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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 4th, 2010, 06:21 AM
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Default amazing Christmas present

Hi everyone
My mum and dad surprised me over christmas by giving me a present of a cruise holiday. It's actually a Xmas come birthday present as I am 21 in November this year.

I am meeting up with my American cousin in Miami to cruise on the Emerald Princess on 8th May to cruise around the Caribbean for 16 nights. Neither of us have cruised before and I have a number of questions that some of you may be able to answer.

Will we be able to make friends on board as I don't really know my cousin that well and it would be nice to talk to others over the 16 days? Will there be others our age (I am 20 and my cousin is 21)?.

How fussy are cruises? what should I wear in the evenings at the dinners? Apparently I can only pack 23kgs so I want to make sure I take the right things.

Answers to my questions would be great and I would love yo hear from anyone that is going on the same cruise and perhaps correspond before we sail

Thanks
Jody
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Old January 4th, 2010, 02:43 PM
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Hi Jody,
Welcome to the wide world of cruising. What a Christmas gift!
You will have no problem meeting people on board. Folks on cruises are relaxed since they are on vacation and you will have many opportunities to chat and get to know them. Just don't be shy. I cruised solo when I was young and found it much easier to be outgoing than in my normal life.
There will probably be a singles get together sometime the first night. Go to that. Also, you and your cousin can go to the maitre d' right after you board the ship and ask to be seated with other singles.
I have a packing list which I can dig up and post here, as do others. So, more info coming and feel free to ask any questions you have.
Marty
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Old January 5th, 2010, 05:06 PM
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Jodie..lucky you, whatta gift! With a tip of the hat to Melody for this list, you can edit it as needed, but it has everything, but the clothes..pack llight, it seems you never wear all you bring..I sized down last cruise, and still did not wear it all...baggage fees can kill ya!

Melody's Infamous Packing List!
CRUISE PACKING LIST

I'm sure everyone knows they must pack clothes, toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, and makeup), shoes, formal wear, travel documents, money and credit cards. Here are a few items you might need that you may not have thought about.


Medicine
Name and phone number of your primary care physician
Health Insurance information
Medical history (if traveling alone or without someone familiar with your history)
Dramamine or equivalent for seasickness
Tylenol or Advil
Imodium
Emetrol or nausea medicine
Any prescription medicine (syringes, sharps container and swabs if needed)
Any medical equipment you use (glasses, blood pressure and sugar monitors)*
Swimmer's Ear Drops
Condoms (for the consenting, single, of age adults!)*
Midol or equivalent
Feminine products
Aloe Vera gel with lidocaine (sunburn)
Sun screen
Band-Aids
Neosporin ointment
Lip balm
Hand sanitizer
Hand lotion
Visine
Vinegar*
Evian Spray Mineral Water (great for dry skin. I got it at beautyrose dot com)
Contact lens cleaning solutions, etc. *
Tweezers*
Cotton swabs*
Ace bandage*
foot powder*

Cleaning Stuff
Wrinkle releaser*
Tide pen*
Shout wipes*
Detergent (if you are going to wash clothes on the ship)
Spray starch (if you need to iron on the ship…call your room steward, not me, if you need help)
Baby wipes
Lysol
Febreze or air freshener


Clothing and Accessories
Fanny pack*
Beach bag
Hat
Sunglasses
Earplugs*
Sweater or jacket (it gets cool in the dining room)
Water shoes*
Extra glasses (in case you lose the first pair)*
Socks or slippers (don’t walk barefoot on the dirty floors!)
underwear

Miscellaneous
Night light*
Highlighter (highlight to do activities on the Capers)
Pen & Post-it Notes (to leave messages)
Door Decoration (to easily locate your room)
Camera and/or camcorder
Waterproof camera for excursions
Battery charger for phone and camera
Walkie-talkies and batteries*
I Pod and/or laptop if you need it*
Power strip for all those electrical things
Extra film, cassettes, memory cards and batteries *
Sewing kit*
Duck tape
Clothes pins (to weigh the shower curtain down)
Blow dryer (if you need more than one or a high setting)
Insulated cup to bring by the pool
Hangers
1’s & 5’s for room service tips and lockers onshore
Fish license holder*
Cheap beach towels*
Snacks for the room
Bottled water
Can drinks
Bungee cord to hold a balcony door open*
Copies of travel documents
Money
Large and small ziploc bags
Favorite bath soap
Over the door or shower folding caddy for all the junk
Curling Iron, curlers and/or straightener
Hairbrush, clips and ponytail holders
YOUR pillow if you have to have it
empty duffle bag for dirty clothes or souvenirs
manicure kit*
fan*
business cards*
clock
contact information for the bank and credit card companies in case your purse/wallet is stolen! This happened to us on a Friday afternoon in Cozumel and it took MANY calls home to get someone to locate the information in our files at home.

I put a * by the items I did not bring on this cruise. The only ones I wished I had brought were the fan and the business cards!

.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 10:25 PM
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Jody,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
Hi everyone
My mum and dad surprised me over christmas by giving me a present of a cruise holiday. It's actually a Xmas come birthday present as I am 21 in November this year.

I am meeting up with my American cousin in Miami to cruise on the Emerald Princess on 8th May to cruise around the Caribbean for 16 nights. Neither of us have cruised before and I have a number of questions that some of you may be able to answer.
Wow! Sixteen nights? What a fantastic present!

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Will we be able to make friends on board as I don't really know my cousin that well and it would be nice to talk to others over the 16 days? Will there be others our age (I am 20 and my cousin is 21)?.
Yes, making friends on a cruise is pretty easy. Just smile and say "Hi!"

And a few simple questions like "This isn't your first cruise, is it?" followed by "So where have you gone on your previous cruises, and which ships?" or "So what are your impressions so far?" (depending upon the answer, of course) are always good icebreakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
How fussy are cruises? what should I wear in the evenings at the dinners? Apparently I can only pack 23kgs so I want to make sure I take the right things.
Princess cruises generally are not too fussy, but your cruise will have three (3) "formal" evenings, for which the standard of dress is "modified black tie" (which means that gents who don't have a dinner jacket outfit may wear a dark business suit instead) -- and you really don't want to miss out on the "formal" evenings because these are the evenings when Princess breaks out the very best menus and shows of the cruise, and also hosts elegant special events that tend to be quite memorable (I want to spoil your surprise with more detailed descripions thereof). For these evenings, either a full length dress or a formal cocktail dress would be appropriate. Those evenings will be pretty spread out (probably the second evening, an evening in the middle of the cruise, and the next to last evening), so you can bring just one dress with three different sets of accessories to give it different "looks." There is a dry cleaning service onboard that can take care of a spill, or whatever, between the "formal" evenings if the need should arise. If you have room, though, you can bring a second dress for the middle "formal" evening. You also might want a shawl or a jacket to wear if you are seated under an air conditioning duct in the dining room or a lounge.

For the remaining evenings on your cruise, Princess prescribes "smart casual" (previously, "evening casual") attire. You certainly can wear cocktail dresses on these evenings if you wish, but a top with a skirt or slacks and dress shoes or dress sandals are quite acceptable. Since you'll be wearing the skirt or slacks or just a few hours in the evening, four (4) skirts or pairs of slacks that you can match with several tops should be quite sufficient for the whole cruise. Again, you can send them to the ship's laundry if the need should arise.

For daytime activities, you'll probably want two nylon/lycra bathing suits with cover-ups or wraps to wear at the beaches, on sailing/snorkeling excursions, and when using the ship's pools and hot tubs. For wear on deck, tops and shorts or skirts are appropriate. Again, four pairs of shorts should be enough.

You might also want to bring appropriate clothes for working out in the gym or on the track -- which could include tights, leotards, and ballet slippers for aerobics or dance or gym shorts, "T" shirts, sports bras, and gym or track shoes, or a martial arts outfit, depending upon what type of workout you do. And you might also want a few basic pieces of equipment such as your own snorkel, mask, and fins if you plan to go snorkeling or diving.

And above all else, don't forget to bring underwear, handkerchiefs, a waterproof jacket in case of a rainy day, whatever medicine you might need, and your toiletries, cosmetics, and hairbrush, comb, toothbrush, razor and blades, and whatever other grooming items you might need. Additionally, you might want scriptures or a prayer book, according to your faith, and some reading material for the flights.

Now, the styles of clothing that you choose can have a huge impact on the weight of your luggage. What I'm about to say probably will seem ridiculously obvious as soon as I say it, but it's not necessarily what naturally comes to mind if somebody does not say it.

>> 1. "Bikini" (two piece) swimsuits are a lot less weight than a typical "one piece" swimsuit, and they also consume a fraction of the space in your luggage. Also, the so-called "triangle" tops tend to lie a lot flatter than tops with full cups and thus take less space in your luggage. These styles are quite acceptable both aboard ship and on beaches throughout the tropics.

>> 2. Low rise "thong" or "g string" panties take less than half the space of briefs or "boy short" or "French cut" styles, and they also have a fraction of the weight. I can assure you that the other passengers won't care about something that they are not going to see.

>> 3. For the "smart casual" evenings, shorter skirts (above the knee) generally will be lighter and less bulky than longer ("midi" or "maxi") skirts or slacks.

>> 4. If you bring "bra tops" to wear in the daytime and on the "smart casual" evenings, you'll need to bring brassieres only for the "formal" evenings. And if you choose a style of formal dress that does not require a brassiere, you won't have to bring any brassieres at all. Even the new lightweight styles of brassieres tend to be quite bulky.

