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Old February 1st, 2011, 11:10 AM
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Default Two Topics- In the Ports and On a Budget

Hello all. I am going to be a first time cruiser, (Eastern Carribean) on the Allure in May '12 (I hope) and I'm wondering about what happens when you get to the ports. I am going to be doing this on a bit of a budget, so I guess my specific questions are:

1) Are you taken anywhere when you get off the ship, like to the nearest beach or into town to the marketplaces? If this costs anything, how much? (4 people- me, DD18, DD18, and DS11)

2) If you're not paying for any big excursions, is it easy to just get to a beach and swim and lounge and see the beauty, and is it far to just walk into the towns and explore?

Thanks a bunch. I know a lot of people on these boards would be aghast at the idea of trying to do a cruise on a budget, but that is our reality. As of right now, my plan is to THOROUGHLY enjoy the ship itself, leaving no corner unexplored. To take full advantage of the included dining, activity, and entertainment options, but enjoy a couple of extras like the Cupcake bakery and Starbucks. To do little or no shopping, except of the 'small souvenier' variety. To drink only the included beverages and perhaps a glass of wine with dinner on one or two occasions. To enjoy an "umbrella drink" by the pool no more than once or twice a day, if that. To walk through the ports and sightsee in the marketplaces, and swim at the beaches and soak up the beauty no human could create.

Any other tips for making this cruise cost as little as possible above the fare and air, PLEASE let me know!

Thanks again!
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Old February 1st, 2011, 11:19 AM
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First off, I think most of the people on the boards cruise on a budget. It would be silly not to.

In the Caribbean, once you walk off the ship, you are on your own to do as you choose, but other than purchased excursions, the ship isn't going to supply you with any transport.

Depending on which islands you are visiting, it's not difficult to get a taxi to a beach at a reasonable cost. Some of the beaches will charge for such things as sun loungers if you want those, and others will supply loungers if you purchase drinks or food.

Most beaches will also have snorkel gear available for rent if you're interested.

The other thing to remember if you're venturing out to a beach or touring on your own, is that you are responsible for getting back to the ship before departure time.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 11:19 AM
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Try to buy only a couple of the professional pictures,and select them at the end of the week, seeing the best before you buy...Your digi camera will be on overtime capturing all your great shots..

Once you get off the ship, it's up to you to get yourself to wherever you want to be...In St. Thomas, if you are docked in Havensite, there is shopping right there..if you are at the naval base, you will need a cab ride to town. Basically, for distance and safety, you need a cab to the beaches, in all your ports...Thre is a beach not far, from the pier in St Maarten. Take a peek at Sunset Beach!

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...66942098KBfGCm

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-phot....jpg/tpod.html
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Old February 1st, 2011, 11:37 AM
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We always cruise on a budget!

We rarely partake in excursions other than a cab ride to a beach. Somewhrere in one of these forums is a recent thread on cruising on a budget.

I haven't been Allure, but I understand there is so much to enjoy - so enjoy it. When everyone floods off the ship, the ship will be yours for the taking. Keep in mind that some ship programs will close down (ex. casino). But the pools etc. will be empty, so its a perfect time to enjoy those.

You can totally cruise without spending a lot on onboard.


Unlike Trip, I'd say scip the ship pictures, they are overpriced ... take your own camera and ask a fellow passenger to take a few pictures of you. You can easily spend $20+ on a picture and that money could go towards enjoying something else.

THEY HAVE STARBUCKS ON ALLURE?????????????? Note to self; book a cruise on Allure!
ENJOY!
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Old February 1st, 2011, 11:41 AM
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I don't pose for pictures,and haven't bought one in years.... overpriced is an understatement! They are a pain,especially when getting off the ship....I am in the minority though, as most people like to pose and,at least buy the "best" one.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
I don't pose for pictures,and haven't bought one in years.... overpriced is an understatement! They are a pain,especially when getting off the ship....I am in the minority though, as most people like to pose and,at least buy the "best" one.
Well, on our first cruise in 1972, the ship's photographs were definitely higher quality than anything I could take with my little camera. We got used to buying some of the best. Over the years, of course, cameras have changed greatly. With a digital camera we can take lots of pics, crop and enhance, and come out with pics just about as good as the ship's photos.

Of course, the ship's know this, and are constantly striving to do something more than the "Smile as you come off the gangplank" pictures. In a lot of ports they have costumed characters that make cute pictures, and also special backgrounds and camera angles. On formal night (and these days even on casual nights) they have some great backgrounds and know how to pose you professionally for a really good picture.

So even on our 40th cruise, we still managed to buy a couple of pictures.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 01:13 PM
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Thank you! Great information here. I hope I didn't offend anyone by unintentionally implying that most people who cruise are very well off and just pick what they want and do it without even worrying about or considering the cost. I just meant that my assumption is that most people probably don't have to plan on doing almost nothing extra, as I am. On the other hand, I do have over a year to save, so hopefully I can get pick the best agency to book with, get a good deal on air, etc. and still save enough to do an excursion or two.

