The Drama



When I booked my sister and brother in law's cruise in honor of their 25th Anniversary (They are on the Grandeur now), my travel agent told me Royal Caribbean would have some little treat for them one night at dinner. He didn't say what, but my guess is a cake or something and the waiters do a little song (I cannot resist...."A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants." LOL)

You can also check out some of the books available on Amazon. It is really convenient when you are not close to a book store or mall.

You can also check out Cruise Clues. They have a lot of neat links with all kinds of info.

The Cruise Diva also dispenses sage advice on her website.

Have fun at the Wal-mart! :)


Hi, Congrats! One idea for your hubby to be is to book a fishing excursion. Some of the ports of call RCI actually has this. I saw one of St.Maarten last night. This can make a country boy very happy. You can also look into doing a private charter while the ships in port. Just be sure the tour will be back early enough to get back on ship. The safest bet for new cruisers is to stick with the ships excursions but, you may have to look to a private fishing charter. What better fishing than in the Caribbean?

Have fun!


Ted_D Wrote:
> If for
> example the groom gets feet so cold that it turns
> into pneumonia, you'd get a full refund on
> cancelling. So, consider the insurance carefully.

Most travel insurance doesn't cover buyer's remorse. I'd check the terms of the policy very carefully before relying on a refund for anything other than a medical condition that prevents you from traveling.

cold feet = not covered
pneumonia = covered

A cruise is a great choice for a honeymoon!!! :)


"The world's best islands are the ones that float and move. They're called cruise ships."

Linda, now I do like that quote, thanks. Have a good day.

Diamond Plus

Here are my tips

- you can board the ship as early as 11:30 am

- dont tip extra on the bill as the money goes into a pool to be split ... cash is way more appreciated as it goes in the servers pocket

- dont use an ATM .. use your Seapass Card at the Casino Cashier window (no fee and u get mileage points)

- Dont miss ... The Quest and The Love and Marriage Game .. Hopefully you'll get picked

- Dont miss Portofino (i like to go on Caribbean night) .. its very romantic and worth the extra $ 20/pp

- If you go eastern caribbean .. make sure you go to the Orient Beach in St Maartin ... For a city slicker like you ... it wont phase you but your new hubby from KY will get a kick of all the naked people !

If you go western .... Dunns Fall in Jamaica or White River Rafting ... Carlos and Charlies in Cozumel

1st and last night your very casual ... 2 nights
2 formal nights ..... 2 nights
50's night (jeans) ......1 night
Caribbean night ... 1 night
Smart Casual night .....1 night
7 nights

From a mans point of view ... Here's what i pack
Shoes - Flip flops / Casual (boat shoes) / Tux Shoes
Formal - 1 bring one tux / 2 shirts + socks
50's night is jeans or khakis / shirt
Caribbean - ugly caribbean shirt
Smart Casual - Slacks and button shirt
1st and last - casual (no tank tops) .. let allow shorts but not perferred

bathing suits and t shirts during day .. nothing more ... hopefully less ;-)

Pack less and use the Laundry
They usually pair up your table with similar people / age groups . ... iff they dont ... dont be embarassed to ask to be changed.

Im sure ill come up with more ... any questions .. just ask

Diamond Plus

There are Wooden Ships
and there are Metal Ships
but nothing lasts longer than
Friendships !


That was some great advice and I am so glad I found this site. I am so excited..still...will it ever subside? My fiance like to lake fish. I mentioned deep sea fishing and things like that but he's not interested. He does want to parasail. I am scared to death of heights but I will go with him but my eyes will stay closed the whole time and I will have to cut my nails off because I will hold on so tight it will hurt has anyone ever gone? How high are you and what happens if you fall or something. Do you just drop into the shark infested ocean and wait? Is there a weight limit maybe I can put on a few pounds by Nov! :(


Parasailing is really a lot of fun. First, with a good operator, you are strapped in very well and they go over everything. We wore life vests. You ascend slowly but the thing that is really noteworthy is how quiet it is up there. It is very calming. However, if you do have any issues with heights, it may not be for you. If I recall, I think we were up about 200 ft. You have straps to hold onto. I normally hold on for dear life on these things but I managed to let go and take photos while I was up there. By the time you are ready to be lowered, you will be yelling "yoooo hooooo!" to the folks below. We went in a group and it was fun to watch the other people as they came down. We ascended and were lowered onto a platform on the boat. There was no dunking in any water...shark infested or not. :)

Okay now for the serious stuff....

Here are some things to look for about the operation. What is the condition of the boat and tow line? Does the harness feel secure? How well do they explain safety procedures and the process? (Do you get the warm and fuzzies?) Will the operator take you into an open area (away from bridges and other possible obstructions)? Are the water conditions rough that day? Is it too windy? Some bad operators will try to go if the conditions are rough.

