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Old 10-21-2008, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,849 posts, read 6,774,133 times
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Thought I'd try to start a new thread. I'm going on a cruise for the first time , and thought I'd ask a couple of question to cruisers out there? any useful tips? It's on Carnival, I'm going with friends. I'm not sure how I will like being "trapped" on the ship-only because I am so used to just "getting up and going" when I travel.
Did anyone else have that problem? sort of a semi-claustrophobia? any motion sickness issues? any port city tips? (Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios)
thanks!


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Old 10-21-2008, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Miami
6,853 posts, read 19,814,152 times
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Make sure you book your excursions ASAP, as the good excursions usually go first. Bring a room freshener, one that you can just open the lid and it makes the room smell good. Make your spa appointments as soon as you get on the ship, as the good times (sea days) book up fast.

I have been on 4 cruises (1 four day, 2 one week, and 1 two week cruise) and have only had 2 days totally where I could actually feel the ship rocking (it was on the panama canal cruise, that ship had less stabalizers (than the RCC one week ships) because it has to go through the canal).

Never felt claustrophobic as there are so many things to do on the ships. The best part of cruising is you get on unpack, and the hotel does all the driving to different places. On the cruise you are going on believe you only have two sea days. Just fill your day doing different things.
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:48 PM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 5,070,290 times
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A lot depends on the itinerary, the ship, and your budget. Naturally, every day that the ship spends "at sea", you'll be "trapped" there (which is not to say that you will feel "trapped"). In any port, however, there is at least something fun to do, even if it's only lounging on the beach. The only drawback is that most cruise ships leave port around 5 pm, giving you no opportunity to experience the night life. (Which is not surprising, considering that "experiencing the night life" means spending money in bars, so cruise lines would rather you "experience" it with them.)

Take advantage of certain things that cruises have to offer. Your "hotel" is mobile, which means you can bring more clothes than to an ordinary land vacation. Bring books or games. Bring your exercise gear.

On a standard cruise, there will be some "formal" and some "semi-formal" evenings, at least in the main dining room. So pack at least one evening gown and one party dress. It's fun.

I am not familiar with Carnival yet, but I know it's a megaship cruiseline, so chances are, there will be a lot to do on the ship. I usually spend the sea days exercising in the gym and going to the spa. Keep in mind, however, that as far as spa treatments go, sea days get booked up REALLY fast. If you want to do something like that, try to reserve your appointments online ahead of the trip, and if you can't, go to the spa to book as soon as you get on board. Megaships also have squash or tennis courts, exercise classes, and at least a couple of pools (a regular swimming pool and a continuous-wave or thermal pool), with several hot tubs around. Cruise lines also plan daily on-board activities that you can look into. A lot of them involve eating, but there are also some of a more sporty nature.

Re. ports of call: You really have to do your own research there, especially since you don't tell us your whole itinerary. (I suggest The Cruise Critic as a starting point.) Some ports are fabulous for duty-free shopping (e.g., Sint Maarten), others have amazing natural beauty and must be traveled to be appreciated (e.g., St. Lucia), still others have great ruines nearby (e.g. Costa Maya), while still others have little besides the beach to offer. If money is not a factor, you might look into some shore excursions, especially since those in the Caribbean are not that expensive. By the way -- wherever you get off the ship, people will approach you in port and offer you a sight-seeing tour. Be very careful. Lots of travelers (myself included) have had awful experiences with that. The cruise line's tours are more expensive, but they are much safer and more likely to be fun.

Sea sickness: It's not such a problem on megaships, especially if your cabin is located towards the middle of the deck. However, while stabilizers reduce the side-to-side rocking, they do little or nothing for the front-to-back rocking, so if your cabin is closer to the bow or the stern, you might feel it. Nevertheless, the Caribbean is a relatively calm body of water outside the hurricane season. Also, the ship's medical center and convenience shop have over-the-counter means to suppress the motion sickness. For most people, a magnet bracelet or Dramamine is sufficient.