>> 5. It's quite acceptable to put on a clean top when you shower for dinner, then to wear the same items for the next day's activities (whether aboard ship or ashore). Try to bring tops that you can wear with a skirt or slacks in the evening, and then with shorts the next day, as this strategy will cut your need for these items in half.

>> 6. You might want a couple sweaters or shawls to wear on chilly evenings, but pick neutral colors to minimize the number of these items that you will need.

>> 7. Likewise, think very carefully about what you are bringing for shoes, as shoes tend to be both bulky and heavy. One pair of evening shoes, in a neutral color, should be sufficient. You'll also want a pair of casual shoes ("boat shoes" are good) or sandals, perhaps a pair of gym or track shoes for your work-out, and perhaps a pair of flip-flops (which can do double duty as slippers).

>> 8. Finally, Princess's ships have self-service laundry rooms with coin-operated washers, coin-operated driers, and ironing boards and irons thoughout the cabin decks. You can cut down on the amount of casual clothing that you will need if you plan to do laundry once or twice during the cruise. If you don't do laundry, you'll need to bring seventeen tops and changes of underwear (including a spare in case of a spill or a snag that forces you to stay overnight on the way home). If you do laundry once, you'll need nine changes. If you do laundry twice, six will be enough. Diminishing returns kick in if you plan to do laundry three or more times during the cruise.

Now, you might be wondering why I'm mentioning bulk when you raised weight as an issue. Aside from the fact that there tends to be a correlation, you also will need a larger suitcase if you bring a lot of bulky items -- which means that the empty suitcase will be heavier!

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Answers to my questions would be great and I would love yo hear from anyone that is going on the same cruise and perhaps correspond before we sail
You might want to post on the appropriate board in the "Meet On Board" (MOB) section, which are precisely for that purpose.

Please post any further questions that you might have.

Have a fantastic cruise!

Norm.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
Jody,



Wow! Sixteen nights? What a fantastic present!



Yes, making friends on a cruise is pretty easy. Just smile and say "Hi!"

And a few simple questions like "This isn't your first cruise, is it?" followed by "So where have you gone on your previous cruises, and which ships?" or "So what are your impressions so far?" (depending upon the answer, of course) are always good icebreakers.



Princess cruises generally are not too fussy, but your cruise will have three (3) "formal" evenings, for which the standard of dress is "modified black tie" (which means that gents who don't have a dinner jacket outfit may wear a dark business suit instead) -- and you really don't want to miss out on the "formal" evenings because these are the evenings when Princess breaks out the very best menus and shows of the cruise, and also hosts elegant special events that tend to be quite memorable (I want to spoil your surprise with more detailed descripions thereof). For these evenings, either a full length dress or a formal cocktail dress would be appropriate. Those evenings will be pretty spread out (probably the second evening, an evening in the middle of the cruise, and the next to last evening), so you can bring just one dress with three different sets of accessories to give it different "looks." There is a dry cleaning service onboard that can take care of a spill, or whatever, between the "formal" evenings if the need should arise. If you have room, though, you can bring a second dress for the middle "formal" evening. You also might want a shawl or a jacket to wear if you are seated under an air conditioning duct in the dining room or a lounge.

For the remaining evenings on your cruise, Princess prescribes "smart casual" (previously, "evening casual") attire. You certainly can wear cocktail dresses on these evenings if you wish, but a top with a skirt or slacks and dress shoes or dress sandals are quite acceptable. Since you'll be wearing the skirt or slacks or just a few hours in the evening, four (4) skirts or pairs of slacks that you can match with several tops should be quite sufficient for the whole cruise. Again, you can send them to the ship's laundry if the need should arise.

For daytime activities, you'll probably want two nylon/lycra bathing suits with cover-ups or wraps to wear at the beaches, on sailing/snorkeling excursions, and when using the ship's pools and hot tubs. For wear on deck, tops and shorts or skirts are appropriate. Again, four pairs of shorts should be enough.

You might also want to bring appropriate clothes for working out in the gym or on the track -- which could include tights, leotards, and ballet slippers for aerobics or dance or gym shorts, "T" shirts, sports bras, and gym or track shoes, or a martial arts outfit, depending upon what type of workout you do. And you might also want a few basic pieces of equipment such as your own snorkel, mask, and fins if you plan to go snorkeling or diving.

And above all else, don't forget to bring underwear, handkerchiefs, a waterproof jacket in case of a rainy day, whatever medicine you might need, and your toiletries, cosmetics, and hairbrush, comb, toothbrush, razor and blades, and whatever other grooming items you might need. Additionally, you might want scriptures or a prayer book, according to your faith, and some reading material for the flights.

Now, the styles of clothing that you choose can have a huge impact on the weight of your luggage. What I'm about to say probably will seem ridiculously obvious as soon as I say it, but it's not necessarily what naturally comes to mind if somebody does not say it.

