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First Timmers Advice?


desertratts

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Our first cruise is coming up the first of June. Im just looking for any advice from all the pros out there. What to do and not to do, etc. We will be embarking on the 4 night Mexico cruise. Thanks in advance for any input!

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Our first cruise is coming up the first of June. Im just looking for any advice from all the pros out there. What to do and not to do, etc. We will be embarking on the 4 night Mexico cruise. Thanks in advance for any input!

Best advice is go and have a Great trip...leave your worries on land :D

Seriously do you have any questions..i'm not a pro by any means but i will try and answer any question's you may have. What cruise line are you taking and ship name . It helps to know so those who have sailed on your ship can answer and tell you what to expect.

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Lot's of information can be found here. I'd first direct you to check out whatever ship you're on. Go to the cruise line board for your ship and you'll find reviews and such. You can also plan your excursions and such by finding things you might be interested in at the Ports of Call boards. You can get to both of these by going to the main page of the boards, just click where it says boards at the top of this page, and then scroll down.

 

I'm sure it won't be your last cruise, it is an addiction! Have fun!:)

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Congrats on your first cruise ! Read-Read-Read ! There is so much to be learned on these boards. Understand that every single thing may not be perfect, and go exactly as you would prefer, but that doesn't have to make it bad, as that will only depend upon your attitude. Read your documents and contract. Get insurance if you haven't already.

 

Don't try to do everything every single day. Pick and choose and if possible try some things that you wouldn't normally do, as you may surprise yourselves and like it ! :) You can always do what you miss on your next cruise ! ;)

 

As someone else said, take half as many clothes and other things with you and twice as much money !!!

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Our first cruise is coming up the first of June. Im just looking for any advice from all the pros out there. What to do and not to do, etc. We will be embarking on the 4 night Mexico cruise. Thanks in advance for any input!

 

Hi desertratts,

 

Look at any of the Cruise Critic articles for good advice: http://www.cruisecritic.com/cruiseplanning/

 

You can trust these since they are here on Cruise Critic and have been well researched.

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Check in with the Roll Call for your particular sailing. Great way to meet some new friends before you even step foot on the ship. More than likely there will be many veteran cruisers on there as well to help with any questions you might have.

 

 

Congratulations on your first cruise. You'll have a blast.

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One additional piece of advice: have an attitude of flexibility. Things may not be EXACTLY as you expect. You may miss a port due to weather, engine problems, etc. Your favorite meal may not be available the night you want it.....Just remember one thing: your worst day on a cruise ship is better than your best day at work!!!

 

Oh, and do book shore excursions through the cruiseline (for your first cruise); especially if you've never been to those ports before. After a couple of cruises, you can start doing those "excursions" on your own.

 

OK, one more thing: try your best not to cry on your last day!! ;) I've been on 7 cruises so far (definitely not a veteran, but not a novice anymore either). And, EVERY time, they have to drag me, kicking and screaming, OFF the ship!

 

Happy Sailing!! :D

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Definitely research your ports of call so you know how you want to spend your time on land.

 

You can book excursions thru the ship or on your own. Or do nothing but walk around the town or lay on the beach. Whatever it is you want to do, have a plan. Time flies too quickly to waste it once you're there trying to decide what to do.

 

Easy on the shoe-packing.

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Thanks for all the info, it will all be put to good use. We had to book two rooms because there will be five of us going. Me, the misses, two girls (15 & 11) and grandma (Mom). Worth the extra room to have the kids stay in grandma's room ;) . We will be traveling with Royal Carribean on the Monarch of the Seas. The wife and I would like to get a massage while there. Any info on this, do you go together, are you in a room solo, etc.? Also ports of call will be San Diego, Catalina Island, and Ensenada Mexico. Anyone been to any of these? Whats a good off shore excursion? Again thanks for all the help, it should be a blast.

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I vote with 2Cruise4Ever: Go with the flow.

 

Regarding the spa: I haven't done a shipboard massage, but do be sure to check prices before you commit to anything. Everything at the spa/salon is very pricey.

 

Speaking of money, have a firm spending budget in mind before you go. (Not necessarily spartan, but have a good handle on it, whatever it is.) It's shockingly easy to rack up a big bill if you don't. I'd also advise a daily stop at the purser's desk, just to make sure you're staying on track money-wise. That way, your wonderful cruise won't be spoiled by a nasty surprise in next month's credit card bill.

 

One of my favorite tips (which I found on these boards): Every day, try a new food you've never had before.

 

Above all -- just enjoy being pampered, relaxing, seeing new things.

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Our first cruise is coming up the first of June. Im just looking for any advice from all the pros out there. What to do and not to do, etc. We will be embarking on the 4 night Mexico cruise. Thanks in advance for any input!

 

Well first off I am most definitely not a pro . . . only one cruise . . . but hoping to do many, many more.

