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Old 07-03-2006, 10:20 AM
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I have never cruised before and we are leaving on July 15 on Freedom of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. I have no idea what to pack. Is it like a hotel and toiletries are provided such as shampoo etc. Is a simple black dress and shirt and tie acceptable for the formal dinner or do people really dress up? Anything else I should know. Any idea how much spending money?
Thanks! Lisa
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Old 07-03-2006, 10:59 AM
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Hi and welcome to cruise chat. I was on the June 4th sailing on the Freedom. If any girls plan on doing the Flowrider, I would suggest wearing something like shorts/board shorts over there bikini bottoms. LOTS of girls were giving quite a show when they would wipe out. There little teeny bikini bottoms would end up down to there knees after they wipe out. The water is very forceful. Tops/t-shirts are MANDATORY for girls to wear over their swimsuit top, I guess for the same reason. Shorts are not mandatory, however, after seeing lots of girls pulling up their bikini bottoms, they probably should be, IMHO. I rode the Flowrider alot, it was a blast. Anyways, we were in a inside room. The only tolietries provided were shampoo/conditioner in the shower, and bars of soap. I used the shampoo they had in the shower, and used my own conditioner that I brought. I think a simple black dress is fine, and shirt and tie too. Remember, there are 2 formal nights. You can really dress up if you want to, some people do. I usually wear a nice, long dress one night, and a simple cocktail dress the other night. Hum, how much money to bring. Well! That depends on what you want to do. Drink all day and night, spend time at the spa, or sit and read alot and drink soda?? We drank all day, did the spa, the spent money in the shops, and our bill was just under $2000, that was for 2 people charging. On our Freedom cruise, I spent $500 just on the spa. They do have daily spa specials. My parents can take the same cruise, and spend almost $400. I usually ask for a printout of our charges, usually every other day, just to keep track of our charges. It can really add up fast. As far as packing, I have learned that I NEVER wear everything I brought. This last crusie I did not bring any jeans. Jeans are not suppose to be worn in the dining room for dinner. Plus, I think they are too hot, for the hot and humid weather. I packed capris, that were not too hot, and that I could also wear in the dining room. They also had a Hawaiian/surfing themed night (to celebrate the Flowrider) in the dining room, and they encouraged you to wear hawaiian styles clothes. Hopes this helps. Lil' Lori
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:08 AM
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Hi there!
a few suggestions, I always pack my own toiletries. Only when we had a suite were they provided and I still used my own. do not forget sunscreen. I wore a black dress and my husband wore a jacket and tie. You will see very dressed up (gowns and Tuxedo's) to jeans, believe it or not. You don't need to pack towels as they are supplied. Flip flops and swim suit cover-ups are a staple on board. Dinner is casual for all other nights except formal nights, there are 2. On board you will charge everything to your sea pass. On land they also take credit cards. I would suggest a few hundred cash at each exersion. You propbably wont need that much, but better saft than sorry..Have a great time!
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Old 07-04-2006, 08:26 AM
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Thanks all for the info. Any other tips and tricks for cruising? We are taking 4 teenagers also! Any hints on or off land ? Countdown!
Lisa
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Old 07-04-2006, 09:58 AM
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It says in your cruise documents that boarding starts at 2pm. I would get there by noon, at the lastest. We got there about 1130am. They were doing "preboarding", and we were able to board. They told us the rooms would not be ready till 2pm, so we camped out at a bar till then. If you have a junior suite and above, you can check right in. Otherwise, since this is your first cruise, you will be in line with all the other people. I personally would rather be there early and in line, and boarding sooner, then getting in line later, and boarding later. IMHO. Anyways, if you do plan on doing the spa, I would go there ASAP, the appointments book up VERY fast, especially if you want a treatment on a sea day. They do have daily specials, but you take your chance on the times. If you have any spa questions ask me, I will do my best to help you with prices and stuff. Oh, don't miss the ice show. I always hear people say that, and of course I never went. Well, a couple had 2 extra tickets and we went with them. I was awesome, I will never miss another ice show again. Be mindful, they only give the tickets out on a certain day and time. Check your daily rooster of activities. The night before, your attendent will give you a list of activities, entertainment, store hours, Flowrider hours, spa specials, and info on the next day port or sea day activities. He will place the info in your room, when he prepares your room for bedtime. If you do like to hang out at a bar, I would suggest Boleros. However, it is a smoking bar. The bartenders, are very entertaining, with tricks with bottles, jokes etc...some of the entertainment is adult orientated, but hilarious I thought. They play live latin/salsa music at Boleros. It was always a full house there. FYI-at the bars they will give you a nice glass with a royal carribean emblem on them, you will be charged extra for these fancy glasses. The charge is about a $1.00-$1.25, if you want to save this charge for each glass, there are other glasses you can have your drink in that don't cost extra. They said "why do you want that glass, it is smaller". Well, I am not a huge drinker, a little smaller glass is fine for me. If you don't ask for this glass, they will make your drink in the glass and charge you extra for the glass. Some glasses you pay extra for, and get to keep. But, of course, you can only take home so many. If you have any questions on the jewelry/clothes shops let me know. Hope this helps. Lil' Lori
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Old 07-04-2006, 03:34 PM
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There are shops on board where you can buy just about anything you forget to pack. The ice show is free but you still have to get a ticket. Make sure you DO see the ice show. Have a great cruise!
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Old 07-04-2006, 08:36 PM
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We were on the Adventure in the southern Caribbean last July. It is hot, so wear cool, comfortable clothes. They have professional photographers taking your picture every night before or after dinner, and you can buy the pics at the end, so it is fun to look nice. Our dining room was very cool, so I needed to bring a wrap or sweater to dinner. Be careful of your watch. I lost my watch twice at the pool, because I took it off to take a swim and then forgot about it. When you get off the ship there will be people on the docks who offer to take you on private excursions for a nominal fee. We had good luck with that. You can also have a cab take you to a beach or shopping area and hang out for the day. You don't have to spend lots of money to have a great time in the Caribbean! Our worst experience was renting a car on an island. We got lost and almost missed the ship. It was awful!
Yes, on the ship the ice show is a "must see". Wonderful. The parade in the prominade is great fun (I think they have that on the Freedom). There was so much to see and do on the ship we were overwhelmed. We wanted to do it all, but didn't even scratch the surface. We are leaving for another cruise in 3 days...this time on the Voyager in the Mediterranean. We can't wait!!! Be sure to study the schedule of events carefully each night for the next day. That will help you decide what you really want to do.
We were so polite at dinner and only ordered one of each of the courses of the meal and found out later that people ordered several just to try them out. If you do get something you don't like, you can always order something else.
Try to relax and realize that you can't possibly do it all!
Enjoy!
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Old 07-04-2006, 09:30 PM
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Yes, they have a Promenade parade on the first night. They also had a circus parade, and a 70's disco party all on the promenade, each on separate nights. The circus was wonderful, the costumes are awesome. The 70's disco party, is fun too, dancing and disco in the promenade. They are fantastic. Lil' Lori
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