>> 1. "Bikini" (two piece) swimsuits are a lot less weight than a typical "one piece" swimsuit, and they also consume a fraction of the space in your luggage. Also, the so-called "triangle" tops tend to lie a lot flatter than tops with full cups and thus take less space in your luggage. These styles are quite acceptable both aboard ship and on beaches throughout the tropics.

>> 2. Low rise "thong" or "g string" panties take less than half the space of briefs or "boy short" or "French cut" styles, and they also have a fraction of the weight. I can assure you that the other passengers won't care about something that they are not going to see.

>> 3. For the "smart casual" evenings, shorter skirts (above the knee) generally will be lighter and less bulky than longer ("midi" or "maxi") skirts or slacks.

>> 4. If you bring "bra tops" to wear in the daytime and on the "smart casual" evenings, you'll need to bring brassieres only for the "formal" evenings. And if you choose a style of formal dress that does not require a brassiere, you won't have to bring any brassieres at all. Even the new lightweight styles of brassieres tend to be quite bulky.

>> 5. It's quite acceptable to put on a clean top when you shower for dinner, then to wear the same items for the next day's activities (whether aboard ship or ashore). Try to bring tops that you can wear with a skirt or slacks in the evening, and then with shorts the next day, as this strategy will cut your need for these items in half.

>> 6. You might want a couple sweaters or shawls to wear on chilly evenings, but pick neutral colors to minimize the number of these items that you will need.

>> 7. Likewise, think very carefully about what you are bringing for shoes, as shoes tend to be both bulky and heavy. One pair of evening shoes, in a neutral color, should be sufficient. You'll also want a pair of casual shoes ("boat shoes" are good) or sandals, perhaps a pair of gym or track shoes for your work-out, and perhaps a pair of flip-flops (which can do double duty as slippers).

>> 8. Finally, Princess's ships have self-service laundry rooms with coin-operated washers, coin-operated driers, and ironing boards and irons thoughout the cabin decks. You can cut down on the amount of casual clothing that you will need if you plan to do laundry once or twice during the cruise. If you don't do laundry, you'll need to bring seventeen tops and changes of underwear (including a spare in case of a spill or a snag that forces you to stay overnight on the way home). If you do laundry once, you'll need nine changes. If you do laundry twice, six will be enough. Diminishing returns kick in if you plan to do laundry three or more times during the cruise.

Now, you might be wondering why I'm mentioning bulk when you raised weight as an issue. Aside from the fact that there tends to be a correlation, you also will need a larger suitcase if you bring a lot of bulky items -- which means that the empty suitcase will be heavier!



You might want to post on the appropriate board in the "Meet On Board" (MOB) section, which are precisely for that purpose.

Please post any further questions that you might have.

Have a fantastic cruise!

Norm.
Thanks Norm. You have been a godsend. Do you want to come a long as my butler lol

Jody xx
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Old January 7th, 2010, 07:31 PM
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Jody,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
Thanks Norm. You have been a godsend.
You're welcome, and thanks for your kind words!

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Do you want to come a long as my butler lol
Sure, but... do you really want to share a cabin with a 52-year-old guy?

Norm.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 11:05 AM
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I hope someone can verify this. I'm pretty sure that Princess will have shampoo and body wash in the cabin, also there is normally a hairdryer. Last time I cruised Princess was 2003, however when I cruised Carnival the shampoo and hairdryer were there. That can free up room in your bags. Oh I got some advice on doing laundry. You can get Laundry detergent sheets. Like the ones pictured below. The pack better and smaller the regular detergent. Also a collaspible laundry basket like the one picture makes it easier to take you dirt clothes to the laundry room. Plus it closes small to fit into your suitcase.
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Last edited by katlady; January 21st, 2010 at 11:26 AM.
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Old January 21st, 2010, 07:53 PM
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Hi katlady, I've been using the pop-up hamper for years! It's really great for keeping dirty clothes in one place and carrying them to and from the self-serve laundry. We put it on the closet floor and just throw dirty clothes in as we undress. I bought my first one at the Dollar Store, but the last time I bought one there it was much smaller . I found a larger one at Wal-Mart. They're in the ironing boards and hangers area.

You have to "hold your mouth just right" to get one to fold down again, but I've always managed to do it before repacking.

As soon as I saw the Purex laundry sheets, I thought of travel ! I bought a box with a coupon and used several of them on our last cruise. They worked very well. They're pretty expensive for everyday use, but for cruising they're wonderful .
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
You have to "hold your mouth just right" to get one to fold down again, but I've always managed to do it before repacking.
Too funny it's like when you put on your eye makeup if your mouth isn't in the right position it's not going to work.

I agree we only use the laundry sheets to travel. At home we use liquid laundry soap that might not work to well in our bags.
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