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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2007, 10:40 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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You'll have a great time and will probably want to book another cruise right away. Join us on for Halloween 10/27-11/01!
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2007, 10:07 PM
Frase's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Orlando, FLA
Posts: 961
I have travelled solo on all of my 3 cruises.

It sure beats being dragged around by the arm when I travel with my over-enthusiastic family members. It sure gives you the freedom to do what you want, where you want, and when you want.

I have been on Royal Caribbean (Sovereign/Seas) once and Carnival twice (Inspiration,Glory). If the Holiday is like the Carnival ships I've been on, at dinner they will probably place you at a table with other people traveling alone. It has been the case with me. Most of the time it was nice, the people were friendly enough. You will get a head waiter (who talks to you the most, taking your orders and such). There will also be an assistant waiter who runs around doing small things like refilling your glass, offering dinner rolls, and helping the head waiter. Near the end of the dinner the wait staff will often do things to entertain you: singing, dancing, having the passengers form a conga-line,etc. During this time near the end of the dinner, the Maitre'D will make anouncements over the PA. He is the top crew member inside the dinning room. If you have a problem, first talk to the head waiter, then the Maitr'D. During all of my cruises, I seemed to notice that the Maitr'D was from India.

You will notice that the crew members come from countries all over the world. On my last two cruises, the Captains were from Italy. I heard that on all Carnival ships, all the Captains come from Italy. Maybe that is some agreement Carnival has with Italy: both the ships and the Captains are "Made in Italy". My cabin steward (cleaning lady)was from Romania. All the staff in the Photo Gallery/Photo Shop were all from Croatia. Yes, you will hear allot of Eastern European accents everywhere; sort of reminded me of the Gabor sisters(Eva&Zsa-Zsa) or Bela Lagosi(Dracula). You will see allot of southeast asian crew members too. I saw allot of Phillipinos and Indonesians. It is almost like the United Nations onboard a ship. I always found it very interesting talking to these crewmembers; learning something about them and their countries. I just had to make sure not to distract them if they were busy. You can tell what country they are from by looking at their name tag. It will have there first name and their country in smaller type below.

If the Holiday is like most cruise ships, here are a few quick tips:
- Don't use the phone in your cabin to call home unless it is an emergency. It is really expensive ($5-$10 per minute).
- They will place soft drinks and drinking water in your cabin. I wouldn't drink any of them, because they too are expensive. Check the price list they will have nearby them. I didn't, and finished the second bottle of water before I found the price list and got sticker shock .
- Bring some disinfectant spray/air fresher/deodorant to use around your cabin. Especially on the life vest you will wear. Yes, while the Holiday is still in port (before leaving on the cruise) everyone will have to participate in a lifeboat drill. At sometime during the drill you will need to put on the lifevest. On my first cruise, I noticed the lifevest had moisture, I hope from a crewmember cleaning it....NOT FROM THE PREVIOUS PASSENGER'S SWEAT! From then on, on my last two cruises, I sprayed the lifevest with Lysol I brought, before I put it on.
- If you are going to do laundry (if the Holiday has a coin-laundry room onboard), bring a roll of quarters to use. I didn't the first time and had to walk miles between my room, the purser's desk (front desk) {where they had quarters} and the laundry room. It seems they had yet to install a change machine in the laundry room. They also have an iron to use in the laundry room since they don't allow you (in theory) to bring your own iron onboard.
- Make sure not to miss the evening shows in the main auditorium after dinner. For me, they were one of the best parts of the cruise.
- Make sure not to miss the Midnight Chocolate Buffet (a.k.a. Midnight Dessert Gala)they will have at least one night during the cruise. Make sure to bring your camera to photograph the beautiful sculptures and desserts! That is if you can stay up that late at night.
- Bring a multi-strip electrical outlet to use in your room. If the Holiday is anything like the last two Carnival ships I was on, there will be one (and I mean one) 115Volt electrical outlet in the entire room. And I don't mean two places to plug in something (one on top the other), I mean one 115 volt American electrical recepticle and one 220 volt European receptical.
- I really enjoyed Cozumel when I was there on my second cruise. You should too. Two things that are big shopping items there are bottles of vanilla and things made of silver. If you should buy something made of silver, make sure it is made of silver with the .925 percent purity standard (or similar numbers). If you do allot of baking, the vanilla they sell in Mexico I find to be allot better than what you would find for sale in your local supermarket. I bought a bottle of it with the brand name "XEL-HA" Don't ask me how to pronounce it One of the nicest stores for souvenir shopping in Cozumel, IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)was "Cinco Soles" (that means "Five Suns" in English). There was one Cinco Soles store near the pier and there was one in dowtown Cozumel (San Miguel as the town is called). The one downtown contains the famous restaurant Panchos Backyard within it (so I heard). I went to the Cinco Soles store near the pier and both the merchandise and the people were quite nice.

So that is all I can think of at the moment....Wait a minute! Make sure to keep checking this website. Read the articles some of the members here wrote, such as this one for first time cruisers: Click Here For 1st Time Cruise Advice
Anyway, I had bettter stop here before this reply is as long as Gone With The Wind or War and Peace So, I hope this was some help to you. Have a great time on your first cruise
  #33 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2007, 10:32 PM
Frase's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Orlando, FLA
Posts: 961
Southern Miss Mom:

I just thought you should read this. Here was some advice I gave another member when I replied to a post that member made:
One of the packing tips I got when I first started visiting this place, which I discovered really works, is using big zip-lock bags. I first read about it somewhere here. Maybe it was that article written by Tom and Mary?

Anyway, especially for your carry-on bag, you would get the things you will take with you, divided them up by catagory:
- important documentation
- medicines
- reading matierials
- sunscreens,lotions,toiletries,etc.
- small food and snack items
- writing matierials (paper,pens,envelopes,etc).
and place them in separate zip-lock bags. It made things allot easier and quicker to get to things you need. And in case you have liquid items and there is a spill; it will be contained; making clean-up much easier. Sometimes you will need a large zip-lock bag. I have seen 2 gallon ones at the store; and more recently 4 gallon ones (if you need something that huge).

Just remember, if you are traveling by air, to separate the bag that contains containers of liquids over 3.4oz (100ml) and place them in your checked baggage before checking-in at the airport. The same especially goes for after the cruise when you are returning with your bottles of liquour. Just make sure you have enough padding around the bottles so they don't break inside your checked-bag.
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