I'm practically pulling my hair out! Please, all you veteran cruisers, email me with all the info and advice, you can think of! We are leaving on the Celebration, out of New Orleans to the Western Carribean(Montego Bay-Jamaica, Grand Cayman Island, Cozumel-Mexico), Sun., Sept. 17th. We need packing tips, tips for boarding, what to do on the ship, while at sea, What to do in each port, where to shop, eat, etc.? Please, HELP! Thanks, Tracy
Experienced cruisers usually do the following ..just as a matter of habit
1. Make sure you have the correct documents to leave and return to the USA
2. Research your destinations on the web along with the tours the first time around.
3. Attempt to board the ship prior to published boarding time..such as 1 hour.
4. Find your room briefly settle in . You will not get you luggage till later.
5. Find the tour sign up area or sheets and fill out asap. Many tours get sold out and if your first time you will most likely feel more confortable take a ship toour. In the future you will find some of the tours etc. cheaper on shore.
6. Go to Lido Deck and have lunch.
7. Familiarize your self with the ship working to your assigned dinning room.
Find your table & if not ok ..see thew head guy for a change if possible.
You can find the tours for your destination at carnival.com
On Grand Cayman MUST DO a Sting Ray Tour
try the following address for tours
check out the following web sites
Take the reviews with a grain of salt. You can't satisfy everyone all the time
Grand Cayman Shopping is expensive..best buy is Linen have you table size with you. Careful of traffic they drive on the opposite side of the road.
Pack a lunch from the ship via room service etc. ..is free food is expensive
Take disposable underwater cameras for the Sting Ray tour Snorkel and purchase it in the USA at half the cost. The shallow water model works perfect.
Cozumel ... Carlos'n Charlies for lunch + shopping down town
You will only use half the clothes you take with you!!!!
You will spend very little time in your room.
We have only been to Ocho-Rios in Jamaica. If you can take a tour to Dunn River Falls in Ocho-Rios and climb the falls its great ..take a old pair of tennis shoes or water socks to this.
Try a party boat here for the tour...or try at least one party boat on your cruise.
...First , Tracy ...Let go of your hair! Stop pulling it! Unless you are a male, and over 60 years old, fellow cruisers will stare at you if you're bald!
...I think that Mike, the last poster, hit the nail on the head with every on of his suggestions! Good job, Mike! There is very little to add. But, here's my two cents!
...There is absolutely no reason to go crazy over this cruise. Everything will fall into place. The very best memories I have of our early cruises is the "adventureous" feeling we got exploring the ship and trying to figure things out for ourselves! At that time, there was no such thing as CruiseMates or message boards! You were on your own! Late each evening, you will receive a copy of the "Carnival Capers" under your cabin door. Treat this as your Bible! Everything you'll need to know about the ship's onboard events for the next day are listed in that newsletter. Pack with you a yellow highlighter marker. Highlight all the things you want to do for that day. Also, save those Capers! Bring 'em home! They make great souveniers... and they are priced right (FREE!)
...Don't worry over what/when to eat, where to shop, what to do, tours to go on, etc. This will all fall into place once you get settled onboard. Another suggestion... Once you board and get to your cabin, drop off your things and get a bite to eat at the Buffet. Sit and take in the sites of the room, the people, out the windows...the atmosphere in general. Once you finish with your meal, check out the ship and get used to it. It's a shame some people wander around for three days before they figure out where they are going!
...And my ending comment. Don't try to do everything on this cruise. This way, you'll need to cruise again!
...Smooth Seas and a Gentle Breeze ...Doug
Hey, I am a first time cruiser, also. I go on my cruise in 2 weeks and 2 days. WOOOOHOOO!!!. I went to all of the sites mentioned and read the first time cruiser articles. Another great source is Fran Golden's book "The complete Idiot's guide to cruise vacations, 2000." I read it and felt like I understood what to expect a lot better. It wasn't just "these are the ships and how many passengers they hold." It was really great advice and explanations. My boyfriend laughed at me for being so "overly prepared", but I have never been on a cruise and it just helped my excitement and understanding. BTW, I caught him reading it for tips. hehehe. Have a great Cruise, I know I will.
