I recently received a question regarding boarding times, distance to the cruise port, and recommendations for getting to the ship on time. The general rule of thumb to address all three of those areas is to pay close attention to the documents provided by the cruise line. Specific cruises differ with regard to the time that guests should arrive to “check in” at the port. Keep in mind, that most, if not all, cruise lines require online check-in which will then produce cruise documents for guests to print and take along to the port. So although I say “check in” at the port, what that entails on embarkation day is usually guests presenting their printed cruise documents, along with their passports, for a fairly quick process at the counter with an agent from whom guests will receive their stateroom keys and a number to be called to board the ship.Read More
I recently responded to the question, “What’s the best way to pick a cruise?” A lot of this information will be similar to an earlier blog post, Make Planning A Cruise A Breeze. However, this question came after that blog post, so I think it's worth sharing my response here. Let me start by saying that this is really subjective. For some, this decision will be primarily driven by dates. For others, this decision will be primarily driven by cost. There are many cruise options out there, so the quick answer about the “best way to pick a cruise” is to know the factors that are most important to you and your family, and to prioritize those factors accordingly. As an example, I share with you, below, what My Cruising Family’s decision-making process usually looks like when choosing a cruise.Read More
Upon our return from this particular cruise, I didn’t do much of a review of the ship itself. However, I can say that the ship was fine. We had connecting Promenade View Staterooms, which were very convenient because my mom and our two sons stayed next door, while my husband and I had some space to ourselves. It should be noted that Promenade View Staterooms are listed as double occupancy, but by calling Royal Caribbean and explaining our group’s dynamic, including the fact that our younger son was one-year-old at the time, and would have a Pack 'n Play to sleep in, Royal Caribbean was able to book three of us in the room given that one of three was a one-year-old. It may not be an option on every cruise, but it does not hurt to ask. After all, that’s how we learn things. I know that, as a mom, I teach my children that it’s ok to ask questions. I know that many other parents take the same approach, so if you’re one of those parents, let’s take our own advice on that. Therefore, if you’re wondering whether or not this is a possibility on your cruise, I suggest calling and speaking with either your travel agent or the cruise line directly.
This particular cruise was port-intensive, so our focus, as well as this review, was more on the ports than the ship.Read More