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KB Cruisin

Any advice? 50 year old couple, first time cruise....details below

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25 minutes ago, MyTMo777 said:

We went on our first cruise 5 years ago when we were 50 also 🙂 Our well-cruised friends gave us great advice: your first cruise will be so amazing, it won't matter which ship you're on or what ports you go to. They were so right! We've only ever cruised NCL, which our travel agent (TA) recommended after chatting with us about our lifestyle and preferences. We've done 3 more cruises with them since then. From what I've read, RCL is very similar. 

 

We did a 10-day Eastern Caribbean as our first cruise, and it's still one of my favorites. I prefer the Eastern over the Western Caribbean because I find there are several less "touristy" ports on the eastern side. Not to say that I don't love the western side too! 

 

NCL sails to the Caribbean out of several ports in Florida, so not sure if that works with your travel limitations. We sailed from Tampa on the Dawn and from Miami on the Sun, both smaller ships, which meant very few children on board. We went on the Getaway out of Miami in May 2015, and it was wonderful - very few children as school was not out yet. The entertainment on the larger ships (we've done the Getaway and the Bliss) is definitely better than on the smaller ships if you like Broadway-type shows. We found that the Dawn and the Sun had a quieter feel to them, geared a bit more toward a more mature crowd. We enjoyed listening to live music in various places around the ship in the evening on the smaller ships. 

 

I'm excited for you that you get to experience your first cruise! No matter where you go or which ship you sail on, you will love it!

Thank you for the great advice! We did pick Easter Caribbean on RCL in May! We are so excited!  Thank you everyone for the advice! I was so overwhelmed at the beginning and all these answers helped direct me so much!!!

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On ‎3‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 4:51 PM, KB Cruisin said:

Thank you for the great advice! We did pick Easter Caribbean on RCL in May! We are so excited!  Thank you everyone for the advice! I was so overwhelmed at the beginning and all these answers helped direct me so much!!!

 

Glad you booked and bon voyage. Sounds like a great choice; please come back after and tell us all about how wonderful it was!

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I have gluten intolerance also.  My advice is to contact the access department of whatever line you decide to sail on at least 30 days in advance to alert them of your celiac disease.  It’s very important that you don’t eat any gluten.  You will be able to select your next days meals in advance.  

Norwegian was wonderful with my gluten, dairy and nut issues.  Some cruise lines restrict you to the main dining rooms if you have dietary issues.  Norwegian doesn’t. 

I wouldn’t advise trying to find safe foods on your own as cross contamination or hidden gluten could cause major health issues for you.  

Id be happy to answer any questions.  I’m a blogger and advocate for gluten free living. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you so much. I contacted the cruise line and they were very helpful. How do you handle ports? Will they let me take any food off the ship for ports? I see food cannot be brought on ship (or I would pack some gf bars for port). How do you handle this? Thank you!!

Edited by KB Cruisin

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2 hours ago, KB Cruisin said:

Thank you so much. I contacted the cruise line and they were very helpful. How do you handle ports? Will they let me take any food off the ship for ports? I see food cannot be brought on ship (or I would pack some gf bars for port). How do you handle this? Thank you!!

You can bring packaged bars onboard, and off of the ship. I love Enjoy Life bars.   I research the ports and contact restaurants in advance but be careful-some foreign ports don’t know what gluten is, or where it might be hidden.  Just to be safe I eat onboard the ship whenever possible.  If you’re taking an excursion that includes lunch contact the company.  Having celiac makes it really difficult, but not impossible.  But onboard the ship, you will be amazed that you won’t feel deprived at all.  For me, the most lacking option was dessert because I also can’t eat dairy. I ate a lot of fruit plates!

Be sure to pack tummy meds.  

We are over 50 travelers too!  We stick with NCL because they have been amazing and I’m not restricted to just the MDR. Carnival told me that I could only eat in the MDR.  But you can certainly check into other lines. 

 You can check out my blog (the link is in my profile) for more tips. 

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55 minutes ago, janice2348 said:

You can bring packaged bars onboard, and off of the ship. I love Enjoy Life bars.   I research the ports and contact restaurants in advance but be careful-some foreign ports don’t know what gluten is, or where it might be hidden.  Just to be safe I eat onboard the ship whenever possible.  If you’re taking an excursion that includes lunch contact the company.  Having celiac makes it really difficult, but not impossible.  But onboard the ship, you will be amazed that you won’t feel deprived at all.  For me, the most lacking option was dessert because I also can’t eat dairy. I ate a lot of fruit plates!

