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Old April 13th, 2012, 05:43 AM
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Default First time cruiser, no idea what I am doing!!!

Hi, I have never been on a cruise before. I am going to Florida for 3 weeks, starting off in Miami for 4 ngihts, then heading to Cape Canaveral, to go on Carnival Dream, for a weeks West Carribean Cruise, then back to Orlando for 10 days. When I was booking, the cruise part was kind of thrown into a good deal. I have always siad I wanted to try one and just said yes without doing any research! I have now realised that I dont know the first thing about cruising!! I literally dont know anything. I will have hundreds of daft questions. What is free on the cruise? I am presuming all food is but drink wont be. I am not fussed about alcohol, but can you buy a soft drinks deal? Will I have to wear fancy clothes? We have booked anytime dining, not sure what this means, can we just turn up when and where we want? If we go to all the differnt ports, do we need to do anything about visas? Will have the american esta, but what about going elsewhere? Will I need to have any jags for goign to these places? Is there much I should be doing at the moment? I like to have things all sorted before I go, so trips etc I want done. What if I book a trip and the weather is bad? These are just a few questions, but there are loads more. Thanks in advance, I was pointed to this site as a good place to put my mind at ease! I hope so.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 09:43 AM
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When is this "first" cruise? You should check into the visas with your travel agent and the cruiseline, see what is required.

As for food on the ship, meals in the dinning room and buffet are part of your cruise price, soda drinks are extra. You can get milk, coffee, tea, iced tea and lemonaide at no charge. There are specialty restaurants that are also extra. There will be most likely 2 formal evenings where you would dress up. The anytime dinning, yes, you go when you want to and you can also use the buffet for any meals you wish.

There are also tips that you will need to pay, has anyone explained that? Hopefully, you have some time to plan things, excursions, etc.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 11:08 AM
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Another thing to consider is buying travel insurance. Ask your ta about this important peace of mind, or you can go to insuremytrip.com to get side by side comparisons.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 11:08 AM
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Welcome to Cruisemates. Your off to a good start. Read the message boards AND the articles here on CM to begin. Links at top of page. Then ask questions!
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Old April 13th, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Thanks all. The cruise starts on Sat 21st July from Cape Canaveral, going to Conzumel, Belize, Honduras and Costa Maya. I was just going to play it safe and go with the cruise excursions and then its done and safer for our first time. So I will need to investigate visas and vaccinations myself. My travel agents said that my price included all my tips, will I need to pay a lot more? I thought if I could get a soda voucher then that would be my food and drink done. I have quite comprehensive travel insurance but I will check that over again to make sure everything is covered. I usually like toi get everything planned out to the letter so this is not like me, but I couldnt resist trying it with the price I got. Can you just walk into most eating places and try whatever, whenever? Do you sit with others? I will take a shirt and trousers to wear on a formal night, because my girlfriend will make me! Will shorts and flip flops be ok for the majority of the time though? Things like the days on the ship, do you need to book into classes, or just turn up? Can you do all that kind of planning when you get there or are you better to do it now?

