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Going on my first cruise


Mo Horn

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I've done tons of traveling but have never cruised. Leaving from Miami for a week in the Eastern Caribbean at the end of May. Going with others who cruise regularly. Already have our shore excursions booked. Got the soft drink package but not getting the alcohol one. I love a glass of wine and a cocktail occasionally, but won't drink enough to warrant the almost $60 a day. Any tips from cruising veterans would be appreciated.

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You'll have a good time.  I think the key to a cruise is to go with a group that is fun to hang around with for multiple days.  The only one I went on was pretty cool except for the fact that my wife and I were flat broke at the time.  (We got a 1/2 price deal with a friend, so, IIRC, it only cost us about $250 apiece to go.)  I had decided to return to school for my teaching degree and had sold my truck.  This was one last "hurrah" before going through the 2-year broke as shit phase of our lives.  Put it this way...  I drank a lot of Foster's.  $4 a can.

Nevertheless, the friends we went with were really cool and we had a great time.  I'd love to do it again now that I have the money to sit at the bar at times or play in the casino.  Once you get the lay of the land and find out where all the crowds aren't you'll be able to relax.  One thing I wasn't prepared for was the lack of tv options.  Our room had like 7 channels and three of them were CNN.  The bar didn't have as many sports channels as one would expect and something was going on at the time (I can't recall) that I really wanted to watch.

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But for real if you have any type of motion sickness get the patch beforehand. I found out the hard way that I have a special disorder when my body won't "acclimatize" to sea sickness like a normal person (good day 2 or so) so I ended up getting an injection in the infirmary on day 4 or 5 to help me sleep the rest of the trip after puking over 20 times.

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You'll have fun. People that say it's a terrible time just have a shitty mindset. Is it the best vacation option? Obviously not, but you can make it a good time if you aren't looking to bitch about every little thing. That said I snuck 2 handles and a 12 pack of beer on so I could've had fun anywhere. 

Edited by Hank_Hill
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You'll have fun. People that say it's a terrible time just have a shitty mindset. Is it the best vacation option? Obviously not, but you can make it a good time if you aren't looking to bitch about every little thing. That said I snuck 2 handles and a 12 pack of beer on so I could've had fun anywhere. 

Now that’s a hearty endorsement! I’m excited!
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Some good advice already on this thread.  Went on my first cruise - Mexican "Riviera" this past January on Ruby. Try not to do it on the cheap if you can possibly avoid it.  Definitely get a balcony room, you can probably still upgrade.  Your excursions are already booked but I would recommend looking at local alternatives as opposed to the ship-sponsored deals.  Prices should be just as good with more variety.  The ship-sponsored ones can be a little more convenient.  Or you can make up your own.

It was actually quite easy to sneak in booze when returning from excursions.  Just try to look respectable...no jorts...no wife beater and they won't give you a second look.  Take your own backpack and they won't search it at all.  I actually bought some tequila with the intent to bring it home, had it in my backpack, forgot about it, was already past the 'check in your booze' stand when my wife (no pics assholes) said 'hey aren't you supposed to check the booze?'  Since we were already catching the elevator and there was a line of folks checking their booze, I just said screw it and took it up.

If you have the option and are able, take your bags to the room yourself.  It's not that difficult, there are elevators, and you won't have to wait for them when checking in and you won't have to pre-pack when leaving.

Casino was great for blackjack and craps.  A couple 6-5 BJ tables but most are 3-2.  One craps table that gets crowded at night.  Low limits, I think $10 for BJ and $5 for craps.

If you don't have kids try to find the adults-only pool.

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Thanks so far. We did get a balcony room. Those that do this all the time have rewards and got us a great deal. We did excursions on 3 of the 4 stops. In San Juan we're just going to wander around the forts and Old Town. We opted for ship excursions because it was easier for 3 couples to decide that, then figuring it out later. 

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Have fun  and the good thing about your timing,  you will miss the large numbers of family vacations which will start like clockwork the following week as schools across the country start summer break.

