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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 27th, 2004, 04:37 PM
JR
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Default One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

If you could give one piece of advise (i.e. something to take, something to do, something that would make the cruise more enjoyable) to a first time cruiser, what would it be? (I'm not looking for obvious things, but rather something I probably would never think of.)

(We're booked on Carribean Princess in October.)
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Old July 28th, 2004, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Wow, that's open ended question! I'll give you a simple suggestion: if you have an inside cabin booked, take a night light. It's as dark as the inside of a boot with all the lights off. Or, if you don't want to bother, leave the bathroom light on with the door cracked slightly.

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Old July 28th, 2004, 06:48 AM
Lynne &Trevor
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Take some larger zip lock bags for wet bathing suits when going to the beach, or to keep personal items togehter. Lynne

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Old July 28th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Relax, enjoy, revel in the entire cruise ship experience, try new foods, go for formal night, and don't try to do and see everything, pace yourself or you will be exhausted by the end of your cruise.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Regardless of whether you have an inside or balcony cabin, take the night light. Even with a window and or balcony the cabin is dark at night. Might save on some stubbed toes or bruised shins.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 08:51 AM
Pea
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Take a clock, as the only clock in the room is on the phone display. Also, wake-up service can be iffy, so if you need to be up and about for excursions, the alarm clock comes in handy.

Pea
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Old July 28th, 2004, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Try new things in the dining room and ask your head waiter for his recommendations. Some of the menu items on the can seem pretty exotic. You never know what you might like!
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Old July 28th, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

I'd recommend a small pen light flashlight for getting up at night.

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Old July 29th, 2004, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Bring your own beach towels. I'm not sure about Princess, but I know other cruise lines charge each time you use a towel at the pool. If you bring your own you can also take them off ship when you goto your excursions.

Karen
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Old July 29th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Karen, Princess gives you fresh beach towels twice a day in your room. No need to bring your own, yes you are responsible for them, all you do is leave them in the bathroom and you will have fresh,clean folded towels waiting for you in your stateroom.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

If you are flying any distance to your point of embarkation, take a real feather pillow with you on the plane. Feather ones squish down to take up very little space in your carry-on bag. They also conform to small spaces and really support your head while flying.

For many years, I could not sleep at all on a plane. Now that I take a standard sized pillow, I can get a little sleep. Sometimes I've been able to sleep nearly the entire flight. Plus it is really nice to have your own pillow on the ship as well.

Sometimes cruise ship pillows are less than wonderful. Princess has fairly good bedding most of the time but I still like my own pillow.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

I think we are on the same cruise..me and the wife will be on Caribbean Princess 10/23..anyway..enjoy yourself..we have been on several cruises and each time we go it's an incredible new experience..overwhelming so don't try to take in everything at once..tips:
1).go to Best Buy, or some other electronics store and invest in walkie talkies..the kids love them and it's an incredible way to stay in touch with them no matter where you are on the ship..some ships offer the service but it''s cheaper to use your own..and you take them off the ships..
2)take a basic first aid kit with you..band-aids, aspirin, pleanty of sun screen..etc..they have a doctor/nurse and facility on board..but take it anyway..
3) learn the layout of the ship..you can do this before you board, go on Princess web site..look at the ships, deck layouts..etc..but once you get onboard it will take your breath away and you will forget everything..lol
4)make sure your kids know where to go if lost..any ships staff will help them get back to you..tatoo the room numbers on them if necessary..make sure they know it..
6) buy a coke card for $20 if the kids drink alot of sodas, soft drinks are not free..and you can get a soda at any bar or outside venue with the card..
7) find out where the kids activities are..and use them!! they will love them..very supervised..and it gives you and hubby some time alone..

lol it seems I've strictly forcused on the kids..but you take care of them and your cruise will be so much more enjoyable for you..enjoy..we will see you onboard!!
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Old July 29th, 2004, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

1. Bring dollar bills for tipping the baggage handlers at the airport and the port.
2. For fun, order yourself, or your companion, some flowers for your cabin. They'll stay nice for a week, and make you feel special every time you walk in your cabin. Another special thing you can order is chocolate covered strawberries, in their own little tuxedos.............adorable and wonderful, too! You can order these things at the Princess website.
3. Great advice about the travel alarm and flashlight/nightlight. Bandaids and aspirin too..............if you buy any of the above on board, it will be VERY expensive.
4. Ask your steward for two Princess Patters each day. You can each have one.........we refer to ours often, to see what's happening when...........and where!!
5. ENJOY!!!!! Hope you have a great cruise!
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Old July 30th, 2004, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

The most important thing to take on a cruise is an open mind and lots of
patience. You will see and hear lots of things that will piss you off but just
go with it and you will have a great time. Security is a pain but a necessary
fact of life these days. Other things that will drive you crazy are people who pick
at the food and take forever to go through the buffet lines and all the non-US
citizens who will not report to immigration at the end of the cruise and hold
up debarkation of the ship
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Old July 30th, 2004, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser


An extension cord--that way several things can be plugged in at once. (hair blow dryer, curling iron etc) Never enough outlets.

And yes, a clock. Even though you're on vacation, some times you'll still need to know what time it is. It's impossible to see the phone/clock unless you're standing right over it.
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Old July 31st, 2004, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

If you plan to do laundry, take a roll of quarters. The change machine hardly ever works and you can always sell unneeded quarters to the other passengers. Also, take your own detergent in a ziplock bag. By doing your own laundry in midweek, you can pack less clothes.



