Hey EngAGErs! Spring may be on the horizon but it’s still chilly out there. Maybe you’re thinking about ditching the cold and heading somewhere warmer. Have you ever considered a cruise? There are many different cruises you can take, including some that don’t go to warm and sunny destinations. We’ve compiled 8 tips to help you prepare for your cruise:

1) Plan your cruise in advance. First off, it’s important to do your research about what kind of cruise you’d like to take. Top cruise destinations include The Mediterranean, Alaska, Norway, Japan, The Caribbean, Baltic Sea, Danube River, and Hawaii. As you can see, there’s a wide variety of cruises to explore, from warm to cold destinations and ocean to sea to river.

There’s more to your trip than just booking the cruise. Depending on what ports your cruise stops in, you may need to book excursions or sightseeing tours in advance to ensure a spot. Explore each location that your cruise goes to in detail so you know what to expect on the various port days.

2) Book a room that works for you. Everyone immediately thinks they want a suite on a cruise but it can get pricey very quickly. If you’re not going to be spending much time in your room, why splurge for the big one? Get something that fits you. Traveling with your family? Some rooms have joined doors. Looking to enjoy the sea views? Get a room with an outside balcony. There are many different options and price ranges. You just need to decide what’s important to you and what you’re willing to spend for it.

3) Have your travel documents in order. Tying in with the first tip, your cruise most likely involves various ports around the world where you can get off and explore. While some ports don’t require travel documents, you don’t want to get there only to realize you can’t get off the ship. It’s best to bring everything with you just in case. Keep your documents safe and organized in a handy passport pouch or small bag.

4) Get to know your ship and what you might have to reserve in advance. Cruise ships are often like mini cities. They have every activity and amenity you could think of from various restaurants to daily activities and on-site laundry. Because some restaurants are more popular than others, it’s good to reserve a dinner in advance to guarantee you can eat there. Another pro tip is to explore as much of the ship as possible on embarkation day. The sheer size of cruise ships can be overwhelming. But getting a general sense for where everything is can help you make the most of it while at sea.

5) Pack minimally. You may be tempted to pack a ton of stuff with the idea that you won’t be traveling to different hotels. While it is true that you’ll be in the same location, rooms on cruises can be small without much space to spare. Pack lightly by packing efficiently and only bring what you actually need for your trip. Check if your cruise has onboard laundry and that can help limit the number of clothes you need.

6) Bring anti-sickness aids, even if you’re not typically one to get sick. This is a major one! You never know what the weather might be like during your cruise and if stormy skies appear, the waves can get a little rough. Anti-sickness aids like medicines or bracelets can be lifesavers. Don’t count on the onboard medical to have it. Be sure to pack your own!

7) Bring all of the medications that you might need. Be sure to pack all of your prescription medications as well as the regular over-the-counter stuff. If you’re inclined to use particular medication, the onboard medical may not have the kinds you’re used to, or even the type of medication you’re looking for. It’s best to just be prepared and bring it with you.

8) Arrive at the embarkation city a day early and leave a day later. Traveling through airports in a city where a cruise is about to arrive or leave can be chaotic to say the least. Make your trip stress-free by planning a couple extra nights in a local hotel. You won’t have to coordinate flights along with your cruise times. This also gives you a chance to enjoy the local sights by having extra time on land!

Cruises can be a great way to get through the cold and dreariness of winter. It’s important to be prepared for days at sea and with our tips, you’ll be sitting comfortably in your sunnies in no time!