When going on a Caribbean cruise vacation there are some sensible things that you should know. Here are some excellent cruise tips for your much anticipated cruise vacation.
The first day of your Caribbean cruise vacation is here. Most of the day will be spent getting to know your cruise ship, making spa appointments, booking tours on the Caribbean Islands and trying to get cruise tips from your fellow passengers.
The first night of your Caribbean cruise vacation is always a casual night since most people have traveled a good portion of the day. It’s also the night you meet your table mates. Here is another cruise tip, be a few minutes late on the first night (only on the first night-be prompt from then on). There is usually a crush of people when the dinner bell rings and everyone is trying to find their table.
If you are eating in the traditional cruise style, always ask for a large table for several reasons. You have a better chance of meeting a mix of people, and the more people you meet during your cruise travel, the merrier. One thing to do is change seats every night at the table so everyone gets to talk to everyone else during the course of your cruise vacation. It’s much more fun. And a round table is ideal since rectangular ones make it difficult to talk to the guy at the other end. However, if you find that you are unhappy with your table, absolutely go to the maitre d’ and asked to be moved. He or she will accommodate you as best they can. There are people who chose to dine alone and the ships have tables for two but they fill up fast.
Freestyle Dining and Choice Dining are available on some Cruise Lines for those who want to eat on their own or don’t want to be delegated to a specific dining time. Your travel agent will be able to set this up when booking your Caribbean cruise vacation.
Now you are on day two, and usually that means it’s a day at sea. You are just itching to put into your bathing suit and get out in the sun. Listen to this, it is the most valuable of all the cruises tips here, do not try to get a tan on your first day of your Caribbean cruise vacation. You will spend days of your precious cruise trying to recover from very bad sunburn. The Caribbean sun is very intense and is even more so in the summer months.
Get waterproof sun block and use it liberally if you are swimming or snorkeling. Don’t forget the tops of your feet, your ears and lips, this can be extremely painful. Wear a hat so you don’t burn your scalp.
To avoid injury follow these tips. Be careful if the decks are wet, they become very slippery. Watch for the raised lips in some doorways especially between your cabins sleeping area and the bathroom. Never sit on the railings as you may fall. Wearing high heels could be hazardous in bumpy weather. When tendering to shore keep your arms and legs within the tender. These are all very good cruise tips
All of the newer cruise ships have an internet café; some even have an internet connection in your room. So if you want to bring your lap top with you, by all means do. There are some small luxury cruise ships that have lap tops available for your use. Check with your cruise travel agent, he or she will know. Most people won’t want to be bothered with their computers, but it is nice to check your email if you are going to be away for awhile, and ship to shore phone calls are very expensive on the cruise lines.
The last evening will also be a casual night since you have packed your bags and put them outside your cruise cabin. Tomorrow will be an early morning and the end of your enchanting Caribbean cruise vacation.
There always seem to be many questions about tipping while taking a Caribbean cruise vacation. These questions come up on European cruise vacations too, but we’ll stick to the Caribbean. Some cruise lines will absolutely not let you tip. These are the very high end cruise lines. Some automatically add it to your bill. If you do not like this arrangement tell the purser that you will tip on your own. Tipping on a cruise ship is very important since the room steward, waiter and busboy all make their living on tips. They work very hard to keep you happy during your Caribbean cruise vacation so please tip them. You may want to figure out the amount of tips you will be paying at the beginning of the cruise vacation and separate that from your spending money. You won’t get caught short.
If a Maitre d’ does something special, like crepe suzettes at your table, you should tip him. When you order wine or drinks there is already a 15% tip on the charge, so it is not necessary to tip here. If you find a special bar and frequent it, give the bartender a bit extra on the last night. As I said tipping policies are different on all ships so find out ahead of time. Holland American has changed their tipping policy. It used to be “no tipping necessary”. That policy is no longer in place. On NCL Hawaii a $10.00 per day per person is added to your bill and it is not optional.
A nice gesture on a two week cruise is to give half the tip after the first week, the cruise staff will appreciate this. On almost all of the cruise ships, the general rule for tipping is $3.00 per day, per person for the waiter and the room steward and $1.50 per person per day for the bus boy. If you’re not sure the Cruise Line will usually give you guidelines. If your room steward or waiter showed you excellent services tip them more.
Alcoholic beverages on board are expensive. All cruise ships have there own policy if you bring your own, some confiscate it and return at the end of the cruise, others allow you to buy bottles on board, and others will allow you to purchase it but won’t deliver it until the end of the cruise. Each cruise line has different policies so check with your cruise travel agent. In many cases you can bring wine and champagne on board.
Here’s just a small note about seasickness. On the really huge ships it should not be a problem. If you are prone to it and are taking a smaller ship, there are over the counter remedies. Dramamine and Bonine are in tablet forms and can make some people drowsy. Because of the size and the stability of the current fleet of cruise ships only 3% of cruise passengers are affected by this.
There are wrist bands that you can purchase that act on the theory of acupuncture. Then there is also the Patch that you wear behind your ear. If you do not purchase one of these before the cruise and find yourself getting a little green, the purser’s office will provide you with them. Go out on the open decks, eat saltines, green apples and drink ginger ale. Do not do anything that requires you to look down, like reading or writing.
In health food stores you can buy powdered ginger caplets which are the natural remedy. That should take care of it. Stay away from greasy foods. This is no longer a huge problem since most ships today have stabilizers that keep the ship from pitching to and fro. If you do have a problem with “mal de mar”, it is not wise to take a sailing cruise or a small ship in notoriously rough seas like the South China Sea. It is so shallow it is always a little rough. The waves bounce off the seabed and come back up making it a bit choppy. Here again the size of the ship matters and having a little information will be helpful. This is where a really knowledgeable cruise travel agent comes in.
All cruise ships have a policy on smoking. On one ship they had an absolutely no smoking policy anywhere, they have since changed that rule. There is never any smoking allowed in the showrooms or the dining rooms. In many cases they designate one side of the ship in the bars as the smoking section while the other side is smoke free.
You can smoke in the bars and in the casino. Never, ever, toss a lit cigarette overboard, it can blow back on deck and start a fire. Please be considerate of the other passengers and follow the rules. And be aware that you will encounter many more smokers on a European cruise vacation and on European cruise ships that winter in the USA.
These are just some sensible cruise tips for you to follow on you Caribbean cruise vacation.
Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.
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