Post Edited (07-31-04 10:54)
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Old July 31st, 2004, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Do everything that you always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity, or nerve to do. (like karoke, or the passengers talent show). Take a "laid back" attitude, and don't let little things bother you. (like the people who insist on saving seats in the theatre, or lounge chairs) Try food that you would never spend the money to try at home. (It's no extra cost on the ship, and if you don't like it, the waiter will bring you something else). Don't try to do too many activities. (That gives you an excuse to book another cruise very soon!) Take it easy, let your blood pressure bottom out, and ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY!!!!
See you aboard,
Ken
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Pace yourself at meals. Just because they serve food 8X daily does not mean you need to eat it. You won't gain as much weight, and you won't feel all bloated and loggy. Salads alone are fine for lunch. Skip the fancy midnight buffets...the displays look good but the food usually does not taste that great.

Take a fabric shoe bag and hang it on the bathroom door for all those little items that will just slide all over the counter in the bathroom.

Definately take a power strip if you have anything at all you want to plug in. The hair dryers on the ship are whimpy...take your own.

A night light (for the bathroom) and alarm clock are definately pluses.

Room service breakfast on port days will save you a lot of time getting ashore.

If you have second seating, do laundry during the time first seating is eating. Less crowded.

Skip the ship's photos. They are way overpriced. Take a good camera, and shoot your own.

Take a small first aid kit: Pepto Bismal tablets, Immodium AD, Benedryl, sea sickness capsules or wrist bands, a couple of band-aids, triple antibiotic ointment, waterless hand cleaner, Tylenol or an NSAID. Sure, you can buy on board (when the shops are actually open) or get at the ship's infirmary (for a price) but much easier to have available when and if you need them.
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 09:39 AM
ianeh
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser


Don't feel pressured into taking the ships tours.

Plan an independent tour (lots of info on these boards).... or simply walk into town, shop with the money you saved from the tours - then hit the beach.
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Old August 3rd, 2004, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Too often we go on vacation and take all the stress from work with us. If at all possible don’t go to work the day before embarkation. Better yet, if you can. plan to spend at least part of the day before, enjoying the city from which you embark. The most important thing you can bring is a positive attitude. Don’t let “little” things spoil the vacation you’ve worked for all year! If something or someone annoys you, walk away or do something else. If the activity is not fun, leave and find something more enjoyable to do. Don’t stress out over what “things” to bring with you. Everything that you could possibly need is available onboard. ( for a price of course ;-) )

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old August 3rd, 2004, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Thanks to everyone for this fantastic asdvice! My husband and I are going on our first cruise (with my sister and her husband) this Saturday, to Alaska on the Island Princess. Wht awful syntax, but you get the message!

These message boards have been informative and so reassuring. I was totally obsessing over what clothes to bring, worried that I would look like a fright while everyone else was in ball gowns and tuxedos! I just did not want to stress over clothes on what is supposed to be a relaxing, fun vacation (also our 35th anniversary!!!)

Will definitely bring a nightlight and a clock. Can't tell you how many times I have tripped over suitcases in hotel rooms!
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old August 5th, 2004, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

If you fall in love with cruising like we did, pre-book your next cruise while onboard. You can do a specific cruise or an open booking (good for 4 years) for $100 pp and it's completely refundable plus you get onboard credit too.

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Old August 15th, 2004, 06:29 PM
Camelia
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Default booking on board

May I ask how booking on board works? I see people line up all the time and am curious.What exactly IS an open booking? The $100 that you deposit goes towards what? I guess what I'm trying to say is: what is the advantage of doing this with the four year window..can it be applied to sales too?

thanks!
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Old August 15th, 2004, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: booking on board

The $100 deposit goes toward your next cruise, whenever, within the next 4 years that you book it. It is also completely refundable if you never cruise again. When you make the open booking and then choose a specific cruise at a later date, you don't have to make another deposit and the cruise is held for you until the final payment date (which I believe is 90 days prior to sailing). I think the biggest benefit is the onboard credit. I paid $100/person for a deposit which also entitled me to $75/person onboard credit (inside room for 10 days). There is a different onboard credit amount based on if you eventually book an inside, outside and the length of the cruise. The issue is that if you do not do this onboard, you cannot make the booking afterwards. So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
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Old August 16th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

All good advice, here are a few more..
A small scented jar candle is good to have to mask stale or offensive odors (the cabins are small)
If you enjoy a pre diiner (or any time) cocktail on your balcony or in the room, bring your own booze in your carry - on. Unless, of couse, you can afford a bar bill larger than your cruise bill!
As for formal nites, in a successful effort to pack lighter (we always take 10 or more day trips), I now take a mid calf black skirt and two fancy tops. It works out very well.
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Old August 16th, 2004, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

This is AWSOME !! I found this very helpful Thank you all!!

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Old August 16th, 2004, 11:22 PM
pg
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Default Re: One Piece of Advice for first time cruiser

Research the ports of call before you go, it amazes me how people will shell out 100 $ for a shore excursion just because they don't know what there is to see or do. Also it helps to have realistic exspectations, for instance some ports are in third world countries , the people are poor, the streets may be dirty, and there may not be a Walmart. It may have a incredible rain forest jungle though, so go with an open mind, and some knowledge!
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