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Old November 10th, 2004, 01:27 PM
sarvogs
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Default Hidden expenses?

Hi - I am going on a cruise in Jan 05 and wondering if there are any hidden expenses that we need to know about beforehand? (I'm a first-time cruiser!) I know you have to pay for your own alcoholic drinks with either cash or card, right? Does that include soda, bottled water and everything? Or is the non-alcoholic drinks free? Are there any other expenses that we need to know about? Also, we are on Victory ship - is the buffet available all times? Or are there certain times that you HAVE to eat in the dining area? Thank you!
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Old November 10th, 2004, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

Sarvogs

All alcoholic drinks purchased on board will be charged to your Sign and Sail Card. Soda can also be purchased by the glass or you can buy a soda card for the week. Unless you drink a lot of soda its cheaper to buy it by the glass. Ice tea, lemonade and water (not bottled) are all available at no cost. Beware of the cans of soda and bottles of water in your room. They are not free. If you drink them they will be charged to your account. Tips of $10/pp per day are also charged to your Sign and Sail card, as well as any other purchases you make on board such as photos and gift shop purchases, shore excursions, etc.. I usually check my balance daily to insure that there are no mistakes and to see where I'm at. Hope this helps.


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Old November 10th, 2004, 01:40 PM
sarvogs
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

Thank you! This helps tremendously! Also, all of the food is taken care of since we purchased all-inclusive, right? Is there any times that we'd have to pay for food while on the ship?
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Old November 10th, 2004, 01:47 PM
browezilla
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

Essentially all alcohol and any "logo-ed" beverage/food will incur an additional charge (e.g. Pepsi, Coke, Ben & Jerry's etc). The one expense that I've found that surprises first time cruisers the most, even though not "hidden", is the tips. They are roughly $75/person for a week. When you look at the cost of a cruise, this is a decent percentage of the cruise cost. Regardless of the "at your discretion" text that's on the website, you are expected to pay this and some cruise lines are making it mandatory. The servants on the cruise make $20-25/wk (yeah twenty per week), so they have to have the tips to earn a reasonable salary. They are very deserving of receiving the tips. Just look at it like you are paying your portion of their salary. Anyway, what I've found is that first timers are unaware of this and sometimes are taken aback by this expense.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

The food is included and that also includes room service. It is nice to give a tip for your room service but there is no cost for the food. We had our 9 yr old son with us and we would order cookies, brownies and milk before we went to bed. It was very quick and fun to have the extra pampering! They did have one specialty shop which served coffee and danish, chocolate covered strawberries, ect.,which was extra but that was it. We were on the Paradise so I don't know if all of the ships are exactly alike as far as this goes but I am pretty sure they are.The pizza and ice cream was 24hr a day as was room service. Also at the pizza bar they have calzones which a lot of people didn't realize. Also at the grill outside where the hot dogs and hamburgers are served they also have chicken but you have to ask for it.
We are going on the Victory in July so be sure to let us know what you thought.
Have a great trip.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 03:11 PM
sarvogs
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

Thank you for your replies! For the Sign and Sail card, can you just have those expenses charged to your credit or debit card? Is that something you give them when you board?
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Old November 10th, 2004, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

We used our credit card for our Sign & Sail. Some people use debit cards but make sure you check with your bank before you go as to what your daily limit is and adjust it if you have to. I use the credit card and bring cash and traveler's checks. At the end of the cruise I pay down or pay off the balance on the Sign & Sail with the leftover cash and traveler's checks.

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Old November 10th, 2004, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

All buffets are free and no, you never *have* to eat in the dining room, but make sure you do at least once.

Ice cream machines, pizza, deli sandwiches - all free and all delicious.

The coffee and lattes at the speciality shop are not free, but worth the small charge.

Make sure you order the cookies and brownies from room service (also free, but tip) - they are a lovely late night snack and available 24 hours.