 

However, before and during my cruise I learned a lot of things which might help you . . . many things already mentioned here in this thread, but worth repeating.

 

-- Trust me on this one . . . you will not need as many clothes as you think you will. My wife packed one bag. I ended up packing two bags . . . figuring that after a hot day on shore I would want to change, I might need additional shirts, etc. . . . in the end I probably only wore about half of the clothes I packed . . . guess I should have listened to my wife who kept telling me I only needed to bring one bag of clothes.

 

-- Have a budget in mind and try to stick with it . . . there's lots of temptations for all sorts of folks . . . alcohol, souvenirs, gambling, photos, etc. and they can all add up . . . my wife and I were pretty good, we bought some T-shirts and our on-board account had the tips billed to it, one soda and a How To Make Towel Animals Book (I'm still waiting to wake up some morning and find a Towel Monkey hanging in the shower though! :) ;)

 

-- RELAX . . . I cannot emphasize this one enough. It's a vacation . . . you do not need to do everything on board the ship or book as many excursions on shore. Save some things for the next cruise! My wife and I purposely did some tours to see the various islands . . . and then built in some days where all we had planned was a relaxing day at the beach.

 

-- Read these forums . . . I mean what can I say . . . the CruiseCritic.com forums are a wealth of information as to what to expect on the ship, what to possibly do on shore, who to book a tour with, what excursions are a bust, etc. Just a few of the things I learned from these forums . . . Where to go to get away from the crowds and see the sun set as we were pulling away from St. Kitts, Hooking up with some fantastic tour operators who really made the trip special, Discovering some hidden beach gems that suited our tastes, etc.

 

-- Have fun, smile and laugh . . . Don't expect perfection -- you're on vacation, you're not in heaven (although it may feel like it.) Don't worry about the little things in life (i.e. that your ship bathroom has a chipped pink countertop, your ship is going to be an hour late getting into port, the menu on Wednesday doesn't include prime rib, etc.) -- trust me on this one . . . unless it's a life-and-death emergency there are few things to get worked up about . . . I believe this to be true at home and I believe this to be true while on vacation. If you ever find things are not going as well as you may have expected take a look around, pinch yourself and realize that you're doing something that many Americans . . . many people in the world . . . will never get a chance to do . . . in fact, look at some of the countries you may visit and then realize just how fortunate you are . . . suddenly those little things in life seem just that -- little, trifling.

 

-- Try something new . . . whether it be a food, an activity, etc. My wife asked me the first day if I was embarassed to go swimming in public since I have quite the gut. While I told her I was a little concerned about being mistaken for a right whale and harpooned (and yes I am kidding), I also told her, "We're on vacation . . . Who here knows me and if someone really is bothered about how I look I wouldn't really care to know them anyway." If you go into a cruise with this attitude (and the attitude that you should still act respectably and stay legal and realize that you are representing America), then I say try something new and different . . . never been snorkeling -- go for it, never gone on an ATV -- go for it, never tried fried plantains -- go for it . . . my wife surprised me later on in our trip when she had a beachside massage . . . surprising since she has never, ever had a professional massage.

 

-- Talk. Talk to the locals. Talk to your fellow cruise passengers. Talk to your waiter, your steward, etc. You'll meet some great folks and learn a lot. On the first night I met a man who works at a Kraft Macaroni and Cheese factory -- and learned that they are cranking out mac and cheese 24-7 at three factories . . . and barely meeting the demand. Later on in the week we met Kevin and Heidi -- a young couple -- Heidi is studying to be a doctor and Kevin is studying to be an engineer -- we really enjoyed talking with them. Speaking with the locals is a great way to learn about a culture and about a country . . . the same goes for speaking with cruise staff . . . and incidentally, another good thing to remember is to treat everyone the same way you would like to be treated -- with respect. The cruise staff, the tour guides, etc. are not servants . . . they are professionals -- men and women making their way in this world with a respectable job.

 

-- Excursions. Do them. I am really glad that my wife and I booked several tours rather than go to the beach at every island. The reason we liked the tours was because it gave us a glimpse into life in another country, another culture. Yes, this was a vacation . . . but it was also a learning experience for us . . . that's not to say that you should do all tours though . . . sometimes it's nice to just spend a day snorkeling, swimming, driving a dune buggy, etc. I would also say to not be too concerned about booking independent tours vs. the tours offered by the cruise line . . . I am a worrier, but after reading through the cc.com ports of call I soon realized that there are some tour operators that will give you as good, if not better and cheaper tours than the ship . . . and they will get you back to the ship on time (usually well before the ship sails.)

 

Well, that's just things I learned both before and during the trip . . . oh yeah, I also learned that the capuchin monkeys at the St. Martin Park Zoo apparently find great joy in throwing rocks at people. :) ;)

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