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Just booked a cruise ! first time ! any tips ?

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We have a lot to celebrate this year :

Big year this year, I received an unexpected major promotion 2 weeks ago. See my boss is retiring in 2 1/2 years. I was hoping I would be ready for his position then. They promoted him 2 weeks ago and offered me his position and he offered to mentor me as I gro into it !  A really really generous increase - about 20% raise in pay.

I turn 50,

DH and I celebrate our 20th anniversary

DS turn 16.

So we booked a Royal Carribean cruise on the Freedom of the seas, 7 day Eastern Carribean.  We also splashed out for 2 balcony rooms so the kids have a room and DH and I have a room.

We've never cruised, we have a great travel agent - but would love to hear your tips, advice or anything.

I am a little concerned about motion sickness ... - so any ideas there would be helpful ( I am will work with my Dr. as well )

I am sooooo excited to go.

check out http://boards.cruisecritic.com/index.php

I read that forum for my first cruise and found lots of good information and tips.

Congratulations on all the above!

Watch out for the fact that food is available 24/7; it's very possible to gain weight on a cruise and you don't want to do that.

Bring formal clothes for the Captain's Dinner (typically late in the trip). 

Yup, cruise critic is the place to go.  Check on the 'roll call' board for your ship and sailing date.  Through that we've met many nice people and made arrangements to meet for Pre-sailing dinners and on-board activities. 

We've sailed on RC but only on the Explorer class ships.  The line is high energy and, although we're not party people, we enjoyed the ships very much. The food is very good and plenty of healthy options are always available so, with a little care, you needn't worry about gaining a lot of weight. 

In the Eastern Caribbean you should have no problem with seasickness unless you're very susceptible to motion sickness in general.  In 37 cruises we've only been seasick twice.  Both times it was due to a combination of tropical storm and bad champagne.  It's probably a good idea to bring candied ginger in case you start feeling a little queasy.

A word of caution or two.  The Eastern Caribbean is a popular route and the Freedom of the Seas is big.  Once, in St. Thomas, there were seven ships in on the same day.  Charlotte Amalie was like Times Square on New Year's Eve.  It was almost impossible to move around town. 

Also, even if the voyage is very calm, you may find yourself lurching around when you get back on land.  The effect can last several days when you get home.  If you know to expect it, the feeling can almost be fun although strangers may look at you a bit oddly. 

Most of all, relax and enjoy your celebration.  You certainly have plenty to celebrate.

Cz. Burrito:
I am going on that exact cruise (same boat, same itinerary) in three weeks.   :D

* To avoid weight gain, I avoid the elevator and use the stairs all the time.  This helps a lot.
* Pack a bag that has all of your overnight necessities (meds, change of clothes, toiletries, etc). You will need this for the first and last day of the cruise, as checked luggage will be delivered to your stateroom (hopefully) on the first day and taken away on the last night.  You just want to make sure that you have everything you need on the first day in case there is a delay with your luggage.
* I never had an issue with sea sickness until my third cruise, so I recommend bringing something for sea sickness even if you're not prone to it. I'm planning on bringing ginger on my next cruise.
* Suitcases fit under the beds.  This makes it very easy to save space by unpacking and stowing your luggage.
* If you anticipate drinking wine with dinner every night, it may be worth your while to buy a "wine package" in advance to save some money.I think the biggest tip is to keep an open mind have fun.  :^)


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