Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Deals. Cruise Questions and Answers! > All Things Cruising
Register Forgot Password?

All Things Cruising Any cruise question not specific to one cruise line

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:26 AM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 11
Default First time

I have spent 12 years trying to talk my wife into going on a cruise. I want to go on a cruise to Alaska buy I think that will have to wait till next year. It is just going to take more advanced planing to get a baby sitter for the kids than I have. But I have a number of questions.

First my wife has never been on a boat at all. Would it be a good ideal to consider taking her on a short 3 or 4 day cruise before getting her on a boat for full week cruise? This trip if we be to just get an Ideal of what we are in for. I am not going to go to Alaska Unless I can afford to do all the things I want to do.

Second could someone please explain the whole Tipping thing. It is very confusing to me. I know they have the automatic daily tip which is really a service charge. I don't like that being called a tip but that is another story. But I don't mind tipping people that work hard. Exactly which people to you tip on the cruise?

Third does anyone know a good travel agent in Memphis, Tn or Tupelo, MS? I live in Oxford, MS from what I can tell you want one you can trust but I am not from this area so I don't know anyone that has gone on a cruise. I have already figured out from the board it is best to have one but I want one I can sit down and talk with that way I will feel better about what I am buying.

Fourth. I have read were people have suggested getting a few books on cruising to read. Any suggestions for Alaskan cruises and just cruising in general?

Also and this may be the most important to me I haven't picked a cruise line that I want to go on yet. I sort of like the ideal of non formal dinners and not being told what time I have to eat dinner. At the same time my wife would like the formal dinners. Do any of the lines offer both.


I am sure I will have more questions. Planning a cruise is much more difficult to understand than planning a land based trip.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2008, 06:33 PM
richstacy's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Denver Colorado, USA
Posts: 1,413
Default

Actually Kevinexile, It's a ship, not a boat.

A seven day cruise is pretty short so there is probably no real advantage to taking a three day one to warm up. It couldn't hurt though.

The main thing on any Alaska cruise is the scenery. That is included in the price of the cruise.

A couple of things worth the price in excursions in port: The train ride from skagway to the White horse summit, about 4 hours round trip. A chopper ride to the Mendenhall glacier. at Juneau. Most of all though, be prepared to relax and enjoy the scenery on the ship!

You tip your room steward, and you waiter and his assistant. Other than that, you may decide that you want to give a tip to a bartender you especially like or someone who has been especially helpful. you will get plenty of guidance on the policy from the cruise line in advance.

General advice:
Fly a day early so there is no chance of missing the ship.
Get a stateroom with a balcony (verandah) if you can afford it.

As for books, I'm sore some of the Cruisemates staff will have some recommendations, but just go to Barnes and Noble or Borders and go to the travel section and browse. You will find a good book on Alaska cruising and cruising in general.
Bon Voyage
__________________
RichStacy
Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.

Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
Golden Princess
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd, 2008, 07:23 PM
CruzNut's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Tampa Bay area
Posts: 2,011
Default

I'd recommend Princess cruise lines as they are the only ones who have what is called Traditional Dining (assigned tables for either early or late dining) or Anytime Dining. If you get the Traditional, you can go to Anytime but not the other way around ... and Traditional is often filled up sooner so the earlier you book the better. I prefer Traditional because you get to know your dining partners and the wait staff gets to know you.

As to tipping, believe all the ships have the automatic tipping policy now. Go with the flow and just do it. You do NOT have to tip extra ... except for room service which you should. As for the bartenders/bar servers, don't add anything - 15% is automatically added to every bill and that's plenty.

And, for Travel Agents - you don't have to have a local one to get great service and prices. I highly recommend Nancy who handles a great many of the CruiseMates special cruise trips. She'll get back to you right away by phone and email. Just check out the CruiseMates special trips (link is on the home page) for her info - including her web site. Not allowed to put that info here.

