Getting Ready For A Cruise.

Relaxing on A Private Island

Free Style Cruising

Free Style cruising is not for everyone. Me personally I like having the same wait staff every night. You get to know your wait staff, you make friends with them, and they get to know your preferences.

During our cruise on the NCL Escape we ate in a different dining facility each night, and most of it was very good food. We only had one waiter; other cruises we usually had at least 2 a waiter and assistant. On the NCL Escape a couple times I ran out of water, and had to flag someone down to fill my water glass, on other cruises my water glass does not get below 1/2 full.

On the NCL Escape we were able to make reservations for the 2 main shows prior to our sailing, but you could not make reservations for anything else before sailing. On embarkation day we found out that we could go to the ticket booth and make the reservations. We boarded the ship, went to our cabin, ate lunch, and then went to book the shows we wanted to see and found out they were sold out. If you are sailing on one of the Norwegian ships board the ship and go strait to the ticket booth or your TV reservation system and book the shows you want. Be prepared and know what you want to see. 

We were able to see one of the comedy shows by standing in line 25 minutes prior to show time (and there were many people in front of us). Ten minutes prior to show time they let in the stand by line people and the people that had reservations miss out. Make sure if you have reservations check in at least 15 minutes prior to show time.

Getting Ready For The NCL Escape

We are getting ready for our cruise on the Norwegian Escape. We have not sailed with NCL before, so we have explored the ship online and made reservations a head of time. Norwegian does not have an assigned dining room or time, so we have explored the restaurants that are available. The experienced cruisers are going to take the most desirable time and tables. I looked at the shows that I could reserve online, and reserved the shows at the times I wanted first and then made our dinner reservations that worked best with our show times.

Do Your On Line Check In

Is it really required to do the on line registration?  If you do not it can cause problems at check in at the port and will take longer to start enjoying your vacation. Your on line check in gives the port authority the information they need to clear passengers prior to the ship sailing. The more people that do not check in on line could cause delays for the ship setting sail. After you check in on line you can print your boarding pass and luggage tags.  

Place your cruise line luggage tags on your suitcases so your luggage will be delivered to your stateroom.

Once You Arrive At The Port

When you arrive at the port the curb side porters can take your bags, make sure your ship tags are on your luggage. If there are items needed within the first few hours you are on the ship (medications, bathing suites or ???) take those items in a carry-on bag and keep that carry on bag with you. The luggage that the ship employees take as check on bags will be delivered to your cabin a little later. In most cases you can take 1 standard size bottle of wine on board with you.
Once you board you may enjoy a lunch in the buffet.