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AJK
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First of all, everyone here has done a fantastic job of getting so much info, out but being a newbie with 155 days to my 1st cruise, I am overwhelmed. I would bet my questions are already answered somewhere, but when I search I can't pick the right phrase that will give me what I am really searching instead of every time a word appears. So...I'm just going to ask now.

1. I see a lot of talk about the magnetic hooks. Right now I have just a glimpse of how to use them. Could some of you throw out here all the ways you use them?

2. The compass is overwhelming with the number of choices of activities and entertainment. Some have the from-to times listed, but for games like trivia (I am a trivia junkie) and name that tune and so on-how long do they typically last? 

3. I am the half that has always refused to go on a cruise, preferring to fly to an island or coast and stay there (and there are so many horror stories about illness, engine problems, ships running into docks ?). We intentionally picked a 4 day cruise with only 1 stop so we can concentrate on all of the things the ship has to offer. So I am purchasing The Key to try to alleviate extra stress, mostly of embarkation and debarkation, carry on bags delivered to your room, and lunch at Chops that will avoid the madness in Windjammer. Are there any other advantages to The Key that help avoid stress?

4. I am actually on anxiety medicine, but I still have problems with some crowds, especially drunks and rude people. Anyone have tips on some quiet spots or techniques for avoiding these? I was excited about the adults only solarium until I saw some videos of the crowds there. Even though I have lost 65 lbs, I am still very self conscious about pools and hot tubs (which my husband adores!).

5. We aren't really hyped up to go ashore in Cozumel. Is my reasoning right that this would be the best time for pools and exploring things than a sea day with everyone on board?

Advance thank you to all who offer information on this thread. 

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Honestly, I can be VERY overwhelming.  We are preparing for our 4th cruise and I am always overwhelmed.  This is a great place to start finding answers/ideas. 

I only JUST bought magnetic hooks for this upcoming cruise.  There are tons of ideas for using them.  For me, it's a place to hang extra things I don't want on the floor or on the desk...like lanyards with our sea passes, using them as just magnets for the daily cruise compass or other paper items we want to be able to see/access, swimsuits off the floor, towels off the floor.

I think most things like the trivias, etc. from what I've read here might take 45 minutes to an hour or so.  Someone else will chime in here who has more experience with those.

The compass can also be overwhelming, but so helpful.  Just find one that is a similar itinerary as yours and just familiarize yourself with wording/times/venues/etc, then don't worry about it too much more.  It was so helpful for me to see one before our cruise so I felt like I had more of an idea of those things so it WASN'T as overwhelming as it would have been if I had just showed up onboard and gotten this gigantic document.

What ship are you sailing on?  On each of our cruises, I've been able to find quiet spots to relax/get away from crowds.  I struggle with some crowd anxiety, non-medicated, but I can get to the point where I just need to GET OUTTA THERE.  It's helpful that we cruise in balcony rooms for times when I just need a quick getaway. 

We have been to Cozumel twice and I love it.  I might be in the minority.  I enjoy walking around town (after taking a taxi).  We have eaten at 2 different restaurants and shopped.  But we've not done a paid excursion.

You have enough time to do your research to get comfy with your ship/ports and have questions answered.  Make sure you keep up with this site.  DON'T join any FB groups.  They are full of drama and people not giving sound advice (IMO).

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The Cruise Compass for the next day is generally left on your bed while you are at dinner.  I will look thru it just before turning in for the night to see if there are things I want to do.  Take a highlighter and highlight the events you wish to attend.

I'm a type A personality but, as soon as I step aboard my stress level winds down and cruising is the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on.  You will be able to find several places away from the crowds.

I too am one that enjoys Cozumel, even if you don't find an excursion to take, get a taxi to take you downtown and stroll around.  Last time we grabbed a taxi to the Mega Store (Walmart type store) and walked from there to Poncho's Backyard for lunch. Started walking  back till we got hot/tired and grabbed a taxi back to the ship.  All total we were only off the ship around 4-5 hours.

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25 minutes ago, AJK said:

 

I have looked a this website, I am looking for ways to use them. But thanks for responding.

We use our hooks for the following:  holding sea pass cards/lanyards when we come in the door, holding compass, drying bathing suits, holding various paperwork that comes through your cabin during your cruise (I'm sure they kill a forest for each cruise - makes me crazy), hanging goggles so they don't get lost, and just general miscellaneous stuff that I don't want sitting on the counter.

We travel with our two boys, so there is always a mountain of things that I'm trying to get off the counters/desk, etc.  The hooks help me maintain my sanity as I allocate one for each person - it helps with the clutter.

