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Clueless First Time Cruiser with probably dumb questions

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Hi Guys... So I know you get these posts every day. I tried to do as much research as I could but on some, I keep finding conflicting info. I do have a few questions and bear with me if they are dumb lol.

 

I am going on the Breeze and have connecting cabins. Our Cabin is on deck 11 which I am a little nervous about. It says mid ship but looks kind of forward. We are first time cruisers so have no idea if we get sea sick. I am definitely bringing all the meds just in case. Im hoping it isn't super noisy either .   We have four over 21-year-olds and 2 teens. Our itinerary ( 7 days)  has us stopping in four ports.  So here goes...

 

-The Cheers Package: I know you get a lot of questions on if it's worth it. This is another one of those. We are definitely drinkers. I read that you need 5 drinks to break even.  If we do a few beers, lots of bottled water, some soda, frozen rum drinks, and more beer.. it seems like it would work for us? But my concern is the port days. Although we don't have any excursions booked, I know we will get off the ship for a bit. I guess I don't want to be worrying about trying to make the Cheers Package worth it.  What do you guys think? Do you rest easier (if you buy the cheers package) and don't have to worry about it?   Can I get an alcoholic drink and water at the same time? Is it wrong to take the water back and put in the fridge for port days? 

 

-The Outlets: I am so confused about this. I keep reading different things. Can I bring a non-surge extra outlet plug-in? I know that there is a Cruise recommended one on Amazon? My husband has a CPAP  so we are going to bring an extension cord and keep our fingers crossed. I know it has to be non-surge protected.  Having a portable charger in my carryon isn't a problem correct?   I read that the outlet in the bathroom isn't super strong, but would it be ok for a dryer or curling iron?

 

-Sail Card Accounts:  I'm confused about this as well. Does every person need to be linked to a credit card?  Can different people be linked to different credit cards? Is it by room? For example, my daughter's boyfriend would have his own credit card. My son is also staying in that room. He( my son)  is young so I would want him linked on my credit card. Do the Laundry and arcade use this card or take change/dollars?

 

-Gratuities:  We prepaid them. So I should be good for most things on board? If I get extra special service, I know I can tip more. But I have read some people still give their stewards a couple of bucks? Does the steward get tips from the prepaid gratuities?  Is Room Service part of the prepaid gratuities and is it not included in cruise price anymore?

 

-Food Allergies: My son has food allergies. It is noted as "other" on our reservation. Should I email special needs at Carnival? Wait until I get on the ship to ask? Do they have lists of their restaurants that show if it's dairy free, gluten free, etc?  Can I bring snacks in my luggage?

 

-Dinner:  How Elegant is elegant? Could I wear a nice pair of capris with a top? Could men wear dockers and a polo shirt? Can my son wear cargos and a shirt? Getting him to dress up would be getting him out of his b-ball shorts and t-shirts lol.

 

-Excursions: We are going to Grand Turk, Amber Cove, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico.  We are not set if we want excursions ro not. They are pricey so we may do just one.  I know in Grand Turk there are the free chairs to the left of the pier and Margaritaville. If we head to the right, is that where Jacks Shack is?   Can we get food, drinks, and chairs(rent)  there?  I read it was rocky but just at the beginning? That would be a good place to snorkel?  Amber Cove is where my daughter wants to swim with the dolphins. Has anyone done this? St. Thomas, I am not sure what to really do? We aren't divers or thrill seekers at all. Puerto Rico we are planning to just walk around which is what I imagine most people do.  Can we use good ole cash to pay for drinks, food, souvenirs at all these ports?

 

 

Thank you so much and I am sorry for so many questions!!

 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Sersee said:

 

-The Cheers Package: If you drink alcohol and sodas, yes it's worth it. There is a spreadsheet attached below (please check package prices and make sure to update cruise length and port v. sea days). Even on port days if you're back on board around 3, you could have a fruity drink, maybe a soda, two glasses of wine with dinner and an after dinner drink and you're even....

 

-The Outlets: Non surge protected is okay. I would keep it in it's original packaging stating this if they have questions. The outlet in the bathroom is only for shavers. I dry/curl my hair sitting or standing by the desk in the cabin. There will be a hair dryer in the room.

 

-Sail Card Accounts:  These are set up by person and you can sort it out at guest services. You can use a Credit Card or Cash to set them up.

 

-Gratuities: You are not expected to tip on top of the pre-paid. However, you certainly are able. I always tip the room service person. If my steward has done what I feel is "more" then I'll hand him some cash at then end of the trip.

