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Cruise help

Postby TreyB » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:49 pm

We have never done a cruise and wanted to get my wife one for her VDay gift this year. But I want to do one on a cheap budget. just a long weekend, maybe a 4 night cruise. Any help would be appreciated. Maybe from Miami or Orlando to the Bahamas... What do I need to know as far as hidden costs?

Thanks
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Re: Cruise help

Postby Wildcat » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:51 pm

Not sure but you might need a passport if you don't have them yet. Unless your going to US territory down there.
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Re: Cruise help

Postby TreyB » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:55 pm

Wildcat wrote:Not sure but you might need a passport if you don't have them yet. Unless your going to US territory down there.



Should have said we have passports.

Heard they are Alcohol and coke fees or you can buy the unlimited pass.
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Re: Cruise help

Postby BamaProud » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:29 pm

We cruise often. The greatest thing in our opinion about cruising is that you can be as busy as you want for the duration of the trip, or just chill by the pool for several days.

You have the option to pay all tips(Cabin steward, Head Chef and your waiter) ahead, by including it in the cost of the cruise. Do that. There aren't many hidden costs. Excursions are extra, and can cost as much as you are willing to pay, but we enjoy staying on the boat in at least 1 port to enjoy a less crowded ship. Depending on where you are going I can probably recommend an excursion. Its a cashless ship, you will get a card to scan for any drinks, or anything you want to buy in the various shops. I think you can still use cash in the casino.

Here's the break down for Carnivals Drink Package:
Image

The Comedy shows are always great, both the family friendly and the adult ones. Carnival is the cheapest, and caters to a younger crowd. We've been on about 10 now all on Carnival. The only time I thought the crowd was too big or rowdy was once when there was a big Spring Break crowd on board. The food is great, don't miss the Seaday Brunch. The Breakfast filet mignon with eggs in one of the best steaks I have had. I look forward to it on every cruise.
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Re: Cruise help

Postby rem270 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:43 pm

I have only been on one cruise in 2012 and loved it. I'm hoping to go back again this year on one.
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Cruise help

Postby ImThere » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:48 pm

^^^ what he said.
Go longer than you think. A 3 day cruise is just for drunks we did not enjoy. We went on one and thought it was a fluke. It wasn’t every one on the ship was a local out for a party weekend

I recommend going out of Orlando. Leave a day early spend one day at Cocoa beach enjoy it and get in vacation mode. We love Cocoa beach.
Go on a 4 day(at least) one stop like half moon cay enjoy a awesome on the beach it’s owned by carnival and all drinks go on your key card(room key) make sure you get a clamshell (covered seats) sit by the way out people going back to the ship will load you up with free drinks on there way back to the ship. Lol
Go to Nassau I think everyone needs to see Atlantis at least once. But if you don’t want to see it go to the Holiday inn get a day pass for like $59 each you walk there and enjoy the sites, straw market and enjoy some time in the beach right behind the ships
There’s a lot to do and see or just hang out. Everything starts late on the ship. Get up early enjoy the sunrise, eat, first in the pool then people will start waking up, go back to your room and nap get up and get ready for the evening activities

We’ve been on at least 10 cruises. If you have any specific questions ask away
We cruise at least once a year. We’ve been on 3 cruises in a year.

Don’t overlook going out of New Orleans to Mexico. Honduras and Belieze are beautiful

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Re: Cruise help

Postby BamaProud » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:59 pm

I have been on some long ones including 2 over 10 days. Never ready to get off.
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Re: Cruise help

Postby TN Song Dog » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:00 pm

We did a royal Caribbean 3 night & 4 day out of Port Canaveral a couple of years ago. We had fun, and the food was great. Nightly entertainment was also enjoyable. It was nice, but i noticed that you don't get the newer and bigger ships on the short trips... next time we go, I want to be on the latest and greatest ship like on the tv commercials. We did the unlimited Coke/soda package, but noticed they were selling that on departure for half price.

Like others mentioned, the 3 night was a little short, and we were not ready to go home. Price was nice though.


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Re: Cruise help

Postby Wildcat » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:09 pm

The longest one I was on was 14 days around the Hawaii Islands plus 4 days in Honolulu. By far the best way to see Hawaii.

I know a couple friends that went on a 3 day cruise and they told me they would never again do that. Like others have said it's for the drunks. My friends do not drink except maybe a beer or two a week mostly mowing the yard in the summer. They told me most people were loaded and up the whole trip.
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Re: Cruise help

Postby biglefty20 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:10 pm

I’ve been on about 10 or more as well .. good advice

Vacations to go . Com is a good site for prices and the you can take listing number and use cruise compete . Com for travel agents basically bidding on you to book through them. Good way to get some on board credit or break in price

Ask if you have any questions


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Re: Cruise help

Postby Jhawk » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:39 pm

If you don't drink alot I wouldn't recommend the unlimited beverage card. It's something like 55 dollars a day and if one person in your room has one everyone in the room has to get one so it's more like 110 a day for 2 people. A mixed drink is between 8 to 12 dollars and a bucket of beer with 4 beers is 24 plus tip.so it takes quite a bit to get you money Worth. If you like lemonade and tea it's free all you can drink I would recommend a cup like a yeti or Ozark trail because the cups on the ship are very small. We've been on two one to half Moon cay and Nassau and one to Cozumel and grand Cayman I preferred the half moon cay trip myself it's a private island that carnival owns. Go to all the shows you can on the ship, haven't seen a bad one yet.

