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Old February 25th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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Default Thinking about it, so I have "some" questions...

OK, first and foremost. I'm thinking of surprising my wife with a cruise this coming fall or early next year.

Cost...
How much do I need to have, from A-Z. Price of cruise, tips, on ship spending, fees they don't tell you about when you book. Basically what did you spend. Keep in mind a tighter budget. I think I want at lease ocean veiw, if not balcony

Whats covered? food, drinks, entertainment...

I know the organized meals are payed for with the purchase of the cruise(or at least I think they are.) But are the little restaurants/dinners included? Like the pizza/ice-cream shops I hear about? Anywhere i find a waiter and ask for an iced tea, is it going to be free? I saw somewhere you can get a soda card? Please help me clear this up, whats paid for and whats extra? Shows, do the shows/movies cost extra or are all of them free? Same for all the activities around the ship.

Dress Code.

First of all, I don't own a suit... never have, most likely never will. Can me and the wife walk around in khaki shorts and t shirt without being barked at?

Best cruise for us?

I like lots of activity, my wife likes half as much "fun" as I do, she loves to curl up with a book... She can do it anywhere... So, I will need more entertaining then she will. I have heard carnival cruises off more things to do for younger people. We both are in our early 30's. We have never taken any real vacation in our 9 years of being together. We will not be traveling with children. I like the sound of the carribean.


Did I miss anything? Let me know...

I'll search around and see what I find, thanks for the great site.

Ken from Michigan.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 01:24 PM
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Default Lots of questions maybe I can help answer a few

The price of the cruise varies 3 night cruises are cheaper but shorter thus less fun. The price of the cruise has alot of variables such as inside cabin (cheapest) Oceanview (next level up) Balconey (more money but nice) Suites (big bucks) and finally Penthouse (People who book these dont worry about the cost). Another Variable is the time of year you are planning to cruise hurricaine season is cheapest. Sept-Oct. All that said your price range is from $200.00 per person and up to the sky is the limit.
All your meals are included including breakfast, lunch, dinner, buffets, room service, pizza bars, shushi bars, fish and chip, deli, oriental food bar the types of small eaterys will vary depending on the ship. Some ships offer an upscale resturant that has an additional cost attached to it (worth the money) On Carnival formal dress is required on certain nights for the main dinnig halls. I myself I wear a tux, but a suite is ok and more than acceptable. Other nights in the main dinng halls I wear a dress shirt and dress pants. (jeans are a no-no) You do not have to dress up to eat at the buffet style resturants.
Alchol cost extra as do sodas you can purchase a soda card and use that some people share the card which is against policy. Entertaiment is free, juices ice tea etc are free, drinks at the captains party are free, champagne at art auction free. Figuring your Budget before you go can be dauting always figure 10.00 per guest per day for gratuties to the wait staff, I also budget $100.00 for each port I stop in for the day this does not include excursions or car rentals it's just walking around money.If you gamble you will need to budget extra for that.Your daily cost on board is up to you I like my beer, and the wife likes her Fu-Fu drinks so I budget another $100.00 a day for that. You can limit your expenses by not drinking alchol. That last thing is tip your baggageporter a couple of bucks. I hope this helps I can tell you cruising is a great value and you will never go hungry on a ship
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Old February 25th, 2007, 01:30 PM
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Hi Ken,

Let's see if we can help you with your answers. Your cruise price will depend on what you want, where you go, what you do. If you have a Travel Agent in your town, that would be your first stop. If you would like one online, there are some great ones associated with Cruisemates.

Food is included except, speciality shops and restaurants. Tips can be added It to the price of your cruise when you book, if not it is taken from you when boarding.

Have you gone to the Carnival web site yet. They also have prices, and locations.

Where do you think you would like to leave from? What port is closest to your home?

We understand your questions. That is what we are here for.

Luanne
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Old February 25th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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How much do I need to have, from A-Z.

In addition to your tickets, you'll need $10 pp/per day tips which are automatically charged to you're sail-n-sign card. Also you'll need money for any shore excursions you purchase. Booze and gambling (and bingo) is extra. Dining room is free of charge as is the lido buffet, pizza, room service (except tip), coffee, tea, juice, ice cream. Soft drinks are extra. Gym/spa is free but there is a charge for services such as facials, massage etc. Evening shows in the theater are free.

