Purell might have radically altered that trip. The Noro virus, so prevalent on cruise ships, needs a chlorine based sanitizer, not an alcohol based one. The Purell would be ineffective. So bring a different sanitizer. These tips are great!! We are talking about going on a Disney Cruise with our neighbors next year.
Enjoy your trip!!! Most important,if possible bring some bottled water for each person! Never leave your kids alone to walk around,never let just anyone in your cabin and never talk too much about yourself to strangers. Have a great safe trip! My husband and I went on a cruise with Royal Caribbean for our honeymoon a few years ago. It was fantastic. That trip we ran through a very bad storm and it was nice to go to our room and close the door and it was like there was no storm going on around us.
Also, you can often get shore excursions cheaper than getting them through the cruise companies. Also become part of the cruise forum…this allows you to chat with people who have been on the cruise you will be taking or meet people who will be on the same ship as you. Always always research the ship deck plans before you go. Cruise with friens if possible. Do NOT stay in your room….
At this article you can even find a Google Map that has all the major cruise ports shown, so you can see which ones are withing driving range:. Our first and only cruise was when our son was 16 months old… and it was awful. We spent the week wandering the halls, looking at the water, and learning how to crawl backwards down the stairs.
It was like vacationing in an office building. I would absolutely go again…after the kids are old enough to enjoy being left in the daycare area by themselves maybe 5yo? Not a fair comment. Cruises are definately not the place to bring a 16 month old. There is no way you could possibly enjoy your vacation. As I said in my comment to the above poster, we really loved our cruise with our 17 month old. You just need to cruise on a ship with a drop-off nursery.
Especially if we are sailing a family-oriented cruise line. I am truly sorry you did not have a good experience!
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Only on Royal Caribbean They also had a baby splash pad for diapered babies. Then after nap he was dropped off to the amazing nursery to play with his new friends until bedtime. And we got to have our alone time. I hope you will consider looking into that program in the future.
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We all deserve a vacation! Please…why would you want to take an infant into a confined ship when they are known for harboring Norovirus? Also I did not save up for a cruise to have a bawling baby onboard. Of course, leaving him on the ship without me was terrifying as well, but their childcare attendants were awesome. Definitely a good example of why doing homework or research on a particular cruise is so important.
If you booked this one with a travel agent get a new one that was their job. If you book an excursion through the cruise line, and something happens to delay you, the ship will wait for you! If you book an excursion through an outside company or group and are delayed getting back to the ship for whatever reason you will be watching it sail away without you, and it will be your responsibility to either get yourself home, or get yourself to the next port of call to re-board the cruise.
Is the minimal savings of booking with an outside company really worth the risk? This is why it is a great idea to book your trip with a Travel Agent — they are there to help you and have loads of knowledge about these kinds of issues! So much better than the overcrowded, overpriced cruise excursions. They DO have a guarantee and will pay to get you to next port if anything happens. It is just a scare tactic about booking only with cruise line.
Great post! We have been on many cruises and have always only done the excursions from the cruise line. On our last cruise to Belize, we were more than 4 hours late returning to ship 3 hours after the ship should have already sailed! An adventure for sure but we would have been out of luck if we had booked on our own. Any other suggestions?
Great tips! If you get to the port by am there is not a wait and they will start boarding as soon as the ship is ready, before 11 am! Also walkie talkies are essential!!! The walkie talkies were the best investment we made, especially when traveling with a large group of family or friends! Make sure you look at the itinerary for each day, there are often events that do not get announced that are awesome and you would otherwise miss if you do not pay attention, like free liquor tasting a few hours after boarding, on the first day! I would also like to know which walkie talkies people have found to work best.
I agree with every single tip you said. Having breakfast in the main dining room is a great way to go, also. Usually a spectacular view, great service, and you can get such niceties as eggs benedict, or even make unusual off-menu orders. Be sure to tell the cruise lines of any special events.
Our first cruise ever, we were celebrating our 20th anniversary. The cruise line went out of their way to make it special. We had our own private dinner table in the rear of the ship, with an absolutely glorious view. When our daughter went on her honeymoon, it was the same treatment. Lastly, when you go on your cruise, turn your cell phone off, throw it in a drawer, and leave the world behind. Plan to completely disconnect, and trust that the world will continue to turn, the people you put in charge WILL manage without you, and relax.
