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Old March 12th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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Default New cruiser question

Hi all,
Sailing in April on Mariner
Will be posting more questions I'm sure, but here are two
I've booked the Dolphin Excursion for my husband, myself and our 12 year old daughter (it's been her dream for years to swim with dolphins).
Anyone ever done this in St. Maarten?

Also, if I bring my laptop with wirless internet capability, can I use it in our cabin?
Is there an extra fee for this?

And, how much money does the average family of 4 (39,37,15,12) usually spend on the cruise ship? We will probably have a couple of cocktails during the day and a few at night. We have already paid for our excursions.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old March 12th, 2007, 06:08 PM
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Default RCCL

I have been to St. Martan but went snorkling. U can bring laptop; go to the purser desk and ask for a hookup for your stateroom. Its dialup, so if you don't have a big need for it, leave laptop at home. U can access email from one of the ships computers at .50 min. The fee for a laptop in your stateroom is like $35.00 for the week. It may have gone up. Check into getting soda cards for the kids, unless you don't want them drinking sodas. The card is $4.00 per day; so a seven day cruise would be $28.00. Alcholic drinks are normally anywhere from $3.50- $5.00 per drink. On ship mostly everything is covered; except drinks. The only drinks which are free are ice tea. Coffee is free in the dining areas, but if you have a Seattles Best in the atrium then you have to pay. Hope this helps. Don't really know how much you should budget per day.
Cheers, RCCL website has a lot of FAQ's for first time cruisers and will help you figure out a plan
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Old March 13th, 2007, 01:06 AM
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Hi Patsfan: welcome to Cruisemates. First of all, you will love Mariner OTS. It's a beautiful ship. We've not swam with the dolphins at St. Maarten, but did on Jamaica and it was quite a cool experience, something your 12 yr old daughter will cherish (be sure to buy the photo of the dolphin kissing her cheek, it's a keeper).

The Mariner OTS has wi-fi hotspots in public areas of the ship. If you're lucky, your cabin just might pick up one of these spots. You won't know unless you try. Probably not, but the packages are worth it if you think you'll be using it quite a bit. Suggestion: for e-mails and to save minutes, log on and download all new e-mails. Then log off and work offline to delete and reply. Or reply in the form of a Word doc, then log back on and post your replies.

The best value is a 150 minute package for $50, otherwise you pay .50 a minute. There's no extra charge for using wi-fi if you can receive it in your cabin, but you may not be within range of one of the public hot spots.

As far as additional costs: drinks about $6 each, sodas I think are 3.50, photos around $20 each, a dinner at Chops or Portofinos is $20 each, gift shop stuff is what you'd expect for t-shirts, coffee cups, etc. You may chock up and extra $500-700 for all these extras. No different than any land vacation, in fact drinks are probably less.

Hope this helps, Steve
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Old March 13th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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Default Was panicking from someone else's report

Thanks so much for your help.
I was in a bit of a panic. I heard from a friend that their bill at the end of the cruise was $2000!!
They are a couple with 3 kids.
I'm thinking they MUST have included their excursions or something.
$1000 I can understand, but $2000????

Our cabin is on deck 7 near the back, near the library. So, maybe it will be wi-fi accessible. Not really a big deal I just want to bring my laptop to download photos off of my card so that my card does not fill up.

Thanks again!
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Old March 13th, 2007, 04:14 PM
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Default So, Steve Cooper

Steve, are you the guy we should ask all the insider RCI questions? I'm pretty up on the usual cruise questions, but when the latest news for RCI breaks, usually I'm late to the party, since I don't check in every day.
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Old March 13th, 2007, 11:16 PM
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Chad: I'll try to give you the straight scoop on anything RCI when I know it. One of the best places to find out news is right here on Cruisemates. The drop down menu above, News & Features gives you Cruise News which is updated nearly every day.

There are several folks on this site who have some cosmic links to RCI, because they find out things even before most of us! Seriously, I'll give you some honest feedback based on over ten cruises with them, from Grandeur, Vision, Radiance, Brilliance, Serenade, Jewel, Navigator, Mariner, Freedom and Liberty next December.

Anyway, I have a zest for being on the ship. I don't even really care where it goes, as long as I'm at sea. So I tend to explore on board and notice things more than the average cruiser.

So ask me anything, I'll try to answer from personal knowledge or experience, or find out the answer. Take care, Steve
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