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JacyDitchie1

First Time Cruiser!

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I am going on my first cruise on Feb. 26th 2022. I am going aboard the Carnival Sunrise with my boyfriend and we will both be 21. I was just looking and asking for tips about anything vacation. This is my first vacation alone and I would just appreciate some tips. About booking flights, hotels, and everything I would need to know about the cruise. Thanks!

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In general, you will want to arrive at the port city the DAY PRIOR, if at all possible....especially in the winter, when flights are likely to have disruption in scheduling.  Google your home port, check out hotels and locations....and do the same for your ports-of-call, so you can figure out what is in each port that might interest you!  Most things are easy to do without paying big bucks for excursions.....

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Agree with two previous posts, but for hotel I would also post on easy coast, Florida, gulf coast etc . Welcome to cruise critic lots of good information here. 

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Where does the cruise go? Why did you select that cruise? What are you looking to accomplish on this cruise? Can I go along?

Jim

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On 4/6/2020 at 9:34 AM, JacyDitchie1 said:

I am going on my first cruise on Feb. 26th 2022. I am going aboard the Carnival Sunrise with my boyfriend and we will both be 21. I was just looking and asking for tips about anything vacation. This is my first vacation alone and I would just appreciate some tips. About booking flights, hotels, and everything I would need to know about the cruise. Thanks!

Congratulations, welcome to CC. Any questions, ask away someone will know the answer or guide you in the right direction. Booking flights. Most cruisers fly in the night before. Saves the worry of cancellations, late arrivals. If at all possible, avoid connecting flights, especially if you must fly the day of your cruise. As for hotels, we book when the price is right for us and always ones with free cancellations. Research your ship and ports, find things you would like to do at each one. Hard to give you everything you need to know, there’s so much. Easier for you to ask questions. Knowing your departure port and itinerary would also help answering your questions.

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On 4/6/2020 at 10:34 AM, JacyDitchie1 said:

I am going on my first cruise on Feb. 26th 2022. I am going aboard the Carnival Sunrise with my boyfriend and we will both be 21. I was just looking and asking for tips about anything vacation. This is my first vacation alone and I would just appreciate some tips. About booking flights, hotels, and everything I would need to know about the cruise. Thanks!

Welcome to Cruise Critic.  Here are a few things to start with planning

1. Do you plan on booking directly with Carnival or use a travel agent? With a travel agent they can do all the leg work; like search for good hotel pricing, airline pricing, and cruise prices.

2. If you plan to book everything yourself; take a look at trip advisor for hotel recommendations

3. Agree with flying in the day prior

4. Buy travel insurance;  with all that has happened having travel insurance will give you good piece of mind

5. Have fun out there

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On 4/6/2020 at 10:34 AM, JacyDitchie1 said:

I am going on my first cruise on Feb. 26th 2022. I am going aboard the Carnival Sunrise with my boyfriend and we will both be 21. I was just looking and asking for tips about anything vacation. This is my first vacation alone and I would just appreciate some tips. About booking flights, hotels, and everything I would need to know about the cruise. Thanks!

I posted an article titled, “Hurry Up and Wait” that gives detailed suggestions on what to expect  when you arrive at port. Obviously, there are tons of “should’s and shouldn’t do’s” to read about but I wanted to bring to light the process that people do not anticipate before boarding. I hope you have a great time! https://seasidetraveler.godaddysites.com

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You are pretty optimistic when you consider a trip with your boy friend 2 years in advance.  What happens if you book and then break up?

 

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The best advice I have received on cruising:

1.  If flying, fly in a day early.  If driving a long distance, drive in a day early.

2.  Purchase travel insurance and know what it covers

3.  Get a passport

 

Of course, people have cruised frequently without doing these things, but these are optional proactive things to do in order to be prepared for unexpected delays or incidents.

For hotels and local transportation, I would look in that specific area on Cruise Critic.  For the cruise line, I would read posts in that particular area.  Same with excursions in each port.  That way you will find out specific information.  Good luck!  Cruising can become addictive in a good way.

