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Age: 56

Occupation:Ops manager

Number of Cruises: 30+

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Dream

Sailing Date: 2013-09-11

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

After reading some of these reviews I've come to the conclusion that people don't know the ins and outs of cruising.

1. Yes, the ship is crowded and the elevators are busy: try using an elevator bank that is not in the center of the ship. There are elevators fore and aft and mid ships on just about every ship. These are usually not as busy as the mid ship elevator.

2. The buffet is crowded: sure it is, it's the easiest please to eat without getting dressed up. Find place to sit before you get in line, have a friend guard it until you have your entree, wait for them to get theirs and then go back for dessert. Just a little tip, placing your napkin on you plate lets the waitstaff know that you are done. Putting the napkin on the chair means you are coming back.

3. If you want to avoid lines in stairways for shows or getting off the ship for port calls either get there earley or wait, the show will still go on and that straw hat you want will still be at some locals stall waiting to take your money.

4. Noise: you are on a ship, noise happens. Kids play, drunks do stupid things and you are going to hear it. When was the last time you were at a Day Inn and didn't hear anything?

5. Smells: you are on a ship with very strict maritime laws prohibiting the ship from dumping any waste over board. Every now and then things don't go so well, it happens. Usually the crew will handle these problems as soon as you let them know.

6. Crew members: cruise ship crew members are some of the hardest workers you will ever see. Countless hours working, costume changes (from one venue to the next) living in very close quarters with people they don't know and still showing a smiling face for you.

I do some work for ships, these tips aren't from that but from my real experience traveling.

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