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I am planning a back to back cruise through my TA. I have never done a back to back but was looking at this option for my daughters graduation next year. My question is how difficult is it to plan this through my TA versus calling Carnival itself? 

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Not difficult at all.  We have done several and booked them all ourselves online.  If at all possible you should get the same cabin for both legs.  That way you don't have to pack and unpack at the end of the first leg.  But if you can't do this your cabin steward will assist you.

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17 minutes ago, Garth2 said:

Not difficult at all.  We have done several and booked them all ourselves online.  If at all possible you should get the same cabin for both legs.  That way you don't have to pack and unpack at the end of the first leg.  But if you can't do this your cabin steward will assist you.

 

In my book getting the same cabin is a requirement for a B2B, but others may not mind switching cabins. 

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I'm curious as heck about B2B cruises.  How did you go about starting to research them?  I would assume you look at the boats and decide if the B2B dates work for you?  And so on? Would love your research ideas. Thanks!

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we look for a ship doing 2 different itineraries. It's not hard, pick your dates and do some research. Carnival's site is not the easiest to navigate for this. try one of the cruise travel websites

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If you don't mind packing up, consider 2 consecutive cruises on 2 different ships or cruise lines.  The past 2 years we did this and just love it.

 

You book a cruise you really want to take.  Then look at all of the ships that sail just prior to or just after this cruise from the same port.  In San Juan we just packed our stuff at the conclusion of the first cruise and walked across the pier and boarded the 2nd cruise.

 

The reason I like to do this is I get to experience the newness of the 2nd cruise.  New ship.  New cruise director.  New restaurants, etc. 

 

We like to mix up cruise lines.  Last year we did a Carnival followed by a Royal Caribbean.  This year we did a Carnival followed by NCL.  It is fun to see the similarities and the differences. 

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After we decide what ship we want to go on we make sure that there are two different itineraries. Our next two B2B's are Bermuda / New England - Canada, and Eastern / Western Caribbean. It is also mandatory for us that we get the same cabin for each leg, in the category that we want to book. Since we book so far out it usually isn't a problem. :classic_cool:

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2 hours ago, coldweather said:

If you don't mind packing up, consider 2 consecutive cruises on 2 different ships or cruise lines.  The past 2 years we did this and just love it.

 

You book a cruise you really want to take.  Then look at all of the ships that sail just prior to or just after this cruise from the same port.  In San Juan we just packed our stuff at the conclusion of the first cruise and walked across the pier and boarded the 2nd cruise.

 

The reason I like to do this is I get to experience the newness of the 2nd cruise.  New ship.  New cruise director.  New restaurants, etc. 

 

We like to mix up cruise lines.  Last year we did a Carnival followed by a Royal Caribbean.  This year we did a Carnival followed by NCL.  It is fun to see the similarities and the differences. 

 

 

We would never do this. The worst past of a cruise is packing the night before and the very uncomfortable debarkation process, would definitely not want to do this twice

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4 hours ago, LuckyStar said:

I'm curious as heck about B2B cruises.  How did you go about starting to research them?  I would assume you look at the boats and decide if the B2B dates work for you?  And so on? Would love your research ideas. Thanks!

The main reason I am looking at a B2B is because I couldn't find a cruise that fit our timeframes and was going to Key West. All of the itineraries that fit the time frame we want to cruise was not going there except a 4 day cruise. So it makes sense to try a B2B at this point. 

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5 hours ago, Garth2 said:

Not difficult at all.  We have done several and booked them all ourselves online.  If at all possible you should get the same cabin for both legs.  That way you don't have to pack and unpack at the end of the first leg.  But if you can't do this your cabin steward will assist you.

Thanks for your reply. What is the process after the first cruise when you get back to port and are heading back out on the second cruise? Do you disembark the ship? As long as you have the same cabins then I take it you wont take anything off the ship if you have to disembark from the ship. 

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16 minutes ago, Cruisefanatic71 said:

Thanks for your reply. What is the process after the first cruise when you get back to port and are heading back out on the second cruise? Do you disembark the ship? As long as you have the same cabins then I take it you wont take anything off the ship if you have to disembark from the ship. 

They will leave a note in your cabin and tell you where to meet and at what time on debarkation day. They will then escort you off the ship to go through Customs and you then return to the ship. Typically, they'll have free Mimosas at the lobby bar and take a group photo of the B2B guests.

 

You will need to take your Sail and Sign card to be 'checked off' the ship and your Passport or other photo ID for Customs. You will get your new S&S cards when you reboard.

Edited by tandemcruzr
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The coolest part and a little weird is the time between clearing the ship and the new cruisers boarding. From 10-11 everything is closed, they have to reset all the POS systems. We sat up in the Serenity area and our favorite bartender found us about 11:10 and said give me your new S&S card and he memorized our folio number just like the first leg. The newbees who came aboard later were surprised the bartender new our names and what we drank 😄

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Taking it one step further doing first cruise out of New Orleans after hanging out two days getting on Norwegian Getaway for seven days, fly out next morning to Miami and get on Carnival Victory for a four day with friends from home, couldn’t find a second cruise from Miami and love New Orleans so got creative lol

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On 3/1/2019 at 2:38 PM, Cruisefanatic71 said:

I am planning a back to back cruise through my TA. I have never done a back to back but was looking at this option for my daughters graduation next year. My question is how difficult is it to plan this through my TA versus calling Carnival itself? 

It is easy to book on your own and even easier with a TA. Just look for consecutive dates and you are set. 

 

I book as early as possible so I can choose the same room for both legs. Even though I don't have a lot of stuff, packing and moving half way through is not on my list of desired activities. It's much more enjoyable to just sit around watching everyone else leave while you relax, luggage free. I don't even care if it is the same itinerary. My first and favorite back to back cruise was a southern caribbean out of San Juan. Try to find someone who doesn't want to visit those ports twice! You don't have to do the same things both weeks. Especially on a port intensive cruise, there is a comfort in knowing that if you are too tired to do a ship activity, you can do it the following week. 

 

I have thought of "side by side" cruises on a different ship or cruise line, but the worrier in me would stress out about weather delays. I know, travel insurance and all that jazz, but still not something I want to have on the back of my mind all week. 

 

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Yeah, if at all possible, get the same stateroom, that way you don't have to clear out and pack up to get to another room.... Of course, you would most likely have to book wayyyyyyy in advance so that you have a shot in getting the same room.. If you can't, then go for a room close to the one you are vacating.....  If you are doing a say caribbean cruise for example, get one cruise a "western" caribbean and the second cruise an "eastern" caribbean cruise... that way you get variety and not the oh been there done that.

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From everyone's experience, are the shows and menus generally the same for both legs of the trip? I'd like to do a back to back on the same ship some time but I'm hesitant because I think it would get a bit repetitive, even with a different itinerary 

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On 3/1/2019 at 7:13 PM, Cruisefanatic71 said:

The main reason I am looking at a B2B is because I couldn't find a cruise that fit our timeframes and was going to Key West. All of the itineraries that fit the time frame we want to cruise was not going there except a 4 day cruise. So it makes sense to try a B2B at this point. 

A B2B to Key West would be great because it's hard to fit in Key West for the short time you are docked.

 

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2 hours ago, hotsauce126 said:

From everyone's experience, are the shows and menus generally the same for both legs of the trip? I'd like to do a back to back on the same ship some time but I'm hesitant because I think it would get a bit repetitive, even with a different itinerary 

The shows and menus are the same.  We found this information helpful because you can plan around your activities better.  There were movies at the Dive In we missed because we wanted to see the shows in the theater.  So on the 2nd leg we were able to attend some of the other activities that we missed the first time around.

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5 hours ago, hotsauce126 said:

From everyone's experience, are the shows and menus generally the same for both legs of the trip? I'd like to do a back to back on the same ship some time but I'm hesitant because I think it would get a bit repetitive, even with a different itinerary 

 

 

Those 2 week vacations are awful. :classic_rolleyes: We go to the same resort for 2 weeks, never bored. 

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6 hours ago, hotsauce126 said:

From everyone's experience, are the shows and menus generally the same for both legs of the trip? I'd like to do a back to back on the same ship some time but I'm hesitant because I think it would get a bit repetitive, even with a different itinerary 

 

The Playlist shows are generally the same. But the other main theatre entertainers and Punchliner comedians are usually different.

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On 3/1/2019 at 7:27 PM, coevan said:

...The worst past of a cruise is packing the night before and the very uncomfortable debarkation process, would definitely not want to do this twice

+1

Another benefit of B2B in same cabin aside from not having to pack, you don't have to check out of the cabin at 8:30/8:45 on turnaround day. You can grab breakfast (if you want) and take it back to the cabin or just sleep in (that's me!) until it's time to go to the meeting spot usually around 10am.

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