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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 1st, 2005, 11:19 PM
coldmnguy
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Default first family cruise

Ok...I've never been on a cruise, never really wanted to but the family really wants to so I have been thinking about it. We are looking to go in March for a week in the Carribbean. After looking at everything, seem to have chosen the Voyageur of the Seas to Eastern Carribbean for 7 days. Lots of questions..any help would be appreciative

1. I get seesick at the drop of a hat...should I visit the doctor before I go or is dramamine fine. How rocky are these boats.

2. My kids ar 10 and 12 (both girls) and am trying to figure out about rooms. Which would be better - two adjacent so called "large" rooms or what they call an "Oceanview Stateroom" - or a "Superior Oveanview Stateroom"?

3. Is there any particular place on the ship that you don't want to have your room ?

4. Which floors are better - higher or lower?

5. Is early dining or main dining a big deal?

6. Are rooms assigned in advance or do you tip whoever when you get on board to get a good room?

Sorry, I know these sound like really stupid questions, but would like to make it a fun time for all and I don't want to spend a bunch of time complaining about something that I could fix in advance
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 06:39 AM
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Default Re: first family cruise

I will try to answer some of your questions. We have been cruising at least twice a year since 1995 so maybe I can help a little.

1. I get very seasick. Dramamine does not always help me. DO THE PATCH
2. I would do 2 adjacent rooms. I would not want 4 people in one stateroom unless they were very small and the cabin very, very large.

3. I personally do not like the front of the boat. That is the end that feels like it moves the most to me.

4. I have found you feel the movement more on the higher decks. We travel on the Adventures , the sister ship to yours, 2 years ago and I could feel the movement on the higher decks. My husband said I was crazy. I usually stay around decks 7-9. I think deck 10 is the highest deck for staterooms. We are doing the southerncaribbean again
this year and are on deck 9.

5. I prefer latedining. After the excursions we usually dont get back until around 5:00 and I think early seating is a 6:00 not enough time. But then again I have teenage girls with me that take 35 minutes to put on mascara.

6. Your rooms are assigned in advance. You usually pick out the room you want with your travel agent at the time of booking, unless you book a guarantee stateroom. I would use a travel agent the first time booking a cruise, if you like cruising then maybe next time you could do it yourself. A guarantee stateroom is one where you are guaranteed that cagatory stateroom or better but you never know where you will be on the ship. I did that one time and ended up on the very front of the ship and was seasick for 2 days. But I did dramamine instead of the patch that cruise. Did not make that mistake again.

anymore questions please email me at gaborn65@hotmail.com. I don't know what islands you are going to.
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: first family cruise

Category D2 or D3...go for two adjoining cabins...look at the ship layout...Expedia.com has a good layout screen, showing which rooms are adjoining. Try to stay AFT or towards the back half of the ship, less motion and engine noise. Rooms higher up are high priced....lower, not as costly. I'd recommend a balcony if you can at all afford it, that way you don't have to race up to the pool decks early to save a lounge chair.

You tend to find early dining is families with children, late dining is usually an older crowd. Kids prefer to eat early, and often! If you are more likely to just do the buffet's or grills for burgers and pizza's, it doesn't matter which you chose when you book your reservation.

Seasickness....my husband and I purchased wrist bands at the local drugstore, dramamine would have interacted with our other medications. Ships are really quite stable, and you don't feel rocking as if you were deep sea fishing...its more gradual and slow. We did not get seasick, but did experience vertigo AFTER we were home for a couple days.

Advice because of children...set the rules before you board, because afterward, you will only see them when they need money or food! We looked here thru the teen message board for advice from other kids, and decided walkie talkies were a good idea to keep tabs on the kids, and they are expected to check in at meal times.

Only other advice....book NOW! If you are trying to get a spring break cruise, they fill up quick ! They want full payment by 60 or 90 days in advance of your cruise. You can always try to switch or upgrade your room choice in a week or two if you find that you prefer a different level or size.

Happy Cruising!
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 05:39 PM
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Send a message via ICQ to Cynda
Default Re: first family cruise

Category D2 or D3...go for two adjoining cabins...look at the ship layout...Expedia.com has a good layout screen, showing which rooms are adjoining. Try to stay AFT or towards the back half of the ship, less motion and engine noise. Rooms higher up are high priced....lower, not as costly. I'd recommend a balcony if you can at all afford it, that way you don't have to race up to the pool decks early to save a lounge chair.

You tend to find early dining is families with children, late dining is usually an older crowd. Kids prefer to eat early, and often! If you are more likely to just do the buffet's or grills for burgers and pizza's, it doesn't matter which you chose when you book your reservation.

Seasickness....my husband and I purchased wrist bands at the local drugstore, dramamine would have interacted with our other medications. Ships are really quite stable, and you don't feel rocking as if you were deep sea fishing...its more gradual and slow. We did not get seasick, but did experience vertigo AFTER we were home for a couple days.

