Advise for 1st time Cruisers - Veteran Cruisers please Help us Newbies **Ideas Added

tlcoke

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Since we just under 12 weeks from boarding the Disney Wonder and final payments are being made, I have been researching more about what to expect since this is my first cruise. I found this thread on the Cruise Line boards which gives tips to 1st time cruisers and I wanted to share it over here for those of us that are First Time Cruisers on the Podcast Cruise.

Here is another thread that might be helpful to New Cruisers:Top 5 Tips for new cruisers

I also wanted to give those of you who attended the first podcast cruise as your first cruise or who are regular cruisers a chance to share with us newbies some of your insight to cruising with DCL;


What advise based on your first cruise would you have wished someone had shared with you before you boarded the ship for the first time?



Here are some of the Ideas/Suggestions given thus far:
1. Relax - Go with the Flow
2. You Don't have to do all the activities offered
3. If you plan on making reservations onboard, do that first.
4. Then roam around the ship. Become acclimated with your rooms location.
5. Grab a nice lunch (and perhaps a refreshing beverage?)
6. Make your last phone call before the muster drill, say "TTFN! I'll talk to you on Thursday!". Turn off the phone. Lock it in the safe and leave it there until Thursday morning before breakfast.
7. Try new things. Whether its food (thanks for the encouragement Jeff & Val, fish and seafood are still not to my liking)
8. Do something you wouldn't normally do (karaoke anyone?)
9. Get to the muster drill locations quickly. The faster people can be counted, the faster we can start our cruise!
10. Watch out for the pool deck roving servers with the drink of the day. They are served in souvenir glasses you get to keep, and you'll end up with a set if you accept them. You can purchase one to get the glass, if you want the souvenir. But any time after that, you can ask to have the drink without the souvenir glass. I've asked the bartenders to rinse the glass before leaving the pool deck, but often they would swap it out with a clean, dry glass.
11. Don't overpack. No one really cares if those pants are worn twice [as long as they're not stinky].
12. Around 1:00 - 2:00 on Castaway Conch Coolers become a buy one get one special.
13. Bring a large, plastic cup (like the one you would get at a 7-11) with a lid and straw. The soda is free but they have tiny cups and you will make a hundred trips a day. Same goes if you are a hot drink person - tea, coffee and hot chocolate are all free - a larger container will minimize your trip to the drink station.
14. Bring a different color highlighter for each member of your familiy. This way when you get the Daily Navigator everyone can highlight what they want to do in a different color.
15. Guest services will take certain items to the characters so they can sign them for you. I have heard of shirts, pillowcases and picture frames all being signed. Just be prepared to leave it early in your cruise and you might not get it back for a day or so.
16. Make sure you have sunscreen. The cooler temps in December will make you think the sun isn't as strong but you will burn very fast, especially from water glare.
17. If you want people to say "hi" make sure you wear something that identifies you as a DISer/Podcast listener. If you don't, wear black like John
18. Don't be surprised if you make lifelong friends on this cruise - sounds corny but it's true.
19. If you are bring lots of electronic gadgets, camera, phone,etc. bring a surge strip to plug them all in on the desk.
20. Know your limits. If you've enjoyed too much sun or drink or Cuban cigars and need to take a nap, do it. You being miserable is going to turn your day sour as well as those around you.
21. Bring dollar bills to tip room service.
22. If you don't like your food, have server bring something else. You don't have to clean your plate. If you want two deserts, go for it. You're on vacation.
23. an extension cord is also helpful - especially if you travel with a fan and like it to be close to your head
24. If you are participating in the Fish Extenders, be sure to bring an extra bag for all the goodies!
25. Room service is free, however they do appreciate cash tips. They will bring you anything from dinner, to a mickey bar, to a corkscrew and wine glasses!
26. Cruise Primers from PCC 1.0: http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=32434233&postcount=18
27. Don't be that family that saves chairs by the pool and then does not come back for hours. I promise you will find a seat when you need it.
28. Forget about what is happening on land and have an awesome time!
29. Bring ziploc baggies in different sizes. You can find lots of uses for them and if you don't need them, they don't take up much space.
30. An over the door shoe organizer is great for the bathroom door. There isn't much counterspace in the bathrooms and will help you to keep your items neatly out of the way, yet very accessible.
31. Be sure to close your closet doors all the way before bed. Sometimes the movement of the ship will make them slam and wake you up. Scares the poo out of you!
32. An air freshener with night light combo.
33. If you're prone to motion sickness and are unsure how you will react on the ship- start taking Bonine (one a day) about 2 or 3 days before the cruise and continue all the way through the cruise and up to a couple days after you're back on land. (my biggest problem was actually AFTER the cruise back in WDW!! I still felt the movement of the ship for days afterward)
34. Seabands work for many too in battling Motion Sickness (They sell them on board in the gift shop if you forget to bring them with you)
35. Take a few minutes at the end of the day to jot down everything that has happened. So many wonderful things will happen each day it is easy to lose track. Writing them down helps to re-live the special moments when you get home. Helps put a smile on your face even weeks after the cruise
36. Mix a pack of cocoa with the coffee to make a hot mocha drink (and it makes the NesCafé taste better)
37. There is a way to make a milkshake with some soft serve and milk from the beverage station and some shaking in your container. A DISer posted a very detailed thread about it....don't know where it has slipped to now. Video showing making DCL Milkshake:http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=53556965
38. Bring your own drink cup. DCL provides you with one, but they are small (I would hazard 12oz to be their size) - Per the Cruise Boards the supplied cup is an 8oz size
39. All Alcoholic & Non Alcoholic Beverages brought on board Must go in your carry on to bring on the ship - cannot be checked with the porters (DCL's policy, which is no beverages in checked baggage or as checked baggage )
40. Bring an autograph book and asking the DISers to sign it. Also can get signatures of favorite cast members and characters. Save space for photos to make a memory book for the trip. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2580611
41. Do not worry about not having enough DCL luggage tags. When you get to the port, the porters will have extra luggage tags. You are not limited to the tags that came with your cruise documents.
42. If you are staying on an inside state room, turn the TV to channel that shows the camera on the bow of the ship. At night it will be dark, but as the sun rises you will know what time of day it is. Tough to wake up and not know if it is day or night.

