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First time cruiser travelling with 2 seniors needs help

First time cruiser travelling with 2 seniors needs help

Oct 13th, 2006, 09:01 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 13
First time cruiser travelling with 2 seniors needs help

I'm planning my first cruise vacation in 2007. Travelling with me are two seniors (mom and aunt), who are also first time cruisers. I would appreciate getting suggestions/comments on a few things:

1. We are thinking about booking our own shore excursion which will start at 7.30 am, but according to the schedule, the ship arrives at port of call at 7.00 am. I wonder if 30 minutes would be sufficient for us to make our way off the ship to be picked up by staff from our tour operator.

2. In general, are cruise ships always arriving at ports of call on time?

3. At a port of call, if we don't want to go on any land tour, how would a day in a docked ship be? Would we be bored?

Thank you in advance for your kind responses.

Nukeng
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Oct 13th, 2006, 09:46 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,334
So your cruising with two seniors...what's the big deal.. are they disabled? The only hint as a senior whose husband has a bad ankle is to ask for cabins near the elevators.. You will see more seniors cruising very nicely...and as for booking your own excursions..that's fine..alot less expensive. I doubt 30minutes is enough time to get off the ship for y our excursion...
ParrotMom is offline  
Oct 13th, 2006, 10:20 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 142
I'm wondering why you want to book your own shore excursions. Not that there is anything wrong with that, because a lot of people do ---- but I'm not sure I would recommend venturing out on your own excursions when you are three first time cruisers. Do you think you can find better excursions, or do you think you can find them cheaper? For the peace of mind, for 3 new cruisers, I'd book them through the ship even if they did cost a bit more. If you are on a ship's excursion, you will be able to get off the ship before all those folks who are on their own. And if for some reason, your excursion runs late, bus breaks down, traffic jam, whatever --- the ship WILL wait for you - a benefit you do not have when booked on your own. Just something to think about.

If you stay on ship at some ports, there will be movies, art auctions, trivia games, and other activities --- but while in port, the casino and shops will be closed - that is either ship's policy or the law, I'm not sure.

To answer the question you asked, I seriously doubt you can get off the ship 30 minutes after it docks if you are on a non-ship excursion. Those booked on ship's excursions all get off first, then the people who are either booked on their own excursions or those who just want to get off the ship and either wander around the stores in the port. I'd allow at least an hour; in my experience the ships usually do arrive at the specified time, though.
bjboothman is offline  
Oct 13th, 2006, 11:07 AM
  #4  
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Thank you. Your kind responses help me a lot. (Before running into this forum, I was a bit worried about this trip...mostly because I wanted to make sure that the trip would be a lot of fun for the two lovely ladies)
nukeng is offline  
Oct 13th, 2006, 12:23 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Cruise ship arrivals into port are influenced by many things. I have clients on a ship this week that missed one port of call completely due to mechanical problems. They had independent excursions arranged but I was able to take care of the cancellation for them, not the norm

Also, priority is given to those on ships excursions,not private excursions so keep that in mind.

I often travel with my mom (75) and her friends. Keep in mind the heat and humidity as this can also influence their tolerance and enjoyment. My mom will not do a tour that is not air conditioned.

Best of luck and enjoy your cruise!
kfusto is offline  
Oct 13th, 2006, 02:03 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Nukeng, please forgive me for maybe "hijacking" your post, but next week I will be making reservations for my very first cruise.

Should the tours be booked at the time of registration, or later, when on the ship?

How do they know who is going on their tours, who is not? Do they check everyone who's getting off the ship?
FainaAgain is offline  
Oct 13th, 2006, 08:15 PM
  #7  
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It's very nice that you've stopped by, dear FainaAgain. All the responses from those kind experienced cruisers will surely make a cruise planning less stressful.
nukeng is offline  
Oct 13th, 2006, 09:02 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Faina, you can book before, or when onboard. Some tours sell out so that would be one reason for booking in advance. You will receive tour tickets which you will show to get off the ship - that's how they know who is getting off the ship for one of their tours. Oftentimes they will assign each tour to meet in a particular public area and leave together. This way the earliest ships tours can get off the ship first, then the later ships tours, then the independent travelers.
bjboothman is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 04:10 AM
  #9  
 
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As a person who has taken only one cruise in my entire life, may I jump in and say one thing? I noticed that the desk to book tours had a huge line before every port of call. And I overheard someone mention that many tours had been booked already. So perhaps for those reasons you might want to book ahead.
jersey is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 05:05 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 187
The latest ships have interactive TV where one can book shore trips, to avoid lines. If this is a Caribbean cruise, I wouldn't worry about booking a tour in advance: all of them can be done on your own, with some exceptions like dolphin swim.
spur is offline  
Oct 14th, 2006, 12:26 PM
  #11  
 
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Would suggest that you stop at Cruise Critics Roll Call and see who is on the cruise with you and if they are planning excursions.. sharing with fellow passengers is a much better way.
ParrotMom is offline  
Oct 15th, 2006, 09:53 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4
I have had not a problem booking the shore excursions outside the cruise line . Just make sure you are working with someone that is insured etc.
Also remember the times the excursions leave are local time not ship time. Important or you could miss your excursion. Your agent should be able to help you do this and do a nice selection of excursions that are great for your and your Mom and Aunt.
Email me and I'll give you a name.
lovetocruise is offline  
Oct 15th, 2006, 03:42 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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For first time cruisers, many people visit www.cruisecritic.com for advice about the ship, ports, what to do, etc. There's a section for first time cruisers too.

They even have a "Meet and Mingle" section of cruisers (by ship) who connect via the cruisecritic website and meet on board.
GBelle is offline  
Oct 16th, 2006, 03:45 PM
  #14  
 
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Thank you, all
FainaAgain is offline  
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