First Cruise In May-Tips?

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11/14/2018 7:48 AM

My wife and I will be doing our first cruise in May. Leaving from Tampa and heading to Cozumel. Any tips or hints? Is the drink package worth it?

We have been looking at doing the Jeep shore excursion. Drive a Jeep around the area, go to a Mayan ruin, snorkel, etc. My only concern is it will just be the two of us and the Jeeps are 4 seaters. There is a chance we could get paired with another couple we can't stand. I get annoyed by people easily. Also, I WILL be driving, so what happens if the other couple wants to drive. I'm not comfortable allowing someone I just met to drive myself and my wife around. Should I worry about that?


Thanks for any info you guys can give.

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11/14/2018 8:22 AM

Thought this was about the ship that actually tipped.

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GP740
Since 1987

11/14/2018 9:56 AM

My parents said they love it that they prepay their tips. So they pay like $100 and they are exempt from tipping anyone for the entire cruise. Seems like one less thing that you have to concern yourself with.

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11/14/2018 10:42 AM

GeorgiePorgie wrote:

Thought this was about the ship that actually tipped.

sorry for the false advertising!

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11/14/2018 11:01 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/14/2018 11:10 AM

In my experience with all inclusive and cruises. IF you take 100-200 dollar bills and leave them for the wait staff you’re hands never empty and your drinks are always full.....by mid week they know your name. Know your drinks you like. And he wait staff will go out of their way to serve you first at a crowded pool. But hey....pay that $100 and don’t tip. Lol. Using that $100, one hundred times will get you a better return on the investment....

Also leave a $20 or a $50 for house keepers on day 1. pays off ten fold.

In Jamaica I did this....and I only had paid for the mid shelf booze. But after the tipping dollar here, there and the $50 on the bed there was top shelf shit stocked all week. By Wednesday of our 7 day stay they had drinks in our hand before our toes hit the sand! They would see us coming.....

The people that work on these ships and and resorts really bust their ass. you’re gonna have a great time !!!

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GP740
Since 1987

11/14/2018 11:33 AM

Cruises are awesome! I have been on several out of Galveston and have loved them every time!

My biggest tip is to just go with the flow. Don't let anything bother you.

I have seen too many people get pissed off at the smallest of things on a vacation. You just know they are miserable people and I wonder why they are even taking a vacation to begin with.

We usually sneak on a couple bottles of vodka and/or crown. And you can bring on your own wine bottles on board.

Also, dress up for Formal night. It's fun and you can get some really great photos taken. Also, order as many entrees as you want. You are not limited on what you order. I order multiple appetizers and multiple different entrees. Fuck it, I paid for the ticket and want to try what I want. smile

Have fun!

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11/14/2018 12:29 PM

But hey.. pay that $100 and don't tip? The $100 is the tips. It is on your ship to shore card that your tips are prepaid. I don't know any ship line other than Carnival but they know your name before you get on the ship. You dine at the same table with the same waiting staff everyday. They know your name from the moment they see you and you know theirs by name the second time you see them. The rooms are scheduled and cleaned on time everyday with a mint and towel animals. Everyone on staff is available at a moments notice. Service can't get any better, it is almost annoying.
There is no money on the ship except for the casino. Your ship to shore card is around your neck. It would be a pain in the ass walking around with dollars to hand out. That is the whole point. It is one less thing you have to deal with. I could almost go as far that if that is not the service you regularly received than maybe it is because it is not on your ship to shore card that you have already paid your tips...?

If you buy a drink with your ship to shore card, the receipt comes back without a place to tip. You have already paid it. If your interest is drinks, then you need to pay the $57 a day for your drink pass. But if you are going to drink $57 worth everyday, it isn't going to be long before you don't care what shelve it came from. I'm just saying.

The best thing is to make sure you do your homework and fill out all the forms, questions, schedules before getting on the ship. Most importantly, linking your ship to shore card to your credit card you want it billed to. If you do this ahead of time, you will be sitting on the top floor in air conditioning eating cookies and taking in the views while others are standing in a long long line.

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11/14/2018 1:03 PM

Thanks for the the tips on the forms Flick.

I'm leaning towards the drink package because we like to drink liquor. Seems like it wouldn't take too long to hit $57 in rum/vodka/etc.

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11/14/2018 1:13 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/14/2018 1:14 PM

Drink card is 100% worth it, albeit I have never been able to hit the 15 drink limit.
WHITE Listerine bottle for liqour smugglin
Roulette- bet on the middle row
Have someone in your group snag seats on the lido deck
Splurge the extra cash to eat at the Italian/steakhouse (worth it)
When in Cozumel WET WENDYS is awesome, burrito king is sweet too
Avoid tourist traps like margaritaville at all cost unless you are 18 year old chasing poone
Cant go wrong with an all inclusive beach, but I have always wanted to do the jeep tour too
Show up early for the comedy show, avoid eating dinner at the back of the boat if you are seasick prone
Participate in the activities on the boat (i.e. bean bag tournaments, trivia, drink contest, deck party, etc)
I spend a ton of time at the red frog
Most important: its okay to join one of those pre-cruise facebook groups to meet people, but do not let some control freak organize your cruise

Just check the itinerary that comes to your room every morning, it will keep you informed

P.S. room service is EPIC! hot sandwiches!

Side note: YOU CAN waive your tip at the end of the trip, otherwise i think some ~55-60% goes exclusively to maitre 'd, that way you can allocate tips to whoever you please, i.e. the people cleaning your dirty laundry etc.

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11/14/2018 1:22 PM

First cruise?

Dramamine, Bomine or some other form of motion sickness aid is your friend. My wife and I didn't catch onto that until the 2nd day of our honeymoon trip. I was feeling sick for 4 days and my wife felt crappy until we got home. Alcohol made it worse.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

11/14/2018 1:42 PM

Falcon wrote:

First cruise?

Dramamine, Bomine or some other form of motion sickness aid is your friend. My wife and I didn't catch onto that until the 2nd day of our honeymoon trip. I was feeling sick for 4 days and my wife felt crappy until we got home. Alcohol made it worse.

Was that your first experience with motion sickness? My wife is pretty prone to it. I am not, but we will definitely be taking some motion sickness meds with us

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11/14/2018 1:46 PM

I have always wanted to go on a cruise, but always wondered just how wheelchair accessible they are? I suppose the newer cruise lines have to be up to ADA standards. Some of those HUGE cruise liners scare me though.

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-OC
"Feed The Bull"
Twitter: @ocscottie | Facebook

11/14/2018 2:00 PM

ocscottie wrote:

I have always wanted to go on a cruise, but always wondered just how wheelchair accessible they are? I suppose the newer cruise lines have to be up to ADA standards. Some of those HUGE cruise liners scare me though.

All the big cruise ships are very accessible and extremely accommodating from what I have seen.

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11/14/2018 2:43 PM

Been on many cruises. Love the whole experience. Lots of great trips to beautiful destinations. Go with the flow is the best advice and enjoy.
Tipping definately gets you better everything. My friends always say I am a crazy tipper then the next question is why do I get taken care of basically everywhere I go? Duh. Example, They hand you champagne or a well drink as you board, any size tip and they lead you around a false wall and you get shots that are lined up or use for floaters, non tippers are not aware of said wall. Ha just the start. They know who to take care of first thing.
Relaxing, that's what cruises are for, Relaxing. The staff and crew are always amazing and 1st class service each time. Caribbean promises that the staff working with you will always know your name.
24/7 Unlimited food and drink. Bar hopping 24/7 is fun and the comedy show is always hilarious and have had to make sure I wasn't making a scene crying laughing so hard many times. I only like real dealers at casinos, no digital crap and probably why I prefer Caribbean. My friends call me David Blaine in the casinos. I do have uncanny luck but horrible timing, need both really. Always have poker tournaments you can pre register for before casino even opens offshore.
The destinations are fun but the ships are slot full of entertainment. If you do bring alcohol and they find it they actually leave a note saying you can have it back the last night of your excursion to enjoy so no worries. Have a great time.
Lifes a game, play it well. Good times.

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I don't have to be as smart as you hope to be some day anymore. wink

11/15/2018 5:25 AM

Here's what I know about cruises. By the last night on board I couldn't button my pants. Never before have I eaten so much food. And it was by far the greatest vacation I have ever been on. You can literally plant your butt in a deck chair and just chill all day. Bloody Mary at 9am? Hell yes! Tip the waiter and keep em' coming. We did a Disney cruise and the kids were so busy with age grouped activities that we would go hours without even seeing them.

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11/15/2018 5:50 AM

MudPup545 wrote:

Here's what I know about cruises. By the last night on board I couldn't button my pants. Never before have I eaten so much food. And it was by far the greatest vacation I have ever been on. You can literally plant your butt in a deck chair and just chill all day. Bloody Mary at 9am? Hell yes! Tip the waiter and keep em' coming. We did a Disney cruise and the kids were so busy with age grouped activities that we would go hours without even seeing them.

I always loved having a "fun ship special" with my breakfast omlet lol Grab a window seat and just enjoy the sun and open ocean while you eat breakfast. Always loved that!

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11/15/2018 5:58 AM

Also get a balcony, especially if you get seasick. That balcony is half the experience. The seas breeze, sea life and views at all hours is amazing. Rooms with out a balcony are little windowless boxes. Just that fresh air after party and food gorging is priceless.

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I don't have to be as smart as you hope to be some day anymore. wink

11/15/2018 6:15 AM

Lots of great info

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11/15/2018 7:14 AM

Just a tip. If you get seasick stare at the flat horizon. Even if its rough seas the horizon stays flat. Believe it or not the wrist bands work too. As a 3rd generation Master Captain I have seen a few seasick folks in my time.
P.s. for the jokesters, it doesnt mean the earth is flat. just huge. Lol

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I don't have to be as smart as you hope to be some day anymore. wink

11/15/2018 9:59 AM

FLmxer wrote:

Also get a balcony, especially if you get seasick. That balcony is half the experience. The seas breeze, sea life and views at all hours is amazing. Rooms with out a balcony are little windowless boxes. Just that fresh air after party and food gorging is priceless.

