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View Full Version : Misc Going on a cruise. What do I need to know?


BigRedChief
07-18-2009, 08:39 AM
First time going on a cruise.

Before the cruise a couple of days in Miami
7 days on a cruise ship
After the cruise a couple of days in Key West and Key Largo

Cruise is on the Carnival Liberty, 7 day cruise. Going to Jamica, Grand Caymans and Cozmel Mexico.

Commited to going to the Mayan Ruins in Mexico but beyaond that still trying to figure out the best "stuff" to do, tips and tricks on board the ship etc.

Jenson71
07-18-2009, 08:41 AM
Your spouse might kill you in the cabin.

Donger
07-18-2009, 08:44 AM
Do you know what a norovirus is?

Bacon Cheeseburger
07-18-2009, 08:45 AM
If the ship is ambushed by pirates you should be able to fend them off by throwing deck chairs at them.

BigRedChief
07-18-2009, 08:45 AM
ROFL you guys are a big help so far....

JohnnyV13
07-18-2009, 08:56 AM
Make sure not to get thrown overboard by your wife in the middle of the night. The cruise ship isn't likely to stop.

Dave Lane
07-18-2009, 10:30 AM
A gun...

kstater
07-18-2009, 10:35 AM
There will be absolutely no alcohol available whatsoever.

Skip Towne
07-18-2009, 10:46 AM
There will be absolutely no alcohol available whatsoever.

I'm out.

seclark
07-18-2009, 10:47 AM
I'm out.

2rd...that can't be serious.
sec

Crashride
07-18-2009, 10:48 AM
Dramamine! I think I spelled it wrong but get motion sickness pills just incase!

cdcox
07-18-2009, 10:56 AM
There will be absolutely no alcohol available whatsoever.

This guy says otherwise.

http://www.supakoo.com/rick/ricoblog/content/binary/isaac.jpg

JD10367
07-18-2009, 11:07 AM
Two words for you, BRC: Cruise Critic. (Dot com.) It's a great resource. You'll find a billion posting boards where you can look for helpful info by cruise line and by port. For example, if you're going to a specific port, you'll find people on that board who actually LIVE in the city and can give you tips.

I've been to all of those places on cruises. In Jamaica we did a zipline, which was fun. In Grand Cayman, we swam with the stingrays (also fun). In Cozumel we just walked around town and took a taxi to Paradise Beach and had some food and drinks. (Can't tell you about the native ruins in Cozumel because we've only done that in Belize.) Some people do excursions on their own, others use the ship: the ship is more expensive, but safer financially (if the ship suddenly has to change ports or something, you can work with the cruise line on an alternative or refund; if you go on your own you're SOL... not to mention, if you go on your own, and get back late, the ship will leave without you).

On board, you'll find that your room key is an all-in-one, also acting as an I.D. and your onboard credit card. Be careful: drinks can add up quickly. If you drink a lot of soda, get a soda card; otherwise, make do with the water, iced tea, lemonade, fruit punch, and coffee/tea (all free).

The buffet's usually pretty decent. The dining room is better. I don't bother with the extra-charge restaurants; I don't see the sense, since the food is free otherwise. Usually I get breakfast and lunch in the buffet, dinner in the dining room (although it's nice to do breakfast and/or lunch in the dining room at least once). Don't worry about formal night, they've gotten pretty casual; black slacks and shoes and a nice shirt is fine. Usually each ship has a pizza/burger place near the pool, and a coffee/pastry shop somewhere as well.

Miami, can't tell you much. We're not into the nightlife/club scene and pre-cruise we usually stay with my elderly parents; our activities usually consist of the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, and something like Lion Country Safari up in West Palm Beach.

For the first day on board, take a carry-on with all your important stuff (paperwork, money, IDs, electronics such as iPods and cameras, medicine) as well as a bathing suit. You can usually board the ship by around 11am, even though they tell you to come at 2pm. I like to get on board early, get the lay of the land, and grab my first pina colada, and if you have your bathing suit you can hit the noon buffet and be sunning by the pool while everyone else is still waiting in line to get on. The cabins don't usually open until around 2pm and your luggage might not get to your room until late that evening; thus, the first night's dinner is pretty casual in terms of dress.

The general rule of cruising: once you've packed, open the bag and take half the clothes, but twice the money, LOL.

If you have any other questions, feel free, but you can pretty much find all you need on cruisecritic.com.

**JD**
12/05: RCCL Enchantment, Western Caribbean (Key West, Cozumel, Belize)
9/06: Island Princess, Alaska
9/07: RCCL Voyager, Mediterranean (Western Italy)
2/08: RCCL Enchantment, Western Caribbean (Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman)
9/08: NCL Pride of America, Hawaii
3/09: RCCL Navigator, Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Belize)
upcoming:
12/09: Disney Wonder (Bahamas)
5/10: RCCL (Norway, Belgium, Amsterdam)
10/10: RCCL (Canada)

CanadianChief
07-18-2009, 11:14 AM
What kind of cruise?

L.A. Chieffan
07-18-2009, 11:19 AM
girls in bikinis sipping tropical drinks

BigRedChief
07-18-2009, 11:23 AM
Two words for you, BRC: Cruise Critic. (Dot com.) It's a great resource. You'll find a billion posting boards where you can look for helpful info by cruise line and by port. For example, if you're going to a specific port, you'll find people on that board who actually LIVE in the city and can give you tips.

I've been to all of those places on cruises. In Jamaica we did a zipline, which was fun. In Grand Cayman, we swam with the stingrays (also fun). In Cozumel we just walked around town and took a taxi to Paradise Beach and had some food and drinks. (Can't tell you about the native ruins in Cozumel because we've only done that in Belize.) Some people do excursions on their own, others use the ship: the ship is more expensive, but safer financially (if the ship suddenly has to change ports or something, you can work with the cruise line on an alternative or refund; if you go on your own you're SOL... not to mention, if you go on your own, and get back late, the ship will leave without you).

On board, you'll find that your room key is an all-in-one, also acting as an I.D. and your onboard credit card. Be careful: drinks can add up quickly. If you drink a lot of soda, get a soda card; otherwise, make do with the water, iced tea, lemonade, fruit punch, and coffee/tea (all free).

The buffet's usually pretty decent. The dining room is better. I don't bother with the extra-charge restaurants; I don't see the sense, since the food is free otherwise. Usually I get breakfast and lunch in the buffet, dinner in the dining room (although it's nice to do breakfast and/or lunch in the dining room at least once). Don't worry about formal night, they've gotten pretty casual; black slacks and shoes and a nice shirt is fine. Usually each ship has a pizza/burger place near the pool, and a coffee/pastry shop somewhere as well.

Miami, can't tell you much. We're not into the nightlife/club scene and pre-cruise we usually stay with my elderly parents; our activities usually consist of the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, and something like Lion Country Safari up in West Palm Beach.

For the first day on board, take a carry-on with all your important stuff (paperwork, money, IDs, electronics such as iPods and cameras, medicine) as well as a bathing suit. You can usually board the ship by around 11am, even though they tell you to come at 2pm. I like to get on board early, get the lay of the land, and grab my first pina colada, and if you have your bathing suit you can hit the noon buffet and be sunning by the pool while everyone else is still waiting in line to get on. The cabins don't usually open until around 2pm and your luggage might not get to your room until late that evening; thus, the first night's dinner is pretty casual in terms of dress.

The general rule of cruising: once you've packed, open the bag and take half the clothes, but twice the money, LOL.

If you have any other questions, feel free, but you can pretty much find all you need on cruisecritic.com.

**JD**
12/05: RCCL Enchantment, Western Caribbean (Key West, Cozumel, Belize)
9/06: Island Princess, Alaska
9/07: RCCL Voyager, Mediterranean (Western Italy)
2/08: RCCL Enchantment, Western Caribbean (Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman)
9/08: NCL Pride of America, Hawaii
3/09: RCCL Navigator, Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Belize)
upcoming:
12/09: Disney Wonder (Bahamas)
5/10: RCCL (Norway, Belgium, Amsterdam)
10/10: RCCL (Canada)
Finally a helpful, non smart ass comment. Rep.

Frazod
07-18-2009, 11:26 AM
I'm reasonably sure I have more time at sea that anybody else who's posted, but those were different kinds of cruises.

I don't think the advice I'd offer would be particularly useful to you. :D

Param
07-18-2009, 11:28 AM
While in Key West, check out danger charters. They have a snorkel, kayak, sailing, and all the booze and food you can ask for included. It's a 6 hour day trip and $100 per person. Totally recommend it.

Midnight_Vulture
07-18-2009, 11:31 AM
Well, you need to know how to **** your wife and only your wife...remember me ballers
??

Jenson71
07-18-2009, 11:33 AM
I'm reasonably sure I have more time at sea that anybody else who's posted, but those were different kinds of cruises.

I don't think the advice I'd offer would be particularly useful to you. :D

On Vets Day, my seventh and eighth grade teacher would show us picture slides of his Navy days in Vietnam. One example of things we learned those days at St. Edward's Catholic Grade School: how to fill up condoms and use them as boobs in a fashion show on deck.

L.A. Chieffan
07-18-2009, 11:35 AM
Well, you need to know how to **** your wife and only your wife...remember me ballers
??

no

Ebolapox
07-18-2009, 11:38 AM
Well, you need to know how to **** your wife and only your wife...remember me ballers
??

ROFL

the short asian guy is back! wannabe gangsta! YES!

Midway Chief
07-18-2009, 11:40 AM
I was on the Carnival Liberty last year (it actually was the original norwalk virus ship, but you will be fine). Not a bad ship; great food, entertainment was ok, nice waterslide and a fairly neat putt-putt course around the smoke stacks. They show movies outside on this huge screen at night which is kind of cool. At the front of the ship you can get to a series of decks that no one goes to, but is real neat. Great place at sunset to have a drink. You get there at the end of the hall way on like the 6,7 and 8th floors (?).

Speaking of drinks, the most important thing to remember while preparing for a cruise? RUM RUNNER FLASKS! They are a plastic flasks that hold lots of alcohol and cannot be detected by the x-rays in your checked bags. The cruise ships will x-ray your bags to see if you are smuggling alcohol on board and they will find bottles and cans. I took about $50 of liquor on board which equals about $500 if you buy it on board. If you plan on drinking a lot, google it and get some.

You have some real neat ports of call. In Jamaica you might want to do Dunn's River Falls; a huge waterfall that you walk up. Very pretty and a neat thing to do. In Cozemel, we went to a place called Nachi Colcom (sp?). It is a private beach (has a nice pool too) that you get into for a flat fee and you get tons of good food and all the alcohol you can drink (good bartender and good booze). You get your own waiter that waits on you hand and foot all day. Not the best snorkeling, but we did find a few conch shells. Grand Cayman is one of my favorites. There is no actual dock that the ship pulls up to because the water is too shallow. They take you to shore in shuttle boats. Get up and get in line early so you don't have to wait on a ton of people to get to shore. If you have time, rent a car. You do have to drive on the left side of the road, but you get used to it. I would drive out of the cruise port area and start towards the east side of the island. On the way there is a neat blow-hole to see. Make you way towards Rum Point. Beautiful place and crystal clear water. There is a neat resaurant right on the beach with good food and drinks (I think they are known for their Mud Slides). If you don't rent a car, go to Stingray City, where you can swim with and feed a bunch of stingrays out in the ocean. However, we had several stingrays swim right up to us at Rum Point also with out paying to go on the tour.

Anyway, hope this helps a little. Have a great trip.

ClevelandBronco
07-18-2009, 11:46 AM
Your spouse might kill you in the cabin.

ROFL you guys are a big help so far....

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,533682,00.html

Yeah. Like we're ever going to be a big help...

L.A. Chieffan
07-18-2009, 11:48 AM
we used apple juice bottles for tequila, 2 liter bottles of brisk iced tea for jack daniels, and big water bottles for the clear alks like vodka and rum and shit.

worked fine for us. only alcohol we paid for was beer and then i ended up getting refills for free because i worked the system.

dj56dt58
07-18-2009, 11:50 AM
dont use your cell phone..they rape you

ClevelandBronco
07-18-2009, 11:55 AM
BTW: If I'm reading this article correctly, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,533682,00.html you should never kill your wife with your bare hands on a cruise ship.

Apparently that's a mistake.

Always clothe your hands before killing your wife on a cruise ship.

BigRedChief
07-18-2009, 12:13 PM
ISpeaking of drinks, the most important thing to remember while preparing for a cruise? RUM RUNNER FLASKS! They are a plastic flasks that hold lots of alcohol and cannot be detected by the x-rays in your checked bags. The cruise ships will x-ray your bags to see if you are smuggling alcohol on board and they will find bottles and cans. I took about $50 of liquor on board which equals about $500 if you buy it on board. If you plan on drinking a lot, google it and get some.

Thanls for the info. Especially this info!:clap:

BWillie
07-18-2009, 12:21 PM
Just make sure you bang all the old skeezers

Frazod
07-18-2009, 12:22 PM
On Vets Day, my seventh and eighth grade teacher would show us picture slides of his Navy days in Vietnam. One example of things we learned those days at St. Edward's Catholic Grade School: how to fill up condoms and use them as boobs in a fashion show on deck.

They make great water bombs, too. :D

Phobia
07-18-2009, 12:24 PM
I took several pairs of cotton shorts. Did not wear any of them. Stayed in trunks all day long aboard and ashore. Trousers at dinner.

Rain Man
07-18-2009, 01:42 PM
Don't eat before you board. For seven days.

Pioli Zombie
07-18-2009, 01:45 PM
Zack and Cody are obnoxious. But their mom swallows and London is an easy fuck.
Posted via Mobile Device

dilligaf
07-18-2009, 06:20 PM
I've taken the same cruise a few years ago.
The ruins are OK, but I would do something else if I could do it over again. Grand Caymans were excellent, went snorkeling there.
Jamaica is an extremely poor country. We only had 4 hours there, but we caught a taxi and he asked us if we wanted to go to the tourist traps or see the real Jamaica. He took us through towns that scared the shit outta me.

donkhater
07-18-2009, 06:30 PM
The Wife and I did the same route a few years back...

Cozumel..We did snorkeling and laid on the beach

Grand Cayman..we went swimming with the manta rays. It was neat, but it took a lot of time to get to the spot, so in the end I didn't feel like it was worth it.

Jamaica..we went ocean kayaking which was really cool and stopped and the beach where Dr. No was filmed, then went up Dunn's river fallls. A lot of people but very cool and a long hike up. At the top were a lot of panhandlers wanting you to buy their stuff and quite aggrssive about it. Jamacia was very annoying that way, IMO.

The wife and I aren't big drinkers so we didn't get really into a lot of the activities on the boat. Basically I found a sweet spot on the decks and slept. It was great. Damn I'm old.

If I were to do it again I'd try to get in a little golfing in Mexico and do something else in Grand Cayman. Jamacia was a pit IMO, but it was the best of the three excursions.

BTW, be prepared for them reminding you to tip EVERYONE every 5 minutes. God that was annoying.

Oh and get the rum cake they sell in Jamacia and Grand Cayman. I forget the name but it's everywhere. It was awesome.

donkhater
07-18-2009, 06:31 PM
I've taken the same cruise a few years ago.
The ruins are OK, but I would do something else if I could do it over again. Grand Caymans were excellent, went snorkeling there.
Jamaica is an extremely poor country. We only had 4 hours there, but we caught a taxi and he asked us if we wanted to go to the tourist traps or see the real Jamaica. He took us through towns that scared the shit outta me.


This. The only way I'd go back to Jamacia is at an all-inclusive resort.

Bowser
07-18-2009, 06:42 PM
Be prepared for the bill at the end of the cruise. It may shock you, especially if you drink a lot of booze onboard. And also be prepared to tip everyone at the end of the cruise, from the guys cleaning your room leaving you cool animal shapes made out of towels, to the busboy and maitre'd. Nearly everyone you come into contact working on the boat is supposed to be tipped at the end of the cruise.

chasedude
07-18-2009, 07:37 PM
Two words... Midnight Buffet!! :drool:

BigRedChief
07-18-2009, 08:20 PM
The Wife and I did the same route a few years back...

Cozumel..We did snorkeling and laid on the beach

Grand Cayman..we went swimming with the manta rays. It was neat, but it took a lot of time to get to the spot, so in the end I didn't feel like it was worth it.

Jamaica..we went ocean kayaking which was really cool and stopped and the beach where Dr. No was filmed, then went up Dunn's river fallls. A lot of people but very cool and a long hike up. At the top were a lot of panhandlers wanting you to buy their stuff and quite aggrssive about it. Jamacia was very annoying that way, IMO.

The wife and I aren't big drinkers so we didn't get really into a lot of the activities on the boat. Basically I found a sweet spot on the decks and slept. It was great. Damn I'm old.

If I were to do it again I'd try to get in a little golfing in Mexico and do something else in Grand Cayman. Jamacia was a pit IMO, but it was the best of the three excursions.

BTW, be prepared for them reminding you to tip EVERYONE every 5 minutes. God that was annoying.

Oh and get the rum cake they sell in Jamacia and Grand Cayman. I forget the name but it's everywhere. It was awesome.
Thanks! Rep

BigRedChief
07-18-2009, 08:21 PM
I've taken the same cruise a few years ago.
The ruins are OK, but I would do something else if I could do it over again. Grand Caymans were excellent, went snorkeling there.
Jamaica is an extremely poor country. We only had 4 hours there, but we caught a taxi and he asked us if we wanted to go to the tourist traps or see the real Jamaica. He took us through towns that scared the shit outta me.
Thanks! Rep

Reaper16
07-18-2009, 08:21 PM
He's going to make a lot of mistakes in the middle of the plate. Sit on his changeup and reap the benefits.

JD10367
07-18-2009, 08:32 PM
I was on the Carnival Liberty last year (it actually was the original norwalk virus ship, but you will be fine).

Okay, BRC, here's the thing about the Norwalk virus, a/k/a "the cruise ship virus": the frigging thing is common, has been around forever, and is called the Norwalk virus because it was first found in a Norwalk CT school IIRC. The only reason it propagates easily on a cruise ship is because a.) it's a closed system and b.) people are pigs. If you touch a railing or doorknob and then stick your fingers in your mouth... um, you'll get the virus. Otherwise, if you wash your hands, and use the little antiviral gel thingies they'll have as you enter the buffet, you'll be fine. (If you're real uptight about it you can bring a small disposable pack of Lysol wipes and give your cabin a once-over.)

