With Fan-Culture.org‘s new series called Fan Travel Tips, I wanted to be able to offer advice to my fellow fanatics when they, no doubt, have to travel somewhere to get to their event of choice, or just travel somewhere to be with fan-friends. The premiere article is about cruises.
Whether you attend fan cruises, such as those for sports team fans or even the Walker Stalker Cruise for Walking Dead fans, or you love going to Disney parks and are considering a Disney Cruise, this can be one of the best vacations of your life. It’s your travel, hotel, food, entertainment, and destination ALL wrapped into one! Despite some horror stories about cruises, this is only a small portion of the many voyages that have and will set sail in our lifetime.
Obviously, the price is one of the biggest items on your itinerary, but there are certain aspects of cruising that can easily be overlooked. Here is a top five list for anyone shopping for the best cruise experience, especially if it’s a fan cruise:
5) The biggest favor you will do for yourself is to get some Transderm Scop patches for behind your ear to combat potential seasickness and motion sickness. Even if you never experienced either, you don’t want to ruin your trip by feeling sick (especially to not throw up on a celebrity cruising with you or a Disney cast member), or be stuck paying a lot of money in the ship’s gift shop for a weak substitute like Dramamine. These are only available via prescription, so ask your doctor for some, and especially to get proper shots and what have you before you travel internationally.
4) Pack two days in advance. This is a travel tip from one of my travel and overall inspirational people in life, Josh Gates. This is so you know you have everything you need and have time to prepare before you are stuck on the ocean with no access to cheap places like Target and WalMart. Also, try to fit everything in one big suitcase and one small purse or shoulder bag before the trip, while leaving one pouch or zipper space on the large suitcase free for souvenirs. Don’t be a pack rat – you eventually have to get off the ship and declare items you bought outside the country when you go home!
3) Your cabin should not be your biggest priority. Some may seek out a very nice room with a balcony or big windows, as they may feel claustrophobic or cheated if they have an inside cabin (AKA no windows). If you are truly making the most of your vacation, you will only need to use your room to store your items, change your clothes, shower, and sleep. Save some money and choose an indoor cabin. You can always go out on the deck, day and night, for fresh air and open-sea views. Remember the old saying “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here”? Just remember that when considering your room booking.
2) Consider a casual cruise, if you are not going on a specific fan-themed cruise or don’t want to cruise with Mickey Mouse and his pals. There are some big name cruises out there that offer lots of amenities and are practically floating cities, but the smaller ships can offer a more economic and relaxed experience. These smaller ships can have anytime dining and not require a formal dress code, still have plenty of night time activities for party animals, and still have programs to watch over your children of any age while you have some private time.
1) A cruise is the best way to try new things and experience a new culture. Experiment with new foods on cruises. Talk to strangers onboard – I met some fellow fans from the UK of a particular WWE female wrestler just because they were wearing the wrestler’s shirts onboard my Carnival Cruise trip! When getting off the ship in international ports, do something you never would at home. Anyone can visit a beautiful beach while in a tropical location, but why not go to a local record store, see ancient ruins, swim with dolphins, or take a mountain hike? Just be sure anytime you book an excursion on your cruise to do it through your ship’s company – if you just buy a ticket to go on shore and buy an excursion from a local vendor, the ship will not know where you are and potentially set sail without you if you are late to return.