Noticed a new article on cruising that our resident moose wrote. I think there are a lot of tips in there that would help you enjoy your cruise to the fullest. Go read it and don't sweat the small stuff, everything will be great, relax:-)
They are all correct. Remember that a cruise is 80% anticipation and 20% what you make of it. Read the attached article it will help.
What is it about a Cruise?
by Anne Campbell
Itís always the shipís horn that stops me in my tracks. It frequently catches me in the act of unpacking for the voyage ahead. This unforgettable sound is when the ties that bind me to land and my life back home begin to fray a bit. Racing to the top deck I peer over the side as sailors drop the thick coiled ropes, finally making hand signals to the bridge that the ship is all clear. Suddenly this gleaming white vessel slowly begins her horizontal slide from the pier and we majestically steam out of port.
This is the most magical moment of the voyage for me, the actual separation of the self that normally inhabits me and the self Iíll become for a week or so. My excitement level is so high I want to jump like a child with glee. I fully understand DiCaprioís euphoric outburst on the bow of Titanic. Weíre leaving for unknown adventures, to be revealed each day.
On the pool deck, passengers lift glasses of bubbly, dance or silently stare ahead, at the seas that carry this royally crafted vessel, designed to carry several thousand people 50 weeks per years for a duration of 30 years. By the time we have fully departed home port, I can almost see the person I was back home, sadly standing on the pier silently mouthing "bon voyage."
The myriad irritations and problems of life arenít resilient enough to follow me to any ship. The effect is akin to a deep massage, perhaps with a magic potion tossed in. I simply no longer care that the dry cleaner ruined my best dress, stupid mistakes at work havenít been corrected or even that I must eventually come home. Nor do I worry if my clothes are right, that Iíll fit in with other passengers or whether the food will be passable. For one week, Iíll be with like-minded folks who have cast-off everything but the joy at being carried away to new places.
The seas, oceans and rivers of the world offer cruisers so many choices. If you demand a place in the sun, then the Caribbean is your natural habitat, with its potpourri of colors and people and splendid tropical climate (and, should you ever tire, Hawaii or the South Seas might entice your senses). If youíre looking for adventure and wildlife, Antarctica, the Galapagos and Amazon beckon. If majestic scenery fills your soul with wonder, then you should sail through the southern tip of South America, Alaskaís Inside River or in and out of Norwayís saw-toothed fjords.
Serious scuba divers will love the Mexican Riviera on sailings from either the West Coast of Florida and our own eastern seaboard can be explored all the way from Florida to the rocky coastal islands of Maine. If you wish to stretch your mind, as well as your legs, in every port, the whole world is waiting for you. Those who love antiquities will be thrilled in Greece, Turkey, Israel and Egypt. If itís river life you like, try the small boats on the waterways of Europe, the paddle wheelers on the Mississippi and Ohio River and the barges along the Nile. You can be as enriched and fulfilled as you desire, or pursue each day at a sailís pace.
Don't forget the Sunscreen.....It will be HOT and Humid........all year round......
A clothes steamer comes in handy for wrinkeled clothes.....
In Jamacia....stay with a group......or take a tour...
It's beautiful but can be a littel seedy.........DO go to Dunn's River Falls.....even if you don't climb the falls.....
In Grand Cayman or Cozumel.....Do go Snokeling.....
I've heard the Stingray swim in Grand Cayman is fantastic......I was always a little afraid of them...but after reading quite a few posts about it.....I will be doing it on our next cruise this October
If you are a party animal......check out Carlo's N Charlies in Cozumel........it's a tradition.....
We also enjoyed the evening Mexican Folklore show in Cozumel
I enjoyed reading everyones ideas to help the first time cruiser. The planning and inticipation are 1/2 the fun. We are looking forward to our 3rd cruise February 2001. Traci, have fun and enjoy