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Old September 14th, 2010, 04:51 PM
Lifesgood
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Default First time Cruising. First time on the Explorer by RCCL

My family and I are going on a cruise for the first time, especially the Explorer of the seas by RCCL to Bermuda end of this month.. Any helpful tips, suggestions, would be much appreciated. I definitely researched as much I could have under the RCCL forum but always good to hear more..We are staying in the Inside/Interior room Deck 10...Also, does anyone know how can I possibly take liquor on board? Also, does anyone have any recommendations on how to get on the VIP list? Any suggestions on what to bring on a cruise would be great too! Sorry to bother you guys and hope to be part of the community and future travels.
Thank you!
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Old September 14th, 2010, 07:45 PM
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Hi Life
I have a feeling that you and your family will love your cruise, lots do to onboard Explorer of the Seas. In case you haven't already read through the section here on taking your first cruise, here is a link:

First time cruisers

They do have a pretty inforced rule on bringing alchol onboard, but I believe you can bring a bottle or two of wine with you...

Have a great time.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 08:42 PM
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Haven't been to Bermuda but have been on the Explorer and it is a great ship with lots to do. First off don't overpack (I'm still working on this problem). Also don't miss the Quest gameshow and the Love and Marriage show is also great. Check your cruise compass ( the list of daily activities left in your room each night) for days and times. Have never tried to sneek booze onboard but know others that have had success with small amounts in their luggage. Board early and walk around to familiarize yourself with the ship, it also helps to have a swimsuit in your carry on (and your camera) to enjoy the pool decks while others are still boarding. You also are not limiterd to the luggage tags given for leaving and if possible exchange them for a late departure giving you as much time as possible on the ship. Hope you have a great time please write a review when you return.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 12:12 PM
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Default Thank you

Thank you for responding and giving me more feedback. I shall also check out the First timers link. I appreciate it very much!!
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Old September 15th, 2010, 12:33 PM
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Great ship. Been on her 3 times to Bermuda. Not sure if I ever put my review up over here, but I have a bunch of pix in my link in my siggy.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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Congratulations on booking your first cruise. Warning, you may love it so much that you will become hooked like so many of us!
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Old September 15th, 2010, 06:53 PM
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Thank you! I checked out your pictures, they are amazing. I just hope we enjoy it all!!
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Old September 15th, 2010, 06:54 PM
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Haha thanks for the warning, I hope I do get addicted. The next one I want to take is the Oasis of the sea! I heard that ship is ridiculous!
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Old September 16th, 2010, 11:43 AM
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So does anyone know how I can get on the VIP LIST? Is there a big difference as a regular passenger and being on the VIP LIST? Any other recommendations? Also when you get to bermuda or wherever the ship docks, I am sure you get a chance to go around and walk around the town, Is it clean? safe? restrooms? etc...Hope you guys dont mind me asking this.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 12:15 PM
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I'm not sure what VIP list you are referring to. The perks some guests get are due to being multiple repeat customers and members of the Crown and Anchoir Society, or being full suite guests.
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Majesty of the Seas - 10/03 & 02/07 & 11/08
Enchantment of the Seas - 10/04 & 10/11
Mariner of the Seas - 10/05
Vision of the Seas - 10/06 & 09/07
Carnival Liberty - 10/07
Adventure of the Seas - 9/08
Ruby Princess - 12/09
Voyager of the Seas - 9/10
Carnival Spirit - 11/10
Oasis of the Seas - 9/13
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Old September 16th, 2010, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifesgood View Post
So does anyone know how I can get on the VIP LIST? Is there a big difference as a regular passenger and being on the VIP LIST? Any other recommendations? Also when you get to bermuda or wherever the ship docks, I am sure you get a chance to go around and walk around the town, Is it clean? safe? restrooms? etc...Hope you guys dont mind me asking this.
Very clean. Very regal.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Thank you Peter and Blueliner.

@Blueliner - I have heard about some VIP lists that non repeat customers get on where you can get some extra perks or maybe room upgrades, credits etc. I was wondering how to get on that list.

@Peter - Even the places to eat and restrooms and all in whatever town your docked at?

