Originally Posted by Michelle1959
Hi Everyone, I'm about to go on my first cruise in 19 days on Sensation and want to thank EVERYONE here, as you have all provided tips by either answering my questions or providing answers to other people's questions about Carnival and cruising in general.
Now, I'm looking for any general tips you lucky experienced cruisers can provide for my trip to the Bahamas with my 14 year old son, Ian.
Some of the tips I've received include:
Check balance of on board account daily via the tv in your cabin to make sure all charges are acurate and that there are not any unknown charges listed.
Before you retire for the night, leave the television tuned to the channel with the "view from the bridge"
Check out the little patios on the side of the suip outside the rear Lido buffet doors as a great place to watch the sunsets.
Get a Foundain Fun Card for Ian for sodas during the cruise.
Keep all airline tickets, cash, passports, credit cards and traveler's checks in the cabin safe. Only take one credit card with you and minimum cash on excursions.
Join the former passengers' club.
Attach cruiseline-supplied luggage tags to binoculars, totebags, etc. so anything lost can be returned to you.
Bring along a collapsible cooler and order room service sandwiches, etc. and ice to be delivered 30 minutes before your excursion so you can bring along a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack and not have to pay hiher prices on shore.
OK, having done the 4 day Sensation cruise twice in the past year, I can tell you that people are giving you some bad advice as it pertains to the Sensation and this cruise.
1) No interactive TV functions on the Sensation to book excursions or check your sign and sail account.
They will leave you an updated sheet each night in your cabin while they make your room while at dinner.
2) No view from the bridge channel to watch. (plenty of free, not even on PPV movies to see each day though)
3) The little patio seating sections are out the back doors of the Red Sail (Lido) buffett, next to the Pizzeria and the bar on the other side.
You can also go up the stairs right there, which takes you right up to the aft pool area, where you can grab a lounger and enjoy the sunset. (or a much less crowded pool area during the day)
4) never bothered with the fountain card, since I am always happy with the free fruit punch, iced tea or juices available 24 hours a day.
(you can also pack some sodas in your luggage and if you are bringing a collapsible cooler, just get your cabin steward to keep it full of ice all week.) (they were happy to, on both of our cruises)
5) keep all of your stuff in the safe.
All you need to get back to the ship when in port is your sign and sail card and a photo ID. (passport or drivers license)
Maybe take a credit card as a backup while in port, but I would NOT
use it except in an emergency. Use cash for any purchases and have plenty of small bills for cabs, Jitney (bus) rides, tips etc...(it is usually difficult to get change from cabbies or you'll get Bahamian change)
6) You don't have to join a former passengers club.
You will get a past guest number automatically a few weeks after you return home.
7)The old style luggage tag idea is a good one. (if you do the new e-docs, they will not work)
8) Do NOT
order room service to take off the ship with you.
It is illegal in the Bahamas and the majority of ports (from what I have been reading for our Western Caribbean cruise) to remove any non-packaged food from the ship.
You will see big trash cans positioned at the gangplank as you debark in Freeport and Nassau, where they will make you dump any sandwiches, fruit, etc... as you exit the Sensation.
Some tips from our experiences.
1) If you go all the way forward in either corridor on the Verandah deck, there will be a double set of unmarked doors, which lead out to an observation area under the bridge. Great views, but VERY windy.
There is also a similar area all the way up, in front of the jogging track and the mini-golf.
2) Bring a collapsible cooler and a 12 pack of your Son's favorite soda.
Ask or leave your cabin steward a note to please fill your cooler with ice.
Our stewards refilled ours each day for us.
Was nice having a soda in our cabin anytime we wanted a quick drink.
3) Bring a large insulated mug to fill at the buffet with Iced Tea, Fruit Punch or juice. (the staff in there told us how smart we were on both cruises, not having to keep getting up and refilling the small glasses provided next to the machines.)
Was also nice, for my wife to fill up, then head up to the aft pool area to lay out and get some sun each day.
Let me know if you need any tips for extremely inexpensive, yet full days in Freeport and Nassau. Don't know what your budget is. We enjoy cruising on a tight, but fun budget.
Unless you definitely want to snorkle or swim with the Stingrays, booking Carnival excursions in either port are a HUGE waste.