Enjoy your spouse, your time, your food, the entire experience. Sing karoake, even if you stink. Go sit in the hot tub. But you are NOT allowed to turn on your phone. I second the suggestion to use a travel agent. We got way better deals with agents than direct from the cruise. One thing I just discovered is a money-saver and sanity-saver when traveling with the family.
In the past, the four of us have stayed in the smallest suite room type on RCCL this is a jr suite. We booked through Expedia and got incentives coffee mugs plus I applied for the Military Discount and got all our gratuities paid. The service on-board was top notch and the meals were delicious. Our next cruise is QM2 West-bound. Ruth, one of the BEST tips we were ever given was for us to pack our swimsuits and sunscreen in a carry on and then you are the ONLY ONES at the pool while everyone else is running around in their travel clothes while waiting for their bags to be delivered to the room……..
We love cruising, we find Princess suits our family perfectly. Also, if travelling with young children, have Passenger Services block purchases on their cruise cards. This way, if they lose their card, nobody can find it and go on a shopping spree. We just recently very recently went on to crown princess!
It was nice and the dining rooms were completely free! The drop of spots were very nice as well. It was a very pretty ship. We did that and there were only 36 teenagers on the whole ship. And only 7 out of that would go into the teen lounge. Other then that they it was a great cruise! Our teens went to the teen room and reported back to us that no one was there.
Seems they all peek in the door, fail to see anyone and leave. We sent them back to stay for 30 minutes. A couple hours late we spotted them with a huge group of teens on a scavenger hunt. They enjoyed the entire cruise with their new friends. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all your tips for cruising!
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Crusing is such fun. I agree that you should research your trip and go through a travel agent as they do get better deals. I agree, summer is the time to cruise. With a family, there are kids sail free offers. Disney Cruises is always an unforgettable family experience. Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO?
If you know of any please share. Many thanks! I have taken wine in my cruises in the past. Never had a problem at all. Usually in checked luggage and never had a problem, but they say that it will be confiscated, so I assume that they sometimes do so. On Carnival, you can order a full bottle of alcohol on the first day. We ordered Gin about We brought on board tonic water as your non-alcoholic beverage.
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It was great! I buy more and more stuff from there, whether it be walkie talkies or anything else. But if you find better prices than Bojams. The food is free!
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Order whatever you want and as many as you want! Make friends with the servers at each meal and servers around the pool! They will seek you out! Tip Well! Our Carnival cruise had a tour of the kitchen! Take advantage! Attend all meetings with the cruise director and book your excursions through the ship!! Ask your room steward for whatever you want.. Definitely splurge for the room with a balcony! It is worth the extra money! Saw a parade! BIG waste of a port of call!
On the day you leave, you will be lucky to get anything. FYI they do a turn around the same day you get off another group boards the ship.
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Had that misbegotten ship on our honeymoon and while the honeymoon itself was still great, the ship was terrible. Ugly, first of all. Weirdly designed due to the revamp, and hard to navigate. I did enjoy the waterslides, and pour your own beer, but would still prefer an actually well-designed new ship over that Frankenstein. I would not go on any Carnival Cruise even if I was paid to.
I had a cockroach in the bottom of my coffee cup…after I had drunk the coffee. Blamed the waiter and the ship was dirty. Great tips except the check in after I did that once and it was crowded and slow. If anyone is sailing our of Galveston on Sept 26 Come join our face book page.. Cruise lines will invite you to manage your own luggage for disembarkation. Do it. Drinks served at poolside and elsewhere usually add in the tip on the voucher. The server will not tell you this so do not add a tip unless you really wish to.
Sometimes they are out of various dinner choices and service is quite slow. Honor the shipboard dress codes. Just kidding. These are great tips! We took our first real vacation as adults last year and went on a cruise as well. Here is one of my blog posts talking all about our carnival Experience! I prefer the larger ships like the Dream, Freedom and Breeze. They have more activities like cooking demonstrations where you get to taste the food, and Salsa dancing classes.
I also love Tea time on some of the cruises which is so cozy and reminds me of Tea time in the English country. If you buy any Art it will be shipped directly to your home. Also join the VIFP club. We get our laundry washed, ironed and folded since we are Platinum members of the club. One last thing, you can check in to your cruise online at least 30 days prior to departure.
