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huggybear August 12th, 2012 04:27 PM

first time cruisers
 
hi to all
my husband and i going on our first cruise on the 9th sept on the epic, we are quite excited but also a bit anxious, wondered if any of you seasoned cruisers could answer a few questions for us?
1. we haven,t paid our gratuities up front but have been told by our virgin agent that these will be about 50 each, is this correct, is the gratuity also the same as the service charge or should we expect more to be added to our final bill?.
2.does any one know how much a wine package costs and what you get for this and is it worth it?.
3.are there plenty of sunbeds to go around, it seems such a vast ship we keep thinking its going to be really crowded.
4.would be really grateful to anyone who can give us any worthy tips i.e best restaurant, best times to eat, and also places to go when in port without spending a fortune.
thenks to all look forward to hearing from you x

Trip August 12th, 2012 06:47 PM

Welcome to CruiseMates Huggybear...!! Can you give us your itinerary, so we can help you with port info?



1. we haven,t paid our gratuities up front but have been told by our virgin agent that these will be about 50 each, is this correct, is the gratuity also the same as the service charge or should we expect more to be added to our final bill?.

[I think now the gratuity is $12.00 pp per day.Nothing more as far as tips, will be added. Every time you buy a drink, the bill will have the gratuity included. so unless you feel like a server has been extra nice, no need for any more $.]
2.does any one know how much a wine package costs and what you get for this and is it worth it?.

[Wine is pricey...my $7.00 bottle at home I think is now $24.00 so, if you
really enjoy wine daily consider the packages...Did you look to see if they show it on their website?]

3.are there plenty of sunbeds to go around, it seems such a vast ship we keep thinking its going to be really crowded.

[Sea days can be crowded and saving lounge chairs is common. If you are an early riser go out and enjoy being poolside early on..]

4.would be really grateful to anyone who can give us any worthy tips i.e best restaurant, best times to eat, and also places to go when in port without spending a fortune.

[I loved Shanghai,and the Noodle Bar,and the name escapes me, but, the Italian venue is delicious as well. You can pretty much select your dining time when you want..Have you already reserved any? Your sail date opened up, for reservations a while ago.]

[Don't miss Blue Man group....you can drop off any extraneous luggage at the comedy club when you board, so you won't have to carry it around, till your cabin opens up at 2:00 approx...make sure all your meds and valuables are in your carry on, which you don't leave there..]

Let us know what ports you are visiting,and we will chat again.:)

Donna August 12th, 2012 07:27 PM

Upon getting to the pier, drop your check in luggage with the porters at the pier, make sure you have the ship tags on them, and tip them a dollar or two per bag. If you order any room service during the cruise, you'll need to also tip that person a few dollars too, all other tips should be included with your daily tips you will pay at the end of your cruise.

You can almost always find a lounge chair, but the choice ones by the pools will be the first that will be used, if you don't mind a bit of a walk to the pool, I am sure you can find something..

Mike M August 13th, 2012 07:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by huggybear (Post 1442001)
hi to all
my husband and i going on our first cruise on the 9th sept on the epic, we are quite excited but also a bit anxious, wondered if any of you seasoned cruisers could answer a few questions for us?
1. we haven,t paid our gratuities up front but have been told by our virgin agent that these will be about 50 each, is this correct, is the gratuity also the same as the service charge or should we expect more to be added to our final bill?.
2.does any one know how much a wine package costs and what you get for this and is it worth it?.
3.are there plenty of sunbeds to go around, it seems such a vast ship we keep thinking its going to be really crowded.
4.would be really grateful to anyone who can give us any worthy tips i.e best restaurant, best times to eat, and also places to go when in port without spending a fortune.
thanks to all look forward to hearing from you x

1. Your gratuity "Is" the Service Charge. The cost will be around 8 pounds ($12) per person/per day. No additional charge, other than the Service Charge, will be added to your final bill.

2. You can buy a wine-package once you board. There will be tables that are selling the packages. Just remember that the prices will be similar to restaurant prices and not retail.

3. There are sunbeds and I would grab one early if you want the best choice. I mean get out there early and not just stick a book or shoe on one and come back four hours later.

4. You will have a huge variety of dining options. Some are included and some are additional charge. I would add $100 to your cruise budget and try Moderno (Brazilian style Chuhasscaria.) Noodles (Chinese/Asian), Italian restaurant. Also make your reservations early for Blue Man Group and the Legends in Concert shows. The shows are no additional charge but you do need to make reservations.

Also: O'Sheehan's is a great place for breakfast or lunch if you want something different than the buffet. There is no additional charge for this venue and I found the food to be very good.

Have a great time on Epic and enjoy the cruise.

Take care,
Mike

KellyKayden August 13th, 2012 11:25 PM

O'sheehans for breakfast has the best potato pancakes!!

Bring an all white outfit for the 'white hot' party...I knew nothing about it but thankfully found a white shirt I packed

Do not miss 'Blue man group'

See all the shows! We missed Cirque and the celebrity impersonator show and regretted it big time

There is an insane amount of activities to do on this ship, you will have such a great time!! Enjoy!!

huggybear August 16th, 2012 03:09 PM

Thanks every one
 
thank you to all for your replies, its a great help getting some tips from experienced cruisers, will probably be asking for loads more advice before the 9th sept.

This is our ittinary 1.Naples, 2.Civitavecchia, 3. Livorno, 4.Cannes, 5.Marseille, and advise on places to go and how best to get there would be appreciated.

Many Thanks

HuggyBear


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