruisers should always adhere to their arrival time. Second, cruisers should consider packing smarter-meaning having everything necessary to assure a pleasant voyage. Even though they’re on vacation, cruisers cannot forget eating and drinking smarter. Drinking every cocktail on the bar menu, or pigging out at the buffet doesn’t make anyone a hero. Last but not least, all cruisers should be back onboard the ship on time, every time. Ports-of-call are fun, but missing the ship is not a fun shore activity. Being on time every time is the golden rule for all cruisers. It is the New Year’s resolution of all New Year’s resolutions, for cruisers that is. The countdown is on. Let each and every word of “Auld Lang Syne” count.

About Author

David Kriso has been a travel writer since August 2011. He is a contributing writer for both of his hometown's newspapers, The Gazette, and The Observer. His articles focus on cruise and railroad travel. David is also published online at ProwsEdge.com, a cruise magazine based in Vancouver, Canada and at Amtrak's story site, Whistlestop.Amtrak.com. David also writes for the publication Examiner.com. On Examiner.com, he writes about cruise and rail travel. David is a long-time train traveler, avid cruiser, and a Disney traveler since age 4.

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