this was our first cruise in June. pack half of what you want to take. there is shampoo and soap dispensers in the showers so unless you have to have a certain brand, leave those items at home and save the space for your goodies.
Rule number 1 - pack a good attitude. Mine is, if I don't have to plan it, shop for it, prepare it and clean up after it.....it is wonderful!!! Short of the ship sinking, I will never have a bad cruise.
Remember that the Holiday is the oldest ship and it does not have the atrium, so don't be disappointed. We have sailed her many times (and are going out again with her in October) and she is great.
Take about $50 in 1 dollar bills. This is good for tipping the luggage handlers at the dock, and tipping for room service. Usually just $1 unless you order a lot and then I tip $2.
Remember that in Mexico, their prices will be in pecos (about 10%)...so if you order one drink and the bill is $50.00...don't panic....it is only about $5.00.
Go and do everything.....you can sleep when you get back home!!!
Take lots of pictures.
Holiday is a small ship and this is hurricane season, so don't let any changes in the route through you. Also, I take one Bonine every morning (got it at Walmart)...whether I need it or not. That way I am set for the day and if the seas do get a little rougher I can always take another one. It does not make me sleepy.
Get to know your cabin steward and wait staff at your tables. Ask about their countries and families. They are a long way from home and in some cases have not seen their families in months. The vast majority loves to talk about them. If you don't understand every word...so what.
If you like to sing karaoke and you have your own cds....take them. The selection on the ships varies greatly and those that are sung a lot may be worn out and not replaced.
If they have the Guest Talent Show and you want to sing, you can bring your own accompaniment (yes they can use karaoke cds...just know the words won't show up anywhere...so you have to know your lyrics) If you want to play an instrument, (like a guitar etc) bring it with you. The instruments on board belong to the band members and understand that they do not share for obvious reasons.
Read your Capers every evening to get a feel for the activities of the next day.
If you want more than one entree at dinner...order it. If you want 2 appetizers and no salad or three desserts ..... whatever combination...order it. (just don't waste food)
If you don't understand what something is on the menu .... ask.
Their soups are very good. Their desserts are very good. If you are a beef eater....I can tell you that at dinner all the beef will be good, except the New York Strip. It will be dry and tough. I have eaten it on 11 different ships and it is always the same. But then I eat my beef well done.
Relax at your Mexican ports. Cozumel is a hoot and very safe. The taxi drivers have never tried to charge us more than the posted rates at the port. The charge is for the whole taxi, not per person.
Did not mean to write a book....hope some of that helps.