I'm by no means a cruise expert you may have read some of my reviews if not these tips though simple will help to reduce your stress on board..............well it has worked flawlessly for our last 12 cruises.
1. If you are not local to the disembarkation port arrive at least 1 day in advance it reduces the anxiety of missing the ship. Plan on some sight seeing if at all possible if new to Boston or that port city.
2. Now depending on where it is and how far I'm traveling I may get there 3-4 days earlier to sight see and get into the vacation mind set and the air fare in and out a few days either way can save you hundreds if not thousands depending on how many people are traveling with you.
3. Cruising I always bring "BONINE" this in my opinion and is by far the best over the counter motion sickness medication money can buy......period! One tablet every 24 hours with no side affects. Check with your doctor first.
4. Try to be at the ship 2 hours More
before the designated boarding time if possible. Usually they get you processed immediately, then they seat you in the waiting area until they're ready to let you on board. Again no standing in long lines.
5. Print out all your E TICKETS (electronic tickets) from the website which are available 60 days prior to your departure. Review every detail and have the mistakes corrected ASAP it's better than standing at the counter for 30 minutes or more resolving the issues.
6. Print your luggage tags early and in color. I always print double what is needed. The luggage handlers literally toss the luggage and if the tags come off your luggage maybe lost or really late arriving to your cabin. So what I do is laminate every tag using clear shipping tape and then I staple 2 tags on every piece of luggage in different locations. I have never had a luggage problem using this method, again reducing stress. Remember your luggage may not arrive to your room until late afternoon early evening, so I wear business casual on board in case the luggage is late. This way I can still be seated in the main dining room at dinner time. I think the first night is 2 lobsters and steak? Yes proper dress is required.
7. When arriving at the terminal take notice of the porter station and do not get in the long line if your luggage is already tagged, those long lines are for the people that did not tag their luggage. Grab a porter hand him $15-20 dollars depending on how many pieces of luggage you have and proceed up the escalator with the big green letters "TO SHIP" from that point NCL greeters will direct you to the final check in counter.
8. Check-in on line at the same time you print your e-tickets it saves a lot of time, it takes us under 10 minutes. That's pictures, passport, ID checks, and the room keys and we are directed to the waiting area.
9. Thursday evening when they make the announcement that the disembarkation tags have been put in the reception desk lobby area on deck 7 take the LATEST TIME TAGS 10:00 am. I never fight the crowds this just adds more unnecessary stress. With no lines you disembark go to the baggage claim area and the only luggage there in the massive room is yours. No searching, grab it and go, there's no traffic walk across the street to the parking garage and pull up and drive off. There is zero traffic to fight. Again less stress.
10. Getting off the ship. I constantly read horror stories of people self disembarking with their luggage this is ridiculous!, lines around the ship, yelling, fighting etc, etc, etc. WHY? Breakfast is served the last day. Get up... finish packing go have a nice relaxing breakfast return to your room one last time to check for items that may have been left behind and just walk off the ship with no lines anywhere.
11. The parking garage at the cruise terminal in Boston is directly across the street within walking distance roughly 3 minutes max and costs $112.00 for the week, however you do need to show them your cruise documents for the discount. OH... and they only take Master card, Visa, and Cash. So if you are paying cash you have to park outside their office on the first floor and go inside to pay. It takes a few more minutes paying cash.
12. Drink package, I don't believe that's necessary $50.00 for carbonated soft drinks. They supply these following items free , pink lemonade, lemonade, fruit punch, orange juice, apple juice, coffee, hot chocolate, tea.
13. I always buy the travel insurance just in case, it runs around $70.00 a person. Well worth it in an emergency situation.
14. Muster drill station. This area for emergency evacuation of the ship in now located on your room key.
Go by this........ not the station number on the cabin door. I always make a dry run prior to the drill. The quicker this drill is completed the quick we sell sail.
15. Try to get to the shows 45 min. in advance to ensure a good seat.
16. I try to cruise while school is in session the pool is less busy ,less messy deck, less food spilled in the restaurants on the floor etc etc etc you get the picture.
17. Like traveling in the later season and that's also where you get the better pricing in my opinion.
18. Read your daily calender so you don't miss any shows.
19. I always bring a 110V electrical power strip there's only 1 outlet per cabin.
20. I stop by my local police station and fill out the on vacation watch form. They as a few questions and keep and eye out and respond quicker if your alarm goes off or a neighbor calls in anything suspicious.
21. Notify my credit card company I will be traveling to Bermuda to insure the card works.
22. Bring extra cash some of the stores in Bermuda only take the European BIO METRIC card which is different from the US credit card system.
23. NOTE! The coral in the beach area is PROTECTED! It is not a rock to climb on and hefty fines are issued by the British Govt if you get caught on them and you stay in jail until the fine is paid in full. just a little note.
24. Bus and Ferry passes are $15.00 a day per person well worth it.
25. Bus stop colored poles. Pink goes to Hamilton and blue goes out of town. Easy to remember The letter I in pink and the letter I in Hamilton. The letter U in blue the letter U in out. If you get disoriented outside the city limites.