We also use an over-the-door hanger for shoes (4 people, 7 days = a ridiculous number of shoes), and sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.  Also really helps a lot with de-cluttering.

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55 minutes ago, AJK said:

4. I am actually on anxiety medicine, but I still have problems with some crowds, especially drunks and rude people. Anyone have tips on some quiet spots or techniques for avoiding these? I was excited about the adults only solarium until I saw some videos of the crowds there. Even though I have lost 65 lbs, I am still very self conscious about pools and hot tubs (which my husband adores!).

We cruised with my father a couple of times who is also on anxiety medicine and he gets anxious around some types of crowds, too much commotion, etc.  What helped with him was us telling him that although embarkation day can seem kind of crazy, overwhelming and very crowded, later on in the evening and each day after it never seems as crowded as it is on the very first day. He never found a problem finding some little quiet spot to watch the ocean and relax.

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Hi, You sound like me. I worry about about planning everything. We've done enough Carribean cruises now.. Always with Royal, that most of the stress is gone. I can tell you what I've learned. I get to the port at 11:00 am. Best time. (After your first cruise, sign up for the crown and anchor.. It takes about 15 min to get on). One thing we constantly remark on is that, for instance, the ship holds 4000 people . Where are they? Somehow Royal does a good job at it never seeming over crowded. The first day at Windjammer, is busy but by coming early,, we generally get a good seat. As far as the adult solarium goes, it's nice but a little humid for our taste. We normally just stay on the top level near the pool to hear the music. / Cozumel is wonderful. We rented a driver and a car for 3 hrs and had him drive us to the back of the island where it's just road and ocean. Gorgeous. I got the best pics! Then ate at a auth Mex restaurant. We returned to the ship hours before anyone else, so had that time to enjoy the hot tubs. I've never gotten the key. . Oh if you do get off the ship, wait a hour or so after they start disembarking. We do and always walk right off without stopping. I do the highlighter on the compass but not the hooks. Haven't needed those. Two things I don't go without ..  a travel bottle of Downy wrinkle release and I have a organizer that hangs from the bathroom door for toiletries. I hope you have a good time!

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What ship are you on?   You said 4-day and Cozumel so I’m assuming you are sailing out of Tampa on Brilliance?  If so, it isn’t a gigantic ship, so the crowds won’t be as crazy as you may be imagining.   Also, try to dismiss the rare occurrence of of disaster from your head; the things you mention are EXTREMELY uncommon.  Like, win-the-lottery, struck-by-lightening uncommon.

I know it doesn’t do any good to tell someone suffering with anxiety to relax, so I won’t even go there, but let me assure you that there will be PLENTY of places for you to relax, almost by yourself if you’d like.  Except for sea days right around the pool, there are often quiet open spots on upper decks.   Find a bench or seat, take a book if you’d like,  time can go by without you realizing it because you are so relaxed.  Turn your chair to the sea and watch the water go by.  Seriously, there is nothing more relaxing and you will forget there are people there.  I can also say with experience that your self-consciousness, while understandable, is unnecessary.  I can’t even explain how much your fellow passengers couldn’t care less about what you look like at the pool. They don’t notice you, and they don’t care.  Let yourself go, have a great time.  

 

The game shows take about 30-45 minutes.  Almost NOTHING on a cruise takes an hour or more.  They are intentionally scheduling things so they are quick and move on to the next.  I encourage you to do them; they are lots of fun.   If you are on a ship with an X vs. Y game and a Crazy Quest, you may want to avoid them because your anxiety may be overwhelming.  They are a ton of hilarious fun, but they are often frantic and very adult.  The pace and craziness might be too much for you to enjoy.   If you’d like more detail, feel free to message me and I’d be happy to go into more explanation.

Please let yourself enjoy your trip!  

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We will be on the Independence of the Seas. This is the kind of reassurance I need. One of the other reasons I wanted The Key was the chance to have a leisurely breakfast and then be escorted off. Our flight leaves at 1pm, so we are hoping to be among the last off ? since we won't have a lounge at the airport.

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35 minutes ago, AJK said:

The Key was the chance to have a leisurely breakfast and then be escorted off.

The debarkation breakfast on Symphony was one of the best meals of the wee! Hopefully you will have the same menu. The Royal VIP Signature breakfast was to die for. And after that an escort brought us off the ship with the Suite and Star Class passengers right to our luggage. It was great!

image.png.35e6172ac4e7d7645de2287e8fe66759.pngRoyal

image.png.c1f10d56b30e044600f2af469170812f.png

 

1 minute ago, Nikkoo said:

I might persuade her that we should avoid windjammer on the first afternoon unless we get on early ish. 