Speaking of drinks, the most important thing to remember while preparing for a cruise? RUM RUNNER FLASKS! They are a plastic flasks that hold lots of alcohol and cannot be detected by the x-rays in your checked bags. The cruise ships will x-ray your bags to see if you are smuggling alcohol on board and they will find bottles and cans. I took about $50 of liquor on board which equals about $500 if you buy it on board. If you plan on drinking a lot, google it and get some.

Just be forewarned, trying to sneak booze on board is definitely against the rules, and if they find it you WILL lose it.

I'm not a huige drinker. And I found the ship prices to be not that bad. For a frozen frou-frou drink like a pina colada, you'll probably pay six bucks and change, maybe more if you ask for it with coconut rum or they stick you with a souvenir glass. About the same as you'd pay at your neighborhood Chili's or TGIFriday's... maybe even a bit cheaper. I had one, maybe two drinks a day, so it was no big whoop. But if you drink like a fish, yeah, you might as well try to smuggle some on board, LOL. It's a lot easier to get it through when you first come on board; you can't sneak it on board from a port stop. They'll confiscate it, and you won't get it back until the end of the cruise. Same goes for the duty-free booze, even the stuff you buy on the ship. They'll "kindly hold it for you" until you disembark, LOL.

In Jamaica you might want to do Dunn's River Falls; a huge waterfall that you walk up. Very pretty and a neat thing to do.

DRF is very popular. It's also very dangerous, and not for the faint-of-heart or infirm. You basically conga-line up the falls, walking in the water and on slippery rocks. Once you're up there, they'll assault you to buy cheap shit.

In Cozemel, we went to a place called Nachi Colcom (sp?). It is a private beach (has a nice pool too) that you get into for a flat fee and you get tons of good food and all the alcohol you can drink (good bartender and good booze). You get your own waiter that waits on you hand and foot all day. Not the best snorkeling, but we did find a few conch shells.

Cozumel is full of private (pay-entry) beaches. Some are party joints, some are quiet. Some include food but not booze, some include both for a heftier fee. We went to Paradise Beach because it's one of the few free beaches; you can grab a chair on the beach, as long as you plan on ordering some food and drink (reasonably priced, IMO).

Grand Cayman is one of my favorites. There is no actual dock that the ship pulls up to because the water is too shallow. They take you to shore in shuttle boats. Get up and get in line early so you don't have to wait on a ton of people to get to shore. If you have time, rent a car. You do have to drive on the left side of the road, but you get used to it. I would drive out of the cruise port area and start towards the east side of the island. On the way there is a neat blow-hole to see. Make you way towards Rum Point. Beautiful place and crystal clear water. There is a neat resaurant right on the beach with good food and drinks (I think they are known for their Mud Slides). If you don't rent a car, go to Stingray City, where you can swim with and feed a bunch of stingrays out in the ocean. However, we had several stingrays swim right up to us at Rum Point also with out paying to go on the tour.

I don't know how Carnival handles their tendering, but most cruise lines will get you off the ship first thing if you have a tour with them. Otherwise, you might have to get in line for a tender ticket.

Stingray City is neat. It's a whole bunch of rays that have been going there to feed for years, and since they know they get free food they're pretty gentle (although you can still get stabbed or have one nip a finger). There are literally hundreds around you. And it's a decent boat ride out to the sandbar and back, so you can enjoy the day and the breeze (just don't forget your sunblock). I'll have to dig up some pics for this thread.

JD10367
07-18-2009, 08:36 PM
dont use your cell phone..they rape you

Yes. DO NOT use your cell phone. First of all, there are the usual international roaming charges. On top of that, you'd be using the ship's repeater, so the ship also nails you with a minute-by-minute fee. Of course, so many people don't know this; they flip open their phones, see that they have a signal, and start chatting up Aunt Kathy back in Iowa... "Hi, Aunt! I'm on the cruise ship in Mexico, isn't this great?!?" And then they get a $300 cellphone bill.

Same goes for the Internet. You can get a wireless plan on board if you have a laptop. Otherwise, you can pay the 50 cents a minute to use their on-board Internet room, which has a speed similar to slow AOL dial-up, LOL. It'll usually take 5 minutes to get the thing to load one page correctly, so aside from checking your e-mail once just to tell people you're on board, the only other time I'd bother using it is to print your boarding passes for your airline if you're flying out the day you get back. (Which I don't think applies to you 'cause you said you were doing Key West afterwards.)

JD10367
07-18-2009, 08:38 PM
Don't eat before you board. For seven days.

Believe it or not, you don't gain THAT much weight on a cruise. The ships are huge, and just to walk from your cabin to grab a coffee is a 15-minute hike, LOL. Plus the walking on shore, and if you're really industrious you can walk the deck at sunrise and use the gym on board. But figure, for most people, they gain around 5 pounds on a weeklong cruise. Not that big of a deal.

JD10367
07-18-2009, 08:39 PM
Oh and get the rum cake they sell in Jamacia and Grand Cayman. I forget the name but it's everywhere. It was awesome.

Tortuga. And you can actually pick 'em up in the FL airports as well.

http://www.tortugarumcakes.com/

JD10367
07-18-2009, 08:45 PM
Be prepared for the bill at the end of the cruise. It may shock you, especially if you drink a lot of booze onboard. And also be prepared to tip everyone at the end of the cruise, from the guys cleaning your room leaving you cool animal shapes made out of towels, to the busboy and maitre'd. Nearly everyone you come into contact working on the boat is supposed to be tipped at the end of the cruise.

Here's the tipping thing:

1.) Room steward. He/she gets the largest tip.

2.) Main waiter (the one who takes your orders at dinner). Second largest.

3.) Assistant waiter (the breadroll and waterglass person). Smaller tip.

4.) Head waiter (the self-important guy in the red jacket who will introduce himself on the first night, tell you that your happiness is his only goal and to tell him if ANYTHING is even SLIGHTLY wrong... and then he'll vanish and you'll never see hm again, LOL). Tiny tip.

Some ships allow you to prepay gratuities before you even get near the ship. I like to do this, because it avoids the necessity of having to figure out the tips and put cash aside for the end of the cruise. If I really think my Main Waiter and Room Steward did a great job, I might slip another ten bucks into their envelope as well. A lot of people don't like to prepay 'cause they say, "Well, what if the service sucks?" Chances are it won't... and if it did, you could probably go to the purser and get it taken off your bill anyway or something, I dunno, the scenario hasn't occurred for me yet, six cruises and not a one of those people haven't deserved their tip. (Keep in mind that red-jacketed Head Waiter tip is ridiculously small, something like 75 cents per person per day, so even though you'll never see the guy he's only getting around $10 for the whole week from one couple.)

JD10367
07-18-2009, 08:46 PM
Two words... Midnight Buffet!! :drool:

Actually, few cruises do these any more. Nor do they do the chocolate buffet, nor do they offer all-you-can-eat lobster. (They might have lobster at one dinner but, frankly, it's usually Caribbean lobster which is crappy and tasteless... I wouldn't bother.)

JD10367
07-18-2009, 08:59 PM
Grand Cayman (Stingray City). Cozumel (Paradise Beach). Jamaica (fat tall white guy doing something he should never be doing, LOL.)

BigRedChief
07-18-2009, 09:02 PM
Here's the tipping thing:

1.) Room steward. He/she gets the largest tip.

2.) Main waiter (the one who takes your orders at dinner). Second largest.

3.) Assistant waiter (the breadroll and waterglass person). Smaller tip.

4.) Head waiter (the self-important guy in the red jacket who will introduce himself on the first night, tell you that your happiness is his only goal and to tell him if ANYTHING is even SLIGHTLY wrong... and then he'll vanish and you'll never see hm again, LOL). Tiny tip.

Some ships allow you to prepay gratuities before you even get near the ship. I like to do this, because it avoids the necessity of having to figure out the tips and put cash aside for the end of the cruise. If I really think my Main Waiter and Room Steward did a great job, I might slip another ten bucks into their envelope as well. A lot of people don't like to prepay 'cause they say, "Well, what if the service sucks?" Chances are it won't... and if it did, you could probably go to the purser and get it taken off your bill anyway or something, I dunno, the scenario hasn't occurred for me yet, six cruises and not a one of those people haven't deserved their tip. (Keep in mind that red-jacketed Head Waiter tip is ridiculously small, something like 75 cents per person per day, so even though you'll never see the guy he's only getting around $10 for the whole week from one couple.)
We are going to be automatically charged in tips every day....
15% on every drink ordered
$9 a day for the head stewart
$15 a day for the wait staff
$3 day for head waiter
$3 day for "other" staff

sodcat
07-18-2009, 09:41 PM
........Dont rock the boat............

Chaunceythe3rd
07-18-2009, 09:42 PM
First time going on a cruise.

Before the cruise a couple of days in Miami
7 days on a cruise ship
After the cruise a couple of days in Key West and Key Largo

Cruise is on the Carnival Liberty, 7 day cruise. Going to Jamica, Grand Caymans and Cozmel Mexico.

