These are the cruise tips that I learned from you all ... I wanted to summarize it so I can pass it on or pay to forward ... Thanks to everyone and Bon Voyage! 2 Days until our Cruise.
1) Boarding the boat - It was posted that boarding 30 minutes after the opened the gate there was no significant wait.
2) Alcohol - You can bring it but do not be obvious. But it your carry on, beer (No more then a case would be wise) and a couple of bottles of rum or wine are ok.
3) Balcony - If you have one, make sure there is not a walkway in front of you are you will have no privacy (Unless you like to people watch
4) Shore Excursion buy on board or Port - You will save money buying in Port, however, allow plenty of time to return to the ship especially water tours.
5) Adult Only Pool - Located - Aft Terrace Pool on the Grand
6) Dressing up - If you got a tux or nice dress wear it .. How many times do you get the opportunity to dress up? However, if you just want to dress casual Jeans are allowed in the main dining area.
7) Parking - Book a hotel right on the Ocean for less money to pay to park. They will usually allow you to leave the car there for the week. (Galveston)
8) Bring a mask and snorkel and save money.
9) Everyone usually gets some type of upgrade if you book early .. Ask your TA.
If you have a tip, please add to this ..... Thanks everyone again for their input.
10) If you have things that need recharging, bring a small power strip.
11) Bring some one-dollar bills to tip the room service deliveryperson.
12) Buy underwater disposable cameras onboard - the price is OK and includes processing.
13) Free ice cream in the buffet at 3:30.
SUNBLOCK - broad spectrum UVA/UVB coverage, sunscreen for lips
Aloe burn gel
small fanny pack for daily essentials
good walking sneakers
small tote bag for beach/excursions & souveniours
good pair of sunglasses that block glare and UVA/UVB rays
baseball or sun hat for everyone
* Take the time to read the book on the FIRST DAY inside your cabin. I didn't realize until the end that room service (which is free) serves the best Flan.
* Also the ship is HUGE. You can get from one end to the other on your own floor. It can get conjested waiting for elevators in the middle. So if you cabin number is in the 200 or 300 hundred area just walk down the hallway until you get to the exit sign in the 700's and it will spill you out in the buffet dining room.
* Drink cards are $27.65 for the week. You would need to drink 3 + pops a day for it to pay. They give you a (small) drink cup but you do not need to take it they will put a sticker on your card so you do not need to carry the drink cup around all day.
* I never saw free ice cream anywhere except at dinner.
* Go to the vey bow of the ship on the 7th floor and the 14th floor. On the 14th floor you walk through the hallway until you reach the end and just go through a wooden door. Very cool. Also go to the stern and watch the water being churned up by the engines. At the bow of the boat if you are very still and watch you can see the flying fish. I also saw a ray and dolphins.
* See Bert the enterainer.
Off to work now but there is more
Also take something to wear around your neck to hold your cruise card which you must to carry around with you.
Every time you turn around they are taking your picture including just before you board. It is free for them to take your pics. Take as many as you can tolerate including the scenes that look as though you are in a photo studio. During the cruise all the pics they took of you are on a board and you may purchase only the ones you want for $9.95 and the larger one $19.95.
It is well worth it.