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First time cruise questions + Best spot on ship for the seasick?

First time cruise questions + Best spot on ship for the seasick?

Old Apr 21st, 2009, 03:50 PM
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First time cruise questions + Best spot on ship for the seasick?

Hi,
This will be the first time on a cruise boat. Not quite sure where to start looking even, so apologies in advance for the vagueness, but these things I know:
1. I am looking to do an approx. 7 day Alaskan cruise this June or July with my family
2. There will be elderly (not-so-fit), young adults (fit), and young (hyper 8 yr old)
1. There will be those prone to seasickness.
2. There will be those who are claustrophobic.

Questions:
1. Are the cabins very small? For the claustrophobic, which rooms should I ask for without breaking the bank?
2. For the seasick - which end and level of the boat should we ask for? What size of cruise boat would be ok?
3. Is it possible for the more adventurous to go off on their own, while the not so adventurous view nature and wildlife from the comfort of a seat? What sort of cruise is good for this?
4. Any suggestions for itineraries (inner passage? what's that??) would be welcome!

Thank you in advance!!!
demitademi is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2009, 04:17 PM
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i can only answer 1 and 2. yes regular cabins are pretty small. and that's sort of reponse to #2- we were told to get an inside cabin, pretty low in ship and towards the center. seemed to work, we didn't get sick at all and didn't feel much movement
worked for us and we both get really seasick!!
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 05:54 PM
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I hope these answer your questions, if not email me and we can talk more [email protected]

1) Cabins usually come in our sizes, inside stateroms, outside staterooms, outside with a balcony, and suites. Now this is not a general rule, because all ships are slightly different. Your looking at roughly 185 sq ft or less unless your in suite. I would say that your best bet for Alaska is an outside stateroom with a balcony. Spend the extra money because Alaska is all about wildlife and scenery. So your not going to want to miss anything. If you do not want to spend a whole lot, then have the elderly couple stay in an inside cabin right across the hall from the balcony cabin. Princess ships are 80% balcony's and they are the best in Alaska IMHO. Outside staterooms (with portholes or windows) are good, but your in Alaska, go for the balcony. In Glacier Bay you will love having a balcony.

2. Seasickness is a tricky thing. Usually the center in the middle is the best. But remember seasickness on a small fishing boat is one thing. These are 85,000 ton cruise ships. They are the most advanced ships in the world. Usually they have two to four stabilizer fins under the boat to keep the whole ship from rocking. The only time you will feel the ocean is if your sail the outside passage. Usually the inside passage is ok. But take along non-drowsy Dramamine, or go to the ships infirmary and get a seasickness shot. My wife is real seasick and she just pops a Dramamine and she is fine for the rest of the day.

3. All cruises are good for this. On board there will be so much to do you will never get to do everything. A typical day could mean just sitting around watching the whales, while your 8 year old is in the kids section having fun, while your playing bingo or looking at art. On shore, there will be many shore excursions. In Alaska there are always the tame and not so tame excursions. The bus trips through the forest or Sea Kayaking through the Bald Eagle preserve. All cruise lines have an array of choices. But on word of caution, Stay away from Holland America. I say this only because of the 8 year old. Holland America is not to kid friendly, while the other major lines are amazingly kid friendly. You can always view most shore excursions by visiting the cruise lines web site.

4. I have only done round trips from Vancouver or Seattle. I have always wanted to do a one way trip. You get on the boat and go from Vancouver to Anchorage or visa versa. Look at the trips and the costs also factor in the airfare from your home city. All 7 day Alaskan cruises are good. I would definately get one that goes to Glacier Bay.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 05:52 AM
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As for otion sickness think low and middle. However this would put you in an inside cabin. This is good for cost as well but you may want to consider a mid level cabin with a balcony. Perhaps try for the lowest balcony cabin you can get. You will have more room by extension and the views are amazing.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 10:26 AM
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We did the Celebrity Alaska cruise (1 way, Northbound from Vancouver) - and loved it. I have a serioous seasickness issue, but with the patch, I was fine. You don't spend alot of time in open seas, so it's a good cruise to try. Also, I always get a balcony, around midship - most stable for my above issue. Once we got to the end of the cruise, we took the landtour (train from Anchorage to Denali, then to Fairbanks) and then flew home from Fairbanks. Loved it, loved it, loved it, loved it.......
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 10:52 AM
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1) window or porthole, or at least partial view

2) the bigger the boat, the better. Look at the deck plan, "cut" it in 3 parts lengthwise, you want to be in the middle part. Now look at the ship, "cut" it in half, you want to be on the lower level, the lower the better, except for the lowest level (the fist one that has passenger cabins)

So you want to be in the middle below. For possible sickness, ginger works for most, bring Bonine just in case... For severe sickness, there is a doctor. Somebody I know got very sick, dialed 911 on the ship, a nurse came with a shot, the cost was $110, refunded by the health insurance later.

3) people don't have to go off the ship, and some don't! There is food and activities and movies. The cruiseline website should have a list of tours by port with activity level: easy, medium, difficult, and some other notes in addition to price and description. Choose any and reserve in advance, or do so on the ship.