I think I want at lease ocean view, if not balcony

There's only a few balconies available on the older ships which sail the shorter cruises and they're very pricey. So, if yah want a balcony, now you're into the newer ships sailing the longer routes at higher prices. At your age, I'd start out with a 5 day to western Caribbean on maybe the Inspiration outta Tampa to Cozumel/Grand Cayman or there's another outta Miami to Grand Cayman/Ocho Rios. I personally don't like the Bahamas which are even cheaper. Book the "OCEANVIEW GUARANTEE" rate and you'll get it for less than a Cat. 6A. You're young so you'll be on deck the entire cruise anyway. I'm from Ohio (we drive), so we find really good rates in the winter and it breaks up the cold. Also, go during school so you don't have to put up with too many children. The low rates you see in the fall are due to hurricane season. There's a reason they're cheaper then!

Can me and the wife walk around in khaki shorts and t shirt without being barked at?

There's one formal nite on 5 day and under cruises and two formal nites on 7 day and up. A suit is suggested IN THE DINING ROOM on those nites. Otherwise, a pair of dockers and decent shirt w/collar is perfect. Shorts are never acceptable in the dining room for dinner. They are acceptable in the lido buffet anytime and literally everywhere else on the ship.

OK, first and foremost. I'm thinking of surprising my wife with a cruise this coming fall or early next year.

SMART MAN, she'll love for it and it's very AFFORDABLE!
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Old February 25th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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Well, I guess Port Huron is the closest to me... but I don't think they set sail from Lake Huron here in Michigan... , sorry, had to...

Anyways, I was thinking of a 7 day trip to the Caribbean. Nassau, St. Thomas, St. Martin... I guess the port I leave from makes no difference. Miami most likely. Maybe who ever has the cheapest flight from Michigan.

Thanks to both of you, please, more chime in!

Ken
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Old February 25th, 2007, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Can me and the wife walk around in khaki shorts and t shirt without being barked at?
If that's what you're looking for, for the entire cruise, including evenings, you're not going to find it on a main stream cruise line.

Thought it's possible to do by skipping meals in the main dining room, and eating at the buffet area altermate dining or pizzarias and grills, you'll miss out on a good part of the main stream cruise experience.

There are alternate cruise lines, like Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, where that type of relaxed dress would be the norm, and completely acceptable.

If you want more of a main stream experience, and are willing to bend and at lease wear slacks instead of shorts, and a polo style shirt to dinner, I'd suggest looking at Norweigan Cruise Line, where casual dress is perfectly acceptable. On NCL other than shorts in the dining room being a no no, their freestyle cruising, may be a nice compromise for you, without having to worry about suits and formal wear.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 01:53 PM
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I am happy to say that Cleveland did a better job in explaining than I did.

I know what it is like to have tons of questions, and can't get them asked fast enough.

Have you read my Virtual Tour of the Conquest? It has a lot of info. It is the same size ship as a lot of those cruising out of Miami.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luanne Russo
Have you read my Virtual Tour of the Conquest? It has a lot of info. It is the same size ship as a lot of those cruising out of Miami.
Luanne,

Where can we locate your virtual tour of the Conquest?
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Old February 25th, 2007, 04:38 PM
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Here it is. Enjoy!!

virtual cruise
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Old February 25th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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Again, where do you wish to go, when, what kind of cabin...
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Old February 25th, 2007, 05:29 PM
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Again, where do you wish to go, when, what kind of cabin...
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Cruised more times than I can remember.

Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Courage and perserverance have a magical talisman; before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into the air.

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Old February 25th, 2007, 06:17 PM
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Depending on where in Michigan it may save some money to drive down to Detroit or into Chicago and fly out. It may save some money. I would suggest a 7 night cruise. If you like more adventerous stuff I would probably suggest the western carribean.

I would maybe suggest the Cruisemates cruise out of Galveston on September 9th. This ship is a bigger ship with great ports. The main costs you need to worry about is alcohol if you drink. If you dont then the extra costs are not that much

I like to anticipate $50 per person per port for spending money. I do not spend much on ship so on sea days I plan for less. If you like to shop or plan on buying a lot of pictures or trinkets then plan for a little more.