Claustrophobia: People are claustrophobic to varying degrees, so it's hard to say. Moreover, cabin size and design varies from class to class and from ship to ship. Across the board, however, cruise lines are doing their best to design cabins that feel more spacious than they really are, typically using light or bright colors and lots of mirrors. Claustrophobia is obviously more of a problem for inside "staterooms" than for outside ones. I'll be honest with you: I am not abnormally claustrophobic, but I don't like inside cabins, notwithstanding the clever mirror effect. If you are booked in one of those, plan to spend a lot of time on the outside (which isn't really difficult on a megaship).
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,518,226 times
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Previous posters have covered a lot of wonderful information. My suggestions would be that you follow your cruise line's instructions to the letter. Many of those instructions are for your own peace of mind, many others are for your safety and the safety of the ship.

As quickly as absolutely possible, look up your cruise line's website, go to the particular cruise you're taking, and study the excursions available -- and sign up quickly for the ones you want. They fill up quickly.

If you don't know if you'll get seasick or not, plan ahead. Get your doctor to prescribe seasick med(s) now and get the Rx filled before you leave so that you have it available when you board the ship. The ship's doctor will also have meds available, but if you have stormy seas you'll have to wait in line while you feel miserable. Take care of yourself before you go.

You can't possibly get claustrophobic on a cruise ship. Much too large. Your cabin will be small, so think of it as a small studio apartment.

Remember you're traveling with a small city of people you don't know. They aren't your friends. Protect your valuables, and don't do anything you wouldn't do in groups of strangers in a strange city.

Your cruise line's website will answer a million questions. So will Cruisecritic.com.

A cruise is great fun! Have a fabulous adventure!

Here are recent threads with useful information on City-Data:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/trave...go-cruise.html

http://www.city-data.com/forum/trave...-line-why.html

http://www.city-data.com/forum/trave...re-cruise.html

http://www.city-data.com/forum/trave...ed-cruise.html

http://www.city-data.com/forum/trave...ise-lines.html
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,188 posts, read 13,368,226 times
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When you get to the ship, you're going to be amazed at how big it is! When you wake up in the middle of the ocean, you'll be surprised at how small such a big thing can be!
You won't feel claustrophobic. You will have a great time! It's really no different from any other type of vacation, except that you're moving!
Do get Carnival's cruise brochure, so you can learn all about your cruiseline, it's rule and regs, safety, added costs.....everything!
And, go to Cruisecritic.com--check under the Carnival boards--lot's of info there! Enjoy!
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,849 posts, read 6,774,133 times
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Thank you doggiebus-I'm working on the excursions now. I want to keep it pretty low key. Sounds like the cabins can get stuffy?



Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiebus View Post
Make sure you book your excursions ASAP, as the good excursions usually go first. Bring a room freshener, one that you can just open the lid and it makes the room smell good. Make your spa appointments as soon as you get on the ship, as the good times (sea days) book up fast.

I have been on 4 cruises (1 four day, 2 one week, and 1 two week cruise) and have only had 2 days totally where I could actually feel the ship rocking (it was on the panama canal cruise, that ship had less stabalizers (than the RCC one week ships) because it has to go through the canal).

Never felt claustrophobic as there are so many things to do on the ships. The best part of cruising is you get on unpack, and the hotel does all the driving to different places. On the cruise you are going on believe you only have two sea days. Just fill your day doing different things.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,849 posts, read 6,774,133 times
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Thank you "Red", I think I am towards the front of the ship. I'll bring plenty of dramamine just in case, but I'm normally not seasick.
I wasn't planning on the spa, but now that I think about a massage may do wonders.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Redisca View Post
A lot depends on the itinerary, the ship, and your budget. Naturally, every day that the ship spends "at sea", you'll be "trapped" there (which is not to say that you will feel "trapped"). In any port, however, there is at least something fun to do, even if it's only lounging on the beach. The only drawback is that most cruise ships leave port around 5 pm, giving you no opportunity to experience the night life. (Which is not surprising, considering that "experiencing the night life" means spending money in bars, so cruise lines would rather you "experience" it with them.)

Take advantage of certain things that cruises have to offer. Your "hotel" is mobile, which means you can bring more clothes than to an ordinary land vacation. Bring books or games. Bring your exercise gear.

On a standard cruise, there will be some "formal" and some "semi-formal" evenings, at least in the main dining room. So pack at least one evening gown and one party dress. It's fun.

