Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

things you wish you would have known


swtheart107

Recommended Posts

My first cruise is coming up in a few weeks!! I have been browsing the forums and gathered a lot of good tips but I was just wondering if anyone has any things they wish they would have known for their first cruise? About anything meals, packing, etc. I am gathering that most overpack... I am going on a 7 day cruise with Carnival

Any help would be great!

Thanks!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish I'd known that I could (and would) re-wear shorts multiple times---slip them on for breakfast, then it's into a bathing suit for the rest of the day...those shorts will go to breakfast 3 or 4 times!

And I wish I'd know how nice breakfast is in the dining room, compared to the buffet--that's the only place we do breakfast anymore!

And I wish I'd know that the 1st drink they offer you when you board isn't complimentary---and it's rum-based...ick!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish I would have know to double check excursions booked with the cruise line on board. They cancelled something and didn't leave a message for me. I did get my credit card credited, but would have liked to have had a head's up that the excursion was cancelled.

 

I think this place has been great for tips from those who have gone before us! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish I'd known what a mob scene embarkation usually is. I'd have been better prepared for the "sardine syndrome." :eek:

 

Also, I wish I'd known to fly in at least a day early. I didn't miss the ship, but my luggage (on different flights due to delays) nearly did.

 

Caro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first cruise was on Mariner of the Seas shortly after the ship was launched. Anyway, I knew there would be formal nights but somehow I thought I could just avoid it and eat in the Windjammer. But what I didn't know is that 95% of the ship's passengers are dressed in formal attire and they are everywhere, in the halls, in the elevators, on the top deck, in all the lounges, casino and theater, etc.

 

There I was in knit capris and a t-shirt with sporty sandals and here is almost everyone beautifully attired. I felt so out of place and was miserable both formal nights.

 

From that time forward, I have always been appropriately attired--if not full out glamourously formal, at least cocktail attire. I never made that mistake again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first cruise, I was very happy with what all I did know. But, I wish I had known to do way more researching than I did. I did what got me through, but now, I know wayyyyyyyy more than I ever did. It truly helps to research till you just can research anymore. LOL

 

My husband wishes he knew not to party hardy the night before and then fly on an airplane and get on the ship. He still can't remember day one. He just remembers eating at the Lido deck and thats it. (He crashed out on the bed as soon as we got into the room - until the next morning. LOL)

 

Also, that I didn't need to pack everything but the kitchen sink in my shore excursion backpack. That thing was heavy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As others have said, don't pack so much. I've only been on 2 cruises and am leaving on one this week. I have a small carry-on and a bigger purse/tote bag. Swimsuits and "cover up" shorts for daytime and a couple sundresses for evening. We're on a 4-night cruise with just one formal night so that helps too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish I had known just to RELAX! This is a vacation and you don't have to do everything. In each port, we felt we had to do everything, see everything, take 2-3 excursions.

 

This exact reason is why I booked a 14-day B2B Alaska cruise instead of a 7-day like my first. More time for relaxation!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The two most valuable lessons I leaned about cruising:

 

1. Count on spending as much in cash as the basic cruise costs you. We thought we could get by on $500 cash after spending $1,500 on the cruise itself. We were short about $1,000! Ended up having to use a credit card... a lot!

 

2. Don't try to "get your money's worth" by attending every function on the ship possible and scheduling excursions back-to-back. Be happy doing a couple of things a day and focus on one big excursion or two small ones. Leave time for doing nothing and enjoying the scenery... even if it's the just sitting on your balcony or standing at the rail watching the sun set.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wish I wouldn't have packed sooooooo many clothes, I had heard you don't need that many clothes, but I didn't really listen and carried everything anyways. Next time I will probably take less than half the clothes I brought this trip.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RELAX!!!

 

On my first cruise I tried to do everything especially the first day because I was so excited. I got exhausted and sad thinking of what I didn't do. Just relax and treat yourself to a great vacation.

 

When you first get on the ship don't go running around like crazy to get to know where everything is. You have time for that. First, do the most important boring things, such as dinner reservations, shore excursions, unpacking and getting everything sorted. Only after that you can CALMLY walk around the ship and see everything but not do everything.

 

I guarantee you it will be an unforgettable vacation.

