Welcome back to another month of cruise tips from cruise ship passengers part 5 with Leona from Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Leona is a very experienced cruiser and has just finished her second world cruise.
She has been on 34 cruise with Princess Cruises and has sailed over 500 days with them.
In this time she has visited over 60 countries and 7 continents.
Cruise tips from cruise ship passengers are always the best cruise tips you will get as they really know what they are talking about.
Leona gives extensive cruise tips in her interview, so lets dive in.
Which cruise lines have you sailed with?
Princess, Royal Caribbean and Holland America.
Which is your favourite cruise ship?
Any of the Princess Cruise ships except for the jumbo ships, i.e., Royal Princess, Regal Princess, because there are no dance venues except In the Piazza or the nightclub.
Which is your favourite cruise destination?
Alaska because we sail from Seattle, a ferry ride from where we live, which makes it very convenient. No worries about extensive air travel or luggage issues.
We like to go for three weeks at a time. Seven days is just not long enough and I love the cooler weather, particularly after this last World Cruise to many Equatorial countries.
Do you have any embarkation day tips?
If at all possible, I would suggest flying into your embarkation port city the day before the cruise begins.
My biggest worry is always about my luggage. I like not having to worry about my plane being late or my luggage being lost.
I would also suggest that if you are flying the day of your embarkation, to add the ship information on your luggage tags when you check your luggage at the airport.
There is no sense in having only your home address on the tag because if it’s lost, why should it be sent back to your home town?
Always be sure to have your cellphone number on the luggage tag. I like to include our home information on one side and the cruise ship’s information on the other.
This way, when we’re returning home, I just flip the card around.
You will be given a cruise card upon checking in. Keeping your cruise card handy is always a convenience, particularly when you’re visiting a port or just walking around the ship.
Buy yourself a lanyard and ask the front desk to punch a hole in it. This way you always know where it is.
What are your cabin tips?
We believe in tipping and always tip our cabin steward upon arrival. For us, it insures excellent service.
All the crew work extremely hard and they very much appreciate the gesture.
I always have a list of my “needs/wants” upon arrival, such as lots of ice, bathrobes, no candy at night, extra hangers, etc., to give to my cabin steward on our first day aboard.
Be sure to use the Cruise Personalizer on the Princess website to request distilled water for CPAP machines or any other dietary restrictions.
Before you embark, create a list to hang on your cabin door (we laminate ours and attach with magnets).
- Our list includes the following:
- Cruise Card
- Princess Patter
- Government-issued Identification
- Power Bar
- Excursion Tickets
You can add whatever you feel are the absolute necessities when you leave your room to either enjoy the ship or visit the port or take an excursion.
Bring command removable hooks for the cabin. We use one at the cabin door to hang our cruise card lanyards as well as my husband’s CPAP mask next to the bed.
We also have two in our sections of the room to hang our clothes for the evening. They’re also great for hanging costume jewelry, etc.
Do you have any port tips?
Always have your Princess Patter (or cruise line daily newsletter) with you when you disembark because the front page will always have phone numbers for Princess’s shoreside assistance and the U.S.
Consulate if located in a particular port. We’ve never had an issue but you don’t want to have a problem in a country you may not be familiar with and not know who to call.
Do you have any disembarkation tips?
We do not like having to hurry up and leave our room for the designated disembarkation lounge. We really don’t like having to take our carry on luggage up to the Buffet to grab a coffee and breakfast.
We order room service the day before disembarkation, usually cereal and milk and a banana, keep the milk in the fridge, the cereal and banana handy and enjoy a leisurely time before we have to leave our room on disembarkation day. (Make sure you save the bowl and silverware.)
If coffee is an absolute must for you, there will be coffee in the waiting lounge.
What are your tour tips?
My husband always has a backpack already packed with our necessary items, i.e., water, power bar, Tyvec jacket, sunglasses and a mini first aid kit.
I always have a note pad for note taking on excursions, pen, sunglasses, power bar in my purse. We keep these packed at all times so the only thing we need to grab out of the safe is our wallets, passports and cellphones.
You should check your cabin door list so you will be sure to take your cruise card and excursion tickets.
Be sure to have cash with you – either local currency which can be exchanged at the reception desk or local currency you’ve already gotten from your own banks at home.
We’ve found that many countries accept U.S. dollars as well as credit cards. The ship also has an ATM machine.
Do you have any dining tips?
I would hope that everyone would respect the dress code onboard. When I first started cruising, I took the time to read the guidelines regarding cruise wear on Princess’s website.
Unfortunately, many do not. Most of the days require “smart casual” which does not mean “casual.” Smart casual means what someone would wear to a nice restaurant on land, which does not mean McDonald’s.
“Formal” is also the dress code on a few nights and if you are not willing or able to dress accordingly, there are many venues on the ship that will allow you to wear whatever you’d like.
That might be a great night to visit the buffet or order room service. It is extremely off-putting for passengers who enjoy the formal nights to be seated near people who show up in their shorts and t-shirts.
More about Leona…
Read more about Leona’s travels on her blog about the recent world cruise she went on:
Leona is full of extremely useful and practical cruise tips and I’m sure you will take away some of her cruise advice for your next cruise.
I hope you enjoyed reading Cruise Tips from Cruise Ship Passengers Part 5, next month we will feature another interview with a cruise ship passenger.
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