Next week, Donna Maria aka @IndieBusiness, will be taking her group of small business owners out for a conference at sea (the #IndieCruise). They’re cruising on the Carnival Destiny to Key West and Cozumel which I’ve cruised a few times in the past.
So I sent the group over some tips for the first time cruisers. So for those of you who are going on your first cruise, here are a few tips that I shared with Donna and her group:
10 Tips for First-time Cruisers
#1 Pack a powerstrip. There are very few outlets in your room and in the card room (where they are having conference sessions) so that everyone can keep their laptops charged.
#2 Turn Cell Phones to Airplane mode or turn data off or turn the phone off 15 minutes after sailing away. Once land starts getting further away you will be hitting the Satellite and Cell phone companies charge outrageous fees for Data and phone calls.
#3 I like this itinerary for those who need to be connected to home because in Key West, you are still in the US. So you can use your cell phone and find wi-fi. In Cozumel, some places like the Carlos & Charlies Beach Club offer free wi-fi.
#4 If you buy Internet access on the ship, make sure you log-off the Internet before shutting down your laptop or iPad, you will burn through your Internet minutes with you computer off if you do not.
#5 One night will be Semi-Formal. guys typically wear a sports jacket and women wear cocktail dresses but you will see some people not dressing up on this night. The menu item that night should be Lobster! At the dinners you can order multiple starters or salads or entrees – your not limited to one of each if you see to starters you would like to try.
#6 When leaving out of Miami, try to get to the pier at 11:30 AM – you will be among the first to board and lunch will be served at the buffett. After lunch, you can hit the pool or tour the ship.
#7 You will give your bags to the baggage guys out from of the ship. You will want to have a carryon bag that you will carry on yourself to the ship that has a change of clothes and anything you will need for the first 4 hours on the ship. It will take a while for your bag to get up to your room. The baggage guys will have baggage tags on them. Bring a Sharpie Marker and write your room number and name on their tags.
#8 At each port, I like to get back to the ship at least 30 minutes early to ensure that I do not miss the ship. The Ship time is the same time as the local port time – so when you are in Cozumel the ship will be on Cozumel time.
#9 Back in Miami, I recommend taking cabs back to the airport, it is close to the price of the cruise line transportation, but much faster…
#10 Relax and have FUN!! I know that this event is a mix of business, networking, and vacation… and this is a just a reminder to don’t for get about the vacation! You guys work hard all year, let your hair down and have FUN. I’m not really concerned about this as is almost impossible not to have fun on the Carnival Destiny.
I know that I’m missing many tips for first-time cruisers, or tips for passengers on the Carnival Destiny going to Key West and Cozumel. If you have some tips please add them in the comments: