PDA

View Full Version : Must Know tips for first time cruiser


DaniTaylor
01-21-2009, 01:15 PM
Hi All,

The husband just booked us on our first ever cruise. We are taking the 3 night cruise leaving Feb. 19 and I couldn't possibly be more excited. So what do we absolutely need to know, do, see as first timers on what I'm guessing will be a fantastic Disney Cruise!

Thanks In Advance!!!
Danielle

crafty91
01-21-2009, 01:41 PM
IMO if you're going to Nassau, just stay on the ship you'll have it to yourself! You're only there for three nights so enjoy the part you paid for!:thumbsup2

mommasita
01-21-2009, 01:51 PM
Congratulations!!!!!!!!

I recommend reading the FAQ sticky near the top of this page. Here is the link to help you out .http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1002071

And to read all you can here, and ask questions. We were all new at one time, and this board LOVES to help.

Also don't stress about anything. No matter how many days you have on the ship, there is never time to everything, so think about Re booking while you are there (for the best discounts;) )

DaniTaylor
01-21-2009, 01:51 PM
You are actually the third person to tell us to stay on the ship when we get to Nassau I've just never been will I regret not even getting off the boat? Is there something quick we can hit without spending the whole day off the ship?

DaniTaylor
01-21-2009, 01:53 PM
Congratulations!!!!!!!!

I recommend reading the FAQ sticky near the top of this page. Here is the link to help you out .http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1002071

And to read all you can here, and ask questions. We were all new at one time, and this board LOVES to help.

Also don't stress about anything. No matter how many days you have on the ship, there is never time to everything, so think about Re booking while you are there (for the best discounts;) )

Thank you so much!

dta87
01-21-2009, 01:55 PM
CONGRATULATIONS!

Check out this trip report:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1758672

and then decide if you want to stay onboard in Nassau.

kcashner
01-21-2009, 01:55 PM
It's easy to get off and do a quick walk around. There are some decent places to go, but in general it isn't a wonderful port.

There are some free beaches and there are hotels that allow you to purchase a pass to their beach. For an expensive day, you can go to Atlantis and use all the facilities there.

Things have changed over the years. Nassau used to be just plain nasty. When DCL started, they worked with the Bahamian government to clean things up and make it safer as well as nicer. The straw market has been completely re-done. However...10+ years later, things are going downhill again. We'll be staying on the ship.

Big Willie
01-21-2009, 03:08 PM
During our last 4 nighter we took the DCL Excursion ... "Discover Atlantis." You take a quick walk down the pier and onto a tour bus which takes you to Atlantis. During the drive your driver gives you a brief history of the island and points out various points of interest. At Atlantis you are given a guided tour of the aquarium. Buses run frequently back and forth to the ship so that you may explore Atlantis after the tour if you wish. We spent about 3 hours total off the ship. Yes, its more expensive than grabbing a cab and doing it on your own but the excursion is far less hassle. Our first cruise we walked around Nassau and then went back to the ship. The In-Laws took a cab to Atlantis but the kids had

I'm retired Navy so I love to explore, explore, explore. Nassau is not perfect but nothing to be avoid. A sponsored excursion allows you to experience the island while breezing past some of the negatives others are mentioning.

GET OFF THE SHIP and EXPLORE! ENJOY!

shoes99
01-21-2009, 03:18 PM
We took a carriage ride. It was fun. We then went to the straw market, then walked back to the ship. DH collects Hard Rock pins so we went to get a pin... If you've never been there, I would get off the ship and walk around.

skylynx
01-21-2009, 05:08 PM
With just three days, don't waste any precious moments with the embarkation/disembarkation talks. Believe me, you'll figure how to get on and off without a lecture!

Our first ever cruise was a four-day, and by the third day we'd already rebooked a seven day for the following year. It was just that good. As you'll find out, you can rebook for a fairly distant cruise date and then change or cancel it while still retaining a discount and any on-board credit offered. If you can afford to let DCL hang onto your deposit, it's a great way to keep the discount even if you aren't sure when or if you are able to cruise again.

