Have you always wanted to go on a cruise but were not really sure if it was for you? Do you have questions about cruising but never knew who to ask?
Well if you answer yes to either of these questions we are here to help! When we took our first cruise for our honeymoon we had soooooo many questions about cruising. The only people we knew who had really cruised before were my parents. I hate to say it but we instantly thought that meant that cruising was just for old people and we would stick out like nothing else.
After taking over 10 cruises the past five years we have found that these are the top 10 frequently asked questions from non-cruisers.
Top 10 FAQs From 1st time Cruisers
Please let us know if we missed any questions you have!!!!!
1. Is it expensive?
It honestly depends on the type of cruise you book. There are cruises in all price ranges. You can find cruises for a few hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars depending on the cruise line, length of cruise and the ports visited. The great thing about cruising is your room, your regular dining and entertainment are built into the cost. Sure you can add additional cost by purchasing liquor, eating at specialty restaurants, or gambling but that is up to you. Trust me no one is going to drag you to the bar and force you to drink a fruity mai tai....that is unless you want them too 🙂
2. Do I have to wear a formal dress every night?
I am happy to say that the majority of cruise lines do not expect you to dress formally every night. You can go all out and get dressed up nightly if you would like to but it is not a requirement. You also have the option of dressing casually to eat at the buffet every night of the week. Pre-warning: casual means actual clothes not just your swimsuit.
On Carnival, we dress up a tad bit for dinner every night because we love it. I am not wearing a formal dress and heels but I might wear a skirt, summer dress, or cute top and pants. John wears a button-down shirt and nice pants with or without a jacket depending on his mood. We like to treat each night at dinner as a great date night.
3. Will I have fun?
Oh my goodness yes! You get to choose what you do during your cruise. Want to spend the day taking a long nap, watching a movie, and ordering room service….go for it. Want to spend the day sitting by the pool soaking up the sun and drinking a fruity cocktail….go for it. Want to take a dance class and learn how to ballroom dance…go for it. Want to play cards with friends all day or dominoes….go for it. Want to watch the world go by from a lounge chair in the shade….you can totally do it. How can you not have fun when there are so many options for things to do! We tend to have so much fun that we actually schedule in a nap each day so we force ourselves to relax for a bit.
You get to choose what you do and when you do it on the cruise ship.
4. Are cruises family friendly or more of a party scene?
If you are looking at a couple of day cruise that is specifically marketed for college kids and people in their 20’s you may wind up on a getaway with more partiers than the cruises we've taken. Some cruise lines do cater to a certain age group more than others. That said, we have been on a few cruise lines, and each time we were more than comfortable. We love Carnival because there is something for everyone on the ship. If you are looking for an adult sanctuary you can visit Serenity for a quiet oasis. If you are looking for a fun area for your kids they can visit the kid's camps. Ages 0-99 will have fun!
5. Can I check my emails and Facebook account from sea?
Yes! The ships have internet access available to purchase when you get on board. Each ship has varying prices depending on the number of minutes you need. The only time we have run into an issue was on a Baltic Sea cruise and we were in the middle of nowhere and the internet couldn't connect. Everyplace else in the world we have not had a problem.
6. I have dietary restrictions is this a problem?
Not a problem at all. You can let the cruise line know about your dietary restrictions in your registration. This allows the ship to make sure they have the right food products available during your cruise. Most cruise lines request at least 30 days’ notice so they can make sure the order goes through with your requests. You can also work with the cruise line if you have specific foods you can't have.
Being a vegetarian I have not had any issues on any cruises with finding ample options available at all meals. We try and visit the steakhouse on the Carnival Cruise Ships and I am still able to find an amazing meal that is vegetarian. The chefs are so great at working with your dietary needs and making sure that you love your meal.
7. What is the safety drill and can I skip it?
The safety drill also known as the muster drill is required of all passengers on each cruise you embark on. It is not an option to skip the safety drill. Each room is checked and guests are counted at each muster station. The safety drills are pretty quick and they are the perfect sign that you are about to embark on an amazing cruise adventure.
8. Do I need to bring cash on board for tips or purchases?
You can bring cash on board for tips but it is not necessary unless you want to. The ship will automatically add your daily tips to your cruise account each night. You can tip your servers or room steward at the end of the cruise if you wish too. You do not need cash onboard the ship for purchases. All of your purchases will be credited to your onboard ship account.
