Must Have Tips for the Cruise Newbie

Going on a cruise was always a dream vacation of mine. When I got the opportunity back in 2014 to finally make that dream a reality, I was beyond excited! Nervous too. Like I said, I had never been on a cruise before and I really didn’t know what to expect. I was a true, cruise newbie! Prior to leaving for my cruise, I did a lot of reading online about what to expect and the most important things I needed to know. After coming home from the cruise, I realized that some of that info was very helpful, while some of it was not. To help you out, I put together this list of must have tips for the cruise newbie!

*This post may contain affiliate links*

Tips for the Cruise Newbie!

I’ve already told you how I lost weight on my Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas cruise to Cozumel, so please, don’t believe everyone when they say you will gain 10 pounds. It doesn’t have to happen and you can still 100% enjoy every aspect of your cruise! That’s your first cruise newbie tip!

cruise newbie tips

The second most important tip, before I move on, is that if you get news of an emergency back home, go straight to the guest services desk. They will bend over backwards to help you get your loved ones on the phone.

*I cruised with Royal Caribbean International as part of a press group. While my cruise was complimentary, I did not receive any monetary compensation. All opinions are 100% of my own. This post may contain affiliate links.


Room Tips

  1. The biggest thing I can tell you about the room is, DO NOT have your balcony door open and then open your door to the hallway. You will recreate the tornado scene from the The Wizard of Oz right there in your room. Seriously. It happened and I got hit by a rogue closet door in the process. A paper laying on the bed may or may not have flown out the door and into the ocean.
  2. Definitely put the glass coffee table in the closet. It gives you A LOT more room! I don’t know how many times I bumped my shin into that table. Dear Royal Caribbean, if you think of revamping anything in the cabins, get rid of the coffee table. It’s not needed!!
  3. Use your room safe to store personal items like phones, ipads, camera lenses, etc. However, don’t over stuff the safe or you’ll end up with your stuffed locked in there and you can’t get it out. No worries though, a quick call to maintenance and they will be right there to help you out!
  4. To save space in your room, you can slid your suitcase under the bed. While you’re under there, if you want some extra linens, you’ll find those there!
  5. Your room steward is there to help with whatever you need. Have a question for him or her…right a note and stick it to the mirror, they’ll answer your questions. They also leave a card on your desk to let you know how you can reach them quickly.
  6. The ship will move in and out of different time zones. You cannot rely on what your cell phone tells you (mine was 5 hours different at one time). To get the correct time, you can look at the display on the phone or turn on the t.v.



  1. When you are eating in the dining room and you see two appetizers you want, get it! You are not limited to just one appetizer, one entree and one dessert.
  2. Don’t feel like heading down to breakfast? Order room service! It’s free of charge (late night room service does have a fee, though)…you may want to tip the person that brings the food to you.
  3. Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas ship offered Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for a fee. However, out on the deck near the kids area, there is a soft serve frozen yogurt station that does not cost anything.
  4. Definitely consider dressing up on the formal night! It’s fun and you can have pictures done (that you can purchase later)!
  5. The buffet has a bowl of green apples. Remember this. If you start to feel seasick grab an apple. They help. I promise!


Drinks and Drink Packages

  1. Are you planning on drinking a lot of alcohol while you’re on the ship? You may want to consider purchasing an unlimited drink package. This will allow you to have as much beer, wine, and mixed drinks you want. You can also get bottled water, pop and frozen coffees!
  2. Not planning on drinking much, but you would like bottled water or pop? Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas offers a $20 a day package. With this package you can get as much bottled water, pop, frozen non-alcoholic drinks and frozen coffees that you want! <–Frozen non-alcoholic Daiquiri’s at breakfast = great start to the day!
  3. Every day on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas ship, they offer a drink special. If you purchase this drink, you can also keep the glass it came in! Be sure to check your cruise newsletter daily to find out what drink is being offered that day.
  4. Only feel like drinking water? That’s OK! There are water stations all over the ship that you can fill water bottles with (not the bottled water you get on the ship, you cannot refill those) or you can bring a filtered water bottlecruise newbie and use tap water!
  5. If you are a wine drinker, you can bring a bottle of wine with you on the ship. You can consume the wine in your room, however if you bring it out of the room, you may have a $25 corkage fee.

Brita 20 Ounce Sport Water Filter Bottle with 1 Filter, BPA Free, Dark Turquoise (35558)Brita 20 Ounce Sport Water Filter Bottle with 1 Filter, BPA Free, Dark Turquoise (35558)


On-Ship Entertainment

  1. Check to see what shows the ship has to offer. Some may offer a Love and Marriage game show, an ice skating show, a musical, etc. If your ship offers an adult, 18 and over, scavenger hunt called The Quest, GO. It’s hilarious! If you are easily offended, you may not want to go! <—it was my absolute favorite part of my cruise.
  2. The shows are taped and played on the ships information channel for you to view if you happen to miss it.
  3. If you’re a gambler, visit the casino! They have penny slots, which kept me busy for awhile. If you like the various card games, they have that too!
  4. Be sure to take a walk through the Promenade. The stores have raffles daily. You can win t-shirts or gift certificates for the various shops!
  5. Like the spa and don’t really care to get off the ship on port day? That may be your day to make a reservation. Some of the best deals are on port day!

There you have it! A ton of tips for cruise newbies! Making this list made me want to go on another cruise. It was, by far, the best vacation I ever went on. Don’t let you being a cruise newbie prevent you from book your vacation. You will have a blast!

Do you have any tips for our Cruise Newbie? Add them in the comments below!!

*Thank you to my personal sponsor, 

**This post may contain affiliate links**


  1. Great post! I’m so glad I got to meet you!

  2. Great post Leah. Was so nice to finally meet ya, even if we didn’t get much time to chat. Great tips for the coffee table, it was a pain 😉

  3. Great tips. I forgot to add some of these to my post so I linked to yours in mine 🙂
    I put my suitcase on the coffee table. Didn’t even think to put it away!

    • Thank you!

      Yea mine is still in the middle of the family room. I’m hoping that if my husband walks around it enough that he’ll want to plan a cruise form him and i!

  4. Thanks for the great tips! I’m soon to be a first time cruiser, and am putting together the various information I’m gathering (such as this) in a Cruise FAQ:

  5. Great tips for sure! I have never been on a cruise but am thinking about taking one next year just the hubby and I!

  6. Those are great tips! I would have never guessed that you could order more than one dessert or appetizer. One member of my family has to eat gluten free, so I need to check to see if i can safely take her on a cruise.

  7. Jacqui Odell says:

    These are great tips! I would love to go on one some time.

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