If you are looking at cutting costs usually either September or January seem to be the cheaper months. The best think to do is narrow down the month that you would like to sail and then plan from there.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 07:43 PM
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If you are thinking of cruising, call a travel agent or Carnival. The specialists there are surprising helpful and don't hold back. Tell them what you want and they'll be of great information to you. You are allowed to take a case of sodas or water with you and although it's against policy, we have taken alcohol plenty of times with no consequence. I suggest taking at least a 4 day cruise-3 days are just too short. As for the dress code, my husband NEVER wears a suit, even on formal night. He, along with MANY other men, wears dress pants, a shirt and tie. You will see anything from very formal to Sunday church cloths. As someone else already said, no shorts at dinner but khakis and Dockers are fine. My husband dresses like that every night. We took our first cruise 2 years ago and were a little apprehensive but it ended up a wonderful experience. We have gone on 3 Carnival cruises and planning our 4th on the Glory. We have been satisfied with each one. The cruise staff is always very helpful and willing to share information on anything-just ask. Our wait staff would tell us about upcoming ports of call and instruct us on things to see and do. Hope this was helpful and good luck!
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Old February 25th, 2007, 09:51 PM
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one more thing, since price is an issue, stick with an oceanview cabin. There is so much to do onboard that you really only sleep and shower in your room-not much time is spent hanging out there. Save the money for the spa and shopping.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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Hi Ken,
What part of Michigan are you from? I'm originally from Westland, and moved to Crystal Falls in the UP.

As some have already posted, all the food places except the separate restaurants are included (I can't tell you about the restaurants - haven't been there). The food is great and I think you will really be missing something if you don't at least try the dining rooms. You don't have to dress up that much, dockers and a polo for you, slacks and a nice top for your wife. It's such a treat to have people wait on you like that and be offered such a wide variety of choices. At least try it on one of your first nights and if you don't like it, the buffets are good too. Pizza and ice cream are included in the cost of the cruise also.

If you drink more than 4 or 5 sodas a day, a fountain card will work for you. It's about 5.50 per day plus gratuity. On the 5 day cruise we were just on, I think it was a little over 30.00. You can buy them at any bar on the first day. However, juices and lemonade are available free on the Lido deck.

As for entertainment, all the shows are included, but you will need money to play bingo (done in the lounge before some of the shows). I'm sold on it, my daughter and I played on our first cruise and won a free cruise for two. No luck on the 2nd cruise though. Of course, you will need cash for the casino if you choose to go.

I would definitely book ocean view. There's nothing like being able to look out at that beautiful ocean whenever you want.

When you board and get your sign and sail card, they will add $10.00 per day per person as a gratuity. This gets split 3 ways for various staff. You can adjust this if you want to by going to the pursers desk but at least this way you have the bulk of your tipping done. We have tipped extra (for great service) to our dining steward and our room steward and their staff. This is totally at your discretion.

Don't hesitate to ask as many questions as you want. When we can't be cruising, at least we can help others get their cruise.

Hope this helps.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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Cathy, I live near Lansing, a little town called Webberville. The wife and I own a few places in the north country too. In the lower Mesick, in the upper, Cedarville.

I was thinking of going on this trip next year, around Feb. (Gotta wait till after Sept. anyways, the wifes pregnant with our first child.) I really want to get away for 7 nights. I can do dockers and polo...

So I'm looking around 1100-1200 for the cruise. plus 700 for spending for the 2 of us. plus $140 for the tips they charge you.. keep in mind this is for me and the wife combined... This sound about right? So roughly $2000 for the cruise portion, not counting the plane ride.

Thanks for all the tips.

Ken
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Old February 27th, 2007, 09:50 AM
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That sounds like it's in line with most people's suggestions of about $100.00 per day. It really depends on whether you are going to want to drink alcohol, and how much you wish to spend at shops or at the casino. But a lot of people have said that they budget $100.00 per day and usually come home with some.
Don't forget to check prices after you book to see if they go down, many have gotten money back or at least some shipboard credit.
Hope this helps.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 04:11 PM
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Good luck if you can get your wife to leave that new baby behind for a cruise! We never had in-laws nearby so didn't cruise until our 20th anniversary. By then we had 4 kids, and my mom came up to watch them (and her bags were packed and by the door when we returned!).
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