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First cruise

PostPosted: 13 Apr 2019 19:57
by vulcanxh558
Hi all

We have booked our first ever cruise in May 2020 to the Western Mediterranean with Tui. As its our first time, can someone give me some hints and tips on what to do, what not to do etc.

Looking at the excursion costs, they seem quite expensive (which I had imagined they would be). Any tips on that too would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.

Re: First cruise

PostPosted: 13 Apr 2019 20:08
by Borneo
It would be good if you could tell us ports of call so we could advise if and what you could do yourselves, that can cut costs on excursions. What sort of things are concerning you. We are all ready to help if we can.

Re: First cruise

PostPosted: 13 Apr 2019 21:34
by Camela
I think Western Med is a good choice for first cruise Vulcan. As Borneo says there will be answers to your questions here. Out of interest what has brought you to cruising? There are many afficionados here where the first cruise was by no means the last!!!

Re: First cruise

PostPosted: 14 Apr 2019 10:35
by vulcanxh558
So the ports of call are

Day 1 - Naples
Day 2 - At Sea
Day 3 - Barcelona
Day 4 - Toulon
Day 5 - Livorno
Day 6 - Civitavecchia
Day 7 - Olbia
Day 8 - Naples
Day 9 - At Sea
Day 10 - Ancona
Day 11 - Venice
Day 12 - Split
Day 13 - Dubrovnik
Day 14 - Messina
Day 15 - Naples

The main things we want to see are Vesuvius, Pompeii, Etna, Pisa and the Colosseum.

The other locations we are fairly easy going so any recommendations would be great please.

As for the reason of a cruise, we looked at a fly drive holiday in Italy starting in the north and working our way down (im a HGV driver so the distance isnt a problem) and the cost was comparative to a cruise with a few more areas. Its my wife XXth birthday next year so we thought we'd give it shot. As its a big birthday we also upgraded the cabin to a balcony junior suite with Premier Service.

First cruise

PostPosted: 14 Apr 2019 14:36
by judgegeoff
That will be a great first cruise Vulcan and I am sure that you will have a fantastic time.

My wife Chris ('Seamouse' on the forum) and I have been to most of the places on your cruise and have always enjoyed the destinations. Here are a few ideas from my memory :-

As well as Pompeii, you could also consider visiting Herculaneum as it is not nearly as busy. We caught a tram to the Railway Station from the ship and then took the train to Pompeii (every half hour I think). The stop for Herculaneum (Ercolano) is before you get to Pompeii and it is then just a short walk to the entrance. The entry fee was quite modest and was free for Senior Citizens. On another trip we got a taxi ride along the Amalfi Coast to Sorrento.

We enjoyed the Hop On/Hop Off bus which is a great way to see the City, including the Familia Sagrada and the Parc Guell (Goudi's Park). A walk down from the City centre to the Port area will take you along the 'Ramblas' with its street entertainment - not to be missed.

The port for an excursion to Pisa or Florence.

The port for Rome. The ship's guided excursions to Rome tend to be rather expensive, but you do get to see most of the main sights. As an alternative you can get the train from the port to Rome for DIY sightseeing, but make sure that you get back to the ship on time (we only just made it on one cruise!).

An amazing place to visit but can be very busy. A gondola ride is magical, but they are rather expensive and the water buses are a good way to get around - cheap, frequent and run to time.

Another amazing place to explore although, like Venice, it can get very busy. If you are a 'Game of Thrones' fan Dubrovnik is 'King's Landing' in the TV drama and many of the places will be familiar. A walk along the City walls is also recommended and you can get a cable car ride up into the hills for fantastic views.

There are quite a few reviews on our forum that will give you other ideas for things to do at the ports and there may well be reviews for your particular ship that you may also find useful. For any other queries - just ask - I am sure somebody on the forum will have an answer.