We got the balcony. The prices were rather cheap so we splurged and made sure we got all the nice options we could!

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11/15/2018 10:00 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/15/2018 10:03 AM

ocscottie wrote:

I have always wanted to go on a cruise, but always wondered just how wheelchair accessible they are? I suppose the newer cruise lines have to be up to ADA standards. Some of those HUGE cruise liners scare me though.

You’ll be treated like a king. Just do it !

Don’t buy cigars off the boat and smoke them on the boat. You’ll have a panic attack and think the boat is rolling over. Ask me how I know. (I’ll
Never do that again) lol wonder if it was laced. No idea. But....yikes. Pretty unlimited jack and cokes. As Coca Cola is everywhere on The Who and free.

Also buy breast milk bags from Walmart. Fill them up with booze of your choice. Fold them into your clothes. They might go through your luggage but won’t mess with the inside of your pant legs in the luggage. If ya know what I mean. .....Pretty much unlimited jack and cokes because coke is free everywhere on the ship.

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GP740
Since 1987

11/15/2018 11:40 AM

Here's a tip I haven't seen brought up, but learned after my first cruise. Once you've secured your room, go right to where they rent tuxedo's, and get fitted. It's like $35.00 for the week. It's respectful to dress up for the formal nights, plus look good for the pictures. More importantly, the wife will love the extra room in the suitcase.

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[Moto Creed-O: Take the High-Road.....Kick His Ass and Fuck His Chick

11/15/2018 11:43 AM

whyZ wrote:

Here's a tip I haven't seen brought up, but learned after my first cruise. Once you've secured your room, go right to where they rent tuxedo's, and get fitted. It's like $35.00 for the week. It's respectful to dress up for the formal nights, plus look good for the pictures. More importantly, the wife will love the extra room in the suitcase.

Never realized that was an option. Very cool.

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I don't have to be as smart as you hope to be some day anymore. wink

11/15/2018 11:48 AM

We just got back from our second cruise. Now not being a newbie this one was way more fun. My tips are

Pay the tipping in advance.
Buy the drink package. (If you party on vacation trust me it will save you money)
A lot of room service is free. Use it.
Go to some shows and do some activities on the boat. A lot of the shows are a pretty good laugh.
Try the comedy clubs. A lot better than I anticipated.

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11/15/2018 11:50 AM

Also be prepared to still feel like your on the boat for a day or two after you get back. I felt like I was swaying for 3 days after

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11/15/2018 11:53 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/15/2018 11:54 AM

Nothing much else to add, but you are gonna have a great time!
Don't be a tightwad with tipping, it DOES help service.

Be prepared for the chickens and other critters on the beach in Cozumel...

Also. . . Check the prices of any drinks you order on the beach....they are stupid expensive.

We did our first one last year and are going again next. We got the booze package and was worth it....lol.
No kids=booze cruise.

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11/15/2018 12:00 PM

Piston Slap wrote:

Nothing much else to add, but you are gonna have a great time!
Don't be a tightwad with tipping, it DOES help service.

Be prepared for the chickens and other critters on the beach in Cozumel...

Also. . . Check the prices of any drinks you order on the beach....they are stupid expensive.

We did our first one last year and are going again next. We got the booze package and was worth it....lol.
No kids=booze cruise.

Our son is staying home....booze cruise indeed!

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11/15/2018 12:01 PM

Falcon wrote:

First cruise?

Dramamine, Bomine or some other form of motion sickness aid is your friend. My wife and I didn't catch onto that until the 2nd day of our honeymoon trip. I was feeling sick for 4 days and my wife felt crappy until we got home. Alcohol made it worse.

footglove wrote:

Was that your first experience with motion sickness? My wife is pretty prone to it. I am not, but we will definitely be taking some motion sickness meds with us

Yes. I never got seasick on a smaller boat or had any problem with rollercoasters or in automobiles. However, as soon as we weighed anchor and left the port I was feeling weird. I think it was because the boat moved so slowly; a small boat rocks back and forth and I can get used to that. A big ship takes 10 or more seconds to list all the way to one side and then back... it was really off-putting.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

11/15/2018 12:45 PM

ocscottie wrote:

I have always wanted to go on a cruise, but always wondered just how wheelchair accessible they are? I suppose the newer cruise lines have to be up to ADA standards. Some of those HUGE cruise liners scare me though.

As far as I know, any cruise ship that boards passengers in US ports are required to comply with most ADA regs. Most cruise ships are registered in other countries but it doesn't matter. If they never enter US waters then all bets are off.

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11/15/2018 1:08 PM

ocscottie wrote:

I have always wanted to go on a cruise, but always wondered just how wheelchair accessible they are? I suppose the newer cruise lines have to be up to ADA standards. Some of those HUGE cruise liners scare me though.

borg wrote:

As far as I know, any cruise ship that boards passengers in US ports are required to comply with most ADA regs. Most cruise ships are registered in other countries but it doesn't matter. If they never enter US waters then all bets are off.

Yes most definitely wheelchair friendly. I have been with 2 in our group multiple times and they have continued going regularly.

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I don't have to be as smart as you hope to be some day anymore. wink