Newbie questions on temps; costumes; cell phones; refrig's.

Newbie questions on temps; costumes; cell phones; refrig's.

Postby JPeacock » Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:56 pm

In January, I get to enjoy my very first blues cruise -- in fact, my first cruise of any kind. After perusing the chat archives, I found I still had a few unrelated questions.

1) Temperatures: I saw a reference or two to occasionally needing jackets because of cool air. I'd like to better understand the normal temperatures on the Caribbean cruises, especially while "at sea." (Remember that I've never been on any kind of cruise...) Are short sleeves/T-shirts sufficient for being on deck most of the time? Or is it routinely jacket-cool on deck during the evenings? (I'm thinking in particular of outdoor music performances after dark, and sitting out on one's room balcony.)

2) Costumes and themes: I've read all the other posts on "theme nights," but I'm still a little unclear. When there's a theme night, are you supposed to wear some kind of costume all through the ship, all evening long? Or is the use of costumes focused on a particular party/event? Do virtually all the cruisers get in costume each time, or is it more like 50/50? I guess I'm a little concerned about trying to pack for all those different costume events.

3) Cell phones: No, I don't plan to "stay in touch" very much; I'm as anxious to leave problems behind as anyone. But for both family reasons and business (I'm a one-man operation), I may want at least the option of using my BlackBerry onboard. I see that Holland America offers cell access, probably expensive: "Through an agreement with Wireless Maritime Services (WMS), a leading provider of maritime cellular service at sea, Holland America Line lets you take advantage of your wireless devices while at sea." Has anyone used this service in conjunction with Verizon Wireless? In particular, how does this service work with BlackBerry email pushing? When it's closer to cruise time, I'll call Verizon Wireless to get more specifics from them, but I'd welcome any advance advice from other users of this service.

4) I think I saw a reference to in-room refrigerators or mini-bars. Are they in all or most rooms (I have a Deluxe Verandah)? Are they usable for your own stuff, perhaps by removing some "for pay" items? Or is it strictly for the ship's own for-pay items?

Thanks so much for any advice. I can't begin to describe how psyched I am for this cruise!

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Re: Newbie questions on temps; costumes; cell phones; refrig

Postby 2bluescats » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:13 pm

1. No one can predict the weather......we have been on 2 now. The first year had an unusual cold front to start us off so something was needed......a sweatshirt, denim jacket was enough for us. The next year was warmer, but adding long sleeves or sweatshirt at night just felt better. There is almost always wind so it feels better. Daytime is definitely in the comfort zone! T-shirts, swimsuits.....whatever!

2. People generally get in costume before dinner and wear it for the night. 50-50 is about right. Some are always amazing.

3. We always just turn our phones off when we leave FL and back on when we get home. It's great. Someone else can elaborate here.

4. Most empty the refrigerator for keeping things cold......there will be one in your room. There's a safe too.

We NEVER thought we would take a cruise.....just not the type. A friend convinced us to try this,,,,,actually he said we had to. We are so glad he did. We are hooked now. Welcome to an incredible experience!
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Re: Newbie questions on temps; costumes; cell phones; refrig

Postby Geoff » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:01 pm

Those were great answers from 2bluescats. Some additional thoughts...

1. I'll take one pair of long pants, and one long-sleeved overshirt, but everything else will have short legs/sleeves. On most blues cruises, I'll never use the long sleeves at sea, unless the air-conditioning gets too cold. I'm warm blooded, so you may be more comfortable in the evening with a light cover.

2. Costume behavior is all over the map, and uncontrollable. It's entirely user-option. 3 nights there will be a costume parade across the outdoor stage for costume prizes. On those nights, I'm sure there are more people watching than parading, but some of the watchers will also have some sort of crazy decorations draping their body. Usually Mardi Gras (Carnival) night gets the most participation, and is the most unpredictable in terms of what will show up.

That sorta leads into an important point--there just aren't many rules or expectations on the ship. You can do or be what you want, as long as you're respectful to the musicians and fellow cruisers.

If you like blues music, you probably think that you're going to have a good time on the cruise. But I'll bet that you have a far better time than you imagine, and that you will have experiences that surprise and delight you.

See you in January,
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Re: Newbie questions on temps; costumes; cell phones; refrig

Postby Deb & Dave » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:45 am

where was the refrigerator? I do not remember one in my room. Would be nice to have one.
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Re: Newbie questions on temps; costumes; cell phones; refrig

Postby JPeacock » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:19 pm

Thanks to Geoff and 2bluescats for the very helpful answers.

I was especially reassured by Geoff's answer to the costume question: "You can do or be what you want, as long as you're respectful to the musicians and fellow cruisers."

The respect part will come easy, and it's good to know that flexibility is the rule on everything else. I'm not sure yet if I'll do costumes or not; I'll wait to see what the final themes are, I guess. But it's good to know that it's OK either way.

Jan 2012, Virgin cruise in Jan 2011.
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Re: Newbie questions on temps; costumes; cell phones; refrig

Postby legendary office » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:09 pm

I'll pipe in on refrigerators and cell phones! Pick me - Pick me!!

Every cabin aboard the ms. Eurodam will have what Holland America considers "coolers". They don't necessarily call them refrigerators because they are not quite as cold as a refrigerator. If you put something in that is already cold, you are golden. As for cooling things down, it may take a day.

You are welcome to set aside Holland America's "inards" and replace them with your own but I would suggest just letting your cabin steward know that you've done so to ensure that you don't get charged.

As for cell phones - I suggest turning it off if you can live without it. Any calls, texts or emails that are routed through the ships satellite will be very costly. My provider is $6 per minute and I have a feeling that this would be a general cost. Even if you do not answer your phone, voicemails still have to be routed and will be charged the same as a phone call.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Newbie questions on temps; costumes; cell phones; refrig

Postby wcw » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:12 am

We use (sparingly) the phone via shipboard roaming while at sea. On last year's January cruise I believe it was $2.69 per minute. We have Sprint and called them just before the cruise to get the rates. The ship doesn't charge you. The billing shows as roaming on your regular phone bill. With Sprint, some ports (US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico) are no charge as they are within the Sprint nationwide plan. As long as you get a Sprint signal with a couple bars, and it doesn't say roaming, you are in luck. While at sea or non-plan ports, I leave my phone on airplane mode. Thus no calls and no messages. But it does maintain the clock; although on the October cruise it seemed like it was often one hour off.
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Re: Newbie questions on temps; costumes; cell phones; refrig

Postby Sunny » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:48 am

When I first get to the cabin, I call room service and ask them to empty the "cooler" and to please not deliver anything to the room that we have not specifically asked for. That gets the "pay for" stuff out of the way and there is no confusion for billing.
I forward my cell phone to my office who send text messages to me. That way, I can follow-up on business calls at about $6/minute. Check rates for texts and voice with your carrier because they do vary.
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Re: Newbie questions on temps; costumes; cell phones; refrig

Postby Rags » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:46 pm

I bought a $100 data plan so I could stay in touch with my email and voicemail using Skype on my laptop.

Burned through the $100 the first four days...
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Re: Newbie questions on temps; costumes; cell phones; refrig

Postby Garlic Dave » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:44 pm

Thanks for the explanations about the "coolers". I could never figure out why nothing in our refrigerator was ever cold!
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