If you are going on a Caribbean cruise, be aware that the sun in the Caribbean is different. It is really easy to get a sunburn down there! Getting fired can really ruin a cruise, so you want to avoid sunburn. You want to tan before a cruise to build up a base tan. I usually start tanning about one month before a cruise. When you are tanning, start slowly. You can as easily can a sunburn on a tanning bed as you can on a cruise ship. So I will repeat! Start slowly. I usally will go for 5 minutes on the first day. If I get a little pink, I will wait a day. I will slowly build up to the max time by the end of the month. Ask the people at the tanning place for advice. They hopefully will know what they are doing. If you do get a little pink, rub aloe vera gel on the pink skin to help it heal faster. I generally don’t use tanning lotion. I haven’t found them useful. Many of them contain bronzers which seem to be dyes, and give you a fake tan. I tan to avoid sunburn, not for cosmetics.
Now once you have built a base, you can still get sunburn. Use sunblock! I will try to find 45 SPF or even 50 SPF sunblock. If I am going to be spending much time out in the sun, I will cover all exposed skin. Don’t forget the back of the neck, tops of the ears and head. On my first cruise, I had built up my base by tanning before the cruise. I covered myself with sunblock. By apparently I had missed a small spot on the top of my foot between the webbing of my sandal. I ended up get a small but painful burn on the top of my foot.
So as I said, tan before a cruise. Use sunblock. Avoid sunburn! Oh yeah, have fun!