It started innocently enough, choose an itinerary, research a cruise line, and pick a ship. But soon my head was spinning, inside, outside, balcony, suite. I needed more, photos were not enough, I needed 360 degree views. I wanted the exact dimensions of the cabin, its precise distance to the nearest elevator and how many decibels of sound I should expect at midnight. What was the water pressure in the bathroom? Was there a hairdryer and if so did it really blast or only puff? So began my journey into the underworld of message boards and chat sessions.
Next came the compulsive disorder...I continually rifled through my wardrobe arranging and rearranging into formal nights, casual day wear and suitable "layers" for Alaska.
Then came the voices.."That little black dress in the boutique window is perfect for the first formal night...No, you must remember the air conditioning in the dining room is very cool...True, but I could add a wrap". I watched the lady in front put air freshener into her trolley. "Is she aware of how many complaints the cruise lines receive about toilets? Does she know it is advisable to bring your own air freshener on a cruise?"
Next came the social problems. My husband was the first to complain but this was easy to dismiss. He is a golf fanatic and I have lost count of his stories beginning "There I was on the first tee". No, I did not have a problem, this was poetic justice. However soon I was barraging friends and acquaintances with unsolicited packing tips. Did they save the plastic from dry cleaners? If not, why not, were they crazy?
At last I realized I had a problem, but too late. The saddest part to my story is that even now I have not stepped foot on a cruise ship. And I blame you all at Cruisemates, with your posting of happy cruise photos, with your cries of "you'll love it" following by sinister little smiley faces, with your excursion tips and cruise-cam links. My first cruise is booked in September, but now I search anywhere and everywhere in hope a might find a cheap "fix" before then, because I don't think I can last that long.
I just read this to my husband and he thought I wrote it! I can totally relate - I drive everyone crazy when I am getting ready to cruise.
Enjoy your first cruise and I am sure you will be truely addicted!!!
After chatting with you last night, and now reading this-just TOO FUNNY!
You must keep us entertained until you go, you are priceless!
(then write about it, when you return). Have a wonderful cruise, and we will be chatting soon, Iam sure.
Cher, Friday Night WC Chat Host
So glad you found us, loved your story and you are welcome anytime in our chat. We'd love to help you get through this horrible waiting time, we all know how it is, can't wait to hear about your Alaska cruise :-)
Loved your post. I laughed so hard while reading it - my husband ran into the room to see what was so funny. He was very amused also cause he knows I get so much info and helpful cruise hints from these boards now. Don't know how we ever made it through all our many previous cruises before finding Cruisemates and some other similar sites. Please keep on posting to let us know how you are preparing for your first cruise.
I LOVE your posting! You're now an official member of the CruiseMates Addicts Forum. You sound just like me when trying to decide which outfites to take -- oh well, I'll just take everything! The problem with a big suitcase is that you think you have to fill the darn thing.
Yes, save the dry cleaning bags. Nothing will wrinkle if you put your clothes inside.
No need for an iron or steamer here.
My next piece of advice -- if you're flight to the port, go a day early. It will give you at least one extra day of relaxation aboard ship. You'll board unfrazzled and rested. Everyone else will need the first day to relax from the flight.
Mercury, 21st September, Alaska. Going with my sister-in-law, Leonie and daughter, Nicki. Understand the weather is risky, but the only time we could all get off work. We have one night Vancouver pre-cruise and will have a few days after (still haven't decided where). Thanks Anne for the "rest" tip, but I have learnt from previous adventures with Leonie to plan on 4 hours maximum per night. Even if we go to bed early, we sit up talking about all the fun we had during the day. (As Leonie still has not discovered this board, I call tell you she is a "nut case". I pity the poor people in the next cabin).
We still have some questions about shore excursions, I'll post them on the "Alaska" board in the next few days. Thanks to everyone for your kind words and all the help you have given so far. Dale.
Great post! I returned from the Voyager in March, my first cruise. And as I signed on to my computer this morning, I screamed I need a vacation. I'm sure my husband thought I was crazy. But if I don't get a cruise fix soon, he may be in trouble. I should have our cruise paid off by end of summer and then I'm going to plead w/ him to cruise again.