Hi! I'm 28, turning 29, married no kids. My husband and I will be sailing on Nov. 27 with another couple (also no kids, mid 30's) on the Star Princess, Western Carribean. It's our first cruise, and I am a little nervous and very excited! A few questions to get me started if anyone can help.
1. How do the drinks work? Is soda free? Is seltzer free? How much is beer?? I heard about buying a bucket of beer? What's this? Also, is there a Soda Card? Wine card? Can we get one soda card for the 4 of us?
2. If we reserve a seat at Sabitini's restaurant, there's a $20 cover per person. Can we eat whatever we want or is there a limit? I'm not a big eater but our friend is, and we're exctied to try out the food.
3. Is the food really all that good at the speciality restaurants? we're from NYC so we're trying not to come in to this with too high of expectations.
4. My hubby and I are taking the Scuba certification classes. Any suggestions??
5. Best entertainment for two couples in their 20's, 30's? Are we going to be on the right ship/cruise line??? None of us are very fond of children believe it or not, so are we going to be bombarded with little tikes??
I have sailed on the Star twice. The soda cards are $25.00 each. Drinks are expensive but they have a drink for the day with a cheaper price. Never ate at Sabitini's I just don't see why pay for something when you have already paid for it. I think the food is really good on the Star the Chef is probably the best one on the line.
the soda card is $25.00 per person, unlimited fountain soda.
The only water that is free is tap water, which is pretty good. The water is purified on board, its not very cold, we keep a bottle of tap water in the stateroom fridge.
The price for an alcoholic drink is about the same as what you would pay at home at a good restaurant or bar. There are drink of the day specials, posted in your Princess Patter. There are buckets of beer available at the bar by the pool.
Haven't eaten at Sabatini's can't comment.
1) Your free drinks will include coffee, tea (hot and iced, several flavors of hot), juice, and milk. The soda card is supposedly per person, but on a 1-week cruise you'd have to drink about 3 sodas per day to make it worth the money. Their "bucket of beers" is something like 5 beers (Corona, I think) for the price of 4. All 5 bottles are shoved in a little bucket and covered with ice.
4) You'll have a great time on the scuba certification. As I remember, you get a CD and/or book in advance and study at home. When you board the ship, you start doing your pool work on the ship. You'll do 4 certification dives during the week, probably two in Cozumel and two in Grand Cayman, and have your certification when the cruise is finished. I would suggest buying your mask, fins, and snorkel in advance...especially the snorkel, which probably isn't sterilized between different users.
My son and I got our certification in March on a Dawn Princess cruise, but we didn't use their program...we did our class and pool work at home (Kansas City), then scheduled our cert dives in Cozumel and Grand Cayman. All 4 dives were "shore dives". In Cozumel, the bottom features were not particularly exciting but we did see some eels and a puffer fish. The shore dives in Grand Cayman were awesome due to the large rocks and caves. There, we saw a sea turtle and barracuda.
Hi Dana! Thank you SOOOO much for your help. Your explanation of the drinks/soda card was very helpful. Iced Tea sounds good to me, and I don't drink a lot of soda, so it likely isn't worth it, unless I could buy the soda card and get unlimited sodas for the 4 of us, which it doesn't sound like it.
I'm very excited about the Scuba diving cert. I just recieved my DVD and booklets today! My hubby and I are doing it together.
The cruise lines are generally fairly forgiving if you want to bring your own sodas onboard. On our cruise, I brought a 6-pack of 16-oz Cokes, and my wife brought a 6-pack of 20-oz Pepsi, in our checked bags. There's an empty fridge in every room so we were able to keep them cold. Princess is a Coke-only company, so if you want Pepsis you'll _have_ to bring your own.
You'll love the scuba. I was certified and lived in Jamaica 35 years ago, and we went diving every weekend. Absolutely beautiful on the north coast. Got recertified because they changed the dive tables and equipment since then. Now I can dive on any cruise <g>.
Dunno if anyone told you, but Cruising Is Addictive. Says so right there on Page 1 of the excellent Berlitz book Cruising and Cruise Ships 2005. We took our first for our 20th anniversary in 2000 and I've managed to take 6 more since then.
I've been on a few HALs and a few Carnivals but definitely think Princess is the best.
Oh...to answer one of your other questions - there will be kids onboard, but most of the time they'll be in the kids center or in the main pool. There's at least one adults-only pool too. So hopefully they won't give you too much grief.
Lisa- regarding the soda - you will get a sticker placed on your sign and sail card - it is good for the entire cruise. It is not a one-at-a-time purchase, the bartenders don't mind if one person orders a couple of sodas at a time.
DH and son did the resort diving course in St. Maarten - loved it had a blast.
Thanks so much everyone for your help. That website is great! I am going to consider one soda ticket then for us, so maybe i can go and get a few sodas here and there for the 4 of us. Other than that i'm just very anxious to get cruising!!