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Old July 24th, 2010, 02:44 PM
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Default Planning a second trip on Carnival and could use some pointers

The wife and I are plaining our second Carnival cruise in April of 2011 and this time we are taking the kids. The first cruise was on the Victory in April of 2002 that I surprised my wife for on our 10th wedding anniversary and it took us to the eastern Caribbean. It was one of the best times we had ever had and it was easily the best money we ever spent on vacation. So, now the wife and I have been itching to go on another with the kids before they get to old (14 year old son and 18 year old daughter) and don't want to do anything with us anymore..lol.

So, we have decided to take the Dream. The Dream of course has something for us older kids, but it also offers things for both of our kids age groups to engage in. We are really excited and can hardly wait, but before we book this voyage this time we have a few questions and hope to get a few ideas from some of you experienced cruiser's. On the first cruise we got the balcony stateroom which will be a must for this second cruise. But the wife and I are a little unsure which way to go on this next one. Money is an object here and I'm trying to get the best bang for the money. So, here it is...the wife and I don't mind if the kids bunk in the same room, so we were looking at that angle. Also we were looking at getting the kids an interior room across the hall. So, my first question after looking at the ledger of how the rooms are set up, which of the rooms would be best if all four of us were in one room? I was thinking of a room with the "cross" on deck 7 the Empress. That has a twin/king with a double convertible sofa, but then I noticed on the ledger the room with a "block symbol" that has a twin/king with a single convertible sofa and upper. Which would give the better space and what does the upper mean? An extra fold out bed?

Lastly, if I'm remembering correctly I think we went through a travel agency on the last cruise. I'm not sure this is a good thing, not that I had any problems. I just not sure if I over paid and should have called Carnival direct. Plus don't they offer discounts for repeat customers, or is 8 years to long. I need a few pointers here any advise would be great. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 04:17 PM
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I am taking our teenagers on a cruise this time, 14 and 16. This will be a first for them as well.

I have found booking directly with Carnival to be rather easy. I also book the Early Saver.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 04:45 PM
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I would call a travel agent and talk to them. Tell them your situation and how much you can afford to spend. The T/A will advise you better then anyone else can.
Personally, I wouldn't want my 14 yo son and 18 yo daughter bunking together as they would probably kill each other, plus no one under 21 can be in a room without someone older also occupying the room.
I have heard before that a suite might just be the ticket as it can accommodate the 4 of you more comfortably.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 05:26 PM
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You are booking pretty far out so you may want to book early saver fare. If the cruise fare drops you can put in a request and get the price difference as on board credit. Which is good because Carnival adds $10 per person per day in tips this OBC can be used towards that. However, Early Saver is non refundable you can change ships and dates for a $50 per person fee. If you use Early Saver with a Travel agent the TA has to put in the early saver request. Be care some Travel agents charge a fee everytime you request the early saver price decrease. This is why I prefer to book myself. I also check the cruise fare regularly and put in my requests right away.

On the room if you want some alone time with your spouse it would be nice to have the kids across the hall. However, if you are concerned your teens will be out all night getting into trouble then sharing a room would be a good idea. I love the 9C rooms because the extended balcony is quite large. With so many people in the room you might consider this that way you can all enjoy the balcony together at the same time. On deck 7 empress deck the 9C rooms are 7454 and 7459 they are always aft on the corners.

The 7C cove balconies are a fancy way of saying under the life boats. Some people like these room because they are more private noone can look down at you. Other people don't like these rooms because they feel cramped and much lower to the ocean you may get wet. 7C rooms are on deck 2 Main deck.

I like being up high. My favorite is deck 8 Verandah deck there are 9Cs on this deck 8466 and 8473. Verandah deck towards aft is close to the lido deck for the breakfast buffet and swimming pools without the noise. On Dream lido deck is deck 10. Because there is a deck bewteen you and Lido deck so you won't hear the noise on lido deck while you are trying to sleep. If you chose a 8A-8M to share then I suggest you try to get a balcony room that is AFT the balconies are deeper in the back of the ship. I hope this helped you instead of confusing the heck out of you.
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Last edited by katlady; July 24th, 2010 at 05:32 PM.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 07:25 PM
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Check out this thread Kuki started, about Carnival stopping discounts.
Carnival Rules Out Agent discounting and rebating as of Aug. 1

Booking with a travel agency you may get incentives,since you won't be getting discounts, from the cruise line, or the Ta, as of 8/1/2010...and you will have an advocate, if you have any issues.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoAus View Post
The wife and I are plaining our second Carnival cruise in April of 2011 and this time we are taking the kids. The first cruise was on the Victory in April of 2002 that I surprised my wife for on our 10th wedding anniversary and it took us to the eastern Caribbean. It was one of the best times we had ever had and it was easily the best money we ever spent on vacation. So, now the wife and I have been itching to go on another with the kids before they get to old (14 year old son and 18 year old daughter) and don't want to do anything with us anymore..lol.

So, we have decided to take the Dream. The Dream of course has something for us older kids, but it also offers things for both of our kids age groups to engage in. We are really excited and can hardly wait, but before we book this voyage this time we have a few questions and hope to get a few ideas from some of you experienced cruiser's. On the first cruise we got the balcony stateroom which will be a must for this second cruise. But the wife and I are a little unsure which way to go on this next one. Money is an object here and I'm trying to get the best bang for the money. So, here it is...the wife and I don't mind if the kids bunk in the same room, so we were looking at that angle. Also we were looking at getting the kids an interior room across the hall. So, my first question after looking at the ledger of how the rooms are set up, which of the rooms would be best if all four of us were in one room? I was thinking of a room with the "cross" on deck 7 the Empress. That has a twin/king with a double convertible sofa, but then I noticed on the ledger the room with a "block symbol" that has a twin/king with a single convertible sofa and upper. Which would give the better space and what does the upper mean? An extra fold out bed?

Lastly, if I'm remembering correctly I think we went through a travel agency on the last cruise. I'm not sure this is a good thing, not that I had any problems. I just not sure if I over paid and should have called Carnival direct. Plus don't they offer discounts for repeat customers, or is 8 years to long. I need a few pointers here any advise would be great. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Welcome to CruiseMates! I agree with some of the other poster's, use a Cruise Travel Agent. It won't cost you anything and you'll get their expertise and opinions (you also might get some OBC!).

If your children won't "kill" each other (and I'm thinking they won't), the Balcony for you and your wife and the inside for them is a great idea. You'll have to book one adult in each cabin, but you can exchange key's when you get on board.

If you book all four of you in one cabin, please remember that there's only one bathroom! The upper bed does fold out of the wall or ceiling, the lower would be the sofa bed. Both of these will be folded up and "disappear" during the day (also the 2 person sofa bed). Your Room Steward will make them up every evening.

I also agree with kat about booking the "early saver".
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Old July 26th, 2010, 11:10 AM
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Thank for all your responses!

Quick question, Is it better to get your excursions when you sign up for the cruise or wait and get them on the boat? We got ours as we signed up for the cruise last time and didn't know if it was better to wait. Thanks
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Old July 26th, 2010, 11:39 AM
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If you have "must do's on your list, and after research online, the options for it, are limited..book online. Remember for most excursions, you can walk off the ship, and find less expensive options than you would find onboard.
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