1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Cruise Virgin

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by JosieCat, Feb 1, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,163
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Hopefully you will all be OK with some cruise questions. I am a cruise virgin, but now that M Life has so kindly offered us a free cruise - I'm not going to turn them down.

    I'm looking to just do a very short July cruise over a weekend out of Port Canaveral, FL - going to the Bahamas. Just a few questions for anyone with experience cruising.

    It says you board at 4:30 p.m. Is that a for sure boarding time, or will they typically let you on earlier.

    Would there be any reason to not fly in that same morning (vs. flying in the day before). I know that getting from MCO to Port Canaveral is around 45 minutes - so as long as we had an early flight in, we should be OK?

    Any other cruising tips would be appreciated.


    OOOOOHHHHHH. I'm under 100 days. Yippee Skippee
     
  2. Ezzy711

    Ezzy711 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    I haven't been on RC, but on Carnival most of the time you can board by 11AM. I'm usually at the port at 10AM. If you have a suite you get to board first, after any wedding groups. The only reason NOT to fly in the same day is any delays can really mess up your day.

    I would suggest you check out cruisecritic.com - which is a BB similar to this one and has tons of info. There is too much to list here. The casinos are super small and don't have the latest machines. Usually only 1 crap table. However, there is something really great about being a casino and looking out at the ocean. Of course once you reach the islands there are real casinos - if you don't spend all the time sightseeing.

    Also, keep in mind you are going during hurricane season so might be a little more choppy than normal. July is not bad, Aug and Sept are the roughest.

    Hope you have a blast!
     
  3. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,993
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Josie, I think you're confusing "departing" time with "boarding" time. Ships typically set sail at 4:30 and you must be on board by 3:00. Muster drill is usually at 3:30. They usually start letting people on the ship at 11:00. Many seasoned cruisers fly in the day before just to be on the safe side. There can be airline delays for any reason.
     
  4. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,163
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Ezzy711 - Thanks for the info. Yes, that's why I picked July instead of August or September. Plus I didn't really want to give up my September/October Vegas trip. My goal for this trip is to see if I like cruising - and seeing Paradise Island in the Bahamas. I don't really plan on spending all that much time in the casino - maybe for a few hours in the evening.

    Candy Apple - you are most likely correct - it just said 4:30 departing. If we can board that early, I may consider flying in the night before and spending the night in either Orlando or Port Canaveral - just in case :).

    Thanks much.
     
  5. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,993
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    We had a flight delay once

    We were leaving Cleveland the day before our cruise on a beautiful 70 degree day in September and had just a brief flight to Baltimore to board the Pride. Our flight left Cleveland two hours late due to construction at the Baltimore airport. Had we been flying in the same day...at best, we would have been nervous wrecks rushing to the ship...but more likely, we would have missed our cruise.
     
  6. Jersey_Bill

    Jersey_Bill High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    644
    Location:
    Exit 8, New Jersey Turnpike
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    JC -

    We just did our first cruise in 12 years between Christmas and New Years - on the NCL Sky out of Miami - and it was a great experience. Since I am MLife Plat, I see another cruise coming soon !!

    Some advice in line with your questions -

    • The reason people fly down the night before is to board as soon as possible - since the boat is fully running as soon as you can get on board and all that "free stuff" is ready and waiting... Lunch, time by the pool, etc. It's also a good chance to explore and get used to the ship before you leave port.
    • Thus, find out when the ship is open for people to board - and plan to be there before that time. It will take a while to get through security and to get checked in and registered so allow for that
    • I second the motion that you check out the CruiseCritic site. Just as good a site as VMB and they have forums like this for each cruise line. There, you can get the inside scoop of what's great and not about the ship you are on - and "Cruise Trip Reviews" just like the "Trip Reviews" here. It helped me a LOT in getting ready for my cruise.
    • The onboard casino on the Sky was decent but the paytables were not great on VP. Still, it was fun as a diversion and I spent a little time there each day between events. Drink service was not free (maybe for real heavy hitters at tables but not at VP)
    • We went to Nassau but chose to hang out in town rather than going to Paradise Island (had been there before). If you have never been Nassau can be fun and it has a GREAT town beach (free) walking distance from the ship - Junkanoo Beach - where you see your ship right across the bay.
    • ALWAYS TAKE YOUR PASSPORT WITH YOU when you leave the ship. Say that you get detained and the ship sails without you. A bad situation but you can easily get a flight and catch up with your ship at next stop - but without your passport you are stuck until the local consulate can issue another, and that might be days.
    • Pay attention to boarding times at departure and at each of your stops. Allow lots of time to make it - because ships will wait a few minutes for no shows but not very long.
    • You don't have to leave the ship at port stops and many people stay on board to enjoy a quieter ship and no crowds around the food and hot tubs and such. Up to you but port stops are cash generators for the cruise lines with activities - and many people just want to chill out and drink by the pool on a port day.

    Anyway, we loved the experience and were planning to do something again with a cruise in the Fall anyway. Now with a free cruise, its a sure thing.

    Have fun !!

    JZB
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  7. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,993
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Good information, Bill!
     
  8. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,163
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Thanks Bill - great information. I'm really embarrassed to admit - I didn't even give needing a passport a thought. I don't have one, well, I do, but it's about 30 years old and has never been used - I assume they expire? I don't even know if I could find it.
     
  9. Jersey_Bill

    Jersey_Bill High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    644
    Location:
    Exit 8, New Jersey Turnpike
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    JC -

    Yes, the Bahamas are a foreign country after all. Huge numbers of Americans and other foreign tourists flow through Nassau but you still need your documentation to travel there.

    One of my daughters left her passport at college and we used her birth certificate - but if you do that be sure you use the REAL birth certificate with the raised seal instead of something called a "certificate of live birth". Must admit I don't know the difference but someone was denied boarding recently (per the Cruise Critic forum) because it was the wrong kind of birth certificate.

    Passports expire in 5 years I believe (could be longer but not much longer). Best advice is to get it renewed - or if you can't find the old one just apply again. Cost is not much but more bother than cost - with need for right kind of photo, etc. and your documentation. There are ways to make that happen really fast if an emergency but check out the rules at your local post office. I think many post offices have that information available (and some in New York have counters to manage the process).

    In this age of "government IDs" when you travel, the Passport is like a platinum card - accepted everywhere and the one you want to have.

    JZB
     
  10. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Messages:
    9,139
    Location:
    So Cal 91748
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    300
    They expire after ten years. I had to look at mine to be sure. BTW, Costco has the cheapest photos for passports, $4.99. AAA takes them for $7.99.
     
  11. Candy Apple

    Candy Apple VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,993
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
  12. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,163
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Thanks so much for the information. I will get on that - ASAP.

    JosieCat
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.