Hi everyone....I am soooo excited, my husband and I are not only taking our first vacation sans children but out first cruise to boot. We leave from Norfolk Virginia (traveling with my sister and her husband who live in Norfolk) on March 14th to the Southern Caribbean on the Maasdam (HAL).
I'm wondering a couple of things, I am a big water drinker, have a bottle in hand at most times, can I bring bottled water on board? Also are you allowed to bring wine? Thought it might be nice to have some on hand for times when we're in the room for a bit. Also and this is where the dumb question comes in, do the cruise lines offer Splenda??? I don't like Equal or Sweet n Low and was wondering if I should bring some...What about toiletries, what can I expect to find in the bathroom????
First, congrats on your upcoming first cruise! And no kids to boot.. WOOHOO!
You can bring water and wine onboard, no problem. If you want them to serve your wine in the dining room they do charge a corkage fee. In cabin consumption, no charge.
Some cruise lines do carry Splenda and some don't. Not sure about HAL. A few months ago we were on a Carnival cruise, and they had it. Then soon after we sailed Princess (who Carnival owns, along with HAL) and they didn't have Splenda. So.. hopefully a HAL "expert" can answer the Splenda question accurately.
Sally, we have found that the water on the ship is very, very good, better than some bottled water yo buy in the store, no need to bring a large quantity aboard. Just bring a couple of bottles per person in your carry-on and re-fill it from the tap as needed. Keep it cold because the water from the tap is never cold.
You can call the cruise lines special services department and ask them if they stock Splenda.
Did you post your questions over on the HAL board? I am sure you will get plenty of responses from HAL "experts"
There are no dumb questions - we were all first-time cruisers at some point. The first cruise is awesome because you will be so full of wonder and excitement! I am not an expert cruiser (will be on our 7th cruise this Sunday!), but an important item of advice is if you need something or need a question answered, do not hesitate to ask while on the ship. Everyone working will be happy to assist you.
Before we started cruising, we vacationed in Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Destin, etc. and we still do occasionally - but both my husband and I agree that a cruise is better. It is the only time I feel totally pampered, and I haven't even done a spa treatment yet!
Everyone on CruiseMates was very helpful to me when I was preparing for our first cruise - I am so fortunate to have found this website in 2000.
Pam in Kentucky