America Travel

Caribbean Cruise

Hi, it’s me Marimonda. Today, I’d like to introduce my first and the last (so far…) cruise trip to the Caribbean islands. I’m sure this series will be perfect for virtual vacationers. In this post, I’d like to focus on the procedure or useful tips on board.

Sunrise from the cruise

Travelling by cruise had been one of my bucket list. Therefore, it was a great opportunity for me to experience a new way of trip. There are many cruise companies in the world, thus you can find a suitable option for you depending on your time, budget, and destination.

I traveled in 2017 by <Breakaway> from Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). It was about 2 weeks course departing from NYC and visited 7-8 islands in the Caribbean. Since it was first time for me, so I wasn’t sure what to know in advance. I really hope this post helps you out if you consider your first cruise experience in the future.

Arrivint at the NY port

Before the departure

First, but the most important thing is your passport. It can be vary, I saw some people travelled only with their ID (cuz they were American citizens), but I had to prepare passport and prove of injections. Those standards seemed different depending on your nationality or health conditions. Therefore, it is important to check the requirements in advance. I had to get a yellow fever shot to visit Caribbean Islands. I was told that some people might experience headache, muscle pain, or body trembling after the shot. So I took it about a month ago before the trip and brought the record with my passport.


To be honest, I thought cruise wouldn’t take that long to check-in. On the contrary to my expectation, I needed to check-in at least 3-4 hours prior to the departure. Fortunately, we don’t have to carry around the luggage all the time. Once you get to the harbor, staffs will come to you and give you a hand. They’ll take your luggage and you will get a ticket in return. At night, I could find my bags in front of my door. If you can’t receive your bag, you can talk to the staff with your ticket.

On board

Then, you walk into the building to check in. After examining your documents, the staff will give you a plastic card. This card is your key and also credit. You can use this to pay things in the ship. Then, I embarked on the ship.

Safety Drill


The first thing I did on board was a safety drill. Since the cruise was big and there were more than 3,500 people, it is necessary to know your proper evacuation route. It took about 1 hour including greetings from the staffs. At 5 p.m., finally the ship departed and many of passengers came out to the deck to say goodbye to the land for a while.

Facilities in Cruise

Since I will be on the ocean for two days before arriving San Juan, Puerto Rico, I needed to know the facilities in Cruise to take advantage of the time. In cruise (at least the one I took), there were many facilities and programs and it was like a resort on the sea.

On the top deck, there were places to enjoy outdoor activities such as mountain climbing, swimming pool including slides and sauna. Inside the ship, I could find an auditorium where we could enjoy broadway show. Also, there were casino, Duty Free shopping, restaurants, clubs, library, gym, spa, hair salon, and kids club.

Programs in Cruise

Every night around 8 p.m., I received a daily schedule boucher. Some programs I can just show up on time at the place, but there were some programs that I had to book to get a seat.

Daily Program Brochure – Different programs are planned every day.

As you can see above, usually, morning programs are more refreshing and calm. Every morning, you could see GX programs including yoga or stretching to help wake yourself up and be prepared for the day. In the afternoon, active and participating events are held such as dance classes or quiz shows, etc. At night, performances or parties are held all around the cruise.

Practical Tips

First time go board? Then, I recommend the followings.

  • Bring a highlighter

I found it very useful to highlight the events that I wanted to participate. Since the brochure contains so many information, the letters are pretty small. Highlighting information was extremely helpful to plan my day.

  • Make a reservation for the performances

As I mentioned above, some events limit the participants due to its capacity. Especially, shows are very popular. Like the saying ” The early bird catches a warm”, you can get a better seat if you book it early. In my case, the number of my company was pretty big (8), so it was a must to make a reservation if I wanted to sit closeby.

  • Prepare an ID Badge Holder

In cruise, you can do almost everything with a plastic card. It performs as a key and a cruise credit. You can use it as if it’s a credit card in the ship. Therefore having a ID Badge holder was very useful. I hadn’t thought of it, but one of my company told me to bring it.

I hope you enjoyed my article. Next post will be about the first destination <San Juan, Puerto Rico>. Take care and see you soon 🙂

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