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Pennsylvania
5,147 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by GrammaJo128
I imagine if there was a problem, it would be mass chaos because people would go to there assigned restaurants, bars etc. We just didn't get it. (Not that we weren't grateful for the comfort!)
That's where you're supposed to go until they decide whether to put people on lifeboats. That's the whole purpose of holding the drill there. The green signs indicate that the theater/casino/restaurant is your muster station.
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California
2,122 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by Underwatr
That's where you're supposed to go until they decide whether to put people on lifeboats. That's the whole purpose of holding the drill there. The green signs indicate that the theater/casino/restaurant is your muster station.
Our assigned lifeboat # was on our sign and sail card. No confusion there.
Cincinnati
75 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by Underwatr
That's where you're supposed to go until they decide whether to put people on lifeboats. That's the whole purpose of holding the drill there. The green signs indicate that the theater/casino/restaurant is your muster station.
Oh, I see. Wow, our table didn't pick up on that. Good to know! Thanks
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USA
5,187 Posts
Joined May 2012
Wow! This thread has really grown. Such an abundance of different types of helpful information.

Going back to the question that started it all . . . I would have started cruising much earlier in life.

I'm glad we discovered cruising. It's a great way to see the world and relax at the same time!
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You can view my wife's cruise pictures (shore excursions, around the ship, etc.)in the Travel section of her website Nancy's Oasis and at the links below.
2016 14 day Alaska Maasdam Ketchikan,Juneau,Dawes,Icy Strait Point,Anchorage,Homer,Kodiak,Hubbard,Sitka, Victoria,BC
2015 Christmas Adventure of the Seas St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Dominica, Barbados
2014 Christmas Island Princess ~ Partial Panama Canal with Columbia, Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Aruba
2013 Christmas Adventure of the Seas ~ So.Caribbean St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba, and Curacao
2012 Christmas Mariner of the Seas ~ W.Caribbean Cozumel (Tulum) Jamaica, and Grand Cayman
2012 Radiance of the Seas ~ Alaska Southbound Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Hubbard Glacier
2011 Christmas Mariner of the Seas ~ W. Caribbean Belize (Lamanai), Roatan, Costa Maya (Kohunlich), Cozumel
2011 Carnival Ecstasy ~ Western Caribbean Cozumel and Progresso (Chichen Itza)
2011 Carnival Ecstasy Owners Suite Visit from the Upsell Fairy - 916 sq ft of paradise!

2011 Carnival Conquest ~ Eastern Caribbean Nassau, Freeport, Key West
2010 Caribbean Princess ~ NE/Canada Upgrade Fairy Visit FREE PH Suite - Newport,Boston,Bar Harbor,St. John,Halifax
2009 Star Princess ~ Alaska Inside Passage Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Tracy Arm
2008 Christmas Carnival Ecstasy ~ Western Caribbean Progreso (Uxmal) Cozumel
2007 Carnival Conquest ~ Western Caribbean Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel
144 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Here's a few tidbits of helpful info that I learned from my first cruise! (Sorry if any of these are repeats).

-Don't be afraid to say "NO thank you" if something is offered to you that you do not want! Assume that nothing is free. We learned this quickly after two shots were thrust in front of our faces during dessert at our dinner table one night. We didn't really want them, but took them because we almost felt we were obligated or something. What we both wished we'd done is said "no thank you" and handed them back immediately. But instead, we paid for them and had two shots that we really didn't even want.

-Be careful if you order a bottle of wine at dinner rather than wine by the glass. Our intention was to drink only half the bottle the first night and save the other half for the next night. Well, our assistant waiter took it upon herself to keep filling up our glasses to the brim whenever she could without asking us if we wanted more - thus constantly providing us with way more than we wanted to drink. We noticed that she would do this whenever our heads were turned or we were engaged in conversation. One minute my glass would be half empty and before I knew what had happened it was full to the top again. We ended up drinking almost a full bottle of wine that first night. The next nights, we were MUCH more vigilant and said "no more, thank you."

-And again - I can't stress enough to use the words "no thank you"! You will be offered many things you do not want. ESPECIALLY at the ports. You are not being rude - just say you are not interested and keep walking!

I'm sure I'll think of more to add
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California
2,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by Beezle82
Here's a few tidbits of helpful info that I learned from my first cruise! (Sorry if any of these are repeats).

-Don't be afraid to say "NO thank you" if something is offered to you that you do not want! Assume that nothing is free. We learned this quickly after two shots were thrust in front of our faces during dessert at our dinner table one night. We didn't really want them, but took them because we almost felt we were obligated or something. What we both wished we'd done is said "no thank you" and handed them back immediately. But instead, we paid for them and had two shots that we really didn't even want.

