How much research do you do before you sail ?

Now, I don't mean which ship or itinerary.  I mean, things like, oh........What does my cabin look like ?   Not my category, my exact cabin ?  Cabin 10416 on the Breakaway ? Any photos?    Why ??????  Do you plan on bringing your own curtains ?  Or how about my biggest pet peeve.....How much soda can I bring? My husband just has to have his Mountain Dew...or we only drink Pepsi but the ship serves Coke !  If I can't have Pepsi my cruise will be ruined !!!!!!!    

See, the problem is, there is waaaaaay too much info on this interweb thingy.  Also, so called adults, become children when they can't have something.  Really !?  You can't do without a brand of soda for one lousy week ???????

These forums are great, but they provide a way for people to plan to the smallest insignificant detail.  Years ago, you booked a cruise through a TA. Oh you could ask a few questions, but after a couple or three, you would be told, " you'll get a packet in the mail that will answer all your questions ". Then, about oh, 3 maybe 2 weeks before sailing, just as you're about to pick up the phone wondering if your funds disappeared, you received an envelope.  And inside, were your plane tickets, cruise docs, transfers, luggage tags, and a couple of lovely pamphlets.  In there, somewhere, was a FAQ page.  There were perhaps, 10-15 questions, and answers, all relevant, regarding your cruise. Anything else, you found out on board.  I don't remember ever needing to know things like....who the CD was.  Or, what is the square footage of my cabin ?  Or, how many other ships will be in port the same day as us ?   We didn't care.   Never even entered our minds.  All we knew was, we were getting ready for an amazing vacation.  All I need to know, is, is my passport valid, do we have enough cash, is the pet sitter clear on the dates.....that's it !!!!!

the Internet is an enabler for OCD people. Nothing left to chance. Every detail must be planned ahead of time.No room for surprises. No, winging it !   

People,'s a cruise. Best vacation in the world. I don't care if it rains every day. I'm still not at work. We have entertainment. We have great food.  And pools.  I would go in the pool in the rain. I don't care ! Wet is wet is wet.  

So please......don't worry about things that are out of your control.  Just enjoy the time in the islands, or Alaska, or Europe, or the entire world.

And one day, soon, I hope and pray, cruiselines will stop permitting soda to be brought onboard.  Grow up folks. It's only a week. Do without the Dew.  I have yet to crave my Dr Browns Celery Tonic so bad, that I felt the need to lug cases of it on vacation.


rant over

we now return you to your scheduled forum perusal

21 Answers

I could do without the knowledge provided by the internet, but it's more fun to daydream about it in realistic terms for a year or so beforeBig Smile

I do, however, find rum to be a fair substitute for any soda, including Dr Browns Celery TonicBig Smile

Well Bak, that pretty much sums it up.

I review what I need to review now that I've been on a couple of cruises. Not too OCD ---yetNervous..... I agree with the thought... You are on Vacation...The only thing I'm concerned about is ...running out of beer.....any beer......Crying.

LOL...tell us how ya' REALLY feel BAK!!! :D Now for me, OCD goes into full effect after booking the cruise. So does doing the research. I research what is where on the ship VIA the ships deckplans so I know the shortest route there. With as big as ships have become, even with basic layout info, I still come across amenities onboard that cause me to yell out "HEY HONEY...did you know the ship has *this*"! I don't fret over the beverage things either. Wifey buys the soda package and I just pay as I go. It was refreshing to find that Princess has an option through "Princess Cellars" where you can buy a bottle of your favorite alcohol pre-cruise, have it delivered to your cabin on embarkation and use it for the cruise duration. Prices not that far from land prices. And how did I find this out? Research.......(yes, that OCD thing).

There is a difference between fretting over whether or not one gets a lobster once or twice a week and having fun researching out different aspects of the vessel and forthcoming cruise, that is part of the enjoyment of it all, for me anyway.

Every once in a while someone will mention a cruise they are going on and I'll ask, "Oh, that's great which ship?" The answer, "I don't know but my wife does, I think." Man, I know what type of propulsion, how many bow and or stern thrusters, the date of manufacture and when the ship entered service and on and on. I love getting into the nitty-gritty of learning about all that stuff.

As far as the rest, not so much, other than booking shore excursions sometimes, I'm not certain of all the ports we will even be visiting.

A long time ago I almost got an education the hard way that it pays to pay attention. We were on a back to back beginning in Santiago, Chili and ending/beginning in Buenos Aires then ending in Ft. Lauderdale. I was on a roll call for the voyage, we were using a TA and everything was pretty much set. Then a couple of long time HAL cruisers posted that they had gotten their notice from HAL that a yellow fever vaccination was necessary due a port stop in Devils Island and if you didn't have one they couldn't let you get on the ship in Buenos Aires regardless of whether or not you stayed on the ship at Devils Island.

