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  #31 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2012, 08:30 PM
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I would say, depending on what shore excursions you plan to do, to be safe, figure $100 per day, per person. DOn't forget the tips, that is another appx. 10-12 dollars per day, per person. You don't mention going to the casino, are you big gamblers or not?? Then there is shopping, but like anything else, you can budget your cruise dollars and make them go farther.....

I am sure you will have a very nice, relaxing cruise, especially if it is after all your work/business is done....have fun.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 09:07 AM
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Default First cruise ever...will be 02/03/13 on Allure of the Seas

Hello everyone....Our cruise is booked and we are so excited!!! We are seniors who have never cruised at all. Our daughter and her boyfriend went on a Celebrity cruise last Feb. and she can't stop talking about how wonderful it was. We are completely won over.
We would love any insight into the Allure. We had seen a documentary on the Smithsonian channel about it's sister ship, the Oasis.....and we were blown away by it. We decided right then that if we ever sailed, it would be on the Oasis or the Allure that came a bit later. I have done tons of research online from food to entertainment to formal nights and beyond, but I would love to hear from folks who have sailed on the Allure recently or who will actually be on our particular cruise with us.
So nice to be a part of this wonderful and informative group of forums. Thanks for all that I have learned from all of you and for what I will learn from this day forward.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 11:09 AM
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Hi Portly,
Allure of the Seas was the last cruise I was on....so far, my all time favorite cruise. The ship is amazing with so many places to eat, so many shows....I would highly recommend pre-booking all your shows....Many were just outstanding...

If you have any questions, feel free to post them...
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Old October 31st, 2012, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portly2 View Post
Hello everyone....Our cruise is booked and we are so excited!!! We are seniors who have never cruised at all. Our daughter and her boyfriend went on a Celebrity cruise last Feb. and she can't stop talking about how wonderful it was. We are completely won over.
We would love any insight into the Allure. We had seen a documentary on the Smithsonian channel about it's sister ship, the Oasis.....and we were blown away by it. We decided right then that if we ever sailed, it would be on the Oasis or the Allure that came a bit later. I have done tons of research online from food to entertainment to formal nights and beyond, but I would love to hear from folks who have sailed on the Allure recently or who will actually be on our particular cruise with us.
So nice to be a part of this wonderful and informative group of forums. Thanks for all that I have learned from all of you and for what I will learn from this day forward.
If you've never been on a cruise, you will be blown away by the Allure of the Seas. We've been on 43 cruises and were on the Allure last year. It is truly amazing and definitely a ship everyone has to try at least once.

Now, with that said, it does not come up to the quality of Celebrity, especially their newest Solstice-class ships. So it's not really fair to compare the two.

The Allure has alot of amenities and therefore attracts alot of families. There's something to keep everyone busy. By comparison, Celebrity is more upscale, sedate, doesn't have as many amenities, and attracts an older crowd - especially those who appreciate good food. While the food in the main dining room on the Allure is good, it's definitely not as good as Celebrity. But the specialty restaurants on the Allure are very good.

No matter which one you select, there's absolutely nothing as exciting as your first cruise! You'll have a wonderful time.

Pete
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old December 29th, 2012, 09:15 AM
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Traveling on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas March 15th (76 days, but who's counting) to Eastern Caribbean - San Juan Puerto Rico, Charlotte Amalie St Thomas, Samana Dominican Republic, and Labadee Haiti. This is my first time and traveling with my sister.

I'll have more questions as it gets closer, but I was wondering about the dining and internet.

We chose the Tradition Dining 8:30, no waitlist. Do we have to eat there every day or can we choose to eat elsewhere? Also, how do I know what dining will be the formal one and which is casual?

Also, does anyone know the charges to use the internet? Should I bring my laptop? I only need the net to touch base with my hubby either daily or every other day. Would a phone call be cheaper??

Thank you!
  #36 (permalink)  
Old December 29th, 2012, 09:27 AM
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Oh we know how the waitiing can be, but, before you know it, you will be onboard


We chose the Tradition Dining 8:30, no waitlist. Do we have to eat there every day or can we choose to eat elsewhere? Also, how do I know what dining will be the formal one and which is casual?