Printable version of this list (Items 1-40): http://www.4shared.com/document/a0VAcwGA/firsttimer.html
 

mikelan6

World Traveler, Usually Optimistic
Joined
Sep 20, 2000
One important tip I always give is to try and RELAX. You don't have to do all the activities, as there are many and some of them overlap during the day.
 

jeanigor

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2008
If you plan on making reservations onboard, do that first.

Then roam around the ship. Become acclimated with your rooms location.

Grab a nice lunch (and perhaps a refreshing beverage?)

Make your last phone call before the muster drill, say "TTFN! I'll talk to you on Thursday!". Turn off the phone. Lock it in the safe and leave it there until Thursday morning before breakfast.

Try new things. Whether its food (thanks for the encouragement Jeff & Val, fish and seafood are still not to my liking) or something you wouldn't normally do (karaoke anyone?)

Oh and relax. It is a vacation afterall.
 
  • Cherinva

    Co-Host of the Va. DIS Meet and avid pin collector
    Joined
    Oct 24, 2007
    Since we just under 12 weeks from boarding the Disney Wonder and final payments are being made, I have been researching more about what to expect since this is my first cruise. I found this thread on the Cruise Line boards which gives tips to 1st time cruisers and I wanted to share it over here for those of us that are First Time Cruisers on the Podcast Cruise.

    I also wanted to give those of you who attended the first podcast cruise as your first cruise or who are regular cruisers a chance to share with us newbies some of your insight to cruising with DCL;


    What advise based on your first cruise would you have wished someone had shared with you before you boarded the ship for the first time?
    Thanks Tracey for that link...got some good tips.
     

    BriarRosie

    <font color=blue>Creator of Tag Fairy Haiku:<br>Cl
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2002
    I'd wish that people would get to the muster drill locations quickly. The faster people can be counted, the faster we can start our cruise! There are always some ********* that think they can hide in their cabins. They can't. That's been a pet peeve of mine for every cruise I've been on, Disney or non-Disney.

    I also tell people to watch out for the pool deck roving servers with the drink of the day. They are served in souvenir glasses you get to keep, and you'll end up with a set if you accept them. You can purchase one to get the glass, if you want the souvenir. But any time after that, you can ask to have the drink without the souvenir glass. I've asked the bartenders to rinse the glass before leaving the pool deck, but often they would swap it out with a clean, dry glass.

    I agree that it's not possible to do everything, so relax and go with the flow. (I sound like Crush now!)
     

    mdvlprof

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2010
    Don't overpack. Noone really cares if those pants are worn twice [as long as they're not stinky].
     

    mainegal

    <font color=purple>I am becoming very good at maki
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2008
    I also tell people to watch out for the pool deck roving servers with the drink of the day. They are served in souvenir glasses you get to keep
    Is is the same glass every day or a different souvenir glass for each day?
    Just curious, even though I am pretty sure I don't want one. I often see souvenir glasses at thrift stores.

    Don't overpack. No one really cares if those pants are worn twice [as long as they're not stinky].
    Really? truly, no one cares?! That makes my packing much easier!
     
