Post # 1
We just booked a 7 day cruise on RC Grandeur of the Seas to Bermuda May 3rd!!
A little history: We originally planned a November Jamaica Destination Wedding. Because of insurance we got married at courthouse in June. November still on only a vow renewal. Then I needed immediate knee surgery. Moved trip to January 12th. On January 3rd my husband’s brother passed away. Jamaica canceled AND fortunately we purchased trip insurance. Decided Jamaica is jinxed for us. Even though I felt selfish I was crying canceling the trip and I dearly love my brother in law.
So……..we booked the Bermuda cruise. All of you veteran cruisers, I would love if you would share your cruise inside tips. We have never cruised before. At this point I feel like we need all the help we can get!!!!!!!!!
Post # 3
@Pamelor55: crusing is awesome. I am not a veteran as I have only done 3 cruises but I love crusing. Its great as you dont have to carry your bags at different stops. We usually go to the formal nights on board so i take heels, some long dresses. Take comfortable shoes also. Most cruise ships have everything you need on board, ie stores but they are dearer then usual. Many people get dressed up for dinner, depends on the cruiseline. i will think of other things and reply tomorrow as its difficult to write on my phone lol.
Post # 4
@Pamelor55: Bring something warm!! We went at the beginning of March to the Caribbean, and we were freezing at night out on the decks! I longed for a sweatshirt and pants.
Bring comfy sandals to walk indoors in.
You don’t NEED towels for excursions/beaches if you don’t want, they will provide them for you (you just need to bring them back, else you’ll get charged)
If you drink soda, get one soda pass and then just share it. Sodas are NOT free, and neither is bottled water. But they don’t even look at the photos… you just wave the card and they give you a soda, so don’t buy two.
Yeah make sure you bring something formal for formal nights. At least a LBD and heels. You don’t HAVE to but most people do it, and it’s pretty fun ^_^
Research and book your excursions in advance! The best ones fill up fast.
Free room service 24/7 😀
Also don’t feel confined if you go to a cafe or bar to get a drink or food… you can take that stuff anywhere and leave it at any counter
Hot tubs generally are empty at night
Check the papers they give you at nights in case you want to do something… there’s generally activities during the day and sometimes free stuff
If you want to buy anything on-board, wait until the last day. They have discounts then.
There will be an annoying drill and siren at the beginning of the trip where you have to meet at a certain point on the ship in case there’s an emergency.
Self-serve soft serve icecream near the pool… so awesome.
I love Royal Carribbean ^_^
Post # 5
Well I’m not a veteran cruiser as I’m going on my first on May 6th but I just wanted to say check out CruiseCritic. The forums are awesome and I have been obsessively looking at them haha
Post # 6
Thanks. For formal night I have a long dressy coral sundresses with jewelry I had made to match. Is this dressy enough. What exactly occurs at formal night?
My hubby has been to Bermuda before. Is it better for us to go off on our own rather than the cruise excursion?
I did find cruise critic, it’s very helpful.
Post # 7
Book your excursions separately – use the cruise forums to find recommendations and groups to book with. You’ll save money PLUS do more unique things in smaller groups! If you just want to like go to the beach and hang out you can go off on your own – I’ve always done that by finding the dodgiest guy holding up a sign once you disembark, and then going with him. Ended up on some very beautiful beaches that weren’t full of other tourists that way.
Don’t buy anything in the little constructed cruise ship disembarking village. The same stores are at all of them and it’s all very overpriced (as is the cruise ship, though the tiny makeup/perfume sets are nice and I usually buy one). The better shops come further inland.
@yanamari: Soda isn’t free? I did not know that. Have I managed to just never drink soda on my cruises before?
Re: drinks – I don’t drink much but on RC the drink I find ESSENTIAL is the signature shot of the night, which is served after dinner in take-home shot glasses. Honest to god the BEST shots I’ve had in my life. My fiance and I have sooooooooooo many shot glasses because we ordered them every night. I would not recommend the banana liquer one though unless you like fake banana (which my fiance does, so he drank mine, lol).
The room service has a limited menu but it’s very nice when you’re lazy.
Although you have to stand in line for the portraits on formal night, I think it’s well worth it. Buuut my fiance proposed while we were getting our portrait taken on the first formal night of a cruise so I may be biased!
Since the staff is from all over the world, a lot of them have fun stories. But they also serve on the cruise ship for like a year with no breaks, so a lot of them also have spouses and children back home. One of my waiters on my first cruise had just had a baby girl who he’d not yet met. He’d show us a new picture every day though.
And I think your dress sounds formal enough. The rule mainly seems to be “if it’s formal enough for you, it’s formal enough for everyone else.”
Post # 8
I’ve been on about 5 cruises. My suggestions? If you can afford to upgrade to the balcony rooms do it (its really romantic at night), bring 2 swim suits, if you and your Fiance are liquor drinkers get plastic non see thru bottles (they sell them at Target) fill them up with the liquor of your choice and put it in a ziplocbag with all of your other toiletries. Most cruises allow you to bring on one bottle of wine per person. I saw one bee suggested getting only one soda pass for the 2 of you, last time we went on a cruise the bartender checked both of our cards to make sure we had the pass and then also checked the computer. So it might be worth it to just get 2 passes. Oh! and also some cruise lines will let you pay the gratuities ahead of time. Look into it, I can’t tell you how many people we see fighting on the last day because of the bill they have accrued
Post # 9
some formal nights have fun events, like one cruise I went on had a “champagne formal night” (1/3). They served free champagne for several hours and everyone looked dressed up and pretty and you just socialized =) then the dinners are fancier and the staff are dressed nicely too.
Go to a few of the on-board shows! they are fun,silly, and something different. not broadway quality by any means, but a good time
I loved the sit down resturants for breakfast (as well as dinner). they provide a much nicer food quality than the general “buffet” breakfast, although do take more time.
The spas/ gym are so nice! If I had had more moola, I totally would have hit up more spa/salon services because being pampered phsycially, while already on an incredibly pampered vacation would have been nice. The gym is often very high quality, and can have ocean views (i.e. clear wall to wall windows)
Post # 10
@Pamelor55: dont buy any exscursions, go off and do them yoru self, you will save your self lots of money!
Post # 11
Great help everyone. Thanks.
My hubby was telling that some years ago he went to Bermuda. One of the activities was they put these metal helmets with oxygen that were heavy enough so you walked on the floor of the ocean. There were tropical fish all around. They then fed a moray eel and took your picture with it. I think that sounds amazing but I am thinking for safety reasons they may not do it anymore.
How do you research private excursions?
Post # 12
@distracts: Not on Royal Carribbean, anyway. Nor Carnival… but we got one drink pass on every cruise I’ve been on. They didn’t bother checking. Lots of times whoever had the pass would just go to either side of the buffet or wherever and request a soda, just to be save. It’s worth a try, I’d say, instead of spending the extra money right off the bat.
I did bring 3 swimsuits and used all of them. I hate putting on a damp suit.
You can get local excursions just by googling excursions on whatever island you visit. I’m less inclined to trust them though sometimes, and if you do it through the ship you don’t have to worry about having enough time to get there or get back to the ship or whatever, or organizing transportation to/from them. Depends on what you want to fuss with. I didn’t find the prices to be much different when I did them, so I booked most of mine with the ship. The ones I haven’t done through ships though didn’t go poorly… they were definitely more… questionable, though. lol.
Don’t bother with sightseeing/walking/beach tours though, they’re a waste of money.