Posted April 18th, 2018, 05:56 PM
My best suggestion is to study the ship's deck plan prior to boarding so that you have some idea of where your cabin is located in relation to where you will board. That reduces the sense of being overwhelmed in such a new environment. If you want to go to your cabin first and it is in the forward part of the ship, go in that direction and ignore the attempts to get you to take the central foyer elevator. Same advice applies if the cabin is towards the aft. The elevators, both aft and forward, will be less busy than those mid-ships. (However, you may find one/two elevators out of service in those areas due to baggage handling requirements. Still, there will be at least one or two available for guest use.)
Once in your cabin, unpacking your carry-on luggage at that time is a good idea after taking the time to read the daily program. Next up: if you have special reservations for spa, specialty dining, shore excursions. etc. that you want to make, do it then. Then, have lunch in the Lido Restaurant or at the Dive-in. If you are dining at the Lido Restaurant, visit each side of the Restaurant before you start getting food because some of the items are not repeated on each side, i.e. the Asian Corner, the Italian area. There is a counter aft of the central elevator/stairwell foyer that probably will have some different items as compared to the counter that is forward of the rear central elevator/stairwell foyer.
I hope my information will be helpful to you. Enjoy your first cruise on my favorite of the two Signature Class vessels of HAL.
53 cruises: 32 Holland America, 4 Princess, 4 Carnival, 3 Pacific Far East Line, 2 Cunard, 2 Royal Viking Line, 1 each: Celebrity Cruises, NCL, Royal Caribbean, Sitmar, American Hawaii Cruises, Home Lines