Tag Archives: First Cruise

Dressing for a Cruise

When planning a major vacation like cruising,  clothing tends to be at the top of the list.  What will you wear to the beach, to dinner, formal night, lounging on the deck, in port, to the club Oh my gosh how will my suitcase fit everything?!  First calm down, breath and let me tell you there is no dress code or any one style to follow.  Again, I watched a lot of videos about what people wore.  You have to find your own style and comfort levels.  I am going to share a few things I wore, what I wish I had or what I packed and decided not to wear at all.

You will see from my photos I wore play suits (rompers), dresses and shorts.These were my favorite outfits to wear. I had packed one pair of jean capris, khaki shorts, and a play suit that wasn’t as comfy as the other two I bought that I never wore. I also packed a pair of chunky black wedges that never saw the light of day and three gym outfits… I went to the gym once. I had good intentions.  Here is a look at what I wore.

 

 

The dress above, the shorts and playsuit came from Ross. The little white boat shoes with the bow were $8 at Walmart and the tan sandals are from Payless.  For formal night DH bought my dress for me for my birthday back in December from Macy’s.  The dining room is a tad cool so the long sleeves did not bother me.

I liked my nautical style clothing.  I felt very in place. It’s just the vibe 😉

Day three I wore the same playsuit as day one because it was very easy to use over my bikini.  Quick off and on.  It was great 🙂 This next playsuit I wore in Progreso , I also got at Ross for $16, the visor I bought last year at Walmart for around $4, they have them again this year (2018), a nice pair of $6 sunglasses and the crossbody bag I saw so many people use and recommend on packing lists and OOTD’s. I did not want to wear one, I didn’t think it was me, but that little crossbody bag was great! I held our passports, my phone, money and lipstick ;). Very handy item, I suggest it 100%

Under this sarong is a cute little inexpensive blue bikini I got at Walmart with a ruched bottom. I had read the ruching is flattering on the booty, they were right ;).  DH bought me the sarong when he was in Kuwait.  He brought back a few styles and colors. I really liked wearing this. There are so many ways to tie these.  Watch tutorials, you will see :D.

The only thing I wore not shown is a soft dress I also got at Ross for $12.  That is an excellent place to stock up on new vacation outifts.  You do not have to spend a fortune to look nice and comfy :).  I basically recycled these looks.  You will not be in the same outfit for that long.  What you put on the morning is not what you will wear to dinner, or to lay out in the sun in.  It is very Downton, you get to have an outfit change for what ever you are doing and dinner.  How lovely.

Mexicooooo

Did anybody get the title reference?  I’ll wait… doo doo doo… Well it’s from an episode of Family Guy, a television show called Two Lame Chicks on Vacation in Mexico.

“…Hey, is this beach topless? *  No, but my margarita’s bottomless. Mexicoooo!”

Mexico was amazing!  We had two stops, Cozumel and Progreso. We were treated so well, the food was amazing and each place was like a dream.  It felt like somebody should have pinched me to wake me up  at moments.  They were both quite different though.

In Cozumel we did not book an excursion. DH and I got off the ship and walked along the shops on the street.  He tried to purchase a hat from the shops closest to port but I did my research and advised him to wait.  He saved $17 by waiting ;).  We also ate at a local little place called “Tequila Flavors” that had some delicious tacos, fresh guac and chips.  I had my first Corona, yes at 40 years old I have never had a Corona, I do not have a reason for this :P.  DH and I also had jello shots made on an orange peel.  Those suckers were strong!

Before that we were approached by a man holding a parrot, he asked us if we wanted to pet it. DH usually takes the lead and says no, kind of waving people away but I totally wanted to pet this bird.  I got to pet the bird, it hung by my pinky with it’s beak and it perched on my arm!  DH was so surprised by me just jumping in there like “Heck yeah I want to pet that bird!”  lol.  I am not adventurous, not adult me anyway. Adult me is kind of lame, I am also an introvert.  The type that can be around people, laugh etc. but are completely exhausted for two days afterward.

We walked along a bit, almost got snared into a “come listen to a time share” trap but we escaped, got a cab and went off to Paradise Beach. The roundtrip cab fare was $30, we opted for the $21 a piece to get into the resort so we could have access to all of the snorkeling, kayak, paddle board, inflatables etc. that they offer.  We got two loungers in the sun with an umbrella and a table, sat our things down and DH went off to get us drinks.  He brought me back the $14.75 yard cup of strawberry margarita and then he went off on the paddleboard.  We finished our time there kayaking and laying by the pool.  It was a very relaxing resort, it looks just like the pictures, no surprises there, just what we wanted!

On the way back we stopped to score a designer purse and wallet that we got them to come down from $75 to $55.  Haggling is a big thing there. As a typical American I am not used to more aggressive sales and people trying to get me into their stores, so be prepared for that and folks coming up to you trying to get you to rent scooters, buy cigars and other interesting “party supplies” ha ha!

Cozumel was fun, interesting and I really can’t wait to go back!

