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Questions for my seasoned cruise goers

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by officer196, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. officer196

    officer196

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    In Oct of this year me and some of my friends and family are talking about taking our first cruise. None of us have ever been and I've noticed its hard to find good feedback on the net about some of these cruises for first timers such as ourselves so I figured this is prob the best place to ask. The cruise were looking at is a carnival cruise set to depart Oct 24, 2010. Were looking at an interior room because honestly I dont see myself spending much time in the room aside from sleeping and I could care less about a window. Here is the link http://www.carnival.com/Itinerary.a...onCode=CW&sailDate=10/24/2010&sailingID=53243

    Some of the questions I have are
    -Those who have been on carnival how was your expirence?
    -Do you prefer a oceanside room or interior and why?
    -Does carnival offer a cocktail card or just the soft drink card and if so how much were they?
    -When it was all said and done did you feel nickle and dimed?

    I would appreciate any feedback anyone could give me along with any suggestions they feel that I should look into including alternate cruise liners, although keep in mind part of the reason we choose this cruise was price. I would just really like some feedback other than what we've found on the web which usually consisted of "The food was great".

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. spartan985

    spartan985

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    tagged.... I almost posted a similar thread the other day.
     

  3. officer196

    officer196

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    Maybe you should have still trying to get some responses.....Come on guys I know you can't bring your glocks with ya, but I know some of ya have taken a cruise
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  4. JJohnson

    JJohnson Call me Jeff

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    You haven't been looking very hard. #1 place for info for any cruise line AND your specific ship and dates of sail. If you want, you should even be able to meet folks that will be sailing with you. Good luck!

    http://www.cruisecritic.com/
     
  5. NYcarry

    NYcarry Banana!Banana!

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    We did a Carnival NYC to Halifax.

    Great time, endless food and entertainment.

    We had just had the free beverages and no card, not sure they offer a adult beverages card. Ice Tea lemonade, coffee were freebies.

    I would do the balcony again, just awesome sitting out there at night and in the morning looking over the water, even if it is just a short time.

    Will do it again for sure someday.

    Service was top of the line, and no expenses forced on you.
     
  6. officer196

    officer196

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    Ohh thanks thats a little more of what I was looking for. Thank you
     
  7. Crypsis

    Crypsis

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    I have only been on one cruise my whole life, so I am no expert. Was on Carnival in May 2009. Here are some things that jump to mind about the experience.

    1. The little window in the room is no big whoop, but I liked to look out of it more than I thought I would. I don't think I would ever do a balcony, the whole upper part of the boat is a balcony and its open 24/7.

    2. I gained 10lbs because I wanted to try everything and usually ordered 2 of everything :) appetizers, main course, desert hehe. Btw, you can't just order a piece of the fish to be added to your steak dinner or whatever just to try it. You actually get the whole steak dinner and the whole fish dinner (not that you have to eat it all).

    3. The cruise is very scheduled. I didn't like being on a schedule for my vacation. I would rather be somewhere for a week and fly by the seat of my pants on my own time.

    4. Drinks are limited. Free water, coffee and lemonade. You don't even get pop with the all inclusive meals at the sit down dinners. Pop is expensive for what you get! Buy the card if you drink a lot of pop. Shoot, I imagine you could split it with someone else too and abuse the heck out of it.

    5. The tip at the end of the cruise is HUGE. Like $200-300 (based on a daily rate, the longer you cruise, the bigger the tip). I knocked mine down a bit at the main desk because I didn't use many of the services, I am not rich and I thought it was too much.

    6. The drink of the day(s) are fun and tasty. Expensive but you have to spend once in a while. BUT BUT BUT, ask the price first if it looks really fancy. We were getting a drink a day just to try them. The flyer on our bed every morning explained the drink and the price for a regular glass and for the souvenir glass. One stop outside of Honduras, the drink of the day came in a coconut carved into a monkey shape. No differences in price were mentioned and its all charged to the room. Found out it was a $18 Coconut Monkey!

    7. For the dinners in the restaurants, we went as a couple and were seated with another couple at a table for 4. The other couple was cool, but you get stuck with them the whole cruise. Some other tables had up to 10 people around them. Seems like they fill each seat at each table for efficiency.

    8. The cruise is very crowded. I wasn't expecting so many people. I was surprised at how many people can fit on a boat. It makes the common areas a little hectic. ie) Pools, deck chairs, buffets, etc.

    9. I never took Dramamine because I wanted to know if I would be the seasick type. I wasn't, but I think that is because I tried to stay in tune with the boat. I tried to stay conscious of the fact that we were always very slightly, moving and rocking and tried to be one with the boat's movements and not fight it. Worked well for me. Only once in a while did I feel a little funny.

    10. Make the most out of your land trips. Looks like you will have plenty of time on the boat, so make sure you do excursions and what not when you have the opportunity.

    11. If you liked being waited on hand and foot and not have a care in the world, then a cruise fulfills that big time.

    12. I was on the Valor. It was decent. Clean, good service, no complaints. I wouldn't say the rooms or buffet areas were ritzy, but they were perfectly fine.

    13. It is not as cheap of a vacation as I thought it would be. Between flight, boat, drinks, pop, excursions, souvenirs, tip. It added up.

    14. It was still a fun experience. I can see it would be best with a big group of friends that would do all the dancing, drinking, shows, excursion and all that, all together. You have to do it at least once in my opinion. If I did it again, it would only be with a large group to party.

    Hope that helps a little.
     
  8. kpuscg04

    kpuscg04 ACTA NON VERBA

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    Carnival can be hit or miss. My first cruise was with Carnival and it was pretty good.

