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Any tips for new comers?

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Do the Sea day tea time. I didn’t discover it until my 4th cruise and man was I missing out. It’s a super neat expirence! Look out for it in the fun times.

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Honestly...take a highlighter and highlight items of interest on the daily schedule!!! Be ready to change your schedule. Don't sweat the small stuff!!! We just came off a RCI cruise..we booked an excursion through the cruise line and the company got the pier mixed up and we did not get to swim with the sting rays. The one thing on my list....lol!! But, we just got more deck time on the ship!!! Had a great day!! One man on the bus...with his kids just started letting the company have it, in front of everyone...whew!!! So my point is plan...but take it all in stride, you are on a ship!!! A very happy place!!!! ( They gave our money back..so no problem)

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Forget the highlighter and just download the hub app before you leave. You can access the Funtimes through it and “favorite” the things you want to attend. It will even provide a reminder when the event is approaching.

 

The most important advice I can give you, though, is don’t sweat the small stuff, and be open minded. A cruise is an adventure! You may have missed ports, changed ports, medical emergencies...you just can’t predict these things. But, you will have fun if you just go with the flow. There is so much to see and do. Enjoy your cruise!

 

 

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Do the sea day brunch in the MDR. Pack 1/2 to 2/3 of what you have laid out. You won’t need it. For a small fee let them do laundry just past the half way point. We usually have them do the bag for $15 and have mostly clean clothes on the trip home. Take 4 gallon ziplock bags for wet clothes if you have to pack them in the suitcase. Pack patience and understanding. If there is a huge line for breakfast, walk out to the aft pool deck to find no line at that food station. It’s a ship, enjoy the ocean. It’s our favorite vacation. Enjoy your cruise!

 

 

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Fly into the embarkation port at least one day before the cruise departs. Weather or mechanical issues can ruin your cruise.

On the same note, get a passport well in advance of your departure date, and MAKE SURE you don’t leave it at home!

Enjoy your cruise!

 

 

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Don't forget to relax. Our first cruise we tried to do everything and while we had a wonderful time, we were exhausted when we left the ship.

 

Also, don't get pressured into purchasing expensive souvenirs. Remember, it won't be easy to return once you get home (or leave the port) if it turns out to be faulty. My favorite souvenirs are Christmas ornaments. I will buy more expensive items but not for more $$ than I am willing to call a loss. My all time favorite purchase was from a lady that had a little stand in Belize. She was selling her paintings on scraps of torn canvas. She was so proud of her work and said she was famous locally. Oh - another tip :) be sure you have room in luggage for souvenirs...I have had to buy luggage twice on vacation due to lack of souvenir space.

 

Hope you have a great time!

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Don't overpack - rule of thumb is to set out what you think you will need and than pack only half of it

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Sometimes is easier to give tips based on ages, and what ship you are going on.

 

That said you already have some good tips. I will add these.

 

1. On boarding day go early. You are paying for the day so use it all.

 

2. Bring a backpack for ports if you are going to beaches or doing water type excursions.

 

3. Remember when you are boarding the ship you are not boarding a plane. When we board early we but pack swimsuits, sunscreen and valuables in the backpack to board and check everything else with the porters. Once in board we change and head to the pool. Always great because it is not crowded because most people have their suits packed in bags not delivered to the cabin yet. Usually there is many people dragging suitcases to eat and around the ship waiting to get in their cabin.

 

If you like to dress casual, go to the pool and beaches bring a few extra tee shirts because they get wet or dirty.

 

If you are a pool person buy some chair towel clips to clip towel to chair. It is often windy on sea days.

 

Take a 3 to 1 plug adapter.

They don’t allow strips but most ships only have to plugs. Let’s you keep items charged. Some new ships have usb charge ports but most do not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In warm weather home ports, I WEAR my bathing suit (under clothes!) so that I don't have to find somewhere to change. Cabins aren't usually ready until 1pm, and we are usually onboard by 11:30 am. Eat a late breakfast, so you don't have to partake of the "feeding frenzy" when you board! Boarding day is about the only day you will have your pick of pool chairs!! A tote bag works for pool and beach, too...you don't really need a backpack! Towels for pool and beach are on the ship.

 

Just remember, this is nothing but a vacation! There is no right or wrong way to vacation!

