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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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Default First time cruiser, I leave in 6 days, last minute questions

Hey all, just a few questions here as my wife and I make last minute preparations to head out on the Conquest this coming Sunday.

1. What time do we need to be at the docks by? I really don't want to be the last person waiting in line, but at the same time, I would love to be able to attend Sunday services before heading out.

2. Just how much clothes is enough? I know everyone talks about generally packing too much. I have started my packing and right now I have 2 x swim trunks, 5 x shorts, 1 x jeans, and 2 x nice slacks. Assorted shirts and such to match.

3. Do you rewear any of your "dinner" outfits. Since it is supposed to be a little nicer at dinner, I really don't want to have to pack 5 or 6 nice shirts. If I just take 2 or 3 and cycle am I going to be the "poor guy with no clothes"?

I may ask more questions as they come to mind, but let's start with those. Thanks for any replys!

Counting the days ...
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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Hi, where are you going?

1. We usually are at the dock by the time they tell you that you can board the ship, I think about 12:30 or 1:30-check your docs. You're on the ship, they're serving lunch and you can de-stress from all the hustle and bustle of getting to the pier.

2. Overpack on your first cruise; as much as you can get away with if you're flying. If you're driving, you can bring as much as you can carry and fit in your room. If you're doing some water-type shore excursions, take some good water shoes or water-type sandals.You don't want to be trying to buy stuff you need at the port of call.

3. Not sure how long your cruise is, but your packing list looks good. You can re-wear your shirts at dinner. Believe me, on Carnival nobody really cares.

An extra: if you are not into getting all glammed up on formal nights, you don't have to. What people have on ranges from glittery long dresses or tuxedos to a shirt and pants-men and women.

Take enough non-prescription medicine and toiletries--tylenol, STOMACH MEDICINE, etc. And also some snacks like candy if you like munching. The choices are expensive and extremely limited on ship.

That's all I can think of right now.

Have fun!!
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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: First time cruiser, I leave in 6 days, last minute quest

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoustonTodd
Hey all, just a few questions here as my wife and I make last minute preparations to head out on the Conquest this coming Sunday.

1. What time do we need to be at the docks by? I really don't want to be the last person waiting in line, but at the same time, I would love to be able to attend Sunday services before heading out.

2. Just how much clothes is enough? I know everyone talks about generally packing too much. I have started my packing and right now I have 2 x swim trunks, 5 x shorts, 1 x jeans, and 2 x nice slacks. Assorted shirts and such to match.

3. Do you rewear any of your "dinner" outfits. Since it is supposed to be a little nicer at dinner, I really don't want to have to pack 5 or 6 nice shirts. If I just take 2 or 3 and cycle am I going to be the "poor guy with no clothes"?

I may ask more questions as they come to mind, but let's start with those. Thanks for any replys!

Counting the days ...
Todd
Hi Todd.. YAY for your upcoming cruise.

1. Your cruise leaves at 4. Usually people like to board as soon as possible which is generally around 11:30. As long as your on board by sail away your good. I'm guessing you live close to the dock. I suggest you at least be there by 1:30 - 2.

2. I'm not sure when you'd wear jeans. It always seems too warm for me to wear them but thats just me. The rest of the choices sound great to me.

3. Yes its perfectly ok to rewear dinner outfits.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:39 AM
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Thanks for the input so far guys.

Mama, I'm heading on the 7 day Conquest trip which visits Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We have all of our excursions booked, and are excited to get the trip underway.

Oh, another question comes to mind ... I did not prepay my tips/gratuities. Do I have to pay them individually to the people nescesary, or is it possible to visit the pursers desk or somewhere and do the same sort of lump-sum payment as the prepay would have done?
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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoustonTodd
Thanks for the input so far guys.

Mama, I'm heading on the 7 day Conquest trip which visits Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We have all of our excursions booked, and are excited to get the trip underway.

Oh, another question comes to mind ... I did not prepay my tips/gratuities. Do I have to pay them individually to the people nescesary, or is it possible to visit the pursers desk or somewhere and do the same sort of lump-sum payment as the prepay would have done?
the tips automatically get put on your onboard account with the exception of the wait staff in the dining room. $10 per day per person.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:43 AM
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I forgot to mention that if you're a big coffee or tea drinker and like to drink a big mug of it, take your own. They only have the small 8-10 plastic cups. It works for the juices too.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:48 AM
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Wow, I'm getting excited just thinking about your cruise!

And for the $10 a day tipping, you can adjust that amount up or down, just go to the purser's desk. On some ships you can do this from the room on the tv, I think.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 04:06 PM
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make sure to rember that if youre bringing any electronics too rember to bring there chargers if you're going to be using them alot or the batterys die quickly

Have an A-m-a-z-i-n-g cruise!!!
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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:08 PM
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I chew sugarless gum all the time and the ships sells NONE. I had brought some, thank goodness, but was searching for a change of brand. Well, none.

Also - there are no magazines onboard that I ever found. I ran out of reading material quickly. I have to read before going to sleep and whipped through what I brought too quick, then one got 'taken' on the Lido deck, no big deal, I only brought disposables (magazines and cheap paperbacks). I ended up buying 2 so-so paperbacks in the gift ship - blah. The library's hours are limited and I never was able to catch it when the books were available for check out.

You don't need a robe, or pillows or extra blankets or beach towels. Really, not kidding - great ones are provided for you to use, if you bring your own, you'll just take up needed space in your luggage.

Great advice we got early on - use a porter when going through customs at disembarkation at cruise's end. So worth the money!

You will have a wonderful time. Wish I could cruise once a month!
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Old March 24th, 2008, 11:23 PM
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Don't forget your sunscreen/tanning lotion, they are very expensive on the ship as well as in the ports!

We usually get to the ship around noon or so, this way we know our room will be ready by the time we get onboard and we can stow our things and change clothes before heading up to the sail-away party. I also like to check things out first, make sure the shower/toilet are functioning properly as well as lights and outlets, this way I can know ahead of time and let the purser know right away if something is not right.


Clothing on Carnival is very easy. Bring a few outfits that are versitile, a couple shirts that go with a few different bottoms. For formal night we always dress up, but this is because we don't EVER get to go out at home...also remember the benefit of rolling your clothes in your suitcase versus folding, more space for more clothing.


Ziploc baggies!!! We love using ziplocs to "steal" food from the buffets when we go on excursions, this way we don't have to pay for alot of food out in port and we also have something to bring sea shells and what not back with us!

Have a great cruise I am extremely jealous!!!


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Old March 24th, 2008, 11:42 PM
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Thanks so much for the input everyone!

Ok, 2 more questions have come to mind though.

1. We are cruising during my wife's birthday, and unbeknownst to her I have bought her a beautiful diamond ring. I was thinking of talking to the waiter the morning/afternoon of her birthday and having the ring "find" it's way into her desert or something like that. Do you think this would be safe though? Could I trust the dinning room staff or would I be risking hearing something along the lines of "what ring?"

2. Does anyone know where you can purchase laniards at? I have had other cruisers tell me to hang our sail and sing cards from laniards around our necks, but I can't find them anywhere, I've checked Walmart near my home and several other stores as well.

I know there was something else, but I can't remember right now. Maybe later ...
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Old March 25th, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoustonTodd
Thanks so much for the input everyone!

Ok, 2 more questions have come to mind though.

1. We are cruising during my wife's birthday, and unbeknownst to her I have bought her a beautiful diamond ring. I was thinking of talking to the waiter the morning/afternoon of her birthday and having the ring "find" it's way into her desert or something like that. Do you think this would be safe though? Could I trust the dinning room staff or would I be risking hearing something along the lines of "what ring?"

2. Does anyone know where you can purchase laniards at? I have had other cruisers tell me to hang our sail and sing cards from laniards around our necks, but I can't find them anywhere, I've checked Walmart near my home and several other stores as well.

I know there was something else, but I can't remember right now. Maybe later ...
1. NOOOOOO!!! Do not hand some stranger an expensive piece of jewerly. I'm sure the waiter is very nice but you have no idea what can happen between breakfast (if hes even there) and dinner. People are people..

2. You can buy them on board in the gift shop.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoustonTodd
Thanks so much for the input everyone!

Ok, 2 more questions have come to mind though.

1. We are cruising during my wife's birthday, and unbeknownst to her I have bought her a beautiful diamond ring. I was thinking of talking to the waiter the morning/afternoon of her birthday and having the ring "find" it's way into her desert or something like that. Do you think this would be safe though? Could I trust the dinning room staff or would I be risking hearing something along the lines of "what ring?"

2. Does anyone know where you can purchase laniards at? I have had other cruisers tell me to hang our sail and sing cards from laniards around our necks, but I can't find them anywhere, I've checked Walmart near my home and several other stores as well.

I know there was something else, but I can't remember right now. Maybe later ...
You can purchase lanyards on the ship.

Libragirl
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Old March 25th, 2008, 10:52 AM
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The lanyard you are looking for can be found at Walmart, in the sporting goods department. They are used to hold fishing/hunting licenses.

By all means, feel comfortable re-wearing a shirt at dinner. Also, there are washer/dryers on the Conquest.

Don't forget a power strip for the cabin. The cabin is only equipped with 1 outlet.

You will have a wonderful cruise! I live in Alvin, and I love driving to Galveston to watch the ships set sail. Don't know if I will make it next Sunday, but in case I don't, Bon Voyage!
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Old March 25th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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Houston Todd....y'all have a great cruise ! 8)
What time to arrive?
When I took drive up cruises out of New Orleans, I got there around 11 or so in order to beat the crowds. I had a relaxing lunch on board.
What to pack?
What your packing seems wise. Don't forget smaller less obvious items. One year I stuffed my bags only to find NO UNDERWEAR
can you re-wear evening items?
By all means...I recycled my attire.
Gratuities are added to sign and sail card.
beverages are included on the Lido deck as long as one prefers tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and so on. No need to purchase coffee unless one wishes a mocha or something. Plenty of coffee cups available.
Tell the staff of the birthday...so they can sing for the birthday person. One song...10 different accents.
I got my free lanyard in the casino. I kept my card around my neck the whole time...absent minded guy that I am.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 09:07 PM
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Todd-you sound stoked..I envy you...Can I pack myself in your suitcase..I promise not to take much room...

Pier-if you get there and go through checkin they won't let you on until 1130, so get there after 12pm and you'll walk right on the ship as soon as you clear check in.

The ring--I might suggest that you bring the receipt for the ring because customs may see it as something you purchased in the islands and make you pay tax on it or worse!!! I brought the paperwork on all my diamond jewellery when I went because I didn't want customs to think I bought it there. I don't think Customs agents can tell, or care, if a diamond is mind/cut/polished/set in Canada or one that was minded in South Africa and has no gemscan documentation.

As for presenting the ring, you could probably trust the maitre D, but you could always present it to her in a very informal setting on Lido deck. You could be a gentleman and go get dessert and put the ring on a piece of pie/cake sticking out the top....

Enjoy your trip, you will loooove it....oh, and if you get the chance, do the dolphin swim/snorkle at Chankanaab Park--ship excursion or on your own, it is soooo worth it!!!!!
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:13 PM
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Congrats on the proposal - hope she says yes!

I tend to overpack, but have cut down some... two pair swim trunks and two pair shorts, and depending on what you have, they could be interchangeable. Only one pair of Dockers for dinner, and maybe 4 collared shirts. Maybe 4 T-shirts - you could buy a couple for mementos if you need more. One pair of jeans and one pair sweatpants, and could have dispensed with both of those for all they got used. I brought 5 pair of black sox but could have done the whole cruise on two pair and reused them. Had formal shoes and sandals, didn't need the tennis shoes but the water shoes came in handy.

Now I just need to find ONE charger that can charge camera, camcorder, laptop, pda. At least some things can be charged from the laptop's USB port but still I have a tangle of cables and chargers...
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:18 PM
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I think everyone has pretty much answered you...

I just wanted to say have a great time! I'm sure you will love it, especially since you are cruising the Conquest for your first ship (I've been on her sister ship the Valor and it is beautiful).

Happy cruising!
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Old March 27th, 2008, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for all of the input and kind thoughts everyone, we are stoked to be going.

One last question then ...

if we board the boat at 12:30/1pm, will our checked baggage make it to the room in time to change for dinner? We have the early seating, and if we need to carry on dinner clothes I would like to know. Thanks for any input on that one!!
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Old March 28th, 2008, 08:12 AM
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It may or may not. Don't worry; that is the one night where they allow you wear literally anything to the dining room because they realize that some luggage will be arriving to the rooms later.

And don't forget to take your camera to the safety drill, shortly before sailing time. That's all I'm saying. Heh, heh.

Have a great time!!
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Old March 28th, 2008, 02:10 PM
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I know you are going to have a great time and I'am so excited for you. Just wanted to add that you might want to go to the "all things Cruising" board. There is alot of helpful information over there for some more of your last, last minute questions.
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