My husband and I and our 3 children--ages 23, 18, and 14-- will be going on our first family vacation in 8 years. I've been reading a lot of the advice posted on the message boards. Thanks to those who take the time to respond. I have a few questions that I hope you will kind enough to help me with.
We are flying into Ft. Lauderdale, but did not book our airfare through the cruiseline. What is the best way to get from the airport to the ship?
Fifteen years ago my husband and I took a cruise on the Norway. I was seasick for 2 days. The doctor gave me motion sickness medicine, but then all I wanted to do was sleep! Has anyone tried something called sea bands or anything else that works with minimal side effects?
We are sailing on Enchantment of the Sea. It's just a 4 day cruise, but we thought it would be a good way for us to try cruising as a family. Any tips or advice for this particular ship?
Finally, the day our ship returns (at 8am), we are staying in Ft. Lauderdale until 9 pm that night, trying to squeeze every last minute out of this much-needed vacation. Any suggestions for activities, restaurants, etc? Thanks so much!!!
The Enchantment is an excellent choice for your family cruise. In 98, I went on this ship with my family ( a group of 6 of us ages 16-52). We all enjoyed it so much that we go on at least 2 cruises a year ever since. And, we are taking another couple on the Enchantment on 9/29 for their first cruise, I am confident you will find that the ship will be much more stable than your experience on the Norway, and would be surprised if you have a sea sickness problems. My mom has motion issues, and wears the sea bands and has never had a problem. This could be in her head, but whatever works!! The best way to get to the ship from the airport is to shell out a few extra bucks and take a cab. This way, you will arrive at the ship early ahead of the crowds and be on the ship quicker. In Ft. Lauderdale, a really fun restaruant for dinner is a place called The Caves. It is a Flinstone themed restaruant and all the waiters are dressed as Fred and Wilma. The first time we went there, we almost left before going in because it looks like a dive and the parking lot was empty, but the food is excellent. Great steaks and crab legs and lobster tails. An awesome salad bar, and homemade fresh bread. This is a neat place to go with your family. Hope this helps!!
It's a VERY short cab ride from the FLL airport to the pier, so go for it.
As far as seasickness meds, I use Bonine (the non-drowsy sister of Dramamine) and have never had a problem with side effects, even with cocktails. It's over-the-counter and readily available at any drug store. A real life saver for me. It's a little pink pill you take once a day. I usually start 2 days before travel to get it in the system and continue till I get home.
Something that could be fun to do would be to take a water taxi tour of the intercoastal waterway. You can get off and on as you choose. I believe a whole day pass is only a few dollars.
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. I feel like I've joined some kind of fraternity or sorority! My next question: Our cruise documents say you can't board the ship until 2:00. Is this true? Our flight arrives in Ft. Lauderdale at 8:45 am. Should we do something to kill some time before heading over to the ship? What time have you been allowed to board? Any tips for once we get on the ship--things we should do first? Thanks.
Even thought the cruise documents say 2:00, you can usually board around 11:30 or noon. (this all depends on how long it took to clear the ship when it arrived, and how long it took everyone to get off). If you board right away, your cabin usually isn't ready, but we have always dropped our carryon luggage off in the cabin as soon as we board. The cabin stewards don't seem to mind.
Our ritual when we get on the ship, is to change into our bathing suits (remember to pack these in your carry on), go up to the buffet for lunch, and after lunch get a drink at the pool bar, and lay out by the pool and sit in the hot tubs. There is plenty of time for exploring the ship between the lifeboat drill and sail away. Its fun to sit by the pool and watch all the stressed out people running around who haven't quite gotten into "vacation mode" yet.
At some point we like to check out our dining room assignment. After sailaway we explore the ship and then head down to our cabin to unpack (if the luggage pwers that be have co-operated!)
Definitely plan on eating lunch on the ship. Of the 7 cruises I've been on, I've been able to get on in time for lunch (noon-ish). As mentioned above, a carry on bag for bathing suites and a change of clothes in case your luggage arrives late is a good idea. Also, getting on early allows you to check out the ship. You'll really enjoy this! RCCL has beautiful ships.
"My husband and I and our 3 children--ages 23, 18, and 14-- will be going on our first
We are flying into Ft. Lauderdale, but did not book our airfare through the cruiseline. What is the best way to get from the airport to the ship?"
If you are leaving out of FLL then a cab is probably your best bet. You can still purchase transfers from the cruise line to take you to the pier if you like
"Fifteen years ago my husband and I took a cruise on the Norway. I was seasick for 2 days. The doctor gave me motion sickness medicine, but then all I wanted to do was sleep! Has anyone tried something called sea bands or anything else that works with minimal side effects?"
Raw ginger works well with no side effects. Ginger ale. There is also a patch but I forget what drug it is.
"We are sailing on Enchantment of the Sea. It's just a 4 day cruise, but we thought it would be a good way for us to try cruising as a family. Any tips or advice for this particular ship?"
Great ship, I got engaged on it.
"Our cruise documents say you can't board the ship until 2:00. Is this true? Our flight arrives in Ft. Lauderdale at 8:45 am."
No. You can usually board around noon.
"Any tips for once we get on the ship--things we should do first?"
If you enjoy spa treatments, they often look for 'volunteers' to get treatments while people tour the spa. In exchange for being a guinea pig, you can get a free spa treatment. You can also confirm your table seating for dinner with the Maitre de and get to know the ship.
WHOA! Jasonalec, YOU JUST GOT MY ATTENTION! You said FREE spa treatments for just sitting there while others tour the spa? How do I go about "inquiring" about one of these and not sounding like I am looking for a free pedicure (even though I am!)?
All of you guys' advice is wonderful, by the way. I am cruising in only 16 DAYS!!! on Explorer and WE CAN'T WAIT!!! I will propose to our little group (4) that we get to the pier at about 10:30-11:00 to board the ship around lunch time.
You guys will probably be right in front of us. We are going on the Navigator. Explorer is an awesome ship (sailed her twice)! Not sure exactly how it works but the idea is that they give spa tours to people boarding the ship to show the treatments they offer. They use people to demonstrate some of them. My guess is that they ask people who get there early if they would like to volunteer. No harm in asking when you get on board.
I will second the recommendation for Bonine.
I get motion sick easily, but one Bonine each morning and I have
had no problems on our past seven cruises.
Also, the generic for Bonine is Meclizine. Cheaper, but doesnt
have the cherry flavor. RCI used to give those away for free
at the purser's desk... probably not so anymore...
we are taking the enchantment on Dec 8 a 5 day cruise. I did not pick this ship but the ports were ones we have never been to before and am excited about going. I have heard so many good things about the ship and seen very nice pictures of it I can't wait till Dec homes. We have two land trips before then one the vegas and another to Lake Havasu in Nov. Have a wonderful cruise
Hi Sailed on the Enchantment in March during spring break with a 4 year old and an 8 year old. We sat at a table with 3 teenagers with their mom. They never stopped raving about it. you will love it. We have sailed on the Voyager and the Soveriegn and felt that the Enchantment was the nicest of the 3.
Im so excited for you and your family. There is nothing like cruising. Yes its very addictive. I will be taking my third cruise on the Navigator on Sept. 13th. My third cruise this year that is. When I took my first cruise last Sept. I faught it tooth and nail. I did not want to cruise! Well did I get hooked. We have a 34ft RV and I thought I loved it, but I"ll take a cruise anyday, especially A royal Caribbean cruise.
Have a wonderful and prepare for withdrawl when your cruise ends,