Also how to save money on excursions? any idea anyone?

Thank you guys!
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Old September 16th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifesgood View Post
Thank you Peter and Blueliner.

@Blueliner - I have heard about some VIP lists that non repeat customers get on where you can get some extra perks or maybe room upgrades, credits etc. I was wondering how to get on that list.

@Peter - Even the places to eat and restrooms and all in whatever town your docked at?

Also how to save money on excursions? any idea anyone?

Thank you guys!
Yes. You Dock in Kings Wharf, which used to be a British Naval facility. Need I say more?

Want to save money? Just buy a multiple day transportation pass. You can then use any bus or ferry to take you anywhere you want to go.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 01:33 PM
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Gotcha....Good to know. Thank you. I appreciate your feedback!
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Old September 16th, 2010, 03:35 PM
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There is no VIP list that I am aware of. The perks are handed out to higher level Crown and Anchor members and full suite guests. Unless you know someone personally at RCI.
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Majesty of the Seas - 10/03 & 02/07 & 11/08
Enchantment of the Seas - 10/04 & 10/11
Mariner of the Seas - 10/05
Vision of the Seas - 10/06 & 09/07
Carnival Liberty - 10/07
Adventure of the Seas - 9/08
Ruby Princess - 12/09
Voyager of the Seas - 9/10
Carnival Spirit - 11/10
Oasis of the Seas - 9/13
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Old September 18th, 2010, 12:21 PM
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Default Paying

I understand the cruise is all inclusive as far as food. What about water, soda, etc though? Do we have to pay for it?
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Old September 18th, 2010, 01:02 PM
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You pay for water, soda, alcohol.. virtually everything except juices in the morning at breakfast..coffee and tea free too. Most food is free except specialty restaurants and a couple of smaller things. You can buy a soda card that you can use if you drink a lot of it. Not worth it in my opinion unless you drink at least 4 or 5 sodas a day. Hope Bermuda is still there next week cuz Igor is going to nail it!
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Old September 18th, 2010, 02:16 PM
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@BRIGUY - Thanks for the feedback. I hope Bermuda is still there too. I know some other cruises got cancelled recently as well.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 01:07 PM
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So when they say all inclusive - its only food? I know we have to pay for alcohol, soda Jhonny Rockets etc, but water too? thats not fair that we gotta pay for H20. What about when we eat dinner in the main dining room? then too? Any really good recommendations for liquor on board? I know rum runners and all exists but other then that? Can we bring any liquor? how so? if anything. What about Hookah? thats pretty much flavored tobacco? and its smoked through a HOOKAH, I wonder if we are allowed to bring that on board. Also how much deposit is required initially before boarding? Is it per room or per person? Thanks everyone who is providing feedback If any other questions come up ill ask as its our first time for us and our family to go on a cruise and its about 15 people going all together.
Thanks.

Last edited by Lifesgood; September 20th, 2010 at 01:23 PM.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifesgood View Post
So when they say all inclusive - its only food? I know we have to pay for alcohol, soda Jhonny Rockets etc, but water too? thats not fair that we gotta pay for H20. What about when we eat dinner in the main dining room? then too? Any really good recommendations for liquor on board? I know rum runners and all exists but other then that? Can we bring any liquor? how so? if anything. What about Hookah? thats pretty much flavored tobacco? and its smoked through a HOOKAH, I wonder if we are allowed to bring that on board. Also how much deposit is required initially before boarding? Is it per room or per person? Thanks everyone who is providing feedback If any other questions come up ill ask as its our first time for us and our family to go on a cruise and its about 15 people going all together.
Thanks.
The only water you have to pay for is the bottled water in the mini-fridge (if you have one in your room) or when you go ashore. All other water is included. At dinner, water, juice, coffee and tea are included.

You can bring a bottle of wine aboard, but all other alcohol will be seized if they catch it.

