How are you celebrating your next birthday? Imagine Cruising Australia recommend an ocean or river cruise and share their tips on how to make the most of this special occasion…

Every birthday is a special occasion. Taking the time to look back on the year you’ve had is one of the quieter pleasures of growing older – you can laugh at fun times with your friends and family, and reflect on the difficult periods with some distance and perspicacity. What you choose to get up to on the big day is up to you, but one thing’s for certain – there’s no excuse not to have fun.

Wherever you are in the world, it’s easy to celebrate. If you’re headed on a cruise, follow these top tips for perfecting your birthday celebrations.

Start with the right cruise

When it comes to selecting the perfect holiday, it can be difficult to know where to begin. That’s why you should always opt to work with a reputable travel operator, who will be able to recommend cruise itineraries and package everything together to save time and stress. Operators such as Imagine Cruising Australia not only offer affordable cruise holidays but give you exclusive discounts on future breaks and include all flights and taxes as standard. The last thing you want to be doing on your birthday is stressing over boarding passes and coach transfers – with a cruise package, everything is covered for you.

Let the crew know

Giving the crew a heads up of your birthday is a great way to get preferential treatment. Members on board of your cruise will want to make a fuss and help ensure that your birthday celebrations go off with a bang, so don’t be afraid to scream and shout about your birthday. If you’re too shy to make a fuss, let your friends and family do the talking – after all, there could be a room upgrade or special meal in it for you!

Someone is getting spoiled...
Someone is getting spoiled…

Book a meal away from the cruise liner

While the food on your cruise ship is likely to be delicious, you should consider booking a table at a local restaurant to enjoy privacy and an alternative dining experience (not to mention avoiding cabin fever). Wherever you are in the world, as long as you are connected to the Internet you will be able to find a restaurant serving local cuisine that will make your day more memorable. Tripadvisor, Timeout, Google Reviews and Yelp are usually the best sources for finding local eateries.

If however you prefer to stay on board the boat on your birthday, speak to the crew and ask them to prepare a special meal, or see if they can find a private booth for you to celebrate with your party.

Do your birthday shopping on your travels

Lugging around suitcases can be a pain at the best of times – and that’s without the extra weight of birthday gifts. Instead of rushing to the shops before your cruise begins, buy your birthday gifts at one of the many stops you’ll make on your travels. You may find that items such as perfume and alcohol are cheaper overseas, or you could opt for some traditional trinkets and jewellery that double as souvenirs of your voyage. If you’d like to prepare in advance, however, then be sure to check out some of these suitcase-friendly birthday gifts.

A beautiful boutique (photo by Moyan Brenn).

Connect with relatives at home

Whether you’re cruising with your partner or the whole family, the chances are that at least one of your nearest and dearest couldn’t make the trip. Take some time out of your birthday to connect with friends and relatives at home. FaceTime, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are some of the most popular options – but make sure that you’re taking advantage of the on-board Wi-Fi to avoid an expensive phone bill.

Celebrate like the locals

Find out how the locals celebrate special occasions and follow suit. After all, this is likely to be the only time you’ll celebrate your birthday in this particular part of the world. An authentic birthday experience can transform your holiday and help you connect with your friends and your environment – plus, with a bit of luck some of the locals are likely to get involved, too, or share some custom or local drink.

Don’t make it just another day!

Whether you’re 21 or 101, your birthday is an important marker in your life. Don’t be tempted to make your birthday just another day of your holiday – take the time to celebrate, treat yourself and do something different.

There you have it – some of the best ways to celebrate your birthday on a river or ocean cruise. Wherever you’re headed, make sure you take time out to treat yourself, take advantage of the special occasion and have fun – you deserve it!

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