maybe i never blogged it, but i went on my first cruise last year. my blog header = a pic i took on that cruise. and maybe one day, i’ll actually post the real pictures.
however, a co-worker is leaving on a cruise next week. which made me all wistful again for cruising. and then i remembered to share ‘what i wish i had known’ prior to my departure. since i’m only 14 months late with an update, here’s the “tips” i provided last night to her:
Spend some time going over the possible excursion list. It’s overwhelming on the boat and packaged beautifully. read the reviews. I heard lots of people complain about theirs. Also, remember that you’re with a lot of other people. And kids. And possibly other ships in port at the exact same time.
Always order the drink of the day. It will be 30-50% cheaper. Buy drinks at the bar vs having them delivered. Wine is WAY overpriced.
Everything on board charges to your room. We purposefully used cash to control expenses. They don’t like that.
First thing, buy the refillable coke cup. They are awesome. and have the cruise line name on them. SOUVENIR!
As awful as we appeared, the ID holder/lanyard was super easy to keep up with room key/cash on the go- both on the boat and in port. its not like the camera already tipped off the locals that i’m a yokel.
Don’t buy anything from the onboard mall area (it’s like tables with stuff on them in the atrium) until the last night before you leave. Only exception is liquor/cigarettes- those sell out first and can’t be discounted. They keep the liquor and give it back to you when you disembark.
Honestly, you will not wear everything you take. pack light. The boat is big, storage is not.
If you use the Internet via inet cafe or business center, it may be cheaper to pay by minute unless you plan on using the full hour. I used it a lot to check on my kids and only used 22 minutes, over 3 days.
Quite honestly, eating the late seating of dinner sucked. But I’m not a night owl. And I was hungry as hell by the time we got to eat.
The lido deck buffet rocks. Also, it’s just cool to say “lido deck”
Prepay your tips if possible. Then take cash to tip your staff. I can’t say enough about my stateroom attendant. She is Filipino and supports a family of 6 back home. She gets 4 days off for home every 5-6 weeks. I found myself feeling slightly guilty about being messy. also, i keep her business card handy. so i can remind myself that my life is ok.
The dinner stewards were a little much for me. Sit down dinner takes a while. We ate at the buffet at 4ish and then went to late seating. You don’t get our food until 9:45.
We had motion sickness patches from our doctor. These are prescription.
If you need the concierge/pursers desk, there are long lines.
All of the staff is amazing.
Do not play blackjack in the casino.The slots on our boat took real change and dollar bills, unlike vegas.
Turn your phone completely off before you leave port-as in power down or remove the sim card. The lines are a little blurry on that whole “open waters”/roaming thing.
The first time they drop anchor for your first port stop, You’re gonna think titanic. Stay calm.
The lifeboat drill at the beginning sucks. The staff acts like total a-holes. It only lasts 10 minutes.
Unless you have a suite, be prepared for the bathroom. Airplane bathrooms are bigger.
There’s literally nothing like Caribbean waters.
Not a lot of outlets in the room
Towel animals rock
Take some Kroger sacks. You may need them for carrying purchases on island or packing souvenirs on way home-like those nifty coke cups.
I don’t remember an alarm clock. There was a wall clock.
Hand sanitizer is your new best friend. We took the little sprayers.
Being carnival, the pools should be moderately bigger. Which means about the size of a nice backyard pool
Don’t let locals in open air markets see your cash. Everything is negotiable.
The hair dryer was, at best, a child’s toy.
The pool dance party was really fun. We thought the clubs/shows were horribly cheesy.
Royal Caribbean had a private island.
Best part was sitting on the top deck. In a chair. Watching the ocean go by.
Cruisecritic.com rocks. You can research your ship there. No one gave us a map when we got onboard. It also helped us pick excursions. also, all the decks had “names”.
Filed under: motherhood | Tagged: beach, cruisin, royal caribbean | Leave a Comment »