For your very first cruise. It’s a great idea to book a 3, 4 or 5 day cruise vs 7 day+ cruise. To check out how you feel about being on a cruise ship. Personally, I love Cruising!! You Board, unpack and visit 5-6 different destinations without unpacking, repacking!
If you’re prone to seasickness or prefer the least amount of motion on the ship when you sleep, avoid booking a cabin in the furthest forward/front area of the ship or the furthest aft of the ship. Mid-Section cabins are best for a calmer cruise, even on Big ships. And book closer to the hips center such as Decks, 7, 8 or 9, if prone to motion sickness.
Also, as I learned on my most recent cruise do not book the Deck just below the main pool decks. You hear the bands, kids having fun and especially staff moving pool chairs at night or early in the am. Something I wish I had also done is to pack a couple pairs of good ear plugs just in case.
Make sure to carry cash for individual tipping, shuttle rides, etc. in the currency of the countries or main country you’re visiting, and take photos of your passport and country drivers license in case you need to show ID in port or carry your passport when off the ship.
Most cruises will have themed dress nights and 1-2 formal nights. Ask the cruise line or your travel agent what theme nights there will be in advance of your cruise if you want to join the nightly theme. Packing for Formal nights can be a pain and are typically not mandatory, but fun seeing people in formal and cocktail attire.
Check out pre-cruise if you can make show reservations in advance of the cruise. Best to do in advance if you can. I know Royal Caribbean allows you to start reserving shows as you board your cruise, and you’re reserving the ability to go into the showrooms to find a seat 15+ minutes in advance before the last-minute rush comes in to snag any remaining seats the last 10 minutes before the show start.
Book Port excursions pre-cruise vs when in port to save yourself time and stress. It’s recommended for your first solo cruise to book excursions with the cruise line, to ensure you make it back to the ship prior to last call which is usually 60 minutes before departure. Personally, I find the cruise line excursions limited and more expensive than Viator Excursions: https://www.viator.com/?pid=P00026960&uid=U00328998&mcid=58086 and other well know day excursion companies. I’ve never come close to missing the ship departure in booking with well-known and established local or large excursion companies. I just make sure the excursion company knows I must be back to the ship/port 90-120 minutes prior to ship departure.
It’s also a really good idea to check out Port Maps for your departure and arrival ports and ports you will be visiting on your cruise through the website cruise mapper. https://www.cruisemapper.com
This is a given, but additionally important for solo cruisers and travelers. Always be aware of your surroundings and belongings. Be very careful walking solo at night in unfamiliar cities, especially when travelling internationally.
Typical Cruise Destinations out of San Diego include the Mexican Riviera, Central and Southern America and Hawaii.
I can help you look at pricing and booking on most cruise lines. Just send me an email! email@example.com : )