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Old 11-08-2005, 08:33 AM
blondie37's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3
just wondering if anyone is going on the victory Jan.8th. This is our first cruise any advice?

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Old 12-17-2005, 04:14 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 15
Originally posted by blondie37:
just wondering if anyone is going on the victory Jan.8th. This is our first cruise any advice?
Make a list before you go and check it before you leave your hoome...make sure you have all your necessary documentation and identification in one place. Take all docs, medications in your carry on...also a change of underwear/swinwear/toothbrush/paste...sometime luggage can be lat arriving to your stateroom and it's pleasant to be able to freshen up. Read these board thoroughly and ask questions. And most of all....enjoy yourself!
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Old 12-17-2005, 06:35 PM
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That is great advice if I have ever seen it.

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Old 12-17-2005, 08:18 PM
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The Victory is a great ship. Are you going on the Eastern or Western cruise?
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Old 12-18-2005, 08:04 AM
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Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,001
Here are some suggestions I always give to new cruisers:

1. EAT SOMETHING before you get to the ship. This may sound silly considering the reputation cruise ships have for stuffing the passengers, but on embarkation day most ships only have the buffet open for lunch. Depending on when you get to the ship, the buffet lines can be very long. This can be very frustrating. You want to see the ship, or start getting that sun tan, but you are standing in a line and there isn't an open table in sight. Grab a bite before you get to the pier, and you won't have to worry about it. Tour the ship, have a drink at a bar, and wait for the buffet lines to go away. You won't be starving, and most importantly you won't be stressed out.

2. If at all possible, get to the departure port a day early. Flying (or driving) in a day early has many benefits. You have an afternoon and/or evening to relax from the trip. You can make sure your luggage all arrived, and if it didn't this extra day gives the airline time to find it. Most of them can get lost luggage to you within a day. With the realities of flying and security these days, flying in a day early means you don't have to worry about missing the boat if your flight is late. You will also avoid the mob scene at the airport as flight after flight of cruise ship passengers arrives. If you are driving to the port you should also arrive a day early. Believe me, it is worth the price of a hotel room to show up at the pier rested, fed, and ready to have a great cruise.

3. The lifeboat drill: for ships departing from the continental U.S., this drill is usually held around 4 or 4:30 pm. It is required by law. More importantly, taking the drill seriously and paying attention may save your life. Cruise ships are very safe, but you never know what could happen while at sea. Some cruise lines are better at doing the drill than others. It may be uncomfortable, but it won't last forever. If it is hot outside, dress lightly and drink some water before the drill. You may be standing around in the heat wearing a life vest for a while, so plan accordingly.

4. Luggage: you will have to deposit it on the pier (except for small carry-on bags). Be nice to the porters on the pier. They are the last people that will see your luggage before it is loaded on the ship, if you know what I mean . Do not panic if your luggage doesn't arrive at your cabin right away. The crew has thousands of bags to load and it takes a while.

5. If you plan to book your excursions with the cruise line you should do it early because the best ones sell out quick. Carnival allows you to book tours on-line before your cruise starts.

6. And the best advice of all........relax and enjoy yourself! I can't tell you how many cruises I have been on where I observed passengers who refused to leave their stress and worries at the pier entrance. They spent their entire cruise whining and complaining about every little thing that didn't suit them. The bottom line is they wasted their money.
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Old 12-18-2005, 09:21 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 157
Dave, what great advice! I wish someone had told me about these things before my first cruise in 2004, especially number 1 and 3 which were both naively unexpected.

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Old 12-18-2005, 09:47 AM
Dave's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,001
Thanks Kate. Most of my advice has been learned the hard way by many cruisers. The food thing is one that hit me in the gut! Back in 1993 we cruised on the Majesty Of The Seas, and the buffet was a zoo. We got there at exactly the wrong time and ended up standing in line for an awfully long time - and we had flown in that morning and had only eaten a piece of toast all day. Both of us had headaches from hunger by the time we made it to the steam tables. Never again!
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Old 12-18-2005, 10:58 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 142
Great advice about flying to your port city a day early. Several years ago I was with a group going on a cruise out of L.A. I happened to be in L.A. a few days early; however, the rest of the group was flying to L.A. on the morning of the cruise. As I waited for them in the airport I kept seeing messages saying their flight was delayed, then delayed some more, etc. They finally made it with just enough time to get from the airport to the ship. However, their luggage did not.

Also, make sure you understand the luggage policy for what will happen to your bags when you arrive at the airport in the port city. Some cruise lines will pull the bags before they ever make it to the baggage claim if you have put your cruise tags on the luggage. This can be a problem if you were expecting to see your bags before you get on the ship. Just make sure your read and understand the luggage transfer policies.

As for clothing to pack, my wife always likes to take a sweater and sweat shirt. Although you will be cruising in the tropics, the air conditioning inside the ship can get pretty cold.
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