Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > New Cruisers > First Time Cruisers
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

First Time Cruisers You May Also Want to Read: Over 4,000 Published Cruise Reviews by First Time Cruisers

Best advice for first-time cruisers; learn how to pick a cabin, find the best cruise bargain, tips on what to pack.

Browse Cruise Critic's First Time Cruiser Resources (articles)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #881  
Old March 21st, 2012, 07:48 AM
Mar56 Mar56 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,519
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bm6pm5 View Post
On our last cruise we ordered subs from room service to take with us on our excursion. Used the ole zip lock bag to keep it in that way we did not have to buy lunch or go back to the ship for it.
I think that in a lot of ports, you are not supposed to take food off of the ship. Check with your specific cruise ship before you do this.
__________________
Mar56












Sailed: HAL Zuiderdam Feb 6 - 17, 2012 Panama Canal-our first cruise
RC Brilliance of the Seas Oct 12 - 22, 2012 Canadian Maritimes Cruise - amazing
Carnival Legend Jan 13-Jan 20, 2013 Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Grand Caymen - ziplining and fun with Bon and Paul
Carnival Pride Oct 20-27, 2013 Bahamas - wonderful spontaneous getaway with hubby
HAL Noordam - Jan 27-Feb 7, 2014 fabulous 11 days in the eastern Caribbean
Reply With Quote

  #882  
Old March 21st, 2012, 08:50 AM
paddingtonbear's Avatar
paddingtonbear paddingtonbear is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NSW Australia
Posts: 711
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mar56 View Post
I think that in a lot of ports, you are not supposed to take food off of the ship. Check with your specific cruise ship before you do this.
I know you can't take food from the ship into Canada but I am not sure if this applies to American Ports.
__________________
atinybitlost.blogspot.com

Email Me
Reply With Quote

  #883  
Old March 21st, 2012, 08:57 AM
paul929207's Avatar
paul929207 paul929207 is online now
40,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Posts: 44,189
Default

Each port sets their own rules, but in many taking some food items off it illegal. Many places prohibit fresh fruit and veggies as they can contain insects that are not native to the port. If caught there is a good fine and a big loss of time while they process you.
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote

  #884  
Old March 21st, 2012, 06:21 PM
zither zither is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Up north
Posts: 49
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonnacruisesoon View Post
That's too freaking funny! My husband is the same way! I told him that if he doesn't start oohing and ahhing over everything I tell him and everything that I buy that he can't go on the cruise and I will just take my best friend! He is shaping up quite nicely
I am so pleased that I am in good company. I have been on a day off today and been bugging my DH to death. We don't sail until Sept and he says he's sick of hearing about it. I just remind him that it was him that wanted to go on a cruise!
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #885  
Old March 21st, 2012, 06:43 PM
travelmatron travelmatron is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Portland Oregon
Posts: 687
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy2tone41 View Post
Excellent tips. This will save me a lot of money. Just a quick question. You're allowed 2 bottles of wine at EVERY STOP? That's fantastic! Does this apply to all cruiselines, all ports?
No, unfortunately not all cruise ships have the same policies. Some, like HAL allow as much wine, soda, water, as you wish, brought on board from any port. Others, like NCL don't allow any alcholic beverages at all. Be sure to check the policies of the line you are using!
__________________
~ Cheryl
Reply With Quote

  #886  
Old March 22nd, 2012, 01:25 AM
Marian Paroo's Avatar
Marian Paroo Marian Paroo is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Tel-Aviv
Posts: 825
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by travelmatron View Post
No, unfortunately not all cruise ships have the same policies. Some, like HAL allow as much wine, soda, water, as you wish, brought on board from any port. Others, like NCL don't allow any alcholic beverages at all. Be sure to check the policies of the line you are using!
You can't bring booze aboard MSC. Don't try. The security staff is a buncha Israeli combat unit vets.

But given the high prices in my neckadawoods, I didn't find the prices on the ship too bad.
__________________
"Life is a joke and all things show it,
I thought so once, and now I know it."
--- John Gay
Reply With Quote

  #887  
Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:21 PM
Dallas girl Dallas girl is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 86
Default

Fantastic thread!

Even as a seasoned cruiser - our upcoming cruise being the shortest at 7 days- I can't stress enough...comfort over beauty, ladies. Tired feet make for a cranky girl.

I like to wear comfy Merrells to explore ports, but bring flip flops in my bag in the event I feel like swapping out later in the day. This depends on the port, but it's been nice many times.

Oh, and swimsuit coverup. I have forgotten one on several vacations, so I thought I'd mention it. I prefer that to walking around with just a towel.

Safe travels!
Reply With Quote

  #888  
Old March 23rd, 2012, 01:55 PM
Datachick1213's Avatar
Datachick1213 Datachick1213 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 40
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman's Mum View Post
One more thing I've just thought about formal/informal photos - if you're on a ship where they put the photos out for you to look at. Once you have had more than one set of photos taken, find the first lot and "hide" them behind the second. Then take that pile the next night and put them behind the third set ... and so on and so on.

