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First Time Cruisers

Rita's reply to: "What should I wear?"

My reply is always - "elastic waistband slacks." It's a little known, non-scientific fact that salt air shrinks your clothing! My clothes never fit the same by the last day of the cruise !

Seriously, the most asked question is always, "What do I wear?" So, let me try to help.

Let's assume that you are taking a typical 7 night Caribbean Cruise. Remember that the weather is usually very warm and tropical, that's why the ships are cruising these waters, so let's pack for a Florida style resort. You probably already own all the clothes you will need.

DAYTIME WEAR...ONBOARD SHIP: Casual is the word. Pack shorts, capris, t-shirts etc. Cottons and perma-press are best. We take white shorts or slacks to allow our bightoly colored tops to match for an easy week's mix & match wardrobe! Save the suitcase space for evening clothes. We always buy at least one t-shirt in port or onboard, so let this serve as one of your tops. If you plan on swimming or sunning by the pool, do take a swimsuit and you will need a cover up for public areas. Pack comfortable, rubber soled shoes for walking on the decks (which can get slippery) and also for walking in port. Keep in mind that we pesonally love to be casual by day but love to "dress" at night.

NIGHTIME WEAR: Always check your daily program for the day's suggested evening attire, but basically, cruise nights will fall into two categories:

  • SMART CASUAL: (4 or 5 nights): "Smart Casual" ranges from slack outfits to dressier clothing. No jeans, cut-offs or t-shirts in the diningroom, please.
  • FORMAL (2 nights): The Captain will usually host a "Welcome Aboard" party on the 2nd night of the cruise and a "Farewell Party" on the 6th night. Wear what you would feel comfortable wearing to a nice restaurant! Ladies: Anything from a black pants suit (with some pretty "bling") to a Sunday dress to a semi-formal dress to a long formal. You will see it all! Gentlemen: a coat and tie is required. If you own a dinner jacket or tuxedo, wear it by all means, but you do NOT need to buy or rent one unless you want to.
  • THEME Nights: Many ships offer "COUNTRY-WESTERN NIGHTS," or "50-60's NIGHTS," so pack a pair of jeans!
  • HAWAII, EUROPE, or ALASKA CRUISES: require totally different dress - just ask us.

You might want to pack:

Evening wrap - the night air can be chilly during a deck stroll, but the public showrooms and diningrooms are always a bit chilly !

Sunglasses, sunscreen and suntan lotion - watch those rays.

Limited jewelry - leave it at home.

DO NOT pack:

  • Medications
  • Proof of citizenship - passport
  • . any valuables

If you have any questions, please call us ....our advice is priceless...but FREE!

  1. Choose to cruise for VALUE. One price buys your cabin, dining, entertainment and more.
  2. Choose to cruise for ROMANCE. Secluded beaches, en suite dining on a balcony overlooking the ocean and spa services for two are just some of the romantic pursuits available.
  3. Choose to cruise for CUISINE. Tantalize your taste buds with gourmet fare that showcases exotic ingredients, old standbys like pizza and ice cream or spa cuisine for a healthy alternative. Depending on your mood, dine in a traditional ballroom setting, a small bistro or a casual eatery.
  4. Choose to cruise for VARIETY. With over 150 distinctive ships, 1800 ports-of-call and an unbelievable array of places to see and things to do, there is a perfect cruise for you. For even more choice, consider a pre- or post-land tour.
  5. Choose to cruise for ACTIVITIES. Fill your days with sightseeing, sports activities, cultural lectures, educational tours led by naturalists and historians or simply lounge by the pool and relax. At night, enjoy dance extravaganzas, musical revues, gaming or a quiet evening gazing at the stars.
  6. Choose to cruise for SIMPLICITY. Don't come back from your vacation needing a vacation. Planning a cruise is simple; your CLIA-affiliated travel agency can handle all of the details. Once you're on board, nearly all expenses are pre-paid... talk about hassle-free.
  7. Choose to cruise for NEW HORIZONS. Fall asleep in one destination and awake to a new horizon... and you only have to pack and unpack once!
  8. Choose to cruise for FAMILY. Families love cruising. Children's programs, kid-friendly menus and tours of the ship will keep your children happy, while affording you some time alone.
  9. Choose to cruise for PAMPERING. Regardless of your budget, all cruise lines pamper their guests with first-class service around the clock.
  10. Choose to cruise for SATISFACTION. It's a fact that cruises have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience.

