The Travel Factory Blog
First Time Cruisers
Some folks resistance to cruising is that “there are too many people on those big ships”...especially first time cruisers as well as some who have limited cruising experience. But really, it has been my experience on some of the largest cruise ships in the world, that after you get checked in and on board, there is really no feeling of there being a lot of people on board. Yes, a lot of people or not, the day of embarkation is typically a little hectic and chaotic, until you get on board.
Another inconvenience is the muster drill, or safety drill. Everyone has to participate, and they do check you off, and if you're not in the appointed spot, they'll look you up!!! That is a mandatory exercise, and it only takes about 15-20 minutes of your time.....and hopefully you won't discover how important that “inconvenience” is.
Some folks complain about long lines, but about the only time you see this is when you are getting off the ship at a port, or in some situations, at the buffet. But most of the ships now have several different sections in the buffet where one can pick up the food they desire, so the lines that used to be in the buffet restaurant have disappeared nowadays.
One other “long line” situation is when your cruise partners are trying to get off the ship at a port.....especially at a port that requires a tender. The lines now usher you to a public showroom where you wait with a number issued when you went in, and when that number is called, you get on that tender with those other folks who have the same number. That way you don't have to worry about standing around waiting for the line to go down.
One of the things that make a lot of folks mad, especially the “sun worshipers” is when your shipmates take it on themselves to “save” the lounge chairs around the pools. They put their towels, books, shoes, just about anything on the chairs to indicate “that lounge is saved!!”. Some lines “police” this practice and if someone has tried to save a location without actually being there, then they make it available by removing those items.
Occasionally when we are suggesting a cruise vacation, the response is that they don't have a passport. My response is that the passport is the best identification document you can have, but if one is cruising out of a United States port and returning to that port or another U. S. port, currently a passport is not required. You do have to have a driver's license and a birth certificate and with those two items, you can go cruising!!
One person's objection was that he didn't want to have to pay all that money to go on a cruise, and then have to pay a bunch more money to eat. Cruising nowadays, and has always been, that the meals on board are included with the cost of the cruise. There are many dining options, for example for breakfast one could go to the main dining room and have a sit-down, order from a menu breakfast. Or you could go to the buffet and get a wide variety of breakfast food available. Then there are smaller locations where pancakes are served, or eggs prepared like you want them, or just be happy with some sweet rolls and donuts and coffee.
Trust me....after 7-days on this type of vacation, you'll want to return to one of these every year, if not more often. It's a true vacation bargain for the whole family!! Let the experienced travel advisors at The Travel Factory get a kick out of helping you plan one of these fabulous, memorable vacations. We can be contacted at 698-1421 or drop in at 4150 Southwest Dr. We exist to serve our friends, and we get the thrill of sending our friends on a cruise vacation....they'll come back!!!