This edition of the Monday Mailbag touches on three questions sent in by readers. The first has to deal with cold weather on a Mediterranean cruise. The second, dealing packing for a Caribbean cruise that sails out of New York in the dead of winter. The third question is in regards to Royal Caribbean’s policy on bringing non-alcoholic beverages on board their ships. Hopefully this will help some of you who have had or may have the same questions as these.
I was looking to book a cruise to the Mediterranean but want to avoid any possible cold weather. Which months are the winter months in the Mediterranean or is there a specific Mediterranean cruise itinerary I should choose if I was looking to book a fall Mediterranean cruise?
First let me say that in most places where Mediterranean cruises travel it never gets truly cold. The Mediterranean cruise season is typically from April through October although some cruise lines do sail year round. During that time period temperatures are very comfortable and no where near cold. While it can get down to the 50′s in northern areas like Istanbul, this is still a far cry from what most of us would call “cold”.
Personally I feel when you are choosing a specific Mediterranean cruise itinerary, you shouldn’t let the weather dictate which Mediterranean cruise itinerary you decided to book. If there are particular ports you want to see let that decide which Mediterranean cruise itinerary you select. Different regions have different feels and its probably not something you will get to do every year so don’t settle. You never know when you will get another chance.
I have never been on a cold weather cruise but this winter we are booked on a New York cruise on the Caribbean Princess heading down to the Caribbean. How should I pack for the trip?
Well, sailing out of New York in the winter time can be tricky. I’m assuming it will take you about 2 days until you hit your first port of call, meaning the ship will be cold for at least the first day sailing and the last day coming back.
My guess would be you will be dressed in winter wear when you board the ship, which is good. The outerwear you have will come in handy on the first and last days if you want to spend any time out on the Lido Deck. The second day will probably be more touch and go since you will be much further south. At that point in time it doesn’t matter that you started out on a New York cruise since it will be tracking more like any other Caribbean cruise by then. And of course on the way back home the day you would be worried about would be the last day at sea.
My advice would be to bring a couple of layers that you can pack on and shed off as temperature dictates. However, I wouldn’t go overboard (no pun intended) on the amount of cold weather cruise gear you bring as most of your time will be spent in temperatures 60 degrees and above. Personally the only modifications I would make to my normal packing list would be maybe a fleece pullover, sweatshirt, pair of gloves and a pair of jeans.
We are taking a family cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship in late June. It will be myself, my husband and our 3 kids in two cabins. I didn’t want to buy the soda card for all of our children and was hoping we could bring our own on board the ship. I know some cruise lines allow you to bring a certain amount of non-alcoholic beverages on board is Royal Caribbean one of them?
First of all congratulations on your family cruise. Cruising is definitely one of the best ways to build those memories that will last long after everyone is grown and gone their separate ways. I wish my family was able to take those types of vacations when I was younger. Now… on to your question.
While I do know what you mean with some cruise lines allowing you to bring on board a case of pop (I refuse to say soda), to the best of my knowledge Royal Caribbean is not one of those cruise lines. Here is the policy straight from the horses mouth:
Royal Caribbean Policy regarding bringing beverages on board
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Can I bring liquor or non-alcoholic beverages (from home or from a port) on board?
Guests are not allowed to bring alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages on board for consumption or any other use. Alcoholic beverages that are purchased in ports-of-call or from Shops On Board will be stored by the ship and delivered to your stateroom on the last day of the sailing. Alcoholic beverages seized on embarkation day will not be returned.
Security may inspect containers (water bottles, soda bottles, mouthwash, luggage etc.) and will dispose of containers holding alcohol. Guests who violate any alcohol policies, (over consume, provide alcohol to people under age 21, demonstrate irresponsible behavior, or attempt to conceal alcoholic items at security and or luggage check points or any other time), may be disembarked or not allowed to board, at their own expense, in accordance with our Guest Conduct Policy. Guests who are under the permitted drinking age will not have alcohol returned to them.
Please Note: All guests must comply with TSA guidelines for transporting liquids.
So unfortunately the children will either have to make due with the free beverages Royal Caribbean provides on board their ship or you will have to fork out the 4 dollars per day (per child) the fountain drink package will cost. Its not the ideal situation but there is no reason to allow something like this to tarnish a perfectly good family getaway. I’m sure the kids will be able to survive for a week on water, iced tea and lemonade; especially since unlimited ice cream makes for a great distraction.