Every Royal ship we have been on, although not nearly as many as others here, has multiple complimentary places besides Windjammer for embarkation lunch. Solarium Bistro is our favorite, but check what your ship has and you can easily avoid Windjammer.

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4 minutes ago, Skid said:

The debarkation breakfast on Symphony was one of the best meals of the wee! Hopefully you will have the same menu. The Royal VIP Signature breakfast was to die for. And after that an escort brought us off the ship with the Suite and Star Class passengers right to our luggage. It was great!

image.png.35e6172ac4e7d7645de2287e8fe66759.pngRoyal

image.png.c1f10d56b30e044600f2af469170812f.png

 

Every Royal ship we have been on, although not nearly as many as others here, has multiple complimentary places besides Windjammer for embarkation lunch. Solarium Bistro is our favorite, but check what your ship has and you can easily avoid Windjammer.

Nice tip. Thanks ?

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On the trivia issue, check out the Schooner Bar.   In general, activities of any sort on a ship last 40-50 minutes.  Even when performers have longer time periods, they will break after a set. The longest activities I have attended have been the major shows on Oasis-class ships - they can run up to 90 minutes.

5 hours ago, AJK said:

First of all, everyone here has done a fantastic job of getting so much info, out but being a newbie with 155 days to my 1st cruise, I am overwhelmed. I would bet my questions are already answered somewhere, but when I search I can't pick the right phrase that will give me what I am really searching instead of every time a word appears. So...I'm just going to ask now.

 

2. The compass is overwhelming with the number of choices of activities and entertainment. Some have the from-to times listed, but for games like trivia (I am a trivia junkie) and name that tune and so on-how long do they typically last? 

 

Advance thank you to all who offer information on this thread. 

 

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7 hours ago, L454S said:

Great for hanging a multi shelf organizer.

 

DSCN6821.jpeg

I feel like such a fool that this never occurred to me. I brought one of these things on a sailing when we had an interior cabin and while it was nice, the amount of space it took up in the closet was annoying so we decided to give up on it. I’ll have to give this another try in Nov when we have another interior cabin. It will help that this one is a driving port so no checked bags with airlines space wise. 

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First of all, try and tell yourself you don't have to do everything!!  Yes the compass has a ton, but you don't have to do all of it.  For example, i really enjoy the ice show but on allure, I was really enjoying the solarium and it was ok to skip my tickets to the ice show. 

   Trivia is usually about a 1/2 hour.  The magnets simply are nice to have to keep various junk off the floor.  The first trip we didn't have them, the 2nd I had 3m command strip hooks.  Some people swear by the shoe hangers, over never had one.  There is no right or wrong... You will figure out your groove and what works!

   My husband deals with anxiety and depression.  He brought books and his headphones to relax with, and simply decided he would do what worked.... He had a great time on adventure!   

    I hope you have a wonderful cruise!!!   Keep asking questions if planning helps alleviate the anxiety!!! Jane

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Find the deck that muster is held on. There are chairs under the lifeboats and no foot traffic. On the LIBERTY it was deck 4. Just be aware one side is smoking and the other side is non- smoking. We sit there, watch the water and read- super relaxing. 

If you are on Brilliance it’s our favorite class of ship- big enough but not too big. The Schooner Bar is usually almost empty during the day. 

Dont try to do everything.  The port shopping at Cozumel can be stressful as the vendors accost you and try to entice you into their stores.  Don’t make eye contact and keep walking to your destination. Better yet, enjoy the ship while everyone else is on shore. 

I have only been on one ship when the Solarium pool was crowded. There is every body type on display male and female so whatever yours is will not be noticed. 

 

 

 

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You sound alot like me.  We just did the Empress ( first time cursing) and it was amazing and relaxing and all my fears were for nothing.

I used the hooks for everything--- we were able to hold up the extension cord to the CPAP so it wasn't on the floor and a trip hazard. I hung up my hats, and lanyard and purse and used them to keep track of the paperwork I wanted to have handy.

The Compass was actually pretty easy and that was a huge stress factor for me pre-cruise--- I grabbed it after dinner and went to town with highlighters ( one color for adults and one color for kid) I usually was reading it and highlighting while we waited for a show to start. I found it oddly relaxing to just pick where I wanted to be and knowing it would start at the assigned time.  

We loved Cozumel--- we bought a day pass to the El Cozumeleno Resort.  There was almost no one there so it was very intimate and private. It was very nice to be greeted by name at the entrance and shown to our assigned beach chairs and assigned lunch cabana and assigned waiters.  There was no thinking at all--- we could use the beach, the pools, it was all inclusive food and drinks.  It was a fantastic off ship experience and the cab ride to and from gave us a chance to sight see a little.

