Don't travel blind on your first cruise. USA Today has some tips for novices:
- Find the right cruise for you by consulting CruiseCritic.com, TripAdvisor.com, or a travel agent.
- Need formal wear for dinner? Probably not, but check out the eating arrangements before you pack.
- Pack flip-flops, a robe, a clock, and enough clothing to avoid costly on-board laundering.
- If money is a concern, stick with free on-board activities such as the pool. Book tours on-site instead of through the cruise line.
- Know the tipping rules. It may help to figure out gratuities at the end of the cruise, when you know who deserves a little extra.