You may want to bring cash for your days in port. Your ship card only works on the ship so you will need to have cash or a credit card available if you chose to make purchases while in port.
9. Are there exercise areas available to burn calories?
Well, this one is totally up to you.......
You have the choice on the cruise of many options for food and fitness. I will say that the food on the cruise is normally really good! But there are so many options to work off the calories. There is a sports track to walk or jog around, basketball courts, a swimming pool, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, dance classes, yoga class, and oh yeah a huge gym on board. There are options for everyone to burn off calories and to enjoy amazing food.
You can even play a round of mini golf on many Carnival ships. We make it a point of walking the deck daily on the Carnival cruises we take. It is a great way to meet other passengers and enjoy the amazing weather.
Plus you have the chance of seeing dolphins and other wildlife while you are walking. I definitely don’t get to say that when I am walking at home in Spokane.
10. Are excursions included in my cruise rate?
For most cruise ship excursions are an additional charge. Excursions range from around $30-$300 and up, depending on the activities involved with the excursions. Excursions are a great way to explore a port and not have to worry about transportation, how long you are off the ship or what to do. The cruise ships have vetted out the companies that handle the excursions to make sure they are the best in the area.
We have done some truly amazing excursions on our Carnival cruises. Some of our favorites include driving ATVs and swimming with sharks in Grand Turk, visiting Passion Island near Cozumel, visiting Bayahibe beach in the Dominican Republic and touring Key West.
You can find out more about the excursions offered on your cruise by checking the cruise website. Most cruise lines will show the specific cruises that are being offered for your cruise on their site. You can check to see which ones include meals, how much activity is involved, and how long each excursion is on their websites.
Please let us know if we can answer any other cruise questions for you!!!! We are huge fans of cruising and would love to share our experiences with you.
I get sea sick when deep sea fishing, I get sick on small planes, in cars, and on river boat cruises, I even can't swing or rock in a chair or porch swing. Do people seem to get sea sick on a cruise ship? I'm pretty bad and would hate to get stuck on a boat sick for a few days.
Also, are there cruises that allow pets? We take our fur baby everywhere and I would rather stay home than take a vacation without her.
Thank you for you time.
While cash is not required on board, I have learned that you get the best, over-the-top service (especially at the bars) if you tip heavily *in cash* on the first night of the cruise. Yes, the bar tenders appreciate tips on the reciepts, but handing them a $50 a few times early in the cruise ( and then smaller amounts during the week) and you will never have to wait for service all week and will probably get served enough free booze to compensate for the tips you gave. Note: I recommend putting the tip folded up under the card when you pay to keep it out of sight as the cruise lines really do not want passengers tipping cash. They know the bar tenders give away booze and frown upon this, of course.
It's good to have a little cash with you while you are onboard in order to tip for room service. While the food that is available for room service is usually included with your cruise, the person who brings it should be tipped!
Wow, what an informative post! Thank you 😀
We have been on only 11 cruises, so we haven't seen it all. However, we would NEVER, even though we have a "free" voucher, go on a Carnival ship again. Geared for the spring vacation college kids. Party, party, party. Example; during the dinner hour, the wait staff abruptly leave their guests at the tables and go on a binge of dancing up and down the aisles like a tribe of monkey's on steroids, ignoring the guests that paitently wait for coffee, water or any further service that one would expect, even though there are a dozen venues through out the shipthat offer similar "entertainment."
I've heard that all Carnival ships do this nonsense, but can not vouch for it. Overall, very noisy, crowded and not inspiring.
I would hardly compare it to monkey's on steroids. The dinner staff was on point every night. The three minute dances they perform hardly interferes with the dinner services. The dances include the guest if they guest elect to participate. If waiting a couple minutes for a coffee refill during this time is going to kill you or ruin the whole experience, then you have bigger problems than a dancing staff.
Agreed! Never again, and when trying to leave a comment with guest service there is no response. They said they would contact me with in 24 hours. It's been over a week. Guest service is a joke on Carnival
I love when people ask if they have to wear a formal gown every night on a cruise. Truth be told, I wear sundresses most of the time and just throw on some fancy shoes and jewelry!