Hello I am a first time cruiser with a few questions, Please help!! My first question is when should I book. With the holidays coming, I was hoping to wait unitl December or January. I was going to book an inside cabin, if that helps. If I wait util then will it be sold out. My other question is what time do the discos close and what type of music is played? Please help
The best advice I'd give a first time cruiser is to find a good Travel Agent who can explain all these things to you . (And no, I'm not a TA!) Ask friends and relatives for recommendations, or call around and find a Cruise Specialist who works for a company that's been in business for a while.
A Travel Agent won't charge you and you don't have to book with them if you don't want to. If they don't want to spend time with you, or don't return phone calls and e-mails, find another TA
We still prefer to use a TA, but many, many people on these boards do their own bookings, so I'm sure you'll get more suggestions
Hope you find the perfect cruise,
"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."
Carnival Inspiration 2002 Carnival Elation 2004
Grand Princess 2004 NCL Sun 2005
Sun Princess 2006 NCL Dream 2007
Caribbean Princess 2007 NCL Dawn 2008
Island Princess 2008 Island Princess 2009
Golden Princess 2009 Carnival Conquest 2010
Grand Princess 2010 Island Princess 2011
Grand Princess 2011 Carnival Magic 2012
Carnival Dream 2012 Island Princess 2013
Carnival Magic 2013 Carnival Legend 2014
Congratulations on your maiden voyage!
Book as early as possible. You will get a better price now and better cabin availability. While you can occasionally get good deals on last minute bookings I would not bet my vacation plans on it. The best discounts are the early bird prices. For example: A group of us just returned from the Adventue of the Sea, a cruise which we booked almost a year in advance for a great rate of 634 for a promenade overview room. A friend of ours drug her feet and didn't book til 3 or 4 months out and paid 799 for the same category.
A good TA will be an asset but if you prefer the DYI approach use the cruise compete feature on this website. It will give you several quotes on the same package. Also check out the boards for practical advice. None of our gang here is shy about sharing views! Just remember to take it all with a grain of salt. There are also books available if you are the truly studious type.
My biggest pieces of advice:
make a packing list - then cut it by half
carry on the first afternoon and evening's clothing and medication, jewelry, etc.
read up on excursions early and if possible book online
if you have a question about an excursion, go to the destinations board and read/ask
know what is expected of you i.e. dress code for dining room etc and resolve to abide by it or eat at th buffet
know what is additional so you can budget, i.e. tips, excursions, alcohol, photos
arrive at your port the night before unless you live in driving distance
enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
I am having problems with thoughts of packing. I am thinking now on what to pack in april and want to make sure I have everything. I was told I could carry my luggage on is that true? Can I bring a travel iron. Please feed me with your knowledge, I welcome it
Yes, you can carry on your luggage. I always carry on since mine was dropped overboard some years ago.
If your luggage meets the airline size requirements or is only a little larger then you can carry it on. Often times they will try and persuade you to let them do it but as long as it fits through the security scanner they will let you do it yourself. The advantage is that you have all your luggage as soon as you hit your cabin and don't need to wait for delivery, which on larger ships can be as much as 8 hours, or if it's misdelivered or the tags come off you may not get it til the next day. That doesn't happen often but just be aware that it can happen.
Yes, you can bring an iron although the cruise lines discourage it because it's a fire hazard. I personally like my little steamer better and there's a wonderful product called Downy Wrinkle Releaser that works about as well as either. Available anywhere.
I think all the advise you have been given is sound. You do need a good travel agent, one who will take time to answer all your questions and walk you through all the steps. As for booking now versus January, again if you have a good agent he/she will help you with this. You can book now and if the rates drop before your final payment you will be able to take advantage of the lower rate, but again, this takes an agent that will take the time to periodically check rates. An example of this is my own granddaughter's wedding in 2 months. I am handling the guest cabins. We choose not to go with a group rate as they are not any cheaper and don't offer alot of advantage. Anyway I got prices, sent them to granddaughter and she, in return let everyone know. After several had booked the rates went down. I informed all the guests, most rebooked and we are now in deluxe outside cabins with conceirge's service for less than we were going to pay for standard outside. Some of her sorority sisters booked the lowest inside and are still booked inside but the top catagory. After we made the changes the rates went back up, so you do need an agent that will pay attention and as Fern said, one that does not charge for doing research.
Yes, you can carry your luggage on and off which saves time at debarkation, but it will limit you as to how much you luggage. If you are organized and good as mix and matching clothes you can probably get by with a couple of bags or one on rollars and a back pack, but remember whatever you carry on, like on the planes, must be able to go through the XRAY machines. this limits you on size. As for bring an iron, my advise is: do not. They are not allowed even though many smuggle them on. I would not.
As for packing you do have quite some time before you need to be concerned about what to take.
The most important thing, relax and enjoy your cruise. NMNita
Thanks Magnolia for the kind words, some would disagree As for insurance you are so right. I just booked final payment for a friend attending our granddaughters wedding on Celebrity in April. I know this person very well, she is our granddaughters God Mother, was in our daughters wedding, is a sorority sister of our daughters from college and very bright. With that being said, her mom has breast cancer and I still could not get her to take insurance. I am so worried about it, but she just wanted to take her chances. We booked 12 cabins for the wedding and she is among the 3 that did not take insurance. The other 2 are on the grooms side and also have a sick mother situation. I just pray nothing happens to anyone. We have a little over 2 months to go. NMNita