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  #21  
Old August 16th, 2012, 11:51 PM
Geezers Geezers is offline
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Originally Posted by tomlinfamilycruise2012 View Post
Thank you all for your information! I have read the roll call pages and asked the questions I had over there. I have also posted some concerns that I have. My major concern is that my family tends to be more reserved than what appears to be the norm for Carnival. One person on the roll call said the cruise is a drinking event. I'm a little concerned about this because we do not drink and we would prefer to limit our daughters' exposure to drinking as much as possible. I want to ensure we will have plenty to do that will not go against our beliefs.
The best info I can give you is board the ship with a positive attitude and that is what type of cruise you will have. Don't waste your time sweating over all of the things that you have read that could go wrong. Will it all be perfect..... good chance no. Deal with those ON BOARD at the time they happen with Guest Services. Don't let them build up and stay on your mind the entire cruise.

Will there be drinking ? Sure. Let your daughters see the few out of control (if you can find them) and use that to reinforce your beliefs with your daughters. Visual experiences are some of the best forms of education.

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  #22  
Old August 17th, 2012, 07:04 AM
kingoftheicedragons kingoftheicedragons is offline
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Don't worry about it being "a drinking event." There will be some people drinking, and maybe even a couple obnoxious people--but I think I've noticed fewer on cruise ships than I do when we go out to a concert at the park or other community festival. And we tend to be a bit reserved as well--we will go to the clubs at night for the entertainment, whether it's karaoke or the piano bar, but we don't order anything. I might have one drink on a cruise.

Advice? Get there before it says in your documents. You can generally get on board the ship sometime between 11-12 or so and have lunch.

If you're new to cruising, I'd recommend to try to do the ship orientation as well. It's usually held mid-afternoon and takes about 30-60 minutes. They give you a brief tour of the promenade deck usually, showing you where everything there is. Yes, you can explore the ship on your own (which we always do when we first board before there are a lot of people around), but they will also give you some little tidbits as to what entertainment you should try to check out when you're on board.
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  #23  
Old August 17th, 2012, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefly333 View Post
there are 13? Fantasy class ships which all have the same lay out.. so if you ask a generic question .. it doesnt matter which particular ship it is. Carnival does a lot of the same thing... like all 5 day menus are the same.. doesnt matter which ship.

Like none of the Fantasy class ships provide hair dryers.. so you dont need to ask for each of the 13 ships.. the answer is the same. None have refrigerators, but if you ask they will provide a ice bucket in your cabin. I dont use ice in the cabin usually but if you have kids you might want it. Just ask.

Cabins are dropped in the same in ships.. all insides on every single ship are 185 s.f. .. (not counting 1As which are the odd lots as insides), Im talking regular insides.. this is the whole fleet.

All regular balconys are 185 s.f. generally inside the cabin.. so much is generic so the ship doesnt matter.

They are pretty much all the same in the same class, just different decorating.
This is not correct about the 185 s.f thing. It doesn't matter what the deck plan says. I have been in insides and balcony cabins. The inside on panarama deck on Liberty, is definetly much smaller than the balcony cabin. And I am talking the inside of the cabin. The same is true for the Destiny. Last year, I had a balcony, friends had an inside.. much smaller...
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  #24  
Old August 17th, 2012, 08:38 AM
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The room service menu will be in the papers when you first get to your cabin. Don't throw it away--use it all 5 days.

The drinks are all for sale, not free as a welcome gift!

Use lanyards to keep sign and sail cards from getting lost. I take a hole punch and as soon as I get my card punch a hole in the end that doesn't go into the lock and not through the magnetic strip. I hang it on my lanyard right away and it doeesn't get lost. My 12y/o son lost his 3 times in one day on one cruise! Got him a lanyard and solved the problem.

Please have rules for the kids about curfew and how often they must check in with you. Can't go into anyone else's cabin is a must.

I always had my kids call me by my name rather than shouting "Mom!" when getting my attention. Mom gets every lady turning around...

