Cruising With Granny: Pt. I

My Grandmother recently took a Trans-Atlantic cruise to Europe! She’s provided this piece with everything you need to know about a last second decision for cruising!


(or anyone else, for that matter)


Before You Sail

Okay, you just got e-mail from Granny saying that she’s found an alert from her credit card company offering a super deal on a cruise to Europe.

That leaves next week.

And she wants to take you along—at her expense.

What do you do?

         If she’s the kind of granny who’s going to want you by her side from breakfast through the last limbo contest, tell her you’re being considered for a great summer job at Burger Haven and suggest that she try one of your cousins instead.

On the other hand, if she’s the kind of granny who remembers what it’s like to be a college student looking for some summer fun, take her up on the offer. Even though you may find yourself surrounded by grey-hairs, there will—I promise—be plenty of people your own age aboard. And that you will find each other, probably within three hours of leaving port. And, furthermore, that some of them, too, will be traveling with their grannies.

That taken care of, what else can you expect to find aboard ship? If it’s one of those big jobs run by lines like Carnival, Princess and Norwegian, what you’ll find are plenty of activities that don’t involve orthopedic tennis shoes, a bridge table, Bingo cards or knitting needles First, though, a brief rundown of what you should know before you start.

What’s included in your fare:

Everything you really need and a whole lot more: a comfortable cabin, housekeeping, food, entertainment, pool and fitness center plus group activities, lectures, competitions (physical and mental) and anything else the cruise director can think up to keep passengers happy.

And what’s not:

Liquor, casino activities, specialty eateries, laundry, professional photos, e-mail access, spa services, shore tours and anything with a price tag attached.


This isn’t 1912 and your ship isn’t the Titanic. For women, a dressy casual outfit will get you into the dining room on formal nights. Guys can usually get by with a sport coat, dress shirt or turtleneck and slacks. For other dining room meals, just about anything but shorts, swimwear and grungy tees will work. Want to wear those? Casual buffet dining is always available as an alternative. If your trip takes you to Europe, take something a bit conservative to wear ashore. X-rated tees and jeans that show your underwear just aren’t accepted everywhere.

Paying the way:

Funny thing about that—except for tipping your cabin steward (and we assume Granny is taking care of that) it’s almost impossible to spend cash aboard. Instead, you’ll get a credit card-like ID before you board. DO NOT LOSE IT. It gets you on the ship both here and abroad, into your room and it charges whatever you buy aboard to Granny’s account. The very first thing you should buy is a lanyard to hang the card on. As dorky as having it around your neck may look, it will save you from things like having to find a steward to let you sneak back into your room at 2 a.m.


Various package deals are available for Wi-Fi access aboard ship. For cell phone access and costs, check with your provider before you sail to get a roaming deal that fits your needs.


Jo-Ann Clegg



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