I am not familiar with Carnival yet, but I know it's a megaship cruiseline, so chances are, there will be a lot to do on the ship. I usually spend the sea days exercising in the gym and going to the spa. Keep in mind, however, that as far as spa treatments go, sea days get booked up REALLY fast. If you want to do something like that, try to reserve your appointments online ahead of the trip, and if you can't, go to the spa to book as soon as you get on board. Megaships also have squash or tennis courts, exercise classes, and at least a couple of pools (a regular swimming pool and a continuous-wave or thermal pool), with several hot tubs around. Cruise lines also plan daily on-board activities that you can look into. A lot of them involve eating, but there are also some of a more sporty nature.

Re. ports of call: You really have to do your own research there, especially since you don't tell us your whole itinerary. (I suggest The Cruise Critic as a starting point.) Some ports are fabulous for duty-free shopping (e.g., Sint Maarten), others have amazing natural beauty and must be traveled to be appreciated (e.g., St. Lucia), still others have great ruines nearby (e.g. Costa Maya), while still others have little besides the beach to offer. If money is not a factor, you might look into some shore excursions, especially since those in the Caribbean are not that expensive. By the way -- wherever you get off the ship, people will approach you in port and offer you a sight-seeing tour. Be very careful. Lots of travelers (myself included) have had awful experiences with that. The cruise line's tours are more expensive, but they are much safer and more likely to be fun.

Sea sickness: It's not such a problem on megaships, especially if your cabin is located towards the middle of the deck. However, while stabilizers reduce the side-to-side rocking, they do little or nothing for the front-to-back rocking, so if your cabin is closer to the bow or the stern, you might feel it. Nevertheless, the Caribbean is a relatively calm body of water outside the hurricane season. Also, the ship's medical center and convenience shop have over-the-counter means to suppress the motion sickness. For most people, a magnet bracelet or Dramamine is sufficient.

Claustrophobia: People are claustrophobic to varying degrees, so it's hard to say. Moreover, cabin size and design varies from class to class and from ship to ship. Across the board, however, cruise lines are doing their best to design cabins that feel more spacious than they really are, typically using light or bright colors and lots of mirrors. Claustrophobia is obviously more of a problem for inside "staterooms" than for outside ones. I'll be honest with you: I am not abnormally claustrophobic, but I don't like inside cabins, notwithstanding the clever mirror effect. If you are booked in one of those, plan to spend a lot of time on the outside (which isn't really difficult on a megaship).
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:38 AM
 
Location: NYC area
3,486 posts, read 5,070,290 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsfangal View Post
Sounds like the cabins can get stuffy?
I've never had to use an air freshener, but then, I've never been on a Carnival ship. I've been on Celebrity (oceanview cabins) and on Princess (interior cabin), and stuffiness was never a problem. Still, I didn't like the interior cabin, even though it was not stuffy, and kudos to the designers for bending over backwards to try to make it look less like a small, windowless room. But again, I've never been on Carnival.

In any event, if you have a balcony cabin, I don't see how stuffiness can become an issue (unless you are on an aging ship that hasn't been refurbished in a while, and the fabrics and furnishings have become "musty" because of the humidity and all that sea air). These cabins generally get pretty good air circulation. Interior and "oceanview" (i.e. window) cabins are another story. They don't open to the outside and depend entirely on the AC for their freshness. So if you are in one of those, it's possible it will get stuffy.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:41 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,369 posts, read 9,904,338 times
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Sports,
There is so much too do.You won't feel trapped. Take advantage of the food offered! Swim in the pool early in the trip, but not later. I noticed on my last carnival cruise that if up close the pool looked nice, but from the top deck it looked like chocolate pudding. It was clean at first, but after days of people swiming it was gross.

Everything else was fantastic.

Tour the ship at first, find all the cool nooks and cranys! We cound hidden table tennis courts that were always empty! Do the corny shows, they're actually fun!
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:00 AM
 
Location: NJ
2,111 posts, read 7,257,774 times
Reputation: 994
I've been on 4 cruises and loved it. 3-7 day and 1-9 Day. We had no problem with sea sickness or being "trapped". To me a cruise is like a floating island, walk to everything. I've been to Bermuda twice and east and west Caribbean cruises. The food could be to much, but I try to regulate it....LOL. We've always went with Celebrity Lines and like them, Carnival use to have a reputation for being a party boat (noisy). The first cruise we went on was outside cabin, after that we tried inside and it was fine for us, and you save. We always went middle of the ship also. Have fun!!!!
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