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Going on a cruise/flying for the first time....

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by farmerjerome, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    Hi guys. This October, Dr. J will be taking the first real vacation the both of us have ever taken in our lives. We've pretty much decided on taking a four-day cruise to the Bahamas in October on Carnival Cruise lines.

    I've never flown before due to my severe anxiety issues (it's not the flight itself, it's the fact that I don't have control I'd have in a car to turn around and go home).

    I'm wondering if anyone has any advice to get over these fears or any experience with cruises. Is there any packages I should know about? I'd like to use a travel agent to I can speak with someone face to face (I think that will help with the anxiety).

    Is there anything with should bring on the cruise? Leave at home? Get trip insurance because it's the tail end of hurricane season?

    The cruise we're looking at is on this page, second one down:

  2. Get your shit together for a Passport NOW!
  3. Dyno

    Dyno Well-Known Member

    If it's not too overwhelming for you, check out the message boards at cruisecritic.com. They have lots of sub-boards and will probably have one for your specific ship and itinerary. The posters on there have tons of helpful advice.

    If you think you'll get motion sick, start taking Dramamine or Bonine (non-drowsy) a few days before you travel and bring ginger chews or ginger capsules.
  4. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Passport now. Agreed.

    I've never been on a cruise, but my brother just got back from a 4-day cruise in the Bahamas last week. He had a blast. But he did say that you should stay away from the scooters you can rent on the islands. Said he was about 4 inches away from death. Apparently, people drive fast there or something. Either that, or he's an idiot. I can believe either.

    He used Expedia. Didn't run into any problems.
  5. StaggerLee

    StaggerLee Well-Known Member

    Seconded. My wife and I are cruising in July for the first time and getting a passport was a pain in the ass.
  6. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    Wife and 5-year-old and I are meeting at 1:30 p.m. today (after setting appt weeks ago with Post Office) to get the youngster's soon-to-expire passport renewed. This is something that people should purchase and have but surprisingly, less than 15 percent of Americans have one.
    Have fun, Farmer! We've done three or four trips on Carnival and just watch what you spend. Take lots of pics on your own and don't do anything more than go and look at the ones the ship takes. They will have all their own pics displayed each day and it costs nothing to pose for them OR to come and look through all of them the next day.
    Also, get a full-trip pass for soft drinks perhaps and take advantage of the 24-hour ice cream dispensers when you have that late-night craving.
  7. Layman

    Layman Active Member

    Just did a 6 day cruise on Carnival in April, we're heading back for a 7 day for New Years. LOVED it.

    Blitz suggestions are spot on, in particular the full trip soft drink pass & paying attention to what you spend. You won't "pay" for anything when you purchase it. Just swipe your "sign & sail" card. Can add up REALLY quick, particularly at the bar :). Fortunately, you can review your account, on your in room TV.

    The productions shows on board are ok, but I found the comedians to be excellent. They perform nightly, in a different show room than the "big" show. It's worth staying up for the adult (late) shows.

    Look at the message boards & reviews section, on Carnival's website. They'll give you good info on both your ship...as well as the specific cruise you're taking (excursions, etc).

    Did I mention how fast the bar bill can add up??
  8. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    Never been on a cruise although i know a lot of people who go regularly and rave about it.

    I have, however, been on a scooter in Nassau and you will take your life in your hands. Bahamian drivers make drivers in Quebec - to name just one place - seem professional and courteous.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  9. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Just make sure there are no icebergs in the Bahamas.

    (Thank you, I'll be here all night!)

    In all seriousness, the others are right. Keep an eye on your bar bill, because that's how the ship actually makes its money. Also, depending on where your cabin is, you might want to bring a book or something for those times when nothing is going on. The interior cabins are just little closets.
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Sister in law had the same anxiety issues. Problem solved with medication on the plane; she's eventually worked through it. She doesn't love flying, but she's not terrified of losing control either.
  11. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    If you want a great travel agent, mine is fantastic. Let me know.

    If you want to overcome the fear of flying, and can afford it, go first class. Believe me, it helps.

    Don't drink heavily before boarding. Alcohol and planes rarely mix well. And get hydrated before hand.

    Cruises from the States are usually about the same, just a bit of difference on the clientel between the lines.
  12. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    I will second the "get hydrated." Airplanes can have very dry air, so make sure you pack lip balm and hand lotion in your 3-ounce toiletries bag (and read up on the 3-ounce requirements so there's no surprises at security check). If your hair gets dry and static-y like mine, spritz with water and leave-in conditioner then braid it back for the flight.

    For some people the change in pressure and long waits standing/sitting make their extremities swell. Just avoid excess salt and processed foods a few days before, skip the alcohol, be drinking your water and take some water on the plane. They won't let you bring bottled water, even if it's sealed, through security, but they'll let you bring an empty bottle to fill up at the drinking fountain on the other side.

    I am the queen of the 3-ounce rule. If you have any questions, PM me.
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