Choose to cruise for YOU. You can have the vacation of a lifetime, see the world, completely unwind, take a walk on the wild side, dance the night away, feast on fabulous cuisine, learn something new, make friends, bond with your family, steal quiet moments with your spouse. Whatever your heart desires, is yours, when you choose to cruise.

(Courtesy of Cruise Lines International Association)


QUESTIONS we are often asked:

Where can I cruise to? There are over 1800 ports of call worldwide. You can cruise to fantastic places that you have only dreamed about...and just pack or unpack once while your "floating resort" takes you to these fabulous destinations! Plus, many cruise lines now offer "home ports" so you can cruise from other cities besides Florida or California. For example, cruising right from Galveston has become very popular for Texans.

How long are cruises? They range from 3 days to over 3months!

Are all cruise ships the same? Not at all. Each cruise line has its own character, style and ambience. Some ships are less formal than others. Some are smaller. Some are geared to a younger vs an older crowd. Let the cruise specialists at Pauls Cruises help you plan that dream vacation according to your personal tastes.

Are there different "classes" onboard ship? Today's cruise ships are "one-class." Everyone can use all of the ship's facilities. The price of a cabin is based primarily on its size and location, not class of service. Regardless of the category you book, you'll enjoy the same courteous service, menus, activities, and entertainment as everyone else on board.

What can I do in the ports of call? So much you'll have a hard time choosing! You can explore on your own or take a guided tour (referred to as shore excursions). Search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains. Ride a raft over river rapids, or a horse across miles of hills and beaches. Climb a waterfall or pyramid. Follow the footsteps of history or the wake of a waterskiing boat. If there's still time, play golf or tennis. Learn how to windsurf. Sun and swim at some of the world's best beaches. Catch a record marlin. Sail, snorkel, or scuba dive. Take a cable car to the top of a mountain. Explore dark catacombs.

What can I do in port? In short, cruising is the perfect way to sample a number of new destinations and try all the things you've ever dreamed of doing, while never having to pack and unpack!

Can children cruise? More and more cruise vacations are booked by families with children. Most cruise lines provide plenty of supervised activities for kids, especially during school holidays. If your children enjoy swimming, sports, games, movies, and the adventure of new places, they'll love a family cruise. You'll find that children adapt to shipboard life with ease, and you won't have to wonder what they're up to every minute. The youth counselors will help keep them busy and entertained. Ships even offer different types of age-appropriate activities, suitable for toddlers to teens. Best of all, children often travel at a reduced rate.

What about meals? There are choices and more choices. During the day, there are many different places to eat - in the formal dining room, on deck, in a pizzeria, at an espresso bar, to name a few. At night, most ships offer several venues. Some ships' dining rooms can accommodate all guests at one time, called a "seating." Many ships offer you a choice of several eating times, and others encourage you to come to dinner whenever you like. More traditional ships have two seating's in their formal dining rooms, which differ only by time: typically 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. To choose, just decide whether you prefer to dine early or late--then have us request your preference when you book your cruise. Frequently, you can choose to dine at night someplace other than the formal dining room, such as in an intimate restaurant that features, for example, Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Southwestern cuisine. More and more cruise lines are opening up their informal lido areas to evening dining, where the dress and dishes always are casual, and sometimes, you can even eat out under the stars. And a large number of ships offer romantic in-cabin dinners. The choice is yours!

Can I get a special diet? Most ships can accommodate salt-free, low-carbohydrate, low cholesterol, Kosher, or other diet preferences. However, this request must be made in advance, so be sure to advise us when you book your cruise.

What about tipping? No daily tipping. Tipping is a matter of individual preference. A general rule of thumb is to plan for about $3.00 per person per day for your cabin steward and dining room waiter, and about half that amount for your busboy. (A few cruise lines include tipping in the price ..charged to your account the last day...and will so inform you.) Other shipboard personnel can be tipped for special services at your discretion.

Are there medical services aboard? Virtually every cruise ship (except for some smaller vessels operating in coastal waters) has a medical facility and health care professionals on staff to handle almost any emergency. If you have a medical condition that might put you at risk, discuss it with your doctor and inform the cruise lines at the time of booking. And, whenever you travel, check to see what your health insurance covers.

Any other questions? Just give us a call or stop anad visit with us!



Paul's Cruises & Travel - Hurst/MidCities - 817-589-SHIP (7447) - Arlington/Mansfield - 817-572-PAUL(7285) - Outside DFW - 800-327-3533

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