Be sure to pack tummy meds.  

We are over 50 travelers too!  We stick with NCL because they have been amazing and I’m not restricted to just the MDR. Carnival told me that I could only eat in the MDR.  But you can certainly check into other lines. 

 You can check out my blog (the link is in my profile) for more tips. 

Thank you for all that helpful information!  It is so hard to travel, even locally, when you have to be careful what you eat.  I am glad to know I can take some bars for when I am off the ship.  Thank you!

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57 minutes ago, KB Cruisin said:

Thank you for all that helpful information!  It is so hard to travel, even locally, when you have to be careful what you eat.  I am glad to know I can take some bars for when I am off the ship.  Thank you!

I’m happy to help. 

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Posted (edited)

I am excited for you. What ship did you pick?

 

I also suggest the RCI Liberty of the Seas from Galveston. You can probably do a cruise for $3,500 total, including balcony, tips (about $100 per person), and excursions, if you go during non-peek times. Peek times are summer and holidays. We've booked the Halloween cruise and got a great price for an inside cabin. You don't drink or use the casino so that will save you money. I suspect you will be hooked on cruising after your first one.

 

When you price cruises, be sure to ask for the total price including port charges and taxes -- these are usually over $150 per person.

 

Drive down the day before (at least). You can find places to stay for under $100 total. We usually stay at one of the La Quinta's near the Bush airport, and use our senior discount. For parking in Galveston, we like EZ Cruise. Or, you could stay at a hotel in Galveston -- many have free parking for the week (taxi is about $25 each way), and some even have free cruise shuttles.

 

RCI has great live music -- usually around 23 or more musicians. The Liberty OTS does "Saturday Night Fever" (about a 75 minute version) for one of its shows. It is pretty good, if you like musical comedy shows. One of the best shows is the ice show in Studio B (deck 3).

 

You won't have any problems finding gluten free, especially in the main dining room. They can make something special for you if needed. The first night your waiter or head waiter can take your special order for the next night. I think there is a form you can fill out for dietary restrictions before you cruise. You'll probably have to find a head waiter or officer in the buffet to make sure what is gluten free there, but that should not be a big problem. You won't find many gluten free items in Cafe Promenade or Sorrentos (both on deck 5), but I think there are at least some fruit cups in Cafe Promenade and salads in Sorrentos (and you can ask for some pepperoni for your salad -- they have it on hand for the pizza).

Edited by Jimnbigd

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2 hours ago, Jimnbigd said:

I am excited for you. What ship did you pick?

 

I also suggest the RCI Liberty of the Seas from Galveston. You can probably do a cruise for $3,500 total, including balcony, tips (about $100 per person), and excursions, if you go during non-peek times. Peek times are summer and holidays. We've booked the Halloween cruise and got a great price for an inside cabin. You don't drink or use the casino so that will save you money. I suspect you will be hooked on cruising after your first one.

 

When you price cruises, be sure to ask for the total price including port charges and taxes -- these are usually over $150 per person.

 

Drive down the day before (at least). You can find places to stay for under $100 total. We usually stay at one of the La Quinta's near the Bush airport, and use our senior discount. For parking in Galveston, we like EZ Cruise. Or, you could stay at a hotel in Galveston -- many have free parking for the week (taxi is about $25 each way), and some even have free cruise shuttles.

 

RCI has great live music -- usually around 23 or more musicians. The Liberty OTS does "Saturday Night Fever" (about a 75 minute version) for one of its shows. It is pretty good, if you like musical comedy shows. One of the best shows is the ice show in Studio B (deck 3).

 

You won't have any problems finding gluten free, especially in the main dining room. They can make something special for you if needed. The first night your waiter or head waiter can take your special order for the next night. I think there is a form you can fill out for dietary restrictions before you cruise. You'll probably have to find a head waiter or officer in the buffet to make sure what is gluten free there, but that should not be a big problem. You won't find many gluten free items in Cafe Promenade or Sorrentos (both on deck 5), but I think there are at least some fruit cups in Cafe Promenade and salads in Sorrentos (and you can ask for some pepperoni for your salad -- they have it on hand for the pizza).

Super information! Thank you for all the detail. For our first one, we are going on Harmony of the Seas but, if I get hooked, I will definitely go out of Galveston for future trips. Thanks!

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