    Carnival is typically the cheapest of the major cruise lines. Especially with their shorter cruises (anything less than 5 days). As such they attract a certain type of crowd. Sometimes is just lots of families with kids and other times its a crowd you'd probably rather not hang out with.

    As for rooms, I've done interior thru balcony. I prefer the balcony, its a nice spot to relax. However, if you're gonna party the whole cruise and just use the room to sleep it off for a few hours, the interior room works great.

    Enjoy, cruises are great. My favorite vacation.
     
  9. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    We just got back from our first cruise, the Carnival Dream, one week ago tonight.

    Cruisecritic.com is THE place to go on the internet for cruise info.

    Spend the extra dimes on a balcony room. You can look outside, lounge on the (tiny) deck, and it will really enhance your experience. You'll see why it's worth it when you get there, but believe me, its worth it.

    We can't compare it to any other, since this was our first, but they really pamper you. The buffet was awsome.

    Be sure to hang out at the back of the ship when you leave port. You get much better scenery, and you can watch where you've been.

    Talk to people on the ship. Any people. Everyone has a story, and you might learn something.

    My wife had a soft drink card, but she only had a couple of soft drinks per day, so not worth the money (about $30-35) IMHO.

    Have fun, pack lighter than you think, and by all means, relax.
     
  10. Chad Landry

    Chad Landry Cajunator® CLM

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    I enjoyed the hell out of Carnival, on a cruise to the Bahamas.

    Lots of swingers on board. Would have been better if we weren't on our honeymoon.

    Would like to do it again. Cruise or Vegas, either one. Awesome entertainment.
     
  11. officer196

    officer196

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    Thanks for the responses Ive gotten so far the only real concern im having so far is the tab at the end. Essp the whole gratuity thing thats auto calculated at the end of the trip. I think thats more of a feeling that I dont like being told I have to be gratuitious even if Im not happy with all the service. I have no problem tipping but I want good service for it.
     
  12. officer196

    officer196

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    Well seeing as how I'm single i'll make up your lost fun lol:rofl:
     
  13. officer196

    officer196

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    Anything I need to know as far as what to bring and not bring....aside from the obvious.
     
  14. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    You might as well dust off that wallet.

    I believe it's about $10 per person/per day + 15% for every alcoholic drink you buy.

    If your experience is anything like mine, you'll be treated better than you've been ever been treated in your life. I didn't think twice.

    Getting good service will hopefully be the last thing you'll have to worry about.
     
  15. vote Republican

    vote Republican White and nerdy Moderator

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    Anyone know anything about freestyle vs. traditional cruises?
     
  16. Chad Landry

    Chad Landry Cajunator® CLM

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    Plan on it ahead of time. You won't feel cheated, because the service will be exceptional.

    The nice thing is that they don't expect to be tipped ahead of time, so they will earn it before you pay.
     
  17. Goldendog Redux

    Goldendog Redux Shut your mouth

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    Swingers? As in To Swing?
     
  18. Jack23

    Jack23 I. B. Glockin'

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    My wife and I have been cruising for a long time. Two with the Princess line and 9 with Carnival. We have our first Holland America cruise coming up on 3/11. It will be a 15-day trip this time with the Hawaiian Islands as our destination.

    Carnival is great. I love the international flavor of all the cabin stewards, waiters, bartenders, (especially the bartenders!) Every one is just great. They all work really hard to make sure you have a good cruise. The cruise directors are great and the shows you will not believe. Plenty mucho entertainment. The food is totally awesome. If you don't gain at least 10 pounds then you must have missed something.

    We only live about 40 minutes from Galveston so we have done several carnival cruises from there. We were on the conquest in 2008 for that very trip you are looking at. We love to snorkle so we like to get the shore excursions that include beach time and snorkling. We also love the casinos. Always do the slot tournaments and bingo. Believe it or not my wife and I have both won free cruises playing bingo on Carnival ships.

    My favorite place on the boat is alway the Atrium Bar. That seems to be where they alway put the cutest friendliest bartenders. All the bars and the casino and the show theaters are always on deck 5 I can't think of the name of it now but Deck 5 is where the fun is.

    I understand your thoughts on the inside cabin you can save a ton of money. And you still get to hit all the ports and you are on the boat so you can do it all. We are a little older and we have grown fond of the balcony suits. We love to have fresh fruit and coffee brought to our suite and sit out on the balcony and have our "first breakfast" while we watch the sun comes up. Then it's a quick shower and down for the REAL breakfast.

    See, the good part is that you can run your day the way you want to. It ain't cheap but you get your money's worth if you give it half a try. You'll meet lots of nice folks and you will have a blast. I mean it!
     
  19. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head Staff Member Admin Silver Member

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    I went on a Royal Caribbean 4-day cruise last summer (My first). There was a tip service form in my cabin the first day. It cost $40 total and on the last day of the cruise, I was given tip vouchers, in nice envelopes, to give to each person who was supposed to get tipped. I had to tip for drinks on top of that, but the costs for tips, everything included, really wasn't bad.

    I had a room with a window and I liked having it. Next time, I want to spring for a balcony. The bed was not great, but otherwise, the room was nice.

    I went on the cruise with some family, including an uncle and his wife, who are veteran cruisers. He said that Carnival and Royal Caribbean were very closely matched, with one exception: He said Royal Caribbean did a far better job boarding and de-boarding the boat. I guess this process can turn into a bit of an ordeal on some cruises.

    I don't have anything to compare it to, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I am kicking around the idea of doing an Alaska cruise this summer. Eric
     
  20. Mrs. VR

    Mrs. VR Sharon, you will be missed.

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    Eric!!! We are planning to do Alaska in Sept!!! How funny would that be to run into other GT'ers?