(Closed) 1st time cruisers, honeymoon!

posted 4 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
2832 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Bring plenty of dramamine just in case!… Be prepared to stuff your faces and relax your asses off.

Post # 4
3769 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Be open to booking excursions with private companies on the island, instead of sticking only with cruise line excursions. One of the best excursions we did was privately booked! Typically you get smaller groups and really knowledgable guides!


Post # 6
45659 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@FutureMrsBess:  Go to http://www.cruisecritic.com, click on Community, then Forums, then Cruise Discussion Topics and finally First Time Cruisers.

This will give you some general information.

After that you can go back and read information on the Carnival Board and the Ports of Call Boards that are appropriate for your cruise.



Post # 7
8122 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@julies1949:  That might be a bad suggestion at the moment. There is a lot of discontent on the cruise critic carnival boards over the new menus that are being rolled out. It might actually scare away a first time cruiser. But the port of call boards would be a really good idea.


@FutureMrsBess:We are going on a carnival cruise in late 2014 (our first with CCL) and as I said the CC boards are a bit overwhelming right now. But try not to let it scare you too much. It really seems like people don’t like change.


My best tip is to relax and go with the flow. your on holiday and it sure beats work!


Post # 8
130 posts
Blushing bee

@FutureMrsBess:  Cruises can be tons of fun! If any of you might be seasick, bring gravol or other motion sickness medication, or a sea-band of some sort. There are tons of food and activities on the ship, which are great when you are travelling on the open sea for extensive periods of time (and the view is stagnant). Look into adult-only activities so you can have more access to romantic activites, as cruises tend to cater to families. 

Check out reviews like this online – they give you a good sense of what to see on your particular trip! 

Post # 9
45659 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@j_jaye: As first time cruisers, I doubt  they are  as vested in the menu as others.


Post # 10
8122 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@julies1949:  True but it is also stirring up some serious carnival hate. Especially about recent cut backs (show quality, live bands, younger low cost vibe etc). Though I would think menus and food quality would be important to any cruiser since you are stuck eating on the ship for a lot of meals! 

Post # 11
731 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

@julies1949:  I agree that those boards are great for learning! 

@FutureMrsBess:  Our first cruise will also be for our honeymoon through carnival and I have learned a lot on those boards. If you want me to send you my research just let me know! 

Post # 12
45659 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@j_jaye:  We just completed a 15 day Carnival cruise in September and it was fine.

Given that it is December 17 and they are cruising in January, I prefer to focus on the positive.

Post # 13
1090 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@FutureMrsBess:  Ooo how fun! I agree with the poster about the Cruise Critic so long as you understand that some of those people are CRAZY and know every detail under the sun about cruises. 

I did Grand Cayman one year and did a snorkeling/canoe trip. It was so fun! I definitely recommend excursions. I always booked through the cruise but I’m sure you could do other things. 

I also really recommend going to as many of the shows/dinners/events as possible. They are really, really great. My favorite is probably the Newlywed game. They bring up the most recently married couple (maybe you two!!!), I think someone at 10 years, someone at 25, and then the oldest married. It is usually absolutely hilarious. Oh, and because of this, I think we always booked the earlier of the dinner times so that we would be sure to catch all the shows.

Finally, bring a change of clothes (or bathing suit) in your carry-on. Your luggage gets delivered to your room after you get on board and you might want to change/go for a swim before it arrives.

Post # 14
9956 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Travel Nut and Cruise Lover

Congratulations on booking your first cruise… I am sure you will have a wonderful time.

MY BEST ADVICE is going to be that WBee cannot fulfil your wish…

I will 100% agree with @julies1949: 

Lol… Get thyself to Cruise Critic which is the sister Website to TripAdvisor (the # 1 Trip Planning Website on the net).  CC is owned by the Expedia Group as well and has FANTASTIC INFO

Here is the link to their Home Page = http://www.cruisecritic.com

From this page you can find links to Ship Reviews, Particular Ship Layouts, etc.

You will find the Carnival Forums / Boards here = http://boards.cruisecritic.com/

Make note of the following ones:

1- NEW Cruisers

2- Cruise Lines A-O (this is where Carnival is listed)

3- Ports of Call (this is where you can learn about the various Ports).  I would complement this tho with what you can learn on the Carnival Board… as well as the TripAdvisor Travel Forums for each Destination IF you need any detailed info for things you choose to do on your own while in Port

4- And Lastly… the Roll Call Board

This is where you can sign up to chat with / meet people who will be on the same cruise as you.  Fellow Cruisers usually organize a Sail Away Party… or have a Meet & Greet or other activities once onboard with the Ship Captain & Crew… lots of fun from our experience.

— — —

To @j_jaye: I gotta agree with @julies1949:  on this.

Menu Changes only ever affect Returning Passengers (“Oh how I love the Beef Wellington… sad to see it go”).  Rarely do NEW Passengers care.

Plus this is not a new thing… if you cruise often you see a pattern to this type of news… cruise ships make changes over time to keep competitive… be it food, drink, entertainment, etc.  (Menus actually change every 12 to 18 months normally.  Extensive changes when the Cruise Line hires a NEW BIG NAME Head Chef for the Line, or there is a make-over for the line’s vision overall)** 

Most Cruisers just go with the flow… it is my experience that the biggest noise makers on the CC Boards are those who are in a category that most of us can only dream about (20+ Cruises)… and as such they often come with a bigger chip on their shoulder against the cruise line because they figure they are owed something as they are those that are the “most loyal” customers who have clearly spent a lot of money with a cruise line.

BUT the truth of the matter is… Mega Cruisers are a rare breed.  Returning Cruisers are important… but the cruise industry NEEDS to attract NEW Cruisers to keep the aprox 25 MILLION slots annually filled… and so the industry is ALWAYS changing / evolving.

** PS – It is a well known fact that Carnival is in the midst of reinventing themselves… as they have had a couple of very sh!tty years in the media.  Changes overall are expected to be for the better.  Nothing wrong with that.


Post # 15
8122 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@This Time Round:  Maybe go and read some of the posts. In general they are giving off a very bad vibe for the cruise line and could potentially be off putting to a first time cruiser. I agree that it is mainly seasoned cruisers complaining but they are not just sticking to the menus they are also talking about food quality, service quality and cut backs. Probably not something someone planning their honeymoon wants to hear.

And given the bad press today on CNN over safety concerns that have not been verified but are being widely speculated about then yeah cruise critic could be very confronting to a 1st time cruiser.

I like cruise critic and think it is a great website but sometimes it can get out of hand and the carnival boards defiantely seem to be more dramatic than other boards on there.

To the OP -focus on the positive and take what you read with a grain of salt. i have never had a problem on a cruise that wasn;t anything more than a mild annoyance but witht he right attitude even those things will float past you.

Post # 16
9956 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

To @j_jaye:  Ya and Celebrity went thru this in exactly 2 years ago… just before they put out their New Menus for 2012.

HUGE uproar by the Mega Cruisers.

It is what it is.

A new cruiser will figure it out, and take away what they need from ALL the Boards that they look at not just that one.

(Which is WHY I recommended many features of the CC Website)

— — —

To @FutureMrsBess: Cruising is an awesome vacation / honeymoon option.

If you have concerns, or need more info on ANYTHING you can always send me a PM, and I can answer some Questions for you etc.


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