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Old April 27th, 2012, 03:44 PM
Dayenu Dayenu is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Here I am
Posts: 3,312
Question As a first-timer, which mistakes did you make?

On my first cruise ever I tried to pay cash in a gift shop, and was surprised they only want my key card

Of course it was way before Cruise Critic
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:08 PM
mikehn mikehn is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 155

The biggest mistake I made as a first time cruiser was why I didnt start cruising sooner in life.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:16 PM
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Idahobaker Idahobaker is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 217

Biggest mistake was taking too many clothes.
Ed, the Idahobaker

"Never eat spinach with a stranger."

Celebrity Millennium Sept 19, 2011 Panama Canal

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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:18 PM
Andee Andee is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Fox Point, WI, USA
Posts: 3,499

Going on ship's shore excursions.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:56 PM
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jocap jocap is offline
5,000+ Club
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seascale,Cumbria,U.K.
Posts: 5,296

Not knowing that we could eat somewhere else, as well as the main dining room, which gave us no time between coming back from snorkelling expeditions and 1st sitting....
17 cruises; 10 ships; 7 lines; 84 ports
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Old April 27th, 2012, 05:20 PM
B&Z's Mom B&Z's Mom is online now
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,208

Definitely booking ship excursions, and expecting the ship's excursion staff to know intimate details about the excursions. All I needed was CC
I also wish I would have toured around the ship more on the first day so I had a better idea of the general layout. It took me almost the whole week to figure out how to get to the dining rooms Fortunately, NCLs ships have the same basic layout, which is helpful for this directionally-challenged cruiser.

Anthem of the Seas 2-1-2017 12 day Eastern and Southern Caribbean


NCL Sun 1-1-2011 Eastern Carribean
NCL Star 1-1-2012 Western Caribbean
NCL Jewel 30-12-12 Florida and Bahamas
Disney Dream 14-3-13 Bahamas
NCL Breakaway 9-3-2014 Florida and Bahamas
NCL Gem 22-12-2014 12 day Christmas and New Year's
NCL Pride of America 28-3-2015 with a week in Kona
NCL Star 31-1-2016 Western Caribbean
NCL Breakaway 13-3-2016

Land trips to Italy, Portugal, Spain, Egypt, Colombia, Venezuela, Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, most of the eastern US and all the Canadian provinces.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 05:59 PM
cb at sea cb at sea is offline
70,000+ Club
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Fredericksburg, va. USA
Posts: 79,055

Not knowing (on our 1st cruise) that the "Welcome aboard" drinks were NOT free! I know...it was only $3.50 or so (long time ago!) buy it still irks me! And, it wasn't even a GOOD drink!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 06:32 PM
aohkay aohkay is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,282

Not doing enough research on the ports of call.

Not knowing I could have as many appys or entrees as I wanted.
2010 - Oceania, Insignia - Lisbon to Rome (12 days)
2008 - NCL, Norwegian Star, Vancouver to Seattle (3 days)
2007 - NCL, Norwegian Pearl, Cruise to No Where (3 days)
2004 - Royal Caribbean, Voyager of the Seas, Alaska (7 days)
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Old April 27th, 2012, 06:55 PM
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momoftwinteens momoftwinteens is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Burlington, Vermont
Posts: 888

Not paying attention to cabin selection advice. We ended up with a very noisy cabin on a full ship, making moving impossible and leaving us bleary-eyed due to lack of sleep.
First Cruise- Norwegian Sky 08/09/10-08/13/10
Norwegian Jewel 11/05/11-11/12/11
Norwegian Dawn 11/1/13-11/14/13
Norwegian Dawn 8/14/15-8/21/15
Norwegian Breakaway 3/6/16-3/13/16

<SMALL>Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter</SMALL>
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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:04 PM
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beachbum53 beachbum53 is online now
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbus,Ohio
Posts: 5,397

Originally Posted by Idahobaker View Post
Biggest mistake was taking too many clothes.
Us too. I think it's a fairly common thing for first-timers to over pack. Also, as first-timers, there was a tendency for us to want to participate in as many on board activities as possible on sea days. Cruising was new to us, and we were so intent on trying to take it all in. We didn't want to miss anything. But we sure wore ourselves out pretty quickly. By our second cruise, we learned to be more selective about what we wanted to do (or not do) on sea days.

Carnival Conquest May 2016
Carnival Breeze May 2015
Carnival Liberty May 2013
Carnival Liberty May 2012
Carnival Sensation Feb. 2008
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2007
RCCL Explorer of the Seas March 2002
RCCL Majesty of the Seas Dec. 2000
Carnival Imagination Sept. 1999
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas Feb. 1999
RCCL Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 1997
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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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lahlah57 lahlah57 is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: california
Posts: 1,505

Assuming that anything is free!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:30 PM
calliopecruiser calliopecruiser is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 3,672

My mistake on my first cruise was not exploring the ship well and only really knowing the "highlight" locations - it was half way through the cruise before I discovered some wonderful places for viewing, or for a serene place to chill.

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Old April 27th, 2012, 08:05 PM
gymbomb gymbomb is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,160

We didn't know we should tell someone if we weren't eating in the MDR so our table mates had to wait a while one or two nights.
Norwegian Breakaway -- Bermuda -- May 2016

Norwegian Star -- Western Caribbean -- March 2016
Norwegian Epic -- Western Caribbean -- January 2015 (Baby's First Cruise!)
Norwegian Gem -- Bahamas and Florida -- May 2013
Caribbean Princess -- Southern Caribbean -- March 2013
Norwegian Dawn -- Bermuda -- June 2012 (Wedding Cruise Review)
Grand Princess -- Eastern Caribbean -- March 2012
Norwegian Dawn -- Bermuda -- July 2011
Norwegian Star -- Alaska -- May 2010
Norwegian Dawn -- Western Caribbean -- March 2010
Majesty of the Seas -- Bahamas -- June 2004
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Old April 27th, 2012, 09:08 PM
usviking usviking is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 177

Not taking advantage of the exercise equipment, sauna, and steam room because I thought they were managed by the spa and subject to additional charges. Now that I know better, I use these facilities regularly.
Booked: . . . . . . . Hawaii - Star Princess - Feb, 2017 . . . Alaska (b2b) - Emerald Princess - May, 2017 . . . New England - Crown Princess - Sep, 2017
Completed: . . . California Coastal (b2b) - Star Princess - Oct, 2016 . . . Alaska (b2b) - Ruby Princess - Sep, 2016 . . . Transatlantic - Queen Mary 2 - May, 2016 . . . Transatlantic - Caribbean Princess - Apr, 2016 . . . Mexico (b2b) - Crown Princess - Feb, 2016 . . . Hawaii, Tahiti & Somoa - Crown Princess - Oct, 2015 . . . Alaska (b2b) - Ruby Princess - May, 2015 . . . California Coastal (b2b) - Crown Princess - Apr, 2015 ... Panama (b2b) - Island Princess - Feb, 2015. . . California Coastal (b2b) - Crown Princess - Oct, 2014... Alaska (b2b) - Grand Princess - Aug, 2014 . . . Alaska (b2b) - Crown Princess - Jun, 2014 . . . Hawaii, Tahiti & Somoa - Golden Princess - Apr, 2014 . . . California Coastal (b2b) - Sapphire Princess - Oct, 2013 . . . Alaska (b2b) - Diamond Princess - Aug, / Sep. 2013 . . . Alaska (b2b) - Golden Princess - Jun, 2013 . . . Mexico - Grand Princess - Mar, 2013 . . .Hawaii - Golden Princess - Jan, 2013 . . .Panama (b2b) - Coral / Island Princess - Oct. / Nov, 2012 . . .Alaska (b2b) - Island Princess - Sep, 2012 . . .Mexico (b2b) - Sapphire Princess - Feb, 2012. . . Hawaii - Golden Princess - Nov, 2011. . . Alaska - Sapphire Princess - Sep, 2011. . . Hawaii - Golden Princess - Mar, 2011. . . Mexico - Sapphire Princess - Nov, 2010. . . Alaska - Golden Princess - May, 2010
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Old April 27th, 2012, 09:41 PM
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Laughing Angel Laughing Angel is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 738

I made quite a few mistakes, including overpacking, being unaware of the corkage fee for wine at dinner, packing a travel iron (not allowed--it was confiscated and returned after the cruise) and mixing a little too much sun and tequila on one particular day.

I brought so much stuff that I thought I would need, and ended up using very little of it. That taught me a very important lesson (and helped lighten my load).
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:32 PM
tak81288 tak81288 is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,245

Taking a bunch of water on board. Thankfully, the ship water is fine for us, so I just bring an empty sports water bottle and refill it with water and ice at the buffet. Less of a hassle.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 12:40 AM
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pigeon Forge, TN
Posts: 1,951

1st mistake, not signing our passports! Scared the b-geebers out of me when the security guy handed them back and said, not valid passport Jerk, still not over it!
2nd mistake, not wearing board shorts on the FLO rider....

October 2, 2011- Our first time on RCCL FOS! It was AWESOME!!!! My review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1500814
April 2014 Jewel of the Seas, Southern Caribbean cruise video:http://youtu.be/7EtwwX3iK8g

June 2016 Liberty of the Seas, Western Caribbean cruise video:
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Old April 28th, 2012, 01:50 AM
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slm517 slm517 is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 145

Not realizing the Cafe Promenade or Sorrento's were free until the end of the week.

Not packing enough of my hair products. Curly hair and ocean breezes don't mix well.
RCI Liberty of the Seas 2010
RCI Liberty of the Seas 2011
RCI Navigator of the Seas 2011
RCI Oasis of the Seas 2012
RCI Liberty of the Seas 2012
RCI Liberty of the Seas 2013
RCI Liberty of the Seas 2014
RCI Brilliance of the Seas 2014

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Old April 28th, 2012, 02:46 AM
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NoobCruise NoobCruise is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: California
Posts: 2,120

I made the mistake of thinking a Mexican Riviera cruise would be warm. It was when we were in port, but I froze on the ship. Should have tossed in some sweats.

2nd mistake was I bought some cute little sandals for the cruise, but didn't wear them until ON the cruise and ended up with blisters all over my feet.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 03:55 AM
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cybergoodz25 cybergoodz25 is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Southeastern Va
Posts: 7

Not staying up late to take advantage of all of the events happening after 12 am. Buffets, shows,etc....not this time!!!
6/5/2005 - Carnival Triumph
6/1/2008 - Carnival Victory
5/30/2010 - Carnival Glory
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