Repositioning cruises offer the opportunity to explore interesting itineraries and offbeat ports as ships sail from one region of the world to another as the seasons change. These longer voyages have lots of consecutive sea days -- not to mention some of the best cruise deals around. If it's your first time cruising on a one-way sailing without lots of ports of call, here are 10 things you should never do on repositioning cruises.
A repositioning cruise is usually cheaper than a regular cruise due to the large number of sea days. However, try to avoid booking your cruise too early as last-minute deals are a regular occurrence. We've seen deals for as little as $40 per night for an inside cabin.
While cruising at the last minute can be incredibly cheap, the same does not usually apply to flying at the last minute. Before you book that bargain, check how much the flights are going to cost or if there is any availability. That great deal might not be so great after all if you have to pay a fortune to fly to your departure port or back home from the disembarkation port.
You are going to be onboard the ship for a long time, so choose your cabin wisely. While budget is obviously one of the most important considerations, it is still possible to make a smart choice, no matter how much (or how little) you have to spend. Study the deck plan and check to see if there are any areas or cabins to avoid on the ship. For example, a room directly under the pool deck might not be the best choice on a repositioning cruise as this area tends to be highly utilized and sounds might carry. Guarantee cabins, which do not give you the option to choose your stateroom, should also be approached with caution. You could be lucky -- or not.
Note: If you're booking at the very last minute, you might not have much choice of cabins, so you'll need to balance your desire for the perfect room location with your quest to find the lowest price. Find an upcoming repositioning cruise so you can start planning now.
Sure, you can get some sundries at the onboard shop, but it's probably going to be the most expensive bottle of sunscreen you have ever bought. Of course, you could always pick up whatever you have forgotten at the next port, but that could be another five days away on a repositioning cruise. Think about the essentials you might need such as razors and deodorant and pack accordingly.
Repositioning cruises are ideal for relaxing with a good book so remember to pack a novel (or three) or download a selection on your iPad or Kindle before you go. While it's true that most cruise ships have an onboard library, the selections can be sparse. It's far better to bring your own.
One of the joys of a longer cruise is socializing and meeting new people. Even if you usually prefer to keep to yourself or spend time alone with your partner, striking up a conversation with like-minded travelers can be an enjoyable way to pass the time when the ship is at sea. If you aren't willing to commit to dining with other passengers, it is easy to join them for a more casual activity such as a game of trivia or a drink at the bar.
You will have lots of time to fill on sea days, so why not try something different? Many onboard activities such as foreign language lessons and ballroom dancing classes are complimentary. Others, such as wine appreciation, bingo and cocktail making classes, are available at a small cost. Who knows? You could discover a new passion.
Sure, you'll spend the majority of your meals in the main dining room and buffet, but with more sea days comes more opportunities to try the specialty restaurant onboard. Don't pass up the chance to try something new, or to add a little dining variety to your trip. If you find you have pre-booked too many specialty-dining nights, you can always cancel one or two during the cruise.
On shorter or destination-intensive sailings, it can be tempting to leave shore excursions to chance or even skip a port in favor of a relaxing day on the ship. However, there aren't many stops on a repositioning cruise, so you should definitely make them count. Do your research and make sure you have something planned for each port, even if it is just coffee at an atmospheric local cafe.
Crossing large stretches of open ocean can sometimes equate to high seas, so come prepared. With any luck you won't need those seasickness pills, but it's good to know they're packed, just in case.