I am sailing on Sovereign of the Seas for my first cruise ever. I leave in a week and a half and this site has been really helpful. I would like to hear some tips from you guys about what I should and should not do as a first time cruiser, specifically on the SOS if possible. I'll also take general recommendations. I really appreciate any help you can offer.
First thing I always do when I get on the ship is drop my carry on luggage in the cabin. Then go up to the Lido deck have lunch. Then I take a tour of the whole ship to find out where everything is at. If they don't hand you a map when you check-in or as you enter the ship then ask for one at the Guest relations desk.
If it's our first time on the specific ship, we find a bar on the way to our cabin to drop off our luggage. Then, with rum punch in hand, we go to our cabin. If our luggage is there, which sometimes it is, we unpack. We found out where our muster station is and go find the station. Then we check out as much of the ship as possible before the muster begins. After the muster is over, we take our life jackets back to the cabin. Unpack if we haven't been able to previously. Then continue to explore the ship. If we have finished our rum punch, we will find another bar and get another rum punch before continuing on our exploration. Then we'll go back to the cabin, look over the newsletter and decide where we'll go next. We'll either go up to the Lido for the sailaway or sit on our balcony, depends on how good the band is. Then we'll find our dining room. Walk around a bit more and go back to the cabin to dress for dinner. After dinner, I'll be in the casino, my hubby will go to a show or go to sleep. From then on, we just go with the flow. The one tip I strongly suggest, don't try to do everything there is to do on board, you'll wear yourself out. Pick things you are really interested in, that way, the next cruise you'll still have plenty to do. Best wishes and have a wonderful time!
Just returned from Sovereign on 10/19/07. We had stayed overnight at the Radisson and got to the ship about 1200. Embarkation was quick and since rooms are not available until 1 PM went to Windjammer on deck 11 for lunch. After getting in our cabin and dropping off carry ons went to tour the ship, which we have done on each ship we have sailed. It really helps to get around for the remainder of the cruise.
After we figure out how to get to the places that are important to us (dining room, Centrum, shops) we check the Cruise Compass and find the things that will interest us for that day and usually go and have a few drinks and attend the send off party.
There is so much to do that during your time on the boat you should not be bored.
Getting to know your fellow cruisers is also a great way to start the cruise.
The pizza at Sorrento's forward on deck 12 is good and the Windjammer was consistently good.
Go see the shows especially Love and Marriage and Quest, both tend to be a lot of fun.
As I have stated before....I hate lines....I know, and I still cruise. I take my time, I try to do things NOT when everyone else is, I find people like me, just by doing the things I like, when I like them. If you are an early riser, enjoy that quiet time and know you may never meet that couple who party till dawn and wake for dinner. I like a drink, but I prefer a little bar off on its own, you can find them. I like to walk, but I wait till the serious runners are done in the early morning. I like meeting the crew and hearing their stories, so the quiter places are wonderful for that, many times the Viking Crown is my own Heaven.....decide what you like, and do just that. Don't push yourself to do everything, maybe just try a few new things at a time.
Monarch of the Seas-1993
Song of America-1994
Majesty of the Seas-1995
Splendour of the Seas-1996
Empress of the Seas-1998
Rhapsody of the Seas-1998
Legend of the Seas-1999
Monarch of the Seas-2000
Grandeur of the Seas-2006
Enchantment of the Seas-2006
Adventure of the Seas-2007
Enchantment of the Seas-2007
Grandeur of the Seas-2009
Radiance of the Seas-2009
My main tip is pack lightly, especially...your carry ons since you will have to tote those around till your cabin is ready. Once you go to leave the ship you will have to carry your carry ons and your luggage out to your car unless your lucky like we were and had a guy come by and offer (for a tip) to take them out for you. I have always been an overpacker since it's hard for me to decide which items I might want to wear so I end up packing everything. LOL
Since this is your first cruise, my packing tip would be to bring along a small alarm clock (with lighted numbers--a must if you booked an inside cabin!), and a power strip! The electrical plugs are very limited in the cabin, so without one you will find yourself constantly unplugging your clock to plug in anything else (curling iron, etc...). Have fun and let us all know how much you loved it!
A tip given to me that worked out great was to make Business Cards to pass out to people we met that we would like to chat with again or share pictures with. I have sheets of printer paper made to use as business card but you could just use cardboard type sheets to do the same and cut them yourself.
On our cards we put a picture or us (so they could remember who we were), our common names (the names we go by and not our legal names since they are slightly different), and our email address. Don't give out your home address your phone number unless you are positive about the people you are handing the card to. You can always write it on the back.
We also found the cards handy when we wanted to get other couples email addresses and such. We have even emailed one of our waitresses who we just fell in love with - gotta be careful about that, though. The Cruise companies don't like relationships between guests and staff, even if it is only plutonic.
Being first time cruisers, when we first got on board the Freedom we were so overwhelmed. We were like kids on Christmas day. We had done our homework for well over a year on learning where everything is, but when you first get on a ship it is so different being there in person verses seeing it online and in brochures. It takes a little bit to get oriented. Anyway the first thing we did was to buy the coke stickers to put on our sea passes, since you can only buy them for a short time. Then we went to eat at Sorrento's pizza. I hope you have a great time, it's hard not to!
10-14-07 Freedom of the Seas
10-04-08 Liberty of the Seas