You will find that the staff will keep the pile together and so by the end of the cruise you just have to find your one big pile of photos. Much easier to go through them and discard the ones you don't want.

So many people think that if they don't buy photos on the first night, they will get thrown away. They don't. So don't feel pressured into buying the first nice photo you see - there may be a better one later on.
This worked out beautifully for us. We'll be sure to do this on every cruise. We noticed several people frantically searching for all of their pics on the last night or so. It was also kind of fun searching for our pile of pics, like a mini scavanger hunt.
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #889  
Old March 23rd, 2012, 02:21 PM
puerto penasco lady puerto penasco lady is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: puerto penasco, sonora, mexico
Posts: 1,009
Default

I always fly in the day before my cruise, saves me a lot of stress. Since the airlines started charging for baggage, I no longer pack heavy items like shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash etc. they add up a lot of weight in my checked luggage. Simply hit a store the night I arrive, buy these items in regular sizes. any leftovers stay in cabin, leaving extra room in luggage to pack things I bought on the cruise
Reply With Quote

  #890  
Old March 23rd, 2012, 04:17 PM
Smokeyham's Avatar
Smokeyham Smokeyham is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,932
Default Smart Phones on Board

Quote:
Originally Posted by priorityonecb View Post
Great tips in this thread, I read every one!! I am still a bit confused on the phones onboard thing if anyone would be willing to help me out! This is our second cruise, but I can't remember what we did last time. We will be on Royal Carribbean next week. We all have smart phones.

I would like to use them as our cabin clock/alarm and onboard of course to text each other if we go separate ways. What should I do? Airline mode, turn off data roaming...what is the best way to access the phone/texting without it charging us like crazy for being out of range?

If you just want to use the alarm clock feature, then going to "Airplane Mode" would be fine, since this will disable voice and data communications.

If you do want to have the ability to text each other while at sea, then be sure that the ability to access data, while roaming, is turned OFF. My understanding is that you can still telephone and text, just not use the data features of your phone.

Otherwise, the updates which your phone does automatically at home will continue, and at a very high cost.


I just learned how much data is automatically transmitted, since I am currently travelling, and using a "pay as you go" plan abroad. I have a data plan included, but it shows me a list of all the activity which I would be billed for if I did not have the plan. For the 16 hours which have passed so far today, there have been 21 data transactions. It would be very scary if I was being billed for each of those transactions!!

Hope this helps.
Reply With Quote

  #891  
Old March 25th, 2012, 12:13 PM
castagnola68's Avatar
castagnola68 castagnola68 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 49
Thumbs up clock

Most cruiselines don't have clocks in the cabins.
If you are in an inside cabin, it is pitch black so you won't know the time.
Every cruise we go on, we always pack a small alarm clock so we know the time.
I won't go on a cruise without it.

__________________
Stacey

2nd Carnival Cruise Glory: Canada/NE 9/7/13 -9/14/13

1 Carnival Cruise Liberty 4/14/12-4/21/12 (Exotic Caribbean!)
4 NCL Cruises
3 RCCL Cruises
1 Princess Cruise

Reply With Quote

  #892  
Old March 25th, 2012, 03:30 PM
MedicKen's Avatar
MedicKen MedicKen is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,955
Default

Another trick for inside cabins is to tune your TV to the bridge camera, if there is one, and turn the sound down. At least you have an idea when the sun rises. And again on Royal Caribbean, we've found a clock built into the phone. It isn't an alarm clock but you can call for a wake-up call. If you arrange for room service for coffee or breakfast, they will call you shortly before they deliver your order.
__________________
[

"Illitgetimi Non Carborundum" [kmt]

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
Mark Twain.
Reply With Quote

  #893  
Old March 25th, 2012, 11:09 PM
Smokeyham's Avatar
Smokeyham Smokeyham is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,932
Default Stacking Up Your Photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman's Mum View Post
One more thing I've just thought about formal/informal photos - if you're on a ship where they put the photos out for you to look at. Once you have had more than one set of photos taken, find the first lot and "hide" them behind the second. Then take that pile the next night and put them behind the third set ... and so on and so on.

You will find that the staff will keep the pile together and so by the end of the cruise you just have to find your one big pile of photos. Much easier to go through them and discard the ones you don't want.

So many people think that if they don't buy photos on the first night, they will get thrown away. They don't. So don't feel pressured into buying the first nice photo you see - there may be a better one later on.
This is a great hint.... I never thought of it! Thanks for posting!.
Reply With Quote

  #894  
Old March 26th, 2012, 03:55 AM
NoobCruise's Avatar
NoobCruise NoobCruise is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: California
Posts: 2,016
Default

If you're on prescription meds, check your refills several days before you go to make sure you have enough to get through your trip. Don't wait til the day before you leave to check. I've had a few times that they were out of it when refills were requested and I had to wait a few days to pick up.

Don't buy new shoes for your cruise. You may end up with feet covered in blisters. If you buy new shoes, break them in at home first!