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Plan, plan, plan.   Research the ports and figure out what the two of you want to do,  then  check to see what the cruise line offers and check with private guides (find them on trip advisor or google private guide for each location and check their reviews on trip advisor). If you go with a private guide tell them what you want to do rather than picking from their stock tours, what time you want to be picked up and dropped off (I use an hour before all aboard Which is usually 1.5hr before sailing)   Also, ask the tour guide about their cancellation policy and when they expect payment and what is their policy if the cruise ship cancels the port for any reason.  Make sure you can live with their policies, or ask them to change them.  Decide if you want others to join you, and, if so, put your tour info on your roll call page here on cruise critic.  
 

Research the port city to find where you want to stay, how will you get to the port, if you fly how do you get to the hotel, where will you eat a fabulous dinner the night before the cruise and where will you eat breakfast and what will you do before boarding the ship.  If you fly, research the airport if you have a long layover somewhere and find the most interesting area for food, drink, shopping, whatever you want to do during your wait.  Your vacation will be more enjoyable if it starts the minute you leave home rather than waiting to enjoy it until you board the ship. 
 

most importantly, remember all these plans can be tossed aside if you find something more interesting!

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Posted (edited)

If things are overwhelming, there is nothing wrong with just booking excursions with the cruise ship.  I was very nervous when I took my first cruise, so we booked all of our excursions with the cruise ship.  I felt more comfortable that it would be easy to know where to go to meet for the excursion and that I wouldn't risk missing the ship or anything.  Anyway, research and then choose what you feel comfortable doing and what will make your cruise as stress-free as possible so that you can really enjoy it.

Edited by TNcruising02

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General advice is good...But with the shakeup in the ships of Carnival, there is not even a schedule available for Sunrise.  EM

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My #1 piece of advice for newbies= Port Time & Ship Time may be different. Wear a watch...the ship will leave w/o you! Have Fun!

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On 8/2/2020 at 7:05 AM, AF-1 said:

I know a young man who went with friends on a island hopping cruise.  The first night his friend's wife told him that she wanted a divorce.  At the end of the cruise his friend said that it was still the best vacation ever.

 

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You've got a lot of good advice above.

I looked up your itinerary.  Hopefully it does not change - Covid is causing a lot of ship rearranging in the future.  But here is a summary of the other Forums you should use here to help plan:

 

Cruise lines A-O - Carnival Cruise Lines
North American Home Ports - East Coast Departures - learn about flying into Miami, hotels, the port

Ports of Call - Caribbean - Caribbean Other - Search for Turks & Caicos, it's a lovely place with great beaches

Ports of Call - Caribbean - San Juan - a great port for walking, shopping, history, and eating and drinking

Ports of Call - Caribbean - Dominican Republic - Amber Cove is a self-contained port with lots to do, but there are also a lot of interesting excursions here.

Roll Calls - Carnival Roll Calls - Carnival Sunrise - search for February 26 2020 and meet others on your cruise

Study your ship starting here: https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=1336 

and go find reviews, and study the deck plans.

 

 

Sat 26 Feb 2022 Miami, USA Embark  
2 Sun 27 Feb 2022 At Sea
3 Mon 28 Feb 2022 Cockburn Town, Turks and Caicos    
4 Tue 1 Mar 2022 San Juan, Puerto Rico    
5 Wed 2 Mar 2022 Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands    
6 Thu 3 Mar 2022 Amber Cove, Dominican Republic    
7 Fri 4 Mar 2022 At Sea
8 Sat 5 Mar 2022 Miami, USA

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On 8/3/2020 at 4:19 PM, clackey said:

I know a young man who went with friends on a island hopping cruise.  The first night his friend's wife told him that she wanted a divorce.  At the end of the cruise his friend said that it was still the best vacation ever.

 

I guess Love is in the Air;  or maybe not.  Have fun out there

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On ‎7‎/‎25‎/‎2020 at 5:22 PM, clackey said:

You are pretty optimistic when you consider a trip with your boy friend 2 years in advance.  What happens if you book and then break up?

 

 

Yes this is the way to think things through, of course for older cruisers booking two years out, the consideration is what if you book then one of you dies.

 

Regards John

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On 9/17/2020 at 2:35 PM, john watson said:

 

Yes this is the way to think things through, of course for older cruisers booking two years out, the consideration is what if you book then one of you dies.

 

Regards John

In our case either of us would go.  They have been one of our favorite vacations, plus I wouldn't mind having my ashes spread onto the sea.

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