I agree with the fly down a day early rule and the twice the money rule but I learned after the first 2 Royal Caribbean cruises to actually take twice the clothes for our 3rd because they have no on board do it yourself laundry facility and sending them out to laundry is spendy. I'm sure you could pack lots less on other lines that have self serve laundry. This may not be an issue for everyone though.
3) Check your dining assignment when you check in. If it's not the seating you prefer, you can change it, but it needs to be done right away. Pick up a daily newsletter from the pursor's desk (ask the greeters when you board the ship where it is). Inside it will tell where the Matre'D is and what times he's available to make changes. See him right away and if there is space, they will change it for you.
4) Read the 1st & 2nd day's news letters because they put information in there for activities that could be later in the week. It's like a week in review. Sometimes they put the wine tasting in the week in review but not on the scheduled day's newsletter.
5) Save your luggage space and leave a beach towel at home. They are free to use and can be easily exchanged.
6) An extension cord/mini powerstrip can come in handy. Also a travel clock as the cabins don't have furnish one.
[quote suer182]2.) Fly down at least one day ahead of time[/quote]
OK, Suer182, I'm staying on topic, OK?.....but, don't people point and stare when someone walks around with their zipper down a day ahead of time?
OK, suggestion, huh?.... just relax at the first dinner and go with the flow, work from outside to inside with knives and forks as the different courses come. Do something to make your waiter and assistant waiter smile and feel special the first night so they relax.....they'll treat you well from that point on and you'll get little extras. Compliment them at the end of the first dinner if they give you excellent service....tell the head waiter a few days later how good his people are.
Excellent note above on the waiters. We had the best ever this last cruise. We made it known how much we appreciated them and how much fun they were to them as well as the head waiter. We got extra lobster tails, shrimp, deserts etc without asking for them. They just thought we would enjoy them. Our staff was fantastic!!!
trying to stay on topic....LOL. I bring over-the-door organizers...one for the bathroom-just not enough room on the counter/cabinets for all your"stuff"(meds,etc) ...also someone at C@'s suggested an over-the-door shoe organizer which we brought on our last cruise, helped to keep the closet straighten up. I also recommend the highlighter, that way when the compass is slipped under your door, you can enjoy a frozen thingy and can go thru it and highlite what you want to do the next day.Also, if your happy with the service,be it in the dining room, bar etc., make sure you compliment the staff...they do appreciate it. I can imagine that there are alot of cruisers out there who only complain and dont give kudos to the staff so a pat on the back will go a long way.
OK, when the room steward comes to your stateroom on the first afternoon, feel free to tell him/her that you like extra pillows, towels etc. They'll usually write it down and take care of it by the time your room is turned down for the evening. Treat them with respect, it'll get you more than an abrasive relationship. Try to keep the room neat.
Send a note to the captain offering help with Navigation during the coming week....tell him that you brought along your trusty GPS I'm sure he will appreciate it.
Listen, first things first. Make sure you bring enough clothes (as laundry is expensive as stated above). Second, I got away with spendidng 200$ my first cruise. It depends on if u drink alot of booze or not. Third, the thing i missed most, was MY CAMERA!!! Make sure to take plenty of pictures and/or video. This will def. come in handy later when you brag about your cruise to your friends. I agree with the statement above about your waiter, they will be your best friends, or your worst enemies. Im getting married in March and going on my honey moon on March 18th (Rhapsody of the seas) and i already know after 1 cruise that this is impotant and the other statement i made above. Another thing to keep in mind is EXCURSIONS ARE NOT ALWAYS THE BEST DEAL!!!!! Make sure you always have time to explore the cities. One of my best memories was taking a FREE timeshare tour and drinking, eating for free. It was great. Also make sure that you know time will fly. Enjoy every minute on your cruise. This will be something to remember later.You dont have to spend alot of money to have a good time. You can find things that will def. make the experience worth while.