Don't feel like you have to do everything there is to do. Do what you want to do.
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  #25  
Old August 17th, 2012, 11:30 AM
tomlinfamilycruise2012 tomlinfamilycruise2012 is offline
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I never knew there was so much information to learn. I cannot stress how much I appreciate all the helpful tips and advice I am receiving. After the reassurances from the roll call, I believe we should be fine on the cruise. There appears to be alot of activities for our whole family.
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  #26  
Old August 17th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzn buckeye View Post
This is not correct about the 185 s.f thing. It doesn't matter what the deck plan says. I have been in insides and balcony cabins. The inside on panarama deck on Liberty, is definetly much smaller than the balcony cabin. And I am talking the inside of the cabin. The same is true for the Destiny. Last year, I had a balcony, friends had an inside.. much smaller...
I think it is because the balcony cabins are longer and the insides maybe more square.. how can carnival be wrong all these years and all the insides they say are 185 s.f. .. not really 185 s.f. ?

I admit I have not measured them.. but I think its how they arrange the furniture too.

I have been in both too, and sometimes getting by the bed in the balcony you have to squeeze by.. it would be interesting if you could measure .. but it gets tricky when you have to also measure the bathroom space and add it into the mix and how the bathroom lays in the cabin.
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  #27  
Old August 17th, 2012, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefly333 View Post
I think it is because the balcony cabins are longer and the insides maybe more square.. how can carnival be wrong all these years and all the insides they say are 185 s.f. .. not really 185 s.f. ?

I admit I have not measured them.. but I think its how they arrange the furniture too.

I have been in both too, and sometimes getting by the bed in the balcony you have to squeeze by.. it would be interesting if you could measure .. but it gets tricky when you have to also measure the bathroom space and add it into the mix and how the bathroom lays in the cabin.
And the length of the couch in the balcony cabin... all you have to do is look at the pictures, and you can definetly see the difference in size. I know, I was in them. Like I said, friends in an interior, us in a balcony... much different.
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  #28  
Old August 17th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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If you can do Trivia as a family team, its great- general trivia covers all generations, so younger members can help with modern pop culture (TV, movies, music), while parents and grandparents can help with "historical" questions.

There may be only one prize to share, but you can spread them around!
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  #29  
Old August 17th, 2012, 05:41 PM
lauraezzell lauraezzell is offline
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Please don't let the comment about the cruise being a drinking event worry you. This is just how one person views the cruise. To her, the sole purpose may be to drink. However, this is not the majority. I know this can be a scary time for you with it being your first cruise. As others have said, just relax and enjoy yourself! As a parent myself, I know that you want to make sure your family has a good time while maintaining your morals and values. This can be done on a cruise. I have seen people from all walks of life and all religions on the cruises I have been on. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves!
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  #30  
Old August 21st, 2012, 12:36 AM
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If I can offer one suggestion, I went on my first cruise at 12 and again at 16, make the kids go to the camp carnival, all of those activities were what made the cruise for me. The camp staff was so friendly and so fun and had so many activities. we were running all over that ship on scavenger hunts and I learned to make friendship braclets, which I still remember how to do this 12 years later. I actually cried when i left the ship when I was 12 cause I didnt want to leave. I kept in contact with those kids for years. Not too mention that they kept us out of my parents hair so they could go do adult things and not worry about us kids. My friends recently took their kids on a cruise and the kids did not want to attend the kids activities and the parents then had to try and keep them occupied the whole vacation and when they came home I asked their favorite part of the whole vacation and they said it was the airplane ride... I was so dissapointed for them. One little tip though your kids are not quite old enough yet but when i was 16 me and about 5 other 16 yr olds were able to leave the ship that was docked at a port and went and explored the shops at night before sale away of course we knew to board back to the ship on time, and now i know that was not the smartest choice for a group of 16 year olds. also invest in the pop card for the kids that is so nice and at 12 it made me feel so important and cool to go to the bar and get pop and shirley temples.
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  #31  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 01:04 AM
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I agree too with Firefly - who is a well traveled cruiser indeed. I would just suggest that while you are planning your cruise to just work around what YOU and family going with you really like to do or want to see. Is there anything particular in the area you are going to that you "just have to" do? This website if fantastic! I am a first time cruiser too and just sailed the one time. But when I found this site by the time we actually sailed I knew pretty much everything I needed to. There are answers to just about any question you can come up with, and a whole section devoted to just "first time cruisers" questions. I read this site regularly to see what is new and what peoples takes are on different ships a I am in the process of planning our 2nd cruise now. have a great time and remember you are on Vacation now so relax!!
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  #32  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 04:58 PM
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Yes, just keep reading this site and you'll find out so much that others won't know.