Hindsight

As a first time cruiser I packed most of what every Vlogger & Blogger suggested.  As pictured in a previous post are some things I brought that we used, some we did and a list of some things I wish we brought and didn’t purchase

  •  Towel clips, didn’t use them,
  • Hand Sanitizer, they’re all over the ship. However Mexico would have been a good place to use them. Especially after messing with the parrot, ha ha
  • Glow Sticks, well we could have used them in the America Rocks show but I took them to the sail away party, that we did not attend because we drank some wine in our room as we set sail. I will still pack them, you never know.
  • We used the air freshener but honestly, I felt no need for it.
  • The laundry bag was nice, not really necessary, but nice to have.  We should have had our own.
  • Wifi is useless!  Luckily we have an international plan on our phones so we were able to use them while in port but we did put them on airplane mode while the ship was moving.  No issues there. Funny that the ship app worked just fine but nothing else.
  • Our Rtic (Yeti if you have those)! I had iced tea all day that stayed cold. My margaritas did not melt on the Serenity Deck, best decision ever to bring those.
  • Suction hooks were nice to have to hang a wash cloth or let bathing suits dry when the clothes line in the shower was filled.
  • Powerstrip is must! We had one outlet in the room.  One!  Do bring one (with no surge protection), for phones, curling irons etc., photo equipment and anything else you may have.
  • Crossbody Purse. OMG I am not a crossbody purse kind of gal, but I am now. It was super handy, I loved it, and I feel like I could benefit from maybe a slightly larger one, but I am not sure why LOL!

Another thing we purchased was the so called “Bottomless Bubbles”.   This package, from what DH and I gather are for people who drink a lot of sodas, not the occasional gingerale for when tummies give you trouble.  I thought it included bottled water for some reason, it does not.  Juices are available at the buffet so that’s not even a perk.  Getting a “Bubble” is a pain in the rear to get at the bar & don’t even ask for the can, they are not allowed to give it to you when ordering with the package. Yes you read that, they are Not Allowed! Another thing, it’s useless with room service, and only one soda per card at a time.  I wish they would update their system and see there are two people on the account so two sodas make sense. DH and I wish they had a coffee package.  We would use that all day long!

We did use the candy we brought. I wish I had brought more selections for me, DH took all the good stuff right away.  They were nice to have  when we were watching a movie.  I almost brought some crackers and I wish we had, or some chips,  for my stomach the first night/day.  I didn’t see any on ship.  I would have loved  a convenience  store.

Next time we will get the case of water.  It is only $4.50 and we would have loved it when at the gym, taking on excursions or just walking around the ship.  It is a very reasonable price and well worth having them bring it to your room 🙂

Having our own champagne was a very nice touch. Wine glasses were in our stateroom already, the balcony was lovely, it was romantic and our very own moment that we cherish and have started our own cruise ship tradition.   What are some of your cruise traditions?

 

Land Sickness

Say what now?  Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, known as MdDS, translates as “disembarkation sickness” and is the clinical term for “land sickness”. It is the motion sickness people typically feel once they have returned to land after several days on a cruise vacation. MdDS has also been reported after air, train and space travel.

I didn’t notice it until this morning when the ship was still moving in my own room, in my house, that is indeed, built on land.  It’s a strange feeling to have motion sickness when you aren’t moving.  Good to know.

I am not sure what to talk about first.  I want to relive the feeling driving up and seeing the Valor, and feeling like a kid going to Disneyland. I was so excited I was hopping in my seat and my dear husband just kept smiling at me.  I was pumped and ready to go!! I left my worries, problems and expectations behind woo hoo! This girl was ready, or at least until we got through check points with our passport, boarding passes and first drink of the cruise that the lovely wait staff was walking around with.  DH went to get us some burgers from Guy Fieri’s burger joint, which are quite good btw, speaking from a gal who is not a big burger fan.Carnival Valor  Guy Fierri Burger  Also, what was in those drinks?  I had it halfway finished by the time I got my burger and I was already feeling three sheets to the wind.  I drank mine and DH’s, ha ha.  Good Stuff.

After eating we got an early all clear to enter our stateroom.  We were on the 6th floor “UpperDeck” balcony cabin 6280.  The room was just as pictured and all the YouTube videos showed. The only surprise was that we could store our larger suitcases under the bed!  Nice, because the closets held our carry-on bags.  I had to say for the first time on a vacation I fully unpacked and settled in.  I usually just live out of my suitcases.  There is a lot of storage in the room, the closet and the bathroom.  We didn’t feel cramped at all.

Having the balcony was very nice too.  We popped open a bottle of sparkling pink moscato when the ship started moving, sat back on our chairs and had a nice quiet, private moment before going and exploring more of the ship.  We checked out the Ivanhoe Theater, walked around the promenade, found a hammock on Serenity deck until it was time to change for our first night in the the dining room.  I need to make an entire post just about the dining room.  Do Not Skip It!  Best dining we had on the ship!

