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Old February 22nd, 2010, 03:08 PM
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Default new cruiser questions

We are on the Fantasy March 4 from Mobile to Cozumel. I am very much looking forward to warm and sunny weather to cure my grey weather blues!

We are "waitlisted" for the dining time. What exactly does that mean and what should we do?

What night is formal night and what could we do for dinner instead of formal night? Hubby just doesn't want to take a suit!

We have not purchased travel insurance, and after reading all your great recommendations I am going to look into it. I am not looking for recouping the price of the trip as much as I am concerned about transportation home if something should happen. Any recommendations on where to buy such insurance? Would our regular medical have a special rider? Should we go through Carnival?

We have not used a travel agent for booking this trip. We did it at the last minute out of desparation on yet another cold and snowy day in the southeast, but I am taking to heart all your suggestions that a TA is the way to go. I would love to plan now for a cruise next Feb. It looks like I am reading that Carnival has special deals if you sign up for a cruise while you are still on the ship (perfect marketing, it sounds like!) Do you guys recommend that or waiting until we get home? If we sign up now, can we change date and location later while still realizing some savings?

I have looked at the Carnival wine package that soemone recommended, and we might do that. If we do, can we bring home any unopened bottles?

Does the soda card also apply to bottled water and iced tea? We are not big soft drink fans, but would use it for tea and water.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions...I have already gained a lot from reading these boards!

Cruisehunter
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 03:39 PM
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Hi Cruisehunter,
I would definitely look into cruise insurance, at least for medical and medical evacuations. They have good doc's and facilities on board, but not like a full hospital, so helicopter evacuation can cost tens of thousands. I use InsureMyTrip. I am not so concerned about the cost of the cruise, but just the medical, and that is not terribly expensive. The insurance that travel agents and the cruise lines try to sell you is a full package and way too expensive in my opinion.

They have ice tea, lemonade, and water available at the buffet area 24/7. I know that some people have strong preferences about bottled water, but I have never had a problem with the ship's water. Oh, and the water bottle and sodas that they put in your cabin will be charged for.

Rats. I can't remember your other questions, so I will post this, then more if needed.
Marty
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 03:44 PM
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Oh, dining times. They often do this. You don't get an actual confirmed time until closer to the sailing date. Everyone is wait listed until they do that.

And since this is Carnival, hubby does NOT need to wear a suit for formal night(s). They don't even call it formal anymore on Carnival. He can wear a nice shirt and slacks, a tie if he wants to and you can still eat in the dining room. Those are the nights when they bring out the yummies, so don't do the buffet! Just IMHO. You can also check out the menu at a bulletin case right outside the dining room door. We will check it out when we are considering just doing a quick buffet dinner or even room service.

Have fun....lots of it.
Marty
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 05:44 PM
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Marty gave you a pretty good run down on your questions. I'd certainly purchase insurance... and not from the cruise line. Check out insuremytrip.com. Just be sure you get medical and medical evacution coverage. I often get insurance from Access America.

And ice tea is always available at no cost, either from self serve dispensers on Lido Deck or served in the dining room.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 11:47 PM
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Fantasy does not yet have a future cruise desk, but is supposed to get it on March 8th!!! Im guessing that is the cruise after yours, and yours is a 4 day?? So, there will not be a opportunity to buy a future cruise certificate or book onboard for OBC during your cruise... next time!!

Im very happy using a PVP, so whatever works well. Since I like my PVP I use her. Nothing wrong with that.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 11:58 PM
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We love the Fantasy. Have been on that ship 3 times and am looking forward to booking again in the near future going out of SC. Ship is a really good size esp for a first time cruise. Of course, we have never really been on any Carnival ship we did not like. The Celebration and Holiday were the smallest and they are no longer with Carnival and I know lots of people will miss them...esp the Holiday.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 12:35 AM
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Thanks for so many fast answers!

It looks like the Fantasy has anytime dining as well, so I guess we will check that out. If we are assigned a dining session, do we have to stay with that session each night?

From reading the info on carnival.com about the ship, I gather there is a Sushi restaurant and then a buffet. Do you all recommend eating in the main dining every night and going to the other options at lunchtime? Or do you mix it up? From our previous cruises, what I enjoyed the most was the long "production" of the main dining experience. But I have also wanted to eat at the other places on the ship, too, so we can try it all!

Both our previous cruises were with RCCL--I think even on the same ship. This last one was a company sponsored trip, so some of the on board activites and meals were company meeting times and we missed some things. We are excited that this itinerary has two full days at sea for us to check out everything on the boat.

So for those of you that have sailed on the Fantasy--what do we need to be sure and do while on the ship?

Cruisehunter
(who doesn't have a spiffy countdown graphic, but I'll just let you know we sail in NINE DAYS!)
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 01:41 PM
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The sushi area is not a full restaurant. At least it hasn't been on the other Carnival ships I have been on. It is a small trolley style setup with limited hours, usually 5 p.m. into the evening. But, they usually have 3 choices, different every day. And completely unlimited. And, it is very fresh and extremely good. My hubby gets mad since he doesn't like it and I tend to overindulge, then not have much appetite for dinner. But, I still do it, since it is one of my favorite things.
Marty, who need a drooling icon right about now!
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 01:48 PM
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I'm dying to sail from Mobile - please let me know how you like (luv) the cruise. I'm sure you'll have a great time
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 07:13 PM
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Dont forget the FREE room service except booze and soda but the rest is great if you want to sit back and do whats confortable and have the food delivered.Another perk for a new cruiser, and yes INSURANCE can be part of the anti anxiety that we all look for
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Old February 24th, 2010, 07:22 PM
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How does a future cruise certificate work...do you pay for the cruise in full at that time?
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Old February 25th, 2010, 05:56 PM
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The future cruise certificate was created to supplement the discount program offered if you buy your next cruise during your current cruise. A lot of people are not quite in the frame of mind to make decisions about their next vacation so you can buy the certificate on some ships and purchase your cruise later.

The certificate cost $100 and is good for 5 years. If you change your mind you can send it back and get your $100 refunded.

Book your next cruise then send in the certificate certified mail to the address provided with your booking number. $100 will be applied to your cruise as if you sent in a cash payment.

In addition up to $100 credit (depending on the length of your cruise) will be added to your sail and sign account on board. Be sure to keep a copy of the certificate and take it on board just to make sure it gets added. I know the amount for a 7 day or longer cruise is $100 but I don’t know what the break points are for the $25 and $50 credits for shorter cruises.

We’ve done it twice, once with minor issues with addition on board credit from the Early Savers fare but I think they have that all worked out now.

If you book your cruise while on board, you can do so for the $100 deposit and qualify for the appropriate on-board credit, but in addition you get certificates that you can give to your friends that book the same cruise so they can also get on-board credit.
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