Commited to going to the Mayan Ruins in Mexico but beyaond that still trying to figure out the best "stuff" to do, tips and tricks on board the ship etc.

Leave the combat boots and camouflage clothing at home. Believe it or not, some passengers find the "local color" displayed by inexperienced voyagers a distraction from their efforts to travel with the assorted masses. Please do not be offended by their snobbishness but feel free to make efforts to maintain your self respect. Your money is as good as theirs! If they are on a commercial cruise vessel, they are pretenders and should be exposed. Feel free to give them their well-deserved come uppance.

BigRedChief
07-18-2009, 10:10 PM
Leave the combat boots and camouflage clothing at home. Believe it or not, some passengers find the "local color" displayed by inexperienced voyagers a distraction from their efforts to travel with the assorted masses. Please do not be offended by their snobbishness but feel free to make efforts to maintain your self respect. Your money is as good as theirs! If they are on a commercial cruise vessel, they are pretenders and should be exposed. Feel free to give them their well-deserved come uppance.
I'm confused by this post.

Reaper16
07-19-2009, 12:51 AM
He's going to make a lot of mistakes in the middle of the plate. Sit on his changeup and reap the benefits.
Oh, sorry. I thought we were talking about Juan Cruz. My bad.

JD10367
07-19-2009, 08:41 AM
We are going to be automatically charged in tips every day....
15% on every drink ordered
$9 a day for the head stewart
$15 a day for the wait staff
$3 day for head waiter
$3 day for "other" staff

The only thing confusing me in this list is the drink tip. I've never been on Carnival, but on the other lines I've been on (RCCL, Princess, NCL), drinks are the one thing where a small tip is built-in when you order the drink. In other words, if you get a $6.75 pina colada, the bill is going to be more like $7 and change. I've never heard of a cruise line "pre-paying" drink tips. That might be their simply way of telling you the drink tips are built-in whether you like it or not. I dunno.

You can feel free to "round up" the tip to something more appropriate, of course, e.g. if on a $6.75 drink you'd normally tip the guy a buck, and your "pre-tipped" drink bill says $7.42, you can pencil in another $0.33. But a lot of first-time cruisers, on a line where the tip is built into the drink price, don't realize it so they'll tip normally, and you end up getting a $6.75 drink and the bartender ends up with a $2.50 tip, LOL.

JD10367
07-19-2009, 08:44 AM
I'm confused by this post.

I think it's a lame attempt to call you a hick, insinuating you'd wear hunting clothes on the cruise, and another attempt at his very-unfunny "blue blood" humor. I've only been here a short while, but when I've seen his posts they're useless and scream "douchebag"... even moreso than the normal person's, LOL. Not sure if he's pretending to be a snobby Bostonian because he dislikes the Patriots or something, but it's pretty lame. The stereotype of Bostonians being Charles Emerson Winchester III from "M*A*S*H*" vanished about 50 years ago. Now the stereotype is a "Good Will Hunting" sort of badly-accented Irish guy who drinks a lot. :D

BigRedChief
07-19-2009, 09:23 AM
The only thing confusing me in this list is the drink tip. I've never been on Carnival, but on the other lines I've been on (RCCL, Princess, NCL), drinks are the one thing where a small tip is built-in when you order the drink. In other words, if you get a $6.75 pina colada, the bill is going to be more like $7 and change. I've never heard of a cruise line "pre-paying" drink tips. That might be their simply way of telling you the drink tips are built-in whether you like it or not. I dunno.

You can feel free to "round up" the tip to something more appropriate, of course, e.g. if on a $6.75 drink you'd normally tip the guy a buck, and your "pre-tipped" drink bill says $7.42, you can pencil in another $0.33. But a lot of first-time cruisers, on a line where the tip is built into the drink price, don't realize it so they'll tip normally, and you end up getting a $6.75 drink and the bartender ends up with a $2.50 tip, LOL.
<TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=650 align=center><TBODY><TR><TD class=text_blue_big_bold>What is the tipping policy onboard?</TD></TR><TR><TD>http://www.carnival.com/Images/spacer.gif</TD></TR><TR><TD>Service Gratuities
For your convenience, we automatically charge the gratuities for dining and stateroom staff to your onboard Sail & Sign account. The total amount is $10.00 per guest, per day (our recommended guideline) as follows:
$ 3.50 Per Day Stateroom Services
$ 5.50 Per Day Dining Room Services
$ 1.00 Per Day Alternative Services: distributed to other kitchen and hotel service staff
For Cruises-To-Nowhere, gratuities of $10 per guest, per day must be prepaid.
Our Staff is totally committed to exceed your expectations in every way possible. If you are not satisfied with the service you receive, we encourage you to contact the Guest Services desk while onboard. This will allow us to address your concerns in a timely and appropriate fashion. At your discretion, you may adjust the gratuities at any time.
For beverage purchases, fifteen percent of the bill is automatically added to the Sail & Sign charge. Room Service staff may be tipped as service is rendered. Tipping your MaÓtre d’ is at your discretion, based upon the service you receive.

So, I'm looking at $30 a day in tips. I'm defintely canceling that additional $1.00 a day for "other" crew. I'm not tipping the guy working in the engine room.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

JD10367
07-19-2009, 09:49 AM
For beverage purchases, fifteen percent of the bill is automatically added to the Sail & Sign charge. Room Service staff may be tipped as service is rendered. Tipping your MaÓtre d’ is at your discretion, based upon the service you receive.

Okay, that makes more sense, then. It's just their way of forewarning you that drinks get a tip added automatically. Again, you can round up if you want and give them a little more.

So, I'm looking at $30 a day in tips. I'm defintely canceling that additional $1.00 a day for "other" crew. I'm not tipping the guy working in the engine room.

Actually it said for "the kitchen and hotel service staff". So the engine-room guy doesn't get it. But there are an awful lot of servers who work buffet and don't get tipped for that time, or work room service and get stiffed for a tip (I've never ordered room service, but you should probably throw 'em a buck or two for it each time). And the cooks don't get tipped, but they work awfully hard, preparing probably 10,000 meals a day.

Keep in mind one thing about cruises: the people working on the ship are getting paid jack shit. They're all foreign because only people from poorer countries can work on board a ship at the paltry wage they're given. They work six or seven days a week, and live in small cabins which aren't fit for prisoners, and sign on for months at a time. Most of their money is on tips.

Saulbadguy
07-19-2009, 02:26 PM
I don't bother with the extra-charge restaurants; I don't see the sense, since the food is free otherwise.

I'm going to disagree with you on this one. The premium restaurants are definitely worth it. They range from 20-30 pp but you'd easily drop $50-100 pp in a similarly priced restaurant on land.

We were on the Carnival Conquest this Feb. and did the supper club restaurant - worth every penny at $25 a head. The service was unlike anything i've ever experienced before, and the food was superb, much better than the dining room fair (which isn't bad)

BigRedChief
07-19-2009, 03:07 PM
Okay, that makes more sense, then. It's just their way of forewarning you that drinks get a tip added automatically. Again, you can round up if you want and give them a little more.



Actually it said for "the kitchen and hotel service staff". So the engine-room guy doesn't get it. But there are an awful lot of servers who work buffet and don't get tipped for that time, or work room service and get stiffed for a tip (I've never ordered room service, but you should probably throw 'em a buck or two for it each time). And the cooks don't get tipped, but they work awfully hard, preparing probably 10,000 meals a day.

Keep in mind one thing about cruises: the people working on the ship are getting paid jack shit. They're all foreign because only people from poorer countries can work on board a ship at the paltry wage they're given. They work six or seven days a week, and live in small cabins which aren't fit for prisoners, and sign on for months at a time. Most of their money is on tips.
I always tip good. I use to work in the food service years ago. I know how hard they work and the low wages and horrible working conditions they have to endure.

I read on some of those cruise boards that the "other" tips is split between all the staff. Thats not okay with me. Wait staff? They earn every penny.

BucEyedPea
07-19-2009, 03:08 PM
Cruises sukk!

JuicesFlowing
07-19-2009, 03:21 PM
First time going on a cruise.

Before the cruise a couple of days in Miami
7 days on a cruise ship
After the cruise a couple of days in Key West and Key Largo

Cruise is on the Carnival Liberty, 7 day cruise. Going to Jamica, Grand Caymans and Cozmel Mexico.

Commited to going to the Mayan Ruins in Mexico but beyaond that still trying to figure out the best "stuff" to do, tips and tricks on board the ship etc.

Tulum and Chichen Itza ...? I went there last March. Tulum was the best beach I have ever seen in my life. Oh, but my advise is stay away from pirates, and shoot to kill.

BigRedChief
07-19-2009, 03:34 PM
I'm going to disagree with you on this one. The premium restaurants are definitely worth it. They range from 20-30 pp but you'd easily drop $50-100 pp in a similarly priced restaurant on land.