That sums up the first day.  I am sure small memories will come back to me in different posts.  I do not want to write a book here but I am want y’all to get a First Time Cruiser’s point of view.  It was an amazing, dream like experience and once this MdDS calms down, I will be back to the daily grind, daydreaming about Warm Chocolate Melting Cake… yum!

We’re Back

We just got home today and I am on a cruise high, even though I feel disembarking a ship is stressful and they really throw you back into reality with no safety net.  Cruisers, you will understand what I’m saying, think back to your first cruise.  Yeah, remember.

Before I get into outfits, food, ports, shopping and all of the grand experiences I am going to talk about today, when I got off the ship and how all of that went. My husband and I went to Carnival’s Debarkation event with the cruise director, Brandon.  He talked about how the process goes, had a power point and it was very informative.  I wish they had actual video so we could really see how it all goes by.  A first time cruiser must be prepared.

We woke up early, as we were informed at the show and the debarkation paperwork that was slipped under our door that we were to be out of our rooms by 8a.m. Lordy, ok.  I packed the night before, DH decided he’d pack in the morning.  No stress there *snort*.  So we got up and were told because of the weather in Galveston we were delayed an hour so we could hang in our rooms longer.  We left our rooms at 9a.m. and sat in the Ivanhoe Theater until our floor was called to get in the long, fast moving line off the ship.

Around the time we get to the ships door my purse broke. My purse that was holding my Sail and Sign card, our passports, cash and phone.  Really?! At least it didn’t happen in Cozumel.  So as I was slightly holding things up trying to tackle that while trying to get my card so that man at the door could scan me off the ship 🙁 so sad btw.  Then it was a mad rush down the ramps to immigration, wrestle my purse again, show my passport (getting that is another story, they are important for making your experience as smooth as possible) and then ha ha the secret Texas State Tax on all liquor and cigarettes that were supposedly tax and duty free. Nope, Texas has its hand out and want a piece of it. So we paid the tax on our two bottles of flavored tequila we bought in port at Progresso.

Next we go outside the chaos of fellow passengers leaving and many just getting on.  I looked at them with envy, *sigh* say hello to my shady spot at Paradise Beach. My husband left me with all of our luggage to retrieve the truck. Make sure you are left where your family can pick you up, I was in the wrong spot and had no way to move all our over packing by myself.  DH parked the truck, ran over to me and we ran with our luggage, as not to get into trouble by security, threw our suitcases in and quickly found a What-a-Burger followed by a Buc-ees.  Back in Texas and the weather has cleared.  Bluebonnets are every where, the grass is greener and lusher than when we left.

DH and I were looking at our cruise for next year while waiting in the theater. Six days to Costa Maya, Belize & Cozumel.  Bring it on! And girl in my shady spot, That’s My Seat!

  • For more information on Carnival Cruise Lines Debarkation Click Here to go directly to their site.  I highly suggest reading it before you set sail.

Husband Has Shopped!

I repeat: Husband Has Shopped!

This makes the cruise much more official.   He didn’t realize he needed excursion clothes, dinner clothes, walking around the ship clothes and new shoes.  I don’t think it was all that real for him either until he got a few new clothing items.  Just a couple of short days and we are sailing away!

There is one more major thing we haven’t decided on, our excursions!  No wonder he didn’t know about the wardrobe change, we don’t even know what we are doing.  I don’t know which one to take.  I  do not want to swim with Dolphins or take a dune buggy to salt mines.  The cenotes in the Yucatán sound promising, I want to see some Mayan Ruins and chill at the beach.  DH better make up his mind, and quickly!!

I suppose I have no room to talk about decisions. Today I took out one pair of shorts, a top and a pair of shoes from my suitcase and replaced them with a pair of jean capris.  I still have not done my nails, packed my jewelry, work out clothes or colored my hair.  Tomorrow looks like I will be busy!!

Well y’all, I hope a cruise is in your future and this blog helps you learn something from a first time cruiser 😀

In Port

My ship is currently In Port!!!  Ahhhhhh, how exciting!!

I have repacked my suitcase three times now.  Decided to take out two shirts, add a pair of shorts and bought two new shirts.  I am out of control y’all.  I bought a new make-up/toiletry bag set, two water proof phone cases for C.J. and I, a cute sun glass case, some white boat shoes… I really want to wear my new clothes now but I need to wait for the cruise.  I will do an OOTD.  I enjoy watching them on YouTube and they are inspiring for color, style, jewelry and reasons behind some of them from experienced cruisers.

As far as the ins and outs of cruising goes, CruisesTipsTV has been a wealth of information. I recommend that channel 100%.  Also find some different videos and get a tour of the ship you will be going on.  I have watched these several times in the months leading up to our cruise and I am very glad I did.  I feel like I am much more comfortable with the layout, the dining areas and over all what is available to me on the ship.  I know I will learn more with first hand experience and hope to come back with my point of view 🙂

My goodness, I just want to be on the shop already!!!