I get motion sick easily, and before the first cruise I was asking questions here like: "will I feel the ground moving under my feet on port days?" No, I felt great both on and off the ship (ginger, and occasional Bonine)

4) pick any itinerary you like on a bigger ship - those have less motion
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 10:57 AM
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Oh, and one more thing. Are you going to make your own reservations, or work with a travel agent?

If an agent, make sure you are not marked for "upgrade." This means, you should know the cabin number(s) immediately, but with upgrade you will be assigned what's left on any level, and not nessesarily next to each other.

"Upgrade" on a ship means usually moving some levels up that you don't want for those prone to sea sickness.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2009, 10:29 PM
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I agree with everything said by Bon_Bon but will add my 2 cents. My first cruise was to Alaska on Celebrity Mercury. It is an older ship now so my travel agent wouldn't recommend but Celebrity Millennium is going there and is a good choice. We prefer Celebrity but also did Diamond Princess 5 years ago. We didn't like the open dining arrangement but it was a good iteniry and the comfort level was good. Always go for a balcony cabin. I prefer midship, higher up. I get seasick and I took Bonine. I never got sick once. It is now a staple on all my cruises- and I have now been on 8 including December with 25' seas in the Caribbean. The Alaska cruises are more calm and less open water. Get on the starboard side and you're more likely to see land the entire way. On Princess, you can get rooms next to each other and the cabin steward can unlock the gate between balconies and you will have a bigger deck to share.
Shore excursion levels abound and I have my favorites that I can recommend. Just drop me a note- [email protected]. When I cruised the first time, I had tons of questions so it is my turn to return the favor to you.
By the way, don't for a minute think everyone is elderly. The younger generation seems to navigate to this cruise destination because of the splendor. We saw teenagers having the time of their life. We have sailed out of Seattle and Vancouver and would recommend both.
And one last thing, now is a great time to go there. The deals are incredible.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 10:11 PM
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This is a quote on cruisemates that seems to back up what Dayenu had to say about ginger:

"I believe the only problem with ginger is that it's a blood thinner. Not too good if one is alreay on blood thinners.

I usually carry a small zip lock bag with candied ginger (found in the spice section of any grocery store) and nibble on it whenever I start to feel queasy. Any type/form of ginger works to some degree (as long as you check the ingredients & it isn't just some sort of artificial flavoring.

We were going out whale watching in the gulf of Alaska and were seriously worried about getting sea sick. The lady at the B&B in Seward gave us a bag of the ginger and I've been using it ever since!!"
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 12:02 PM
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Oh, thanks, I didn't know it's a blood thinner. I will add it to my recommendations in the future.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 03:15 PM
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You have received very good advice, just let me repeat, DO NOT put anyone in an inside cabin that is claustrophobic! They will not be able to breathe, a balcony would be your best bet.

For seasickness, get the middle of the ship where the stabilizer's are located.

And finally, please take shore excursions in Alaska! This is money well spent, there are many to choose from so you can divide into groups according to level of activity.

Take of map of Alaska and look up Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, etc.,this is the Inner Passage.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 09:05 PM
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Wow, thanks so much everyone!! Lots of really good information from all. I will definitely use in my search. Thanks again!!
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Old May 9th, 2009, 06:08 AM
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Hi.

I was on a cruise to Alaska last Septmember. It was worth every penny. I am prone to sea-sickness too. So I know when I go on a cruise, I get the doctor's prescription patch to put beneath my ear. Also, I carry non-drowsey dramamine as well for back up for the excursions and other stuff. In the Gift Shop, they sell dramamine and these motion sickness bands to wear just in case. Those items did come in handy and I had fun. Like what the others say, go with the balcony. I had one and it was beautiful to see Alaskan wildlife and the cities and ports from it and it will help with the people who feel claustrophic.

Depending on what cruiseline you go on, they all have their unquie features for everyone to enjoy while at sea or port. If you are going in Septmember, please bundle up. It's like winter there in the fall.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 07:05 AM
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One thing to add. The patch works well with many. However on our cruise to Tahiti my wife became ill due to rough seas and a poor cabin choice, right in front where you feel the motion much more. We had to see the ships MD, an Englishwoman who told us the patch was no longer being used in Europe due to side effects. Now to be sure I've seen many cruise passengers wearing it but that is what she said. She prescribed a small dose of phenergan, 12.5 mg. which worked very well. You may want to get some from your MD B4 going or whatever else may be recommended. I doubt you will have any problems but its best to go prepared. Cheers, Larry
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Old May 11th, 2009, 07:25 AM
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There is some misinformation, Alaska is NOT always smooth sailing, although stated above. You have a LOT of rough potential, it is a myth it's smooth as glass. You do have the least potential on round trip Vancouver, most on round trip Seattle. BUT you are on the water- expect it and consider precautions. Consult your health care professional for the best advice.

For cabins, think half the size of a Motel 6 room.

Most certainly, have people choose their OWN touring and split up. Simple to arrange. Look over shore excursion lists and narrow down your interests. IF considering independent options, plenty of excellent vendors to book with. Have ALL plans and reservations in place before you leave.
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Old May 25th, 2012, 10:07 AM
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Thanks for all the great tips.
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Old May 25th, 2012, 11:26 AM
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Even if they are 3 years old!
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Old May 25th, 2012, 01:15 PM
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It's timeless advice.
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