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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 20th, 2003, 10:47 AM
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Default First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on ships

I'm trying to organize a group of girlfriends for my first cruise. I'd like to do a 7-day, Caribbean, low-kid factor, fun cruise on a budget. We're thinking of going in November or December.

It seems like Carnival or Royal Caribbean is the way to go, as far as prices and ship quality. We'd like to cruise with people our own age, meet new people, and be able to do fun excursions and keep busy.

I'm not a smoker, and have heard stories about the ships being smoky everywhere--is there a problem being able to "escape" the smoke on ships other than the Paradise?

Any advice would be welcome!
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Old June 20th, 2003, 11:35 AM
MichelleM
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

I would suggest the western caribbean sailing of the Paradise. At that time of year you aren't going to find many kids around on any ship, but there will be a few (generally young ones). Belize City, Roatan, Grand Cayman and Cozumel are all great ports. There is some great snorkeling and diving at all these ports.

We sailed on the Paradise in Feb and LOVED the non-smoking atmosphere. We are non-smokers and my hubbie has a mild smoke allergy. It was nice that we could go everywhere on the ship without dealing with smoke (on others ships we pretty much avoid the bars and casinos to minimize the smoke). The smoke isn't horrendous on the other ships (we have gone and will continue to sail on other ships) but is noticable if you are a non-smoker.

The Paradise is almost always the cheapest ship out there because they don't get the larger group bookings that the other ships do because any time you get a group of 4 or more couples/people together there seems to be at least one who smokes so the whole group books on a different ship.
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Old June 20th, 2003, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

Great info!
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Old June 20th, 2003, 12:42 PM
jamie gunter
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

I have been on two carnival ships, Imagination and Paradise. People do smoke all over the ship and you mine as well forget about breathing in the casino. If you are all non smokers I would do the Paradise. We did the western car and it was great. There was alot of older people on our cruise because there was a large wellness group on the ship. But normally I think its a good even mix of people.

If you do the Western and go to Belize they have a really cool cave tubbing tour, we did it and it was alot of fun. We used a guy named Reggie, he has a web site. Cant remember, lots of people on this site has used him.

Have fun.
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Old June 20th, 2003, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice

My first cruise was on the Sensation, and while it was sometimes possible to get away from the smoke, there was no guarantee that when you found that spot, someone wouldn't plop down next to you and light up. I'd heard that the smoke was bad but thought I'd take my chances and WOW are there more smokers in the world than I thought! Seems like people were smoking all over the deck, standing around the atrium, and the worst was inside the elevators (which I'm fairly certain is not allowed). I loved the ship and the whole experience but I have to say I am VERY much looking forward to my trip on the Paradise this summer. I'll be posting a review upon my return. My Sensation trip was the old West. Carribbean itinerary (Grand Cayman, Cozumel and New Orleans) so I'll be trying the Eastern this year to see how they compare. Also, I have to add that no matter what atmosphere you are looking for, you have a pretty good chance of finding it (at least I did). I was a little nervous about Carnival's "party ship" atmosphere, as I'm more of a quiet read-a-book girl, and while the party was always going on for those who enjoy that, there was always a quiet spot to be alone and enjoy the sunshine as well.

P.S. I don't know if the time of year influences the number of smokers, but we went in May.
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Old June 20th, 2003, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

Definately cruise on the Paradise! My husband & I have been on her twice already and plan on going again...she is definately a beautiful ship and the crew and service leaves nothing to be desired!

I've cruised on other Carnival ships and have had the unfortunate experience of running into a stogie-smoking person in the atrium, some people just figure they are on vacation and their desires are their only concern....

Have a great time!
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Old June 20th, 2003, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

yay! Sounds great! One of my friend's husbands smokes on occasion, and I'm trying to find out from Carnival if they will a) let him store a pack or two in a safe where the staff is satisfied he can't get at them, then take them on excursions, or b) if cigarettes are easy to find and reasonably priced in ports.
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Old June 20th, 2003, 11:18 PM
GLRounds
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Default Re: Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice

If they discover any tobacco products in your cabin or on your person you are OFF the ship at the next port!

Gary
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Old June 21st, 2003, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

I understand that. That's why I was contacting Carnival, to see if there was a way to store those materials in a way that the staff would be satisfied that he wouldn't be using them on the ship, yet could take them off the ship.
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Old June 21st, 2003, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

Update--I've narrowed down my choices to the following, and would love any input about itineraries, ease of sailing out of the different port cities, overall value and quality for the dollar (I gave the starting prices of the cruises)--

CCL Inspiration (Tampa, Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Belize for $399+)
CCL Paradise (Miami, Belize, Roatan, Cayman, Cozumel for $449+)
CCL Glory (Port Canaversal, Key West, Belize, Cozumel, Progreso/Merida for $549+)
RCCL Empress (Tampa, Cayman, Belize, Cozumel for $419+)
RCCL Voyager (Miami, Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Cayman for $599+)

Post Edited (06-21-03 10:05)
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Old June 21st, 2003, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

Maybe you should consider another ship besides the Paradise, you cannot bring ANY type of smoking supplies on board, anything found will be confiscated and you will be put off at the next port of call and required to provide your own transportation home. I suppose he could purchase and smoke while off of the ship, but I cannot imagine people would appreciate having to stand or sit next to someone who reeks of smoke. I know it would ruin my experience considering people are cruising on the Paradise to get away from that sort of thing.

Have fun wherever you end up!

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8/92 Mex. Riv. Commodore
9/98, 9/00, 9/02 & 7/04 Caribbean - Paradise
10/00, 08/05 Pac. Wtrs. Holiday, Monarch
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Old June 21st, 2003, 04:15 PM
shipbound
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

I am a non smoker but I never went on the Paradise because I've heard that the ship
is not as lively as the other CCL ships , so when I go on vacation I go to party I am not
a big drinker but I like to have a good time. Is that true about the Paradise? I know
you can get great deals because it is a non smoking ship.

Gary
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

On the contrary, shipbound, the Paradise is very lively! They have all sorts of activities going on on the Lido deck and the lounges are quite active! Also they have a piano bar where the gal will play any song you like and everyone there sings along with you. One night one of the performers from one of the shows was down there and the place was really rocking!!!

So it is definately *not* a boring ship!

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8/92 Mex. Riv. Commodore
9/98, 9/00, 9/02 & 7/04 Caribbean - Paradise
10/00, 08/05 Pac. Wtrs. Holiday, Monarch
04/06 Hawaii - Celebrity Summit
09/07 Alaska - Celebrity Summit
07/09 Western Caribbean RCCL Liberty of the Seas
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Old June 24th, 2003, 09:46 AM
Mark and Jewel
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

Yes you can buy smoking materials off ship and give them to the staff when boarding. They will also give them back to you when getting off. We had no problem with this at all when we were on board. It was a wonderful ship and the staff was great.

What is policy for the Smoke-Free Paradise?
Aboard the "Fun Ship" PARADISE, we take our non-smoking policy very seriously. To honor the sensitivities of many non-smoking guests, we offer "Fun Ship" cruise vacations in a completely smoke-free environment on board the Paradise. Even the staff and crew are non-smokers. In fact, smoking, as well as having any smoking materials in your possession anywhere on board (including your stateroom), is strictly prohibited. Having smoking materials on board may result in a $250 liquidated damage charge to your shipboard account, and your being debarked at the nearest port-of-call at your expense. Any smoking materials you purchase ashore during your cruise must be turned over to gangway security upon re-embarking the vessel, and they will be held and returned to you once you debark the vessel.

Guests’ documents contain an additional page with a “Non-Smoking Clause”. Upon check-in at embarkation, the guests must sign the clause and turn it in before boarding the ship. The clause will read as follows: “Smoking on board the Paradise will not be allowed anywhere, at any time. Possession of smoking materials on board will be deemed a violation of this policy. Please refer to clause 6(c) of your ticket contract for full details on this policy. Please be advised that violation of the non-smoking policy may result in your debarkation at Carnival's sole discretion. In this event, there will be no refund, our Vacation Guarantee will not apply, and any additional costs incurred will be the guest's sole responsibility. Additionally, as set forth in the ticket contract, the guest will be held responsible for liquidated damages in the amount of $250 for violating any aspect of the non-smoking policy. Liquidated damages and repatriation expenses (including airfare) will be assessed automatically to your on-board account for violation of this policy.”
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Old June 24th, 2003, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice on s

The brand new Carnival Glory may be the best ship for you and your friends. As mentioned, the casino and lounges just outside of the main dining rooms in the evening are the places where smoke is heaviest during the evening hours. Any weeks other than around Thanksgiving and Christmas should be a good value and a mixed crowd without a lot of kids.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Re: First time, non smoker, single 30s, no kids, advice

We've decided on the Glory, 12/6-12/13 sailing. $440 pp for a quad! I can't believe how inexpensive it is.
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