 

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The only time I notice, and can be bothered by crowding is right after the Muster Drill. It really depends on the ship, but if you are outside, under your lifeboat, and if crowds get to you, wait for everyone to disperse then head back into the ship. If you are inside in a public venue, wait comfortably in your seat! This is a nice time to walk all the way aft or all the way forward (if you can get to the helicopter pad) on your ship, deck 4 is a nice, quiet getaway on sea days - one side will be smoking, one side will be non-smoking.

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We actually LOVE Cozumel.  Go shopping via a taxi. Get an authentic Mexican meal in town. So much better than  food in the states.  And you won`t get sick.  And then at the pier is Senor Frogs where you can unwind. It is a fun place and if you drink a little too much just saunter up the pier as that is where the ship is docked.  No massive crowds.  Personally you are paying over $200 for the key for a fancy breakfast.  If you arrive at the pier between 10 and 10:30 there are very short to no lines. And you are on board in no time. And if you do carry off of your luggage on disembarkation  you walk right off of the ship at the same time as suite and key holders.   No key needed for those 2  tasks and money well saved.    

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On 7/3/2019 at 3:52 PM, AJK said:

First of all, everyone here has done a fantastic job of getting so much info, out but being a newbie with 155 days to my 1st cruise, I am overwhelmed. I would bet my questions are already answered somewhere, but when I search I can't pick the right phrase that will give me what I am really searching instead of every time a word appears. So...I'm just going to ask now.

1. I see a lot of talk about the magnetic hooks. Right now I have just a glimpse of how to use them. Could some of you throw out here all the ways you use them?

2. The compass is overwhelming with the number of choices of activities and entertainment. Some have the from-to times listed, but for games like trivia (I am a trivia junkie) and name that tune and so on-how long do they typically last? 

3. I am the half that has always refused to go on a cruise, preferring to fly to an island or coast and stay there (and there are so many horror stories about illness, engine problems, ships running into docks ?). We intentionally picked a 4 day cruise with only 1 stop so we can concentrate on all of the things the ship has to offer. So I am purchasing The Key to try to alleviate extra stress, mostly of embarkation and debarkation, carry on bags delivered to your room, and lunch at Chops that will avoid the madness in Windjammer. Are there any other advantages to The Key that help avoid stress?

4. I am actually on anxiety medicine, but I still have problems with some crowds, especially drunks and rude people. Anyone have tips on some quiet spots or techniques for avoiding these? I was excited about the adults only solarium until I saw some videos of the crowds there. Even though I have lost 65 lbs, I am still very self conscious about pools and hot tubs (which my husband adores!).

5. We aren't really hyped up to go ashore in Cozumel. Is my reasoning right that this would be the best time for pools and exploring things than a sea day with everyone on board?

Advance thank you to all who offer information on this thread. 

1.  Everyone has chimed in, and all the suggestions are good.  The best one that I saw on this thread used them with the folding shelves (Brilliant).  Independence rooms have lots of space, so it will probably not be required.  Still, for hanging up small items the hooks are great.  One big tip ... The first time I used them to hang up robes.  I forgot them as we left the ship (my rookie mistake).  You will become so used them, you may think they are a part of the room.  Make sure you pack them up when you leave.

2.  I always tell new cruisers the most difficult thing you will do on a ship is try to determine what you will NOT do at a given time.  On a ship like Independence you will frequently want to to do more than one thing at the same time.  The compass will be in your room each evening.  Take at least one highlighter and mark the events you MAY want to do the next day.  Spend the early part of each day to plan out your day.  Do not take on too much, hopefully you will have other cruises to catch up on stuff you missed.  We are starting to take a nap in the afternoon (age has its privileges), to help full appreciate the evenings on board.

3. We do not use The Key, but for a first time cruiser it can be a great idea.  Ask lots of Crew members what to do with it.  I am certain they will be very helpful.  You are correct that The Key will make embarkation and debarkation easier w.r.t. meals.  On the other days you may enjoy the Main Dining Room more for Breakfast and Lunch.  The Windjammer is a zoo (except if you eat a little bit earlier or later than the norm).  Any bad things you have heard about cruising are grossly and severely over-hyped.  You will have a blast. 

4.  Already suggested, but the promenade deck outside that wraps the ship of Deck 4 is quiet and tranquil.  There are places to sit in the shade and it is very relaxing.  Smart walkers use the deck due to the views, quiet and shade.  Also, Olive or Twist on Deck 14 (aft elevators) is normally very quiet with even better views.  We go there often to read during the day.  It is also a quieter place for Sail Aways.

