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-   -   General Advice (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/carnival-cruise-lines/339828-general-advice.html)

Angie McDonald September 15th, 2007 05:24 PM

General Advice
 
My Hubby and I are planning a cruise. How long in advance should we plan? We are planning for a 4 day cruise. How much should I budget? We do not have passports yet. I know we need them and are going to get them soon. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. Also my husband is semi claustrophobic - How big are rooms on Carnival.

Ang M

Michelle1959 September 15th, 2007 05:55 PM

Re: General Advice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Angie McDonald
My Hubby and I are planning a cruise. How long in advance should we plan? We are planning for a 4 day cruise. How much should I budget? We do not have passports yet. I know we need them and are going to get them soon. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. Also my husband is semi claustrophobic - How big are rooms on Carnival.

Ang M

Hi Angie,

It may take 3-4 months (or more) to get your passports, so plan with that in mind. Also, you can get better rates if you either book last minute specials (when they want to fill up the ship a few weeks before sail date) oro, alternatively, when yo book about a year out. You will paty $150-$250 each person as a deposit when you book and the balance will be due usually 6-0 days before sail date. So all these figture into your travle plans. Also, making sure you can get a flight out the day before your cruise (recommended!) and a flight home the day the cruise ends.

Go to www.carnival.com and click on the FAQ link at the bottom of their website. It provides a lot of information you'll need to know. You will want to aim for an ocean view room, so your hubby doesn't get claustrophopic. Remember, you'll mostly be in the room to sleep and shower, the rest of the time you'll be out on deck or about the ship, and it's pretty huge and spacious!

The 4-day on Sensation on July 29th cost:

$1339.46 (440/person for the cabin + 145.53/person port charges , 93.46/taxes & fees + 69 lns me + $29 lns for lan + $35/person for one way transfer to the airport - we rented a car when the cruise ended.

ClevelandRocks September 15th, 2007 06:17 PM

I'd look about 6-8 months out and find the best deal. Usually, if there's a fare decrease your TA will make it up to you in onboard credit. Gratuities are added to your account the moment you board, figure $10 per day per person. Excursions are extra, figure min $50 per person per port. They're not necessary, you can always grab a cab or just flop on a beach. Consider the weather when booking. The Bahamas are always the cheapest, but there's a reason for that. IMO, the 5 day western caribbean cruises just blow away the Bahamas and the weather is better in winter when the rates are low. Take a look at Inspiration outta Tampa to Grand Cayman/Cozumel or Imagination outta Miami to Grand Cayman/Ocho Rios. Most staterooms are 185 SF. The Cat 4 are inside staterooms with NO WINDOWS. This may be a problem for your hubby, so you 'd probably want at least a Cat 6 oceanview. You can save yourself a few bucks by booking Cat 6 "guarantee". Carnival will place you in a Cat 6A stateroom OR BETTER of THEIR choosing. If you're prone to seasickness, better to choose your own room on the lowest deck midship. Further up, fore, or aft the more the ship moves. The cruises are all inclusive except drinks, gambling, massages, hairdressers etc. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, pizza, deli, poolside grill, 24 hour room service, shows all included in the fare.

Deakon September 15th, 2007 07:55 PM

Just start doing your research. Hit all the travel websites and talk to a TA. I booked 3 weeks before a cruise and got a great price. Just keep in mind what kind of room you want and where you want to go. I always just search by price and if I like where the ship is going, I book it. I also see if my TA can beat the price on the web.

Good luck!

ferrangi September 16th, 2007 03:49 AM

To: Michelle1959: I'm not sure I understand your calculations.. Can you tell me how much it cost per person total? And how many people in your cabin? Forgive me, but my calculations didn't quite add up.

I was on a 4 day cruise ( I like to call it a 5 day since we spent 4 nights on the ship but you say tomato.... )
Anyway, for 3 of us in a cat 12, was $700 per person. If I understand you correctly, we paid a really good price for our cruise.....

Honeybear September 16th, 2007 10:47 AM

Re: General Advice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Angie McDonald
My Hubby and I are planning a cruise. How long in advance should we plan? We are planning for a 4 day cruise. How much should I budget? We do not have passports yet. I know we need them and are going to get them soon. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. Also my husband is semi claustrophobic - How big are rooms on Carnival.

Ang M

Angie, be sure to try to use the government discount if your DH was ever in the service. Great savings there. But you need to check early there are only a limited cabins aloted for this discount. Talk to a TA, there are some really good discounts to be had if you qualify for one of them.

DH and I are going on the Inspiration for 5 days. We are getting a cabin with a window. Total for two $ 685.50. (Gov. discount)

I hope this helps.
Have a wonderful cruise.

cruzaddict September 16th, 2007 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ferrangi
To: Michelle1959: I'm not sure I understand your calculations.. Can you tell me how much it cost per person total? And how many people in your cabin? Forgive me, but my calculations didn't quite add up.

I was on a 4 day cruise ( I like to call it a 5 day since we spent 4 nights on the ship but you say tomato.... )
Anyway, for 3 of us in a cat 12, was $700 per person. If I understand you correctly, we paid a really good price for our cruise.....

I was also thinking her price seemed quite high, but then I remembered that she went during the summer while the kids are out of school. You and I went in September...which is one of the lowest priced months with kids back in school and hurricanes in full swing. It does sound like you had a good deal though. We paid $660 each (incl port chgs, taxes, & fees) for our 7 day oceanview plus $100 OBC and a few other smaller perks. $700 each for penthouse suite...sweet!!

Wennfred September 16th, 2007 04:16 PM

Re: General Advice
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Angie McDonald
My Hubby and I are planning a cruise. How long in advance should we plan? We are planning for a 4 day cruise. How much should I budget? We do not have passports yet. I know we need them and are going to get them soon. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. Also my husband is semi claustrophobic - How big are rooms on Carnival.

Ang M


Its best to start planning to book a cruise 1 year in advance for the following reason:

1. Airfare is cheaper and the sooner you get it the more flights that are available

2. Cruise fare are also cheaper and if the rates go down you can ask for an upgrade or Onboard Credit

3. Hotels again the sooner you book the more hotels that are available, I know that the Holiday Inn out of Miami books well into 8 months out. I book this hotel a year out.

4. You are not in Penalty phase for a long time and can cancel if you need too.

How much spending money on a 4 day cruise, I recommend 100.00 per day per passenger. Take small denomiations for Tips for pier porters, buses, cab, hotels etc.

Passports? You better get this rolling. There are alot of printers that can print out Passport pictures that are 2 x 2 inches. Mines does this and I print out my own passport pics, these can save you 12 to 15 dollars each.

These cabins are much larger then RCCL cabins, he shouldn't have a problem, I recommend a balcony cabin as it feels alot bigger and open compared to an Inside cabin.


Fred

ClevelandRocks September 16th, 2007 05:08 PM

I recommend a balcony cabin as it feels alot bigger and open compared to an Inside cabin.

Only problem there, with a 4 day cruise you're generally talkin Fantasy-class ship. Only balconies are Cat 11 + 12 suites and much more money. What we mean here Angie, newer ships get the longer routes. Newer ships have Cat 8 balcony staterooms reasonably priced. Unfortunately, Fantasy-class ships run most the 3-5 day routes and don't have Cat 8 cabins available.

cherylroy September 16th, 2007 06:40 PM

I totally agree with you Fred. I book usually a minimum of a year in advance. Have booked as close to 2 years in advance! You get the advantage of getting the room you want - they will adjust your price if the price drops within the time before final payment, etc. We leave tomorrow on the Fantasy and I booked a little over a year ago - a suite gty. There are 4 of us and our price avg out to 558.06 (without insurance) per person. We were bumped up to a penthouse! Of course - we are going in September - which is the cheaper month and just missing the hurricanes if I might add! If you have the downpayment - book now. :-) I also have a cruise booked in January and booked that a while ago too. The price has since increased by 50.00 per person. We were, however, locked in at the cheaper price.

Definitely get an outside cabin. He won't feel so stuffy as you can open the door any time! And..get your passport NOW. YOu can go online prior to your cruise and book your excursions. Excursions range from approx 40 dollars to 200 dollars however you don't have to do anything you don't want to do! Let us know what you decide!!

Angie McDonald September 17th, 2007 05:42 PM

Thanks for all the advice so far. Please keep it coming!! Also we have now narrowed our ships down to the Holiday,Fantasy and the Ecstacy. Has anyone been on any of these ships? What are some great spots on these ships? Any downfalls to these ships?
Ang LOL LOL

mehawk September 17th, 2007 09:17 PM

Gosh, that is so hard to answer. I usually try to book at least 6 months in advance. I have done a year in advance. The cabins have 160+ square feet. Measure off 10 floor tiles in one direction and 16 in the other and that is the general size of them. Look at some of the pictures on the photo gallery and you can get an idea of the size by looking at the beds.

cruzaddict September 19th, 2007 01:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Angie McDonald
Thanks for all the advice so far. Please keep it coming!! Also we have now narrowed our ships down to the Holiday,Fantasy and the Ecstacy. Has anyone been on any of these ships? What are some great spots on these ships? Any downfalls to these ships?
Ang LOL LOL

We were on Ecstasy last year. The aft lounge is very nice, especially for nightly Karaoke (even if just watching) and late night comedy acts. I think the best seats in the main lounge (where the production shows, etc are held each night) are the first or second row of the terrace; unless you can get there very early and get near the stage on the ground floor. We spent a lot of time at a table near the main pool, right behind the water slide. Ecstasy and Fantasy are sister ships...they have the same layout so just choose from them based on something else (departure port, price, etc.).

cherylroy September 22nd, 2007 07:38 PM

Just got off the Fantasy today -- am about to write a full review

ready2board September 22nd, 2007 07:59 PM

Book as much in advance as you can. However, booking even a couple months out will still probably get you about everything you basically want as far as type of room etc. Most working people can't be 100 pct sure of their vacation schedule an entire year in advance. Most employers aren't going to approve one a year in advance but I know there are exceptions.

Long story short,...just book in a reasonable amount of time and you'll be fine.


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