We are travelling out from scotland to enjoy the sun princess cruise on 4 feb 02. This is our 1st ever cruise, love all things- sea, boats, food etc. would love to have advice for 1st timers. Husband particularly worried about formal dressing - i'm insisting on dining room dinners.
Have taken an inside cabin for financial reasons but feel we wont be there much so it isnt important - did not know about possibility of upgrades how likely?
Anyone else travelling on this cruise?
Tell your hubby not to worry a bit about formal nights. He doesn't have to wear a tux if he doesn't want to, a dark suit will do just fine. In the Caribbean that's what about 75% of the men wear anyway. Insisting on eating in the dining room will severely limit you. Sun Princess has a great pizzeria, although you can eat lunch there too. In the evening the area that is the breakfast and lunch buffet becomes The Bistro, a very nice full menu sitdown dining room. They even have live music for dancing if you like that.
The upgrade fairy is totally mysterious. In 14 Princess cruises I've had one upgrade. On the other hand, the first time I sailed carnival I was upgraded from a standard outside to a verandah cabin. If you're going to be in an inside cabin you will either need to get a nightlight in the US (currency difference) or you will have to leave your bathroom light on overnight. It's REALLY dark in the inside cabins. It makes it very easy to sleep late or nap though. Princess is a great cruiseline and I hope you both have a fabulous time.
If this is the Panama Canal Sun cruise, then we are on the same cruise! Eight of us from age 50 to 70, from upstate New York. We have cruised many times before, but this is our first Princess cruise. All of our men will be in dark suits for the formal nights. We signed up for personal choice dining, as we like the flexibility. We have signed up teh the all day tour in Limon and for the Dolphin swimm in Cozemel. We are signed up over internet for a stingray city tour at 8:00 am at Grand Cayman with Captain ($30.00). Would love to have you join us. Lots less crowded and much cheaper than ship tours. Captian Marvins has excellent reputation. We have been to most of these ports before and I wouls love to answer any questions you have. Please feel free to e-mail me. Are you staying in Ft. Lauderdale a day ahead? We are counting the days. You will love cruising, Karen G.
I second your insistence upon dinner in the dining room -- and this is especially true of the two formal nights, when the menu tends to be extraordinary! Since the "suggested" (that is, expected) attire for the evening applies not only to dinner, but also to all entertainment venues. Since some passengers have not understood this in the past, the Princess Patter on the first night of my last cruise clarified the matter with the heading, "Guidelines for Wear from 5:00 pm and thoroughout the Evening" above a summary of the eppropriate attire for casual and formal evenings.
My observation of gentlemen's attire on formal nights is a little different than Carole's -- more typically about even between dark suits and tuxedos or dinner jackets -- so your husband can go either way. It's also quite common to see a few Scottish gentlemen decked out in Scottish formalwear -- complete with kilt -- for formal nights on Princess cruises, and occasionally there are some folks wearing the formal dress of other cultures, too.
As to tips for first-time cruisers, I have three.
>> 1. Read the advance material thoroughly so you will know what to expect. This is especially true of Princess's Cruise AnswerBook.
>> 2. Think in terms of flexibility when selecting your wardrobe. For example, knit "golf" or "polo" or "tennis" shirts (with collars) are dressy enough to wear to dinner on casual nights, yet still casual enough to wear with shorts, slacks, or, for ladies, skirts during the day, either aboard ship or on excursions, or as a cover-up over swimming attire. Also, try to pack items that you can "mix and match" in different combinations. This will minimize the amount of luggage that you will have to shuffle through airports, customs, etc. en route.
>> 3. Don't commit the faux pas of referring to the ship as a "boat" -- especially in front of the captain. In the maritime world, a "boat" is a vessel that is not seaworthy. The insinuation is, of course, extremely insulting to the captain and the crew of any ship. Also, it would not hurt to learn a little maritime lingo -- port, starboard, fore, aft, deck, bulkhead, overhead, etc., -- before you go..
Other than that, just relax and enjoy a wonderful holiday!
The belief that the stateroom is not important is malplaced. You spend at least one third of the day in it, not counting bathing, shaving, getting dressed and other sundry activities. It is also very nice to see the passing sea, have daylight in your space and have some glimmer of whether it is worthwhile getting up, depending upon the weather without having to turn the TV on. If your amortize the difference in price per day, per person for what has been for you so far a once in a lifetime experience, the cost is the best buy in cruising. Better yet, get a Verandah and find out why those who have done would never do without. JP