The most common incidents are tow line failures, equipment failures and rough landings.

Typically, the operators chosen by the cruise line are pre-screened and they do look for safety violations or accidents. RCCL does not want to be party to a lawsuit even if waivers are signed. It would be highly unlikely for them to partner with an operator with safety issues.

Here is a link to the Parasailing Safety Council.

Here is a link to their consumer FAQ

Consumer Safety Tips:

If everything pans out, go for it! You will have a terrific time!



I had totally forgotten about the Love and Marriage Game, until Diamond brought it up. It is a hoot! My parents went on their first cruise last year to celebrate their 60th anniversary. Yes, I said 60th . . . . They went to the show, and got picked to be one of the three couples. One couple were young honeymooners;
one couple was on their 25th anniversary; and my parents we chosen because they had been married longer than anyone else in the audience. The show, thankfully, was taped so everyone in the family could share in the fun. To make a long story short, they ask some mildly embarrassing questions, but my poor mom and dad had no clue what was being talked about most of the time and made bizzare answers. Since the "game" was also televised on the ship's TV system repeatedly over the next 24 hours, mom and dad became celebrities! So, by all means, follow Diamond's advice and attend. It probably won't embarrass your fiance as much as the balconey, but it will be a close second.



We won the Newlywed Game (Same as the Marriage Game) on the Grand Princess, and due to some of our answers we had people coming up to us the rest of the cruise saying things like, "your'e our heros!" or "we envy your relationship." I didn't think that our relationship was that different than anyone else's, but it turned out we were a bit more "adventurous" than many aboard! It was a hoot, and even if you don't "play," you have to attend!


I'll make a deal with my fiance...I'll parasail if he'll do his best to get picked for this game! Where and when do they have it...I know all ships are different. If they ask the right questions...I may have a balcony story to tell :) . I'm still not over the older lady peeking around the corner thing though. What other "games" or group things do they offer. Is it November yet?


The games are announced in the daily news letter, the Cruise Compass. Variations of the games vary according to how the Cruise Director manages the activities. I am sure you will find something fun. :)


I read some of the reviews last night and it seems most people are dissapointed in the food. Is it that bad? From what I read it sounded good, maybe it was an old menu. It had lobster tails on it and other favorites of mine. What does it mean to "dry dock" is that when the boat goes in for services? It seems like the explorer will be going in soon after my trip. I hope it isn't to run down. Although being a first timer I have nothing to compare it to so Im sure it will be beautiful...except for the dust bunnies on the floor which would creep me out. Did they ever find out what happened to that guy who "FELL" off the ship while managing to leave behind a little speck of blood in his stateroom?


1. The food is usually very good, unless you are a food connoisseur. It is hard to prepare hundreds of meals at one time. These food whiners need to get over it. I have read complaints about the food on every line including Cunard (I am sure the staff of the QM 2 would have an issue with that!), Crystal and Radisson. I have never been at a table where someone complained or sent back food, not that I am the Zagat survey, mind you. I think the internet gives a voice to chronic complainers. If there is a problem with your dish, politely explain the situation during the cruise. :)

2. Typically, repairs or refurbishment take place during dry dock. RCI has been overhauling some of their older vessels. This past year, Empress, Sovereign and Enchantment have had major renovations with new or upgraded restaurants, clubs, furniture, etc. The company likes to boast about these upgrades, so check out their website. The Cruise Diva has a section on Enchantment's extension.

Sometimes dry dock can also be to replace carpet or other maintenance that is less noticeable.

3. Explorer should be in fine shape. It was built in 2000. Good grief, retired ships from the major lines are sold all the time and continue to sail under other companies. The original Island Princess (twin sister to the Love Boat) is now the Discovery, which focuses on luxurious exotic itineraries. I know a couple who went and raved about the ship, which is over 30 years old! If tattered carpet or a problem with the toidy makes someone's vacation less enjoyable, they have a screw loose.

4. The missing man from the Brilliance remains under investigation. It is also fodder for the cable talk shows, who discuss it but don't have anything new to say. Here's an update from MSNBC

5. I have yet to see a dust bunny on any vessel I have sailed on. :)

Don't worry, your first trip will always be the one you remember the most!



The food on your cruise will be fine. Is it as good as your grand mother's Sunday dinner or a five star restaurant? Definitely not. But is it as good as the above average restaurants in your area? Yes it is. And, there are an incredible number of different types of food and different places to get it on board. If you get something you don't like, don't eat it and simply order something else. If you want to order three appetizers, two salads, an entre, and four deserts, you can do it. And, then you can leave the restaurant and go get pizza and ice cream elsewhere! So, as long as you are not expecting gourmet food, you are going to be blown away by the amount, the variety, and the quality of what you get.

