Cruising for Dummies: Ten Things You Should Know
1) PACK ESSENTIALS IN YOUR CARRY ON
One thing most people do not know about their luggage is that is typically does not arrive until three or four hours after you have boarded the ship. It usually comes RIGHT before or during the first dinner time. So it is important to pack things you will need or want with your carry on, such as: bathing suits, or important paperwork.
2) BRING LOTS OF MONEY
This is a major must. There are not only a ton of cool things to buy, but staff pays to pay, the cost of alcoholic drinks, and the extra charges to get in Johnny Rockets. You can put money on the room key they give you. They charge things you buy on the ship on this card. Everything you buy onboard is charged on this card and you pay what you owe at the end of the cruise. It is easier to just put money on it and try not to abuse it like a credit card.
3) GET TO SHOWS AND EVENTS EARLY
Being early to shows is a must. Seats fill up fast! Also events that are held on the deck, or on the promenade get packed with people and you may not get the best view if you do not get there early.
4) EXPECT TO WALK A LOT
There are many, many sets of stairs on the ship. It also may be quite a walk to your cabin, especially if you are on the complete opposite end of the boat from where your cabin is loacted.
5) EXPLORE TO GET A FEEL FOR WHERE THINGS ARE
Once you board the ship it is always good to walk around and find where specific places/things are located. Even after spending four days on the ship, I would still get lost or forget where places where. It is a lot to remember.
6) MAKE RESERVATIONS EARLY
If you want to eat at some of the nicer restaurants onboard, you need to make reservations early so you can reserve a spot because they fill up quick. The same goes for getting tickets to see the ice show. Get them as soon as you can.
7) DON'T BE SHY, GET INVOLVED
Do not be afraid to take part in activities offered onboard like ice skating, karaoke, guys sexy leg contest, water volleyball and countess other. Even if you aren't the best just try, it is fun and the people always cheer you on no matter how bad you are. (You can even ask my Dad about this, he can prove this point by telling you about his karaoke experience.)
8) TAKE YOUR OWN PICTURES AT DINNER
At dinner there are always photographers taking pictures of families and couples before they go in to eat. It is very professional and there are nice backgrounds. It is free to get your picture taken, but they are extremely expensive. So it is best to just take your own pictures.
9) WATCH FOR PEOPLE OFFERING/SELLING THINGS TO YOU ON THE ISLANDS
There are always locals hasseling you to buy a necklace, get your hair braided or go parasailing. If you want to buy something or get your hair in corn rows then go for it, but they are everywhere when you get off the ship, and at the different beaches.
10) AND FINALLY...RELAX AND HAVE FUN
Enjoy yourself, that is what vacation is all about. Oh and wear sunscreen, sunburns suck!!!