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First Time Cruisers
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In the Valley, CA
23,027 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
My #1 advice: if traveling to one's embarkation port, get there at least a day ahead (unless you're a short drive away).
#2 don't plan out every second. Whether on board or in port.
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Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!

Carnival Jubilee - Mex. Riv.; Sensation - W. Caribb.; Holiday (2Xs) - Baja; Paradise - E Caribb; Ecstasy - Baja; Star Princess - Mex. Riv.; Sapphire Princess - Alaska; Island Princess - Hawaii; Golden Princess - Hawaii (one of the best cruises ever!!!!); another Golden Princess -- Hawaii

Read about my most recent cruise at
Stone Mountain GA
9,530 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
It amazes me with all the information on the internet, that you can spend money on a vacation, and do no research about your investment. I know you say you want this information for a friend, and you have been given a ton of information-you have 111 posts, why not tell her about your cruise-and what you learned.

I find it so funny to read reviews by people that say that all the ship had to offer was bad buffet food, and they thought that was the only food included in the cost of the cruise. So they never ate in the MDR-who is your friend cruising with? that would also affect the answers that we give you-kids-kids club-girl friends-spa services-

my first cruise I knew nothing-I got on for a friends wedding-nothing planned at all-we got the Nassau, and I figured I could stay on the ship, or do something fun, heck I'm in the Bahamas, went snorkeling-had a blast, our sea day on the way back to the states, I sat on the balcony and watched the flying fish, and the islands go by, and I was hooked on cruising.

you know your friend, not so much what does she need to know, but what do you think she might want to know-
best tip I got on my first cruise-you can order seconds in the MDR, and someone told me about cruise critic
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Past Cruises
Cunard-Queen Mary 1961 NY to Cherbourg
Cunard-Queen Elizabeth 1963 Cherbourg to NY
MWA- Heritage 8/05, 8/06
Carnival- Sensation-10/08
Carnival- Legend 01/10, 9/12, 9/16
Carnival- Fascination 12/10,11/11,10/13,11/14, 9/15
Carnival- Elation 1/14, 1/16

I will try one thing today,
that I have never done before,
and when I have finished something new,
I'll go try one thing more.

"Hurray for ships!.....Let us keep them alive as a token of love,to make the last romantics happy. Let us use them to cure the depressed. Let us prescribe sea journeys..." Tiziano Terzani

America-It doesn't matter what ship our ancestors came here on, we're all in the same boat now.

9,056 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Don't forget a good sunscreen and a sun hat with a nice wide brim. I've seen some folks on cruises with super bad sunburns.

Pace yourself. I wore myself out my first cruise and was so exhausted from trying to do everything, that I seriously considered never cruising again. Fortunately I have reconsidered.
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Jimmy Buffet
12,380 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Only pack duct tape if you can actually think of a reason you might need it.

Do not stress about whether or not to use a lanyard - just go with your gut on this one.
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Six US Navy ships,
25+ cruises: Orient (1), Holland America (12), Norwegian (6), Carnival (1), Princess (1), Celebrity (3), Cunard (2), Royal Caribbean (1) - (1996-2017).
Coming up: Royal Caribbean, January 2018
Charlotte, NC
2,786 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by marshhawk
It amazes me with all the information on the internet, that you can spend money on a vacation, and do no research about your investment. D

I agree with marsh - my first advice when asked this question is to go to Cruise Critic and read up on as much info as you can!

Sent from my iPad using Forums
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9/2012 - Carnival Victory
5/2012 - Carnival Elation
6/2011 - Carnival Fascination
52 Posts
Joined Nov 2016
If you can, have a bottle of champagne sent to her room to be delivered when she arrives! It's not expensive on most cruises, and when my girlfriend did it for my husband and I, it was the highlight of my cruise! I LOVED sitting on the deck the first evening watching us pull out of port with my glass! (I'm planning on doing something similar for each room we booked for our own cruse this year as it just absolutely MADE my cruise! lol)
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