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Re: Cruise help

Postby Nimrod777 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:32 pm

Unless you're bent on driving or flying all the way to Florida to leave, you might look at what cruises are available out of NOLA or Mobile.

Cruising is our favorite vacation option. Recommend CruiseCritics.com for general info, and it doesn't hurt to get in touch with a travel agent to get some extra brains behind your plans. Doesn't cost you anything extra. I've got a guy if you want to check him out.
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Re: Cruise help

Postby ImThere » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:37 pm

I think the Mobile, Al is the worst port ever. That’s a hard no from the Richardson family


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Re: Cruise help

Postby BamaProud » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:58 pm

A couple more things, on Carnival. Check the port your leaving fron's excursions, usually they will have transportation to the port from the airport as an option. Something they will have "Faster to The Fun" that gives you all the benefits of a seasoned cruiser, like early boarding early access to your room (including baggage) first off the boat at ports and when you get back to the port you leave from, VIP help at the service desk, lot of things that can give you extra hours to have fun on the ship. Its priced by day, but typically less than 50 dollars for each room. Well worth it for cruisers that haven't built up their rewards points.

-You can bring your own cokes on board. 112pack per guest I think. You can bring water too, but you can also buy water through the cruise line pretty cheap and have it already in the room.

-You are allowed to carry 1 bottle of wine on board each in your carry-on.

...I'm sure I'll think of more.
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Re: Cruise help

Postby gatodoc » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:15 pm

I highly recommend at least a 5 day and preferably a seven day trip. It's not that much more expensive and the same pre and post trip aggravation. I've done 27 cruises so far and obviously love it.

I think your best bet $ wise is to drive to NOLA and take a 7 day carnival on the western route. Try to go in feb, April or May. Avoid March because of the "Spring Breakers" and summer for similar reasons plus it's awfully hot in the summer. My favorite lines are Royal Carribean and Princess. Celebrity was OK but not worth the extra $. Holland America was like being in an an assisted living home. I haven't done Seaborne or Windjammer yet but they're on my bucket list.

If I knew more about your lifestyle I could offer more specifics about cruise lines and excursions. If you're going cheap a lower inside cabin isn't bad and it's on the same ship as everyone else at a much cheaper price.

Cruise Critic website can give you some good advice and ideas. If you can go on relatively short notice (2-3 weeks) you can get some super deals. Airfare depending on your port of departure can run as much as the cruise and it's a PIA especially coming home and having to spend hrs at the airport getting an affordable flight back.

PM me if you get serious or pick a trip and I can make suggestions depending on your ports of call. Been there done that on all in the Carribean. I dive so I always have opportunities for fun I can't get around here....
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Re: Cruise help

Postby GaryLBumpus » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:13 am

I always get the Unlimited Drink package. Couple glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast. Walk out the dining deck get margarita #1 at 9am. Followed by 3-4 more before lunch.

Start a few rounds of top shelf bourbon after lunch. Few beers late afternoon to come down for dinner, then a few more mixed drinks. Unlimited internet package too. You can text messsage via i-message to each other and back home with internet ship wifi.
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Re: Cruise help

Postby BamaProud » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:23 am

I really like having a balcony if they are available. This certainly isn't the cheapest option, but its really nice to have an outdoor personal space to chill...and if your wife is like most, you will need a place to wait (often multiple times per day) while she is getting dressed.

Another point on longer cruises...it will take you a day or two to become familiar with the ship, especially if its your first cruise.
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Re: Cruise help

Postby Nimrod777 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:08 pm

ImThere wrote:I think the Mobile, Al is the worst port ever. That’s a hard no from the Richardson family


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I don't reckon we've ever cared about what the departure port was like, as long as it was easy to get on and off the ship. In fact, we stayed at a hotel that included parking for the week, and a convenient shuttle ride to and from the port.
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Re: Cruise help

Postby BamaProud » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:16 pm

The thing i like about the Mobile Port is cruising out of Mobile Bay, seeing the lighthouses and Civil War Forts then opening up to the vastness of the Gulf.

Leaving New Orleans, there isn't really much to see on a long trip down the Mississippi River. Its night well before you reach the Gulf.

Oh and on our last trip out of Mobile, back in November, they upgraded the boarding process, much more efficient than it was a few years ago. The Fantasy (out of Mobile) is currently in dry-dock. Its Carnivals oldest(and cheapest) ship, but the upgrades in Dry dock may bring it up to date a bit. But first time cruisers really don't have much to compare it to anyway.
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Re: Cruise help

Postby cardia10 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:21 pm

Here is a good site for lots of quick pricing. Make up a name and email and go to the 90 day ticker

https://www.vacationstogo.com/
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