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Cirving

Any tips for a first time cruiser?

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Hello! I'll be going on my first ever cruise in March with my husband and 3 year old. Any useful tips would be greatly appreciated! We are used to all inclusive resorts and this seems a bit more involved. Lots of things to consider.  Thanks in advance!

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Kinda similar to an all inclusive resort except your "resort" moves around and goes to different places.  You can either get off and explore new territory or stay on the ship and take it easy.

You will probably only need half the clothes you pack. 

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No one is going to get you to go anywhere or get involved. It's up to you to do this. There always something happening, you'll quickly learn what you like.

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You will get a daily schedule of all the activities that are offered. Scan it each day for things that interest you.

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You can "include" almost anything by buying "packages"..  However, you don't NEED packages if you don't want them...you can buy ANYTHING without any packages at all.

 

Included drinks are: ice water, coffee, tea (iced or hot), lemonade, milk and juice at breakfast.  Sodas and booze carry a charge whether bought individually or as a "package".  Packages are PER PERSON.

 

Food is included in the main dining room, buffet and most smaller "snack" venues.  Lines have "dining packages" for their "specialty" restaurants, or you can simply pay the uncharge and dine there without a package.

 

It's really not that different that what you're used to....you will simply incur other charges along the way, in most cases.

 

Your cabin will likely be smaller than a hotel room.....excursions, if you buy them, carry a hefty price tag, but are generally unneeded.  Research your ports, and you'll find plenty to do that's easy and cheap.

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7 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Where are you cruising?

What ship are you on?

How long is your cruise?

Carnival Breeze. 7 days. St. Thomas. Puerto Rico, Turks and caicos and Dominican Republic 

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19 hours ago, mexicobob said:

Kinda similar to an all inclusive resort except your "resort" moves around and goes to different places.  You can either get off and explore new territory or stay on the ship and take it easy.

You will probably only need half the clothes you pack. 

 

8 hours ago, paul929207 said:

You will get a daily schedule of all the activities that are offered. Scan it each day for things that interest you.

 

Good advice from both above!

Enjoy your cruise!  :classic_cool:

Edited by OCruisers

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Great choice for a first time cruise!!! The Breeze is one of Carnival's newer and larger ships and it is, as Mexico Bob mentions, kinda just a big all inclusive resort.  Carnival is great for little kids. They feature Dr. Seuss characters and several special activities: Seuss parade, Seuss story time, Seuss character breakfast. Also lots of other little kids usually to play with.

 

Camp Ocean is wonderful and your child will be eligible for the Penguins group. If the child is fully toilet trained it will be easier to do this and to enjoy pools and Water Works attractions.

 

I would say the biggest choices to think about ahead of time if you are used to all-inclusive resorts are:  1. Do you drink, and if so, do you drink a little or quite a bit?  No alcohol is included in the basic fare.  There is a daily drink special on every Carnival sailing - something fruity and tropical for under $10, typically.  There is also of course full bar service at multiple venues on the ship for a tipple now and then, and you just pay as you go.    There are optional beverage packages that provide almost unlimited alcohol; to me they are too expensive and I would be too drunk (LOL), but they are a good value for some.

 

2.  How about soft drinks?  If you don't need much alcohol you still might want to look at the soft drink packages. We always buy a 12-pack of water bottles from the online shop (then never use it all) but mostly drink tap water and the fruit punch and lemonade provided at the buffets and quick serve meal venues. You can also bring a 12 pack of canned soda but to me that's more trouble than I want to deal with.

 

3.  Shore excursions. Do you plan to get off the ship at each port, and if so, just walk around on your own, or go to a specific beach or attraction?  This is worth thinking about in advance as the ship's excursions can sell out and things are always a bit crazy as thousands of people are getting off the ship in each port.

 

If you have more specific questions you can ask here or on the Carnival boards.

Edited by KmomChicago

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Just have fun. Your vacation will be what you make of it. Take time to appreciate the fact that you are away from reality. Check your ships daily planner (they should give you one each day) for what is happening on the ship and pick what you want to do.

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Get to the port a day early and stay overnight in a hotel. Makes for a much more relaxed first day and depending where and when you are coming from can be safer.

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On 12/7/2018 at 11:29 AM, Cirving said:

Carnival Breeze. 7 days. St. Thomas. Puerto Rico, Turks and caicos and Dominican Republic 


It may not be exciting but it could save you some time and confusion - here's how your room key works
 

 

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On 1/9/2019 at 1:51 PM, crazyaae said:

Check out my Youtube channel link: http://Youtube.com/c/wheresmondo and there
are several more out there to help you.
and For tips on items to bring you can see my list i use on kit.com

Cruising Must Haves https://kit.com/WheresMondo/cruising-must-haves
Cruising Optional Items https://kit.com/WheresMondo/cruising-optional-items.