I called the TA, the TA checked with HAL in Seattle. HAL said no such requirement. I argued with the TA, how can that be? We will all be on the same ship when it leaves Buenos Aires but only half need yellow fever shots? These long time HAL cruisers getting on in Buenos Aires, can't be imagining all that, they even have it in writing from HAL! TA checked again with Seattle, nope, I was wrong HAL and the TA said.

On our way down to Santiago we were going to spend a few days with sister-in-law in Arizona. So, 24 hours before we boarded our flight for Phoenix the TA called and said we need a yellow fever shot, HAL apologized profusely she said and also said we would get a $100 credit in our cabin (which never happened). Just try to get a yellow fever vaccination in Anchorage on short notice, hardly anybody is licensed to give them, sister-in-law in Arizona was working on it for us at that end. At the last minute we got them here, $150.00 per person. Upon boarding the ship at Valparaiso many guests found out they needed yellow fever vaccinations. One couple, with 50 HAL cruises, called their legal, HAL relented and figured out a way to vaccinate way over a hundred for free. One lot of emotion and anger on board that day, let me tell you. We were fat and sassy, sure glad I paid attention to the good posters getting on in Buenos Aires.

Nope, since then I try to discipline myself into making as few assumptions as possible. Fortunately, the cruise lines shortly after that allowed us to jettisoned the TA, so not much hassle anymore after that, anyway.

I will look up the ship and check reviews of it. I will look up ports and see what excursions are offered by the line and what Ship Mate has to offer. I will look up Hotel for pre or post cruise and transportation. My cabin is looked up for location before booking..... The rest is up to the cruise g-ds Oh I may also check storm season.

I'm much like Kennicott in that I love to learn about the ship. My wife get's sooo mad because I eat my butt off on the ship yet lose weight by the time we reach home. Why? Because from the time I board, I am walking bow to stern, port to starboard and lower to top deck of the ship just to see where everything is and to take it all in. Just to envision the design and manpower it took to design a city at sea is amazing and all ships vary to design. Be right an itch...gotta call my agent......

Lets not forget to research if the TP is 1, 2 or 3 ply Wink

Well, I think you already know that I do some research. LOL!!!
We like to hit whatever Hard Rock Cafe and Harley Davidson stores we can find. I research that. I research what is above and below my cabin. I don't want to be under lido or above a lounge. I understand I am on vacation and don't have to worry about getting up, BUT, I have this internal alarm clock that won't let me sleep past 7AM no matter how late I got to sleep.
Beings we only have a certain amount of time in port, I like to plan things accordingly. In St. Thomas last year I did para sailing 1st thing in the AM, then went to Magic Ice ice bar then to Paradise Point and ended the day walking around town. I planned this day so that we would end our day as close to the ship as possible.
Whenever we get to San Juan we have certain places we must go to so we plan out our route accordingly.
We have never taken soda or water on board. I really don't drink that much soda. As for water, I can drink from the faucet. That's just extra weight to lug around.
As for this cruise coming up for us, it's going to be like our 1st cruise ever. It's 2 weeks and 8 islands. We have never been to 8 of these islands. The other 3 we have been to numerous times. We know nothing of them so I want to do as much research as I can. I don't want to miss out on something cool because I never researched the island. I still haven't gotten all the answers and some of these places I probably won't ever get back to.

Planning excursions and particular stores is fine. I had to find the Panama hat guy in San Juan that I bought from years ago. Well, I need a new one......what I'm talking about are the people that have to know every last little detail. Like, who the piano player is in the atrium. What the cabin looks like. Their cabin ! Why ? You're only there for a week. And for the most part all you're doing is showering, dressing and sleeping there. As long as it's clean, I wouldn't care if the walls were covered with pink and blue elephants dancing with black and white giraffes. Who is the CD on my ship right now ? Why ? Are you going to change all of your plans if your favourite CD is transferred elsewhere ? I couldn't tell you who the CD was on any of my cruises. Not even if I'm on one at the time. I don't care. It doesn't affect my cruise.

When Monique and I were on the Island Princess through the Panama Canal, our room was close to the stern on deck 8. right by the door leading out on the small balcony. We had an inside cabin. It was right over the two level bar and disco/showroom downstairs on deck 6 and 7. Whenever we went to bed early, we could hear the thump-thump of the music and strangely enough we found it quite comforting. So much so that we have both agreed that when we do the Panama Canal on the Island Princess again, we go for the same room if we can.

I do a bit a research prior to cruising, it really helps when anyone who knows us asks about cruising, I have a wealth of information in my home office.


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