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  1. #1
    Forum Member dorayme's Avatar
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    So I'm going on a cruise in less than two weeks...

    I've never done this type of trip before. I've been preoccupied with other 1st world problems and haven't put much energy into planning for this trip. We will mostly be in the Caribbean, and we will also port in Cozumel and in the Caymans. We are planning a few excursions like to visit some Mayan ruins, but most of the time will be on the ship. The littles are staying with my parents, so it will be just Mr. dorayme and I.

    Those of you who are more seasoned travelers, any tips? Suggested attire? Suggested TB bags? Things that you have learned from your previous trips, or places I should try to go, things I should try to do? Thanks.
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  2. #2
    Forum Member K9TB's Avatar
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    The most helpful website I've seen is Cruise Reviews, Cruise Deals and Cruises - Cruise Critic.

    Of course they give info for people deciding which cruise to go on. But for those already booked, people will review the ship, give insider tips, talk about whether the specialty restaurant on board is worth the extra charge, etc. Are there any "behind the scenes" tours? How early will they let us board? Can you order "off menu" in the Dining room? Which ports is it good to be on the cruise line sponsored tour, and which are good to do on your own? There will even be a "roll call" for specific voyages and people will organize a meet-up on board. "How dressed up do people get?" really varies by cruise line/ship/itinerary, but Cruise Critic will get specific.

    You will have your key card at all times. Of course, because it gets you into your room. But you will charge drinks at the bar, anything you buy on your room key. I've only been on one cruise line (4 times) but they keys were getting de-magnetized all the time. Not just mine. Mild magnets in purses, being put too close to a phone. Things that don't bother regular hotel room keys in my experience. After a while, trips to the Purser's Office to get to be a drag. So really, really keep it separated. Maybe use a Passport Pouch if you've got one of those? I usually use a Side Effect, keep it separated, and it's fine.

    My favorite dining experience: Once we were traveling with friends, one of whom has a nut allergy. Every night at dinner the Maitre D' brought the menus for the NEXT day, so she would have time to figure out what all the dishes are, if any have nuts, or could be made without them. We all loved reading them. Tomorrow night's dinner selection not great? Let's go to the specialty restaurant! The micro-manager in me loved the advance info.

    I got a prescription from my Doc for a Seasickness patch. Some voyages I needed it, some not. It did give me dry mouth, but it was Heaven to not feel sick. You know the old saying "When you are seasick, at first you are afraid you will die. Then you are afraid you won't die."

    I've never done the Carribean, so I can't tell you about the ports, but let me know if you've got other questions about life on board!
    What's better than o-rings? More o-rings.

  3. #3
    Forum Member K9TB's Avatar
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    One more thing...remember you are booking a cruise, not an itinerary. The 2 'regular' cruises I did (with port calls every day or so" both had changes made en route. "Hi, this is the Captain speaking. Tomorrow, we are not stopping at A. Instead we are going to B".

    The other 2 voyages were Transatlantics - there were no stops to skip!
    What's better than o-rings? More o-rings.

  4. #4
    Forum Member dorayme's Avatar
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    I will definitely be checking out the cruise reviews site! Many thanks!
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  5. #5
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    I found cruise critic very useful.

    I have only done 2 transatlantics on cunard, so YMMV, but the TB items I found useful:
    The travel trays! Useful for coralling things.
    We each had 1 small rolling suitcase, but we also took one WF with luggage slot. We carried the WF on, so if there were delays in getting suitcase to cabin, we had essentials.
    Also took a shop bag the second time, found it useful for coralling larger items that I wanted readily accesible.
    Of course, pouches and some packing cubes. Ok some packing cubes were from another popular brand, but they were great for putting clothes in drwaers and on shelves. Just left them in the cubes.