This will make checking in very easy. If you have kids, check them in to Camp Carnival online, print your paperwork and bring to the Orientation. This will make your registration much faster and easier. We just wanted to say how great these tips are. We regularly refer our customers here to give them some ideas of ways to save money whilst onboard.
The last thing you want to do is book a holiday and then feel guilty about the cost so getting the price down as much as possible is key! Interesting tips. Love cruising and we have been recently to Ensenada Mexico and we had a great time. We try to check in as early as possible as to check out you have no option but to wait for our turn. Also use the kids facilities as much as possible if you have small kids if you need to entertain a little bit without drinking too much then you would forget to pick up your kids. Windstar was our first cruise, chosen by our Travel Agent who really knew us.
She chose well. Windstar still ranks number one for privacy, intimacy there are only passengers and service there are staff people and the food is unbelievable. Scuba, snorkel, water ski, windsurf, banana boat etc. There is no dress up for any meal. Guests are free to tour the bridge. Brilliant cruising that spoiled us for massive amounts of people and cattle calls for disembarking on larger cruise lines. Thanks for sharing your tips! Now we have a little bit of a clue!
Another great way to save money on a cruise is to work with a knowledgeable travel agent. Most offer their booking services and tips at no additional cost to you, and some will even help you plan your entire trip! They can help you figure out the best time to go, which activities your family would be most interested in, and help you find any discounts that may apply to you.
For Disney Cruises there are even agents who work specifically with Disney so they know all the best secrets! One error that glars is the last minute booking. Book years out as Early Saver and you will always pay the lowest fare offered while getting the date and cabin you want. You will be discounted as the fare drops or get OBC if drops occur after payoff. We cruise ALOT and would never dream of booking last minute! I am a heavy cruiser, well over days at sea. I have cruised Norwegian, Celebrity and they all offer specials on a regular basis. But I have learned staying loyal with one cruise line will get you the most bang for your buck.
All the topics listed above are true and I could add tons more. And I agree cruising is relaxing not to mention fun. You can go all out or hide and relax and yes even on a ship with over 3, people. You get to decide what you want out of the cruise. Have fun and anchors away. Manuela, you know a lot about cruises, please give us more tips! When I board the ship I test my steward by simply asking him for one extra hanger or an extra towel. If he gets it to me in a reasonable amount of time usually about minutes.
After which if I happen to need something he will be very eager to help me out. Now granted this does not mean that one should take advantage of their stewards. But there are times I may need something and it helps to have some extra help. Remember the staff works long and hard hours and get paid so much less than what we would ever work for. I always keep my room very clean which makes their job so much easier. Your primary waiter is another one you want to keep close to you. Oh and your cabana waiter.
Cruising is fun and can be very relaxing if you know where to go and where to hide on a ship. Hope this helps a little. I need advice on clothing for that climate in May, if you know, and any helpful tips or insights to the Carnival cruise line you might could share. I want us to have a wonderful time. My husband is Italian and he is excited about going to Italy. Plenty of fabulous food is served in the dining room.
Want two appetizers? Three entrees? Four desserts? Enjoy it! Your ticket price includes the basics — coffee, tea including iced tea , water, and some rotating juices orange, apple, etc. Need a little variety? On Royal Caribbean, you receive a cup that you can use on the Coca-Cola Freestyle — you select your mix. Machines were conveniently placed throughout the ship. Want alcohol? I double-checked the websites for Holland America and Carnival for comparison purposes and found similar offerings. Can you give up the internet for a few days? But coverage was spotty at best since it depended on a satellite.
Most land destinations will have free Wi-Fi, say at a restaurant, so just wait for a stop to catch up on Facebook or your emails. I suffer from FOMO fear of missing out , so this temptation was great for me. The advantage of booking through the ship is that they guarantee that you will be back before the ship sails or they will arrange for your return.
The drawback is that you cannot get a refund if you change your mind. We walked around — FREE! If you research, you can find reputable companies who offer cheaper alternatives. Yes, I said it! For most stops, you can wander into town on your own feet, with some port shuttle, or even taxis or local buses. Search the travel boards whether your stop is a safe place — for example, stops in Jamaica do not recommend you wander on your own.
Check out what we did in Nassau while spending very little. Those cute little shops? Do you really need a fancy watch or sapphire earrings? Duty-free liquor or goodies?