We are first time cruisers and my mom and sister and I will be leaving in a week for a 4 night cruise in the Bahamas on Carnival's Fantasy. My mom was wondering approx. amount of $ to bring. We want to see the Atlantis in Nassau but won't be doing a lot of extra things on excursions, buying a lot of items or drinking alcohol but just for tipping and other things what is the minimum we should each bring? Thanks
We'll be on that cruise too. Here's my recommendation:
Pack half the clothes and twice the money.
We always budget $100 per day per person for bar drinks, excursions, and shopping and usually don't spend that much since we don't do many excursions unless something really looks interesting. Gambling money is extra. We usually have enough.
Tips are $10 per day per person and added to the Sail and Sign card. Tips for porter's and room service are extra and generally $2 for delivery and $2 per bag.
We returned from this same cruise on December 16. Here are some basic spending we did--
We tipped the porters at the cruise port $10.00 for 3 bags. This is probably alittle high but they were really nice.
You will have $40.00 pp charged to your room for tips for your cabin steward, wait staff etc. They do request that you tip the maitre'd on the last night of the cruise but you don't have too. You need to set up an account when you check-in. We left our credit card number with them. You can also leave cash. If you leave a credit card number then want to pay cash to settle up the bill, you do this on the last night of the cruise at the information desk.
Iced tea, lemonade, fruit punch and coffee are free all day at Windows on the Lido Deck (pool area), so unless you want alcohol or soda, no money is needed. Beer was about $4.00 each with tip, it's automatically added in. In the dining room, you get water and coffee but you are charged for other beverages. A bottle of wine, with tip is about $25.00. If you don't drink it all that night, they put it away and bring it to you the next night. I think soda was about $2.00 with tip. (I drank mostly water)
You may want to consider doing a shore excursion in Freeport. If you get off the ship there's NOTHING to do at the port. We did Tranquility Shores Beach which cost $49.00 pp but you get transportation and a delicious lunch. You get a coupon for a fruit punch drink but have to buy from the bar area if you want anything else. (see my cruise pictures in the photo gallery under Cheryl C and my review in the readers review section) We brought bottled water on board with us and took these on the shore excursion with us. Carnival allows a limited amount of non-alcholic beverages to be brought on when you embark. (see my cruise pictures in the photo gallery under Cheryl C and my review in the readers review section)
As for Nassau, you can walk to a beach or take the ferry to Atlantis. If you take a ferrry ride to Atlantis, it is $6.00 pp round trip. Not sure what the taxi rate is but the ferry was a nice ride. Do however expect to tip the guide on the ferry a buck or two. Still a good deal. Cabbage Beach is within walking distance of Atlantis. You can ask at Atlantis for directions to Cabbage Beach. You can't get to the pool or beach areas at Atlantis unless you're a guest. You can also stroll the shops in downtown Nassau. Except for a few trinkets and t-shirts, we didn't spend that much (about $90.00 total in Nassau including the ferry)
Pictures by the ships photographers are expensive-- a 6X9 is $7.99 and an 8X10 is $19.99. They take pictures when you disembark at each port. These are done in 6X9 size. Any formal type taken on the ship they do in 8X10 size.
After all this, I personally think if you don't shop, buy photos or drink alot, about $250-$300 each should be more than enough money. ($40 for automatic tip each, $3.00 each for porter tip, $49.00 each for shore excursion in Freeport, if you decide and $6.00 for Atlantis ferry plus $2.00 tip.)