Enjoy!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish I had known how long it takes to disembark. I would have hung out by the pool, the dining room, or somewhere nice and relaxed instead of standing in line and chomping at the bit. If you aren't racing to catch a flight, why get caught up in the frenzy? live & learn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just got back from our first cruise, on Pride of America to Hawaii. Had a wonderful time in spite of a lot of rain.

 

What I learned:

 

1. Just like everybody else, I took too many clothes. Came home with 2 or 3 tops and two pairs of pants I never wore (during an 11-day vacation). And I thought I was being pretty conservative when I packed! Remember almost everything can be worn more than once.

2. Didn't take enough underwear. We didn't think about the fact that every day we'd be out on an excursion getting wet or dirty, then come home to shower and change before dinner. Didn't plan for changing twice a day! So we had to hand wash, which wasn't a big deal. Just a surprise.

3. Was really glad we took a small alarm clock with a lighted dial, so I could see it at night. Didn't use many of the other "just in case" items we took, but it would have been a minor disaster to need stuff and not have it.

4. Everything takes a lot longer than you think. I agree whole-heartedly with the poster above who said "don't over-plan". We did all the excursions we had paid for, but didn't do much else. There wasn't nearly as much down time as I had expected, and after a couple of days of excursions, I was so tired I welcomed the down time when we got it.

5. Our opinion about breakfast - at least on POA - don't bother with the sit down restaurants. Or if you do - stay away from the scrambled eggs. They still feed you the same mass-produced icky scrambled eggs they have on the buffet. At least with the buffet, you have a bigger selection and you can see what looks good before you order it.

6. For dinner, however - the sit down restaurants are much more pleasant and the food quality is MUCH better.

7. Apparently there is an off season for fruit in Hawaii. The fruit on this trip tasted as bad as the stuff we get in St. Louis. (Except for the pineapple, of course)

8. Average age on the cruise was probably at least 60. Not a place to meet young people! We met many lovely people, and we didn't care, but some might.

9. We were really glad we took an empty duffle bag with us. We didn't think we bought much stuff, but still managed to fill it up by the time we came home. Used the soft duffle bag for our dirty clothes, which freed up the suitcase for the souvenirs and stuff that we wanted to protect.

10. Use your sunscreen if you go to Hawaii. I swear, we had maybe 4 hours of sun all week, and I still managed to get a fairly good burn.

11. The other thing I was really glad I brought was the multiple-outlet extension cord. I used one that is actually made for xmas lights, so it has several receptacles equally spaced along the cord. That allowed us to plug in several battery chargers and cell phones at the same time. Probably my biggest luxury.

12. On that note - if you take a lot of pictures, be sure you take a lot of batteries and memory. I bought an extra battery and charger before this trip and was really glad I did. That way every day I could start out with two fully charged batteries in addition to the one in the camera. Never had dead battery issues to deal with.

13. Biggest thing - go on your vacation with the right attitude and you'll have fun whatever happens! We had no complaints about the ship or the employees. The only bad part was the weather, and we couldn't control that, so we considered it part of the adventure. But I confess I was a lot happier when the sun came out!

 

Can't wait to do another cruise.... ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish I had known that nice capris and a nice shirt were dressy enough for the dining room. And that the same black slacks with a different shirt every night was a whole new outfit as far as anyone was concerned. I took 5 different outfits including my formal night outfit. I wore the formal night and the black capris and all the rest went home clean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hello,

 

I just want to add this...enjoy the aesthetics of your cruise. Go out on deck and look at the sunsets and the Moon at night, and maybe there will be moonbeams on the ocean. Look at the stars.

 

my DW and I have always done this on our 27 cruises, and yet, it seems that so many just go for the food, entertainment, party, and so on. Nothing wrong with this but if you do not spend at least some time looking at the world around you when you are on a cruise ship, you will be missing much that make a cruise such a wonderful travel experience.

 

Fred

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hello,

 

I just want to add this...enjoy the aesthetics of your cruise. Go out on deck and look at the sunsets and the Moon at night, and maybe there will be moonbeams on the ocean. Look at the stars.

 

my DW and I have always done this on our 27 cruises, and yet, it seems that so many just go for the food, entertainment, party, and so on. Nothing wrong with this but if you do not spend at least some time looking at the world around you when you are on a cruise ship, you will be missing much that make a cruise such a wonderful travel experience.

 

Fred

 

Im definately looking forward to watching sunsets and seeing how the ocean looks with the moonlight!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance - Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise News
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...