We were on the Carnival Conquest this Feb. and did the supper club restaurant - worth every penny at $25 a head. The service was unlike anything i've ever experienced before, and the food was superb, much better than the dining room fair (which isn't bad)
Put in a reservation for the two elegant nights of the cruise. If its a waste of money its your fault.;)

Saulbadguy
07-19-2009, 08:14 PM
Put in a reservation for the two elegant nights of the cruise. If its a waste of money its your fault.;)

You will not be disappointed - but be warned, it is a shitload of food. They start you off with an appetizer, then a salad, main course, dessert, and then a "surprise" dessert, usually some truffles. There is also a ton of bread available throughout the meal.

Being waited on by attractive eastern european women just adds to the experience, too. :)

Another tip: DO NOT BUY the Bon Voyage drink! they are very expensive, as are any of the drinks that come in the "souveneir" plastic glass.

If you want I can scan a recent Carnival "capers" brochure so you can see some of the activities you will be enjoying. I've been on 2 carnival cruises and the activities were generally the same on both.

farmerchief
07-19-2009, 09:41 PM
Grand Cayman (Stingray City). Cozumel (Paradise Beach). Jamaica (fat tall white guy doing something he should never be doing, LOL.)


I second the stingray city at Grand Cayman. Took the same cruise 3 years ago, and the stingrays were the best of our excurisons!

BigRedChief
07-19-2009, 09:54 PM
You will not be disappointed - but be warned, it is a shitload of food. They start you off with an appetizer, then a salad, main course, dessert, and then a "surprise" dessert, usually some truffles. There is also a ton of bread available throughout the meal.

Being waited on by attractive eastern european women just adds to the experience, too. :)

Another tip: DO NOT BUY the Bon Voyage drink! they are very expensive, as are any of the drinks that come in the "souveneir" plastic glass.

If you want I can scan a recent Carnival "capers" brochure so you can see some of the activities you will be enjoying. I've been on 2 carnival cruises and the activities were generally the same on both.
Cool. I can't believe they don't put those capers online.

BigRedChief
07-20-2009, 06:30 AM
If you want I can scan a recent Carnival "capers" brochure so you can see some of the activities you will be enjoying. I've been on 2 carnival cruises and the activities were generally the same on both.
wellll we are waitingggg..
http://thestockmasters.com/images/judge-smails-hat.gif

Saulbadguy
07-20-2009, 06:42 AM
wellll we are waitingggg..
http://thestockmasters.com/images/judge-smails-hat.gif

:) In due time...

More thoughts:

1. Jamaica. It's dirty, and poor. People hassle you non-stop to buy their worthless shit. Just ignore them unless you want to get sucked in and hassled. We went to Sandal's when we were in Jamaica - i don't recommend it. Next time i'd try the Martha Brae or Dunns River falls.

2. Grand Cayman. Very nice, but kind of boring unless you do an excursion. We were going to do Stingray city but it got canceled due to high winds (Februrary). There really wasn't much in port other than shops selling you the same crap you'd find on other islands. Also, most shops only take Cayman dollars, which don't translate well to the American dollar, so it is kind of expensive. They do have a tortuga rum cake shop though :)

3. Cozumel. We did the Mayan ruins of Tulum. Excellent experience. The only downside is you don't get to see any of Cozumel. With this excursion you have to be up early and you are first off the boat since the excursion takes 7-8 hours. You are also one of the last back on the boat and you don't have much time if any to visit Cozumel after the tour. Also if you experience motion sickness, the Cruise boat shouldn't bother you since it's so big but the ferry bothered me quite a bit from Cozumel to Playa (Mainland).

BigRedChief
07-20-2009, 06:54 AM
The prices of drinks are outrageous!
http://unofficialcarnivalwiki.com/wiki/Bar_Menu

Saulbadguy
07-20-2009, 07:00 AM
The prices of drinks are outrageous!
http://unofficialcarnivalwiki.com/wiki/Bar_Menu

Meh - cheaper than Arrowhead. :)

You can buy drink tickets before hand and that will save you $$$. I think you can get a bucket of 4 beers for $17 as well.

HonestChieffan
07-20-2009, 07:06 AM
Carnival has lots of families so get ready for kids on the boat. The food is ok not great but they are the lower cost cruise operation so you cannot expect Holland treatment at Carnival prices.

BigRedChief
07-20-2009, 07:16 AM
Meh - cheaper than Arrowhead. :)

You can buy drink tickets before hand and that will save you $$$. I think you can get a bucket of 4 beers for $17 as well.
Not that I can find. Total worth of beer/drink value = $21.00. Sell it to you before the cruise = $21.25
http://secure.carnival.com/CMS/images/ebvxl/images/SpecialtyItems/BarCreditsBAR.jpg

Saulbadguy
07-20-2009, 07:22 AM
Not that I can find. Total worth of beer/drink value = $21.00. Sell it to you before the cruise = $21.25
http://secure.carnival.com/CMS/images/ebvxl/images/SpecialtyItems/BarCreditsBAR.jpg

You don't pay gratuities with the tickets, so you save a few bucks. Plus i've bought 6 to 7 dollar cocktails with a single drink ticket before, they don't usually care.

the Talking Can
07-20-2009, 07:33 AM
nothing personal, but I can't think of a worse way to vacation...

Saulbadguy
07-20-2009, 07:37 AM
nothing personal, but I can't think of a worse way to vacation...

To each their own...it's my preferred method of travel any more.

JD10367
07-20-2009, 09:08 AM
I read on some of those cruise boards that the "other" tips is split between all the staff. Thats not okay with me. Wait staff? They earn every penny.

Also, some lines do the same with the prepaid tips. You put it on your account, they give you a voucher for the envelope. Another reason I like to throw a sawbuck in with the voucher, for good service... 'cause I know the server can look around and slide that sawbuck into his/her pocket before handing in the voucher.

JD10367
07-20-2009, 09:11 AM
The prices of drinks are outrageous!
http://unofficialcarnivalwiki.com/wiki/Bar_Menu

:shrug: Five to six bucks a beer, six bucks and change a frozen drink. Pretty standard for a cruise, beer's a bit more expensive than a land-based chain restaurant but the hard stuff's probably a hair cheaper.

JD10367
07-20-2009, 09:15 AM
To each their own...it's my preferred method of travel any more.

Agreed. They're addictive. A floating hotel that allows you to visit different cities without worrying about rental cars, airports, and checking in and out of places. Not that it's here nor there, since BRC wasn't asking for people's opinions on cruising.

BigRedChief
07-20-2009, 10:07 AM
nothing personal, but I can't think of a worse way to vacation...
First timer. I've traveled most of the world. Never really saw a cruise vacation as my thing either. Figured it was for old people and newlyweds. But, thats certaintly changed in 2009. Looks like a lot to do on board, I like the idea od being on a floating hotel that takes me around the caribeean. Everyone, and I mean every single person I've talk to that I know has said they loved the cruise experience. So we are giving it a chance this year. I'll defintely update this thread with my experience when I get back.

Even if it sucks we have a couple of days in Key Largo and Key West when the cruise ends.

Saulbadguy
07-20-2009, 10:14 AM
First timer. I've traveled most of the world. Never really saw a cruise vacation as my thing either. Figured it was for old people and newlyweds. But, thats certaintly changed in 2009. Looks like a lot to do on board, I like the idea od being on a floating hotel that takes me around the caribeean. Everyone, and I mean every single person I've talk to that I know has said they loved the cruise experience. So we are giving it a chance this year. I'll defintely update this thread with my experience when I get back.

Even if it sucks we have a couple of days in Key Largo and Key West when the cruise ends.

The people who slam cruises generally have the same reasons for not liking a cruise...

A) It's all old people. Might be true on lines like Holland America or Celebrity but definitely not Carnival.
B) Don't like being confined to a boat.
C) Afraid of things like pirates, norovirus, food poisoning, seasickness

JD10367
07-20-2009, 10:41 AM
I've traveled most of the world. Never really saw a cruise vacation as my thing either. Figured it was for old people and newlyweds. But, thats certaintly changed in 2009. Looks like a lot to do on board, I like the idea od being on a floating hotel that takes me around the caribeean. Everyone, and I mean every single person I've talk to that I know has said they loved the cruise experience. So we are giving it a chance this year.

The people who slam cruises generally have the same reasons for not liking a cruise...

A) It's all old people. Might be true on lines like Holland America or Celebrity but definitely not Carnival.
B) Don't like being confined to a boat.
C) Afraid of things like pirates, norovirus, food poisoning, seasickness

Yes, about ten years ago the saying was that cruises were for "the newly-wed and nearly-dead". But more young people (and by young I mean from 20s to 40s) and more families are doing it. It's become a tourism industry and not just a luxury industry.

A lot of people have the confinement issue, but with the size of the ships nowadays you hardly feel like your on a ship at all. You have a casino, a show theater, a movie theater (on some), more bars and lounges than you can shake a stick at, eateries, a shopping area, pools, a walking deck, a gym, and anything from a rock wall to a flowrider. Hell, the new RCCL Oasis Of The Seas is so massive, they have a frigging zipline on board. Pirates? They only attack tiny cruise ships, of the 400-foot variety that you rarely find in the big lines (most of the big lines' ships are 900 feet or longer). Norovirus can happen anywhere; as I said, don't touch doorknobs and then lick your fingers, and you should be fine. :) Seasickness, again, the ships are so big it doesn't happen that much, unless you're in a known area for it (North Atlantic, Trans-Atlantic, Inside Passage of Alaska).