The deposit is per person, and the amount differs by cruise line and by length of sailing. For example, a 7 night cruise on Royal Caribbean is a deposit of $250 per person.
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Majesty of the Seas - 10/03 & 02/07 & 11/08
Enchantment of the Seas - 10/04 & 10/11
Mariner of the Seas - 10/05
Vision of the Seas - 10/06 & 09/07
Carnival Liberty - 10/07
Adventure of the Seas - 9/08
Ruby Princess - 12/09
Voyager of the Seas - 9/10
Carnival Spirit - 11/10
Oasis of the Seas - 9/13
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Old September 20th, 2010, 07:40 PM
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Thank you for that input!
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Old September 20th, 2010, 10:18 PM
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Hi Life,
Usually the deposit is per person, around $500 per person, sometimes you can find deals and its cut down to half.. Its the bottled water that the charge for, the tap water is perfectly fine to drink...

You also have to figure in the tips, appx. $10.00 per day, per person...Keep in mind, when onboard and you order a soda or any kind of drink, they will add a 15% tip to that.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 11:19 PM
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Thank you Donna! I appreciate the feedback
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Old September 24th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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Default Weight limit? Toiletries? Parking

1) Is there a weight limit for your suitcase?

2) As far as toiletries go, cologne shampoo etc...Is it a problem if they are checked in with a suitcase or do they have to be in a ziplock bag etc?

3) Parking , We are driving to the port in Bayonne. Does anyone know of any parking? Because their parking costs about $20 a day.


Thank you guys for your feedback and help. I really appreciate it.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifesgood View Post
1) Is there a weight limit for your suitcase?

2) As far as toiletries go, cologne shampoo etc...Is it a problem if they are checked in with a suitcase or do they have to be in a ziplock bag etc?

3) Parking , We are driving to the port in Bayonne. Does anyone know of any parking? Because their parking costs about $20 a day.


Thank you guys for your feedback and help. I really appreciate it.
Toiletries can be packed anywhere (unless you're talking about flying) you may not get your suitcase for many hours on a ship this size, so keep a carryon with toiletries, stuff you'll need for the first night. Dress code for first night's dinner is casual, lots will still be waiting for their suitcases to arrive.
No limit for suitcase weight. Take one that will stash under your bed or in the back of a small closet.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 08:16 PM
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Thank you Queen. I appreciate the feedback. How about tips? Does anyone know about tipping? for porters and room service etc? does that automatically get taken off my ship and sail card or do we tip them cash etc?
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Old September 24th, 2010, 08:34 PM
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Sorry guys for asking so many questions: As I am packing or my family here is asking questions as well. Are we aloud to in a carry on take Snack items such as cookies etc? A thermos for personal use if need be, medicines? Also someone told me you can take wine if you check it in your suitcase someone said no way or you will get kicked off. Let me know your thoughts...Thank you!
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Old September 24th, 2010, 08:53 PM
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Nope, no weight limit for the cruise lines, but you want something you can be able to handle yourself...Try not to overpack...
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Old September 27th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lifesgood View Post
Sorry guys for asking so many questions: As I am packing or my family here is asking questions as well. Are we aloud to in a carry on take Snack items such as cookies etc? A thermos for personal use if need be, medicines? Also someone told me you can take wine if you check it in your suitcase someone said no way or you will get kicked off. Let me know your thoughts...Thank you!
When we cruise with our kids we always take some snacks, licorice, pringles, candy etc... we put in our checked bags and have never had a problem. A thermos is fine and I would definately keep your medications in your carry-on. As far as the wine I have never tried but know many who have brought a bottle or two in their luggage without any problems. Happy cruising.
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Explorer March 27, 2009
Monarch January 9, 2009
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Old September 29th, 2010, 11:49 AM
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Default Some Answers

Toiletries: You can pack whatever size toiletries you like on the ship. It's the airline that has the restrictions.

Snacks: Cookies are baked and served fresh (and free) in several places on the ship every day. We packed snacks on our first cruise and when we got ready to pack on the last night, our snacks weren't even opened. Unless you have a specific snack you can't live without, you'll find so much from soft-serve ice-cream, to cookies and assorted pastries and desserts you won't need the snacks.

Water: Water in the food venues is free. You can purchase bottled water but we have never had a problem with the water served onboard the ship. It tastes great.