-Be careful if you order a bottle of wine at dinner rather than wine by the glass. Our intention was to drink only half the bottle the first night and save the other half for the next night. Well, our assistant waiter took it upon herself to keep filling up our glasses to the brim whenever she could without asking us if we wanted more - thus constantly providing us with way more than we wanted to drink. We noticed that she would do this whenever our heads were turned or we were engaged in conversation. One minute my glass would be half empty and before I knew what had happened it was full to the top again. We ended up drinking almost a full bottle of wine that first night. The next nights, we were MUCH more vigilant and said "no more, thank you."
Thanks for sharing those experiences. Which cruise line was this on? One solution for your second experience (with the wine) might be to have them remove the bottle after they have poured the first glass.
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Star Princess, October 2014 (CA Coastal - SF, Ensenada, Long Beach, San Diego, Santa Barbara - SF)
Sapphire Princess, September, 2012 (Alaska - Voyage of the Glaciers)
NCL, Norwegian Pearl, April, 2010 (Repo LA to Vancouver)
NCL, Norwegian Sun, April, 2009 (Repo LA to Vancouver)
Coral Princess, May, 2008 (Repo SF to Vancouver)
NCL, Norwegian Star, May, 2007 (Repo LA to Vancouver)
Carnival Paradise, Nov. 2005 (LA to Ensenada)
MS Karamzin, July, 1996 (Volga - Moscow to St. Petersburg - Russian River Cruise)
HAL Rotterdam, July 1993 (Alaska)
144 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by Smokeyham
Thanks for sharing those experiences. Which cruise line was this on? One solution for your second experience (with the wine) might be to have them remove the bottle after they have poured the first glass.
This was on RCI. We also noticed that it seemed like it was only the first night that our assistant waiter did this with the wine. The rest of the nights, she always asked us first if we wanted more. Or, maybe she just caught on to our annoyance after the first night and figured she should ask from then on.

Nassau was where we experienced most of the 'pushyness'. I was absolutely expecting to be approached by numerous street-vendors, but I think their aggressiveness caught me a bit off guard. I mean, when someone is dangling something right in your face as you're walking by them and saying "here....this is for you", the natural reaction is to take it! And before you know it, you've bought yourself a necklace.
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California
2,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by Beezle82
-Don't be afraid to say "NO thank you" if something is offered to you that you do not want! Assume that nothing is free. We learned this quickly after two shots were thrust in front of our faces during dessert at our dinner table one night. We didn't really want them, but took them because we almost felt we were obligated or something. What we both wished we'd done is said "no thank you" and handed them back immediately. But instead, we paid for them and had two shots that we really didn't even want.

This was on RCI. We also noticed that it seemed like it was only the first night that our assistant waiter did this with the wine. The rest of the nights, she always asked us first if we wanted more. Or, maybe she just caught on to our annoyance after the first night and figured she should ask from then on.

Nassau was where we experienced most of the 'pushyness'. I was absolutely expecting to be approached by numerous street-vendors, but I think their aggressiveness caught me a bit off guard. I mean, when someone is dangling something right in your face as you're walking by them and saying "here....this is for you", the natural reaction is to take it! And before you know it, you've bought yourself a necklace.
Thanks for letting us know to watch out for this, especially if going on RCI. There's a line between offering you things which you might want (i.e. after-dinner drinks), and pushing them on you.

We were recently on Princess. On the first day they were pushing coffee and soda cards, but were pretty good about not always trying to sell you something. I agree with your advice, that saying "No thank you" is something everyone needs to be prepared to do.
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Star Princess, October 2014 (CA Coastal - SF, Ensenada, Long Beach, San Diego, Santa Barbara - SF)
Sapphire Princess, September, 2012 (Alaska - Voyage of the Glaciers)
NCL, Norwegian Pearl, April, 2010 (Repo LA to Vancouver)
NCL, Norwegian Sun, April, 2009 (Repo LA to Vancouver)
Coral Princess, May, 2008 (Repo SF to Vancouver)
NCL, Norwegian Star, May, 2007 (Repo LA to Vancouver)
Carnival Paradise, Nov. 2005 (LA to Ensenada)
MS Karamzin, July, 1996 (Volga - Moscow to St. Petersburg - Russian River Cruise)
HAL Rotterdam, July 1993 (Alaska)
144 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by Smokeyham
There's a line between offering you things which you might want (i.e. after-dinner drinks), and pushing them on you.
I agree. In the case of the shots at dinner, my BF and I were the only two at our dinner table that night and the server who gave them to us only had 2 left on his tray, so I think he zeroed in on us right away. But still, the way he did it was just plain rude and I was quite taken aback by it.

