Hey Guys, my boyfriend and I are 21 and are 1st time cruisers. This is my first posting and we are so freaking exciting! My bf is literally obsessed in reading posts and finding as much information as possible about NCL cruises. I'm glad and now I'm doing the same.
We booked one for the Pearl leaving on Dec 29th so we will be celebrating New Year's on the ship! Anyways, there are just so much to see and do, so I was wondering what should we do first?
I heard that once you checked in your bags, you get to show ID and whatever material and then you go to your room and then you have the good bye thing and then the lifeguard drill.
So what should you do while waiting for the lifeguard drill and after that? What is the first thing that are must see and do once you're onboard???? Really appreciated for the reply and by the way these blogs are seriously really awesome.
After checking out our cabin, we like to explore the ship. If you need extra pillows or hangers let your cabin steward know. (they will be around) If you plan on dinning at any of the speciality restaurants go to them and make your time arrangements. Inside your cabin you will have a copy of the "Freestyle Daily" which will tell you what is going on, when and where each day. Every night you will get one with the following day activities. We like to get a bite to eat after boarding, and highlight the things we want to do from the "Daily" with a yellow highlighter. Please take the Muster Drill (lifeguard thing) seriously. Have a great cruise, I can feel your excitement. I leave in 2 weeks for our Mexican Riviera cruise on NCL Star. Ole ole-ole ole!
Century Dec 2003 Western Caribbean
Century Nov 2004 Eastern Caribbean
Monarch of the Seas Jan. 2005 Baja Calif.
NCL Dream Nov. 2005 Western Caribbean
Monarch of the Seas Mar 2006 Baja Calif.
NCL Star Oct. 2006 Mexican Riviera
NCL Pearl Nov. 2007 Southern Caribbean
Mariner of the Seas May 2009 Pacific Coastal
Mariner of the Seas June 2009 Mexican Riviera
RCI Radiance of the Seas
We normally board as early as we can. For our 3 completed cruises, which all sailed at 4 or 5, we were usually on board by noon -- maybe just a little bit later. We were allowed to check into our rooms on boarding, dropped off the carry-on luggage, and then found a bar to purchase soda-cards at. Then it's time for lunch -- my preference is to eat in the dining room, not the buffet, but either one will do .
After lunch, we explore the ship and try to acclimate ourselves so that we can easily find things later on. By then, it's time for the muster drill, so we head back to the cabin. Following the muster drill, we head up to the top decks to particpate in the sail-away party -- usually with a group from another one of the cruise boards, as the NCL "meet on board" here doesn't usually have much interest.
We do pretty much what ute fan does: we board early, drop our carry on bags in our cabins; usually unpacking whatever is in them. Then we head for lunch and just do a tour around the ship, checking out the gym, spa, bars, dining rooms or whatever. Sometimes we make reservations for the specialty dining rooms right then.
The life boat drill is usually before sailing and we usually have a meet and greet party shortly after sailing. Years ago we did go on deck and watch the ship leave port; not so much anymore.
After all this it is usually about time for dinner, the show, maybe a little time in the casino. If you are still not ready to call it a night you can head for the disco or someplace for a drink. There is plenty to do. That's for sure.
This is what I normally do on my first day aboard a cruise. As soon as I board, I'll first drop off my carry-on bags in my cabin and to freshen up. Next, I'll head upstairs to get some lunch. If there is a lot of time left, I'll hang out by the pool or walk around the ship. If there is not alot of time before the lifeboat drill, I'll head back to my cabin and relax. After the lifeboat drill, I'll return to the cabin to drop off my lifejacket and unpack my items. I'll continue to look around the ship afterwoods. Later, I'll get ready for dinner. After dinner, I'll head out and either go to the casino, watch a show, dance, etc. After that, I'll head back to my cabin to catch some zzz's.
Norwegian Pearl 12/19/09
Carnival Miracle 12/23/08
Carnival Legend 4/1/07
Carnival Liberty 1/1/06,11/21/06
Caribbean Princess 5/28/05
Norwegian Wind 3/20/04
Carnival Legend 12/20/02, 3/18/03
Carnival Fascination 11/1/02
Carnival Victory 3/17/02
Carnival Triumph 3/17/01
RCI Majesty Of The Seas 1/5/01
Carnival Ecstasy 1/15/99, 2/04/00
First thing...Check out the cabin. Second...Get my tall tropical frosty drink. Third...Hit the buffet. Fourth...Hit the buffet. Fith....Desserts.
Then last the muster drill and sail away....Oh yea, then dinner! Make your reservations for the french restraunt for the week. It's a must, great food and very romantic!
DOLPHIN OCEAN BREEZE 1993
CARNIVAL CELEBRATION 1999
CARNIVAL GLORY 2004
NCL JEWEL 4/9/2006
DISNEY WONDER 6/15/06
NCL SUN 1/23/07 (girls trip!)
NCL PEARL 3/30/07
RCCI MAJESTY OF THE SEAS 8/27/07
NCL Sky 8/31/09 (Mom's Bday Cruise)
Disney Magic 10/17/09 with the baby!!
Next Cruise...NCL Dawn 6/6/10 NYC to Bermuda ;-)
I definately would go to the main lobby and see if there are any tables set up with the Specialty Restaurants. On our last cruise in June, they had the tables set up and they were taking reservations for the week.
Also, they were offering 1/2 price meals for that evening since most people go to the main restaurants or buffet on the first night and choose to use the specialty restaurants later in the week. I think that given the price that we had paid for the cruise, the specialty restaurants were a good deal at the full price but with the additional discount, we were able to take advantage of one more than we had planned.
The only other suggestion I have is, if you have an excursion that you positively must go on, make your reservation as early as possible. You may not have to do it the first day but certain, popular excursions are limited in size and can get booked very quickly.
You have gotten very good advice already. If I were to add anything it would be to re affirm the importance of booking dinner reservations and excursions asap. I would also advise that you pack bathing suits and sandals in your carry on so you can relax poolside while you wait for your luggage to arrive.
If you haven't already, research and book your excursions online BEFORE you go. That way, you are pretty much guarenteed a space on a popular excursion and don't have spend vaulable hsip time in a line somewhere.
First, accept whatever sail away drink they are offering....make a quick round about of the ship *heh, quick, this means an hour* If you are on early and it's sunny...don't forget to bring a carryon bag with your swimsuits and hit the pools/hottubs!!! If it's not so sunny...then just head straight to the buffet...it's already set up for the lunch crowd of new arrivals onboard!
Do NOT be the first person at the Muster Drill! The sooner you go the longer you will wait to be excused. The last ones to arrive are the first ones to leave.....so explore the ship on your way to your muster station. Besides if you are the last to arrive you can better see the demonstrations the crew puts on about safety. If you arrive early you are in the back of the crowd and can't see a thing!
CELEBRITY:MERCURY-Alaska-Aug. 13, '04
CARNIVAL:CONQUEST-W. Carib.-Dec. 12, '04
NORWEGIAN SEA-W. Caribbean-Jan. 15, '05
CARNIVAL:TRIUMPH-W. Caribbean-Apr. 16, '05
NORWEGIAN DREAM-Pacific Costal May 16, '05
CARNIVAL:IMAGINATION-W. Caribb. Oct., '05
NORWEGIAN DREAM-W.Carib. Nov. 12, '05
NORWEGIAN SUN-Pacific Costal-May 10, '06
NORWEGIAN DAWN New England Sept 13, '06
NORWEGIAN STAR Mexican Rivera Jan 1, '07
NORWEGIAN WIND Hawaii March 3, '07
PLANNED: HAL Volendam Alaska June 1-8, '07