With regard to cleanliness, I have been cruising for over 20 years and every ship I have been on was as clean (or cleaner) than my home. If you look hard enough you'll find something that could be improved on any ship. But, you're going to find that they spend an enormous amount of time and effort cleaning, sweeping, shining, washing, and painting every single day. You won't be disappointed.

The single most important thing to take with you on your cruise is the attitude that you are going to have a great time. If you take that, you will indeed be blown away by the experience and become an addict like so many of us here!



I'm sure I'll love it. If they hand me a paddle and say "get to it" I'll still love it. I wish there was a limit on the food though it will be hard to stick with any "ggod" eating habits while on board! Again I want to thank you for the great advice and comments. I have had so many questions answered. The only downfall is that it makes me a little more excited everytime I get on here! :)


I get excited thinking about cruises that I might take! LOL. Don't worry about what you eat. This is a time for you and your husband to have fun. If you do a lot of activities, you won't gain anything. :) Oh, one thing I forgot to mention...on one's first cruise, you must challenge your mate to an elevator race inside the Centrum. (Okay, I think that comes after a few cocktails. LOL) If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. There are a lot of helpful folks here. :)


Hi Honeybound. Congrats on your upcoming marriage and first cruise! To answer a couple of your questions..

We ordered a Grand Romance Package through RCI (go to, click on Before you Board and then Gifts and Gear). I wouldn't recommend getting it. For $250 we were supposed to get: a bottle of champagne upon arrival; fresh flowers in stateroom; two cotton terry robes; canapés delivered before dinner and petit fours after dinner on two formal evenings; breakfast in bed one morning during the cruise; and a silver-framed, 8" x 10" keepsake portrait.

Upon arrival surprise, surprise, there were canapes waiting in our room (junior suite) that had obviously been there all day. We didn't eat them. The champagne, flowers and robes we had to ask for, the canapes before dinner on the first formal night were delivered when we were leaving our room to go to the dining room, the second formal night they did not arrive until after dinner, no petit fours after dinner the first formal night (we remembered the next day), and the second formal night the petit fours (chocolate dipped strawberries actually) were delivered before dinner. We usually got breakfast delivered every morning so the breakfast in bed was a mystery, and the portrait I don't really remember exactly what happened only that it was a huge hassle and we were in the photo gallery for a very long time.

I've heard it's a good idea to order these types of things once you've boarded and not before and thats's probably what we'll do if we ever order again. The most disappointing thing about it was the cruise was my present to my bf for his 50th and I wanted the romance package to be part of his gift. He was more disappointed to see me so disappointed but we're pretty easy going and in no way let it affect the wonderful time we had. We did, however, write a letter informing RCI of our experience.

Shoes: I would recommend taking only shoes that you've worn before and are very comfortable. For some reason my feet and ankles swelled while onboard and I was only able to wear my slides.

Food: I thought the food onboard was fairly good. I enjoyed the Windjammer the best while my bf liked the dining room best. We found that it's better to go early than late if you go to the Windjammer because everything is fresh and hot, or cold. I loved the salad bar and had a huge salad every day.

Hope that helps!



Congratulations! We just returned from the Western Caribbean and had a great time. To answer some of your questions:
Even though I packed plenty of long pants for my husband, he is a country boy while I'm a city girl, he wanted to wear khaki type shorts to most of the dinners, but he always had a buttoned shirt on with them. I did notice that most all the men had long pants on and those golf type shirts or a dress shirt. I usually wore a skirt and a top or a blouse and took all my black dresses with me. Do bring a sweater or light jacket if you tend to get cold easily. Also when you go to the shows, especially the ice show, it is very cold! We did not try the ice skating but they recommend you wear long pants or capris to cover your knees.

I also read that if you have a bottle of wine, you can bring it to dinner with you and they will charge you a $12 uncorking fee. The average bottle of wine cost us about $30 at dinner. Since they didn't really check through our bags except for the xray screening, I figured we could have sneaked a bottle of wine on board and brought our own bottle opener.

As for dressing after dinner, most of the time if my husband was wearing his suit from the formal night, he'd go change into his shorts and sneakers. Like I said, he's a casual guy. I wore a lot of sporty type clothing at night after dinner, because I was so cold. After dinner if you wanted to change into nice jeans with a fancy top, I don't see why not. People were walking around in t-shirts and sloppy shorts a lot of the time at night. I know one good look that casual men wear is nice jeans, a belt, and a long or short sleeve buttoned shirt tucked into the jeans. If you wore nice jeans and a fancy top with sandals that would look good too. I didn't notice any jeans in the dining room though. But I think if you put the look together right you could get away with it on some nights, as long as the jeans aren't real faded, frayed, or have holes in them. But thats just my opinion.

If you have any other questions let me know, I can even email you my clothings list. I am a fanatic when it comes to traveling and making lists of what to bring.