 

 The "must have" and "Optional" links are to lists of buy it on Amazon items.  :classic_sad:   

 

Another forum I frequent gets a small kickback if you use Amazon via the forum's link.  Is that what this is?  

 

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No its not but It could be used for that, but i'm not an Amazon Affiliate due to not having enough subscribers / traffic to my youtube channel. I'm still working on that part of it.

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hello friendly people,  this is our first time cruise with my family of 5 (party of 5), we will be on a western caribbean cruise onboard  the Allure of the Seas for 7 days, we have  decided to booked via the RCI website the Atlantis Paradise resort in Nassau Bahamas,   and we book  externally through the resort itself on Cozumel, nothing on Costa Maya and Roatan Honduras, any travel advice and tips if we would go and explore Costa Maya and Honduras on our own, any safety tips for first time travellers. can't wait any longer for this once in a lifetime experience. Thanks in advanced.

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53 minutes ago, excited2019 said:

hello friendly people,  this is our first time cruise with my family of 5 (party of 5), we will be on a western caribbean cruise onboard  the Allure of the Seas for 7 days, we have  decided to booked via the RCI website the Atlantis Paradise resort in Nassau Bahamas,   and we book  externally through the resort itself on Cozumel, nothing on Costa Maya and Roatan Honduras, any travel advice and tips if we would go and explore Costa Maya and Honduras on our own, any safety tips for first time travellers. can't wait any longer for this once in a lifetime experience. Thanks in advanced.

 

Hello excited! First off, Allure is an amazing choice for your first cruise!  The ship itself is quite a destination. I recommend you visit the specific ports of call area of the forums for advice on these two destinations. You will find reviews already posted and you will attract better answers if you want to post specific questions. 

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/102-costa-maya/

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/15-roatan/

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Definitely agree with arriving a day early and staying overnight if at all possible.  Depending on where you live vs the cruise port flying out is ideal.  Our first cruise was last October and we decided to drive 16+ hours from Indiana to Orlando two days prior and and drove the final 3 hours the morning of embarkation.  Never again we were still recovering when we finally got to the ship.  never again.  You want to arrive at your ship well rested and ready to relax and enjoy your tropical vacation.  It's an experience you will never forget, and likely will be hooked as we were.  

 

Try not to over plan, focus on enjoying the moments and keep in mind that anything you may miss out on you can do on your next cruise.  Go with the flow, do what you want (within the rules of course :P) Experience new things.  You can do as much or as little as you want.  7 days is a good length of time you should have at least a couple sea days to explore the ship.  Our October cruise on the Victory was just 4 days and we had a blast but wished we could have had more time to explore.   We are also booked on the Breeze for an 8 day cruise in 2021.  

 

Treat the staff with respect and take time to interact with them, they work hard to make your vacation special, and they are away from their families for long stretches of time.  The interaction is welcome and makes them feel appreciated.  

 

Pay attention to time when in port. Ships time trumps local time if they say be back on board by a set time be there and good practice to be back a little early.  If your not on the ship when it's ready to leave it will leave without you.  You don't want to be one of those people running down the port watching their ship sail away.  That said on our cruise it did seem that they were a little lenient in this area as the ship didn't set sail right at the time just don't rely on that leniency.  

 

Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, and meds you think you'll need like motion sickness, aspirin, Tums, etc.  While you can buy on the ship it's marked up cause they know they got you.  Packing is a balance of bringing just what you need without over doing it.  Where that balance lies depends on the person.  One tip though is to plan versatile wardrobe that can be modified/accessorized to have variety. Plus you'll probably spend more time on the cruise in your swim wear than regular clothes, and you can wear the same outfit for multiple elegant nights again think versatility over quantity.  

 

Cruising has a learning curve and the best teacher is experience.  We learned things good and bad on our first cruise that we'll carry into our next cruise and so on.  

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On 4/14/2019 at 5:02 PM, caffeine_demon said:

why do the chairs they're sitting on appear to be vibrating?

Sorry it was one of our first tries to create a background and we were working out the kinks,  we hope it didn't deter you from getting  the information.  Have a good day!

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20 hours ago, KmomChicago said:

 

Hello excited! First off, Allure is an amazing choice for your first cruise!  The ship itself is quite a destination. I recommend you visit the specific ports of call area of the forums for advice on these two destinations. You will find reviews already posted and you will attract better answers if you want to post specific questions. 

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/102-costa-maya/

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/15-roatan/

 

 

Thank you KmomChicago..

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