(Closed) Going on our first cruise- what to expect??

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
2067 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We went on a cruise for our honeymoon! I loved it πŸ™‚ It wasn’t a Disney cruise, but it was to the Cairbbean.  A few tips…

  • Pack for a variety of weather πŸ™‚ We had days that were probably in the 80s or 90s… But it also gets quite cool in the evening… I was grateful that I brought cardigans to go with my dresses for each dinner.  We also had a day that it was POURING when we got into port – We hadn’t really expected much of that πŸ™‚
  • At dinners, on our cruise at least, you could order more than one meal.  So, for example, I ordered a meal but didn’t love it.  So, I ordered something different.  Or – there were times we each ordered more than one dessert so we could try more things.
  • Multiple swimsuits (and cover ups)! They take time to dry πŸ™‚

I’m sure I have other tips… I’ll comment when I think of them πŸ™‚

Post # 4
5494 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2011

sneak in alcohol!  hahaha  They charge a lot for alcohol on the ship.  We always sneak in a large bottle of vodka in our suit case and then just add it to the free OJ and Cran on the ship.

Post # 5
327 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@Jenlon  haha I totally agree with ordering more than one meal. My Fiance and I went on a cruise a few years ago and he would order like 3 appetizers. Once I found out I could get more then one chocolate melting cake-uh oh haha.

-If you want to do any excursions search online for the company instead of going through the cruise line. You will get the excursions for about half as much as you would through the cruise.

-I don’t know about disney, but on carnvial you could either bring a case of water or a 12 pack of canned soda…if you want to mix it with drinks I would bring some. we didn’t know that but will be bringing soda/water on our honeymoon cruise.

Post # 6
2067 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@Kathers01:  Oh I totally agree! Find your excursions separate from the cruiseline!  People are very professional and much more reasonably priced!


Post # 7
866 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Pack your PJs, dinner outfit, cosmetics, medicines, and any other stuff you might absolutely need into your small carry-bag — your luggage typically gets loaded on within its ticket class along with hundreds of others, and it can take a long time to distribute (they even occasionally lose or misplace it). 

Try to bring all of your regular vacation requirements with you so you won’t have to pay triple for them later: sunscreen, moisturizer, aloe, flipflops, sunglasses, etc.

Pack a refillable water bottle for each of you — not sure about Disney but some ships don’t mind if you fill it with juice from breakfast. If you can’t fill it with juice, you’ll at least have water with you without having to order & tip for it every time.

When you leave your stateroom in the morning, don’t leave anything on the bed unless you want it incorporated into the towel animal of the day. One of our cruises had some pretty clever guys — they used my sunglasses, sarong, hair brush, and even one of my father’s camera cases as “props” for them. 

Read the daily printout they give you of activities, and plan your day around the things you *really* want to do. The popular onboard activites get crowded very quickly, so arrive early!

Pack a small amount of candied ginger juuuust in case of seasickness.

WASH YOUR HANDS and SANITIZE! OFTEN! The norovirus is the demon of cruiseships.

Hope this helps!

Post # 8
395 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I don’t know about Disney but Fiance and I went on Carnival. My tips are if you have someone in your group that drinks alot of pop and you have the option to get a fountain card, do so. But, there’s no need to get more than one. Fiance and I bought just one and he just got pop for the both of us. I tried to frequent the same bartender over and over  and he started giving me drinks for free. Also, tipping the room steward in advance will keep you happy the whole trip. Have fun and bon voyage!

Post # 9
1340 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Make sure you pack half of your stuff in his suit case and half of his in yours. I haven’t ever had a line lose my luggage, but it does get posted on CruiseCritic every once in a bit. If you split stuff, at least your guaranteed to have more than one outfit for your cruise.

Make sure you bring enough cash for souvenirs. I forgot one time and had to pay conversion fees at an ATM since street vendors (nothing nefarious) don’t take cards.

My aunt did a Disney cruise a couple years ago and swears up and down that they had to pay for juice and tea on the ship. I’ve never been, so I don’t know this to be 100% true.

Wash and sanitize your hands often. I carry a B&BW sanitizer on me all the time because of my job, so I just pack it for my cruises too.

