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-   -   Tips for new and seasoned cruisers (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/all-things-cruising/315435-tips-new-seasoned-cruisers.html)

Iluv2cruise June 10th, 2006 03:39 PM

Tips for new and seasoned cruisers
 
I compiled this list for a first time cruiser and thought some of you might be able to add to the list.

Tips:

East as many meals as you can on the ship. Food on the Islands is expensive.

Bring baggies to bring snacks on your days off the ship

Shore Excursions are expensive- you will be doing this again so don’t try and do everything on one trip. Save time for relaxation.

Sign up for the Ice show the first day if you want to see it because the tickets will sell out (free venue on RCCL)

Bring an illuminated travel clock. Inside rooms have no window, hence no light

Make sure the kids wear sun screen…buy it here in bulk. They will roast in the Caribbean sun.

On sea days, people get up early and save lounge chairs by the pool by tossing a towel or book on a chair. If you want to be by the pool on these days get up early or find a nice quiet spot in another area of the ship.

Each day you will be given a schedule of events. Bring it with you so that you can take advantage of a few unique items.

Tipping is extra and is expected on the last evening of the cruise. Typically this adds about $10.00 PP per day to the cost. They will give you little tip envelopes the evening before so make sure you have small bills which you can get at the casino or the bank. There is an ATM on the ship too.

Room service is free!!

rescuedad June 12th, 2006 11:46 AM

I have heard many times about saving chairs at the pool. This is my first cruise what time should you be out there to reserve a couple of lounge chairs and if you don't get any because they are taken how long do you usually have to wait to get one?

Fern June 12th, 2006 08:09 PM

Hi rescuedad,

In our experience, unless you just HAVE to have a chair right next to the pool, there will be plenty to go around.

Some people will start saving chairs as early as 7 AM :shock: .

IMO, it's just not worth it! We've never been on a cruise where all the chairs were taken. You may be a few rows back or even on the deck above the pool deck, but there will be chairs available!

Just our experience :) !

Cruz Crazy June 12th, 2006 09:22 PM

Re: Tips for new and seasoned cruisers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Iluv2cruise
I compiled this list for a first time cruiser and thought some of you might be able to add to the list.

Tips:

East as many meals as you can on the ship. Food on the Islands is expensive.

Bring baggies to bring snacks on your days off the ship

Shore Excursions are expensive- you will be doing this again so don’t try and do everything on one trip. Save time for relaxation.

Sign up for the Ice show the first day if you want to see it because the tickets will sell out (free venue on RCCL)

Bring an illuminated travel clock. Inside rooms have no window, hence no light

Make sure the kids wear sun screen…buy it here in bulk. They will roast in the Caribbean sun.

On sea days, people get up early and save lounge chairs by the pool by tossing a towel or book on a chair. If you want to be by the pool on these days get up early or find a nice quiet spot in another area of the ship.

Each day you will be given a schedule of events. Bring it with you so that you can take advantage of a few unique items.

Tipping is extra and is expected on the last evening of the cruise. Typically this adds about $10.00 PP per day to the cost. They will give you little tip envelopes the evening before so make sure you have small bills which you can get at the casino or the bank. There is an ATM on the ship too.

Room service is free!!


I can elaborate a little further with your tips.

Eat in the off hours to avoid the crowds. So much more relaxing.

Instead of eating on shore, buy something that island/port specializes in. Ex: Mexican vanilla, Guava liquor, mango run, etc.

Snacks is a good idea, I always forget to bring that. Pack a nylon tote to carry everything in. And don't forget the napkins or wipies.

Insides cabins are very dark. Bring a small flashlight, in case you have to get up in the middle of the night. Don't put anything in the way that you might trip on at night.

Make sure you put your sunscreen on about 2 hours before. It takes that long for it to effectively work.

I avoid the pool on sea days. I stay on at some ports and enjoy it then.

I bring a highlighter pen and mark the things I want to do on the itinerary. I usually do this the night before in bed.

I make my own tip envelopes at home and put the cash in them. I figure it out with my calculator and put a post-it on who it belongs to i.e., waiter, cabin attendant etc. When I get my official envelope, I just transfer it and write a thank you on the front with my name and cabin/table number.

richstacy June 12th, 2006 10:32 PM

Please, don't hesitate to try exotic foods off the ship. But in third world countries, leave uncooked vegetables and the water alone. Drink beer instead.

Saving chairs at the pool? We've been on 14 or 15 cruises and have yet to save a chair. Wow! talk about type A.

chibertb June 18th, 2006 10:12 AM

For you new to cruising.....in reference to saving chairs early in the morning....

Let's put it this way, when I eventually get to the pool area and notice towels, books, etc. laying on lounge chairs for over a 1/2 hour, they will be moved so I can enjoy that spot now. I was going to say that I would throw the stuff overboard but that is a little too drastic (but you get my point).

scott a steele June 18th, 2006 03:29 PM

HERE HERE ...over board may be harsh, but definatly move it...
never thought of that...