I'm pretty much done wanting to do another Caribbean Cruise frankly because I got tired of all the kids running around like they ran the dang ship.    If we decide to go cruising again, it will be an Asian , Australia/New Zealand, or European cruise, but that will probably wait until we are empty nesters because many of the cruises in Asia operate during fall and winter.   Plus most of the cruise lines operating from and to ports in those parts of the world cater to the adult crowd more than families with young children and they have longer ports of call with overnight stops which allows for more time to see stuff.  

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you'll have a good time.   I enjoyed mine and would go again, but it has it downsides.   the best thing imo about a cruise is the food.  I don't know what cruise line you're using, but we went on royal Caribbean and the food was outstanding.  soups, desserts, salads, entrees, pasta all fantastic.  if you don't gain 10 lbs you didn't do it right.  I smuggled in a bottle of bourbon in my suitcase but since then I've heard they actually xray your bags to prevent people from doing that.  they make a shitload of money off alcohol sales so its strictly forbidden for you to do that, but i'd try it anyway. 

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- Ahh, you get to pay a thou or thereabouts to see shit on a ship that's cheaper, tackier, and more miniature than you can do on land.  Have to do that once at least!
- The food is good, but that's why you'll see lots of elastic pants on a cruise.  
- They make most of their $ on the excursions.  Most of the time it's like herding sheep through a clipping house (i.e. do it yourself or find a local guide is >>>>>>>>).
- Also, a cruise ship is like a trip to the supermarket - the stupidest of humanity at their stupidest is on display.  Along with impatience and dumbassery.
- The entertainment often features talented people, but always reminds me of something that either the Moonies or Kim Jong Un's crew trots out.  Vomit-inducing to the  max. Shit that you would kill yourself over rather than pay money to see on land.  But, LCD and all that.  People with 95 IQ's have to be entertained, too.

But I'd recommend a cruise once at least to understand all this.

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Wife and I (no pics you pervs) initially agreed to go on a New Zealand cruise out of Sydney in March of this year (booked with friends who are frequent cruisers) but quickly realized there wasn't one excursion that looked remotely interesting.  Seriously, there is nothing the excursions were doing that I couldn't do myself for a fraction of the price.  We bailed on the cruise (friends were mildly pissed, but I saved $10,900) and just did the pre-cruise stuff we had planned for Australia.

Fast forward and the pictures they shared from the cruise and the stories they told about the on-ship experiences confirm I made the right call.  

They are already talking up an Amsterdam - Norway - Iceland - Greenland - Boston cruise for 2020.  I'm not sure.....that is most assuredly NOT how I want to experience Iceland, but I do want to get to Greenland.

Edited by gecko
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1 hour ago, gecko said:

 I do want to get to Greenland.

Totally not worth it.  Cooter is correct, your friends lack imagination.  Never spend days in open water unless it gets you somewhere you can't otherwise get to.  Like Pitcairn or Kerguelen.  I will PM you a secret option for you and your friends.

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15 minutes ago, Hagbard Celine said:

Totally not worth it.  Cooter is correct, your friends lack imagination.  Never spend days in open water unless it gets you somewhere you can't otherwise get to.  Like Pitcairn or Kerguelen.  I will PM you a secret option for you and your friends.

My friends will never venture from the herd, but that's all my wife and I want to do.  We can't stand bus loads of olds (even though technically we're probably in that category).  Would love any Greenland advice.  We both still have tread on the tires and want to use it while we can.

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Just now, gecko said:

My friends will never venture from the herd, but that's all my wife and I want to do.  We can't stand bus loads of olds (even though technically we're probably in that category).  Would love any Greenland advice.  We both still have tread on the tires and want to use it while we can.

Go while you can. You'll have plenty of time when you can't anymore.

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On 4/27/2019 at 12:25 PM, Hank_Hill said:

Also bang cougs from the piano bar. Or so I've heard. 

This. Those ships are full of overweight middle aged women looking to get laid.

 

I would have done the drink card - that's a great deal.

It's one of those deals where you really get out of it what you put into it.

 

Edit: And my wife has this strange thing going on. She's fine on the boat but when she gets back on land, for about 10 days she has mal de debarquement where her body thinks she is still on the boat and it's swaying the whole time to try and equilibrate.. even though she's on land. It's on the list of things that bother me, but since she rarely goes on cruises, it just sneaks up.