5.  You are correct.  Port days are almost always very relaxing on board.  You will have the run of the ship.  We have been to Cozumel many times.  It is a 50/50 chance that we get off the ship these days.  

 

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On 7/3/2019 at 2:52 PM, AJK said:

First of all, everyone here has done a fantastic job of getting so much info, out but being a newbie with 155 days to my 1st cruise, I am overwhelmed. I would bet my questions are already answered somewhere, but when I search I can't pick the right phrase that will give me what I am really searching instead of every time a word appears. So...I'm just going to ask now.

1. I see a lot of talk about the magnetic hooks. Right now I have just a glimpse of how to use them. Could some of you throw out here all the ways you use them?

2. The compass is overwhelming with the number of choices of activities and entertainment. Some have the from-to times listed, but for games like trivia (I am a trivia junkie) and name that tune and so on-how long do they typically last? 

3. I am the half that has always refused to go on a cruise, preferring to fly to an island or coast and stay there (and there are so many horror stories about illness, engine problems, ships running into docks ?). We intentionally picked a 4 day cruise with only 1 stop so we can concentrate on all of the things the ship has to offer. So I am purchasing The Key to try to alleviate extra stress, mostly of embarkation and debarkation, carry on bags delivered to your room, and lunch at Chops that will avoid the madness in Windjammer. Are there any other advantages to The Key that help avoid stress?

4. I am actually on anxiety medicine, but I still have problems with some crowds, especially drunks and rude people. Anyone have tips on some quiet spots or techniques for avoiding these? I was excited about the adults only solarium until I saw some videos of the crowds there. Even though I have lost 65 lbs, I am still very self conscious about pools and hot tubs (which my husband adores!).

5. We aren't really hyped up to go ashore in Cozumel. Is my reasoning right that this would be the best time for pools and exploring things than a sea day with everyone on board?

Advance thank you to all who offer information on this thread. 

1. Hats, Lanyards, anything you can hang that the hook will support.

2. About 20-30 minutes...bring a hiliter to use on your Cruise Compass each evening to map you the next day

3. The press tends to over sensationalize events on cruise ships for some reason. My experience and understanding is that events you hear about are much more frequent on land than on a good cruise line. We will use the Key for the first time on our next cruise. The benefits I see are --> embarkation day lunch, VOOM surf n stream is included, priority seating at shows...I think priority boarding and embarkation are icing on the cake. The only time boarding took a while was due to extra time for a ship to be cleared, and that was beyond the cruise line's control. As far as stress avoidance...if the way finding signs for The Key are easy to spot when you arrive at the terminal, that's a plus. Have your Set Sail Pass cued up on your phone app, and possibly a backup paper copy of your set sail pass within easy reach. That will alleviate a lot of stress. Get to the port early. Since you are on a 4 night sailing, I would guess that there will be a lot of first time cruisers figuring it out too. I think you are ahead of the game judging by your great questions.

4. Explore the ship on embarkation day do find areas that are appealing to you. The Solarium on every ship we have sailed has been fantastic. Each ship I have sailed has had an area that appeals to mostly everyone. Myself, I like ships with seating at the aft to watch the wake. It has always been peaceful. It depends on the class of ship you're sailing.

5. Yes, port days are a great time to enjoy the ship. If you haven't been to Cozumel before, there are lots of posts in this blog about great things to do there, especially out of the port area. Taxis are easy to use, and whether it's shopping, an excursion, a day resort or just exploring, it is a very fun place to visit.

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Great answers!  I failed to mention the other reason I found The Key intriguing...I have older siblings at home with health problems as well as my fur baby that they will be caring for. Having the ability to contact/be contacted is a major advantage to this program.

Now our biggest problem is the waiting time until we cruise. We have a Hawaii vacation in August, but I have spent more time researching the cruise and having difficulty getting my excitement back up for Hawaii. ?

 

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I was on navigator earlier this summer. I also have anxiety about crowds and figured I wouldn't really enjoy a cruise. But, actually, you never feel like there are that many people around unless you are at a planned activity. The viking lounge was empty earlier in day and was a great inside spot for piece and quiet, as was the card room. Port day was wonderful, the ship was empty and everywhere was peaceful. I also liked deck 4 after muster, no one was around. It turned out that I like cruising much more than I thought I would. Have fun on your adventure and know that the fear of the unknown is much worse than the actual reality. Good luck! 

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On 7/3/2019 at 3:52 PM, AJK said:

First of all, everyone here has done a fantastic job of getting so much info, out but being a newbie with 155 days to my 1st cruise, I am overwhelmed. I would bet my questions are already answered somewhere, but when I search I can't pick the right phrase that will give me what I am really searching instead of every time a word appears. So...I'm just going to ask now.

