I've dreamed of taking a cruise or transatlantic crossing since I was about 12 years old, which was was back in 1977, and for the first time in my life I finally have the time and the money to consider it.
My wife is prone to motion sickness, and so we decided to take a very short cruise to get our feet wet with it and see how we like it.
We put a down payment of $500 (refundable) to reserve a three day cruise on Infinity (with the balance due in a week), leaving June 1st from San Francisco to Vancouver. After checking the prices online with places like Travelocity, I decided to try and book it directly with Celebrity's 800 number. They were willing to match the prices offered online, and I booked a Family Ocean View Stateroom with Veranda (9156) for $650 for the first two passengers (me and my wife), and $200 for each additional passenger for our two children (ages 4 and 10), and my very sweet and elderly Mother in law (who is now 87 years old). The total of about $2000 doesn't seem cheap, but at only $400 a person we really can't complain. And this particular cabin seems to have an amazing balcony.
Please pardon my questions, but having never cruised we are really very green.
First, it states that the departure time is 5:00, but what time do we actually get on the ship? A couple of hours before? More?
Second, for my elderly Mother in law, who can still walk, but is rather weak and tires easily, can we request a wheelchair from Celebrity when she's standing in line to get on the ship?
Third, how do kids do on Celebrity cruises? Is it a big no no to take kids ages 4 and 10 to the main dinning room? My son does reasonably well in restaurants these days. But 4 year olds are, well, 4 year olds.
Fourth, are you usually close enough to the coast that you can see the shore when you cruise up the Pacific Coast? I wouldn't think so, but I just don't know.
Last, overall, do you think it's a good idea to give cruising a try with this group, or should I just wait for some time in the unknown future when my wife and I can go alone?
Many thanks, Ben
PS One more question, I think I read somewhere that you can request babysitters (or leave the kids in the Fun Factory?) so that Mom and Dad and Grandma can go and enjoy a peaceful dinner. Is that true?