Advice because of children...set the rules before you board, because afterward, you will only see them when they need money or food! We looked here thru the teen message board for advice from other kids, and decided walkie talkies were a good idea to keep tabs on the kids, and they are expected to check in at meal times.

Only other advice....book NOW! If you are trying to get a spring break cruise, they fill up quick ! They want full payment by 60 or 90 days in advance of your cruise. You can always try to switch or upgrade your room choice in a week or two if you find that you prefer a different level or size.

Happy Cruising!
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: first family cruise

Cynda, could you explain the saving of pool deck chairs in more detail?
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: first family cruise

he's going during spring break....the ship will be full capacity with sun worshippers !
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 02:40 AM
Mrs.T
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Default Re: first family cruise

so with a balcony you can sunbath on your balcony instead of poolside?
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 09:40 AM
Emm
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Default Re: first family cruise

It would be unlikely you could sunbathe on a balcony -- 2 small chairs and a small table fit on them -- plus you never know which way the sun will be -- you might be on the shady side or have covering . I wouldnt get a balcony based on the chance to get some sun on it. It's possible probably, but in my experience not likely.

2 cabins are nice -- but it can be done in one room -- but the quads fill up fast, so again booking early is key. Sometimes you can get 2 insides for the same cost -- spring vacation cruises you rarely find good deals on 3rd and 4th passenger rates. Not sure, but I don't think insides are ever adjoining. Oh, don't let "large" make you think the room is large -- its "larger" but maybe by 2' -- I like 2 cabins vs. 1 -- it makes a much more relaxing trip for all imo. but I have done a cruise with 4 in a cabin -- just depends on everyone's personality -- and how much privacy you would like

Deck space sometimes is hard to find, but not impossible. Cruise lines do have rules about "saving" deck chairs -- On sea days when the weather is sunny -- the decks are crowded -- but on the newer ships -- there are always chairs somewhere, just probably not on the deck next to the pool in the sun.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: first family cruise

so....coldmnguy.....did you book the cruise?? What'd you end up with?
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Old January 5th, 2005, 07:57 AM
saabgal
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Default Re: first family cruise

Regarding th seasickness issue: We just sailed on the Empress of the Seas. It is the smallest RCI ship. We did have a bit of rough weather. We definately felt the ship moving. We even had crew members sick. Stay outside when you get the yicky feeling. We took Bonine with us, took a pill every night before dinner, didn't make us drowsy. Actually the bonine was chewable so we also brought along the Target brand generic form of it. Worked like a charm. This is less drowsy than taking dramamine and you can also have a drink while taking it.

One important thing about seasickness is to take any medication BEFORE you leave. Once that feeling sets in, it is very difficult to get rid of. I usually have everybody take something before the flight (it makes flying that much easier too).

Oh, and at the Cafe Lattetitues they always had candied ginger. Helps keep tummy settled. Gift shop sold some hard candy that had ginger in it too. Order gingerale with dinner.

Get 2 rooms if you can. If not, don't worry, the kids will never be in the room anyway. We actually had 2 rooms this past time (one inside and on outside across the hall). Worked out great.

have fun.
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Old January 5th, 2005, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: first family cruise

My wife and I are taking our daughter and her girlfriend on Marinr of the Seas on March 20. We got them an inside atrium room and we got a outside balcony room. No way was I going to spend seven days in the same cabin with two teenage girls. If you can afford it, get two rooms one inside and one outside across the hall. Money well spent.
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Old January 12th, 2005, 05:40 PM
machllz
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Default Re: first family cruise

Get the patch and make sure to put it on at least 4 hours before you sail. I get very sea sick and didn't even feel sick once. I had to share my patches with those in my family who thought they were tough but ended up sick! They are good for 3 days then you change it. We have 5 teens with us. Last time we got two cabins which meant me and my husband shared with one teenage girl. This time I got the Family Oceanview that sleeps 6. All 5 teens are in there and me an my husband are across the hall in a small interior, but will be worth it to have privacy! You can choose your cabins when you book, look at the layout on Expedia and see what is still available. I recommend late dining as you get back from excursions late and want time to shower and get changed. There is so much food available all of the time that no one really gets hungry anyway! My teens only ate in the dining room with us once, otherwise they were at the buffet with new friends every night. Take nice clothes for photos, and go around and have them taken at the various stations. They are a good bargain ( I thought) and the best souvenirs we brought home! We had tons of "family" portraits done as well as just kids and just me and my husband on formal nights. Watch out for your phone bill when you get back as they will meet tons of friends and be anxious to call them all when they get home!
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Old January 12th, 2005, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: first family cruise

We got the patches from our Dr. "just in case" my husband and I never needed them, but our son who is sensitive to motion used his. He never got sick. They worked great.
We are cruising again this summer and I will again get the patches. Hope you have a great trip!
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