Category Archives: Shelby’s Spot

What is “Pre-Cruise” and Why is it Important?

Pre-cruise is a term that defines starting your vacation one whole day early! For all of our cruises, we recommend our clients stay at a hotel close to the port and we invite them to an informal “meet and greet” the night prior to the cruise. How does meeting up in a hotel lounge or restaurant add to your overall cruise experience? I assure you it can have a major impact on your vacation experience, and I know all the repeat guests recommend this to our “newbies” (new cruisers).

The most obvious plus is that you meet about half of the group before you even board the ship. This way as soon as you get on board you are “reconnecting” rather than introducing yourself. There is a lot of emotionally-charged energy on a singles cruise, especially on Day 1: Some people are very nervous and meeting people the night before really relaxes everyone. Everything seems more thrilling and less scary, having met half the group the night before and you only have the other half to meet.

Another huge benefit to coming in the night before is that embarkation isn’t so stressful. Ships are big and lines just about anywhere can be long. If you fly in the morning of the cruise, most likely you waited in long airline ticket lines, security lines, baggage lines and more! Those who fly in the morning of a cruise have likely been up since before sunrise, and after all of those lines, by the time they get on board they are just looking for a nap!

However, if you book the pre-cruise hotel you will feel much more refreshed! While those who stay at our pre-cruise hotel are giggling and dancing with an umbrella drink poolside, those who skip out on the hotel are sleeping or groggy at best. After all, nothing is as fun when you’re tired.

The pre-cruise hotel is the way to go, for the enhancement and enjoyment it brings your vacation. It’s well worth the investment in one hotel night. If you have to travel more than three hours, I think it’s imperative that you book the pre-cruise hotel and take it easy getting to the ship.

The first two days of a cruise are the most intense and the energy is very high. Don’t miss out on all the fun of Day 1 because you wanted to skimp on the pre-cruise hotel. You’ll thank me on board!


Lead Cruise Director/Shore Excursion Manager

20s & 30s Caribbean Recap – May 2014

Cruise vacationers watch Delta 4 rocket launch Guests Watch the Delta 4 Rocket Blast Off!

Our pre-cruise meet and greet at Marriott Cocoa Beach started off with a BLAST: the launching of the Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral!

After our meet-up at the Marriott it was time to move on to Coconuts Restaurant Bar and Grill – three buses full of cruisers ready to get the party started!

Our group of 20- and 30-somethings soon boarded the completely refurbished, sparkling new Carnival Sunshine, and our first mixer was a huge success. With our exclusive name beads on, we were off and running towards an 8-night cruisers sail-away pub crawl and party. We were all ready to start a great vacation!

The first sea day’s activities gave us a chance to learn more about the ship and our 80 cruisers on board. It also brought our first elegant night, a chance to dress to impress, and we did that.

First port of call: Grand Turk, had a super snorkeling and catamaran excursion; for us, the underwater sights were magical and we could swim to the edge of a 4000+ foot drop! If that wasn’t enough excitement, we had Animals @ Sea night. Our group was the hit of the Sunshine that night, as we conga line-danced from the Deck 5 casino bar to and thru the Atrium bar on Deck 3 to our dining room. It was our group photo night and the ship’s photographers were not the only ones taking pictures!

We continued to enjoy a great week of ports and excursions: St. Thomas and Magen’s Bay, Tortola and the Baths at Virgin Gorda, finally St. Martin and Orient Beach. All great ports and great memories we were able to make. More importantly, we all made it back on the ship on time!

At all of the ports, ensured we had time to get on the excursions and still have a little time left to enjoy the culture, foods and customs of the islands we visited. Okay, shopping, too!

We then sailed for two fun-filled sea days. We had lots of activities scheduled: the ropes course, Pictionary, trivia, waterslide races, name that tune (with our Sonja!) a scavenger hunt and more! It is hard to rest when you travel with us, because it’s too much FUN!

Our last night at sea was our Celebration of New Friends Party. Reflecting on the past week we were all able to exchange numerous laughs! Thank goodness for Facebook so we can all stay in touch!

On Sunday, it was back to reality. Lots of memories, new friends, reuniting with old friends and soooo many smiles. Smiles that we hope you carry in your hearts for a lifetime.

Come cruise with us soon, we look forward to seeing you again!

Thanks to all,

Tara and MaryJay Voyage Hosts