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Old July 24th, 2010, 12:04 PM
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Default First time cruiser with questions

My husband and I are going on our very first cruise for our 20th anniversary. We are traveling on the Mercury in Nov. for 9 nights over Thanksgiving.

Here are my questions;
Excursions: We are stopping in Chas. SC. We don't need anything here. We lived there for 6 years and can't wait to spend some time reminiscing and finding our favorite places. Our next stop is Key West. This will be a first for us.

1. We would like to do our own tour. Should I get a book with a walking tour, or should I book one through the cruise? What about the GPS tour??

2. Then we go to Nassau. This is the stop that scares me the most. We are seriously considering staying on the ship this day. Any thoughts? BTW, the Atlantis resort does not interest us.

3. Then Cococay. I would like to snorkel here. Is this a good idea?? or should we just find a spot on the beach? Also, is the food here covered in the cost of the cruise or do you have to pay for it?

4. Beverage packages. My husband and I aren't big drinkers. Although a beer or cocktail on occasion is not out of the question. We do like our soft drinks, lemonades, coffee, and teas. So, should we get just the soft drink package? Can you buy this once you are on the ship? or should we get it earlier??

5. Will they have a Thanksgiving dinner for the passengers??:-)

Sea sickness: My husband will get a little nauseous on spinning rides. That's it. We have been on boats before (canoe, ferry, whale watching, yachts, row boats) We have never had any trouble. We ride coasters and simulators with no issues. Can I assume that we won't get seasick?? Should I prepare just in case??

Football;
Is there a place besides our room to watch football on Sundays?? Yes, this is a concern for my hubbie. I think this is the best time for a massage for me. He won't even know I'm gone.

What's the noise level at night? We have a room with an ocean view, no balcony. I am not the heaviest sleeper. Although, I don't normally have any trouble in a hotel.

Are the beds comfortable? how about the pillows? Should we bring our own pillows?

What do people think of the temperature inside the ship? Cool, warm?

I think that is enough for now. I'm sure I will be back with many more.

Thanks in advance!!:razz:
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Old July 24th, 2010, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggie6 View Post
My husband and I are going on our very first cruise for our 20th anniversary. We are traveling on the Mercury in Nov. for 9 nights over Thanksgiving.

Here are my questions;
Excursions: We are stopping in Chas. SC. We don't need anything here. We lived there for 6 years and can't wait to spend some time reminiscing and finding our favorite places. Our next stop is Key West. This will be a first for us.

1. We would like to do our own tour. Should I get a book with a walking tour, or should I book one through the cruise? What about the GPS tour??

I'm not really familiar with Charleston. You could do some pre-cruise research and do your own tour. You are in the U.S. so taxis are available and you can just go to the sites you wish to see.

2. Then we go to Nassau. This is the stop that scares me the most. We are seriously considering staying on the ship this day. Any thoughts? BTW, the Atlantis resort does not interest us.

You can do the Dolphin Swim. It is enjoyable and an experience you will always remember. The Straw Market is ok if you just want to shop for trinkets. The Glass Bottom boat excursion is interesting but not too "exciting".

3. Then Cococay. I would like to snorkel here. Is this a good idea?? or should we just find a spot on the beach? Also, is the food here covered in the cost of the cruise or do you have to pay for it?

You can snorkel there but do not expect fantastic snorkeling and coral. All of your food is covered on Coco Cay. Your beverages are extra, just like on the ship.

4. Beverage packages. My husband and I aren't big drinkers. Although a beer or cocktail on occasion is not out of the question. We do like our soft drinks, lemonades, coffee, and teas. So, should we get just the soft drink package? Can you buy this once you are on the ship? or should we get it earlier??

A soda package will run around $6 - $7 pp/pd. If you drink more three sodas a day this can be a good deal. You can buy the package the day you board. They will have them for sale at various locations. Usually outside the buffet.

5. Will they have a Thanksgiving dinner for the passengers??:-)

Yes they will. There will be a turkey and traditional side dishes. It may not be exactly like mom used to make but it will be a Thanksgiving type of meal. There will also be other choices available.

