Bringing Along First Timers

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#1
Near Eugene, Oregon
1,413 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Good afternoon all

On our next cruise, in March of 2011, we are bringing along a family of newbies. They have asked that we all sit down one evening and go over everything that they will need to know for the trip. They are not the type to do their own research, but appreciate the value of mine after having travelled with us before and seeing how smoothly things went for us. (Long story short, we tend to go our separate ways during the day and meet up for dinner. I had everything planned out for us, but they didn't want me to "over plan" for them, so they did their own thing. They saw how much we were able to do and how much fun we had and decided that my "over planning" isn't so bad after all.)

So anyway . . . . .

I'm looking for suggestions for important topics to discuss. So far I have three categories: Dress codes, Rules for the kids, and Cruise-Specific Etiquette.

Any suggestions? We've cruised enough, and travelled in other manners enough, that what seems obvious to us may not be so for these folks. They are not well travelled, and in fact have never taken their kids anywhere, so this is a new experience for them.
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#2
NEPA
1,519 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I would ask them to have a list of specific questions as well as what you have planned to discuss. That way, you cover their concerns.
#3
Richardson, TX
71,197 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Tipping.

If you are driving, what hotels cater to cruisers.

Tipping, what is included and who to tip.

I have a cruising newby Im treating to the cruise, but he needs to be aware of who and what is included and who to tip.

What to do in the ports. suggestions

MDR and how dinner works .. on and on. Telling him he will have to look at his card to know when to eat dinner and where his table will be.

soda is extra (big one in our his case, since his other half is addicted)
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#4
Alabama
1,465 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Discuss all the documents they will need.

Ship excursions vs. private excursions.

Things they will need to bring with them, ex. power strip, night light. Make sure they know there is only one electrial outlet.

What's included in the cruise fare and what cost extra.
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#5
Near Eugene, Oregon
1,413 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I knew that I could count on you guys! I was drawing a big fat blank, but now I'm slapping my forhead and saying "DUH - why didn't I think of that." I'm so blonde.
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Carnival Ecstacy - January 2003 (First Cruise, With Large Group. 3 Nighter to Ensenada)
Grand Princess - April 2003 (10th Wedding Anniversary Cruise, Just Hubby and Me on the Western Caribbean)
Norwegian Star - April 2005 (Mexican Riviera, Just Hubby and Me)
Link to Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=157938&highlight
Holland America's Noordam - April 2007 (Eastern Caribbean out of New York City, Just Hubby and Me)
Carnival Conquest - March 2009 (Spring Break from Galveston to Western Caribbean - Us, Kids, and my Parents)
Link to Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=963819&highlight
Carnival Valor - March 2011 (Spring Break from Miami to Western Caribbean - Us, Kids, and Two Other Families)
Link to Review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1388995
#6
North Dakota
2,469 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I would include talking about $$, what they may have to pay for on the ship and how to bargin and pay for things off the ship, brining cash etc.
For people who don't like to plan, watching videos on youtube is a fun easy way to see what they may want to do, just search the ports of call in the you tube site.
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sonadora
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#7
Michigan
1,296 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
We're doing the same thing with my in-laws when we cruise next November. I think the most important thing we've shared so far is the true cost of the trip. I keep a financial spreadsheet for each cruise down to the dollars to the port luggage handlers. By the time we cruise, everything that can be paid for in advance is taken care of and money's in the bank for the rest. I think getting a huge unexpected bill at the end could kill a delightful vacation buzz...

~ Sheryl
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#8
phila, pa
51,954 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Let them know about the kids camps
groups are by age.
2 -5 6 -8 9 - 11 12-14 15-17

its very hard to go up in age. so the kids should know whee they stand.
Camps chrge after 10pm at a charge of 6.00 per child. the 9-11 group have a PJ party one night so they just want to budget that.
Its very important the kids go to the meeting the first nigt to meet other kids sailing with them.

--
tell then room service is free-- but they should tip 1 -2 when the food is delivered
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#9
1,457 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
The ship will leave without them if they don't watch the time in port if not on a ship sponsored tour. Also, ship time vs island time.
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~Kathy~

#10
842 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Obviously you like them and enjoy being with them or you wouldnt vacation with them, however a trip like this can change a relationship if you dont have some conversation before hand so you have taken the first step.

2) be open minded that they may not be planners like you are and flying by the seat of their pants might be how they like to travel. Im a huge planner but I also allow for the spur of the moment, change in plan as well.

3) What do they want to get out of the trip if everyone is a beach bum or very active then you probably can plan some port time together but if your different then chances are good you will go your own way and meet up

4) Costs...I think this is huge as we think of the cruise as all inclusive but you can spend a fortune on the ship, in port and on excursions. Just transportation alone can add a quick $100 out of pocket. Figure what your budgets are and its ok if they are different just respect that

5) Packing- share your cruise expertise and let them know they only need 1/2 of what they think they do. Help them downsize

6) Documents and pre cruise stuff- Again share with them what is needed, how to find docs and baggage tags etc.

I think when you sit down you will def get a better idea but keep in mind some time together and time apart. You may decide a specific night will be date night and you will part that night. Think about each of you picking a port to be incharge of the planning that way you in your planning mode are not taking over the trip (its easy to do and not even realize it).

