· Try onboard AA meetings
As a first-time cruiser, I were amazednay, astoundedto learn that the ship had an onboard AA meeting (listed as Friends of Bill W). Apparently, AA has been on pretty much every cruise ship for the past two decades. Incred. Not so incred: I only got the balls to go on day six (hey, I was too busy learning ballroom dancing the other days) and was confronted by an empty room.
· Remember your bank balance
You’ve already paid for your food, so remembering just how much you're spending on this whole shindig can help with motivation. Avoid the high markup on booze and that cruise might actually end up costing what you thought it would; or spend your cocktail cash elsewhere onboard. I indulged in acupuncture instead of countless drinks, keeping my final bill half what it would have been had I done both.
· Get off the ship
Boozers stay on the ship. So get off at every port and fill your time with sightseeing. You’ll be less likely to want a drink if you’re wandering round medieval ramparts and braving trains up mountains to go waterfall-spotting.
· Eat for your country
Less booze means more stomach room for food, and seeing as it’s all inclusive, that can only be a good thing. I filled up so much at every opportunity, thus the thought of anything strong made my stomach turn.
· Invent a persona
Yes, you’ll probably stick out like a sore thumb not drinking, especially at evening events. I ordered tea late one night and the reaction from the waiter was so awesomehe was delighted by itthat I kept ordering it every night. By night three, he was calling my friend and I “the tea ladies," which made us both feel less losery and more quirky. Having tea or coffee while everyone else is boozing can also start some surprising conversation with fellow cruisers. Result!
Disclosure: We traveled to Norway onboard the Queen Victoria, as a guest of Cunard Line, but all photos and opinion are our own (obviously).