Sea sickness: My husband will get a little nauseous on spinning rides. That's it. We have been on boats before (canoe, ferry, whale watching, yachts, row boats) We have never had any trouble. We ride coasters and simulators with no issues. Can I assume that we won't get seasick?? Should I prepare just in case??

If your husband doesn't get sick on small boats or in a moving car then the chances of him getting seasick are very small. I would take some ginger tables and if you or he becomes nauseous then you can take one of those.

Football;
Is there a place besides our room to watch football on Sundays?? Yes, this is a concern for my hubbie. I think this is the best time for a massage for me. He won't even know I'm gone.

The bars usually have games on their televisions but what games is anyone's guess. Whatever network game is available is usually what is shown.

What's the noise level at night? We have a room with an ocean view, no balcony. I am not the heaviest sleeper. Although, I don't normally have any trouble in a hotel.

I have never had a problem with noise onboard. (Other than a squeaky ceiling panel and a squeaking cable). You may hear some people in the hall but, unless you get bad neighbors, you should have an easy time sleeping.

Are the beds comfortable? how about the pillows? Should we bring our own pillows?

If the bed is not comfortable you can ask your steward for an "egg crate" pad to go over the mattress. I will say that Celebrity has quite comfortable beds.

What do people think of the temperature inside the ship? Cool, warm?

Usually the biggest problem inside is the coolness of the air conditioning. You may want to bring a wrap for dinner. You can control the thermostat in your cabin.

I think that is enough for now. I'm sure I will be back with many more.

Thanks in advance!!:razz:
Take care and enjoy Mercury. She is a wonderful ship.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 06:14 PM
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In Key West they have this thing called the Conch Train. I think there is a minimal cost - it is a tour of the main with narration. You can easily find it (dont book it on the ship).

This takes about in hour.

Then get off and walk to Hemingway's house (especially if you are a cat person) - pay to take the tour, it is fascinating.

Get a piece of Key Lie pie someplace (someone one will chime in). Check out the small graveyard.

do a little shopping and you're done - unless you want to drink where Hemingway was found his inspiration.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 07:12 PM
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Also in Key West you can go to Mel Fishers Museum, he is the one who discovered the Atocha,and its quite interesting, to see the history of it all, & to handle the gold, and, see all the jewels! www.MelFisher.com

You can also go to the Southernmost Point, where Cuba,is just 90 miles away..great place to take a picture.

Key lime pie is to die, for and you can also get it,chocolate covered on a stick. www.blondgiraffe.com

Here are some other things to check out:Florida Fruit Wines, Key Lime and Mango Wines- The Key West Winery
www.keywestbutterfly.com

You can walk around this town, with no problems or, you can rent an electric car to scoot around in as well.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 07:24 PM
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Thank you all very much. I have taken notes.

I'm glad I have found you all to help me with my questions. We are very excited for our first cruise!!
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Old August 10th, 2010, 05:32 PM
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My late DH and I sailed our last 2 cruises together on Mercury--Mex. Riv in Jan. '08 and Aust/NZ in Jan. '09. It is a great ship and I am saddened to see it go the way of Galaxy, another X cruise ship.
In Mercury the beds are very comfortable, the noise level is quiet, temperature is normal, although sometimes it can get a bit chilly in the MDR. On our first cruise our first stop was Nassau. We booked a SeaSub--a boat with a glassed in hull. We sat on seats and could see under the sea. We went to a couple of shipwrecks and saw amazing fish, corals and a diver feeding stingrays. This was a RCCL cruise, but Celebrity owns them and they have similar excursions.
I am surprised you are afraid of Nassau, but I haven't been there since Jan. '02, so things may be different. A lot of cruisers have said they are afraid to get off the ship in Jamaica. We did excursions in Ocho Rios in '03 and Montego Bay in '04 and had no problems. I would never go anywhere without a group on any Carib. island, but that's just common sense.
Seasickness shouldn't be a problem. I take Bonine with me in case I start to feel queasy, but that's happened only twice in 10 cruises and I never actually got sick.
Even older ships like Mercury are very stable. Enjoy her because this is her last season with Celebrity. I hate that they are eliminating the smaller ships in favor of the newer, larger, more expensive ones. At least it looks like Century will be here for a while.