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If allowed, bring a power strip or something to charge more than one thing with just one outlet. Outlets can be scarce. Not all cruise lines allow power strips though. If you have mostly gadgets, USB chargers will work just fine and I haven't heard of cruise lines banning those yet.

 

If you have a passport and are visiting foreign countries, just bring it to be safe. Take pictures of the info you need (including backs of credit cards) and save those pics on your phone. So, even if you leave everything locked in your safe, you'll still have the info in case of emergency.

 

Even in dining rooms, it's all you can eat. Feel free to experiment or indulge. I order stuff I never would on land. Everyone talks about how to eat healthy on board, etc. If you're trying to diet, sure. I'm on vacation. I diet before and after. On the cruise, I enjoy myself. :)

 

Ask your room steward if you're uncomfortable. They typically have mattress toppers if the bed is lumpy, different bedding, etc. They're incredibly helpful and can do more than just clean your room and make your bed. You will interact with them and your dining room waiters (if you have traditional set time dining) the most and they're a fountain of information.

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Do the Sea day tea time. I didn’t discover it until my 4th cruise and man was I missing out. It’s a super neat expirence! Look out for it in the fun times.
In general is the high tea a dressy thing or can one get away with shorts and a polo shirt?

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I saved this document from this board years ago and have found it very helpful.

 

Go with an open mind and be nice to everyone. They will be nice to you. If you're a drinker, tip your bartender an extra dollar here and there! The service will be amazing

Tips For New Cruisers.pdf

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Posted (edited)

1. Room Service, most items are free, we order the night before coffee & pastries/fruit/yogurt, relax and then prep leisurely for breakfast later.

2. Take tiny battery operated tea light for bathroom at night. Just enough light to take care of business without turning on that bright light.

3. Realize all food may not be exactly perfect, but you don't have to cook it, serve it, or clean up after. And as someone said, order anything, it's okay.

4. Take $1.00 bills for tipping a few folks...baggage handlers, bartenders, room service attendants. It is not required, but kindness is appreciated.

5. If you like to be around people, sit with lots of folks at dinner. Fun getting to know others, and you get insights on what they do for fun.

Mostly, don't expect perfection, just enjoy!

Edited by CM1984
type error

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Posted (edited)
What are some tips you would offer for a first time cruiser?

 

What cruise line, what ship? Some of the things mentioned in the replies are only on some cruise lines, not all.

 

Don't feel that you need to take part in all the activities. Give yourself time to relax.

 

Join your Roll Call and see what their plans are.

 

Read the advice in the thread at

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2592410

Edited by NMLady

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Pick and choose what you really like to do. You will learn real fast that it’s impossible to do everything during your sailing. Read the cruise compass everyday to see what activities that you are interested in doing and be sure to go with an open mind and have fun. Cruising becomes really actitive. I have personally been on over thirty five plus cruises since my first sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Song Of America way back in May 1983.

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What are some tips you would offer for a first time cruiser?

 

Read the reviews - I have two of mine in my signature. It gives you a great idea of what to expect. I'm also attaching a document that was posted here before that I think is helpful. Good luck!

Tips For New Cruisers.pdf

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Cruise when kids are in school

 

[YOUTUBE]9n0Eb0_RUxA[/YOUTUBE]

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Forget the highlighter and just download the hub app before you leave.

 

Can you say more about the hub app? Which cruise line is this for?

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...Don't feel that you need to take part in all the activities. Give yourself time to relax...

 

 

In the same vein, do you know why you are going on a cruise? Seriously, have you thought about what your biggest hopes & expectations are? Is it about warm weather? Nice beaches? Exotic drinks at funny little bars? Landscapes? Sea scapes? Iguanas? Dolphins? Whales? The ship’s great food? The pool, climbing wall, water slides, etc.? The luxury of just relaxing while a competent staff looks after you? The list of possibles goes on and on; what is it that you are hoping for? The point is, as others have said, don’t try to do it all. And if you have some expectations ahead of time, it will help you focus and prioritize your time.

But oh by the way... Prepare to be flexible and enjoy things you never had thought about. And along the way, make mental notes about what you want to do next time; there will be a next time.

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What are some tips you would offer for a first time cruiser?

