Few things are worse than a cruise. If you’ve ever taken one you know what I mean and you’ll do your very best to avoid taking another. Unless there’s a gun to your head, you’re not going; even then you’ll have to carefully consider your options. On the other hand, if you haven’t taken a cruise and are planning to do so, just to see what it’s like, I’ve compiled a short list to help you make the most of your experience so that you don’t end up jumping overboard.

Take the most expensive cruise you can afford

This is crucial. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t even think about taking a cruise. The cheap cruises are cheap for a good reason, and that reason is they completely suck in every way. I’d rather have a week-long conversation with chatbots in Australia than go on an inexpensive cruise. Cheap cruises are insufferable and impossible to enjoy no matter how pollyannaish you happen to be. Unless you’re crazy you will definitely end up trying to sneak away from your companions so that you can jump into the ocean with the necessary privacy.

If you have some dough and can afford one of the more luxury cruises, it’s a good idea to look around for the most expensive one you can find and select that.

Drink lots of alcohol

Plenty of intolerable things become tolerable with the assistance of ethanol. The good news here is that cruise ships have a good number of well stocked bars where you can spend the overwhelming majority of your time.

Ideally, you will hit the nearest bar first thing in the morning to establish a substantial buzz. I recommend the following course for your morning session: two bloody marys, a tall lager or pilsner, one dry gin martini with five olives, a mojito and/or a daiquiri, and of course a couple mimosas. That ought to be enough to get you through the morning.

By noon you should be back at the bar. Hit it again every couple hours until about 7 pm, at which point it’s time to hunker down. Find a comfortable spot and plant yourself there until you’re properly banjoed; then head back to your cabin for a long blackout.

If you’re worried about being judged for your prodigious consumption, don’t: this is the way most people spend their time aboard cruise ships.

Learn to gamble

When you’re not drinking you will be gambling. There’s nothing else to do. So before you embark, pay a visit to your local casino and bone up on your blackjack and roulette. Failing that, there will be slot machines. You may or may not be allowed to bring your drink into the ship’s casino, so it’s best to ensure that you’re well sauced before going in.

There. Now you’re equipped with the knowledge required to survive your first (and hopefully last) cruise. If you have any questions, please post them in the comment section below.

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