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Old 06-21-2013, 01:15 PM   #1
sjv919
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Things you wish you knew before your first cruise?

My gf and I just booked our first cruise, yay!! We're going for only 3 nights to the Bahamas in Feb 2014 (to see if we like it, I'm very afraid of ships and open water and demanded DCL if I was going to sail ANYWHERE) and I was curious of what you guys wish you would have known before your first cruise. DCL or any, really! Should be kinda fun and maybe I could learn some stuff
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by sjv919 View Post
My gf and I just booked our first cruise, yay!! We're going for only 3 nights to the Bahamas in Feb 2014 (to see if we like it, I'm very afraid of ships and open water and demanded DCL if I was going to sail ANYWHERE) and I was curious of what you guys wish you would have known before your first cruise. DCL or any, really! Should be kinda fun and maybe I could learn some stuff
Congrats!

1. I wish I had budgeted for a deposit to rebook onboard. If you rebook onboard you save 10% off current prices, pay a 10% deposit instead of 20% and you receive OBC based on the length of the cruise you book. 7 nights or more $200 OBC less than 7 $100.

2. I wish I had booked with a TA that offered OBC for my first cruise.

3. I wish my family would have slowed down a little bit instead of rushing around trying to do everything. You can't do everything so there is really no reason to try. We have a 7 night booked and I plan on loosening up a little bit and relaxing more.

4. My husband and I just took a 3 night without our kids and had a blast. Sign up for mixology if your interested in that type of thing. We did and had so much fun.

5. Start taking Bonine or another type of seasickness meds the day BEFORE you cruise. We got horribly sick on our last cruise so we will take preventative measures next time.
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
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I would suggest you approach cruising like any new experience. There will be things you love, things that don't suit you, and things that will disappoint. If you go in expecting to have a good time and to with the flow, you'll have a great experience.
There are many opinions about whether to pack over-the-door organizers/pop up laundry bins/take anti nausea medication etc. Read them, take the advice with a grain of salt and remember the go with the flow rule! You can't have fun if you've packed your whole house, "just in case"! Fwiw we don't bring any special organizers, the anti nausea meds are packed but never used, and we try not to overplan, though we do have plans for what to do in every port.
Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:13 PM   #4
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I wish I knew that they would start feeding us as soon as we boarded the ship really (this is a true story), on our first cruise (1999) - boarding time was to start at 1:00pm. to me that's "after lunch" so we went to a character breakfast/brunch at WDW (around 10:30) before heading to the ship - because we would not get any food onboard until dinner time

Seriously, I have a list of DON'Ts
* People stress about the "perfect" dinning rotation. Don't sweat it - you will enjoy all of the dining rooms and you will be served and catered to to the best of DCL's ability.
* Don't make a check list of all of the "magical" things that have happened to prior cruisers - that turns it into a "scavenger hunt" or worse - a check list. Go looking for specific's and you will be disappointed (because it's expected and therefor not "magical")
* Contrary to what Cruise Director Jimmy says "If you see it, Eat It!" - don't try, you cant eat it all (I've tried and failed miserably)
* Along the same line - You cannot DO IT ALL! don't try, you will run yourself ragged. BUT, sleep is for AFTER the cruise somehow try to balance those two conflicting "musts" out - good luck
* Don't forget to relax and enjoy
* Don't sweat the small stuff - everything usually works itself out
* This won't be a perfect vacation (because that's life), so don't worry if some things go wrong
* DCL does NOT control the weather
* Don't get sunburned - the sun is most likely way more intense on the cruise (assuming Caribbean / Med) than where you are from. Use sunscreen - a sunburn can really put a damper on your vacation
* Don't skip the shows (most are very, very good)
* Don't over-pack - but you will need more clothes that you think

Hope that gives you some good advice and have a great trip.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:27 PM   #5
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That buffet restaurant where breakfast and lunch are served turns into a table service restaurant in the evenings. It offers selections from the other dinning rooms (not the full menus) and you do not have to go during your assigned seating time. And most importantly for my family, dinner took about 40 minutes instead of two hours. On our first cruise, we did not learn about this until the last night. On our second cruise, we did not eat one night in our assigned dining room.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:31 PM   #6
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[QUOTE="jrabbit;48744483"]* Don't get sunburned - the sun is most likely way more intense on the cruise (assuming Caribbean / Med) than where you are from. Use sunscreen - a sunburn can really put a damper on your vacation/QUOTE]

This! A couple that travelled with us on our last cruise got fried on their first day. They didn't get to enjoy CC because they were too burned to go outside.