  • jeanigor

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 4, 2008
    Really? truly, no one cares?! That makes my packing much easier!
    Unless there is something quite remarkable about your pants (or even your shirt) it probably won't even be noticed by anyone besides you and your cabin mate.
     

    mdvlprof

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2010
    But shirts are more likely to get sweaty

    There may be one or two people who think of themselves as 'fashion police'... but most folks don't care what you wear as long as it's appropriate.
     

    jeanigor

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 4, 2008
    But shirts are more likely to get sweaty

    There may be one or two people who think of themselves as 'fashion police'... but most folks don't care what you wear as long as it's appropriate.
    Note to self: Have citations ready for Jennifer and Wheels.....:goodvibes If you've ever witnessed what I wear, you would know that I am in no way shape or form on patrol for the fashion police.:goodvibes
     

    Cherinva

    Co-Host of the Va. DIS Meet and avid pin collector
    Joined
    Oct 24, 2007
    I never pack light...and I say I will on every trip, but it never happens.....
     
  • MomlvsGoofy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2009
    Great advice about the drink of the day glass. I really only want 1 (the minute I get on the ship lol). So excited! I am not planning anything other then the podcast things. They will keep me busy enough. The rest of the time is all about relaxing!
     

    wdwscout

    <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2007
    I'm not sure but I think I remember something about the souvenir glass like if you buy the glass, you get a discount on refills or something each day?
    Or was it that the "drink of the day" is cheaper than the regular drink price?

    I only have one cruise experience so far and I'm not much of a drinker- so I'm not sure what the deal was. (I did buy my souvenir glass though, and I did have a Conch Cooler on Castaway Cay!)
     

    Renysmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 22, 2004
    I'm not sure but I think I remember something about the souvenir glass like if you buy the glass, you get a discount on refills or something each day?
    Or was it that the "drink of the day" is cheaper than the regular drink price?

    I only have one cruise experience so far and I'm not much of a drinker- so I'm not sure what the deal was. (I did buy my souvenir glass though, and I did have a Conch Cooler on Castaway Cay!)
    Drink of the day is specially priced. Also around 1:00 - 2:00 on Castaway Conch Coolers become a buy one get one special.
     

    WebmasterJohn

    Genius
    Administrator
    Joined
    Dec 17, 1999
    This thread has some great links with info for first time cruisers.

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2179446

    Here are some of my tips:

    1. Bring a large, plastic cup (like the one you would get at a 7-11) with a lid and straw. The soda is free but they have tiny cups and you will make a hundred trips a day. Same goes if you are a hot drink person - tea, coffee and hot chocolate are all free - a larger container will minimize your trip to the drink station.

    2. Bring a different color highlighter for each member of your familiy. This way when you get the Daily Navigator everyone can highlight what they want to do in a different color.

    3. Guest services will take certain items to the characters so they can sign them for you. I have heard of shirts, pillowcases and picture frames all being signed. Just be prepared to leave it early in your cruise and you might not get it back for a day or so.

    4. Make sure you have sunscreen. The cooler temps in December will make you think the sun isn't as strong but you will burn very fast, especially from water glare.

    5. If you want people to say "hi" make sure you wear something that identifies you as a DISer/Podcast listener. If you don't, wear black like me :lmao:

    6. Don't be surprised if you make lifelong friends on this cruise - sounds corny but it's true.

    John
     

    jeanigor

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 4, 2008
    Drink of the day is specially priced. Also around 1:00 - 2:00 on Castaway Conch Coolers become a buy one get one special.
    They go down really good and quick. Be careful you might end up having two or four or ten.


    Great tips John, especially #6.:grouphug:
     

    Cherinva

    Co-Host of the Va. DIS Meet and avid pin collector
    Joined
    Oct 24, 2007
    Great tips John...I remember some of them from one of the Primers...

    I also like # 6....
     

    tlcoke

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2008
    Here are some of my tips:

    1. Bring a large, plastic cup (like the one you would get at a 7-11) with a lid and straw. The soda is free but they have tiny cups and you will make a hundred trips a day. Same goes if you are a hot drink person - tea, coffee and hot chocolate are all free - a larger container will minimize your trip to the drink station.

    2. Bring a different color highlighter for each member of your familiy. This way when you get the Daily Navigator everyone can highlight what they want to do in a different color.

    3. Guest services will take certain items to the characters so they can sign them for you. I have heard of shirts, pillowcases and picture frames all being signed. Just be prepared to leave it early in your cruise and you might not get it back for a day or so.

    4. Make sure you have sunscreen. The cooler temps in December will make you think the sun isn't as strong but you will burn very fast, especially from water glare.

    5. If you want people to say "hi" make sure you wear something that identifies you as a DISer/Podcast listener. If you don't, wear black like me :lmao:

    6. Don't be surprised if you make lifelong friends on this cruise - sounds corny but it's true.

    John
    Great ideas John!! I like #6 too.
     



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