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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 24th, 2004, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 78
Default Cruise virgin - going in august

We are cruising on the Conquest in August with 2 other couples. Our ages are 27-35. I'm REALLY on the fence about whether or not cruising is for me. I booked a category 11 suite so I can spend some time on the balcony or in the cabin if the crowds get to me (I am excited and planning to have a great experience, but I wanted the suite as a back up plan). My questions are:

1. Is there a limit on the number/weight of suitcases?
2. Is there a good way to smuggle alcohol on board?
3. Is the food good?
4. If I don't like what I order can I order a second entree?
5. Should I book shore excursions through carnival or through agencies in the ports?
6. Does anyone know of a good scuba operation in jamaica?
7. Should I dive or do the dolphin encounter in cozumel?
8. What is ship time vs. port time?
9. On the empress deck, is the swaying very bad?
10. How likely am I to get sea sick?
11. What are some odd items that I should pack - what did you most wish for while on board?
12. Anyone ever stay in a suite, and what are the differences in service that come with that room category?

Thanks in advance. I've enjoyed reading many of the posts on this site and plan to come here a lot between now and then!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 24th, 2004, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Cruise virgin - going in august

1. yes
8.depends on what time zone you are in
10. not likely
11.extra swim suits, film and tanning products
12.not much different unless you have a butler or concierge

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 24th, 2004, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 78
Default Re: Cruise virgin - going in august

Perhaps I should've written more open ended questions. Let me try again.

What is the limit on the weight/number of suitcases?
What is the best way to smuggle alcohol on board?
Which agencies in the various ports of call are reputable, and what are the best excursions to book with Carnival vs. another agency?
How many activities will I have time for in Cozumel, and if the answer is "only one," should I choose to dive or do the dolphin encounter?

Hopefully this will get me more than yes/no answers!
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old February 24th, 2004, 06:07 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,992
Default Re: Re: Cruise virgin - going in august

1)On the SHIP there is no limit on weight or number of suitcases, there certainly are limits on airlines, especially these days. Over weight charges and excess baggage charges are substantial. Check your airline web site for Current limits , do not rely on an answer from a chat board.
2) Put VERY VERY well wrapped in your check in luggage.
3) subjective question, but good food is generally a hallmark of cruising
4) Don't do it every night, but yes, generally your waiter will be able to handle a request for another entreOften they will offer if they see you picking at what they delivered.
5) there are advantages to both. Independent excursions can save you a few dollars.
Carnival will take some responsibility for the quality of their excursions, will not leave port until all excursions are back (if they run late).
6) can't help with scuba in Jamaica
7) again subjective. Most people love Dolphin encounters, but, scuba in Cozumel is supposed to be amoung the best in the Caribbean. Tough choice, no one else can make it for you.
8) Sometimes when you travel you cross time zones. The ship will sometimes change clocks back and forth and sometimes not. If they don't they may ask you to leave your watch on "ships time" and ignore the 1 hour time difference in the port. Big difference, you don't want to show up at the dock an hour after your ship sails. Another reason to use Carnivals excursions.
9) motion on any deck will depend more on the seas and wind than on what deck you are on. Modern cruise ships do not rock and roll like old ones.
10) most folks do not get sea sick. Do you get car sick or motion sick on an airplane, if yes, then you MAY get sea sick. If you are not prone to motion sickness, then you are not likely to get sea sick.
11) If you have a lot of things to plug in like battery chargers, hair dryers etc, bring a multi outlet strip. Be sure to pack all your medications.
12) suites offer some minor perks over rooms and generally are much more generous in size. I do not spend much time in the room so size does not bother me.

To answer the last of your other questions, you could conceivably fit in two activities in Cozumel. During our last visit we went on a really nice snorkel trip in the morning, dropped our stuff off at the ship and had time for a very long shopping trip.
Check the excursion times very carefully. If there is 45 minutes or an hour in between you can probably fit in two.
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