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Old April 2nd, 2008, 12:38 PM
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Default Carnival Cruise

I'm cruising on the Carnival Victory the first week in June (6 days). This will be my first cruise. I need all the first timer tips that I can get. I got a balcony room mid ship. My husband, 16 year old son and 5 year old son will be going to the Bahamas. Please help me gather what information I can. Thanks, ~Melinda
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 01:12 PM
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Hi there and welcome...

If you haven't done so already, read the articles here then come back and we'll try to answer all the other questions you have.

http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/firsttime/
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 01:17 PM
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I will do that, thanks.
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 03:45 PM
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Since you have kids, you will be better off with an early dining time so they can enjoy the kids activities that are held in the evening (if they want to).

Also, have you kids both attend the first night meet and greet - especially your teen.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 02:38 PM
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We are also on that cruise. Our 3rd. on CCL. What part of Va. are you from? We are from Southwest Va. and live app. 5 1/2 hrs. from the Port of Norfolk. You say it's your 1st. cruise. You and your family should love it - that is if you like being pampered and waited on hand and foot. Lot's to do. When we took our 1st. cruise, it was like nothing else we had ever experienced. Like the other posters' said, you can find out just about anything you need to know on CruiseMates. Hope to see you and everone else during meet and greet. Doubt if we will meet everyone as there will be 2,500+ fellow cruisers.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 02:59 PM
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We live in Gloucester Virginia, about 1 hour from Norfolk. I have a friend that lives 5 minutes away from the boat, We will get her to drop us off and pick us back up that way we can leave our car at her place. I'm so excited about this cruise, no cooking, no cleaning, no running my kids from here to there, I will not know how to act. I have done alot of research for the past 6 months and could tell you more than my TA knows. LOL (not really) I do have a few questions that one just would not know unless they have cruised before. Will we have a blow dryer in our cabin? an Iron? can I sit out on my balcony in just my robe if I wanted? Is it true they have a topless deck? How do I keep my 16 year old from that? How about my husband?(another joke) who all in your group will be going? are you as excited as me or is just because it is my first time? I have learned never to book so far in advance because that is all I can think about and talk about. Thank God for this board I came across.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:19 PM
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Congrats on your upcoming cruise. The first time is so exciting. The first time we took the children on a cruise it was on the Victory. My first word of warning is if you decide to take the stairs with your five year old--BEWARE the seahorses!! My then 5 year old daughter was sporting some very cool bruises by the end of the cruise from all the times that she ran into the seahorses. By the second last day she had clued in and was taking wide turns on the stairs. In all seriousness though, you'll have a blast. I know some folks suggested an early dinner with the kids, we did the opposite which worked well for ours, we came back to the ship after a day in port and encouraged our kids to nap and then we enjoyed a late dinner.

By all means enjoy your balcony in your robe or your PJs, you're on vacation and as long as it's all covered, have a blast.

I don't think you'll have to worry about the topless deck with your sixteen year old in our experience most of the folks up there were wearing full swimsuits or regular clothes anyway. I was reading up there one day enjoying a child free zone when a preteen arrived on the deck a nice smile and the question "does your parent know that you are up here?" sent him running down the stairs. It was too funny!"

You'll love the Victory, she's the perfect size for families, not too big, not too little. Just right.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Thanks so much for the reply. I'm so excited! I was not this excited on my wedding day, Shh.
We are doing the early dinner hoping that it will still be day light while we eat. How was the kids program when it came to your 5 year old? I run my business out of my home so I stay home with my 5 year old, the only time he has been left alone was with our teen son. Is it safe enough that I will not be worring every 5 minutes about him?
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:27 PM
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I would have to say, since a hair dryer is so light to pack, bring it....I have had several issues with the ones onbaord, so better safe than sorry..Also bring a power strip, as the only plug will be at the desk.

A garbage bag to hold dirty laundry in the closet is also a good idea..bring some hilighters to mark your Capers daily activities. Walky talkies if you want to keep in touch with your kids.....

I am sure, many others will pop in with more hints..

Most important..enjoy every sec, and come back and share it with us all:)
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:35 PM
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You cannot have an iron in the cabin. There are laundry facilities that have an ironing board and an iron for your use. Take your own hair dryer. The one I had in my cabin you had to hold the "on" button the whole time you were using it. I think most of the ships have done away with the topless deck, I could be wrong though. Enjoy your cruise.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adatudy
Thanks so much for the reply. I'm so excited! I was not this excited on my wedding day, Shh.
We are doing the early dinner hoping that it will still be day light while we eat. How was the kids program when it came to your 5 year old? I run my business out of my home so I stay home with my 5 year old, the only time he has been left alone was with our teen son. Is it safe enough that I will not be worring every 5 minutes about him?
Hi Adatudy!

Cruising is exciting and if you think it's bad now, wait til you get off the ship and within minutes you're planning the next one : )

The kids program for our then 5 year old was incredible. We had to beg her to spend time with us. We always take them into ports with us, sometimes they return to the ship a little earlier while hubby and I wander around the shops at the dock but we always have them get off no matter what is going on at camp. The counsellors were wonderful and every cruise Kira has made great bonds with the counsellors and that to me shows just how great the program is for kids in that age group. Camp Carnival was wonderful and my husband and I really enjoyed having some time on our own knowing 100% that our daughter was not missing us in the least. The programs for our older daughter (from the age of 13 up to and incl the last cruise) were not as great and we were a little disappointed in that aspect of the first cruise. The second family cruise she went to the teen meet and greet and although she didn't participate in the program she made friends that all hung around together and some of them still communicate via email.
A hint that you may use for your eldest is one that we used. We had mandatory check ins, every 45 minutes she had to report to the cabin or meet up with us somewhere. If she went to the cabin she left a sticky note on the mirror to say when she had been there and where she was going and with whom. We kept controls but not so tight as to restrict fun. We look at the ship as a small town and even in a small town there are dangers but if you use common sense all will be well. I hope this helps.

Oh and BTW I forgot to mention, the hair dryers on the ship, IMO suck. Secondly the only iron you're allowed to have is a steamer but the laundry room on the ship has really good irons. Just don't expect to use one an hour before formal dinners begin : )
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:56 PM
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thank you so much for the information, I have a notbook by my computer to jot down all useful information.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:19 PM
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Judy:

You can't have an iron in your room but you can use a small, travel steam iron. Publically, the [top] optional deck is not available now but occasionally you see a girl or two deciding otherwise. You'll see MORE around the ship's pool and the beaches than you would see on the top deck. The guys should like that. As for us, it's my wife and myself celebrating our 25th. wedding anniversary. Our first cruise without our daughters [21 and 18 y.o.]
Yes, you can sit on your balcony in nothing but your robe. You'll probably hear or see more than that on the ship. We get excited about every cruise. I used to start packing everything but clothes several weeks in advance and take more than I needed to wear but now I'll pack a couple of weeks prior to sailing. We are staying oceanside at Virginia Beach for a couple of days prior to embarkation. Hope to see you and family on board. I'm an old "codger" of 55 and my beautiful wife is 40 something.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:30 PM
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We like to stay at the beach when we are over that way. Oceanside is at 21st street right?
My husband is 45 and I'm 42 so we are close in age with you guys. Lets hook up and have a drink? What deck are you staying on? We are on the empress deck. Our TA told us that was a great deck to be on if you wanted it to be quiet and a joyful ride. We are close to the elevators not that I mind the steps.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 06:14 PM
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We also are on the Empress deck, port side aft close to the elevators. We'd be glad to meet and have a drink or two while the ship leaves port. I'll inform my better half and we can pin down the details as time gets closer. My wife has family that owns an ocean side condo at 21st. St. and occean blvd. We stay at it on vacation when we are not cruising. It sounds like that we are not far from each other while on the cruise. This is our first time on port side so I am anxious to see the difference if any.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 06:16 PM
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Relax, have a great time, and enjoy all you can.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 07:03 PM
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Explain what you mean by port side.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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not up on nautical terminology huh? Port side is the left side as you face the front of the ship. The right side is starboard... dont go into someones room by mistake..
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:30 PM
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Judy:

If you are facing toward the front of the ship, port is the left side of the ship and starboard is the right side.
Fore and aft means front and rear respectively. Just imagine yourself in the middle of the ship facing forward. Your left arm is port and your right arm is starboard. You are facing forward [fore] and you a** is facing aft. Like cruizin4fun said. it's easy to get mixed up, especially on your first cruise. We also try to use some type of landmark or in this case shipmark to help guide us. Don't worry, after the first day everyone should be able to find the five most important areas. Pools, dining rooms, buffet lines, casino and purser's desk.
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Old April 4th, 2008, 08:00 PM
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I PM'd you this as well........I created a photo gallery with pics of the things people often ask about.
A few dealing with your questions are there.

http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery2/view.php?id=701

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