What should I know about going on a cruise?
The most difficult part of a cruise is getting on the ship and off the ship. You wait in line for a good while to have your identification papers approved and enter the ship. Once there, you go to your cabin. The staff brings your luggage to your cabin. There is an emergency drill time where you put on a smelly life jacket (from your cabin), go to your assigned area, learn how to wear the jacket and what to do if the ship has a problem. This drill frightens some but just live through it. After it is over, you take your jacket back to your cabin and resume having fun.
Getting off the ship takes time, too. You are told what time to have your luggage packed and outside of your cabin on the departure date. You sit around doing nothing until your number is called, then you stand in line declaring purchases and sins for customs to re-enter the States.
Your travel agent will have luggage tags for you to place on your luggage for admittance to the ship.
Here's an important tip: your cruise costs are paid before you board the ship. Except!!!! Any alcoholic drinks, sodas*, gee-haws from the onboard shops and tips for staff are not included. Your cruise card (given when you go through processing) is used to pay for alcoholic drinks, salon visits, gift shop purchases). You don't carry money or credit cards.
Drink purchases include a tip for the server.
Coffee, tea (iced and hot) and powdered fruit drink stuff is available for no charge. You PAY FOR DIET COKES.
Some cruises include the staff tips in the cruise price. Other cruises expect you to pay a per diem tip for your cabin steward, wait staff and, for some reason, the Dining Hall King. If you don't have cash, you can charge these tips.
The Captain, no picture this time, you girls got too delighted with the last post + picture!
*soda is yankee for "soft drinks"