I hope that you have found this useful and I am sure that whatever you choose to do at every port you will have a great time. :)

Re: First cruise

PostPosted: 14 Apr 2019 17:01
by Carwalsick
Hi. If you are in Venice for a reasonable time suggest you buy a day pass on the vaporetti (water buses). You can download routes and timetables at
My recommendation for Barcelona is just to explore on foot unless you are desperate to see the Sagrada Familia in which case splash out on an organised tour or you can be queuing for ages. Try the tapas bars off The Ramblas.
Whatever you do enjoy it. My main tip is to try and find a couple of other passengers with whom you can get on and explore together. A shared taxi is usually cheaper and more flexible than a ship's tour.
A final thought, Dubrovnik is easily walkable. We once made the mistake of paying for an organised walk and abandoned it after about 15 minutes.

Sent from my SM-T280 using Tapatalk

First cruise

PostPosted: 14 Apr 2019 17:05
by Borneo
Agree with Dave, that is going to be a great cruise. We did one similar but we left from Venice . Since then we have been to some ports more than once . Never tire of Barcelona,Civitaverrchia we walked around the port and shops though they don’t open till late , Rome is a must but as Dave said it is expensive and would be better doing a tour.
Hope you tell us about your cruise when the time comes.

Re: First cruise

PostPosted: 14 Apr 2019 22:05
by vulcanxh558
Thanks all, lots to think about. Only a year to wait now...

Re: First cruise

PostPosted: 15 Apr 2019 10:37
by Borneo
vulcanxh558 wrote:Thanks all, lots to think about. Only a year to wait now...

:lol: :lol:

First cruise

PostPosted: 16 Apr 2019 00:31
by judgegeoff
Hi Vulcan, I have not (yet) cruised with TUI, but here are a few general tips that you might find of interest for your first cruise :-

Before we leave home we take photographs of our luggage with our digital cameras. Then, in the unlikely occurence that the luggage is lost or mislaid at the airport, we can show the authorities what the luggage looks like to assist in finding it. (I should add that this has never happened to us).

On most cruises you will be issued with a plastic credit card sized 'Sea Pass' that has multiple uses on the ship. It will register you on and off the ship at the gangway, it will unlock your cabin door and it will be used for any purchases aboard. However, try and keep it away from magnets as these cause the card's data to be scrambled and then you will have to get a replacement card from the 'Guest Services' desk on the ship.

Some ships allow you to check your 'Sea Pass' account on your cabin's television but, if not, you will be able to request copies from the 'Guest Services' desk at any time. On the final night (usually in the small hours) your account will be frozen and a copy of your account will be posted in or outside your cabin. My advice is to get a copy of your account on the final day and check it. If you wait until the morning of disembarkation to check you account – and then find an anomaly – you will usually find quite a long queue at 'Guest Services'.

You should be able to store your luggage under the bed(s) in your cabin. Larger (i.e. deeper) suitcases may have to be put under the bed(s) opened up to reduce the overall depth.

If you are not happy with your allocated dining table, see the Maitre 'd and he will probably be able to move you to another table. When we first board a ship we usually go to the dining room to check our table out. The Maitre 'd is often to be found in the main dining room on the embarkation afternoon.

Make sure that you are back on board in good time when visiting a port. Passengers are to be back on board usually 30 minutes before the sailaway time. The ship will wait for a late ship's excursion passengers, but not for late passengers who are not on an excursion.

On most ships you will get a news sheet in the evening that will detail the following day's activities and give details of the port you will be visiting. Take this sheet with you when you go ashore as it contains telephone contact detail of the ship's local agents, should you have any problems. We take these daily sheets home with us at the end of the cruise as they are a good aide-memoire to remind us of the places we visited, the things we did and the shows we saw.

Usually, on the final night, you will be required to leave your packed and locked luggage outside your cabin door, to be collected by the ship's crew, so that it can be taken ashore when the ship reaches the final port. Don't forget to leave clothes for the following morning, otherwise you could be going ashore in pyjamas or nightdress (as a friend of ours did!). :o

Feel free to ask if you have any queries, I am sure somebody on the forum will have an answer.