You can dine where you choose, not to worry...you dining room table might possibly be missing some couples every night. Your daily newspaper that you will have in your cabin nightly, will let you know the dress code for dining the next evening.

Also, does anyone know the charges to use the internet? Should I bring my laptop? I only need the net to touch base with my hubby either daily or every other day. Would a phone call be cheaper??

Internet onboard can be stressful...very slow,and the minutes tick away. I would wait till you get into your ports, for an interntet cafe, or use a phonecard.

Let us know if you have more questions.
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Last edited by Trip; December 29th, 2012 at 09:57 AM.
  #37 (permalink)  
Old December 29th, 2012, 09:40 AM
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Thank you for the help - and quick!

Do the ships have a safe in the room? Are they "safe?"
Is there a coffee pot in each room?
  #38 (permalink)  
Old December 29th, 2012, 10:05 AM
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The cabins do have safes, and, I have never had an issue. Keep your passport and any money you are not needing on your person that day in there. Also, any jewelry of value.

There is no coffee pot..you can go to the lido deck and get your coffee,and bring it back to your cabin, or, every night you can order room service to be delivered to your cabin, so you enjoy your coffee, before you start your day.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old December 29th, 2012, 03:58 PM
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Nope, no coffee pot in your cabin, but easy enough to run up and grab a cup, or order room service the evening before, a great wake up call.

It is also nice to give your wait staff notice if the following evening you will not be eating in the dining room...
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Old December 29th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
Nope, no coffee pot in your cabin, but easy enough to run up and grab a cup, or order room service the evening before, a great wake up call.

It is also nice to give your wait staff notice if the following evening you will not be eating in the dining room...
Oh, good idea! Thank you.
  #41 (permalink)  
Old January 17th, 2013, 04:25 PM
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is there any extra charge for milk with meals....
  #42 (permalink)  
Old January 17th, 2013, 08:14 PM
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Yes, you can order milk at no charge for meals.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old January 29th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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I am going on a carnival cruise in april and was wondering if it is worth paying extra to board the ship earlier with the vifp's
  #44 (permalink)  
Old January 29th, 2013, 01:59 PM
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I think you may be confusing the Priority Embarkation available to upper level VIFP (Carnival's past guest program), which is free to them, with the Faster to the Fun Program, which you much purchase. You can get more information about that here; Frequently Asked Questions, Information | FAQs | Carnival Cruise Lines

Whether it's worth it or not depends on whether you want to spend the extra $49.95 per stateroom to purchase the benefits.

Some people feel it's worth it, while others don't. Just a personal choice.

In my opinion, I wouldn't pay the extra money - not worth it to me, but that's just my feeling. It's just another way for Carnival to take your money. But it may very well be worth it to you, especially if you're traveling with small children.

Pete
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old February 1st, 2013, 12:42 PM
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Default First Time!!

My in-laws are taking my husband and I and his two sisters on a cruise. First time for all of us (except for mom and dad, they have been several times).

7-Day Eastern Caribbean Round-trip Miami

Ship: Norwegian Epic
Embarkation port: Miami
Embarkation: Nov 16, 2013
Disembarkation: Nov 23, 2013
Ports of call: Miami; St. Maarten; St. Thomas; Nassau

1. Better to have Passports or Bring all the birth certificate, etc paperwork?
2. Cell Phones: I want to be able to take pictures and upload to my facebook from my phone... I do it all the time ... will that be data charge? I have unlimited so have no idea. Also what about texting? I would like to be able to be available via text for my kids who will be home (ages 12, 15, 19 once we leave)
3. I see it is advised to bring both cash and credit card. Would it be wise to have a "new" credit card, to be used only for the trip, so in the event the number is stolen it isn't our main card?