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Old April 13th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Welcome to Cruisemates. If you book an excursion through Carnival and the weather is bad you should get a refund. Also, you'll be able to buy a soda package once you get onboard if you want it. Most of your planning can be done when you get on board, although you can buy your excursions ahead of time if you like. I would suggest that you see some Mayan ruins on one of your port stops. It sounds like you've prepaid for your tips, if not they will be added to your account while on the cruise. I hope you'll enjoy your cruise.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 03:01 PM
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Remember too, that all your bar tabs will include the gratuity.
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Old April 28th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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remember the most important thing....HAVE A GREAT TIME!!!
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Old April 29th, 2012, 01:29 PM
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One way to keep your alcohol costs down with Carnival is to take advantage of their Bon Voyage department and order a bottle of spirits to be delivered to your cabin on departure day. Last December I took advantage of this on Imagination. I paid $40+tax for a 1 liter bottle of Absolut Citron. We then were able to bring 1 12pk of soda per person on board in Miami. 4 of us so 4 12pks. We also took advantage of the 1 bottle of wine per person so we had 4 bottles for dinner. There are some threads on here somewhere that list what you can order from BV. It is important to note that you have to call them to order. It cannot be done via their online form.
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Old June 19th, 2012, 08:10 AM
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You should also be prepared for sea sick
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Old June 30th, 2012, 04:19 PM
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Great tips so far.
I also want to add to make sure you have all of your medications that will last for the entire trip.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiebeth View Post
hi, i have never been on a cruise before. I am going to florida for 3 weeks, starting off in miami for 4 ngihts, then heading to cape canaveral, to go on carnival dream, for a weeks west carribean cruise, then back to orlando for 10 days. When i was booking, the cruise part was kind of thrown into a good deal. I have always siad i wanted to try one and just said yes without doing any research! I have now realised that i dont know the first thing about cruising!! I literally dont know anything. I will have hundreds of daft questions. What is free on the cruise? I am presuming all food is but drink wont be. I am not fussed about alcohol, but can you buy a soft drinks deal? Will i have to wear fancy clothes? we have booked anytime dining, not sure what this means, can we just turn up when and where we want? If we go to all the differnt ports, do we need to do anything about visas? Will have the american esta, but what about going elsewhere? Will i need to have any jags for goign to these places? Is there much i should be doing at the moment? I like to have things all sorted before i go, so trips etc i want done. What if i book a trip and the weather is bad? These are just a few questions, but there are loads more. Thanks in advance, i was pointed to this site as a good place to put my mind at ease! I hope so.
hello,
i just saw your post and had to reply. Relax! Your in for such a fantastic time. The disney cruise is one you will never forget and for your first ever cruise??? Oh my your going to be spoiled. We took our son and family on the dream a year ago april.........my son is a professional pilot........was not that "impressed" to cruise and had never. Well let me tell you this..........for 4 days in the carribbean on that ship he was a 10 yr. Old and had a ball ad did the daughter in law and grandaughter.
just pack bathing suits, casual nice clothes for dinners and take your sun screen, shampoo and hair stuff and all you would on any vacation. The ship provides some toiletries but...........i saved them and have them here on a shelf at home. When you arrive at port canaveral and look out and see that ship.................the butterflies begin and once you enter the big mickey ears and ramp into the ship your inner child will awaken and your memories are to begin ! Go, relax and let us know all about it on return...oh take your cameras
happy sailing.
grandma in florida
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Old July 1st, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oreodog View Post
hello,
i just saw your post and had to reply. Relax! Your in for such a fantastic time. The disney cruise is one you will never forget and for your first ever cruise??? Oh my your going to be spoiled. We took our son and family on the dream a year ago april.........my son is a professional pilot........was not that "impressed" to cruise and had never. Well let me tell you this..........for 4 days in the carribbean on that ship he was a 10 yr. Old and had a ball ad did the daughter in law and grandaughter.
just pack bathing suits, casual nice clothes for dinners and take your sun screen, shampoo and hair stuff and all you would on any vacation. The ship provides some toiletries but...........i saved them and have them here on a shelf at home. When you arrive at port canaveral and look out and see that ship.................the butterflies begin and once you enter the big mickey ears and ramp into the ship your inner child will awaken and your memories are to begin ! Go, relax and let us know all about it on return...oh take your cameras
happy sailing.
grandma in florida
p.s. Don't get all concerned about weather disney cruise line will not take you into any bad weather. They are very protective. A passport is needed. If it is the 4 day cruise you go to nassau only and disney's private islands castaway cay you do not need a passport for.
Alcohol is not included.for us that was not an issue. Soda is free and all food included and ice cream and pizza and etc. Etc. Don't forget......go on the aquduck......i am age 69 and went on. What a blast.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 03:38 PM
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Hi Cookie:
I see you have gotten some very good advice from the experienced cruisers here. Relax and enjoy. I think you will have a great time. It is always good to have your passport, but once on board the ship just lock it up in the safe. You will not need the passport until returning back to the Cape. You will need a picture ID, like your drivers license along with your Sign and Sail Card to re-board the ship. Soft Drinks are not free.
Have fun!
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Old July 8th, 2012, 03:17 AM
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What's the best way to combat or prevent seasickness. I am not generally motion sick, but have never been on a cruise. Do the bracelets work?
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Old July 8th, 2012, 07:49 AM
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I always see a lot of cruisers using the patch behind the ear. Bonnine also works, you can get that at your local drug store, ginger also works well.
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Old September 11th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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FOOD: Buffets and Main Dining Rooms are free.

DRINKS: Alcohol and Soda is NOT free. You can buy a soda package, and Carnival recently instated an alcohol package as well. You can get great deals on bottles of alcohol in the Duty Free shop but beware, they won't give them to you until the cruise is over!

GRATUITIES: If you paid them in full with your cruise, you're all set!

ANYTIME DINING: Just show up and eat! You may have a slightly longer wait in the Main Dining Rooms but not much and it is always a good idea to make reservations for Specialty Restaurants.

SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS: They will usually have an additional fee.

VISAS: Assuming you are US citizen, you DO NOT need a visa for any of the Caribbean itineraries. You need a passport OR a Birth Certificate AND picture ID.

VACCINATIONS: I wouldn't worry too much about that unless you plan on trekking through the jungles.

EXCURSIONS: You can definitely go on your own if you are concerned about price, or maybe book the one you want most ahead of time. I would also recommend Mayan Ruins!

DRESS: There is usually one formal night but don't worry, not everybody dresses up and usually only a select few REALLY dress up. This is more true of Carnival than other cruise lines.

WEATHER: If the weather is REALLY bad (like hurricane bad) they will change the itinerary or cancel the cruise and give you a "future cruise credit" to be used within one year.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: If you have your own, great. But I would definitely ask what it covers. Cruise lines offer their own insurance that is usually the most comprehensive and even that requires you to read the fine print!

SEA SICKNESS: I don't think it is as common as people think. Staying on the lower decks apparently makes it better but there isn't a lot you can do about that. Bring your own medication or you can buy it on the ship.

Hope this helps!

Best,

Evan

Last edited by Trip; September 11th, 2012 at 04:30 PM. Reason: to remoive commercial link
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Old September 15th, 2012, 05:06 AM
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Reading about your experiences, I remembered my first cruise. I was completely lost and did not know how to plan it or what to do. It was my trip to the Bahamas. I had a lot fun there. Thanks for making me remember my most fun memories.

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Last edited by Donna; September 15th, 2012 at 06:35 AM. Reason: remove hyper link
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