I am going on one for my birthday in October. It is Norwegian Cruise lines. Any tips on avoiding sea sickness, or what shore excursions are the best. I will be in Cozumel and Grand Caymen. I am also spending the night before in Miami. Help me out here folks, I am a first time cruiser.
have been on more than 15 cruises and many have been on Norwegian Cruise line.
The standard cabin that most people get inside/outside/balcony) are generally between 175 and 200 Square feet, about the size of a 9 by 12 ft home bedroom Each cabin has a two beds which can be made into a queen, a bathroom with a shower stall, a closet and some drawer space, a TV and telephone, a safe for valuables, a mini-refrigerator, and a life jacket for each passenger.
When you arrive at the port to check in you (each passenger) will have an on board charge tab set up and receive a key card which will serve as your room key, charge card for anything you buy on ship (i.e.,drinks, souvenir, photos, tours) and its also your pass to get on and off ship in each port. When you first board the ship the security personnel will have you insert your key card into a scanner and then will take a photo of you that is included in the magnetic strip on the card. Each time you get off ship you will need this key card and many times also a photo ID (passport or driver’s license). This card allows them to keep an accurate track of all passengers entering and/or leaving the ship.
Each day of your cruise you will receive in your cabin a "newsletter" listing the time, place and particulars of everything happening for you on ship. There are generally activities like demonstrations of ice carvings, napkin folding and towel folding, and cooking demonstrations.
There will be organized games and other activities around the pools. In the evenings there are generally shows, one show for those with an early dinner seating and another (same show) for those who eat late. There is always food available. Usually there is a place in ship where you can go get something. Or, you can always just pick up the phone in your cabin and order from the room service menu (food is free). If you want, you can order breakfast room service.
All ships have a casino with slots and table games. Ships have movie theaters, generally small but nice, and you can also see movies in your room. They have ATM’s and a purser’s desk where you can cash a check or exchange currency if you need to. There is a tour and activities desk so you can schedule land tours and activities.
Ships have free morning exercise programs, stretching and walking, etc, and on some you can pay for other things like Spinning. All cruise ships have gyms so you can go workout, usually any time from 6:00 AM to late at night. There is usually a walking/running track on one of the decks also. Some ships leave the gym open all night. They call the gyms Spa because they do promote getting pampered with things like wraps and massages with aroma therapy. They will also generally have a beauty salon to do hair and nails.
There are always pools. Some ships have more than one and the newer ships generally have an indoor pool as well as outdoor ones and all of these have hot tubs. There is generally a basketball court on the top deck, a place for scuffle board, and a mini-golf course.
There are places on ships to play cards and board games, and the cards and games are provided. If you want to just sit and read, there’s a library where you can bring your books or select one from the shelf. Ships have internet cafes and some offer WIFI if you bring your prefer to use your computer in your cabin (some ships offer notebooks for rent). There are cocktail lounges that feature a variety of music. Some have a piano bar with jazz. There is usually a disco that starts after 10:00 PM each night and last until everyone leave. On certain days ships will have special activities like a chocolate lovers buffet, or a midnight deck party .
Some people worry about getting sea sick, but the ships being used these days have automated stabilizers which minimize the rocking. The larger ships cut through the water so easy that you don’t even feel like you are moving. When there is bad weather the cruise lines will steer around and away from it, sometimes changing the order of port stops. Also, the ships generally move overnight and dock in the mornings so you don’t feel much movement. Consequently, your chances of getting sea sick are minimal. There is generally less motion than on an airplane. If you do get sick, all ships have a doctor and they will dispense sea sick medicines. If you are prone to motion sickness, just get pills or a patch from your own doctor before you go, or go to a boating store and get a sea sickness bracelet.
– If you can, plan to fly to the departure port a day early so that you do not have to worry about missed flights and connections. I see you are doing this.
-If your cruise included many connections, flying, train and bus, buy travel insurance and get it from an independent supplier, not the cruise line.
