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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:12 PM
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Default Need Your Cruising Newbie Quick Tips!

We've booked our first cruise - family of 5 with teens. We'll be cruising in June on the Imagination. I need all those quick tips for cruising - like bring an extension cord, use those big plastic storage bags for packing, etc. I need to know it all!

When we were considering booking a cruise I kept running across these random quick tips on various sites. Wish I would have written them down! All I can remember is the extension cord, plastic bag and to bring my own hairdryer!

Tell me what you know - tell me all! Thanks a million in advance for your reply!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:35 PM
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OK.. fam of 5. I'm guess two rooms.

1. the soda cards for the kids and make sure their sale and sign cards can not charge against or put a limit on it for the arcade. The cabin key is the sign and sail pass. Get them a lanyard (string around the neck) so they won't lose it.
2. Do set up regular meeting times with the kids. boats are fun. let them enjoy but its like a small town.. be safe.
3. Do not pack towels or anything like that. Its provided.
4. The water on the ship (tap) is wonderful. No need to stock pile. and each water you find in your cabin (bottled) is not free. $3.
5. Adult beverages are the same as you would go to a nice bar. Best bet is the bucket of beers.
6. Unless your eating at the buffet every night, pack something nice to wear for everyone for dinner. the dining room dinners are worth the effort.
7. Carry all of your essentails (id, passport, travel papers, medication, swim suit change of clothes, jewelry) with you on the ship in a carry on.. you can check the rest. Luggage takes a while to get to the cabin and you don't want to loose anything.
8. bring sunscreen.. You do NOT want to get burnt.

There's more... hahaha
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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:49 PM
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Tips:

I keep about $20 in one dollar bills to tip the porters when I hand them my luggage at the dock. Room service is free, but it is customary to tip $1 or 2...so these ones come in handy for that as well. And be sure to carry smaller demoninations into port to keep from getting back a lot of foreign currency for small purchases. Any time you need a $20 broken, just go to the casino cage or the Purser's desk if the casino is closed.

The Spa: Lots of first times avoid the Spa area because they are afraid every there costs extra. Some things do. Anything that requires a human being like massages, exercise classes and manicures cost extra. However, the gym, showers, sauna and steam room are all FREE. If you need a locker, you simply hand them your Sail and Sign card and they give it back to you when you return the key.

We just sailed on the Imagination and had a blast.

It has the Adult Serenity area (21 and over) in the back that is wonderful.

Just remember that all your food onboard is included...except the speciality coffee and dessert bar on Promenade. But if you like expressos and cappicinos...you can get them for free in the formal dining room at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Water and soda in the cabins are not free. So make sure the kids don't grab them. Also those foo-foo drinks they will so gladly place in your hand when you board...are not free.

Have a wonderful cruise!!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 06:52 PM
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I would say, with teens included, don't think you can let them have the run of the ship. Yes, the ship is its own little city, but you never know the quality of people on board. The ship of passengers represents all walks of life, and unfortunately that means probably at least one low life pedofile. always have an adult with the teens. You wouldn't let your kids run free and unsupervised at a large hotel, so don't do that on a ship, which is simply a large resort at sea.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 07:07 PM
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:o Holy cow! Thanks for the quick response! I'm taking notes feverishly!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 07:12 PM
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We will think of more but for now, in the dining room get the melting choc cake, on lobster night get both prime rib AND lobster or get 2 of one....ENJOY!!

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Old February 24th, 2008, 08:32 PM
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Here are a few tips:

1. Take Downy Wrinkle Releaser - you won't have to worry about ironing anything - you have to iron in the laundry room!

2. Breakfast buffet - they make killer omelets!

3. Really read the Capers each night - so much going on - you can plan your ship activities. This especially came in handy the night of the grand buffet when there was also a comedy show going on - we would have got caught up in the buffet and missed the show!

4. Journal!! I seriously have post-menopausal memory loss - haha - and so many great memories while cruisin - I journal each day to be sure I remember all the great things that happened!

5. Stamps - if you want to send postcards from the ship, be sure to bring your addresses (I made an address list in Word to take with me) and stamps.

6. Photo Gallery - you will have sooo many pictures taken on the ship and in the ports that you can buy at the Photo Gallery on the ship - don't let it overwhelm you - you'll want one of everything and before you know you have spent a ton of cash!

For those scrapbookers out there - they do have a little Carnival scrapbooking materials kit - I didn't get it last year, but plan on it this year!

7. Hats - not a good idea to wear a hat on deck - you may be waving bye bye to it!

That's all I can add right now!!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Need Your Cruising Newbie Quick Tips!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leebird
We've booked our first cruise - family of 5 with teens. We'll be cruising in June on the Imagination. I need all those quick tips for cruising - like bring an extension cord, use those big plastic storage bags for packing, etc. I need to know it all!

When we were considering booking a cruise I kept running across these random quick tips on various sites. Wish I would have written them down! All I can remember is the extension cord, plastic bag and to bring my own hairdryer!

Tell me what you know - tell me all! Thanks a million in advance for your reply!
You will love the Imagination, she was my 2nd cruise & favorite.


1. The extension cord is a good idea, but there is one wall plug in cabin other than bathroom, so an outlet strip comes in handy too.

2. OTC meds.

3. Talkabout radios do work on ship (keep up w/kids or spouse)

4. small binoculars (passing ships)

5. Highlight marker for Capers (also ask for extra copy of Capers to keep)

6. If inside cabin (very dark) a small nightlight comes in handy

7. Pizza & ice cream at mignight

8. Repeating what Ihp said lots of one $ bills. for porters, tips off ship, etc

9. Fill empty water(good) bottles on ship before going to shore.

10. Most important of all ........ You are on vacation "HAVE FUN" 8)



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Old February 26th, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Default Thanks a million!

Great tips and suggestions! Thanks so much for sharing!
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Old February 26th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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I loved the idea of taking a clear shoe holder that is hung on the door. It can hold 24 items. This keeps the counters free and you can see what you need in just seconds.


Power strip for many electrial plug ins

Ribbon, yard or tape on luggage will help find your luggage when it is going around at the airport.

Sewing(small) kit and extra safety pins...First aid kit with extra bandaids.

Hand sanitizer

Travel, light up alarm clock and a small flash light.

Garbage bag for dirty laundry


Have a wonderful Cruise
Darlene(Red)
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Old February 26th, 2008, 09:35 AM
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You came to the right place.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 11:21 AM
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Things I wish I had taken along, but I was saved by smarter Cruisiemates sailing with me...Cold medication..pills, nose spray,throat spray cough drops, etc..I came down with a whopper of a cold, and I do pack meds, but not for a cold...
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Old February 26th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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Don't take your lap top.

I've always brought a lap top. They're great, I can watch movies, check e-mail, store pictures from my digital camera, and at times catch up on a little work.

On my last cruise, I left the laptop at home and I was much better off without it. I mean come on, I'm on vacation. Plus, what a hassle, they've become at the airport.

My wife bought me a nifty little MP4 player that I used for movies and music. It's the same size as an iPhone and a lot cheaper. It has 30 GB built in and a CF card slot. I took 20 movies and over 100 CD's on that little toy. And I can plug it into the TV and watch. No need for a laptop to watch movies.

My camera takes CF cards also. At the current price of memory, I bought enough CF memory to take over 2000 8MB pictures. No need for a laptop to store pictures.

Then I take my CF card full of pictures, plug it into my MP4 player, hook that up to the TV, and look at the pictures on the TV. No need for a laptop to look at pictures.

I once tried the wireless e-mail thing! It wasn't worth the price, plus, hey you're on vacation. Don't need a laptop for e-mail anymore.

If you've really got to jot some things down, bring a little flash drive and go to the internet cafe. Usually they will let you use the computers for free, but I can't vouch for Carnival.

So, the MP4 player and four 4GB CF cards weigh less than 10 ounces, take up less room then two bars of soap, and accomodate 20 movies, over 100 CD's, and 2000 pictures, plus I don't have to yank them out of the bag for every security point.

Oh, and everyone else's suggestions are great.

Also, bring paper to write on or make up some little cards with your names and addresses for the people with whom you would like to keep in touch.

Steven
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Old February 26th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Default Great suggestions again!

I'll leave the laptop at home!
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Old February 27th, 2008, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven
Don't take your lap top.

I've always brought a lap top. They're great, I can watch movies, check e-mail, store pictures from my digital camera, and at times catch up on a little work.

On my last cruise, I left the laptop at home and I was much better off without it. I mean come on, I'm on vacation. Plus, what a hassle, they've become at the airport.

My wife bought me a nifty little MP4 player that I used for movies and music. It's the same size as an iPhone and a lot cheaper. It has 30 GB built in and a CF card slot. I took 20 movies and over 100 CD's on that little toy. And I can plug it into the TV and watch. No need for a laptop to watch movies.

My camera takes CF cards also. At the current price of memory, I bought enough CF memory to take over 2000 8MB pictures. No need for a laptop to store pictures.

Then I take my CF card full of pictures, plug it into my MP4 player, hook that up to the TV, and look at the pictures on the TV. No need for a laptop to look at pictures.

I once tried the wireless e-mail thing! It wasn't worth the price, plus, hey you're on vacation. Don't need a laptop for e-mail anymore.

If you've really got to jot some things down, bring a little flash drive and go to the internet cafe. Usually they will let you use the computers for free, but I can't vouch for Carnival.

So, the MP4 player and four 4GB CF cards weigh less than 10 ounces, take up less room then two bars of soap, and accomodate 20 movies, over 100 CD's, and 2000 pictures, plus I don't have to yank them out of the bag for every security point.

Oh, and everyone else's suggestions are great.

Also, bring paper to write on or make up some little cards with your names and addresses for the people with whom you would like to keep in touch.

Steven

Steven what's the make and model of the player your wife bought you I want one

Thanks
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Old February 27th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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Creative Labs Zen Vision W!

Circuit City is selling it for $231. Here's the link:

http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productDetail.do?oid=192773&WT.mc_n=4&WT.mc_t=U&cm _ven=COMPARISON%20SHOPPING&cm_cat=GOOGLE&cm_pla=DA TAFEED->PRODUCTS&cm_ite=1%20PRODUCT&cm_keycode=4

I don't know if this is the one that hooks up to the TV or not. They also sell a white one for slightly more money and you can find them on E-bay slightly cheaper.

Steven
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Old February 27th, 2008, 05:22 PM
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1.well first of all make sure you do not leave your passports in your luggage or any of that stuff. dont pack them in your suitcase when you are leaving either..... it is alot of trouble if you do. made that mistake before and dont wanna go there again.

2. sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen. you will need lots of it... the sun seems hotter when your on a cruise than anywhere else.

3. for your teenagers.... buy them a soda card it is worth it. with a soda card you just flash the card at a bar and they can get a soda... they can have as many as they want as long as they have the card with them.

4. the ship is safe so you dont have to worry about your teenagers just tell them to check in the room and if your not there to write you a note to know where they will be. or i have seen people carry walkie talkies so you can get in touch with them like that.... it might be trouble to carry it everywhere though.

5. it takes a long time to get your luggage to your room. probably cause there are so many people but i would suggest to put a swim suit in your carry on bag so you can go swimming and not have to wait around your room for your bags.




i hope you enjoy your cruise and if you have anymore questions about anything just ask and ill be glad to help you out.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 08:39 AM
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Thanks for the info. We were considering taking walkie talkies. I'm wondering about our cell phones - if they would work and if that would be just as easy.

We were weighing out the soda card idea. I noticed on the Carnival site, under the gifts page, you can buy drink coupons. I thought maybe if I did that then they could each get one soda a day and then just have the complimentary lemonade and tea the rest of the time. It might be a hassle though for them to hang on to the drink coupons.

Here's a question on the formal night. Is it really that formal? Do I need to consider tuxes and long gowns. If a lot of people do it, then I might consider it just for the experience for my kids and for the photo op. However, if most people don't take it to that extreme, I don't want to be the only ones who did!

Also, on the regular dinner nights, is a sun dress and sandals appropriate?

What are your thoughts?
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Old February 28th, 2008, 08:58 AM
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Getting dressed up for the Formal nights is one of my favorite subjects.

If you do decided to get dressed up, don't worry, you won't be the only ones. It is only 2 times and for maybe 2 hours, unless you want to stay dressed up as I do. We try to get the early dining and then go straight to the shows. We even go to the Casino after that.

It does make for some very nice pictures.

Sandles and a sundress will be fine for the casual nights.

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Old February 28th, 2008, 09:14 AM
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All of these tips are great!! I have created a file with all the tips I have seen in the last few days. I have over a year to wait, but I should be able to go thru it and make a list of all the things I need to remember, but for the time, I will just collect. Thank you again to all who posted their tips.
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 10:34 AM
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Default Thanks!

Thanks to all for your fabulous tips! I've copied and pasted them out of this posting and am making myself a cruise planning book. My DH thinks I've become a complete cruise junkie! (I think he might be right! )
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 10:54 AM
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highlighter to mark the capers for things you want to do

over the door shoe hanger bag to use in your bathroom (hang it over the door)to organize your stuff

3 plug outlet instead of power strip (smaller to pack)

cheap sunglasses for in port so you don't mind if you misplace them

portable close line reel, made by coleman and it is about the size of a yo-yo (find it at sports authority, dicks sporting goods)

zip lock bag to keep your valuable papers in like passport, just in case of rain

air freshener for the room, they don't smell but just in case

sticky notes to leave messages

bonnine just in case for sea sickness

we carry on a case of water to take on shore excurrisons etc.

night light for the bathroom
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Anti-diarrhea medication. You are going to be eating different foods than what you are used to and might hit your digestiive system wrong.
You can buy OTC's in the ships store but it's less expensive to buy them at home first.
I agree with all the other tips here. Good ones.
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 07:06 PM
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something else i do is research each port of call and try to print off a decent map of the area so when we are walking around we know where we are.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebird
Thanks for the info. We were considering taking walkie talkies. I'm wondering about our cell phones - if they would work and if that would be just as easy.
They work but I would not use them for in ship communication as that would entailing dialing each other though the network at international roaming rates something like $2.49/min. The walkie talkies sound like a better idea.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 05:15 PM
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I just asked my husband this question that maybe someone can answer?

I know about the roaming charge for cell phones, it there a charge like that for text messages while on the ship?

Darlene (Red)
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 05:22 PM
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I've heard of as much as $3 per minute for cell phone usage. Text messaging would count as cell phone usage. BTW, that is the ship's charge. You cell carrier will add their charges on as well.

I heard, third hand, about a girl whose cell phone usage on a cruise cost over $3000.

At the end of my last cruise, I left my cell phone in a taxi in FLL. The cabbie found it and before I disabled the number the next day, he placed over $700 worth of call to Haiti. And to think, I tipped him too!

Steven
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 05:30 PM
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Oh, and i forgot to mention, if you call cell to cell on the ship, you'll get dinged for each phone; so multiply by two. You could be paying as much as $10 per minute.

If you really have to talk, take the walkie talkies. My family uses them skiing and they've saved a lot of headaches. We've tried them at Disneyland, but there are too many people and too few channels. And you need to pack a lot of stuff: walkie talkies, batteries, and battery chargers. When using the walkie talkies we went through 18 batteries a day. So I tried recahargeables and ended up taking 36 batteries and five chargers (for six people). On a road trip in the car it's not a big issue. Could you imagine flying with all that stuff?

My recommendation is the 'check-in' time or the 'sticky note' method: watches and paper.

Happy Sailing.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 03:39 AM
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I have free tanning with my gym membership. I usually start tanning 4-6 weeks before cruising to get a good base, then I usually don't burn. Just remember Caribbean or Hawaiian sun is alot stronger than the northern hemisphere sun you're used to.
When you first get to your cabin you'll find a really nice book about the ship and ports on the table. Find your cabin steward and just ask him if you can buy a copy in the gift shop. He'll tell you no you can just keep the one in the room. At this point I usually give him (or her) a fiver. Even if your tips are prepaid if the steward knows your gonna take a little extra care of them...
they'll definitely take extra good care of you.
If you have a balcony cabin bring a bungie cord to hold your door open.
Enjoy your first cruise !!!!
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Old March 4th, 2008, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Need Your Cruising Newbie Quick Tips!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leebird
We've booked our first cruise - family of 5 with teens. We'll be cruising in June on the Imagination. I need all those quick tips for cruising - like bring an extension cord, use those big plastic storage bags for packing, etc. I need to know it all!

When we were considering booking a cruise I kept running across these random quick tips on various sites. Wish I would have written them down! All I can remember is the extension cord, plastic bag and to bring my own hairdryer!

Tell me what you know - tell me all! Thanks a million in advance for your reply!
You will love the Imagination, she was my 2nd cruise & favorite.


1. The extension cord is a good idea, but there is one wall plug in cabin other than bathroom, so an outlet strip comes in handy too.

2. OTC meds.

3. Talkabout radios do work on ship (keep up w/kids or spouse)

4. small binoculars (passing ships)

5. Highlight marker for Capers (also ask for extra copy of Capers to keep)

6. If inside cabin (very dark) a small nightlight comes in handy

7. Pizza & ice cream at mignight

8. Repeating what Ihp said lots of one $ bills. for porters, tips off ship, etc

9. Fill empty water(good) bottles on ship before going to shore.

10. Most important of all ........ You are on vacation "HAVE FUN" 8)



Ecstasy 1997
Imagination 2001
Holiday 2004
yep.. definatly ask for extra capers that way you can carry one around they get used down quickly and so that you can have nice ones to put in scapbooks if you scrapbook.. also read them every night so you know what activties at what time and place you want to do the next day

have fun on your cruise!!!
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Miranda



"Cruises will create some of the best memories of your life"
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Carnival Legend October 2007
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