Will June 19th, 2006 10:01 AM

I remove seat savers stuff just for the heck of it....but VERY neatly.....Hate chair hogs

rescuedad June 26th, 2006 10:21 AM

I've heard mention of moving peoples stuff a few times on here. So tell me how you have handled when people come looking for their chair.

blueliner June 26th, 2006 11:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rescuedad
I've heard mention of moving peoples stuff a few times on here. So tell me how you have handled when people come looking for their chair.

Even though the rule is 30 minutes on RCCL, I have waited in the pool for about an hour then I will move peoples stuff off the chairs. Every time when they come back, they pick up their stuff without a word and leave.

Barb Nahoumi July 22nd, 2006 05:50 PM

Many cruiselines such as NCL, add the $10.00 per day per person gratuity to your on-board account. You don't have to worry about whom to tip, unless you choose to give extra to deserving crewmembers.

Room service is free. But, you might want to tip the delivery person a buck or two.

Always fill out the comment card at the end of your cruise. These are read by management. Your comments might determine which crew members receive promotions. Negative comments for poor service, or suggestions for improvements are also important.

Barb

gerif July 24th, 2006 03:44 PM

"Bring baggies to bring snacks on your days off the ship "

Absolutely NOT permitted at most ports - you will see notices in your daily bulletin to not take food off the ship. This is a rule of the country you are visiting, not the cruiseline. If caught, your food will be confiscated and you may be fined. Fruit, meat, cheese, etc., are especially verboten.

Prepackaged snacks (boxed cereal, granola bars, etc.) are permitted.

Mike M July 24th, 2006 04:41 PM

Add the $10 pp/per day tip charge on your onboard account. This eliminates the need for divide up the cash into each envelope at the end of the cruise and it helps the staff keep their tips. If someone goes above and beyond you can give them extra in a separate envelope.

Don't deny yourself the chance to sample the local food just stay away from the local water, ice and fruit. Drink bottled water, boiled tea, coffee, soda and beer. Also make sure all foods are well cooked.

In over 100 ports I have yet to be inspected for fruit or food but I would advise that you do not bring anything that contains mayonnaise, cheese or any dairy product, just for safety.

When going ashore only take what you need. Your ships card, one credit card an ATM card a small amount of cash, a copy of your passport and/or a photo ID. Use your credit card for larger purchases and if you need more use the ATM.

Also have an emergency $50 and the cruise line's shore representative's number and address tucked somewhere in case you need it. Pinned to the underwear or in the bra is a great place. LOL


Plan your excursions BEFORE you go on the cruise. Nothing ruins a day in port worse than getting off and saying "What do we do now?" You only have a few hours, make the most of it. Unless you are the type that enjoys that sort of thing. :wink:

Don't try to do everything: Leave time to relax.

Take care,
Mike

gambitscuba July 30th, 2006 03:25 AM

Become friends with your Maitre'D and your Waiters... they will go to the ends of the earth to make sure you are contented if they like you... also.. it's always good to become friends with the waiter, because he will make your dining experience ever so much better... I had a waiter named Hakan Demircan (see he was soo amaizing i remember his full name) on the Explorer of the Seas July 06... and that fellow was a cad... he would come to the table... do magic tricks... tell jokes... he even pulled a "whale joke" that had four or five tables around us looking out into the ocean searching for the non-existing whale...

the Maitre'D's are always trying to find ways to better your dining experience... they are there for you... this past trip on the doomed voyage of the Infinity... my Maitre'D Mario helped me pull a prank involving giving a picture of Batman Bear to one of my table mates several times during the week...

Life working on a cruise ship is hard.. especially on the wait and cleaning staff.. i know waiters only get 1 lunch a week off... So when they have people at their tables who joke around with them... they usually (because i have had one that didn't) enjoy getting the chance to joke...

but if this is the case... and your waiters and maitre'd has provided excellent service above the regular... than the typical tip... is not substantial...

Lightsluvr July 30th, 2006 07:22 AM

ATM Warning
 
Even if your ATM card is a VISA, you are taking a risk by using your card off the ship, especially in Mexico. There are phony ATMs scattered around that take your card and PIN info, and then show "Out of Order", dispensing no cash. Before you can sneeze, the owners of these phony ATMs start cleaning out your bank account.
If you must use an ATM, use the one onboard your ship. Better yet, if you need cash, you can get it at the casino cashier and put it on your shipboard account. This way, you avoid the hefty ATM fee.

I agree with above poster. Don't take food off the ship. There are signs at the gangway warning you, and they don't apear to be "suggestions"!

LL

gambitscuba July 30th, 2006 04:41 PM

i walked off one ship with an apple i was eating... local authorities insisted that I walk right back on and throw it away...


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