Edited by relapse98
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33 minutes ago, gecko said:

My friends will never venture from the herd, but that's all my wife and I want to do.  We can't stand bus loads of olds (even though technically we're probably in that category).  Would love any Greenland advice.  We both still have tread on the tires and want to use it while we can.

pm sent. eyes only.

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7 minutes ago, relapse98 said:

This. Those ships are full of overweight middle aged women looking to get laid.

 

I would have done the drink card - that's a great deal.

It's one of those deals where you really get out of it what you put into it.

 

Wait, where are these overweight middle aged women's husbands?

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For somebody like me who is mildly claustrophobic in crowded, contained environments, would one of these cruises be a living night mare?

 

Things like crowded football games are ok, large open space above and in front of me. Closed rooms full of people- no buerno. Crowded elevators = I take the stairs. Empty elevators or one or two people, no problem.

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I went on a cruise once.   Got off on the second island with bags packed.  I will never go on one again.  Cruises are basically all the fat slobs at Walmart packed into a box and set out to sea.  Except they come back a bigger version with a bad sun burn.  

oh, and have fun contracting the Noro Virus too.  

 

 

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58 minutes ago, High Plains Drifter said:

For somebody like me who is mildly claustrophobic in crowded, contained environments, would one of these cruises be a living night mare?

 

Things like crowded football games are ok, large open space above and in front of me. Closed rooms full of people- no buerno. Crowded elevators = I take the stairs. Empty elevators or one or two people, no problem.

Probably so.  

Like I posted above, I've been on a few and are done with them unless it's something like this

https://us.ponant.com

 

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1 hour ago, High Plains Drifter said:

For somebody like me who is mildly claustrophobic in crowded, contained environments, would one of these cruises be a living night mare?

 

Things like crowded football games are ok, large open space above and in front of me. Closed rooms full of people- no buerno. Crowded elevators = I take the stairs. Empty elevators or one or two people, no problem.

Unless you get an interior, super small state room, you shouldn't have any issues. Stairs are usually wide on cruise ships because of the evacuation route issues.  Most spaces are pretty large, but you do get interior rooms with no windows.  I think they're designed to feel pretty spacious and handle large groups of people at any one time.

 

Bottom line is choose carefully the cruise line, the time of year you go, and most importantly where you're cruising. We've been on 2 and had great fun both times. Once without our kids and once with.  The drink card is your friend, along with a cabin steward you tip out at the beginning of the trip to ensure prompt service for extra things you might want.

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Things not to do in the 21st century:

1. Opt in to the world's largest surveillance engine (i.e. sign up for Facebook)

2. Voluntarily PAY MONEY to put yourself in guaranteed hostage mode with the potential for catastrophic multi-day irrops.  With sewage.  Or disease.  Or possible death.

++++++

extracted, shucked and husked for your tapaloading pleasure...

- Thanks to an engine fire, the Carnival Triumph lost power and had to collect all of the on-board sewage waste into biohazard bags. Then, the crew piled up the bags next to guest cabins. What’s worse? We now know that the ship set sail with full knowledge that it had an ongoing problem with the engine. Thus, the voyage turned into an eight-day nightmare of floating in the Gulf of Mexico without power, air-conditioning, or a working septic system.

- The Carnival Splendor cruise also experienced an engine fire. As a result, 4,500 passengers had their seven-day trip to Mexico cut to three days of getting towed back to the San Diego Bay. Passengers had no working toilets and had to eat rations of food (apparently, lots of spam) because the refrigerators were down.

- In 2012, the Costa Concordia ran aground on a reef just off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. According to The Guardian, there were 4,200 passengers on board. Of those passengers, 32 died and 64 suffered injuries. Helicopters had to be called in to rescue a number of the passengers trapped inside. The evacuees were taken to the Tuscan island of Giglio, where they stayed in schools, hotels, and churches until they were able to return home.

- In 2015, 100 miles off the coast of Somalia, a pirates attacked a Seaborn Spirits ship with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades before the captain was able to change course and escape. Thankfully, no one was hurt. When the attack began, the crew ushered guests into the ballroom for safety and created a loud bang to make the pirates believe they were firing back.

