First time cruisers

Apr 12th, 2005, 11:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,131
First time cruisers

Hi, all,

Having just booked our first cruise, we are unsure about what to expect, possible upgrades, etc. We are cruising out of Ft. Lauderdale on HAL's Zuiderdam week of July 2. We have booked a suite but were hoping to get an upgrade to a deluxe suite. What do you think of our chances?

Also, since I have a DEEP fear of the water (and can't believe I'm actually doing this!), anyone want to hazard a guess about the weather we might encounter cruising to the Western Caribbean? I'm hoping for relatively calm seas and would really hate to be disappointed. How about a patch to be on the safe side?

We are experienced travelers and I am afraid of the amount of luggage we'll be bringing (2 adults). We always pack light when we travel but does anyone have any hints on packing light for a cruise? (2 formal nights, dressy casual for the other 5.) Calculating shoes alone is staggering!

Thank you all in advance for your sage advice.
Leona is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 25

I'd say your chances of upgrading are slim to none--the ship will most likely be sailing at capacity. We took this cruise last year about a week earlier in the year, and the seas were calm the entire time. I get seasick just looking at the ocean but I was fine with taking a Bonine every morning. I had patches with me but never used them. The weather was very hot but beautiful. Take your lightest-weight clothes! I only took one pair of dressy shoes and wore them both nights. The dress code on other nights isn't strictly enforced. Have lunch in the dining room--most people go to the buffet so it's crowded, but the dining room is relatively empty and the waiters are nice. Don't miss the Dutch High Tea! We really enjoyed the cruise, especially the day at Half Moon Cay. Enjoy!
travcat is offline  
Apr 12th, 2005, 02:18 PM
Posts: n/a
I agree you probably won't get an upgrade. If having a better room is important to you then you should book the more expensive suite to avoid being disappointed.

The weather in July should be just fine and the seas should be relatively calm. It's a big ship with stabalizers so you shouldn't have a problem.

I'm a guy so take what I say about clothing with a grain of salt since I don't "see" things the same as a woman. Follow the old adage - take less clothes & bring more money. Here's what you should do - set out all the clothes you think you'll need on the bed, admire them then put half back in the closet and pack the rest. You'll only need one pair of dress shoes and try to get by with one "dress up" outfit. Trust me, no one but you will notice what you are wearing or that you wore the same outfit twice. For the more casual nights, do what my wife does, pack one or two skirts or slacks and a couple of different blouses and alternate them. Here again, no one will really notice.
Apr 12th, 2005, 09:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,020
No need to pack light really. You get on board, put your clothes in the closet and drawers, and that's it until you disembark. It isn't like traveling in the US or Europe, where you have to schlep what you take on and off trains, through airports and in and out of hotels, etc.

We too pack fairly light when not on a cruise, but I'm a regular clothes horse on cruises. Why not? It's a chance to get dressed up and wear things you wouldn't often wear otherwise. I enjoy taking extra shoes, outfits and accessories. If that sort of thing doesn't appeal to you, then take less and, as some of the other posters have advised, you'll be fine with perhaps a dressy long skirt and two different tops for the formal nights, and mix and match outfits like you would normally take on your travels.

We have cruised many times and I have only been nearly seasick once in very rough seas between NYC and Bermuda. Other than that no problems and the time of year and areas you will be in you should be fine.

Hope you enjoy your first cruise as much as we did ours.
Giovanna is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 01:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,100
I get seasick just thinking about water - no problem for me, even on Boston-Bermuda cruise which reportedly has rougher waters. However, I do not see what a patch would do for your fear of deep water - unless you count the sedating effects of it.

Cruise ships are so huge you do not even feel like you are on water - and there are an abundance of alcoholic drinks to help you deal with water phobia.

When we cruised last summer it was the first time I told my teenage daughter she could bring everything she wanted in her luggage. Bring what you want - but don't get too hyped about the clothing necessities - sure, there are some people who wear a different designer outfit every 3 hours, but it is certainly not necessary.
gail is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 06:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,131
Thank you all for sharing your experience with us. We are very much looking forward to our first cruise.
Leona is offline  

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