Don't feel like you *must* stay in the adult areas only, just because you're traveling without kids! Sometimes the best fun is in the family areas! Hubby and I don't have kids, but we prefer the family beach because its more lively, we love the games and things they have at the family pool!
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Old 06-22-2013, 08:50 PM   #7
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So happy I posted this! Getting a lot of awesome advice and info - yay!
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:08 PM   #8
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Our cruise was pretty wonderful, so there really wasn't a whole lot I "wish" I had known before. I guess the only 2 things I would have done differently are:

1)Planned a 7 day cruise (4 nights was not long enough)

2)I would have booked on board. I planned ahead to not book on board because I didn't want to do anything in the moment. I wanted to give myself a chance to reflect on the cruise and decide if it was worth repeating. Now that I know we want to go again, I really wish I would have saved ourselves some money by booking on the cruise.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrabbit View Post
* Contrary to what Cruise Director Jimmy says "If you see it, Eat It!"
We love cruise director Jimmy. What a nice guy. Of my 5 cruises, he's the only one that we still talk about today.

OP--learn alot from the DIS but don't try to do everything people tell you. Just go with the flow and you should have a great time.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:28 PM   #10
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The pool deck is hot, really hot! Never read this

Rebook onboard... It's refundable so just do it.

3 nights was too short but great to know we liked it !
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:22 AM   #11
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I knew this before my first cruise from lurking here....

If you want a less cramped shower, you can use the changing room showers in the gym/spa area! I'm sure this would come in handy if you have a lot of people in your room too. They have a shampoo/conditioner/shower gel dispenser and lockers for your stuff. I never found it busy and used it every day (I never even set foot in our cabin's shower!)

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Old 06-23-2013, 01:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aby View Post
I knew this before my first cruise from lurking here....

If you want a less cramped shower, you can use the changing room showers in the gym/spa area! I'm sure this would come in handy if you have a lot of people in your room too. They have a shampoo/conditioner/shower gel dispenser and lockers for your stuff. I never found it busy and used it every day (I never even set foot in our cabin's shower!)

Aby
GOOD ONE! My family is really tall and this sounds like a winner for us!

I wish I went on our first cruise YEARS earlier than we finally did. I can' t imagine life without having a cruise to look forward to now!
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aby View Post
I knew this before my first cruise from lurking here....

If you want a less cramped shower, you can use the changing room showers in the gym/spa area! I'm sure this would come in handy if you have a lot of people in your room too. They have a shampoo/conditioner/shower gel dispenser and lockers for your stuff. I never found it busy and used it every day (I never even set foot in our cabin's shower!)

Aby
Do you need a spa pass to use the showers or is it free?
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by cmesq61 View Post
Do you need a spa pass to use the showers or is it free?
Showers are in the "locker rooms" which are available to everyone. It's a place to go and store your stuff and get ready/clean if you use the gym.
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrabbit View Post
I wish I knew that they would start feeding us as soon as we boarded the ship really (this is a true story), on our first cruise (1999) - boarding time was to start at 1:00pm. to me that's "after lunch" so we went to a character breakfast/brunch at WDW (around 10:30) before heading to the ship - because we would not get any food onboard until dinner time

Seriously, I have a list of DON'Ts
* People stress about the "perfect" dinning rotation. Don't sweat it - you will enjoy all of the dining rooms and you will be served and catered to to the best of DCL's ability.
* Don't make a check list of all of the "magical" things that have happened to prior cruisers - that turns it into a "scavenger hunt" or worse - a check list. Go looking for specific's and you will be disappointed (because it's expected and therefor not "magical")
* Contrary to what Cruise Director Jimmy says "If you see it, Eat It!" - don't try, you cant eat it all (I've tried and failed miserably)
* Along the same line - You cannot DO IT ALL! don't try, you will run yourself ragged. BUT, sleep is for AFTER the cruise somehow try to balance those two conflicting "musts" out - good luck
* Don't forget to relax and enjoy
* Don't sweat the small stuff - everything usually works itself out
* This won't be a perfect vacation (because that's life), so don't worry if some things go wrong
* DCL does NOT control the weather
* Don't get sunburned - the sun is most likely way more intense on the cruise (assuming Caribbean / Med) than where you are from. Use sunscreen - a sunburn can really put a damper on your vacation
* Don't skip the shows (most are very, very good)
* Don't over-pack - but you will need more clothes that you think

Hope that gives you some good advice and have a great trip.

I agree with all this, after reading the boards i feel like i am starting to panic Everyone is talking about requesting a particular server or dining rotation

Why have i not asked for a specific Server or a specific Dining rotation before? For one i never knew you could but really i have never had a problem with any of my servers or dining rooms, to me it would be another headache and disappointment if you didn't get what you requested

One thing not to forget, your pirate costume!

We also booked a 3 night cruise last year as my DS GF did not know if she was going to like it, she now wished she could have done a 'round the world' cruise with DCL
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