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Frist Time Cruiser!!- HELP


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Hey Everyone,

 

Pleasure to be joining you all on the site...I've been reading up a ton, but figured I'd just post some of my questions and concerns for my FIRST CRUISE!! setting sail tomorrow.

 

I'll be taking RCL Serenade of the Sea from San Juan tomorrow with my family (younger brother, mom and dad...I'm a 22 y/o male).

 

I'm generally a really organized traveler, but I feel very unprepared for this. My parents have cruised before, and they just told me what to make sure I have packed and they seem to have the mindset that everything else will be taken care of on the fly!

 

I'll preface that I know some of these questions may be armature and reiteration of some things I have read here, but please forgive me...It really is just paranoia at this point.

 

I'll just list out a bunch of concerns/questions and if you can answer any or all of them I would be muchhh appreciated.

 

1. We are landing in San Juan tomorrow around 1pm....Ship sets sail at 10pm....is that enough time to get there? Weather should be okay so I don't expect delays, but I'm still really worried.

 

2. Raffles/events/ship sports teams....how do I find out about them/join?

 

3. What's the best way to plan trips at the island stops? My friend directed my to shoretrips.com. I heard the boat reservations were expensive? Is there any risk to just waiting until we hit the island and bargaining when we get there?

 

4. Whats the take on the "drink plans"? None of us drink alcohol (don't know if that changes anything)

 

5. Whats the dining situation? What meals are included? How/when do you dine when your docked? Any recommendations for this ship?

 

6. Besides the captain night/s, is there a dress code at dinner? Do I need khakis for other events/occasions?

 

7. Recommended night life activities for a 22 year old? haha

 

Anyyyyyything else you may be able to tell to help?!?!

 

Like I said, any and all responses are MUCH appreciated.

 

Thank you for taking the time to help.

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Hey Everyone,

 

Pleasure to be joining you all on the site...I've been reading up a ton, but figured I'd just post some of my questions and concerns for my FIRST CRUISE!! setting sail tomorrow.

 

I'll be taking RCL Serenade of the Sea from San Juan tomorrow with my family (younger brother, mom and dad...I'm a 22 y/o male).

 

I'm generally a really organized traveler, but I feel very unprepared for this. My parents have cruised before, and they just told me what to make sure I have packed and they seem to have the mindset that everything else will be taken care of on the fly!

 

I'll preface that I know some of these questions may be armature and reiteration of some things I have read here, but please forgive me...It really is just paranoia at this point.

 

I'll just list out a bunch of concerns/questions and if you can answer any or all of them I would be muchhh appreciated.

 

1. We are landing in San Juan tomorrow around 1pm....Ship sets sail at 10pm....is that enough time to get there? Weather should be okay so I don't expect delays, but I'm still really worried. Too late to change, but you should be fine. The pier is anly 10 - 15 mins.

 

2. Raffles/events/ship sports teams....how do I find out about them/join?You will get a daily program that lists all of the activities, times, meals, etc.

 

3. What's the best way to plan trips at the island stops? My friend directed my to shoretrips.com. I heard the boat reservations were expensive? Is there any risk to just waiting until we hit the island and bargaining when we get there? It really depends on what you want to do. The only real caution I have is to make sure you know what time you must be back on board. They will leave without you. There are usually some tours you can arrange right on the pier, or you can still book with the Shorex desk on board.

 

4. Whats the take on the "drink plans"? None of us drink alcohol (don't know if that changes anything) Sorry ... I only drink alcohol LOL

 

5. Whats the dining situation? What meals are included? How/when do you dine when your docked? Any recommendations for this ship? All meals are included, with a nominal surcharge at the specialty restaurants (Portofinos) Iced Tea and similar is included. Soda and wine, etc are extra

 

6. Besides the captain night/s, is there a dress code at dinner? Do I need khakis for other events/occasions? Look in your (or your parents documents, they describe it there. Most nights are resort casual in the Main Dining room, with 2 Formal nights and maybe a "semi-formal" (sports coat - no tie required). The buffet is casual for all meals

 

7. Recommended night life activities for a 22 year old? haha I'm a tad older, I leave that up to you

 

Anyyyyyything else you may be able to tell to help?!?!

 

Like I said, any and all responses are MUCH appreciated.

 

Thank you for taking the time to help.

 

See above. Have a great cruise

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Each night you will receive a daily list of the activities the following day, so this might give you a few things to do.

 

I am a only a little older than you, but I was cruising in early 20s and can promise you there are things to do. I believe the first night or so they have a little get togethers for people to meet and possibly hang out with the rest of the week.

Hottubs are sometimes open at night

There should be a nightclub on board

There are sometimes late night comedy acts that aren't appropriate for kids

There is a game called Quest played one night which tends to be nowhere G rated

The casino

 

I can tell you that I was never bored when I was in my late teens and early 20s (granted they were on other lines, but still not too different from Royal).

 

I think the only thing you might want to be watchful of the addiction. I am 33 and I have taken 9 cruises (not with family, only friends) since the time I was 20.... the one next week will be #10, I have one already booked for next year and my husband and I are already talking about doing Europe in the later part of next year.

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1. Plenty of time to get to the ship, check-in and maybe even check out Old San Juan before the ship sails! My first cruise was out of San Juan at 10pm. We got to the ship, checked in and spent time in Old San Juan.

 

2. There's a printed guide called the Cruise Compass that has all of the information about the events on the ship. I take along a highlighter so I can mark the activities that I'm most interested in.

 

3. I usually book my shore trips in advance. Sometimes with the cruise line and sometimes on my own. I've only waited until I got to the island to find something to do once and it actually worked out very well. I don't think there's a wrong way to enjoy the islands.

 

4. I got the soda package on my last cruise for the whole family (4 of us). I plan on getting them again when we go in August. If you drink a lot of soft drinks (and I do) it's worth it. I'm told that you need to drink 3+ sodas per day to make buying the package worth it. I'll have a coke instead of coffee so, I basically have at least one soft drink with each meal. If I get another while at the pool or during the evening show, then the package pays for itself.

 

5. The only food that is not included is what is in the specialty restaurants. The dining room runs even when the ship is docked as well as the Windjammer Cafe (the buffet). I've wanted to try the Chops Grille (and I've heard very good things about it).

 

6. Other than the formal nights, I usually wear slacks and a shirt w/ a collar (no jacket).

 

7. The 22 year old will have plenty of night life activities. I was single and in my early 20s when my brother and I went on our first cruise. We ended up meeting these four lovely young ladies who were also in their 20s. We'd hang out in one of the bars or nightclubs. When we weren't hanging out with our new friends, there was the casino, the evening stage shows or a comedian or something to do.

 

I'm sure you'll have a great trip. Please post a review after you return.

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I recommend reading these sites:

RCCL's: what to know before you go http://www.royalcaribbean.com/beforeyouboard/travelGuidelines.do;jsessionid=0000U6AYbzugStRbaGu92811SDr:12hdhu6tq?cS=NAVBAR

 

Cruise Critic: First Time Cruisers: http://www.cruisecritic.com/ftc/

 

By the way, while in San Juan, definitely walk downtown old san juan, the city walls, and consider one of the forts: Cristobel or El Morro. All within walking distance.

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