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We are going to give away our best-kept, embarkation day secret when on a mass-market cruise line. DO NOT go immediately to the buffet! Are you thinking, "No duh!" Maybe so, but, inevitably, the buffet is a madhouse on the first day, filled with people who "knew better." Is that really how you want to kick off your cruise? Is that really the first impression you want? Also, skip the ship tour! We know it is tempting, but you will be on board for three, four, five, seven, or even more days. Let everyone else look around and waste precious time. Trust us, in a few days, you will know the ship so well you could give the tour!
Where should you be? Wherever is open that will have lines during the rest of the cruise. Hot tubs are impossible to get into on sea days. Go there! Is the zip line open? Go there! Is there another dining venue open? Go there! Is there a specialty bar that will draw crowds later? Go there! If the majority is zigging, zag!
For us, we like to wear our swimsuits on the first day, go straight to the pool deck, put our carry-ons down, grab an island cocktail (a yummy Piña Colada or a Rum Runner will do nicely), and slip into the jacuzzi. People start strolling by eventually and think, "Why didn't we wear our swimsuits!?" They look at us with that part admiration/part hate stare. So, heed our advice and have an embarkation day game plan that includes going anywhere on the ship that no one else is going!
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