Have a great cruise.

dorothy

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Old November 10th, 2004, 07:44 PM
Big Craig
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

i doubt tipping will ever become mandatory, let me tell you if we ever had a waiter team that was less than average we would and have adjusted our tip, up or down as seen fit, we have read where people asked for things like having there water refilled or some extra bread and the waiters would roll there eyes and mumble not nice things, would you give them the recommmended amount, probably not, not me.
We have had waiters treat us like royalty, extra servings, keeping tea and water full, plenty of fresh bread etc, I am a big guy 450lbs, they even would stick atound to cut my childs meat and make sure she ate healthy, they got much more than the suggested amount.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 07:51 PM
MNCruiser
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Default Re: Re: Hidden expenses?

When checking in at the port getting your sign & sail card is part of the registration. You'll put your credit card down at that time, and then put it away the rest of the trip! Everything you purchase or need will go on your card.
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Old November 10th, 2004, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

The buffet is only during certain times (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the midnight buffet) The only thing that is 24hr is the ice cream, pizza and room service. Also keep in mind that the free beverages are self serve in the same dining room as the buffets (usually on the Lido deck?) if you want them from the bar, they will charge you. Also all drinks from the bar are charged a tip- you can adjust the amount if you want to later when you get the print out of your sail & sign- We didnt bother, because the bartenders do a great job and the tip is usually so small that we didn't notice.
We usually ordered room service for breakfast every morning($1 pp tip is what we tipped every time we ordered room service), so that we didnt have to rush and get dressed for breakfst. Then we usually ate luch at the buffet and dinner in the dining room.
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Old November 11th, 2004, 11:42 AM
jamiegunter
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

Tips extra
Drinks(soda, bottled water, alcohol) extra
Pasty Bar extra
Excursions extra
Pictures extra
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Old November 11th, 2004, 03:05 PM
DENISE H
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?





you can get all the tea, fruit punch,lmonade, coffee and appplejuice upon the lido
deck were you have the breakfast bufft only expense we had were the shore tours
some popand waterbottles in the stateroom the drinks at the bar the other things
that can coast moey are the slots machine, casino cards, any purehas you make
in the stores any of the photos they take so be careful on these items i hope this
helps you
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Old November 11th, 2004, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

how about drinks in dining room?? water, lemonaide etc. are they included or do you have to purchase them separately??

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Old November 11th, 2004, 06:05 PM
Cynda H
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

Pictures Pictures Pictures!! They are 19.99 a piece, you have to buy the 8 X 10 before you can pick smaller sizes....you may think, oh no, I don't really need that...but just wait, when you get back from your cruise you'll say oh my gosh we have 6 pictures!
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Old November 12th, 2004, 07:55 AM
jamiegunter
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

They serve water and tea I think at dinner that is included.
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Old November 12th, 2004, 08:22 AM
helicopter22
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

Cynda H, I've never had to purchase an 8 X 10 first in order to get a smaller picture. When did this start?
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Old November 12th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

I think she means if you want to reorder the same pic smaller size you are supposed to buy the larger one first.

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Old November 12th, 2004, 05:32 PM
Jannis
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

We went on our first cruise this past May. Everything is signed for, I believe, which will be charged on your tab, so to speak. You can tune in on the room tv to see what your balance is. Gratituties are added first, which amounted to about $15 per day per person. We are not drinkers, so we were satisfied with the tea, coffee, juice, and water out of the tap. We had a wonderful trip and I hope you do also!
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Old November 12th, 2004, 07:04 PM
bjkeen
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Default Re: Hidden expenses?

If I remember correctly what my dd said last weekend the remakes - small pics. (wallets) are $5.00 each.

Casino is extra too. If you gamble you might want to set yourself a limit. I have know people to even gamble the waiters tips away. That's one of the reasons the tips now go on your SS card before embarkation. The Casino can take all of your money if you let it. Luckily, the Casino only got $60 of mine last week. Wish I'd been luckier.
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