What are some of your best tips for other cruisers......in regards to shore excursions, ports, great places on a particular ship that know one knows about, packing, etc.
Any great tips to share with other newbies and the veterans.
BE POLITE! Doesn't matter if it is other pax or the crew. Some people think of the crew as "the help" and treat them as lower class. This is just unacceptable. Treat them kindly. Treat them with respect, say good morning, or good evening. Ask how they are doing. I imagine that most are ignored or treated poorly. They are away from their families months at a time and work 14 and 16 hour days - 7 days a week.
Remember also, you are on vacation. Don't be in hurry to do anything, just relax. We rush around in our everyday lives and never stop and smell the roses.
Hi: I think having the two way radios so that you can explore on your own and still be able to meet up for a rum runner at a momnets notice is great. I think being able to track your kids down has to be a positive too.
Another thought - Arrive ON TIME for dinner. Your tablemates are waiting for you, as is your waiter. If you will not be there, then inform someone at your table, or the maitre d sometime beforehand, so your tablemates can be served promptly.
Boomer - those radios are great as long as you are not worried about your kids setting one down and losing it. Ours were almost $100 each (we use them at the racetrack - so we needed really good ones). I wouldn't want to replace on of those. Also I found that mine had more fun not worrying about keeping up with one and we had a meeting time set up around noon (just to see how things were going) and then they were to meet at the cabin in time to dress for dinner. The noon meeting only lasted two days. It was interfering with the tournaments they were in, (shuffleboard, water basketball, etc). One other point is that ships are made of metal and sometimes the reception is terrible and other times, you are on other people's signal. For communication between adults, we left voice messages on the phones or post it notes on their doors.
Key Cards (sail and sign). Take a hole punch with you and a lanyard. Punch a hole in the card and put it on the lanyard. The kids can wear it around their neck and not have to worry about setting it down.
Shore Excursions: Learn at LEAST a little bit about the ports you will be visiting BEFORE you go. Have an idea of several things you would like to do, in case plan A fails. Don't waste valuable port time studying a map at the dock. And DON't EVER eat in a chain restaurant, try the local places. You win some and you lose some, but that's fun of traveling and exploring.
Great ideas everyone except be careful where you are wearing your lanyard. VW gave all us one this year and they are great, I will admit! One word of caution, a fellow we work with gave it to his teenage daughter. She was attacked by a guy being able to grab the lanyard, twisting it around her neck. She got out a scream and some people came to her rescue. I still use mine but with caution, usually under a jacket. Of course, all this depends are where you are, time of day, etc. She was walking alone after dark, from a class to her dorm and having the lanyard loose around her neck gave someone an opportunity. Just a heads up story, she's ok and a little more street wise. Sue
One thing I do is use those plastic bags from the supermarket to pack my shoes in,,,,usually one pair to each bag,,,,,keeps everything cleaner in the suitcases, and always carry along a few "extra" plastic hangars,,,,they never have enough in our cabin.
I love all of the tips received from this site . . . however, some of the best I used w/our family of 4 in a minisuite.
-clear shoe organizer for the back of the bathroom door - awesome for all of the bathroom stuff
-power strip & extension cord for the room - this way a curling iron, CD player w/ speakers, lights for balocny & recharging the video camera battery all were able to be used @ once.
Thanks . . . to all
Have a good "attitude" and remember this is a vacation. Do your thing as long as it doesn't interfere with someone elses space or quiet time. In other words ..be kind to all(staff and fellow passenges you come in contact with) YOU don't own the ship.
Being loud and pushing others and rudeness have no place on cruises...Also don't be late for dinner and read the menu so when the waiter arrives to take your order you already have a general idea what you will order rather than sitting there with the menu closed and asking the waiter "what is good"?
Watch your packing. Overpacking is always a problem - especially for my mother. I have her pack then I go through it with her and ask what she has in mind for each outfit. Usually I get the "just in case" answer. I can usually cut her down by one suitcase and then she still won't wear all of what she took. Recommendation: Pack, then unpack at least 1/3 of it and leave it at home.
Go with joy and thankfulness. Know it won't be a dream from start to finish but it can be a great experience if you remember that 1)you are dang lucky to be going on a cruise and 2) picky, obnoxious people NEVER have fun and no-one from the floor cleaners to the officers and/or other passengers are impressed with someone who thinks they are the princess that was forced to sleep on a pea. Friendly happy people are contagious. Spread some joy!
Be friendly and ALWAYS , ALWAYS make an effort to meet new people - even if you are travelling with great friends, as we often do! I have met the most fabulous people from all over the world just by walking up and initiating a conversation in the buffet line
in a lounge. That's what makes cruising so great!