I think you have alot of good ideas on here to help get you started
#11
California
228 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
In addition to the great ideas already posted, tell them to familiarize themselves with the layout of the ship on the first day, to go over the Fun Times carefully each night so they can plan activities, and, if they like spa services, that prices are better in port days.
#12
Oklahoma
3,488 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
I agree about discussing excursions. I learned from reading CC that there are options besides the cruise line and/or that the cruise line excursion you want may not be available if you wait until you're on board to book it.
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Carnival Sensation - January 2010 - Penthouse Suite U108 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Legend - December 2010 - 8E Balcony Cabin 7253 - Cruising with DH
Carnival Ecstasy - April 2011 - Aft Balcony Cabin E255 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Triumph - November 2011 - 8D Balcony Cabin 8356 - Sisters Cruise
Carnival Magic - April 2012 - Cove Balcony - Cabin 2357 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Magic - December 2012 - Cove Balcony - Cabin 2290 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Magic - April 2013 - Cove Balcony 2321 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Magic - November 2013 - Cove Balcony 2326 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Magic - April 2014 - Ocean Suite 7243 - Girls Cruise
Norwegian Jewel - November 2014 - Mini-suite 11134 - Sisters Cruise
Carnival Magic - December 2015 - Cove Balcony 2407 and 2409 - Old Men's Cruise
#13
Illinois
73 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Bankerbabe,
You have received a lot of great additional tips already. Last year my wife and I cruised with 8 newbies and and it was our BEST CRUISE YET! When you get closer to the cruise date the other cruisers will start to ask more questions. We started an email chain with our group. As one of us would ask a question or book an excursion, everybody could read about it and be involved. You could also start a facebook page to exchange info.
Have fun!
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#14
Cleveland, OH
3,420 Posts
Joined May 2008
We may be in this same predicament/situation. A friendly neighbor who has never cruised said he may like to go along with us next time in his own cabin. We will be as helpful as possible but it's hard to remember every single thing and wouldn't want the newbie to be surprised about something and say "You didn't tell me that." As an adult with a computer shouldn't they do their own research and find out what to expect?
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I love cruising!
#15
Montréal, Canada!
4,940 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
I think this is best list / resource I have ever found regarding cruising with Carnival: http://home.comcast.net/~dr.crash/HomePage.html I sent this to a friend of mine before her first cruise, earlier this year.

Cheers!
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Past cruises:
Carnival Vista - Repo - November 2016
Carnival Conquest - December 2015
Carnival Breeze - September 2014
NCL Epic - November 2013 *Review*
Carnival Liberty - November 2012
Carnival Liberty - March 2012
Carnival Liberty - November 2010
Carnival Valor - November 2008

Coming up!






Group website: https://sites.google.com/view/carniv...ys-cruise/home
#16
1,720 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by soccersharon
I think this is best list / resource I have ever found regarding cruising with Carnival: http://home.comcast.net/~dr.crash/HomePage.html I sent this to a friend of mine before her first cruise, earlier this year.

Cheers!
There ARE some good tips in there. However, that's a lot of stuff to pack and you're not supposed to bring sandwiches off the ship.
#17
Montréal, Canada!
4,940 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by Perfect Stranger
There ARE some good tips in there. However, that's a lot of stuff to pack and you're not supposed to bring sandwiches off the ship.
I used it as a resource and took what I wanted from it - there are some good suggestions
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Past cruises:
Carnival Vista - Repo - November 2016
Carnival Conquest - December 2015
Carnival Breeze - September 2014
NCL Epic - November 2013 *Review*
Carnival Liberty - November 2012
Carnival Liberty - March 2012
Carnival Liberty - November 2010
Carnival Valor - November 2008

Coming up!






Group website: https://sites.google.com/view/carniv...ys-cruise/home
#18
Oklahoma
3,488 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Originally posted by Name Of The Game
As an adult with a computer shouldn't they do their own research and find out what to expect?
In theory, yes. Then there are people like my DH.

If they hadn't made him start using a computer at work a year ago, he would never have learned to turn one on.
He ONLY uses it for work (outdoor job---not in an office), and he has no desire to use it for anything personal.
When he wants to know something, he asks me to get on that "Internet thing" and see if I can find it.
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PAST CRUISES:
Carnival Sensation - January 2010 - Penthouse Suite U108 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Legend - December 2010 - 8E Balcony Cabin 7253 - Cruising with DH
Carnival Ecstasy - April 2011 - Aft Balcony Cabin E255 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Triumph - November 2011 - 8D Balcony Cabin 8356 - Sisters Cruise
Carnival Magic - April 2012 - Cove Balcony - Cabin 2357 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Magic - December 2012 - Cove Balcony - Cabin 2290 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Magic - April 2013 - Cove Balcony 2321 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Magic - November 2013 - Cove Balcony 2326 - Girls Cruise
Carnival Magic - April 2014 - Ocean Suite 7243 - Girls Cruise
Norwegian Jewel - November 2014 - Mini-suite 11134 - Sisters Cruise
Carnival Magic - December 2015 - Cove Balcony 2407 and 2409 - Old Men's Cruise
#19
Merrill, Michigan
5,686 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
I think the best advice is to tell them not to expect anything. Then anything that happens is a great experience. And most importantly, leave all their troubles and worries at the dock when they board. They'll be waiting for them when they return.

Film, underwater cameras etc. are available on the ship and in ports but are very expensive. Much cheaper to take with you from home.

Let them in on the secret of how peaceful it is at the bow of the ship late at night or early in the morning.

Take insulated cups for that early morning coffee run to the Lido Deck or for keeping your cold drinks cold on sea days. (Coffee, ice tea and limited fruit juices free on Lido Deck all day.)

Remind them that it's alright to make fools of themselves and do things they normally wouldn't do because more than likely, none of the people on the ship will ever see them again besides you.
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Dick
"To Sea or Not To Sea"
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#20
235 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Don't forget to remind them about getting trip insurance now. The biggest disappointment non-cruisers have when booking a cruise vacation is finding out how inflexible it is.

Most land vacations, if you are late getting started or your flight is late you get there late, no big deal. On a ship you literally miss the boat.

On a regular vacation if a emergency comes up you may have to pay for one nights lodging, but on a cruise you pay for the whole thing.

Insurance can help alleviate these problems.