Those super cute high heels on formal night may be a major hazard on a ship, especially if the seas are rough. You'll also do a whole lot of walking on the ship getting around. our next ship is 1 mile to walk around the promenade deck. The dining room is at the back of the ship and the lounge where the shows are is at the very front of the ship. Pick shoes that you'll be comfortable walking around in.

If you're prone to motion sickness, start your dramamine or bonine the day or 2 before you board the ship. They work pretty well at prevention, but not so great if you take them after you get sick.
Reply With Quote

  #895  
Old March 26th, 2012, 06:14 AM
paul929207's Avatar
paul929207 paul929207 is online now
40,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Posts: 44,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoobCruise View Post
If you're on prescription meds, check your refills several days before you go to make sure you have enough to get through your trip. Don't wait til the day before you leave to check. I've had a few times that they were out of it when refills were requested and I had to wait a few days to pick up.

Don't buy new shoes for your cruise. You may end up with feet covered in blisters. If you buy new shoes, break them in at home first!

Those super cute high heels on formal night may be a major hazard on a ship, especially if the seas are rough. You'll also do a whole lot of walking on the ship getting around. our next ship is 1 mile to walk around the promenade deck. The dining room is at the back of the ship and the lounge where the shows are is at the very front of the ship. Pick shoes that you'll be comfortable walking around in.

If you're prone to motion sickness, start your dramamine or bonine the day or 2 before you board the ship. They work pretty well at prevention, but not so great if you take them after you get sick.
With perscriptions, if you use mail order for refills, check enough in advance to refill them and get a perscription if needed.
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote

  #896  
Old March 26th, 2012, 01:34 PM
NoobCruise's Avatar
NoobCruise NoobCruise is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: California
Posts: 2,016
Default

Regarding Travlmatron's comments for packing layers for Alaska:

Wear the heavy/bulky stuff; shoes, sweaters, and jackets on the plane. Once on board take what you don't need off, use it as a pillow, and/or stuff it in the bins or the under the seat in front of you.


lolol I can just picture this. It will likely be between 100 and 105 degrees when I leave my house for the airport. No way am I wearing my bulky glacier clothes on to the plane lolol I'd probably get strip searched by TSA for being so clearly out of place lol

Last edited by NoobCruise; March 26th, 2012 at 01:36 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #897  
Old March 28th, 2012, 04:28 PM
scott8815 scott8815 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Denver Colorado
Posts: 42
Default

[quote=Smokeyham;23988691]Here is my top five list (OK plus a couple of extras). Some are repeats of what others have said, but I think they are worth emphasizing:

  • Arrive at your departure port one day early to avoid stress.
I'm taking the red eye flight and will arrive at the miami airport at 5:40 a.M. !#$%!

I think 5 -6 hours should be enough. I'll find out.
Scott
Reply With Quote

  #898  
Old March 29th, 2012, 11:11 PM
GlendaleCruiser's Avatar
GlendaleCruiser GlendaleCruiser is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 6,169
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul929207 View Post
Each port sets their own rules, but in many taking some food items off it illegal. Many places prohibit fresh fruit and veggies as they can contain insects that are not native to the port. If caught there is a good fine and a big loss of time while they process you.

Just got back from Hawaii where we were on an all day excursion and knew before hand that there were no snack bars where we were going. They told us to be prepared to bring our lunch. When we got there they allowed us to take sandwiches off and sealed bags of chips, but the people who put in a piece of fruit got theirs taken away. Too bad, as it was announced several times that fruit couldn't be taken off.
__________________
Unofficial Team Captain 2014 CRUISE CHEERLEADING SQUAD and proud memberof the.......

125 days at sea so far:
Mexican Riviera, Carnival Jubilee, 1992

Southern Caribbean, Carnival Fascination, 1997

Mexican Riviera, Carnival Elation, 1999

Alaska & Denali, Dawn Princess, 2002

Ensenada & Catalina, Carnival Paradise, 2005

Western Caribbean, Carnival Conquest, 2007
Grand Mediterranean Inaugural, Carnival Dream, 2009
Grand Mediterranean 2nd sail, Carnival Magic, 2011
Hawaii, Sapphire Princess, 2012
Grand Mediterranean Inaugural , Carnival Breeze, 2012
Alaska, Diamond Princess, 2012
Transatlantic, Carnival Sunshine, 2013
Panama Canal, Carnival Legend, 2014





Last edited by GlendaleCruiser; March 29th, 2012 at 11:12 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #899  
Old March 30th, 2012, 04:04 PM
scott8815 scott8815 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Denver Colorado
Posts: 42
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheMommy View Post
Great thread! I've spent entirely too much time reading this and there are so many things I definitely wouldn't have thought of before. DH and I just booked our first cruise for our 10th anniversary and I am so excited. Only now I have to wait 9 months. :P
You mean after you deliver? ;-)
Reply With Quote

  #900  
Old April 9th, 2012, 03:22 PM
newcruzer72's Avatar
newcruzer72 newcruzer72 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Broken Arrow, OK
Posts: 5
Default WOW! thank you!

Wow! thank you! Exactly what i was looking for and needed to know.
__________________
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:45 AM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.