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-   -   1st time Cruisers info help Please (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/carnival-cruise-lines/198546-1st-time-cruisers-info-help-please.html)

Ro July 16th, 2004 06:29 AM

1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
Hi, we are first time cruisers going out on a short four night cruise to The West Carb. out of Tampa on the Inspiration Nov. 18. I booked online after speaking to travel agents and AAA. Got a great price for a 6d Empress room and saved alot of money. Only problem is I have no travel agent to ask info or to address our concerns to. Can someone who has been on a short four night cruise educate us first timers.
these are our concerns :
1. Whats best to take for that on board credit? Cash or Credit Card

2. Formal Nite: Big concern of my honey not me. Does he really need a tux or will a suit do it and is there even a formal night on board and when do they do it if it does have such a night? Does he need four nights of long pants for dinner? We tend to run around in dress shorts for dinner here and nice shirts.

3. Do you dress up or down first night of the cruise? Stupid ? right?

4. Do cell phones work on board and hes a wanderer meaning all over activity person while me I tend to just people watch and sit still reading-are walkie talkies allowed?

5. At bars on the ship you can't pay cash like regular bars?

6. Cozumel is it worth seeing only port going. Is it safe to walk around or do you have to keep an eye over your shoulder watching out all the time?

7. Are you valuables safe to leave in your room such as ID cash etc> How many people could possible get into the cabin? We leave such things in motels and no one takes them as there is only one maid who enters if that.

Any advice or do and don't on this first time cruise from someone who has experience or has been there done it will much appreciated! Thanks Ro Fenton angelicro@aol.com Tarpon Springs Florida

pat brennan July 16th, 2004 06:46 AM

Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
http://www.carnival.com/Default.aspx Try this site, ;ook for first time cruiser, lots of good info.

GJG July 16th, 2004 07:15 AM

Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
1.) You'll be issued a sail n sign card onboard for all shipboard charges including excursions. This card is secured by either major credit card or cash deposit. CC much easier. Card also doubles as your ID. Only cash used onboard is at casino (if desired) or bingo.

2.) Suit is good enough for formal nite.

3.) Formal nite won't be first evening, probably second.

4.) Most cell phones will be quickly out of range but walkie talkies are permitted and even rented.

5.) Bar charges go on sail n sign card including tips.

6.) Cozumel is gorgeous! Very safe and definately worth seeing. I like Chanunaab Park myself, but lots of other great attractions.

7.) There's a safe in every room operated at no charge by any card with a magnetic strip on back. I've never had a problem with valuables, but good judgement should prevail.

Advice, don't miss the dinners in main dining room or shows afterwards. There's a great spot for morning coffee out the back door of Lido deck buffett either side. Plan on having a great time and booking another cruise the moment you return.


SDRHR July 16th, 2004 07:30 AM

Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
Ro, First of all- Yeah! You'll love cruising. I will try to help as much as I can, been on two previous carnival cruises.
1- You will need cash for the ports and best for ship credit is a credit card. There are other options for the ship credit-but I am not familiar- we set up an account at a separate bank- its our cruise account- we use the atm/debit/credit card for the ship credit. Works perfect- daily limits do not apply at our bank- all is charged at once at end of cruise- as long as you have that amount in the bank- it works fine.

2-Formal night there will be tuxes but not all. A suit is fine. He sould wear at least dress pants, dress shirt with a tie. Dress shorts and a nice polo shirt will work for other nights.

3-Dress comfortable and casual most of the time. You will see t-shirts and shorts, sundresses, and so on. 1st night is no different than last on formality.
4- Cell phones didnt work much for us and VERY expensive to call home from ship.
walkie talkies didnt work well- too much use by others, you get mixed up.
5-bars as well as Anything on ship- charge to ship room credit. No cash on board except maybe some tips.
6- cozumel was fun, nice and safe. In any port, just be aware and stay together- always with someone at night.
7- Valubles should be fairly safe- our room safe malfunctioned with jewlery and cash inside and our room steward had to get his manager- and then He had to get His manager to open the safe- only a few people on the ship know how to do that. keep inventory of what is in there at all times.

Ro, best of luck, enjoy!
P.S.- some tips:
Pack suitcases half yours/half spouses- this way if one gets misplaced- you each have some stuff. Pack a carry-on for the ship with bathing suit and change of clothes, luggage may not arrive until late.
Get to the port early- we were told we couldnt board until 12:30= we were there before 11 and on the ship at 11:18am!!
Bon Voyage
Let us know how it goes!
S~


3FOB5Paradise July 16th, 2004 07:50 AM

Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
1. Whats best to take for that on board credit? Cash or Credit Card

Credit card just so long as you have it mostly paid off or lots left before your limit....

2. Formal Nite: Big concern of my honey not me. Does he really need a tux or will a suit do it and is there even a formal night on board and when do they do it if it does have such a night? Does he need four nights of long pants for dinner? We tend to run around in dress shorts for dinner here and nice shirts.

