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Old February 27th, 2007, 07:10 PM
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Location: Lake Placid, NY
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Default Mercury "extras"

Can someone fill me in on extra charges? I'm somwhat confused - !! For example, in reviews of Mercury I've read, they talk about extra charges to use the Thelassotherapy saltwater pool in the spa. They don't talk about any other extra charges. Are the spa facilities such as the sauna/steam rooms free and open to all onboard without extra fees? (I realize treatments and such are an extra option.) What about coffee shops - are coffees free or charged for? Also is dining in the areas other than the main dining included or extra? There is such an apparent abundance of "grey area" information for first time cruisers. The cruise lines website doesn't spell it out - is there any place that has this information? Thanks
Susan
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Old February 28th, 2007, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Mercury "extras"

Susan,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Can someone fill me in on extra charges? I'm somwhat confused - !! For example, in reviews of Mercury I've read, they talk about extra charges to use the Thelassotherapy saltwater pool in the spa. They don't talk about any other extra charges. Are the spa facilities such as the sauna/steam rooms free and open to all onboard without extra fees? (I realize treatments and such are an extra option.) What about coffee shops - are coffees free or charged for? Also is dining in the areas other than the main dining included or extra? There is such an apparent abundance of "grey area" information for first time cruisers. The cruise lines website doesn't spell it out - is there any place that has this information? Thanks
I can't speak to the sauna and other facilities in the spa area, as I have never used them. In any case, the main pools are also filled with salt water so they should have similar benefits to those of the Thelassotherapy pool.

With regard to coffee, the Cova Cafe di Milano serves only premium coffees and teas that have an extra charge. However, the regular coffee and a selection of Bigelow teas are available in the buffet area, where at least one beverage station is open at all times, and at beverage stations next to the poolside grill and next to the pizza and pasta bar during the hours of operation of those facilities.

With regard to alternative dining, there's a service charge of $2.00 per person (per evening) for the formal "Alternative Casual Dining," which provides full table service, complete with linens, from a different set of menus than the menus in the main dining room. There are, however, other options -- (1) a sushi bar, also in the buffet area, in the evening, (2) hamburger, hot dogs, etc., at the poolside grill, which is open from noon to 7:00 PM, and (3) a pizza and pasta bar, which also serves salads, on the starboard side of the Magrodome (labelled as a "grill" on the ship's deck plans).

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 06:37 AM
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First-time cruising can be confusing. And even for experienced cruisers, one ship's policies can be different from another ship's policies--even for the same cruise line. Also, even on a ship you've cruised on before, you might find that they have changed their policies since your previous cruise.

However, you're in luck! The staff of Mercury is extremely friendly and helpful. Never hesitate to ask questions; they will do their best to explain anything to you. Remember, on most cruises about 40% of the people on board are first-timers; so the staff is quite familiar with people needing information and/or orientation.

Read the orientation manual that will be in your room when you arrive. It spells out just about everything, including things you wouldn't know to ask about in advance. It will include the amount of any fees and charges that might be extra. As a general rule of thumb, if no fee is listed in the manual, then there is no additional charge. The daily calendar will also quote the fee for any activity where a fee is charged; you can fold the calendar into your pocket to carry around with you.

My wife and I will be on Mercury for the Mexican Riviera cruise starting March 28, 2007. This will be our third cruise on her. Here is our experience from last March:

The sauna/steam rooms are free and open to all onboard, as is the gym next door (except some exercise classes have $10 fees--or more--but you can use the gym equipment without taking a class). The gym and sauna close around 10:00 p.m. if I remember correctly; but they open fairly early.

Also, and this struck us as weird, the jacuzzi pools on the pool deck close really early in the evening. We love to jacuzzi just before going to bed, but this is not possible on the Mercury--unless you go to bed by 8 p.m. The next best substitution is going to the saunas. Oh, by the way, the sauna/steam rooms are gender segregated.

Fancy coffees in bars or the coffee shop will cost you extra, but regular coffee (and decaf) and teas ordered at meals are free, as is milk and juice at meals. However, pop and alcohol are an extra expense even at meals. Also, there is always at least one self-serve beverage station open 24 hours (in the buffet areas during normal hours or next to the pizza/pasta area and small pool at the rear of the ship at all other times). The beverage stations have coffee and a selection of teas all the time--as well as milk, juices and lemonade most of the time. BTW, the pizza and pasta are made to your specfication, and they too are free--but the place closes up at 1:00 a.m. except for the beverage station. Also, the ice cream station in the buffet area is free, but it closes mid-evening. We are always rushing to get there before it closes. Also, room service is free 24 hours, but a small cash tip is expected at time of service--though not required.

You can run up a large bill for drinks, gambling, personal spa services, photos, shopping and shore excursions. These items are all more expensive than you might be used to.

HOWEVER, you can also go your entire cruise without charging up anything at all to your shipboard account and still have the time of your life!!!! Honest! You'll see. Relax, enjoy, participate.

One final reminder: Tipping will cost you extra; the suggested amounts total about $10.50 per person per day. If you got particularly good service or made special requests, consider tipping more.

Enjoy your cruise.
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