 

-Dinner:  Hot topic. I dress for dinner each night, so I'll leave this to others.

 

Hey there, my responses are above in red 🙂

1505515654_CarnivalBeveragePackageEvaluator.xls

Edited by JennyB1977

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Cheers sounds like a good deal for you and don't worry about port days, you are still on the ship at night and some days are sea days so you make up for the port days imho.  

 

Room service is not part of prepaid tips, so bring some $1s to tip them.  

 

I think you will be fine for elegant night, not sure about the cargos for your son.  My husband always brings dockers for elegant.

 

The outlet in the bathroom is not for your curling iron or blow dryer.  You will have to use the one on the vanity. 

 

Shore excursions are different for everyone, you have to decide what you want to do.  San Juan is a very walkable port and there are many things to see including forts and you can also use the hop on hop off bus.

 

I can't really help you with your other questions.

 

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28 minutes ago, Sersee said:

Hi Guys... So I know you get these posts every day. I tried to do as much research as I could but on some, I keep finding conflicting info. I do have a few questions and bear with me if they are dumb lol.

 

I am going on the Breeze and have connecting cabins. Our Cabin is on deck 11 which I am a little nervous about. It says mid ship but looks kind of forward. We are first time cruisers so have no idea if we get sea sick. I am definitely bringing all the meds just in case. Im hoping it isn't super noisy either .   We have four over 21-year-olds and 2 teens. Our itinerary ( 7 days)  has us stopping in four ports.  So here goes...

 

-The Cheers Package: I know you get a lot of questions on if it's worth it. This is another one of those. We are definitely drinkers. I read that you need 5 drinks to break even.  If we do a few beers, lots of bottled water, some soda, frozen rum drinks, and more beer.. it seems like it would work for us? But my concern is the port days. Although we don't have any excursions booked, I know we will get off the ship for a bit. I guess I don't want to be worrying about trying to make the Cheers Package worth it.  What do you guys think? Do you rest easier (if you buy the cheers package) and don't have to worry about it?   Can I get an alcoholic drink and water at the same time? Is it wrong to take the water back and put in the fridge for port days?   One of the lesser thought of benefits of the cheers package is that you don't have to concern yourself about budgeting your drinks.  One thing to keep in mind is that everyone over 21 in the cabin MUST purchase the drink package.

 

-The Outlets: I am so confused about this. I keep reading different things. Can I bring a non-surge extra outlet plug-in? I know that there is a Cruise recommended one on Amazon? My husband has a CPAP  so we are going to bring an extension cord and keep our fingers crossed. I know it has to be non-surge protected.  Having a portable charger in my carryon isn't a problem correct?   I read that the outlet in the bathroom isn't super strong, but would it be ok for a dryer or curling iron?  As long as it's not surge protected, you are fine.  my cousin lost his house due to a fire from a surge protector so yes, fires do occur from surge protectors.

 

-Sail Card Accounts:  I'm confused about this as well. Does every person need to be linked to a credit card?  Can different people be linked to different credit cards? Is it by room? For example, my daughter's boyfriend would have his own credit card. My son is also staying in that room. He( my son)  is young so I would want him linked on my credit card. Do the Laundry and arcade use this card or take change/dollars?  When you check in at the terminal, you can charge however you want.  Each sail card is linked to a separate account which can have a credit card, cash or gift certificate linked to it.  Totally up to you.

 

-Gratuities:  We prepaid them. So I should be good for most things on board? If I get extra special service, I know I can tip more. But I have read some people still give their stewards a couple of bucks? Does the steward get tips from the prepaid gratuities?  Is Room Service part of the prepaid gratuities and is it not included in cruise price anymore?  I seem to be in the vocal minority, but I'm sure the majority of cruisers.  The pre-paid tips are more than sufficient for the cruise.  We do NOT generally tip the waiters, room stewards, etc anything extra.  The daily service charge covers the room stewards, your lunch and dinner servers, etc.  Again, we do not tip any extra and always receive excellent service.

 

-Food Allergies: My son has food allergies. It is noted as "other" on our reservation. Should I email special needs at Carnival? Wait until I get on the ship to ask? Do they have lists of their restaurants that show if it's dairy free, gluten free, etc?  Can I bring snacks in my luggage?   I would contact the special needs department at Carnival ahead of time to at least alert them of your son's situation.  They will work with you on a daily basis to get food your son can eat and enjoy.