For dessert in the Main Dining Room (MDR) you can order a banana split any time - it's on the children's menu but adults can order it, too! I had some jealous people at my table when I did this one time. And it was a tip I learned on here.

When you get on board you can take your S & S card to the casino, it will not be operating yet, get an employee to punch a hole in your card and attach a free lanyard. Makes it easy to keep up with.

Carnival is not a party boat as in excess drinking. You might see one or two people who have had too much, but Security will escort them to their room, usually, and cut them off at the bars. The drinks are expensive, too! And don't have a lot of alcohol in them. A cruise is one of the few times I drink, but I go for the foofy frozen drinks like a Kiss on the Lips that it would be hard to get a buzz from! And I can't help but keep track in my mind of how much each one adds to my S & S balance!

There are so many places on the ship to go, you'll find somewhere that you like whatever you want to do. I think your daughters will really enjoy the cruise and making new friends. People are so relaxed and friendly on a cruise, you and your wife may find new friends, too. Just relax and keep an open mind, go with the flow and enjoy being on vacation! I doubt anyone will try to compromise your beliefs!!
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  #33  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:05 PM
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Try the family board for more information about Camp Carnival for that age group and tips for family cruising in general. Lots of knowledgeable seasoned cruisers over there with good tips concerning children.
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  #34  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:13 PM
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One of the things you'll want to do if you haven't already done so is go to Carnival's website and create a uuid and password. Then using your booking number add the cruise to your profile. Carnival's website also has lots of information and you can view and book shore excursions for your trip unless you plan on DIY shore excursions. They also have FAQ sections etc. where you can find additional info. in case you don't find the answers here. Anyway, welcome. I'm sure you'll have a great time.
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  #35  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by firefly333 View Post
Most children love camp carnival and some make lifelong friends they keep in contact with after the cruise. I would encourage them to go.

I met a single mom who had her son plastered to her side the whole cruise and thought .. her son missed out on doing kid things. She said, well he likes doing things with me.

Encourage them to do things on the ship with the other kids.
Fire, not all Kids like it...or want to not be a part of the Family Vacation.
I agree, sign them up and go to the first night thing
but it is not for everyone

On our Liberty cruise, we had 6 adults an 8 month old and 8 year old
Our 8 Year old Grandson, tried it, but his dad is more fun than what they were offering.
Some parents and kids actually like being together on a family vacation.
And believe me he didn't miss out on any kid stuff.
Give him a pool, and his silly dad, and that is all he needs.

Not to mention, having your kids with you,
makes them less likely to be getting into trouble
or trouble finding them...
OP, Be sure to remember there are all kinds on a ship...
Safety first, like a small town, both good and bad take a cruise.
If you wouldn't let your kids roam the streets, you shouldn't let them roam the ship.
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  #36  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomlinfamilycruise2012 View Post
Thank you all for your information! I have read the roll call pages and asked the questions I had over there. I have also posted some concerns that I have. My major concern is that my family tends to be more reserved than what appears to be the norm for Carnival. One person on the roll call said the cruise is a drinking event. I'm a little concerned about this because we do not drink and we would prefer to limit our daughters' exposure to drinking as much as possible. I want to ensure we will have plenty to do that will not go against our beliefs.
Unfortunately, I see the CCL "booze cruise" stigma still exists. It doesn't matter if it is Disney, The Queen Mary, or any other ship, drinking individuals will be there. That doesn't mean you are going to be shoulder to shoulder with drunks everywhere you turn.
Keep to your choices, and you will be just fine!
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