Hi & welcome to Cruisemates!! First off, a big help would be to go to the top of the Cruisemates home page & check out the "cruise aricles" section. Go to "first time cruisers" article & you'll get plenty of info there.
I would also say that if you're prone to motion sickness, make sure that you bring Dramamine or Bonine & follow the instructions. I think they come in drowsy & nondrowsy, your choice. I don't want to scare you, but remember that you are on the ocean, so be prepared. My wife was always prone to motion sickness & has never felt sick on a ship, even without the medication.
Visit the message boards for the ports you will be visiting for ideas of things to do; maybe get a guide book also.
While you are on board, you will get a newsletter, "Princess Patter" delivered to your room daily. If you take the time to read the daily schedule, you can decide which activities interest you for that day & plan accordingly.
Try to remember to savor the feeling of being on a ship at sea, & the peacefullness that it brings. It's fantastic. Be ready to be pampered & enjoy great food in a friendly environment. Do a lot or a little, it's your choice. That's one of the best things about cruising; you can paricipate in many activities or just curl up & veg out.
If you go with the attitude that you will have a great time, then you will have a great time.
Welcome to CruiseMates, First Timer. We too booked a round trip LA to Hawaii cruise, but we sail in 2011. It will be our first time to Hawaii, so we'd appreciate you posting your thoughts and advice on this board when you return.
We sailed on the Golden Princess 2 years ago and loved the ship. She's beautiful. Staff, entertainment, and food were great. There's a self-serve laundry on each deck, which is very handy. The washer and dryer were $1 per load. No charge to use the ironing board or iron. Worked great for us because we didn't have to pack as many clothes.
There's one thing I always pack that comes in handy on our cruises. It's a mesh laundry tote that folds flat. I picked one up at Walgreens for about $3.00. It lays flat in your suitcase. When we unpack on board, I pop it open and place it in the closet area of the cabin. It's handy to toss your laundry in it, then when you need to do laundry, just tote it to the self-serve laundry on your deck. Another item you may want to pack is a night light.
My wife was wondering about the laundry, we will be a 14 day one out of LA. and we do not want to over pack, we leave 14th of March so its getting close
There's the ship's laundry service ($$$) or you can take a couple of hours and do your own in the self serve laundry (our choice!). For a 14 day cruise, we pack for 6 days. One (or two if we want to leave with clean clothes) sea day afternoons we do two or three loads of laundry.
Some people won't wear anything more than once, but we've found that some items (especially slacks, just worn for dinner) can be reworn unless we've spilled!
Unless you dress very strangely, no one will notice what you're wearing.
We also use the pop-up laundry bag. I bought one at Wal-Mart. I also use the "new" Purex sheets that have soap, softener and anti-cling instead of buying what they offer on board.
Have a wonderful 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
Sea Princess 2014
Take some quarters! The change machines in the self-serve laundry are not real reliable - aka-they run out . You'll really like the Golden. Take the time to orient yourself with the map. It doesn't take long to figure it out. Let's see... even cabins on Starboard, or is it Port - HHHmmmm, is that left or right. "You mean we're not going aft"? Fortunately, the lifts only go up and down .
Sea Princess 05/10 - Panama Canal
Celebrity Infinity 05/09 - Ultimate Alaska
Grand Princess 08/07 - British Isles & Ireland
Celebrity Horizon 6/05 - Bermuda
Golden Princess 8/04 - So. Caribbean
Celebrity Millennium - Mediterranean 6/01 - the benchmark of our cruises
Celebrity Zenith - So. Caribbean - 4/97
One hint I can give is that on other Princess ships the border of the carpet in the passage ways is one color for the port side and another color for the starboard side. Have not yet sailed the Golden, so I can't say that would be true for that ship. The color code has saved me from turning the wrong way more than once on other Princess ships.
Have a great cruise.
With integrity nothing else matters; without it nothing else matters.
Please remember to notify your bank and/or credit cards of your plans. Most cards/banks will stop purchases if they are not aware of your trip.
Also, please check your 'bill' a couple of times during your cruise. This helps you sustain the 'shock' when you get your On Board bill.
If you are on a balcony, keep your curtains closed during the day to keep the room cool. Reserve any spa treatments in advance, if possible. The same goes for shore excursions...especially the ones you really, really want.
Something will always go wrong, somewhere at sometime. Whether it be a flight or cancellation of a shore excursion due to unknown circumstances. Always have a plan B.
Figure out when times to dine are most popular and plan accordingly, the same goes for all activities.
Quarters can be obtained from the casino or the main desk.
You will have a marvelous time!
Last edited by worthew8; March 5th, 2010 at 06:52 PM.
Reason: additional pointers
Expect for your blood pressure to go down.
Expect to open up to strangers.
Expect the butterlies in your stomach, as you walk up the gangplank.
Expect to stay up later then you would at home.
Expect tons of food options all day.
Expect you may eat many of those options.
Expect that things that may bother you at home, won't.
Expect to enjoy every single minute.
Expect your cruise to be over before you know it.
Expect you will be sad, as you walk down the gangplank.
Expect to book another cruise asap!
Trip, with her book & tea!
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