Soda: We always purchase the soda card. It's $4 per day or those under 18. For our teens, that's 2 soda's per day. The purchase price is a little over $2 each so if our teens drink a soda for lunch and have a couple of them out by the pool and at lunch, they have more than paid for themselves. Adults price is $6 per day. Even though, at home, I wouldn't drink that many, I find myself asking for a diet coke at lunch, out by the pool in between the frozen drinks, sometimes at dinner, and again, sometimes at the shows. It more than pays for mine and it's convenient.

Wine: Not allowed on RCI. Some cruise lines allow a bottle or 2 but not RCI. To me, it's not worth the time and trouble and nerves to try smuggling it onboard. I buy it by the glass or bottle on board. Price is higher, but if you get caught trying to smuggle it onboard, your will get called to the "naughty room" where your luggage will have been opened. They will have confiscated your wine/liquor and you won't get it back until the last night. Avoid the embarrassment, especially on your first cruise.

Medicine: Prescription meds should always be in your carry-on, just in case your luggage gets "separated" from you and is later or (God Forbid) never arrives. I always carry OTC meds such as Advil, Immodium, Benedryl, band-aids, neosporin and an OTC cold medicine. I got up with chest cold one morning when we docked in Dominica. I couldn't find anything resembling our cold meds, and the ship's shops are closed when you are in port. Try for trial sizes of some things. Don't take big packages of band-aids or a month's supply of Advil. If you pack cold meds, carry the gel caps instead of liquid.

Deposit: $250 per person for a 7-day cruise. Sometimes they offer a special with the deposit cut in half, but normal on 7-day is $250. Deposit increases if it's a longer cruise. Final payment is due around 70 days from date of sailing.

Parking: In some of the port cities, they offer a cruise and park package at hotels near the port. I don't know about Bayonne.

VIP List: No list I'm aware of. Even the repeat cruiser's perk have shrunk in the past few years so you aren't missing much. Never been to Bermuda but I have been on Explorer and we love the ship.

Couple of tips/tricks: You can board earlier than your cruise documents say. You can go to the pier and board around 11-11:30 and have lunch on the ship. The Drink of the Day they stick in your hands on the pool deck before you sail are not free, and you will get charged for it. Either say, "no thanks" or be prepared to see about $8 charged for the drink in the souvenior glass. You can order the same drink, but request it come in a regular glass and save about $2 per drink. You're paying a couple of bucks for the glass you get to keep. Zip-lock bags are my essential travel item. I use the snack size for jewelry, the 2-1/2 gal for shoes, shorts, t-shirts, meds, make-up, toiletries, etc. For small children, an entire outfit can be in a zip-lock coordinated so that all you do is grab the bag and you're ready to dress them. They are also great for wet/damp swimsuits, sweaty socks, etc. When we get the luggage, I simply wipe the drawers with an antiseptic wipe and toss in the zip locks. You can use a cable tie (found at Home Depot) to secure luggage instead of a lock and it's very convenient. They can be opened with a set of nail clippers (which you are also allowed to carry onto the ship, but not a plane).Keep a copy of your itinerary, (including name of the ship and number and name of hotel and number), on the outside pocket of each piece of luggage with your last name only, and your cell phone number. If you luggage gets lost, it can be re-united with you easier. Don't carry beach towels. You can check them out on the pool deck, even to take off the ship to the beach. Just be sure to bring them back as there is a $20 charge if lost. Carry a wrap, jacket or sweater. It can get chilly in the dining room and at the shows. I carry one in a color that can do "double and triple" duty.
DON'T FORGET TO PUT PASSPORTS, CRUISE DOCUMENTS, HOTEL CONFIRMATIONS, MEDICINE, ETC. IN THE CARRY-ON, along with a change of clothes for the dining room for the first night (in case luggage arrives too late). It's always casual night on the first night and you should check to see if the dining room times are changed for the first night only. It happens on most of the cruises. On night 2, the set times go back to normal. Go by the dining room after you've had your first lunch onboard to make sure you know where your table assignment is (it will be on your seapass card), and that everything is as you requested.

Finally: Try not to overpack. We LOVE packing light now and we carry less and less on each cruise. We don't carry, "maybe I might want it" clothes anymore.

Have a blast! You'll be hooked on cruising.
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