-Join the cruise club so that the cruise line will send you their specials and so that you can get discounts on future cruises with them. The discount will typically be $50 to $100 per person. If you will be celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary, or birthday during the cruise, be sure to tell them, they will do special stuff for that.
– Cruise lines charge a lot for the photos they take so take your own photos around the ship when you get the chance, especially on the formal nights. Ask other passengers to take photos for you, they generally are very willing.
-Review the listing of tours offered on your cruise and decide whether you want to pay for a tour or go on your own. On most Caribbean islands you can get a taxi or tour in port for much less than the cruise ship tours. HOWEVER, the one big advantage of going on ship sponsored tours is THE SHIP WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU if your ship sponsored tour is late getting back to the ship. If you will be in a port for 12 to 16 hours you are probably safe to go on your own for most anything. But if you are only there for six to eight hours you may want to stay close to the ship or go on the ship tours.
– Take a 6-pack of water and/or soft drinks in your carry on for your cabin. Do NOT try to take alcoholic on board, especially in your carry on; they will confiscate it.
– take a thermal cup or mug with a lid for cold drinks when you are around the pool, most plastic glasses on cruise ships are small.
-always take soft sided luggage as it stores better under the beds.
– Take a small carry-on bag for the last night of the cruise. On the last evening you will be required to put your luggage outside your cabin by about 2:00 AM so that they can start taking it down to the lower deck for offloading the next morning. So you will need a small bag for your toiletries and and your clothes that you sleep in.
– There is generally a room service menu that you can order from 24/7 and that food is free but you should tip the delivery person a couple dollars.
– The hidden costs on a cruise are your tab after the cruise for drinks (alcoholic and sodas), tours, and gratuities. Many ships now add the recommended gratuity to your on board tab. The gratuity is about $10 to $12 per day per person. You can give more if you want. Tours can add hundreds to your final bill, depending upon how many stop the ship makes and what you want to do. So study the tours carefully; some places you may want to just go on your own. and be aware that the drinks can add up.
– One way to save money on drinks is to order them in a plain glass rather than the souvenir ones; they cost about $1.00 to $1.50 more in the souvenir glass.
The dress on ship is casual all day until 6:00PM. So take swim wear, shorts, sandals, beach shoes, your snorkel equipment if you have it, sun glasses and sun screen, lotions, a cap or big hat for the sun, a book if you are a reader, your music player, sneakers and clothes to workout in if you like to use the gym, your camera, and other personal toiletries.
After 6:00 PM they request that you wear "sports casual" attire. That’s attire that you would expect a person to wear in a business office, shirt with a collar, slacks, skirt, blouse, etc. You can still wear shorts and swim wear in the pools and spas but not in public areas like dining rooms and restaurants, show rooms, bars, casino, etc.
Most 7-day cruises have two formal nights when you can wear your best stuff and get pictures taken, and maybe meet the ship’s Captain. The formal nights are REQUESTED not required attire. But most people do dress up in a tux for men and a long dress (any color) for women. Some men just wear a suit and tie and some women wear a nice dress but not a gown. You will not be denied access to the dining room or anything else if you choose not to dress up. (we usually take off the formal stuff after dinner and pictures anyway).
In Grand Cayman just go to the beach. There is "7-Mile beach" there and you can get to it from the town very easily by taxi or mini-bus; they will be right by the dock. Also do walk around the small town; there is a shopping area just a short distance from the pier (be sure to buy some Tortuga Rum cake). Also Grand Cayman is a good place to get cheap internet service, vs the ship’s charges, and there is an internet cafe right at the pier (in the liquor store)
Cozumel is a beach stop also, for scuba and snorkel. If you want a great tour and your ship offers it take the tour to Chichen Itza or Xcarat on the mainland. Otherwise just shop or go to the beach. The internet is also available and cheap there.
(You probably don’t understand right now why I am saying use shore internet cafe’s vs ship’s cafes. But you will when you get on ship and see what they charge)