I am so excited! I have wanted to do this for a very long time.
Are there any recommendations for "Things to Do" at each of our Ports of Call? I want to try snorkeling for sure, but so far that is the only thing I have found. We are all age 43 and up so we aren't looking for water parks and kid friendly... in fact I would kind of like to stay AWAY from the kid friendly things. Peace and quiet, warm sun beams and drinks involving colorful umbrellas are my goals. !!

Priscilla
  #46 (permalink)  
Old February 1st, 2013, 01:08 PM
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Hi Pricilla,and welome to Cruisemates.

I have sailed the Epic twice ,and enjoyed the ship! Just bring your passports...When they open up the availability for the dining and entertaiunment options, make sure to get the times and days, you want..you can also check onboard, to see if cancellations come in, & you might get what you wanted, that way.

Snorkeling is best in St John, when you get to St. Thomas, a ferry ride away..if you go in the am, you can then shop downtown later,and reap the rewards

In St. Maarten,you can go to Orient beach[some nudity] Dawn Beach is nicer imho.


Someone else will have to chime in with phone info, it can become a nightmare.Internet is slow onboard and is $$. Any more ??'s ask away
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old February 11th, 2013, 06:05 AM
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I was wondering if I could get some help from you guys? Me(23), my brother(23) and my best friend(21), decided we wanted to go on a Carnival Cruise this year instead of a trip to Cancun or somewhere else. But we do not know anything about where to start.. We are all really fun and outgoing and we love to do anything extreme or entertaining and well we all drink haha. But i think what our dilemma is, is which one would suit us the best? were wanting to be able to be around people our age who are going to be as energetic and fun and don't mind drinking some. We were wanting to go to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, or Bermuda. We really arent that worried about the money it will cost because weve all saved up to go on this trip but we want to have the best time and for it to be worth it. So if anyone could help us out that would be awesome.
  #48 (permalink)  
Old February 11th, 2013, 07:41 AM
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Welcome Mcdowell,
You can start by visiting the Carnival web-site and look at the different ships and itinaries and find the one that interests you most... Once you have it narrowed down, using a good travel agent would be the way to go.. When do you want to cruise, soon?

A good idea is to also read through the section here on Cruisemates for first time cruisers.... Do you have an idea of where you want to leave from?
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Old February 11th, 2013, 09:02 AM
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Welcome to Cruisemates, Mcdowell.
My first piece of advice is to call a cruise travel agency, pronto, not dealing
directly with the cruise line to book. This way you will get all the info and guidance, to get you on best Carnival ship for you & your pals.

Also, make sure you are factoring in all the things that will not be included in the initial cruise cost. I hope you all get hooked! Let us know how you make out.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old February 11th, 2013, 05:31 PM
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thanks guys i appreciate it and i will defiantely find an agent near me soon and we live in oklahoma so leaving from galveston would be nice but beggers cant be choosers we might have to leave from FL.
  #51 (permalink)  
Old February 21st, 2013, 06:12 PM
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I'm not sure I understand the pricing. Is it per person or per stateroom? We are going on our first cruise sometime in 2014 (dates is still TBD) and will have our two kids with us. They will be ages 11 & 14 when we go. This is for a small family reunion. I am not on the planning committee but I expect we will wind up doing a Carribean cruise, probably in the summer.