- On a Celebrity Mercury cruise in 2010, there was a Norovirus outbreak (a virus that spreads quickly in close quarters) that affected more than 400 of the 2,600 passengers and crew. The symptoms included ‚Äúvomiting and other gastrointestinal ills.‚ÄĚ The ship had to bring on additional doctors and nurses¬†to help those affected.

- In 2005, at least 62 cabins were flooded when a 70-foot wave smashed into a Norwegian Dawn ship, which was sailing from New York City to the Bahamas. The wave was so big and powerful, it reached up to the tenth deck. 300 of the ship’s passengers opted to leave early in Charleston, South Carolina, as soon as the storm passed.

- All the way back in 1915, just three years after the Titanic sank, the S.S. Eastland rolled over onto its side while still at dock. The ship was carrying Western Electric employees to celebrate their fifth-annual employee picnic. Tragically, out of the 2,500 passengers and crew members, more than 800 people died, including 22 entire families.

- A young man named Daniel Dipiero went missing on a Royal Caribbean ship in 2006. He had been on the cruise with friends. After 18 hours of not being able to locate Dipiero, his family was notified of his missing status. Later, looking at the security footage, the tapes show Dipiero falling asleep on a lounge chair on the deck after one of the ship’s bartenders cut off his drinking. He got up to vomit off the side of the ship only to fall over into the water.

- A Fred Olsen cruise was cut short in 2007 when there was dangerous bacteria found on the ship. Days after returning home, passenger Robert Heath began to feel sick. Though doctors prescribed him antibiotics, he died a few days after returning home from his trip. It turns out, he had been exposed to Legionnaires’ disease on the ship. The cruise line ended up paying over $100,000 to settle the case.

- In 2010, over 350 passengers became ill on a Caribbean cruise ship, as well as 27 crew members. Symptoms included vomiting, diarrhea and upset stomachs. They didn’t officially name Norovirus as the culprit. However, the symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach) matched, and the virus has a tendency to spread rapidly in close quarters.

- In February 2016, a Royal Caribbean cruise set sail knowing a violent storm could hit them. (They had planned to outrun it but were unsuccessful.) The journey ended early after 125-mile-per-hour winds knocked the boat around. One passenger said the water was so rough at one point that the boat was at a 45 degree angle. For almost 12 hours, passengers had to hunker down in their rooms to avoid any flying furniture and glassware.

- Last month, March 2019, the Viking Sky lost all power off Norway in rough sea, passengers were being rescued by helicopter, video showed furniture sliding uncontrollably and pieces of roof collapsing on passengers in lifevests.

- And, finally....

Lusitania.

Titanic.

 

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12 hours ago, Hagbard Celine said:

Things not to do in the 21st century:

1. Opt in to the world's largest surveillance engine (i.e. sign up for Facebook)

2. Voluntarily PAY MONEY to put yourself in guaranteed hostage mode with the potential for catastrophic multi-day irrops.  With sewage.  Or disease.  Or possible death.

++++++

extracted, shucked and husked for your tapaloading pleasure...

- Thanks to an engine fire, the Carnival Triumph lost power and had to collect all of the on-board sewage waste into biohazard bags. Then, the crew piled up the bags next to guest cabins. What’s worse? We now know that the ship set sail with full knowledge that it had an ongoing problem with the engine. Thus, the voyage turned into an eight-day nightmare of floating in the Gulf of Mexico without power, air-conditioning, or a working septic system.

- The Carnival Splendor cruise also experienced an engine fire. As a result, 4,500 passengers had their seven-day trip to Mexico cut to three days of getting towed back to the San Diego Bay. Passengers had no working toilets and had to eat rations of food (apparently, lots of spam) because the refrigerators were down.

- In 2012, the Costa Concordia ran aground on a reef just off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. According to The Guardian, there were 4,200 passengers on board. Of those passengers, 32 died and 64 suffered injuries. Helicopters had to be called in to rescue a number of the passengers trapped inside. The evacuees were taken to the Tuscan island of Giglio, where they stayed in schools, hotels, and churches until they were able to return home.