I'd recommend you go to your local AAA office and ask for some of the ship brochures for the various parts of the world - Caribbean would be a good one to start. You do NOT have to be a member of AAA to access this service.

As to formal nights - Princess's 2nd formal night always features a champagne waterfall about 11 PM - they stack over 600 champagne glasses and then pour champagne down them. If your wife would like, she could pour some, too.

Good luck! And, happy cruising!
__________________

I cruise the Emerald Princess, Eastern Caribbean on April 16, 2012
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old February 3rd, 2008, 12:55 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Posts: 97
Default Re: First time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinexile
First my wife has never been on a boat at all. Would it be a good ideal to consider taking her on a short 3 or 4 day cruise before getting her on a boat for full week cruise?
Carnival has a few of these, usually to the Bahamas. But let me say this, Alaska, departing from Vancouver, is the ideal First cruise. There will be a ton of first-timers onboard. You will be in the Inside Passage most of the way, which is like sailing on a farm pond. If you do a one-way, there is one day that you will cross the Gulf of Alaska. Bonine usually works if it is too rough, though you may have a smooth crossing. If it does get rough, you can always go to bed. (that's what I do)
If you sail out of Seattle, you will spend more time on the open ocean.



Quote:
Second could someone please explain the whole Tipping thing. It is very confusing to me.
All cruise lines use non-US employees and pay them a subsistence wage. Tipping is intended to raise their income to acceptable levels. Most of them send money home (Philippines, Indonesia, Romania, etc).
Auto-tipping is intended to equalize the tips between those you see (cabin stewards, waiters, etc) and those you do not see (bus boys, cooks, laundry people).
Leave the auto tip alone. If you remove it and tip directly, the person you tip has to turn it in to the auto-tip pool for distribution amongst everyone.
If you leave it alone and then tip extra to a deserving person, that person can keep it.


Quote:
Third does anyone know a good travel agent in Memphis, Tn or Tupelo, MS?
You will likely learn more from reading these boards than from most TAs. After you decide what you want from reading here, then find a Ta and have him/her get what you want.

Quote:
Fourth. I have read were people have suggested getting a few books on cruising to read. Any suggestions for Alaskan cruises and just cruising in general?
If you book Princess (which I would recommend highly), you can buy their Alaska Cruise Companion, which is a mile by mile description of your cruise. In addition they will have a naturalist on board who will keep you apprised of where you are and what you are seeing in real time. (whales, whales, whales!!)

Quote:
Also and this may be the most important to me I haven't picked a cruise line that I want to go on yet. I sort of like the ideal of non formal dinners and not being told what time I have to eat dinner. At the same time my wife would like the formal dinners. Do any of the lines offer both.
Princess, Princess, Princess....tho you will have one formal night. If you cannot do formal night you can eat on the lido deck, which is a fabulous buffet. Princess has both 'anytime' dining and traditional dining, for your choice.
__________________
Carnival Spirit 2003 (Caribbean)
Carnival Fascination 2004 (Caribbean)
HAL Noordam 2004 (Norway)
Celebrity Horizon 2005 (Caribbean)
Sun Princess 2006 (Caribbean)
Diamond Princess 2007 (Alaska)
Carnival Splendor 2008 (Mediterranean)

Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Time between flight arrival and Cruise departure time Paula Rae All Things Cruising 4 June 2nd, 2009 01:00 PM
Mexican Riviera Time Zones and Ship's Time rhaber Holland America 2 April 28th, 2007 08:33 AM
Daylight saving time April 2nd and Carnival ship time help! buffetfan2004 Carnival Cruise Lines 1 February 8th, 2006 09:33 AM
Port Canaveral...Debark Time/Safe Flight Time? aagglaser Carnival Cruise Lines 2 April 5th, 2003 01:09 PM
November 30th - Is it a good time/bad time?? meisha Chit - Chat for Cruisers 11 March 27th, 2002 02:10 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:42 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1