  6. #6
    Forum Member dorayme's Avatar
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    Thanks Hawaii, I've already decided on Travel Trays and cubes. I was thinking my WF would be my only bag. I'm trying to decide though if it's worth it to bring my A45 instead as souvenir space? A much more likely solution will probably be my WF and S19 or S25 combo so we have a nice daytrip bag for our excursions along with extra space for souvenirs coming home.
    After reading the pages for our particular cruise, I am formulating a packing list. (2-3 travel skirts, a pair of leggins, a pair of capri pants, a workout outfit, and 9 tops, one dress, two lightweight cardigans and several of my SSS, unmentionables and toiletries). think it's going to be simpler/easier than I thought to pack for this trip. (woot)
    Now my struggle will be the right balance of activities (ipad, kindle, knitting, Kalimba) etc. To keep me happy and occupied in our "down" time.
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  7. #7
    Forum Member dorayme's Avatar
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    Thanks Hawaii, I've already decided on Travel Trays and cubes. I was thinking my WF would be my only bag. I'm trying to decide though if it's worth it to bring my A45 instead as souvenir space? A much more likely solution will probably be my WF and S19 or S25 combo so we have a nice daytrip bag for our excursions along with extra space for souvenirs coming home.
    After reading the pages for our particular cruise, I am formulating a packing list. (2-3 travel skirts, a pair of leggins, a pair of capri pants, a workout outfit, and 9 tops, one dress, two lightweight cardigans and several of my SSS, unmentionables and toiletries). think it's going to be simpler/easier than I thought to pack for this trip. (woot)
    Now my struggle will be the right balance of activities (ipad, kindle, knitting, Kalimba) etc. To keep me happy and occupied in our "down" time.
    I knew if I asked for help, you guys would calm the crazy and help me to think this through to a simple solution! Thanks!
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorayme View Post
    I've never done this type of trip before. I've been preoccupied with other 1st world problems and haven't put much energy into planning for this trip. We will mostly be in the Caribbean, and we will also port in Cozumel and in the Caymans.
    Me too! (e.g. I am also going on a Caribbean cruise in less than 2 weeks!) If you're on the same cruise line as me, you are probably a week before or after me, as we're not stopping in the Caymans, but we are going to Cozumel.

    I've been addicted to reading Cruise Critic these last few weeks; it's a great site as folks as mentioned and as you've seen. I'm planning to take my brand new A30 and S19, or might use my PCBP instead as a day bag. And of course my TT and SE. This will be my 4th cruise; last year I took one with extended family (7 nights in the Bahamas) and it was awesome. Have a great trip!

    Edited to add - one Cruise Critic tip - check out the roll call thread for your specific sailing, where you can virtually meet other shipmates before the cruise, talk about specific logistics or excursions, etc.
    Last edited by habanero; 12-31-2014 at 08:52 AM.

  9. #9
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    Most cruise ships have laundries you can use so you don't have to take as many clothes. I'd recommend taking a jacket and an umbrella. You can check the weather forecast online before you leave. I've been on a lot of cruises and different cruise lines. The current trend seems to be more casual especially in the Caribbean. The S19 or daylight pack would work great when you get off the ship. You can use a lanyard to put your room card on. The purser's office will punch a hole on one side.

  10. #10
    Forum Member TavaPeak's Avatar
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    Sounds like fun, dorayme! (Especially when it got to -18 here last night.). You may be tempted to invest in a souvenir dress or skirt (cotton, light, airy) for Haiti. You're a petite person, so the A45 may be big. But maybe you'll want the extra room.

  11. #11
    Forum Member dorayme's Avatar
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    TavaPeak, the clothing packing list above would fit in my Pilot. It's the other stuff like multiple pair of shoes, toiletries, and my Kalimba if I bring it that would make the Pilot not work. I like the idea of the WF S19 combo. I'll have to borrow it back from my son. It's been his school bag this year for our homeschool co-op days.
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  12. #12
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    If you can get all that you listed into a Pilot, more power to you! I would recommended a main bag at least WF size along with a secondary bag (Pilot or S19, etc). You will need the extra room for stuff you buy both on ship and in port - and you WILL buy stuff. Also, consider whether you and Mr. D will be attending one of the formal nights where you may want to dress up. As was noted, cruises in general, and especially in the Caribbean, are nowhere near as rigid as they use to be re: what is considered appropriate dress which makes life much easier on board, but sometimes it is fun to play dress-up! With your packing ethos, an A45 would likely be overkill.....but you would be able to bring back a whole load of duty-free liquor (if that sort of thing appeals to you). Have fun!

  13. #13
    Forum Member TavaPeak's Avatar
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    If Lani can pack in a teeny tiny teacup (according to Badger), then sounds like you can pack in a mug. Me? a turkey roaster. :-)

  14. #14
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    A couple of tips:
    I wished I had packed headbands. It was sooo windy walking on deck and a hat doesn't look nice with an evening dress haha
    Take a distinctive lanyard from home. As kajikaiko said it's for the room card. And you show that little card at least twenty times a day so it needs to be accessible.

  15. #15
    Forum Member dorayme's Avatar
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    Maybe I'll knit some lanyards!
    I really, really like TB Bags!

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