- In 2015, 100 miles off the coast of Somalia, a pirates attacked a Seaborn Spirits ship with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades before the captain was able to change course and escape. Thankfully, no one was hurt. When the attack began, the crew ushered guests into the ballroom for safety and created a loud bang to make the pirates believe they were firing back.

- On a Celebrity Mercury cruise in 2010, there was a Norovirus outbreak (a virus that spreads quickly in close quarters) that affected more than 400 of the 2,600 passengers and crew. The symptoms included ‚Äúvomiting and other gastrointestinal ills.‚ÄĚ The ship had to bring on additional doctors and nurses¬†to help those affected.

- In 2005, at least 62 cabins were flooded when a 70-foot wave smashed into a Norwegian Dawn ship, which was sailing from New York City to the Bahamas. The wave was so big and powerful, it reached up to the tenth deck. 300 of the ship’s passengers opted to leave early in Charleston, South Carolina, as soon as the storm passed.

- All the way back in 1915, just three years after the Titanic sank, the S.S. Eastland rolled over onto its side while still at dock. The ship was carrying Western Electric employees to celebrate their fifth-annual employee picnic. Tragically, out of the 2,500 passengers and crew members, more than 800 people died, including 22 entire families.

- A young man named Daniel Dipiero went missing on a Royal Caribbean ship in 2006. He had been on the cruise with friends. After 18 hours of not being able to locate Dipiero, his family was notified of his missing status. Later, looking at the security footage, the tapes show Dipiero falling asleep on a lounge chair on the deck after one of the ship’s bartenders cut off his drinking. He got up to vomit off the side of the ship only to fall over into the water.

- A Fred Olsen cruise was cut short in 2007 when there was dangerous bacteria found on the ship. Days after returning home, passenger Robert Heath began to feel sick. Though doctors prescribed him antibiotics, he died a few days after returning home from his trip. It turns out, he had been exposed to Legionnaires’ disease on the ship. The cruise line ended up paying over $100,000 to settle the case.

- In 2010, over 350 passengers became ill on a Caribbean cruise ship, as well as 27 crew members. Symptoms included vomiting, diarrhea and upset stomachs. They didn’t officially name Norovirus as the culprit. However, the symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach) matched, and the virus has a tendency to spread rapidly in close quarters.

- In February 2016, a Royal Caribbean cruise set sail knowing a violent storm could hit them. (They had planned to outrun it but were unsuccessful.) The journey ended early after 125-mile-per-hour winds knocked the boat around. One passenger said the water was so rough at one point that the boat was at a 45 degree angle. For almost 12 hours, passengers had to hunker down in their rooms to avoid any flying furniture and glassware.

- Last month, March 2019, the Viking Sky lost all power off Norway in rough sea, passengers were being rescued by helicopter, video showed furniture sliding uncontrollably and pieces of roof collapsing on passengers in lifevests.

- And, finally....

Lusitania.

Titanic.

 

All of that and you missed this.    Tisk... Tisk..

The Achille Lauro Hijacking ‚ÄĒ ‚ÄúThese sons of bitches must be prosecuted‚ÄĚ

https://adst.org/2014/09/the-achille-lauro-hijacking-these-sons-of-bitches-must-be-prosecuted/

Edited by Nueces River Rat
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What ports? What excursions?

I'm cruised out, did 2 in the last 15 months mainly because they were cheap as hell and I wanted to get away from reliable internet for 7 days, stare at the ocean for hours, and take lots of naps.  Had 6/10 on the fun scale. I wouldn't do it without at least a balcony and preferably a suite.  Wife and I each received cruise ship themed credit card apps in the mail last week and I chuckled as I threw them out.

I think I'm done, but for people who really enjoy cruises I'm not going to piss on their enthusiasm.  Wife/her mom/her godmother are going on a Boston to Quebec cruise in October in one of those huge 2 story suites, hope they have fun.

If you were cruising out of Galveston I'd warn you that half your shipmate will be OU fans.

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40 minutes ago, BearSchlong said:

 

I'm cruised out, did 2 in the last 15 months mainly because they were cheap as hell and I wanted to get away from reliable internet for 7 days, stare at the ocean for hours, and take lots of naps. 

Isla Holbox checks all of those boxes and more.

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