Firstly, you need to check with your mobile provider which countries your plan covers as there can be huge charges for using your phone outside of your plan. Secondly, when your on the ship and have left port you could connect to the ships satellite and the charges are astronomical. We tend to switch to airplane mode on leaving port then our mobiles cannot connect. The same can be said if your plan does not cover the country you are in. If in doubt switch to airplane mode in your phones setting.
WiFi if you cannot use your own plan you can buy WiFi onboard but this is very expensive if you can do without most ports have WiFi spots and you can use this to check your email or social media (crew always know the best places so just follow them)
There is a cruise for every budget!
Different cabins attract different prices . You don't need to book a balcony, insides are much cheaper !
There are lots of cruise lines and many different sizes of ships... Royal Carribean, Norwegian, MSC, Celebrity, P & O, Marella, Holland America, Princess, Carnival, Cunard, Marella, Saga, and many more for you to choose from.
Cruiselines differ in many ways some more inclined to British passengers, some European but many multinational.
Facebook sites are great for getting tips from other cruisers. Talking to people who have actually been on a cruise is a great way to ask about anything you want someone will know!
When you arrive at the cruise port you will find porters ready to take your luggage (if you don't have the ships luggage tags don't worry the porters will do this for you). You luggage will be delivered direct to your cabin. Then you will make your way into the terminal building to check in. Cruiselines vary but usually you will have your photo taken and complete a health questionniare. You will be given your seapass card (this is what you use onboard to buy things as all ships operate a cashless system) This card will also be used to open your cabin and you need to take this with you when you leave the ship. Your card will probably have your drinks package on so bar staff know if you have pre-purchased drinks.
Once the ship is ready you will embark and you are then free to explore the ship, have lunch and also go to the bar. Your cabin will be available from about 1.30ish. If you are taking hand luggage it might be a good idea to keep anything you may need prior to your luggage arriving. Maybe a change of clothes so you can sit by the pool! Your first time on a ship might seem a bit daunting, so many corridors, so many decks and then Port (left side of ship) Starboard (Right side of ship) Midship (middle part of ship) Aft (back of the ship) and Forward (front of the ship) it may seem confusing but you WILL find your way around. Take your time, wander around and in a couple of days you will have cracked it!
Lifeboat drill (Muster Drill) is a mandatory drill that has to be done before the ship leaves port. This is usually done between 3 and 4 once you have access to your cabin. Life jackets are usually kept in your cabin and your muster station (where you meet in case of an emergency) is on your seapass and on the back of your cabin door.
Some lines ask you to take your life jackets and others not. The captain will announce this drill by 7 short beeps followed by one long. You must leave your cabin and make your way to your muster station. Don't worry crew will be marking the way. You must attend this drill.
You will here lots of abbreviations on social media sites so here are a few:
MDR Main Dining Room
OBC On Board Credit
B2B Back to Back Cruise
TA Transatlantic or Travel Agent
OH Other half (husband or wife])
CD Cruise Director
HAL Holland America Line
X Celebrity Cruise Line
RCI Royal Carribean
NCL Norweigen Cruise Line
MSC Mediterranian Shipping Cruise
and many more you will come across
So you have packed? Here is a list of essentials not to forget: