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Old January 12th, 2015, 01:28 PM
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Well myself and 2 of my closest friends have decided to go on a Cruise this September (2nd through the 12th) on the Norwegian Getaway. It's a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean. We're super excited but have never been on a cruise before.

I got the ultimate drink package for myself and they chose the on board credit for their reservation. I guess I'm worried about getting sea sick for one, I'd hate to spend my first whole day in bed haha! I'll be sure to bring plenty of Dramamine lol!

One of my biggest trepidations about going on a Cruise is that it will be like Walmart only on water, so crowded and stuck at sea. I've been watching some youtube videos and it doesn't seem like it would be that bad. It seems like there are some hot spots but other than that it didn't look like it was elbow to elbow.

I can't believe how much stuff they can put on a boat! So one thing I'd like to hear from folks is, what did you end up spending the most of your money on while you were on a cruise? Was it the specialty dining, stuff you bought at ports, excursions, drinks?

Our cruise will be paid for by the end of June and since we're not leaving til September I'm trying to get an idea of how much actual spending money I should take. I know they're strict on what you're allowed to bring back to the US and I definitely don't want to pay $30 for a glorified starfish haha!

Anyways, I'm just babbling now but I'll take any first time cruisers advice ya got! I'm super excited and this community is awesome! So glad I found you all!!
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Old January 12th, 2015, 03:27 PM
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As I mentioned in your other post, talk to your agent - they can be a wealth of information and extremely helpful in answering all your questions.

As for your cruise, I think you meant from September 5th through September 12th. Since you're leaving from Miami, normally the seas will be relatively mild, but there's always a chance of hurricanes during that time of year, so anything is possible. However, all the modern mega ships have the latest stabilizing devices to help provide a smooth ride. Keep in mind that stateroom location is important for those who may be susceptible to motion sickness. Staterooms in the front of the ship are more likely to feel motion than those in the back. The least amount of motion is going to be in the middle of the ship.

If you have had problems with motion sickness, I don't normally suggest bonine or the patches because they can have side affects. I know alot of people have had great results with ginger pills. Cheap and easy to get at the pharmacy. Just remember, no matter what you decide, if you're going to use anything, you have to start about 3 days before the cruise in order for it to be effective from the beginning of the cruise because if you wait until you get sick, it'll be too late. Also, alcohol increases the effect of motion, so it's not a good idea to drink alot if you're susceptible to motion sickness.

Pete
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Old January 12th, 2015, 03:37 PM
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Thank you!! I didn't realize about the 3 day prior to boarding the ship taking the Dramamine. I honestly don't know if it will bother me or not. I'm just thinking of every precaution lol!

So I have come up with some more questions, being a newbie and doing research.

*Does it cost money each time you use the little Keurig machine? I noticed one in all the "premium" rooms.

*Never been to a casino, is the ship casino like any normal one? I'll probably play some of the quater slots and that's about it lol! I'd like some easy way to keep up with spending though. The casino is definitely not where I want all my money to go, figured it'd be fun to play a bit though.

*Gratuity is $12 per person per day but what about at bars and the spa? If I have the
unlimited drink package, do I still tip the bartender and if so, is it a good idea to bring
cash for that? Same for the spa?

*Do they have laundry services or should I pack plenty of clothes??

*Tips for packing? Anything you found particularly helpful? I read a review where someone brought one of those shoe hangars that go on the back of your door for extra cubby space. I thought that was brilliant!

*With the drink package, am I able to buy my friends a round? I know the limits on the
alcohol are no more than drinks that cost $10 but I thought, since my friends chose a
different package it would be fun or sweet if I could buy a round every now and then.

*Dumb Question but do they supply shampoo and conditioner? Keeping an eye on what to pack lol!

Thanks again everyone! I realize I'm asking a ton of questions and I definitely don't want to be annoying. I don't have an agent to speak with, I got a great deal online through the cruise site and when I found this community and saw how active and helpful you all were I got soo excited haha!! So again I apologize for the many questions but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. I'm writing them down as I think of them hehe!
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Old January 12th, 2015, 04:01 PM
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Welcome to the world of cruising and Cruisemates....I am sure you will have more questions as your cruise gets closer. As to what kind of spending money to bring, all depends on your spending habits, do you like to gamble a lot...how about shore excursions?? General rule of thumb, have around $100 per day and then go from there. Do you plan on shopping, etc....
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Old January 12th, 2015, 04:47 PM
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Best way to not overspend in the casino is to play with cash. You can put it on the shipboard account but then it's easier to loose track.

Your drink package has gratuity built in, no need to tip. If you have a bartender or waiter that gave especially good service consider giving them something on the last day.

On board laundry is expensive. Bring what you need and just use laundry if you stain something or to press/steam formal wear.

You are definitely not allowed to buy a round with the package(that's one of few ways they might revoke it from you). You could grab a drink when you don't need one and bring it to the room fridge. Then invite the friends over when you have a few lol.

Shampoo and conditioner are provided.
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Old January 12th, 2015, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyPhantom View Post
Well myself and 2 of my closest friends have decided to go on a Cruise this September (2nd through the 12th) on the Norwegian Getaway. It's a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean. We're super excited but have never been on a cruise before.

I got the ultimate drink package for myself and they chose the on board credit for their reservation. I guess I'm worried about getting sea sick for one, I'd hate to spend my first whole day in bed haha! I'll be sure to bring plenty of Dramamine lol!

One of my biggest trepidations about going on a Cruise is that it will be like Walmart only on water, so crowded and stuck at sea. I've been watching some youtube videos and it doesn't seem like it would be that bad. It seems like there are some hot spots but other than that it didn't look like it was elbow to elbow.

I can't believe how much stuff they can put on a boat! So one thing I'd like to hear from folks is, what did you end up spending the most of your money on while you were on a cruise? Was it the specialty dining, stuff you bought at ports, excursions, drinks?

Our cruise will be paid for by the end of June and since we're not leaving til September I'm trying to get an idea of how much actual spending money I should take. I know they're strict on what you're allowed to bring back to the US and I definitely don't want to pay $30 for a glorified starfish haha!

Anyways, I'm just babbling now but I'll take any first time cruisers advice ya got! I'm super excited and this community is awesome! So glad I found you all!!

As far as seasickness, be out on deck at sailaway and stay there awhile until you get acclimated. Being able to see the horizion will help your brain make sense of things. If you feel queasy, eat. It is just the opposite of what most want to do, but believe me it works. I always take Bonine with me, but have never had to use it. You can get free seasickness pills at guest services.

The most crowded areas of the ship will be the pool deck ( I avoid it like the plague ), and the 3 decks inside where the casino, shops, and many restaurants and bars are located. I call it a lively atmosphere and it never bothered me. There are always quiet areas to get away to. Spice H20 is an adult only area at he front of the ship. We spent a lot of time on the Waterfront area on deck 8 during the day. Comfy couches and chairs and very quiet.

Our biggest bill is usually for our drinks. We don't drink much during the day, (unless there is a Martini or Mojito tasting) but enjoy a few drinks in the evening. Even so, we do not spend enough the make the purchase of a drinks package worthwhile. We usually don't spend much on excursions. So much is free or low cost, such as shopping, beaches, etc. The excursions are listed on the website. We do usually eat in the specialty restaurants about 3 times per cruise. We like Cagney's, Le Bistro, Moderno ( the Brazillian steakhouse ). This is so worth the money and only adds about $150 total to the cost of our cruise. The MDR Tropicana has live music and dancing and is fun. Don't miss the Cuban restaurant Flamingo, near Spice H20, for lunch or breakfast (free).

I would not bring a lot of cash. Your on board purchases will go on your ship card tied to your credit card on file. We also use the card ashore. We just pay when we get home. Do not use a debit card. We do bring some cash for the casino but there is a way to tie this to your ship account as well.

Be sure to look for the bartender Bong who is usually in the Sugarcaine Mojito Bar, either inside or outside or outside on the Waterfront. He is an NCL superstar and loads of fun. He usually runs the "tastings" which I highly recommend. Have a Jalepino Cucumber Mojito for me!
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Old January 12th, 2015, 07:38 PM
Travelbuggs Travelbuggs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyPhantom View Post
Thank you!! I didn't realize about the 3 day prior to boarding the ship taking the Dramamine. I honestly don't know if it will bother me or not. I'm just thinking of every precaution lol!

So I have come up with some more questions, being a newbie and doing research.

*Does it cost money each time you use the little Keurig machine? I noticed one in all the "premium" rooms.

*Never been to a casino, is the ship casino like any normal one? I'll probably play some of the quater slots and that's about it lol! I'd like some easy way to keep up with spending though. The casino is definitely not where I want all my money to go, figured it'd be fun to play a bit though.

*Gratuity is $12 per person per day but what about at bars and the spa? If I have the
unlimited drink package, do I still tip the bartender and if so, is it a good idea to bring
cash for that? Same for the spa?

*Do they have laundry services or should I pack plenty of clothes??

*Tips for packing? Anything you found particularly helpful? I read a review where someone brought one of those shoe hangars that go on the back of your door for extra cubby space. I thought that was brilliant!

*With the drink package, am I able to buy my friends a round? I know the limits on the
alcohol are no more than drinks that cost $10 but I thought, since my friends chose a
different package it would be fun or sweet if I could buy a round every now and then.

*Dumb Question but do they supply shampoo and conditioner? Keeping an eye on what to pack lol!

Thanks again everyone! I realize I'm asking a ton of questions and I definitely don't want to be annoying. I don't have an agent to speak with, I got a great deal online through the cruise site and when I found this community and saw how active and helpful you all were I got soo excited haha!! So again I apologize for the many questions but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. I'm writing them down as I think of them hehe!
No Keurig machines. Some of the suites have Lavazzo machines, probably what you saw, but the balcony cabins have very small drip machines like most hotels which use the prepackaged pods. Not fantastic coffee, but it's free. You can also order a pot from room service.

The casino is like all land based ones. Table games and slots. We like to use the nickel and dime ones which give lots of free spins when you play max. I keep my casino money in a seperate little change purse which I add my winnings to, and when the money is gone it is gone. I like to cash out when I get ahead. The husband on the other hand, will get ahead and then play until he has zero again. But we often go home with nearly the same money we started with. Just figure out ahead of time what you can afford to lose for entertainment value and then stop when you've lost it.

The bar staff is not included in the $12 daily service charge pool, so a gratuity is auto added to each bar bill for most folks. With the UBP, it is included in the price you pay for the package. I assume you got a free package, so not sure how they get their money, but in any case, you will not be charged a tip per drink. That said, many people do tip an extra $1 per drink or per round, usually cash, or add it to the tab you sign. We like to tip on the spot. It may give you a little extra "attention". And staff move around a lot. You may have trouble tracking someone down at the end of the cruise. No drink sharing on the drink packages, and you can generally order only one drink at a time to prevent this. I'm sure you could talk to the bartender and order a round of drinks or a bucket of beer for your friends and have the cost added to your account. Spa staff also not in daily service charge pool. I don't believe they add anything to the bill, but it's been awhile. It would be up to you to add a tip.

Shampoo and body wash included, but NO conditioner or lotions. Bring your own.

Have a great cruise!
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Old January 17th, 2015, 05:26 PM
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These are really good tips. I am reminded that going on a cruise is so expensive. My husband and I never had our honeymoon and we were planning on a cruise, but I guess a couple more years of saving.
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Old January 17th, 2015, 07:39 PM
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Brianna, that's not so! Unless you drink more alcohol than is probably good for you, cruising can be a real bargain compared to almost any other kind of vacation. In particular, if you don't have to fly to a port, check the websites for last-minute specials. In the cruising world, "last minute" can be 60 to 90 days away, plenty of time to make any arrangements needed; and if you're not claustrophobic an inside cabin not only is cheaper but will make it easier to take a nap if you've been up really late the night before. You don't HAVE to take expensive shore excursions; there's usually plenty to do on or near the ship.
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Old January 19th, 2015, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianna2962 View Post
These are really good tips. I am reminded that going on a cruise is so expensive. My husband and I never had our honeymoon and we were planning on a cruise, but I guess a couple more years of saving.
I think cruise vacations are the least expensive way to vacation, very inexpensive if you consider what you get for your cruise fares. All meals and entertainment included. You really don't need to spend an extra dime if you are really on a budget. You can get the least expensive cabin on the ship and it will really not impact your enjoyment as you spend so little time there. There are some really good promos going on now for booking which include drinks package or specialty meals packages. For a small deposit you can book well in advance and have lots of time to pay off the cruise before final payment date. If for some reason you must cancel, all deposits are refundable outside the final payment date which is about 60 days prior to the cruise date.
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Old January 19th, 2015, 02:32 PM
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Brianna, like the others said, you don't have to go all out to have a good time. Doing a cheap cruise is just as fun as doing an expensive cruise. You can do this.
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Old January 19th, 2015, 09:53 PM
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I had a friend of mine say the same thing to me, "Cruising is too expensive. I can't afford it."

I asked him where does he go on vacation during the Summer with the kids and he explained how they go to the beach and stay in 2 rooms in a hotel. I said, okay, let's look at what you spend. We went over the cost of just his lodging and food. After we were done, I gave him a price for a cruise and his jaw dropped because he couldn't believe it was cheaper than what he was paying for his vacation.

I always find it interesting when people tell me it's too expensive, because when I inquire about what they consider how much they think it is, it's usually alot different than reality.

You really don't have to wait for those so-called 'last minute specials' because many times that's just hype and false advertising. But if you can go when school is in session, prices can be really great! I've seen prices as low as $299 - $350 plus tax per person for a one-week cruise. Try staying in any hotel with all your food and beverages (except sodas and alcohol) included that can match a $75 per person per day rate. A decent hotel anywhere near a beach is going to easily be twice that and it doesn't include any food whatsoever.

As others have said, there's just no way to compare the cost of everything you get on a cruise to a land stay when you take everything into consideration.

Pete
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Old January 27th, 2015, 02:57 PM
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Also don't forget..."24 Hour Room Service" is absolutely free...(I usually tip them a couple of bucks). We always use the room service in the early am for coffee and assorted other items prior to going on a shore excursion and or port. If you want to save money on drinks, always order the small size drinks instead of the souvenir glasses.
We too always select a Balcony Stateroom in the middle / middle part of the ship. My wife uses the "Patch" and never has any problems. Also, don't use your cell phone. Turn off your phone before you board the ship. Unless you can make a deal with you carrier. But bear in mind, the ships and different countries can and will charge as much as they want for cell service. We always use two-way radios. They work well on the ship and on the land. Don't miss the ship's "High Tea" time. It's always free and very enjoyable, even if you don't like tea. They usually have a lot of goodies. Hope that you have a wonderful cruise, we're going on another cruise to Hawaii in December...Dave & Diane...
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Old January 28th, 2015, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
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Also don't forget..."24 Hour Room Service" is absolutely free...(I usually tip them a couple of bucks). We always use the room service in the early am for coffee and assorted other items prior to going on a shore excursion and or port. If you want to save money on drinks, always order the small size drinks instead of the souvenir glasses.
We too always select a Balcony Stateroom in the middle / middle part of the ship. My wife uses the "Patch" and never has any problems. Also, don't use your cell phone. Turn off your phone before you board the ship. Unless you can make a deal with you carrier. But bear in mind, the ships and different countries can and will charge as much as they want for cell service. We always use two-way radios. They work well on the ship and on the land. Don't miss the ship's "High Tea" time. It's always free and very enjoyable, even if you don't like tea. They usually have a lot of goodies. Hope that you have a wonderful cruise, we're going on another cruise to Hawaii in December...Dave & Diane...
A good tip for the Getaway is to download the Iconcierge app to your phone before you go. Once onboard you can activate it and you are actually connected to the ship's wifi. There is a nominal charge. You can't use it to make calls home, just within the ship. It is great as it allows you to be in contact with others in your party, or new friends. You can also do a bunch of other things, like make reservations, etc.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 03:09 PM
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On cost per day I agree with Donna, budget around $100 for normal expenses and maybe another 20 bucks per day just to have a go in the casino!!
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Old February 12th, 2015, 12:18 AM
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Hy guys...!! Nice discussion here. I am new member here and just log in. My name is snowey and i love traveling. Actually i am really passionate about it and where ever i go i just look forward for some great cruising, diving and trekking experiences as well. I join this community because i am sure here i would have great time and could found some new destinations as well.
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Old February 12th, 2015, 09:17 AM
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Welcome Snowey, Feel free to share any and all of your travel stories, we love to hear them. Also, where are you looking to travel next, cruise?
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Old February 13th, 2015, 05:54 AM
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Hey! who ever is going to go out for a cruise, all the best!!
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Old July 16th, 2015, 07:35 AM
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Cruise holidays are becoming more and more popular these days. For many people a cruise vacation is a fun filled stress free holiday.
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