Suits are good for formal nights, I wear one myself on each formal night.
HOWEVER, DRESS SHORTS ARE NOT PERMITTED!
According to Carnival, Formal Wear: tuxedo (optional); suit and tie; sport coat, tie and slacks; evening gown; cocktail dress; pantsuit Casual Resort Wear: sport shirts and slacks; dresses; skirts; pantsuit ***NOTE: Shorts, t-shirts and bathing attire are not permitted in the Dining Room during dinner***

3. Do you dress up or down first night of the cruise? Stupid ? right?

Down, because your luggage might not have arrived, and it is an inconvenience to get all dresssy so quickly.

4. Do cell phones work on board and hes a wanderer meaning all over activity person while me I tend to just people watch and sit still reading-are walkie talkies allowed?

Cellphones will NOT and I repeat NOT work due to the fact that there don't tend to be very many cellphone towers in mid-ocean. Walkie talkies are acceptable and often are available for rental on the ship as well.

5. At bars on the ship you can't pay cash like regular bars?

No, the ships are created to be cashless systems. You would only use cash to pay off your S&S bill or in the casino if you want to use cash for it.

7. Are you valuables safe to leave in your room such as ID cash etc> How many people could possible get into the cabin? We leave such things in motels and no one takes them as there is only one maid who enters if that.

Your valuables are safe just so long as you keep them inside the cabin safe. Depending on the ship yours might be a code lock or have a swipe card system, which you can lock using any card with a magnetic strip. Many do not believe you should use your current sail and sign for it, but sometimes a credit card, (once you've cruised) an old S&S card, a grocery card or something like that. Some people will hide those in the room so that the family can always open it. Only the exact card that locks it (even if you are in the same room on the same S&S account) will unlock it in that case.


Paralegal July 16th, 2004 08:09 AM

Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
Ro, Congratulations on your first cruise. I'm sure you will become addicted like the rest of us. My boyfriend and I did the 4 night cruise out of Tampa last August. We were on the Sensation and went to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. I'll try and answer your questions from what I have learned on my past cruises:

1. Before you get on the ship, you will get a Sail/Sign card. They will take your picture and keep in the computer system. The pictures is not on your card. That way if you lose your card, somebody can't pick it up and try to get on the ship with it. Also, they can keep track of who is on and off the ship. You will need to get on and off the ship in port. The card is also a credit card. You can secure this by using a credit card or using cash. I have always used a credit card and had no problem. You will use your Sail/Sign card for all purchases on the ship (i.e. gift shop, soda, alcohol, pictures, excursions, etc.) You will want to take cash with you into the ports. I used my debit card once and it was a pain. Also, in Cozumel, they don't have any ATM machines by the ships. If you don't have cash, you will have to get it from the ship's ATM or go into town.

2. There will be one formal night. Usually the 2nd night of the cruise. Men can wear suits or tuxes. For women, I saw everything from really dressy dresses to just regular dresses. They don't permit shorts in the dinning room at night. Except the very first night, they are a little bit more laid back about things because some people may not get their luggage until later that night. So, whatever you wore unto the ship, you can wear that into the dinning room. After that night, it is pants for men and pants, dresses or skirts for women.

3. Bars on the ship you will use your Sail/Sign card. Some of bars in Cozumel take cash only. So be prepared to use cash in port.

4. Cozumel was awesome. My boyfriend and I went to Carlos -n- Charlies and had a great time. We also did some shopping and then stayed at the bars by the ship. You can take a taxi into town for little or nothing. They have great deals on a lot of things. Just be prepared for the local merchants to hassle you to come and look at their shop. If you are not interested, then just say "No thank you" and move one.

5. I never had any problems with valuables and I never used the safe. I just kept all my stuff hidden in luggage and nobody ever bothered them. I know the rooms do have safes for people to use.

Hope that helps. Have a great time on your cruise.

Duke- July 16th, 2004 08:43 AM

Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
Hello Fellow Cruisemates,
I"ve used Traveler Checks ( American Express) in many portsof call which are widely accepted and you can cash them at the purse's desk or at the casino too....just a thought
Happy Cruising

duke

ps. You"lll need dollar bills for the tips LOL

Ro July 17th, 2004 10:01 AM

Re: Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
Thanks Pat for the web site to ck out. Ro

Ro July 17th, 2004 10:02 AM

Re: Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
Thanks G for replying to my questions. I have one more though is insurance necessary? Ro

Ro July 17th, 2004 10:03 AM

Re: Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
Thanks S for answering all my questions and for the great advice! Ro

Ro July 17th, 2004 10:04 AM

Re: Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
Thanks 3 F for answering all my questions. The dress short thing was really confusing as people were telling my Kenny he could wear shorts. Thanks again! Ro

Ro July 17th, 2004 10:06 AM

Re: Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
Hey Paralegal thanks for answering the questions I had and telling me you went out of Tampa to. Did u take out cruise insurance for this 4 night cruise? I just did it last minute now and paid 75.00 don't know if it is really worth it. Ro

Ro July 17th, 2004 10:07 AM

Re: Re: 1st time Cruisers info help Please
 
Hey Duke thanks for the American Express tip I think I might get a few. With everyone so nice on this site all my ?'s were answered. Ro


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