We've done Wonder cruises to Nassau about five times, and we still get off for an hour or so and just wander around. One time we did Atlantis on our own, which was VERY cool, and even that was just a half day. If I were only on the ship for a 3 night cruise, I'd probably get off for just a short time, get shouted at by the ladies who want to braid your hair, buy a couple funny Bahamas tshirts, then hi-tail it back on that gorgeous ship.

iloveokw
01-21-2009, 06:05 PM
We also stay on the ship in Nassau, but for your first cruise you can explore the straw market near the ship and that won't take long. We aren't night owls but take advantage of the night time adult only entertainment and make sure you make Palo reservations. The shows are great in the Walt Disney Theatre. pirate:

DaniTaylor
01-21-2009, 07:17 PM
Thank you for all the great tips! Unfortunately Palos is already booked for our cruise and though I want to try it I'm not too upset because I have a feeling this won't be our last cruise :)

frdeb1999
01-21-2009, 07:42 PM
Deffinately agree with not wasting much time in Nassau. We were off long enough to shop where we wanted and take a few pics and then back on board. And we had a fabulous time once back on....very few people and very relaxing! Hope you have a fabulous time!! :)

AndymanGA
01-21-2009, 09:20 PM
Get off the boat for at least a while.

Go to the Trip Reports and read through. You'll get some great ideas there

eyeheartgoofy
01-21-2009, 10:55 PM
Bring a nightlight and something for motion sickness (just in case). I was sure that I would be immune to motion sickness during our first cruise ... I was wrong.

bob23
01-21-2009, 11:00 PM
we got off @ Nassau both times we went there, 1st time was interesting checking out Atlantis, 2nd time we just went to the beach for a couple hours.

nzdisneymom
01-22-2009, 08:01 AM
Thank you for all the great tips! Unfortunately Palos is already booked for our cruise and though I want to try it I'm not too upset because I have a feeling this won't be our last cruise :)

Don't count yourself out for Palo yet -- they always hold back some reservation-times for folks to book once they board - but you'll want to get to the Dining change location as quickly as possible after boarding begins - it's usually in Wavebands but check the papers that they give you when you check-in to see. And keep checking online as sometimes people change their plans and something will open up.

DaniTaylor
01-22-2009, 10:00 AM
Thank you thank you thank you! You guys are awesome! We totally already planned to bring something for Motion Sickness I don't want to take ANY chances hehe! But a nightlight what a great idea.

TinkNanny
01-23-2009, 10:30 AM
We did a 4-day cruise a few years ago and I also was unsure about the stay on/get off Nassau decision. We did decide to go after all. The morning in port, we went to the Straw Market area and walked around. Who can resist being asked 25 times- "Would the girl like her hair braided, Ma'am?"? After an hour or so we went back on board for lunch and some pool time (which was not crowded at all). We had a short afternoon excersion for snorkeling, then back to the ship.
We are going back on another 4-day in April and will try the Atlantis, mainly because my daughter wants to. Although I do want to see the "Dig".
It does not take long at all to get off the boat and in to Nassau, so give it an hour or 2, just to say you have been. It shouldn't take any longer than that.

jrabbit
01-23-2009, 11:10 AM
FOr a 3 night cruise - you don't have a lot of time so....

First Day:
Be at the port before noon. THe terminal there is a fun, interesting building. You get checked in, you might have some time with a few characters, then you can get on board as soon as possible - *** (Mickey Vacation Time) goes by so quickly.

First Cruise, Only 3 Nights - I'll be in the minority here - SKIP Palo. Yes its wonderful food, but it also takes twice as long as a "normal" rotational dinner. Save it for next time - because there WILL be a next time. DCL it's not just a cruise line Its An Addiction!! (like most addictions - it too is a spendy one).

You will be able to have lunch onboard after boarding - In February eating up at Beach Blanket Buffet and sitting outside can be very pleasant (not so much in August!!).

After lunch, drop you carryons in your stateroom, keep your camera, find out when an where the ships tour is - this will help orient you to the ship - its big and easy to get "lost". I assume that they still to the embarkation day tours.

Be back in your room before the 4pm safety drill. Find your life jackets, unpack your bags (DO NOT BRING TO MANY CLOTHES!!) You do not need 2 outfits per day (daytime and nighttime). OK ladies you might, but the guys can change into slacks and polos for dinner, then for the next DAY wear the same polo, clean one for dinner, repeat, repeat. You get by with about 1/2 of the clothes you think you need.

