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My husband and I are cruising for the first time on NCL Spirit, 15 day Ultimate Baltic on 02 August 2019.


Any tips, info on port excursions or just anything we need to know before we go would be so appreciated.


Looking forward to learning heaps.


Thanks in advance


Julie and Paul Benson


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Big thing, RELAX.


Enjoy your holiday. 


Do not try to do EVERYTHING.

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I would highly recommend using the time you have until August to read the CC forum.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/8-europe/ - on destinations

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/64-norwegian-cruise-line/ - about the ship. Do a search of the board with the word "Spirit"

https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=299 - read the reviews

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/403-msc-roll-calls/ - join your roll call


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People forget that cruises are supposed to be enjoyable and relaxing. Don't stress out. 


Second - seriously consider using an independent tour operator while you are in the Baltic. They are a bit less expensive than the cruise ship and they have much better tours of the ports. We used Anastasia's Travel . And going back to the relax and don't stress comment - they took care of EVERYTHING for us. We didn't have to worry about a thing. From the moment we stepped off the ship until the moment we got back on, everything was taken care of. We had no worries.


Third - check out the links that Itchy&Scratchy posted above. There is tons of information there. Do your research!

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Hi and welcome to CC 🙂


The Baltics is a great itinerary but it is port intensive and can be exhausting. I second the advice in post 2 to remember that you cannot possibly do everything, so don't even try.


My other advice would be to remember that nothing, not even a cruise, can be perfect, so try to relax and not sweat the small stuff.


I hope this will be only the first of many happy cruises.

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Research your ports...most things are easy to DIY....costs less, too!  The more you know, the better time you will have ashore!  And remember, this is a VACATION!  There is no "right or wrong" way to do it!

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We used SPB Tours for five of the stops on our Baltic cruise and highly recommend them. They offer options in each stop and we never had more than 15 in any group, usually less than 10. They offer discounts when you book tours in multiple cities. 

Here's the link. https://www.spb-tours.com/ 

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Posted (edited)

Here are some articles I put together for first-time cruisers!
A packing list (incl printable version): http://www.laurenofalltrades.blog/2017/10/cruise-packing-list.html
A shopping list: http://www.laurenofalltrades.blog/p/cruise-shopping.html

And basic tips: http://www.laurenofalltrades.blog/2018/07/cruising-101.html

Have a great time!!!


Edited by lauren009

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