1/02 Explorer E. Carib. 1/03 Explorer W. Carib. 8/03 Summit Alaska
2/04 Adventure C. Carib. 2/05 Galaxy Panama Canal,
6/06 Jewel Brit. Isles/Nor. Fjords 1/07 Mercury Mex. Riv.
1/08 Mercury Aust./NZ 1/09 Galaxy S. Carib. 6/09 Summit Classical Med.
1/11 Summit S. Carib.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 01:04 AM
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Hey Maggie, my family and I will be with you that week! I can't wait. Have a few thoughts on each port I just posted over at CC. Basically from my experience Key West and Charleston are both excellent "explore on your own" towns. So I'm sure we're not going to fool with any excursions. We've been to Nassau a bunch too and unless you are willing to spend a lot of money to go to Atlantis or one of the other resorts with private beaches, its not worth getting off the ship. Never been to Cococay, but we were at Great Stirrup Cay in June and absolutely LOVED it. Its right next to Coco, literally visible from each other. That was just a beach day for us in June. Don't have anything other than that planned for this time.
I'll check back in over here. I frequent CC, but pop in over here periodically. Funny that I saw a post from someone sailing with me, first thing!
And, yeah, don't worry about football. You may not get the game you want, but there will be something on somewhere and usually even something in the cabins as well.
Take care.

Mike
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Old August 15th, 2010, 01:05 AM
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Wow, just noticed my signature...guess I don't pop in over here as much as I thought. Its been a while!!
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Old August 15th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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That is so neat to hear from someone on the same cruise.

Sorry to ask, but what is CC?

I'm new to the cruise message boards.

Thanks for the input. It really helps.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Sorry Maggie...*edited for commercial content*
These sites seem to be rivals in a way I guess. CC has gotten so big there are a lot of trouble stirrers over there. But I do think it's bigger. I dont know really, just my opinion.
This is cruise 19 for me and 22 for my wife so if you have any questions feel free to ask! In fact you can email me at spridlewv@gmail.com
It is our first go at Celebrity though, so we're newbies too in that respect!
Mike
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Last edited by Trip; August 15th, 2010 at 11:48 AM. Reason: commercal content
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Old August 15th, 2010, 11:40 AM
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Thank you very much!
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Old August 15th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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Hi....

My wife, myself, my daughter and her friend will also be on this cruise! We booked a carriage ride tour in Charleston, the high speed boat ride in Key West and we're probably going to snorkel in the Bahamas. Nice to know some local folks will be on the ship with us! Second cruise for my wife and me, first for our daughter and her friend.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggie6 View Post
Thank you very much!
If you noticed they removed the name of the other site from the previous posters post. The other cruise site does the same thing. Makes you feel as if you are in Kindergarten again....
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Old August 15th, 2010, 05:20 PM
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dkjretired, if you had an had a store, would you send customers to the store down the street that sold the same things you do? If they found that store themselves, thats' fine, but I don't think you would direct people there..
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Old August 15th, 2010, 05:26 PM
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Sorry, didn't mean to start anything. Just asking a question.

I'll be more careful in the future.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goincroozin View Post
Hi....

My wife, myself, my daughter and her friend will also be on this cruise! We booked a carriage ride tour in Charleston, the high speed boat ride in Key West and we're probably going to snorkel in the Bahamas. Nice to know some local folks will be on the ship with us! Second cruise for my wife and me, first for our daughter and her friend.
Neat, You'll love the carriage ride in Charleston. I took one of them when we lived there.

We are getting more and more excited by the day!!
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Old August 15th, 2010, 05:37 PM
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Maggie, not to worry for one moment....it happens, and then it doesn't
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Old August 15th, 2010, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
dkjretired, if you had an had a store, would you send customers to the store down the street that sold the same things you do? If they found that store themselves, thats' fine, but I don't think you would direct people there..
Agree, but their not selling anything....Its not a big deal, I was just commenting..I look at it more like the NY Times eliminating any reference to the Washington Post when a story originates there. Its a shame because it would mean a more lively conversation...

It would also be nice to spread around a little more of Paul's writings because they are excellent....

Last edited by dkjretired; August 15th, 2010 at 06:13 PM.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Sorry Trip, but I don't agree.. there is third site that I'm active on that allows the names of the other boards. There are at least four boards that I am familiar with and each serves a different purpose. There are p ros and cons about each board... and I do find it petty if the name of the next most active board is banned.
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Old August 16th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Sorry Trip, but I don't agree.. there is third site that I'm active on that allows the names of the other boards. There are at least four boards that I am familiar with and each serves a different purpose. There are p ros and cons about each board... and I do find it petty if the name of the next most active board is banned.
By that definition, you would find it petty that CC bans mentions of us, not the other way around.

But I think you are missing the point. We might reference an article on another site and discuss it. We don't pretend they don't exist. What we object to is people coming into our boards for the sole purpose of directing people to go to CC. If we wanted to play that game we would have FAR more to gain ourselves by going to CC and posting links to our board.

It so happens that Cruise Critic is one of our biggest sources of readers anyway, and that is only because we offer information they don't. We share readers back & forth. Do you really think it is benefitting us, or CC, or our readers to come here and infer people might as well be elsewhere?

The truth is that if we allowed people to post about CC here we would have hundreds of posts that do nothing more than reference posts on CC, and soon enough we would just be a site full of posts where people send people to CC.

We don't allow it for three reasons -
(1) they do the same to us
(2) because they are bigger we realize we would lose users if we always just allowed people to say, "I could answer your question, but its easier just to send you here....[my post on CC]."

And lastly, (3) Its an insult to our efforts to come here and advise people to go someplace else. There is nothing wrong with our advice, we happen to think it is pretty good. And it will stay good as long as people continue to give advice here instead of just saying "I could tell you, but I already wrote it someplace else, here's the link."

No - it doesn't work for us. We don't exist just to feed them readers. It isn't two sites doing something different- we are direct competitors. No competitors selling the same thing will tell you what the competition offers unless it is something they don't offer.

It is the same as any other business soliciting for customers here. We don't allow people to post links to outside commercial sites (and CC is a commercial site and business, just like we are).
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Old August 16th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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Makes sense to me Paul!
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Old September 1st, 2010, 07:26 PM
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Default beverage plans

If all you want is (regular) coffee, tea, or (noncarbonated) fruit drink,
Celebrity is quite good--they are available free 24/7 at the buffet--unless
you are a kid with an insatiable thirst for carbonated soda, you can skip
the beverage plan.
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Old September 18th, 2010, 01:38 PM
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Thanks ralpj!
Cruising Celebrity Summit end of Jan, 2011. 1st Celebrity cruise. I've been happy with free beverages on previous 4 cruises. Good to know Celebrity will have a variety available.

Also glad to read their beds are good and to ask for an egg-crate topper if needed. I much prefer a very firm mattress. Will I be happy?

Over-all, cruise sleep is the best sleep!!! (Although I just got a new bed--may be hard to beat/match!!)

Thanks all above posters!!
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Old September 19th, 2010, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
By that definition, you would find it petty that CC bans mentions of us, not the other way around.

But I think you are missing the point. We might reference an article on another site and discuss it. We don't pretend they don't exist. What we object to is people coming into our boards for the sole purpose of directing people to go to CC. If we wanted to play that game we would have FAR more to gain ourselves by going to CC and posting links to our board.

It so happens that Cruise Critic is one of our biggest sources of readers anyway, and that is only because we offer information they don't. We share readers back & forth. Do you really think it is benefitting us, or CC, or our readers to come here and infer people might as well be elsewhere?

The truth is that if we allowed people to post about CC here we would have hundreds of posts that do nothing more than reference posts on CC, and soon enough we would just be a site full of posts where people send people to CC.

We don't allow it for three reasons -
(1) they do the same to us
(2) because they are bigger we realize we would lose users if we always just allowed people to say, "I could answer your question, but its easier just to send you here....[my post on CC]."

And lastly, (3) Its an insult to our efforts to come here and advise people to go someplace else. There is nothing wrong with our advice, we happen to think it is pretty good. And it will stay good as long as people continue to give advice here instead of just saying "I could tell you, but I already wrote it someplace else, here's the link."

No - it doesn't work for us. We don't exist just to feed them readers. It isn't two sites doing something different- we are direct competitors. No competitors selling the same thing will tell you what the competition offers unless it is something they don't offer.

It is the same as any other business soliciting for customers here. We don't allow people to post links to outside commercial sites (and CC is a commercial site and business, just like we are).
Paul,

Excellents points all the way around!!!

One point that I could make is that here on cruisemates ALL opinions are allowed to be made. To me this gives cruisemates a huge advantage over the competition and to those who are genuinely looking for information and opinions and not just a bunch of cheerleaders promoting various cruise lines and controlling content of a cruise site. While unfortunately there are a few of these types on any cruise site, it is nothing like the packs that control the board on CC.

Hats off to Paul and the gang and keep up the good work of running a truly open forum for cruise information.

Debra
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Old September 19th, 2010, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggie6 View Post
My husband and I are going on our very first cruise for our 20th anniversary. We are traveling on the Mercury in Nov. for 9 nights over Thanksgiving.

Here are my questions;
Excursions: We are stopping in Chas. SC. We don't need anything here. We lived there for 6 years and can't wait to spend some time reminiscing and finding our favorite places. Our next stop is Key West. This will be a first for us.

1. We would like to do our own tour. Should I get a book with a walking tour, or should I book one through the cruise? What about the GPS tour??

2. Then we go to Nassau. This is the stop that scares me the most. We are seriously considering staying on the ship this day. Any thoughts? BTW, the Atlantis resort does not interest us.

3. Then Cococay. I would like to snorkel here. Is this a good idea?? or should we just find a spot on the beach? Also, is the food here covered in the cost of the cruise or do you have to pay for it?Everything except alcoholic drinks ( maybe pop) is free. Equipment rental (ie finns & mask) are charged to your room

4. Beverage packages. My husband and I aren't big drinkers. Although a beer or cocktail on occasion is not out of the question. We do like our soft drinks, lemonades, coffee, and teas. So, should we get just the soft drink package? Can you buy this once you are on the ship? or should we get it earlier?? Lemonade , ice tea coffee and tea is always aviable the the buffet restaurant I would just order the coctails/beer as you want .
On our cruises ( not Celebrity) there wern't any cocktail/beer packages.
If are doing to have wine in the MDR . Buy a bottle and they usually will store it until the next meal . One bottle is usually good for 6 glasses or more . The bottle is cheaper than buying the same number of glasses of wine.


5. Will they have a Thanksgiving dinner for the passengers??:-) Thangsgiving dinner will be avaiable with all the trimmings.

Sea sickness: My husband will get a little nauseous on spinning rides. That's it. We have been on boats before (canoe, ferry, whale watching, yachts, row boats) We have never had any trouble. We ride coasters and simulators with no issues. Can I assume that we won't get seasick?? Should I prepare just in case?? He probably won't get seasick as all ships have stabilizers to stop rolling.

Football;
Is there a place besides our room to watch football on Sundays?? Yes, this is a concern for my hubbie. I think this is the best time for a massage for me. He won't even know I'm gone. Don't know. Not a football fan.

What's the noise level at night? We have a room with an ocean view, no balcony. I am not the heaviest sleeper. Although, I don't normally have any trouble in a hotel. With an oceanview room you definitle won't heard the ocean Maybe some ship noisies

Are the beds comfortable? how about the pillows? Should we bring our own pillows? They have at least four pillows in the room and you can ask for more

What do people think of the temperature inside the ship? Cool, warm?
Room temp is adjustable . The ship tends to be a little warmer then I like.
Especially on port days.


I think that is enough for now. I'm sure I will be back with many more.

Thanks in advance!!:razz:
Hope this helps.:razz:
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Help - First time cruiser questions! stefsand Carnival Cruise Lines 6 July 20th, 2006 02:09 PM
First Time Cruiser Questions cindyb1 Royal Caribbean International 5 May 14th, 2006 07:55 PM


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