Oh well. Live and learn!
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Pennsylvania
475 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by Triciabrownbear
Great ideas! I am definitely going to bring the room steward a small gift from our area, Lake Tahoe. Just a great way to start your week with the person who is cleaning your room and taking care of the little things for you. We will be on the Oasis in April and this well be our 12th cruise in all... still love to read these tips! I am going to make my list of five to add... if there is something left after all of these great suggestions!!
I live in Pennsylvania so I took fresh Hershey's candy and some other packaged snacks that are common pretty much only around here. I also am "guilty" of taking a Penn State t-shirt for my cabin steward, and I left notes for him on postcards that depicted various things that I like about PA. Didn't care if he pitched them after reading....I just thought it was certainly more interesting than a plain sheet of paper or a dry erase board! I left tips daily in addition to the prepaid gratuities, and I had a blast folding each of the bills into cute things. One night I did a butterfly, one night I made a little person (pants and a shirt), my daughter folded some bills into a box with a lid and I put a Hershey kiss inside one night. It was fun....and I can never ever say that "I never even saw my cabin steward" as I have seen some people say.

My cabin steward knew my name, greeted me every time he saw me, and was very attentive. Certainly that could simply be the way he operates, but I choose to believe that he also enjoyed the stuff I left.
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02-12-2011 Norwegian Sun
07-01-2012 Carnival Valor
01-12-2014 NCL Pearl, Country Cruising, "Without a Trace "
01-19-2015 Carnival Ecstasy
10-23-2015 NCL Sky, Country Cruising
02-22-2016 Carnival Fantasy, Kathy Griffin Live! - not really, though. Carnival sure bungled that!
10-21-2016 Carnival Vista TA
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Coming soon:

Horizon TA
Pennsylvania
475 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by River_Rat
I take a fan for the White noise it helps me sleep, I also bring a bungee cord to hold the balcony door open so if I want to sleep with the sound of the ocean i can also do that.
I so wanted to do this, but even out in the middle of the ocean, I convinced myself that it was marginally possible that someone evil could climb onto my balcony and bludgeon me in my sleep. I guess I have issues. lol!
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02-12-2011 Norwegian Sun
07-01-2012 Carnival Valor
01-12-2014 NCL Pearl, Country Cruising, "Without a Trace "
01-19-2015 Carnival Ecstasy
10-23-2015 NCL Sky, Country Cruising
02-22-2016 Carnival Fantasy, Kathy Griffin Live! - not really, though. Carnival sure bungled that!
10-21-2016 Carnival Vista TA
2-06-2017 Carnival Victory

Coming soon:

Horizon TA
Greater Toronto Area
590 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
I'm not sure that "gifts" (beyond cash) are that appreciated by the stewards. These people live in extremely small spaces with little personal (much less storage) space, and things like trinkets and T-Shirts are quite likely quickly tossed. Sorry to be blunt, but that's the very likely reality.

I'm sure that they are polite and put forth a very appreciative response when you're there, but in the end if they kept it all they'd have nowhere to sleep in short order.

Cash is the universal thank-you and appreciated above all else, I'm sure.
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Mark, Ontario Canada
___
Allure of the Seas, 11/27/2011
Explorer of the Seas, 4/21/2012
Explorer of the Seas 12/13/2012
Enchantment of the Seas, 3/9/2013
Grandeur of the Seas, 12/14/2013.
Grandeur of the Seas, 12/27/2014.
Thinking about Anthem....
Tel-Aviv
856 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by Oshawapilot
I'm not sure that "gifts" (beyond cash) are that appreciated by the stewards. These people live in extremely small spaces with little personal (much less storage) space, and things like trinkets and T-Shirts are quite likely quickly tossed. Sorry to be blunt, but that's the very likely reality.

I'm sure that they are polite and put forth a very appreciative response when you're there, but in the end if they kept it all they'd have nowhere to sleep in short order.

Cash is the universal thank-you and appreciated above all else, I'm sure.
Agree. They do not need stuff, they need money. Many of them are supporting the folks at home, too.
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"Life is a jest and all things show it,
I thought so once, and now I know it."
--- John Gay
5,606 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Besides, if you give them the cash they can spend it to get something they really want instead of getting some gift that a stranger picked out for them.

With cash, if they want candy, they can buy their favorite kind instead being stuck with your favorite kind.

But they will be gracious and thank you politely and tell you how pleased they are no matter what you give them, even if they are going to toss it right into the trash.


Just remembering the golden rule: do unto others.....
If you have ever needed to support yourself by working at a low income job (which many of us have done at some stage of our lives), consider whether you would have preferred to receive money, some candy, or a souvenir from a customer's home town.


Now if someone from Detroit, for instance, wanted to give you a brand new car as a home town souvenir..........then that would be a different story.


Pennsylvania
475 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by swedie
Re: #6: Order room service if going on an early shore excursion- this way you can continue getting ready while eating, sipping coffee, etc. If ordering coffee for 2 and you want more than a cup each - order coffee for 3 or more - and for the other items - put number required on by each. We always managed to be first or second on line for the exit ramps this way. We would always order a pitcher of water to fill out water bottles with also.
Re: #'s 9 & 10 - repeat.
I found it crazy that on Carnival they would not send a pitcher of iced tea to my cabin (NCL had no problem bringing this daily), so I said to the woman on the phone, "Ok, can I get iced tea for six (or 5 or 7, I don't remember) and they cheerfully brought me a tray with a bunch of glasses of iced tea. Really unnecessary and made more work for them. A pitcher would have been much more sensible, but ok. lol
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02-12-2011 Norwegian Sun
07-01-2012 Carnival Valor
01-12-2014 NCL Pearl, Country Cruising, "Without a Trace "
01-19-2015 Carnival Ecstasy
10-23-2015 NCL Sky, Country Cruising
02-22-2016 Carnival Fantasy, Kathy Griffin Live! - not really, though. Carnival sure bungled that!
10-21-2016 Carnival Vista TA
2-06-2017 Carnival Victory

Coming soon:

Horizon TA
Pennsylvania
475 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by calliopecruiser
If someone's still looking for a flashlight app for their iPhone - the one I use is called Flashlight by John Haney software - brighter than some others and limited options, which I like. Quick to turn on or off; very useful.

You can also get phrasebooks and maps that work offline, when you don't have (or don't want to use) a data connection.
Mine is called Brightest Flashlight, and I think I could signal other planets with it. It also makes a bizarre wheeeeeeeep sound when it turns on. I am smart phone challenged. My husband put it on the phone for him. It's....different. lol
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02-12-2011 Norwegian Sun
07-01-2012 Carnival Valor
01-12-2014 NCL Pearl, Country Cruising, "Without a Trace "
01-19-2015 Carnival Ecstasy
10-23-2015 NCL Sky, Country Cruising
02-22-2016 Carnival Fantasy, Kathy Griffin Live! - not really, though. Carnival sure bungled that!
10-21-2016 Carnival Vista TA
2-06-2017 Carnival Victory

Coming soon:

Horizon TA
Western Washington
354 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by merryblissmas
I'm with you - I'd rather just have dinner with my sweetie. We are on vacation to be together, something that is extremely rare for us at home because of our schedules. The thought of being stuck at a table with some blowhard who won't shut up or someone who talks with their mouth full makes me queasier than any rough seas could. I know everyone keeps saying that we'll be missing out, blah, blah, blah, but I think that's a personal opinion. It depends on how social you are. Personally, I'm not terribly social. I'm going to be on vacation and I want to enjoy my sweetie, not someone else.
What we did was when we 1st boarded the ship (HAL), we went to the main dining room & looked at the tables for 2 that we thought we would like, wrote down the table numbers (each table has a metal thing with the #) & called whatever number to reserve the table - we did end up changing our table one night & met some delightful people that we ended up chatting with the remaining nights of our cruise. The 2-top tables are close enough together to facilitate conversation if you want or not, if that's your preference.
chicago
2,439 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by Marian Paroo
Agree. They do not need stuff, they need money. Many of them are supporting the folks at home, too.
While I understand everyone's point about the employees only wanting money...
It does sound as though doing those additional small things brings the OP a great deal of pleasure. They said it was fun, and they also left tips on a daily basis. It's a nice gesture; different strokes for different folks. Nothing wrong with it.
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Judi




179 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by Fydlstyx
I so wanted to do this, but even out in the middle of the ocean, I convinced myself that it was marginally possible that someone evil could climb onto my balcony and bludgeon me in my sleep. I guess I have issues. lol!
BWAHAHAHAHA! This post just cracked me up!! You are me!!

(I've been taking notes, thanks everyone who has contributed to this thread. )
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05-19-2013 Celebrity Summit
02-02-2013 Carnival Miracle
05-22-2011 Celebrity Summit
United States
83 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by cjdixon4
You know johneeo, I'm SOOOO worn out from the lazy folks who can't take 15-20 minutes out of a 7 day+ vacation to hear the essentials of safety on a cruise ship. They'll be the first ones to want to sue the company should something horrible go wrong on the ship. Geeesh....
I agree, the drill is easy and only took 15-20 minutes, waiting for everyone to arrive was another 30 last summer. Outside in June all crammed together and listening to a bunch of kids screaming while waiting for the late people to arrive....fun times. I HATE the muster drill, I can't stand being crowded by all those people, crying kids, and pointless chit-chat I must endure while waiting around. However I understand the need and I will be there on time in an effort to make it as short as possible for myself and everyone else.