1. I see a lot of talk about the magnetic hooks. Right now I have just a glimpse of how to use them. Could some of you throw out here all the ways you use them?

2. The compass is overwhelming with the number of choices of activities and entertainment. Some have the from-to times listed, but for games like trivia (I am a trivia junkie) and name that tune and so on-how long do they typically last? 

3. I am the half that has always refused to go on a cruise, preferring to fly to an island or coast and stay there (and there are so many horror stories about illness, engine problems, ships running into docks ?). We intentionally picked a 4 day cruise with only 1 stop so we can concentrate on all of the things the ship has to offer. So I am purchasing The Key to try to alleviate extra stress, mostly of embarkation and debarkation, carry on bags delivered to your room, and lunch at Chops that will avoid the madness in Windjammer. Are there any other advantages to The Key that help avoid stress?

4. I am actually on anxiety medicine, but I still have problems with some crowds, especially drunks and rude people. Anyone have tips on some quiet spots or techniques for avoiding these? I was excited about the adults only solarium until I saw some videos of the crowds there. Even though I have lost 65 lbs, I am still very self conscious about pools and hot tubs (which my husband adores!).

5. We aren't really hyped up to go ashore in Cozumel. Is my reasoning right that this would be the best time for pools and exploring things than a sea day with everyone on board?

Advance thank you to all who offer information on this thread. 

Hello!  

First of all please let me say that you need to relax!  The first day and last day are nothing to fear and it is not half as bad as what it may seem like on this board.  The worst part is the waiting in line depending on where you are boarding.  Since  you have The Key, any of the light stress that you may feel will dissipate!  This experience is completely relaxing and please do not let the pre planning get you worked up! 

1. I have brought them but have yet to use them, but they are handy for hanging up bathing suits on the wall and such, leaving notes for your stateroom attendant and a bunch of other things.  The use of the hooks is only limited by your imagination! 

2.  I honestly can not answer that one as I have not gone to one trivia event yet! 

3.  Another one that I can not answer as I have not used it, and honestly don't know enough about it to answer. 

4.  There are PLENTY  of quiet places that you will be able to find, they do a great job of having events all over the ship and in different places so it does not feel crowded depending on the time.  Of course times during dinner, and sales on the promenade obviously will be busier than normal times.  If you pay attention to what is going on and where you will have no problem avoiding the crowds, especially if you stay away from the promenade during those busy times.  I have found that the solarium at night is not packed at all!  I can assure you that you will be surprised at how few people are there during the evening.  I have been there in the evenings on every sailing and there are few people around at that time.  If you would like to make him happy and are self conscious those are the times to go, this year we were on Anthem and went to the hot tub several times and both times were in the evening around 8 or 9 and we had no issues being crowded whatsoever.  There was a max of maybe 15-20 people in the Solarium at the most.  There are tons of areas on each ship that you will be able to find that are quiet, but it all depends on when you desire to go.  I have found that the quietest times are usually early mornings or in the evenings in the open air areas.  I am a early riser and get up around 6-7 every day, so I get up and work out, eat a light breakfast and wait for the wife to get up which is usually between 10.  I explore the ship and read and find the quiet areas, such as the library, or any other quiet area, in the evening they are all over the place because either people are eating, or watching a show so the upper decks are not busy at all unless there is something special going on.  

5.  Yes, we do it frequently, if there is a port that we do not desire to go to, then we will stay onboard and enjoy the quiet of the ship!  Great thinking and you will enjoy your time!  I actually have come to enjoy those days because the boat goes from capacity down to less than half in a matter of a few hours!  

I apologize but I did not catch what ship you were on but I can assure you that what I told you about quiet places is true no matter what ship!  I have gone from the smallest (Majesty) to the one of the largest (Oasis) and it still was the same.  There will always be nice quiet spots!  Enjoy your cruise and please destress, this is a vacation and there is no need for it!  Sit back and relax! ?

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@dk1

Tell me more about the magnetic hooks!  Newbie here... cruising in a couple of weeks and I love your ideas with the hooks.

What is magnetic in the staterooms - the walls or doors?  Very curious and this info will help me pick up the right type of hooks tomorrow.

Thanks!!

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23 minutes ago, FL Lake Gal said:

@dk1

Tell me more about the magnetic hooks!  Newbie here... cruising in a couple of weeks and I love your ideas with the hooks.

What is magnetic in the staterooms - the walls or doors?  Very curious and this info will help me pick up the right type of hooks tomorrow.