Be prepared to switch dining rooms every night. We researched Disney and one of the reasons we decided against it was that there’s a new dining assignment every night because they rotate. Your servers will go with you though.


Post # 10
741 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Meowkers:  I was wanting to sneak a few bottles of wine on our honeymoon, but my mom said they were incredibly strict and put the suitcases through an x-ray machine to avoid people sneaking alcohol! Do you have any tricks for smuggling it on? πŸ™‚ 

Post # 11
658 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

You are going to love it!! Enjoy.

Post # 12
174 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m a travel agent and have taken my kids on Disney Cruises. It’s a little different from other cruises because most everything is geared for family fun and theres no gambling. But be on the lookout for Adult-only activities in your daily itinerary. Plus there are tons of things to do as a family. And be sure to explore the ship, they are all pretty cool.

The dining experience on Disney is the best! You keep the same wait staff, but go to a different dining room and experience each night. If you visit Cast Away Cay, pre-book your snorkel, bike or float package. You probably won’t use more than 2, but the last time I went you got a better deal and be on the look out for lunch on the island so you don’t miss it because its off the beach and it’s included with your cruise.

Go the first-time cruiser seminars on shopping, the different ports that you’ll be going to, etc. They give out coupons and give you information on which shops and vendors are safe.

If you want to meet the disney characters, you may want to hang back one day or come back early when you are in port. Mickey, Daffy or Minnie usually takes a stroll or 2 around the pool area and the last time we went, Mickey played table tennis after his photo session, cuz he had time to kill and there weren’t that many people there.

Pack water bottles and easy to travel snacks (nuts, gummies, cookies etc.) in your suitcase. Water aboard ship can cost you $4 per bottle. Bring a reusabale one or reuse the water bottles you get.

Get a disposable waterproof camera for poolside, snorkeling and the beach.

Wait until days at sea to visit the spa. Use your daily itinerary to look for deals and promotions.

Wait until the last night to make major purchased in the duty-free shops, especially alcohol. You can’t take it back to you cabin to drink anyway. Plus almost everything will be on sale.

I know a lot of people tell you to find excursions outside of the ones the cruiselines offers. And if you are going shopping, to the beach or something like that, I’d agree. However, if you have never been to that town before and aren’t with a large group of people, you have to be cautious. Safety is always important.  Also, if you are going to be on a motorcraft, diving or any other adventurous activity, keep in mind that some tour operators are not licensed or certified, especially if you meet them on the street. They may have a good price, but if you get hurt or sick, they are not responsible for getting you back to your ship before it leaves port. And if you don’t have a passport, it will be extremely difficult to get into another county to re-board without one.  

Post # 13
11 posts

Cruises are my favorite way to vacation, you have to love people and all different types of people 


Here is my advice find a spot by the pool early they always say not to reserve chairs but everyone does it seriously! If you can’t beat them join them right…. And this is on going issue on cruise ships. Its better to have at least on person by your chairs because if they see no one is there for a long time they take your towel and you will most likely be charged for it usually25.00…… I know so many people are against this but every one will do it anyway 

Bring a power strip too because there is usually only about 2 sockets and if you are like me where you need you hair dryer and straightner or curling iron it’s a hassleish and charging your cell phone 


Also read cruise critic.com the user reviews you can look at what people have done and what they think is best to do and not miss on your cruise.  If you go there knowing what to expect you will have so much fun 

Post # 14
5494 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2011

@Au Jardin:  We just put them in the middle of our suitcase amoung the clothes.  No problems and nothing was confiscated.  

We also bought another bottle in one of the ports half way through.  Just put it in a backpack with towels and random stuff thrown on top and brought it on the ship.  

Post # 15
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

@Meowkers:  agreed with sneaking in alcohol – we got a big box o joe (empty) from Starbucks (you can get them at Dirty Delete too) and then took out the bladder in the middle and filled it with vodka. We wrapped it in a sweatshirt and put it in our checked luggage. Another couple we talked to said they brought a box of wine. Just put it right in their checked luggage as well. On Carnival you are allowed to bring on 1 bottle of wine per person in your carry on luggage. If you bring your own corkscrew you can drink it in your room.

The topic ‘Going on our first cruise- what to expect??’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors