1, Getting on board is the hardest part: first line to stand is to drop non carry on bags. My tip: pay the extra fee to have the bell hop process them for you so you can move directly to line # 2 the customs check in for carry on bags. We were able to carry on 1 bottle of wine each, and we never questioned about the other metal objects/electronics in the bags. Tip # 2 they can detect alcohol so almost impossible to smuggle it on board. Line # 3 – to get your "all in one" access card, which you need to get on and off ship, make any purchases or open your room door. Take your welcome boarding picture as it will be great to compare to your final day picture.
OK your now on board. Turn off your cell phone or set to airplane mode. If not you we get a bill that may be higher than your cruise price. Not getting calls is the beauty of the cruise. If an emergency comes up, they will find you. Check the weather to see if it’s smooth sailing. If not, make arrangements to have a patch or meds to cover motion sickness. If it’s sunny, get sunscreen. Nothing is more miserable then being burnt and itchy for the remainder of your trip. If you get burnt a secrete remedy is milk of magnesia dabbed on with cold compresses to pull out the heat. Yes, it really works….
Check your room out, if not acceptable call time out and call down to guest services. We bring disinfectant spray to spray shower area and door handles etc. Tip- if you have a favorite thing ( pillow, toilet paper …) bring it with you. Overkill, but hey who wants to be sick / uncomfortable on your trip, the ship should have antibacterial stations spread throughout the common areas. Hopefully your ship has a room safe that works off any magnetic card. My wife and I have the same credit card so we can both open at anytime. Unpack and store your suit cases under the beds – yes there is enough space to store it underneath and out of the way.
OK you are settled in and have things organized and easy to find. You might want to consider a ribbon wrapped about the door so you can ID your room down a long hallway. We bannered our door with our last name and state so our neighbors can warm up to us. If you are going to drink sodas consider the package deal, the fountain drinks are 10 times better than the canned drinks. Find your favorite bar that serves them. I hope you brought an insulated drinking bottle. Works great at the pool or on excursions. Bring a backpack for your excursions. They area great to store stuff, bring back goodies and also fit easily in bike baskets etc and are easy to scan through customs. Do your homework in advance on excursion. Be aware that there will be lots of other people if you go with the cruise ship. That may fit your needs as we are more the lone explorer types.
Food: you paid for the trip so why not eat the best. Yes it takes a bit longer for the sit down dining but hey you get to try some food that you may never get to try again. Yes you can get multiples of anything that is served. Don’t be shy the portions are smaller so if you’re an average or big eater you may have 3 appetizers, 2 main dishes and two or three desserts with regular coffee to wrap it up. You can bring your wine to dinner but you will pay a uncorking fee. Enjoy the people that sit with you at your table. We found this to be the best part of our trip.
Each day you will get some paperwork which lists the next day’s events and options. Pick and choose carefully as you will never be able to do it all. We savor the events v/s trying to get in as much as possible. Take pictures and remember your camera, especially on excursions. If you miss the Ship take good pictures as it sails away without you. Yes, they will leave you. Speaking of pictures, you will have to pay for them so budget accordingly – approximately $15 each. Hey, it the memories and sharing so don’t be stingy.