 

 All the walls, doors and even the ceiling in the cabins are metal. The hooks can be used for robes, bags, coverups, swim suits, etc. These are the ones we got and they were great. Just know that the posted weights refer to when they are on the ceiling. They hold less when on the walls, but still work fine. Happy sailing!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GVCSGTX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

51Ooqs7XkSL._AC_SY400_.jpg.dbfdcdb21b64b406e0ac0003d9230409.jpg.0c2e25c3f4950b60bff2f17c8900f5f1.jpg

 

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4 minutes ago, Skid said:

 All the walls, doors and even the ceiling in the cabins are metal. The hooks can be used for robes, bags, coverups, swim suits, etc. These are the ones we got and they were great. Just know that the posted weights refer to when they are on the ceiling. They hold less when on the walls, but still work fine. Happy sailing!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GVCSGTX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

51Ooqs7XkSL._AC_SY400_.jpg.dbfdcdb21b64b406e0ac0003d9230409.jpg.0c2e25c3f4950b60bff2f17c8900f5f1.jpg

 

Awesome - thanks, Skid!  Was just about to order something else on Amazon - adding this to the order.

Have a good night.  Thx again.

 

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On 7/3/2019 at 5:19 PM, AJK said:

We will be on the Independence of the Seas. This is the kind of reassurance I need. One of the other reasons I wanted The Key was the chance to have a leisurely breakfast and then be escorted off. Our flight leaves at 1pm, so we are hoping to be among the last off ? since we won't have a lounge at the airport.

Keep in mind that even with The Key, you have to be out of your room by 9am. The lounges will be open but most areas are being cleaned in preparation for the next set of cruisers. I remember on one of my first cruises someone was joking about how you become old news on that last morning. It's so true! I always think about that on the last day. 

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22 hours ago, Skid said:

 All the walls, doors and even the ceiling in the cabins are metal. The hooks can be used for robes, bags, coverups, swim suits, etc. These are the ones we got and they were great. Just know that the posted weights refer to when they are on the ceiling. They hold less when on the walls, but still work fine. Happy sailing!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GVCSGTX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

51Ooqs7XkSL._AC_SY400_.jpg.dbfdcdb21b64b406e0ac0003d9230409.jpg.0c2e25c3f4950b60bff2f17c8900f5f1.jpg

 

Darn it, I think I got the wrong one, the 22# instead of 48#.   ?

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30 minutes ago, Koki said:

Darn it, I think I got the wrong one, the 22# instead of 48#.   ?

My suspicion is they will work for cover ups and other light items. Using them on the ceiling will hold better than on the walls. Also, assuming you ordered from Amazon, if you are a Prime member, you may have free returns.

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  • 4 months later...
On 7/4/2019 at 3:52 AM, AJK said:

First of all, everyone here has done a fantastic job of getting so much info, out but being a newbie with 155 days to my 1st cruise, I am overwhelmed. I would bet my questions are already answered somewhere, but when I search I can't pick the right phrase that will give me what I am really searching instead of every time a word appears. So...I'm just going to ask now.

1. I see a lot of talk about the magnetic hooks. Right now I have just a glimpse of how to use them. Could some of you throw out here all the ways you use them?

2. The compass is overwhelming with the number of choices of activities and entertainment. Some have the from-to times listed, but for games like trivia (I am a trivia junkie) and name that tune and so on-how long do they typically last? 

3. I am the half that has always refused to go on a cruise, preferring to fly to an island or coast and stay there (and there are so many horror stories about illness, engine problems, ships running into docks ?). We intentionally picked a 4 day cruise with only 1 stop so we can concentrate on all of the things the ship has to offer. So I am purchasing The Key to try to alleviate extra stress, mostly of embarkation and debarkation, carry on bags delivered to your room, and lunch at Chops that will avoid the madness in Windjammer. Are there any other advantages to The Key that help avoid stress?

4. I am actually on anxiety medicine, but I still have problems with some crowds, especially drunks and rude people. Anyone have tips on some quiet spots or techniques for avoiding these? I was excited about the adults only solarium until I saw some videos of the crowds there. Even though I have lost 65 lbs, I am still very self conscious about pools and hot tubs (which my husband adores!).

5. We aren't really hyped up to go ashore in Cozumel. Is my reasoning right that this would be the best time for pools and exploring things than a sea day with everyone on board?

Advance thank you to all who offer information on this thread. 

