Welcome to part 3 of cruise tips from cruise ship passengers. This month is slightly different as the cruise ship passengers are cruise vloggers that have an amazing YouTube channel sharing all their cruise ship experiences on film.
Stef and Sean are professional film makers and wanted to sail on every cruise line and share it with the world.
In this interview they have kindly shared all of their cruise tips and tricks for you to take on your next cruise.
CRUISE TIPS FROM CRUISE SHIP PASSENGERS – THE INTERVIEW
Sean & Stef have sailed on quite a few cruise lines including Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Holland America, MSC, Princess Cruises, NCL, Royal Caribbean and are about to sail on P&O Cruises.
They have cruised on the:
- Carnival Breeze
- Carnival Horizon
- Celebrity Equinox
- Disney Magic
- Holland America – Ooosterdam
- MSC Seaside
- Norwegian Bliss
- Norwegian Epic
- Norwegian Escape
- Norwegian Getaway
- Princess Cruises – Royal Princess
- Royal Caribbean – Allure of the Seas
- Royal Caribbean – Enchantment of the Seas
- Royal Caribbean – Independence of the Seas
- Royal Caribbean – Symphony of the Seas
WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE CRUISE SHIP?
Symphony of the Seas
HOW MANY CRUISES HAVE YOU BEEN ON?
We have sailed on 25 ships and spent 199 days at sea.
WHERE HAVE YOU SAILED TO ON THE CRUISES YOU HAVE BEEN ON?
- Amber Cove
- Cabo San Lucas
- Castaway Cay
- Costa Maya
- Grand Cayman Islands
- Grand Turk
- Great Stirrup Cay
- Harvest Caye
- Key West
- Ocho Rios
- Princess Cays
- Puerto Vallarta
- San Juan
- St Maarten
- St Thomas
- St. Kitts
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CRUISE?
Symphony of the Seas – our Symphony cruise was as near perfect a cruise you could ask for. This ship was amazing. There was something going on no matter what time of day it is.
Great food options, especially when it came to speciality dining. We ate at a different speciality restaurant every night and the food was some of the best food we had ever experienced at sea.
The entertainment on Royal Caribbean ships is the best at sea. Broadway plays, diving shows, ice skating shows and the best live music you have ever heard. It’s hard to believe there was so much awesome, all on one ship.
Do you have any embarkation day tips?
Our biggest tip on embarkation day is to stay far away from the buffet. Everyone seems to go straight there once they board and it is always a madhouse.
We will either skip lunch that day or find an alternative restaurant. There is usually more than one option available for lunch on embarkation day.
Check the cruise program (or the cruise app) and see what lunch options are open. You would be surprised how many restaurants are completely empty because everyone rushes to the buffet.
Do you like to go on tours in port or do your own thing?
We like to do both. We like ship tours because they are convenient and easy. You simply sign up and the ship tells you where to meet and where to go.
The best thing about ship tours is knowing the ship cannot leave without you. So if your tour runs late, which has happened to us only one time, the ship waits for you.
We also really like doing tours on our own as well and we will always try to choose this option if time in a port is not short (if there is a short turn around we will go through the ship or just walk around the port).
Some of our best excursions have been booked privately. I love the freedom that comes with booking a tour privately, especially when it comes to crowds.
You do not have to wait on people to go to the bathroom or not get back on the bus in time, you get to set your own pace and for us, that is priceless.
Our best memories are riding ATV’s around St. Maarten and St. Kitts. There really is nothing better than the open road, a map and the adventure that follows.
What are your disembarkation day tips?
Our biggest tip for disembarkation is do not book a departing flight earlier than 12pm, the day you leave the ship.
Disembarking is a stressful day and adding the stress of a flight that leaves at 8am is not a great way to end the last day of your vacation. One other tip for disembarking, just breathe and relax.
There will be lines but be patient, everyone will get to leave the ship but it might take a little bit longer than you think.
What are your cabin tips?
We have experienced a lot of different types of cabins. From a 2 bedroom suite, all the way to the smallest interior cabin you could imagine, cabins for us are simply a place to sleep, shower and change.
Through all of our cruising, we have come to really enjoy interior cabins the most. They are the cheapest yes, but they are usually the coolest and they are definitely the darkest.
We like to tell friends the best cabin depends on what you want to do in your cabin? Do you like to have a quiet place to read a book? A balcony cabin would be perfect for you.
Do you like to have a lot of space? Check out a suite. Always out and about? An inside cabin might be the way to go. There are so many options for any type of cruiser.
Do you have any cruise booking tips?
Cruise bookings are interesting. Do you go through a Travel Agent or do you book direct? These are questions that we are always asking ourselves and we use both avenues.
We like booking through a Travel Agent because they can have better knowledge of cabins and ship layouts. Travel Agents can also include an On Board Credit to your account and that is really nice.
The downside is that if you have any changes to your booking, you will always have to go through your TA.
This could prove to be difficult if you can never get in touch with your agent. We always recommend going through an agent you trust or know someone who has used them before.
Which dining options do you prefer onboard?
We do not really enjoy the buffet for any meals. It is great quick way to get food in a pinch but we prefer to avoid the buffet if we can.
For breakfast and lunch, we will find a non-buffet restaurant. Sometimes this is in the main dining room and other times, it is a special cafe.
For dinners however, we like speciality dining and prefer to eat speciality dining over any other option. For us, cruises are special and dinner is the one time we get to unwind from the day, enjoy a nice meal and really enjoy each others company as a couple.
The main dining room is typically chaotic and we feel rushed. We love the personalized attention at speciality restaurants and that makes our vacation more memorable.
What do you do on the days at sea?
On sea days we typically explore the ship and find activities going on. We love participating in activities like glass blowing or mixology classes. There is always something going on and it is fun to wander around a ship and see what we see.
Do you have any cruise packing tips?
Our biggest packing tip is to think about reusing clothes. We use to bring a lot of clothes with us and now we have around 4 outfits for non-formal nights, a couple of outfits for the day and one formal night outfit.
I also stopped bringing lots of shoes. I try to find shoes that are flat or will pack as flat as possible. We have basically adopted the less is more philosophy. We stopped worrying about the outfits and now we focus more on all the fun we can have on the ship.
What are your tips for first time cruisers?
• Book a cruise based on your likes, not your friends or extended family likes. Think about what you would like to get out of your cruise. There is a line for everyone.
• The pool area on any cruise ship is not like a pool area at a land resort. It is going to be crowded and the pools are going to be small.
• Ports of Call are real places/cities which means there could be people there looking to take advantage of tourists. Keep in mind any safety postings given by the ship or from your country. Cruise lines will usually alert you if something is wrong but there is no harm in knowing a little about the areas you are exploring before you get off the ship.
More about Sean and Stef
Our mission is simple: we want to travel, emotionally invest in each other, and spread positivity and light everywhere we go.
We have been through terrible things individually and as a couple. Instead of being victims and spreading negativity, we decided to actively change our stars and put as much light and joy into the world that we can.
Life is hard but we have found true joy in traveling and we want to share all of our adventures with anyone who wants to come along with us on the ride.
Follow Sean and Stef
- Instagram: @seanandstef
- Twitter: @seanandstef
- Facebook: @seanandstefirl
- YouTube: seanandstefirl.com
- Blog: seanandstefirl.blog
Read more Cruise Tips From Cruise Ship Passengers
Sean and Stef shared some really useful cruise tips and I’m sure you will take away some of their cruise advice for your next cruise.
I hope you enjoyed reading Cruise Tips from Cruise Ship Passengers Part 3, next month we will feature another interview with a cruise ship passenger.
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