To save money don't go overboard by buying extra copies of photographs taken by the ship photographers. Doing that can easily run you into hundreds of dollars. We found that out on our first cruise. On our second cruise we bought one print of the photographs we liked. Since we did not see any copy-righted symbol on them we waited until we got home where we were able to scanned them into our computer and make copies for each other. We prefer to use the extra money we saved by eating in a specialty restaurant one night, buying a bottle of wine for our table another night, and "giving" it to the casino (we never win) another night. The ship still gets our money but it goes towards more fun things to do. :girly
Cruise #1 - Carnival (td) Conquest - September 2005
Cruise #2 - Norwegian Sun (tu) - January 2007
Cruise #3 - Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Sun - January 13, 2008
If you are on board with kids, walkie talkies are a great way to keep in touch as cell service is non-existent. We saw parents using them with their kids and wished we had had them. Our nine-year-old loved going everywhere on the ship while we relaxed by the pool. Every half-hour or so we had to meet him in our stateroom. W/T's would have saved us many elevator rides!
we brought walkie talkies for the ship but alas, ours didnt work very well, must not have had the right type. DH was at the bar watching the Daytona 500 and we were on deck as we left port and they had to much static...wasnt worth using for us. Dont know if it was because he was at the sports bar near the casino....but we shelved them the rest of the cruise.(but made rules that the kids had to follow about checking in, and them sticking together.) This year they will be 12 & 15 so there will be no WT's but there will be rules!!!LOL
Make a point of meeting your cabin steward right away, learn his/her name and how to pronounce; and When you run into your cabin steward in the hallway, look him/her in the eye, use his/her name and say hello in a friendly way and say something nice, like "how are you today" or "how's it going" or thank him/her for the work they do in your cabin. Don't just look through him/her. These people work really hard and don't get a day off and very little shore time, because they usually have to do the cabins while passengers are ashore. Their sleep time is usually broken into two segments.
Roll your clothes when you pack.
Carry on your important stuff (meds, money, passport, clothes for the first afternoon and evening, toiletries, credit cards, prescriptions, extra glasses, etc.)
Bungee cord, duck tape, extension cord, pocket knife, a few first aid supplies, something good to read.
Bring a great attitude and an adventursome spirit.
They also laugh at you if you wear your life preserver to dinner.
If by some chance you lost a lot of weight, purchase a swimsuit that fits. One that is too big might fall off in the pool.
Everyone gave my other tips already so here are some sunscreen mistakes. Nothing can mess up your vacation like a bad sunburn. Even people that don't burn in higher latitudes can turn into a lobster closer to the equator.
Common Sunscreen Mistakes
1. Applying sunscreen after going outdoors.
Sunscreen needs to be applied 15-30 minutes prior to going outdoors to allow the sunscreen to be absorbed into the skin. Follow manufacturer's instructions for exactly how long before going into the sun.
2. Not applying enough sunscreen.
The estimate is about 1 oz. for an adult. Keep in mind that that all parts of the body that will be exposed to the sun needs to be protected. Neglected areas include face, ears, neck, and feet.
3. Not reapplying after swimming.
# Sunscreen not labeled "waterproof" or "water resistant" does come off while in water. Even waterproof and water resistant sunscreen provide a limited time amount of protection. Check label for how often to reapply waterproof and water resistant sunscreens.
# Not reapplying sunscreen at all.
Many people have the misconception that one application of sunscreen will provide all day protection. Not true. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied generally every two hours. Check label for product specific instructions.
I would definately recomend extra clothes never know when you cruise might get extended. I would also recomend an overnight in s hotel. That way you won't have to worry about getting to pier in time. Also make sure you have a cute cover up for you bathing suit. And plastic baggies for the swim suit. I should buy stock in zip lock I use a tine of them on all vacations. I always bring my own shampoos and stuff the baggies keep things from leeking on outfits. Sunscreen on all areas ears, shoulders boobs or head. most people that aren't from sunny climents for get the ears. If the is skin there should be sunscreen on it, and if wering mesh the sun can get into the holes. Collaspable luggage also good for makiing the most of little storage. And above all else have fun.