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outatouch0

First Cruise Booked, now what

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So we have our first curise booked on Carnival Magic in July. Transportatoin to the port arranged/planned. Excursions chosen and booked. Thats the extent of it. What should I be doing next in order to make our first cruise a success?

Party of: My wife and I, two children 5 & 7, two seniors.

thanks

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Hmm -- no action on roll call for your cruise, @outatouch0. You did the right thing in starting one! Good job! Keep checking for others to join.

 

Meanwhile, look in the ports of call section of Cruise Critic boards for the areas you are sailing to.

That would be here:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/456-caribbean/

Under Dominican Republic, Grand Turk, and Private Islands.

 

Maybe browse the "departures" board, but with your transportation booked you might not need that.

 

There's a family cruise forum, maybe something useful there?

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/28-family-cruises/

 

There is a Carnival Board:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/133-carnival-cruise-lines/

and a general questions one:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/69-ask-a-cruise-question/

 

Just ask questions as they come to you, and browse for ideas that might NOT have come to you yet!

 

Welcome to Cruise Critic!

 

 

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6 hours ago, outatouch0 said:

So we have our first curise booked on Carnival Magic in July. Transportatoin to the port arranged/planned. Excursions chosen and booked. Thats the extent of it. What should I be doing next in order to make our first cruise a success?

Party of: My wife and I, two children 5 & 7, two seniors.

thanks

 

Explore the Carnival forum to look for the Fun Times schedules for each day to get an idea of the things you might want to do each day, especially on sea days.

 

Check out the menus to see what types of food to expect.

 

Since you're on the Magic, consider a pass to the Thermal suite if you don't already have a Spa cabin - it's the best in the fleet with the Thalassotherapy pool. 

 

Study the deck plans on Carnival's website and other cruise deck websites to learn your way around the ship.

 

Start planning your packing list - lost of great packing advice here on CC.

 

Most of all, get ready to have fun!

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Congratulations on your first cruise. Great start checking out CC boards. Lots of ideas. You have seven months to plan, and to find out the dos and don'ts. For me I always get trip insurance. You never know if something may go wrong. Most times it doesn't, but just for peace of mind. And I make a list of what needs to be done before, during and after. Not going down the list however when you get to the cruise terminal make sure you all have your documents, I.D. and boarding passes on you and not pack in your checked luggage. Anyway have a blast.🚢 

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While on your cruise, pace yourself. Don't try to do everything.

Edited by cruznjan

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Research your ports....the more you know, the better time you'll have.  And, enjoy the anticipation.  This is a vacation, pure and simple.  There's no "right or wrong" way to do it!

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Put together some "cruise packs" - get a couple of small packing cubes 

1. first aid: bandaids, antiseptic cream, eye drops/tears for tired eyes, medication for sea sickness,  colds, nausea, diarrhea, suntan lotion and aloe for sunburn [it happens!], aspirin/advil,Tylenol [something for pain relief!] All of these things are available on board but will cost you much more than you need to pay. 

2. electronics: chargers for whatever electric gadgets you are bringing; a multi-plug charging station [most ships have limited availability to charge, though the newer ships are better]

3. Gather a few other things that make life easier

     -  clothes pins or towel clips - keeps towels from blowing away on chairs; keeps the curtains in the room closed for that afternoon nap

    - magnetic hooks - all walls are metal, so magnets let you hang stuff [from light weight jackets to notices to a make shift curtain between the bed and the sitting area]

     - a collapsible container to put small stuff in on the counter 

     - a lanyard or wrist band for your room card - it makes it easier to keep track of. Just don't wear it on shore, cuz it screams "tourist" and makes you an easier mark 

      - dollar bills for tipping the porters who carry your bags and the room service attendant who brings your snack

     - dry erase marker to leave notes on the mirror! [Yes, you can use the Carnival app, but I don't like carrying my phone around on the ship!] 

     - get an expandable folder with 6-8 pockets - each pocket has a job [hotel reservation, car rental/parking info; boarding passes; excursion info [if using private excursions; ship excursion info will be in your cabin]

     - make tip envelopes in advance -  For each excursion [tip and any balance due AND taxi fare, if needed and play money!]; then just grab that envelope as you leave to have fun

 

None of these suggestions are mandatory, but we have found after 35 cruises that they make life easier! 

Have fun! Magic is my favorite Carnival ship. 

 

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Welcome to Cruise Critic. 

If you don’t all have passports get them

Go on a healthy diet and exercise program now so you can partake in whatever you want and still come back fit.

Start looking for your second cruise.  

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Use Trip  Advisor to research your ports

Get your travel insurance

Check now for your identification documents

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Research your ship!  It was a lesson learned on our first trip on the Dream.  We were nearly at the end of the cruise before we discovered that there was a tandoori restaurant serving lunch every day at the back of the ship.  We would have eaten there every single day for lunch if we had realized it.  Best food on the ship!  

Read through reviews about the ship.  Learn about its quirks and neat things that other passengers have discovered on their cruises.  This is especially helpful to help prevent running into issues that would have thrown you off or upset you if you had not been aware of it prior to the cruise.  It also helps you discover neat gems about the ship you are sailing on that you may  never have known were there.   

 

Each ship is a little different, even within the same class.  Have fun!!!

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Seems obvious, but make sure you know where your boarding identification is now, don't wait til the last minute. People have come here crying because they couldn't find their birth certificate, or the name was wrong, or their passport was missing,or their passport had expired, etc., and they didnt have time to get a new one

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7 hours ago, SewMuch said:

Seems obvious, but make sure you know where your boarding identification is now, don't wait til the last minute. People have come here crying because they couldn't find their birth certificate, or the name was wrong, or their passport was missing,or their passport had expired, etc., and they didnt have time to get a new one

I think that's such a good point. Because I have a passport I haven't even looked to see if I have an original birth certificate. The passport just makes it so much easier.

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We go on our first cruise in October. Have spent some time here on this forum and have had a lot of questions answered. You can never do to much research. If you have not done so already, jump on the Cruise Critic Email list. They will send you emails that have tips on them which have a ton of good information. I would start planning on the finances as well. Get the Cruise Cash Saved Up and any drinking packages you may need. 

 

Most Importantly - Have Fun Smooth Sailing

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Congratulations on booking your first cruise :).  You are about to experience a new kind of travel vacation and perhaps you will follow in the footsteps on many here on CC and be totally hooked on the cruise world.   What to do now?  Certainly make sure you have the necessary documents to exit and return to the country.  You might also want to take some time reading about your ports (the Ports of Call blogs here on CC are a good place to start and verify that your excursions are your best options.  If you change your mind you can generally change or even cancel your  excursions up until the deadline imposed by the cruise line.

 

Otherwise, just look forward to having a lot of fun.

 

Hank

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