It seems like first-timers make up their mind quickly as to whether they love it or hate it, but you can't go by what you think you might feel about it. Like sushi, opera, and buttsex, cruising is one of those things you just have to try to see if you like it. :D

ziggysocki
07-20-2009, 10:56 AM
It seems like first-timers make up their mind quickly as to whether they love it or hate it, but you can't go by what you think you might feel about it. Like sushi, opera, and buttsex, cruising is one of those things you just have to try to see if you like it. :D

Yeah, pretty sure I won't have to try that to be sure I wouldn't like it... (NTTAWWT of course)

Ebolapox
07-20-2009, 11:04 AM
Yeah, pretty sure I won't have to try that to be sure I wouldn't like it... (NTTAWWT of course)

you wouldn't PIIHB? (h for her, of course)

JD10367
07-20-2009, 11:05 AM
Yeah, pretty sure I won't have to try that to be sure I wouldn't like it... (NTTAWWT of course)

:shrug: I didn't specify with a man or woman, or giving or receiving. Where your mind led you isn't my concern... :thailor: :D

JD10367
07-20-2009, 11:07 AM
you wouldn't PIIHB? (h for her, of course)

See? It was a test. You chose wisely. :)

http://isurus.mote.org/~cuncator/pics/lastcrusade-knight.jpg

Chief Henry
07-20-2009, 11:29 AM
Stingray City is fun, intimidating to me at first but I got over it. They have buckets of chopped up squid all around the area floating in the water. They encourage you to
feed the stingrays. Its a very cool thing to do, to me it was. Just put the chopped up squid in the palm of your hands and the stingrays will come up and suck it out. Watch your step of course.

Becareful in Jamaica. We've been there several times. However the Dunns River Falls is a cool thing to do with your wife and its safe. You'll have a chance to buy a video of that experiance if you wish. The video camera guy goes with your group. We've watched it several times in the last 10 years. Brings back great memories.

Dunns River Falls is not for over weight people (just sayin). We had some hefty weights in our group and they hated it. You do have to navigate some climbing rocks
while having water pounding into your face and body.

The natives of Jamaica will be relentless if you do any shopping. They will call your
wife "pretty lady" and want you to buy all kinds of crap. Be prepared to say no thank you a BUNCH of times if you do any shopping in Jamaica. I would NOT suggest you
go out an wander around in Jaimaica. You can wander around alot in Grand Caymon.
been there a few times.

The little boats in Grand Caymon are called "tenders"... they're kind of crude and can be bumpy until you get off.

I've been on 5 crusies and my wife and I prefer the cruising experiance. Its what we like to do.

Try to get on the ship as early as possible. It will give you time to wander about and learn the ship and have a slice of pizza or cheese burger.

The swimming pools on the ship are filled with SEA Water.....(don't ask).

Fat, pasty white people will wear clothes and swimming suits that they shouldn't be wearing and they walk really f'n slow.

I've never tried to smuggle any booze on to the ships. I guess I don't want the hassle.
I still remember what happened to Billy Hayes in the turkish prison !!!

Pack lite - very lite. If your going to formal dininng I would recommend slacks and
the traditional blue jacket/sport coat. Your eveing dinners can be very fun getting to meet the other passnegers your sitting with at your table. We still exchange Christmas cards with 2 couples we met on our first cruise. One is in Pittsburg and the other is
in New York.

Sunscreen is a must.

The room key doubles as your I-D also. Right before you get on the boat they will take a picture of you. This photo will go on your "Sail and Sign Card". You will each need to carry this card with you at all times. The security will need to see this prior to you getting off and on the ship at the ports of call. The waiters and staff will use your card to charge things to your room like drinks and other gift items. If you want to buy stuff on the ship, wait until the last day - it all goes on sale. The tortuga rum cakes are AWESOME. I love those things and they make great souvenirs for family and friends.

You can put a $$$ limit on your "sail and sign card" if you want. We've never done that but it s a service thats available. I guess for the people that spend a large sum on alcohol it would be beneficial.

I would highly recommend going to the first big meeting they have the first day on the boat. Its usually in the big the entertainment room with the fancy vegas and comedy shows. The meeting is to help prepare you for the cruise. They'll give you some hints on what to do and what to expect. They'll talk to you about all the ports of call and the shoppes that Carnival is connected with. Supposidly they're cheaper for you. I woulnd not know about that. My wife and I have never purchased any jewelry on the ships or in the ports of call.

We love the ships, been on four Carnival ships and one RCCL. The Mrs. has been on a Disney Cruise also and loved it..

Everyone we've ever talked to that has been on a cruise has loved them.

Have fun.

BigRedChief
07-20-2009, 11:49 AM
Stingray City is fun, intimidating to me at first but I got over it. They have buckets of chopped up squid all around the area floating in the water. They encourage you to
feed the stingrays. Its a very cool thing to do, to me it was. Just put the chopped up squid in the palm of your hands and the stingrays will come up and suck it out. Watch your step of course.

Becareful in Jamaica. We've been there several times. However the Dunns River Falls is a cool thing to do with your wife and its safe. You'll have a chance to buy a video of that experiance if you wish. The video camera guy goes with your group. We've watched it several times in the last 10 years. Brings back great memories.

Dunns River Falls is not for over weight people (just sayin). We had some hefty weights in our group and they hated it. You do have to navigate some climbing rocks
while having water pounding into your face and body.

The natives of Jamaica will be relentless if you do any shopping. They will call your
wife "pretty lady" and want you to buy all kinds of crap. Be prepared to say no thank you a BUNCH of times if you do any shopping in Jamaica. I would NOT suggest you
go out an wander around in Jaimaica. You can wander around alot in Grand Caymon.
been there a few times.

The little boats in Grand Caymon are called "tenders"... they're kind of crude and can be bumpy until you get off.

I've been on 5 crusies and my wife and I prefer the cruising experiance. Its what we like to do.

Try to get on the ship as early as possible. It will give you time to wander about and learn the ship and have a slice of pizza or cheese burger.

The swimming pools on the ship are filled with SEA Water.....(don't ask).

Fat, pasty white people will wear clothes and swimming suits that they shouldn't be wearing and they walk really f'n slow.

I've never tried to smuggle any booze on to the ships. I guess I don't want the hassle.
I still remember what happened to Billy Hayes in the turkish prison !!!

Pack lite - very lite. If your going to formal dininng I would recommend slacks and
the traditional blue jacket/sport coat. Your eveing dinners can be very fun getting to meet the other passnegers your sitting with at your table. We still exchange Christmas cards with 2 couples we met on our first cruise. One is in Pittsburg and the other is
in New York.

Sunscreen is a must.

The room key doubles as your I-D also. Right before you get on the boat they will take a picture of you. This photo will go on your "Sail and Sign Card". You will each need to carry this card with you at all times. The security will need to see this prior to you getting off and on the ship at the ports of call. The waiters and staff will use your card to charge things to your room like drinks and other gift items. If you want to buy stuff on the ship, wait until the last day - it all goes on sale. The tortuga rum cakes are AWESOME. I love those things and they make great souvenirs for family and friends.

You can put a $$$ limit on your "sail and sign card" if you want. We've never done that but it s a service thats available. I guess for the people that spend a large sum on alcohol it would be beneficial.

I would highly recommend going to the first big meeting they have the first day on the boat. Its usually in the big the entertainment room with the fancy vegas and comedy shows. The meeting is to help prepare you for the cruise. They'll give you some hints on what to do and what to expect. They'll talk to you about all the ports of call and the shoppes that Carnival is connected with. Supposidly they're cheaper for you. I woulnd not know about that. My wife and I have never purchased any jewelry on the ships or in the ports of call.

We love the ships, been on four Carnival ships and one RCCL. The Mrs. has been on a Disney Cruise also and loved it..

Everyone we've ever talked to that has been on a cruise has loved them.

Have fun.
thanks for the info! :clap:

Buehler445
07-20-2009, 12:04 PM
Wife and I took a Carnival Cruise for our honeymoon. We had a GREAT time. Ours was much cheaper than yours, but some stuff still applies. I commented when CoMoCheif went on his (I think). Iíll see if I can dig it up. Anyway, here are my thoughts.

1. MONEY The offshore stuff is kind of expensive, but it would be boring if you didnít get off. The liquor costs money. The only tips that werenít prepaid when we went were the matre Ďd (however the fook you spell it) and the child care. We wanted to tip our cleaning guy extra but they discouraged it and did what they could to eliminate the opportunity.The way the wife and I handled it was that we didnít drink on the days we went offshore (excepting when we were sitting on the beach, but that was cash. The day we were at sea, we bought all the drinks and got hammered.

2. FOOD The food was much better than I expected. Our boat had 2 dining rooms that were open most of the time. They were buffet style and had a very wide variety of food. For being buffet style, it was really pretty solid. Try everything. Seriously. If you donít like something, throw it away. There is typically something very good at every meal. Our boat had a deli type thing where you could get good sandwiches. It isnít 5 star or anything, but the deli was good. The deli is also open later and between meals. Our cruise had a formal dinner every night. It wasnít tooooo formal. Just donít look like a bum. That shit is GOOD. Make sure you make that. The food is very very good. It is head and shoulders above the rest. They will allow you to get extra stuff like 2 deserts :D but you have to ask. And sign up for the late session so you are sure to be back on the boat from the offshore stuff. If you donít take anything else away from this post, make sure you get to the formal dinners nightly.

3. ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment on the boat was much better than I anticipated. They usually bring in comedians and stuff every night. Make a point to hit those. Itís free and it is typically good.

4. ROOMS The wife and I got the biggest suite on the boat. I was really concerned about her getting motion sickness, but I think a regular room would be fine. The balcony was cool, but I donít know if it was worth the money.

5. MOTION SICKNESS Like I said, I was really concerned. But either one of us got it. You can definitely tell the ship was moving and could feel it rocking, but it never made either of us sick. It took some getting used to figuring out how to walk without falling down like a douche, but itís not bad. You just have to crash into a wall a couple times.

6. TIME Really, you donít have to worry about being anywhere for anything ever. Just do what you want. The exceptions are the shore excursions, especially for departure times. Iíd also make damn sure you make dinner time, but thatís just me. There are plenty of other options if you miss the formal meal, but to me, the meal was so good, it was worth watching the clock a bit. They give you a big list of a diverse range of activities that are going on all the time, but you donít need to go and you can typically be late.

7. PROBLEMS A few things that blew ass that you should be aware of prior to going in. The first and foremost is de-boarding the ship. Customs sucks a bag of dicks, and it is really a pain because you had such a good time on the boat, then you have to stand in line for customs. It is a giant pain. Just be aware. Since the wife and I got the big room, we got to check in quickerÖ or something, I donít really know what was different about ours, but our line was short. You canít go to all the decks. I wasted a lot of time trying to get to the front of the ship so I could take pictures. Donít try.

There were a lot of families on our cruise (ours started july 28th, so yours will probably be similar). There werenít little screaming kids, they have a separate area for those, but there were a ton of teen-age, punk-ass, text messaging, kids around that bugged me.

8. NON-PROBLEMS I expected horrendous lines everywhere. They werenít bad. They do an excellent job of managing your experience. We did try to avoid eating right in the thick of the busy time, but that was to avoid the mass of people in the dining room, not the line for food.

Cleanliness was not an issue. However, the exterior lights were often covered in seagull poop.

Privacy was not an issue either. There are enough places on the boat to have a nice meal or whatever with the wife. Itís good.

8. OTHER NOTES The crew were some of the hardest working people Iíve ever seen. They do a really nice job of managing your experience to make you feel like it is all about you.

The design of the boat was pretty solid, better than I anticipated.

The biggest thing is that you do whatever you want. If you want to sit on your ass and do nothing to get some serious R&R, that is really good and easy. If you want to get active and do all the activities the boat has to offer, there is a lot of opportunity for that.

The ship was pretty tightly ran and they thought of about everything.

Seriously, get on the boat, then do everything you can to not worry about anything and have a good time. Seriously. Wife and I had a GREAT time when we went.

Buehler445
07-20-2009, 12:05 PM
I would highly recommend going to the first big meeting they have the first day on the boat. Its usually in the big the entertainment room with the fancy vegas and comedy shows. The meeting is to help prepare you for the cruise. They'll give you some hints on what to do and what to expect. They'll talk to you about all the ports of call and the shoppes that Carnival is connected with. Supposidly they're cheaper for you. I woulnd not know about that. My wife and I have never purchased any jewelry on the ships or in the ports of call.



This is good advice. FWIW, they replayed the deal on our TV in our room if you miss it.

JD10367
07-20-2009, 12:12 PM
Becareful in Jamaica . . . The natives of Jamaica will be relentless if you do any shopping. They will call your
wife "pretty lady" and want you to buy all kinds of crap. Be prepared to say no thank you a BUNCH of times if you do any shopping in Jamaica. I would NOT suggest you go out an wander around in Jaimaica.

Yeah, in Jamaica I would definitely do a ship's tour at Dunn's River or a zipline or something. Not a place to take a private tour or wander around on your own, although there is one woman who runs tours and is popular on the CruiseCritic board.

The little boats in Grand Caymon are called "tenders"... they're kind of crude and can be bumpy until you get off.

I find the tenders to be wicked fun, LOL. Mostly they just use a lifeboat for it.

Your eveing dinners can be very fun getting to meet the other passnegers your sitting with at your table.

Yes, if your cruise line has tables of 4, 6, 8, or 10, ask for a large table. It's much better because it gives you a chance to interact and, if two people at the table are stiffs, you can ignore them and talk to the other 6, LOL. If it's a table for 4 and you don't like your tablemates, it sucks.

They'll talk to you about all the ports of call and the shoppes that Carnival is connected with. Supposidly they're cheaper for you. I woulnd not know about that. My wife and I have never purchased any jewelry on the ships or in the ports of call.

All the cruise lines are in cahoots. You'll find a jewelry shop at the pier (usually Diamonds International) and you'll find "art sales" on board (usually Park West). It's all a bunch of crap. Don't spend a dime on any of it, IMO.

JD10367
07-20-2009, 12:25 PM
Try everything. Seriously. If you donít like something, throw it away. There is typically something very good at every meal.

That probably sounded more wasteful than you intended. I think what he probably meant to say was, if you don't like something, don't be afraid to tell them and get something else. And if you like something, feel free to ask for a second portion of it. What my wife and I like to do is, we'll usually each get a different appetizer and a different soup, so we can try each other's, and then we'll get a different meal for the same reason. Sometimes, if the appetizers--or even the main courses--sound really good, and we're hungry, we'll get a third to split between us.

And sign up for the late (dining) session so you are sure to be back on the boat from the offshore stuff.

This is something that hasn't been brought up yet. Most ships have two seatings, usually 6pm and 8:30pm or around there. The benefit to the early seating is that you're not eating dinner at 9pm at night. The drawback to it is that you do have to be back on board, cleaned up, and dressed for dinner in time, but for most port stops you're back on board by around 4pm-5pm anyway. We prefer "main" (i.e. first seating) dining. They'll usually stagger the entertainment as well, with two shows; that way, the second dining people go to the first show, and the first dining people go to the second show.

The balcony was cool, but I donít know if it was worth the money.

I definitely suggest Oceanviews (i.e. a window). I would go crazy in an Inside (windowless) cabin. Balconies, it depends on the itinerary, I think: we had balconies in Hawaii and Alaska, as well as the Mediterranean, and frankly the only time we really used our balcony was on the Alaska cruise. Most of the time you're out and about on the ship, and there are plenty of viewing spots for stuff all around the decks. Unless you want to sit on your balcony and sip wine and get a handjob, the balcony's probably not necessary, and they usually charge a lot more for them.

You can definitely tell the ship was moving and could feel it rocking, but it never made either of us sick. It took some getting used to figuring out how to walk without falling down like a douche, but itís not bad. You just have to crash into a wall a couple times.

I usually tell people that, walking down the hall, it feels like your a bit hammered even if you're sober, LOL. I've never gotten hammered on a ship so, maybe if you do, they'll cancel each other out and you'll walk straight. :D

Customs sucks a bag of dicks, and it is really a pain because you had such a good time on the boat, then you have to stand in line for customs. It is a giant pain. Just be aware. Since the wife and I got the big room, we got to check in quickerÖ or something, I donít really know what was different about ours, but our line was short.

Embarking (getting on) is usually more time-consuming than disembarking. I've never had much trouble at customs. You definitely won't be off the ship in five minutes, though.

You canít go to all the decks. I wasted a lot of time trying to get to the front of the ship so I could take pictures. Donít try.

Depends on the ship. Some of them have inaccessible bows; others have a bow you can only access by going to deck 4 or 5 and going outside, and walking towards the front of the ship and going up a flight of stairs.

There were a ton of teen-age, punk-ass, text messaging, kids around that bugged me.

That's when you go to the bars. :) Or the adults-only pool, if your ship has one.

I expected horrendous lines everywhere. They werenít bad. They do an excellent job of managing your experience.

Yup. I didn't think I'd like bigger ships because of all the people but, the bigger the ship, the more places they have on board to hide all the passengers. Aside from the pool deck on sunny days, the dining areas at peak times, and the shopping promenade (which is only open a few hours while on the ocean), you don't realize how many people are sharing your vacation.

Privacy was not an issue either. There are enough places on the boat to have a nice meal or whatever with the wife.

:spock: I'd be careful with the "whatever", they have cameras everywhere. :D

The biggest thing is that you do whatever you want. If you want to sit on your ass and do nothing to get some serious R&R, that is really good and easy. If you want to get active and do all the activities the boat has to offer, there is a lot of opportunity for that.

This is true.

Kerberos
07-20-2009, 12:31 PM
Hey BRC

I'll send you a Money Order if you pick me up some Jamaican Gold while you are there. Don't worry about customs when coming back in. Just tell'em it's for medicinal purposes.






J/K
:D

BigRedChief
07-20-2009, 12:50 PM
Hey BRC

I'll send you a Money Order if you pick me up some Jamaican Gold while you are there. Don't worry about customs when coming back in. Just tell'em it's for medicinal purposes.