 

 

Leave your worries at home .Relax and enjoy the cruise.:)

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Take a cheap watch and set it to ship's time when you leave the ship so that you don't get left behind when the ship leaves. Some of the ports are on a different time zone so looking at a clock at a bar might cause you to be wrong about what time it is and you could miss the ship. Your phone will auto correct to the time zone. A cheap watch will keep you on ship time.;)

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Top 5 Cruise Travel Rules:

 

1. DO NOT travel to the embarkation port on the day the cruise starts. Delay's happen including things that you have absolutely no control over.

 

2. Get travel insurance! All it has to do is save you $$ one time to have more than paid for its cost every time!

 

3. Keep your passport and other travel docs with you at all times while traveling and NEVER put them in your luggage!

 

4. Check that you have all travel documents with you before you leave your house!

 

5. After you make your cruise reservations, continue to check back with the cruiseline website to check for price drops, added benefits such as OBC (On Board Credit) or newly added benefits, etc.) and, if you find them, contact your cruise line (or TA (Travel Agent) to see if your booking can be modified to include them. Do this right up to the end.  The worst that can happen is you'll be told no!

 

Tom

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1. Do your research. Check out the your ship's deck plans and get familiar with them beforehand. This will give you an idea of how to get around, and it will also let you know just what the ship offers.

 

2. Same thing for ports. Check out the Port of Call threads and Trip Adviser.

 

3. Join your roll call.

 

4. Food. If you see two entrees on the dinner menu that you really like, order both. Same for appetizers and desserts.

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1. Do your research. Check out the your ship's deck plans and get familiar with them beforehand. This will give you an idea of how to get around, and it will also let you know just what the ship offers.

 

2. Same thing for ports. Check out the Port of Call threads and Trip Adviser.

 

3. Join your roll call.

 

4. Food. If you see two entrees on the dinner menu that you really like, order both. Same for appetizers and desserts.

 

On #4, if you don't want to eat that much, see if either of the two will be on a following day's menu so you can eat one then and the other one today!

 

Tom

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I saved this document from this board years ago and have found it very helpful.

 

Go with an open mind and be nice to everyone. They will be nice to you. If you're a drinker, tip your bartender an extra dollar here and there! The service will be amazing

 

 

Thank you so much for that document. very helpful information in it.

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:cool::cool::cool:

Leave your worries at home .Relax and enjoy the cruise.:)

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The port times listed in the itinerary are not the earliest time you can get off the ship, nor the latest time you can board the ship. Times listed on an itinerary are when the ship is expected to dock and undock.

 

Last aboard time will be printed in your daily cruise planner. There will usually be a sign with the same information on your way off the ship or at the bottom of the gang plank. This time is the time by which one has to be back aboard the ship. In tendered ports, the last tender time will be listed instead.

 

Port times can be adjusted for various reasons. Always check the daily planner and listen to announcements.

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If you see something you really like in one of the shops onboard, don't rush to buy it. Often the shops will have very good sales the last couple of days of the cruise.

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ALWAYS take a copy of the Princess Patter (or applicable daily "newsletter" for your cruise line) with you when you go ashore, especially if you're going on an excursion that is not sponsored by the cruise line. That's because if something happens and you miss the sailing time, the name and contact information for the Port Agent for your cruise line will be printed there and that is the person whom you will want to get in touch with to help you get married up with your ship again. They will also probably have your travel documents should you have left them in the safe in your cabin.

 

 

Tom

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What are some tips you would offer for a first time cruiser?a

 

Just back from my first ever cruise, from UK so might be slightly different. I read all the posts avidly, dressing for dinner meant an opportunity for new outfits. I went way over the top and arrived on embarkation day like a pack horse, bags dangling from everywhere, in addition to my two cases. The advice I am giving to myself for my next cruise is you can wear things more than once and nobody cares. Mix and match evening trousers and tops are my way forward and above all if it's not comfortable don't take it. I probably needed a third of what I took. Be yourself, do what suits you, and take comfy shoes. I hope you have a wonderful cruise.

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Read the reviews - I have two of mine in my signature. It gives you a great idea of what to expect. I'm also attaching a document that was posted here before that I think is helpful. Good luck!

 

This attachment is excellent. Thanks much.

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