Safety drill - keep you camera close by - great goofy pictures with you and your family in those big bulky (not as bad as they used to be) orange vest. Fun pictures.

Go to the shows - they are good. Go to the Family Caberet or other activity between your dinner and main stage show (about 7:30). Go to the adult cabaret shows in the evening (usually starting after 10pm)

Next day(s) explore, relax, have fun, eat, go to the shows

Disembarkation day: hide - make them come and find you and drag you off of the ship:teeth:

I have saved the best advise for last...
You can't do it all (although we want to)
You can't eat it all (we have all tried)
let the magic come to you - you don't have to go find it and enjoy the moment.
You can always sleep once you get home

and lastly, you CAN NOT stuff your room steward into your suitcase on the last night - 1) no one will carry your bag off the ship then, 2) they fit but put up a fight 3) how would you declare them on your customs form :confused3

skylynx
01-23-2009, 11:23 AM
Safety drill - keep you camera close by - great goofy pictures with you and your family in those big bulky (not as bad as they used to be) orange vest. Fun pictures.


You mean a picture like this?

http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j165/skylynx11_photos/9750395c.jpg

DaniTaylor
01-23-2009, 11:43 AM
Oh my goodness I love love love all the advice you guys are giving and wow I couldn't possibly be more excited then I am but I probably will be bursting by the time the cruise date gets here!!

I have already decided to bring as few things as possible. I do want to bring one cute dress or a cute skirt I can wear with a lot of tops :) But I would ultimately love it if me and the husband can get all our clothes in one suitcase for a short cruise :)

Reservations for Palos are already gone for our cruise and I told my husband not to worry about it I wanted to enjoy the set dining rotation and we can save Palos for the 5 day cruise that I already told him I want to take HAHAH!!

The key for us is that I want to relax this cruise and have fun away from everything. I want to go to shows and enjoy the ship and I don't want to feel like I'm running the whole time. I'm not a sleeping in type person but I don't want to feel like I'm waiting up at 5am to run from place to place. You guys are awesome keep the tips and pictures coming!!!

skylynx
01-23-2009, 12:22 PM
Here's another tip...if you want prime seating/viewing for the sailaway party (you don't want to miss this huge adrenalin injection) you need to run not walk right from the lifeboat drill to deck 10 (9 if you prefer to dance than sit with a sailaway adult beverage ;-). There are a couple tables along the inside rail on deck 10 overlooking the dance floor (AKA Goofy pool). If you sit on the starboard side (closest to the port building) as soon as the ship starts moving after the countdown you can move over to the railing to watch the trip out of the canal. From the starboard side you'll pass very soon a couple of restaurants like Grills and Fishlips where many people go around departure time to watch the cruise ships leave...some have big white Mickey hands and will wave at you. It's an unbreakable tradition for our family...and how we start every cruise. The blowing of the ship's "when you wish upon a star" horn is usually synchronized the first time with the countdown, and then sounds at least once again as the ship is about to leave the canal.

Waltworshiper
01-23-2009, 07:06 PM
You can still try to book a res at Palo as soon as you get on the ship, you never know, there could be a cancellation!

jrabbit
01-23-2009, 07:14 PM
You mean a picture like this?

http://i80.photobucket.com/albums/j165/skylynx11_photos/9750395c.jpgwell yes I do! Don't we all look good in Orange!!

We will forgive Michelle Obama's brother wearing an Orange scarf to the Inaguration - Since he is the head coach for the Oregon State University Beavers (School Colors: Orange and black)

ctfigment
01-25-2009, 02:00 PM
We have taken the 3-day and 4 day cruise. Make sure you sign up to use the Rainforest room at the Vista spa. It was heavenly!!:cheer2:

DaniTaylor
01-25-2009, 02:53 PM
We have taken the 3-day and 4 day cruise. Make sure you sign up to use the Rainforest room at the Vista spa. It was heavenly!!:cheer2:

I was wondering how I could get some spa time in without getting actual spa treatments!!