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I just went on my first cruise — here are 22 of my best tips

INSIDER Logo By Sophie-Claire Hoeller of INSIDER | Slide 1 of 23: 
  
    I've traveled to around 50 countries, but had never set
    foot on a cruise
    ship before - until now.
  
  
    Despite being a seasoned traveler, a
    lot about cruise ship life surprised me.
  
  
    I was shocked to feel the rocking of the waves as much
    as I did, didn't realize there was such a thing as "ship time,"
    was surprised to find that formal nights are still a thing, and
    was blown away by the quality of the entertainment.
  
  I was also taken aback by the cost of WiFi, the fact that
  bottled water was extra, and by the daily gratuity fee added to
  my bill.
  
  
    
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  I spent three months living in a tent while driving 
  across Australia, have attempted (with mediocre success) to
  surf the longest wave in the world in Peru, have 
  biked across Italy, and have skied
  mountains from the Rockies to the Alps. I've been on planes,
  trains, 
  buses, and automobiles, but have never once set foot on a
  cruise ship.

  Until now.

  In the name of journalism, I spent a week cruising in the
  Caribbean.
  And I wasn't on just any cruise ship, I was on the world's
  largest cruise ship: Royal Caribbean's Symphony of
  the Seas.

  As a seasoned
  traveler but cruising newbie, a lot surprised me during this
  week.

  Keep scrolling for the things every 
  first-time cruiser should know, but keep in mind that these
  may have been unique to my cruise ship and personal experience.

I spent three months living in a tent while driving across Australia, have attempted (with mediocre success) to surf the longest wave in the world in Peru, have biked across Italy, and have skied mountains from the Rockies to the Alps. I've been on planes, trains, buses, and automobiles, but have never once set foot on a cruise ship.

Until now.

In the name of journalism, I spent a week cruising in the Caribbean. And I wasn't on just any cruise ship, I was on the world's largest cruise ship: Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas.

As a seasoned traveler but cruising newbie, a lot surprised me during this week.

Keep scrolling for the things every first-time cruiser should know, but keep in mind that these may have been unique to my cruise ship and personal experience.

© Abby Narishkin/Insider

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