 

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I’m practically on the same boat” so to speak” ...., I will be having my first ever cruise experience in April and I have had many concerns as you have.  BUT I am soooooo glad that I joined this blog.  The members advice is amazing, you can’t go wrong if you use their knowledge to help guide you.  I’m feeling so much more relaxed about it and my mind is MUCH clearer as to what to expect.  I’m certain you are going to cope with your trip fine.  Just remind yourself that  you are going away to ENJOY yourself.  Although it’s never a certainty that things will go smoothly and you may feel a bit anxious, but PLEASE.... TRY NOT TO LET YOUR ANXIETY ALREADY RULE AN EXPERIENCE THAT YOU HAVENT HAD YET..  Its no different to being in a crowded Shopping centre or Lining up for a Concert.  I assume that you will have to experience a little bother here and there, but nothing that should make you feel so anxious that it will cause you to have a panic attack.  Keep reading the blogs, take notes and you will be well and truly prepared for anything that comes your way.  Good Luck and ENJOY it ? I will certainly be using the ideas from others and and making the most of my experience.   My Cruise is not until April 2020....IM NOT 1 BIT EXCITED ABOUT IT? Can’t tell can you? ?

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I  have never found a need for the hooks with just two in the room.  If you had more than I can see the need.

We cruise over and over  again due to my anxiety of new things.  And like many on this site I plan everything to relieve my pre-cruise/vacation anxiety.

I would recommend spending some time reviewing the deck plans before boarding.  It helps me to know where things are before I board. 

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On 7/3/2019 at 3:52 PM, AJK said:

I was excited about the adults only solarium until I saw some videos of the crowds there. Even though I have lost 65 lbs, I am still very self conscious about pools and hot tubs (which my husband adores!).

I suddenly put on a lot of weight in my late forties, and became very self-conscious about it. I’m now very, very round. It did take me a very long while to realize that I’m not the only Reubenesque beauty in the pool, hot tub or beach.

A few years ago, I got properly fitted for a very nice one-piece bathing suit, suited to my shape. I received excellent advice about the type of suit that is best for me, and to avoid prints. I now own a couple of beautiful solid-coloured bathing suits that do look good on me - so the attention is positively placed on the suit, rather than the body. In addition, I also invested in a couple of beautiful cotton cover-ups that are comfortable to be in, even when wet. I wear these as soon as I step out of the water. That helps a lot with my feelings of self-consciousness about my body shape.

I decided that I like a Penbrooke swimsuit model best. Over the years, I have bought it in several gorgeous and rich colours and I always travel with two. I *always* keep one in my carry-on bag, because it would be impossible to replace quickly if my checked luggage is delayed or lost.

As an example only, this model fits my body shape beautifully (esp. in the back, as I have narrow shoulders): 

https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/penbrooke-krinkle-plus-size-chlorine-resistant-one-piece-cross-back-swimsuit-7534078/?color=9325 
Penbrooke has several different models of these ‘Krinkle’ suits; the texture adds interest to the colour, and they are of good quality. I used to buy cheaper swimsuits, but these turned out to be the best investment in myself that I could make, as far as feeling more comfortable in the pool again.

I hope that you get to join your husband in the pool and hot tub - he’s the one who will be most happy to see you enjoying yourself too. ❤️

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I agree with all the great advice already given!  Also, don't forget if meals seem overwhelming you can always order room service.  (There is an upcharge, but it might be worth it to you.)  You can also have "do it yourself room service."  Make a plate and take it to your room if you like.  On my next cruise I plan to order continental breakfast (for free) delivered to the room and "do it myself" and bring back some sausage and eggs one morning.  If I time it correctly I will have hot coffee and pastries waiting when I get back with the hot stuff.

Also, to echo what others have said, don't worry too much about planning everything.  On my very first cruise I had no idea what to expect, didn't even know how we would get from the airport to the ship.  I got my luggage and looked for someone in a Royal Caribbean shirt with a clipboard.  She sold me a transfer on the spot.  I boarded, checked into my interior state room and had a blast!  You are way ahead of that learning curve.

Have a great voyage!

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On 7/7/2019 at 7:25 PM, FL Lake Gal said:

@dk1

Tell me more about the magnetic hooks!  Newbie here... cruising in a couple of weeks and I love your ideas with the hooks.

What is magnetic in the staterooms - the walls or doors?  Very curious and this info will help me pick up the right type of hooks tomorrow.

Thanks!!

We also used the magnetic hooks for holding over the door shoe racks on the walls.  Like other people suggested, take highlighter pens for the compass.  Every night when we got the compass’s for the next day I highlight the stuff we want to do.   We were on Symphony over spring break and I never felt like the crowds were bad.  We always found a table wherever we went and chairs at the pool.  I’m pretty heavy myself and in my mid 50’s and we hung at the pool.  I don’t think you need to worry about how you look, the boat won’t be filled with swim suit models.

566BAFC5-2FB5-4647-8347-74007AEC68A8.png

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