I have an upcoming cruise to the Caribbean and I’m feeling a little out of my element. I’m not really quite sure what to expect. I understand that there are people that go on cruises as much as I fly and that there’s a whole subculture with cruising as well. There’s even a Flyertalk like site called “Cruise Critic.”
My only experience on a cruise boat was a three day cruise from California to Catalina and Ensenada, Mexico. I thought that this was a real cruise ship though I remember wandering around wishing there was a pool on the ship. I now realize that this experience was akin to traveling on a Somalian pirate speedboat. At the casino on the ship, I remember the roulette ball flying off the wheel a couple of times in choppy water. That made for an interesting gambling experience.
I’ll be going on Royal Caribbean cruise line. I looked into their “frequent boater” program but oddly you have to have gone on at least one cruise before they let you join.
Are there different status levels on cruise boats? If you’re a Diamond cruiser do you get cabin upgrades? Second helpings of the prime rib? Do people go on cruise runs at the end of the year to maintain / achieve status? Do people get to know the crew as well as the passengers got to know Captain Stubing on the Love Boat?
I feel totally out of my realm and am afraid that at this time next year, I’ll have had so much fun that I’ll be on my fifth cruise, hanging around the dock with a pipe, an eye patch uttering “I’ll have the fish and chips ye scurvy dogs”.