Somebody asked this on a different thread, but I'm guessing I should probably book as soon as I have the deposit in hand, rather than waiting for a drop in fare or a special deal that may never come? I'd hate for the sailing I want to be sold out.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 01:21 PM
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Mike, the mini gridlock on many ships as people wait for the pictures to be taken, can be a pain, for those of us who just want to get off and go. Also, getting onboard the ship presensts a line sometimes, I just want to get on! The pirate with the birdy on his shoulder is now just hokey..I understand this is a big revenue for the ships,and, if anyone is so inclined to buy, that's great. Oh,and the look, or, comment sometimes made,when there is a refusal, is not neccessary.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 01:27 PM
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Trip, on our last cruise (Grandeaur in Sept) ... there was generally a "by-pass line" so you could quickly get off if you didnt' want a picture.

At the risk of going off-topic ... I find the pictures now are soooo pooor quality, I have no interest in buying them. They are exceptionally grainy. I guess in order to keep the costs low ..... they use cheaper printing. Which takes me back to my suggestion (what changes I would like to see - perhaps the nickel and diming thread?) .... post the pictures on a website, and let us download them for a fair price, or pay you to print them, frame them, ship them.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 01:31 PM
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That's a great idea..I have yet to see it though..I say yay!
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 10:44 AM
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Here's another question, and it may be a dumb one: even though you don't really have to have much cash on the ship, you probably need to have cash in port for little things like cab rides, yes?
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 01:07 PM
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No cash needed on board - but definitely cash ashore.
You will have a safe in your cabin so take only a small amount with you. Your CD (Cruise Director) will probably give some sort of port talk, often they will give you an idea of how much taxis "should" cost. Some islands have specific rates you can find on-line.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 01:10 PM
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You will need cash from the airport going and coming,and the ports in between... get a stack of ones to keep handy..for tips and small purchases...
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Mike, the mini gridlock on many ships as people wait for the pictures to be taken, can be a pain, for those of us who just want to get off and go. Also, getting onboard the ship presensts a line sometimes, I just want to get on! The pirate with the birdy on his shoulder is now just hokey..I understand this is a big revenue for the ships,and, if anyone is so inclined to buy, that's great. Oh,and the look, or, comment sometimes made,when there is a refusal, is not neccessary.
Gee, Trip, thanks for saying my avatar is hokey! I will change it pretty soon!

Just kidding We happened to like that particular pirate ...

It has been my experience recently that the photographers are paying attention to exactly what you are saying. Both on the classic "boarding" picture, and on the ones getting off the ship, they are now asking if you want a picture and leaving space to pass by if you don't. The boarding pictures are indeed ones we usually skip and we just walk around the line and around the photographer.

And honestly, I have never gotten "the look", much less any sort of comment except a friendly one, when passing by the pictures.

Frankly, after passing by the vendors in Egypt and Morocco, passing any other vendor anyplace is pretty much a breeze ...
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 06:16 PM
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Forget the ship pics--fellow passengers and waiters do a better job. When getting off the ship, I don't wait in line. I just walk around the bottleneck and wave them away. Same with getting on the first time. Get me to the (Celebrity) champagne, lol. I don't normally drink it, but it lets me know I'm really here!
I do ship tours. Not all of them are expensive. I'm not brave enough to go off by myself and worry about getting back to the ship on time.
I don't do much extra on cruises. No specialty restaurants, spa/salon, accupuncture, bingo or even much shopping. I buy souvenirs mostly during the last day or two of the cruise when everything is marked down. I do visit the casino, but force myself to moderation. I do have a cocktail with dinner and occasionally at poolside.
Common sense is the key. By all means, book ASAP. Prices don't always go down and if they do you can usually get the lower price adjustment before the final payment. My next cruise is in June and the price is UP $800. Good thing they don't make me adjust that!

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Old February 2nd, 2011, 06:56 PM
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Mike my friends have told me stories about the vendors at the Pyramids!

If given the chance, I certainly would walk by the photographer boarding, and, as we get off the ship..It's been my experience though, on the past few cruises, that has not been an option..I like the idea of a graceful exit...

As far as the table photos, It has happened to our tables on a couple of cruises, when the entire table declined the picture. I am sure they probably didn't even realize it..

I better pay more attention to the avitars,as I cruise around the boards.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
If given the chance, I certainly would walk by the photographer boarding, and, as we get off the ship..It's been my experience though, on the past few cruises, that has not been an option..I like the idea of a graceful exit...

As far as the table photos, It has happened to our tables on a couple of cruises, when the entire table declined the picture. I am sure they probably didn't even realize it..
. Back in the day, when we first started cruising, they were of course using film and printing it in an on board lab every night. With less than 700 passengers on the Song of Norway, I guess it was cost and labor effective to put up every picture of every passenger.

It seems to me these days they are much better about asking if you want a picture. Even with digital cameras, the printing is still expensive and labor intensive, and they seem to have realized there is no point in wasting time, ink and photo paper on somebody who simply hates the idea and is never going to buy.

Take a look as you board, and I bet you will see enough space to dodge the line and just walk behind the photographer. If they say, "Don't you want a picture?" just say "No, thanks" and keep walking.

As for formal night, we usually say yes to the portrait at the table about once every three years. 35 years of them makes an interesting collection ...
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 01:00 PM
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Thanks Mike,I will keep an eye out..I always look for an escape route
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