J/K
:D
Not my thing, anymore...Planning on getting some of that Blue Mountain coffee though :thumb:

Buehler445
07-20-2009, 01:05 PM
That probably sounded more wasteful than you intended. I think what he probably meant to say was, if you don't like something, don't be afraid to tell them and get something else. And if you like something, feel free to ask for a second portion of it. What my wife and I like to do is, we'll usually each get a different appetizer and a different soup, so we can try each other's, and then we'll get a different meal for the same reason. Sometimes, if the appetizers--or even the main courses--sound really good, and we're hungry, we'll get a third to split between us.


I was referring to the buffet style food, not the formal meal. I tried to get at least a sample of everything I wanted to try, and there was some stuff I didn't care for and discarded. I was concerned,but there are a lot of people that throw stuff away. FWIW, I didn't dislike anything I ordered for the formal dinners.


I usually tell people that, walking down the hall, it feels like your a bit hammered even if you're sober, LOL. I've never gotten hammered on a ship so, maybe if you do, they'll cancel each other out and you'll walk straight. :D


Heh. The comedian on the first night made a joke about it. He said you can always tell who's sober and who's plowed. The sober people will be careful and try to find the footing. Drunks will walk perfectly straight with no problems.

Embarking (getting on) is usually more time-consuming than disembarking. I've never had much trouble at customs. You definitely won't be off the ship in five minutes, though.


This could be. But like I said, the wife and I got into some magic fast line when we boarded because we got the expensive cabin.


That's when you go to the bars. :) Or the adults-only pool, if your ship has one.


They weren't a problem when we were trying to do stuff, just in-transit and eating.
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Gracie Dean
07-20-2009, 01:19 PM
buy all of your drinks from the same bartender and tip him a dollar once in a while ...they will take care of you...

you don't have to do all the excursions but in Jamaica do the Dunns River Falls

In Jamaica you do NOT need a taxi to walk to the shopping areas..

do NOT talk to the locals on the street, they will scam you

Gracie Dean
07-20-2009, 01:26 PM
Find Margaritaville in Cayman Islands

Also the local shopping in the Cayman Islands are not as great of deals as in Mexico and Jamaica

Do all the fun things....the sexy legs competition, the love and marriage game show ect


I love Cruising

Dartgod
07-20-2009, 01:56 PM
Unless you want to sit on your balcony and sip wine and get a handjob, the balcony's probably not necessary, and they usually charge a lot more for them.
For the balcony or the hand job? :D

JD10367
07-20-2009, 07:40 PM
For the balcony or the hand job? :D

For the balcony. If you're married, trust me, you're already paying big-time for the handjob. :D

stlchiefs
07-20-2009, 09:47 PM
Don't know if it has been said or not, but I stowed a couple of bottles of booze in my bags on my cruise. Soda is free, whiskey, etc. is not. Make your own and get toasted for a lot less!

Dylan
07-20-2009, 11:16 PM
First time going on a cruise.

Before the cruise a couple of days in Miami
7 days on a cruise ship
After the cruise a couple of days in Key West and Key Largo

Cruise is on the Carnival Liberty, 7 day cruise. Going to Jamica, Grand Caymans and Cozmel Mexico.

Commited to going to the Mayan Ruins in Mexico but beyaond that still trying to figure out the best "stuff" to do, tips and tricks on board the ship etc.

Go to CruiseCritic.com. Visit the forums and locate your cruise destination.

CruiseCritic is a award-winning comprehensive Web site for passenger cruises. It is the most comprehensive cruise site on the Internet. It will tell you all you need to know about the ship you're cruising on.

http://www.cruisecritic.com/

Have fun!

Chief Henry
07-21-2009, 11:28 AM
This is something that hasn't been brought up yet. Most ships have two seatings, usually 6pm and 8:30pm or around there. The benefit to the early seating is that you're not eating dinner at 9pm at night. The drawback to it is that you do have to be back on board, cleaned up, and dressed for dinner in time, but for most port stops you're back on board by around 4pm-5pm anyway. We prefer "main" (i.e. first seating) dining. They'll usually stagger the entertainment as well, with two shows; that way, the second dining people go to the first show, and the first dining people go to the second show.

]I hear what your saying on that. We've done both dinner sittings. My wife prefers that early sitting time and I prefer the late sitting. I don't like to be in a hurry when on vacation. I like to have a couple of drinks after getting back on the ship from the port of call. The entertainment is staggered, thats a very good point ot bring up. The comedians have been great on the ships we've been on. They'll fly in a new comedian at a port of call and the first comedian will be flown to a different port of call to go ona another ship.
The late night comedy shows are rated "R" for a reason. But they're really funny......The Vegas style shows are really nice. Try to get a good seat,they go fast. [/I]I definitely suggest Oceanviews (i.e. a window). I would go crazy in an Inside (windowless) cabin. Balconies, it depends on the itinerary, I think: we had balconies in Hawaii and Alaska, as well as the Mediterranean, and frankly the only time we really used our balcony was on the Alaska cruise. Most of the time you're out and about on the ship, and there are plenty of viewing spots for stuff all around the decks. Unless you want to sit on your balcony and sip wine and get a handjob, the balcony's probably not necessary, and they usually charge a lot more for them.

My wife loved the balcony, so did I. Never have gotten the handjob on the balcony, not yet anyway. At night when you sit out on the balcony and look
down at the churning water, that is spooky. If you ever went overboard you would be chum in a hurry. The inside rooms are OK. They have a curtain up
to make it like you have a window!!!!
I usually tell people that, walking down the hall, it feels like your a bit hammered even if you're sober, LOL. I've never gotten hammered on a ship so, maybe if you do, they'll cancel each other out and you'll walk straight. :D



Embarking (getting on) is usually more time-consuming than disembarking. I've never had much trouble at customs. You definitely won't be off the ship in five minutes, though.

[I]Getting to the ship early will help the embarking tremendously. We been in lines for about 60 minutes twice and then decided to get to the ship early, and you almost walk right on after jumping through the routine hoops like the photo ID and proof of your identification. It does help alot if you have a room/cabin on one of the upper floor's of the ship. .

Depends on the ship. Some of them have inaccessible bows; others have a bow you can only access by going to deck 4 or 5 and going outside, and walking towards the front of the ship and going up a flight of stairs.



That's when you go to the bars. :) Or the adults-only pool, if your ship has one.



Yup. I didn't think I'd like bigger ships because of all the people but, the bigger the ship, the more places they have on board to hide all the passengers. Aside from the pool deck on sunny days, the dining areas at peak times, and the shopping promenade (which is only open a few hours while on the ocean), you don't realize how many people are sharing your vacation.



:spock: I'd be careful with the "whatever", they have cameras everywhere. :D



This is true.


When you wait to get off the ship, they will have you put your luggage outside of your room the night before. You'll need to keep your clothes out
for traveling back home. The morning of your disembarking (getting off the ship) will suck. They'll heard you to one of the BIG entertainment rooms with your carry on. Then you'll sit and wait until your floor is called to disembark. Generally they'll have the upper levels disembark first, then the lower floors. If your cabin is on one of the lower floores, get ready to wait
a couple of hours !!! Once your level is called they'll take you off the ship and then you'll have to match up the color of name tag with the color are for your luggage. Your luggage will be in HUGE wear house type of a building and people are scrambling to find they're luggage. If your under
time constraint with you airline, you might want to call ahead to inform them
once you get back to the originating port. If you know this inadvance you
can plan accordingly. The disembarking can be a pain in the ass. If you think about 2,000 people getting off the ship at the same time and looking for luggage, you can imagine the CF it can be. Patience is a virtue.

Man I'm jelous. You will have so much fun. Go in with a great attitude and you will have a blast. Have fun.

Chief Henry
07-21-2009, 11:31 AM
Not my thing, anymore...Planning on getting some of that Blue Mountain coffee though :thumb:

Thats strong stuff...smells good while brewing, but its strong.

BigRedChief
07-21-2009, 01:07 PM
Meh - cheaper than Arrowhead. :)

You can buy drink tickets before hand and that will save you $$$. I think you can get a bucket of 4 beers for $17 as well.
Bought 6 of those tickets(24 drinks). Figured even if they don't take them for the expensive or the frozen drinks, I'll drink 24 beers on the cruise within 7 days.....come to think of it...I'd better order more...:doh!:

BigRedChief
07-21-2009, 01:14 PM
For the balcony. If you're married, trust me, you're already paying big-time for the handjob. :D
At the prices I'm paying I expect more than a handjob :Pinky:

"Bob" Dobbs
07-21-2009, 01:58 PM
Find Margaritaville in Cayman Islands

Also the local shopping in the Cayman Islands are not as great of deals as in Mexico and Jamaica

Do all the fun things....the sexy legs competition, the love and marriage game show ect


I love CruisingOn my one-and-only cruise, we went to Margaritaville in Ocho Rios... and ran into JIMMY FUCKING BUFFETT! It was awesome, plus now I have my "drinking 'rita's with Jimmy" story.

Chief Henry
07-21-2009, 02:42 PM
On my one-and-only cruise, we went to Margaritaville in Ocho Rios... and ran into JIMMY ****ING BUFFETT! It was awesome, plus now I have my "drinking 'rita's with Jimmy" story.

They've got a cool water slide going into the ocean at that Margaritaville :)