Our oldest is already nearly as tall as me. Our youngest is likely to be just shy of 5 feet tall next year. All 4 of us in the same room seems unworkable but doesn't 2 staterooms really increase the price per person? We live in the Midwest, so airfare is an unavoidable expense.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 06:51 PM
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Hi Im,
The prices are per person, the 3rd and 4th person in the same cabin sometimes is a bit cheaper than the first two. If you get two cabins, it would be full price for all 4, plus the tips....It is possible you have enough family members to qualify for group prices, something a good travel agent can help you with. Are you looking at a specific cruiseline?
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Old February 21st, 2013, 08:03 PM
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Hi Im,
The prices are per person, the 3rd and 4th person in the same cabin sometimes is a bit cheaper than the first two. If you get two cabins, it would be full price for all 4, plus the tips....It is possible you have enough family members to qualify for group prices, something a good travel agent can help you with. Are you looking at a specific cruiseline?
I don't think any cruise line has been chosen yet but RC seems to be the new favorite contender. (Several family members seem to have recently lost their sparkle for Carnival.) We're likely looking at either Texas or Florida as a port of departure. I don't know how large a group must be for a group discount but we could be as few as 10 or as many as 20, depending on who is able to go.
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Old March 1st, 2013, 03:02 PM
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Going on my first cruise in September on Carnival Freedom to Key West, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. Doing a lot of research so I am well prepared and informed prior to departure. Unsure about whether I need a passport or not. I heard there was a lesser type passport that covered travel by land and boat that is less costly and takes less time to acquire, but not sure where I'd get it at? Additionally, when selecting a room (we want a balcony), can we have input on the room selection? I am traveling with a person with some mobility issues (not major) but it would be better to have a room more centrally located to reduce the amount of walking she'd have to do. Not sure of the ship layout to know whether one area of the boat is better than another and whether we can request where they put us. I'm sure I'll have a ton more questions, but for now I'm going to read the forums and see what more I can learn. So glad I found the site!
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Old March 1st, 2013, 04:55 PM
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Welcome to Cruisemates and the world of cruising,
You actually have plenty of time to apply for a passport, most local post offices can take your application and even take a passportn pic for it...

Yes, I would read up all you can on the ports. When you book your cruise, you can book a specific cabin, so be sure to be aware of the layout of the ship and especially cabin location. Be sure to see what is above and below your cabin...
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 04:36 PM
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Thank you Donna for your reply. But is there a ship to shore type card one can get that is less expensive and takes less time? I thought I heard of something like this, and I think this could be the better option for me.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 11:15 PM
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Hello Dear

When I was on my cruise 3 weeks ago I discussed cruise message boards with a lot of people .I would say that 95% were not familiar with any boards .
  #58 (permalink)  
Old May 30th, 2013, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by suzybeezy View Post
Going on my first cruise in September on Carnival Freedom to Key West, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. Doing a lot of research so I am well prepared and informed prior to departure. Unsure about whether I need a passport or not. I heard there was a lesser type passport that covered travel by land and boat that is less costly and takes less time to acquire, but not sure where I'd get it at? Additionally, when selecting a room (we want a balcony), can we have input on the room selection? I am traveling with a person with some mobility issues (not major) but it would be better to have a room more centrally located to reduce the amount of walking she'd have to do. Not sure of the ship layout to know whether one area of the boat is better than another and whether we can request where they put us. I'm sure I'll have a ton more questions, but for now I'm going to read the forums and see what more I can learn. So glad I found the site!
First and foremost, this is one of the main reasons why it's always a good idea to book with a travel agent, especially one that is a cruise specialist and especially if you're a first-time cruiser. They can help you with all these questions and insure you get the best cabin based on your needs. Plus, they don't charge anything for their services and charge the same thing as the cruise line or these online sites. But they're there to help you to make sure you get the most enjoyment out of your cruise.

Okay, the first thing about passports; if you're doing a "closed loop cruise", you do not need a passport. This is defined as a cruise that leaves from and returns to the same U.S. port and visits Mexico, the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Canada, etc. If you don't have a passport, then you need an original birth certificate (not a copy) along with a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license.

However, with that said, I always recommend getting a passport just in case you get stuck in a foreign port and have to fly home. The Passport Card, that you're talking about will not help you in that situation and for cruisers, it really is a waste of money.

As for the cabin, you absolutely have an input as to where it is and the type of cabin you get. If you have a mobility issue, you can also get a handicapped accessible cabin.

Again, your agent will be able to provide all this information, answer all of your questions, make sure you get a good cabin, and provide information about the ports you'll be visiting.

We have a section in Cruise Mates where you can pose questions to travel agents. Give it a try; http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/a/

And let us know if you have any further questions.

Pete
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Old July 21st, 2013, 04:58 AM
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Iíll definitely be updating the forum with any news on the outcome.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 09:15 AM
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Hy, thanks for updating such information about the cruise trip. Definitely, you cannot deny the fun and enjoyment of that trip...
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