My family is planning on taking an Eastern Carribbean cruise February 2006 on the Costa Magica. The ports are Tortola, Nassau, St. Maarten. I keep reading reviews and am getting more & more confused. This will be my first cruise but my parents fourth. They have done Holland America, Norweigien & Carnival. The reason for Costa this time is the entertainment it is an Irish Festival Cruise. I have some questions regarding Costa.
1. In one of the above ports is there any shore excursion that involves swimming with the dolphins. My 16 year old daughter wants to do that and I am not sure if I should book it before we leave or book through one of the ships shore excursions.
2. Will there be much trouble if we purchase a drink for her.
3. There are 5 of us in our group. Is there any rooms that can accomidate 5 people or do we have to book two rooms. We are looking at getting a room with a balcony but did not want to get a suite unless they can accomidate all 5 of us.
4. The stuff for kids to do (water slide & video games room) is it free or do you have to pay and if so how much? I also heard that the water slide is not always open. They also have internet access - would it cost much for her to send an e-mail or two to her friends?
5. Getting on & off ship at different ports - was there much trouble such as long lines and such?
6. What are their views on bringing drinks onto the ship from home. I want to bring a six pack of bottled water and a couple of bottles of rum & gin. Is there much trouble smuggling it in your luggage? What about when you get to different ports - can you buy alochol there and get it back on board to your room without them taking it?
7. The food - Good - Bad - Indifferent. I like seafood (lobster, shrimp & scallops) will I be able to get one of them each night. My parents & aunt like to try different items (Calamari, cat fish etc) and my daughter likes "normal" food. Is the menu in the dining room varied enough so we will all be somewhat happy?
My family will be celebrating a few special occasions next year (my 40th, my parents 40th anniversary, my mothers 60th, my daughters sweet 16 and my aunts 65th) so we figured why celebrate these in the cold Newfoundland weather when we could celebrate in the Carribbean. I know not everything can be perfect on a vacation but I am going with a positive attitude. I figure if I know the answers to certain questions I can change what I need to before we go and will not be surprised or upset on the cruise. I also realize that one persons bad experiences are not anothers. My attitude is go with the flow.