A good friend of mine is taking his family on their first cruise this weekend. They are going on a 3-night Enchantment of the Seas Bahamas Cruise departing Port Canaveral, FL.
He shot me this email this morning:
So I guess I missed the time window to book things online in MyCruise Planner – is that going to be a problem with getting the drink package or setting up dinners? [he was a day late on completing MyCruise Planner]
What time should we get there? Do food and drinks start once you get on the boat – so can you get lunch on the boat with your package if you get on at 1:00?
Can you bring any food or alcohol on the boat?
Where is the best place to park on/off site?
Any other cruise tips?
First-Time Cruiser Tips from Port Canaveral:
Step one: Print your Set Sail Pass and Boarding Passes, now. Bring those with your family’s birth certificates with raised seals OR passports.
When you arrive or Port Canaveral:
You can typically board the cruise starting around 11:15 AM. You have to be at the port by 2:30 PM.
When you get to the ship, you will give the guys outside your larger bags. They take all the big luggage up to the cabin. KNOW YOUR CABIN NUMBER. The will write down your cabin number on luggage tags that they will put on your bags.
You will want to have all your valuables, medications, etc in a book bag or other type of carry on bag. Each guest over 21 can carry on a bottle of wine. The regular size bottle of wine, not a jumbo bottle. You can also bring on a six pack of bottle water or soda.
The Cabins will sometimes not be ready until 1:30 or later – it will take a couple of hours for your luggage to arrive. So, make sure your kids are either wearing their swimsuits or have them in your carry ons if it is warm enough.
Lunch will be served when you get on the ship. Windjammer cafe/buffet is where you will eat lunch.
Pretty soon after boarding, you’ll want to hit the bar and buy your drink package. Alcohol is served as soon as you get on board.
You will also want to go by the kids zones and check your kids in to find out what activities they have planned for the weekend. [One evening the kid zone may take all the kids to dinner, in case ya’ll would like an adult only dinner.]
Port Canaveral Parking Tips:
If you go down a day early, then you can stay at a hotel nearby the port and park for FREE.
one option: http://www.cocoabeachportcanaveralhotel.com/
The other option that will save you some money is Park n Cruise. http://www.parkcruise.com/
Enchantment of the Seas Dining Tips
On your room key, it will have your assigned dining room. ON the first night, go down to that dining room at 5:15 to schedule your dining time for that night. You should be able to schedule your dining time each night, right then. OR you can just wait until about 20 minutes before you want to eat dinner and go to the dining room and checkin. [You can do this while your wife is getting ready for dinner]
For the main dining room, guys are supposed to wear khakis and collared shirt. One night will be a semi formal night… but on a 3 night cruise I will typically wear a dress shirt and dress pants and possibly a jacket…
Random Cruising Tips:
ALL Passengers will have to do the muster drill [drill in case of emergency] prior to sail away. This will happen around 3:30 PM. You will go to your assigned section in case of an emergency. You will get instructions at the time… just didn’t want you to be caught off guard.
Beds Together. When you get to your cabin, your bed should be a queen bed. But if the beds are apart no worries, you can ask your cabin attendant [called cabin steward] to put your beds together into a queen bed.
Cell Phone Cruising Tips: After sailing away, and start to lose cell phone service make sure everyone puts their cell phone on Airplane Mode. You do not want to have your phones downloading data while roaming. It will be hitting the tower on the ship which is an international tower.