I ♥️ this thread. It has me reminiscing of my first several cruises. The biggest thing I've learned since the early cruising years is to layout what you plan to pack and then halve it. I only take 3 pairs of shoes and they must go with whatever I'm packing. You can wear the same outfit twice; people are really not going to notice and if they do, they won't judge.
I still wear a lanyard or switch it up to a wristlet. If I know my DH isn't leaving my side for the evening, he my even cary my SS card. I like to switch it up that way. I would never judge someone on how they carry their card or for carrying a purse. We're on vacation. We're not the fashion police.
What I do notice is sometime newbies will have the daily activity sheet in their hands, roaming the hallways looking like lost sheep. I step in and try to point them in the right direction, as I would have wanted someone to do for me, if I had found myself in a similar situation. I feel like we can help mentor these novice cruisers into having a great trip. Here are my tips:
1) Stay away from the Inch of Gold sale. The stuff tarnishes quickly and the clasps break quick too. Not worth the $$.
2) Ports of Call talks are sales pitches to go into the cruise line sponsored stores. Do your research before you board.
3) If you and your cabin-mate both don't have the internet package to communicate, come up with a communication system or meeting places at certain times or you will be roaming the ship looking for each other.
4) Relax. Don't feel like you have to do everything. You CAN do everything (but you don't have to).
5) You might need a vacation from vacation depending on how much you do onboard.
Now, I still get advice from more senior cruisers than I. There are hidden gems in some ports which I've not been to. When I'm sitting at the bar, I like soliciting feedback from my more seasoned cruisers. Never once, has anyone looked down on me for picking their brain. I think most people like to be helpful. Newbies - use this to your advantage. Enjoy your trip everyone!