 

-Dinner:  How Elegant is elegant? Could I wear a nice pair of capris with a top? Could men wear dockers and a polo shirt? Can my son wear cargos and a shirt? Getting him to dress up would be getting him out of his b-ball shorts and t-shirts lol.   What you plan to wear is fine for elegant night.  Some people will come dressed in tuxes, most will not.  I've even seen jeans on formal night.

 

-Excursions: We are going to Grand Turk, Amber Cove, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico.  We are not set if we want excursions ro not. They are pricey so we may do just one.  I know in Grand Turk there are the free chairs to the left of the pier and Margaritaville. If we head to the right, is that where Jacks Shack is?   Can we get food, drinks, and chairs(rent)  there?  I read it was rocky but just at the beginning? That would be a good place to snorkel?  Amber Cove is where my daughter wants to swim with the dolphins. Has anyone done this? St. Thomas, I am not sure what to really do? We aren't divers or thrill seekers at all. Puerto Rico we are planning to just walk around which is what I imagine most people do.  Can we use good ole cash to pay for drinks, food, souvenirs at all these ports?   Been to Grand Turk and didn't really like it.  Margaritaville pool was disgustingly dirty and the beach had trash throughout it.  Hopefully it's been cleaned because it could be a beautiful place.  There are quite a few rocks on the ocean floor so be careful there.   If you can swing it (financially and time-wise) I would highly recommend the tour to St John Trunk Bay.  The snorkling there is pretty good and Trunk Bay is amazing.  Widely known as a top 10 world wide beach.  In Puerto Rico, my daughter took a tour of the rainforest and loved it.  My son went to the fort in town.  He loved that too.

 

 

Thank you so much and I am sorry for so many questions!!

 

 

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You said you weren't sure about St Thomas, I highly highly recommend swimming with the sea lions.  It's expensive, but you get a LOT of water time, more than any dolphin excursion I've seen.  And the picture prices weren't awful, and you get a ton of pictures, both candid and posed.  The sea lion girls (their name for themselves, not mine) seem to really love their job and love the sea lions- and when one sea lion has had enough, they will switch him out in the middle of the excursion.   We only had 5 people in our excursion group so it was really a great experience- and I didn't even want to do this excursion in the first place. 

 

Cheers- it sounds like you'll break even, so for you I'd suggest it.  Even on port days, you're not going to be off the ship all day long. And if you are a drink short on port days of breaking even, you can easily make up for it on sea days.  Yes you can take the water to save for later. The only thing is if one 21 in a room buys it, everyone will need to- so hopefully it is a good deal for everyone.  

 

Dinner- dress code is a touchy subject on this board mainly because Carnival has a dress code they sporadically (rarely?) enforce.  Take a look at the dress code, and assume whatever you wear, there will be people dressed nicer than you and people dressed more casually than you.  I think you said it's your first cruise- there are a lot of photo backdrops set up so its a nice way to get a family picture together if that appeals.  And you're not required to stay dressed up (whatever amount of dressing up you do) after dinner.  I think what you have listed meets the dress code FWIW

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you so much for your responses.  Thank JennyB for that calculator. That is very helpful to try and figure it out. 

 

I was confused with the sail cards because of online check-in. It's asking me to put in a credit card. I stopped at that point and skipped it. But I went back in after reading your responses, I went further and see that I can add who is allowed on my card. So thank you!   

 

I also had no idea I couldn't dry my hair in the bathroom. Haha that should be interesting with 3 girls. But thats why we have connecting rooms. 

 

For the  Elegant nights.. I don't wear dresses at all so was worried about it. But if I wear a pair of  nicer capris with a top and nicer heeled sandals, hopefully I will be ok. I have seen so  many different answers on this. I will just bring a pair of dockers for my son and a polo. I just didn't want to be completely out of place if people are ball/prom/homecoming/etc. fancy. 

 

So if I have the drink packages( soda one for the kids), there shouldn't be to much else on ship that I will spend money on correct besides casino, spa and excursions?

 

PR will be great just walking around since I hear Old San Juan is beautiful.  Wow about Grand Turk. I  definitely want to get away from that crowded Margaritaville area.  I will look into Trunk Bay !!

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37 minutes ago, Sersee said:

Hi Guys... So I know you get these posts every day. I tried to do as much research as I could but on some, I keep finding conflicting info. I do have a few questions and bear with me if they are dumb lol.

 

I am going on the Breeze and have connecting cabins. Our Cabin is on deck 11 which I am a little nervous about. It says mid ship but looks kind of forward. We are first time cruisers so have no idea if we get sea sick. I am definitely bringing all the meds just in case. Im hoping it isn't super noisy either .   We have four over 21-year-olds and 2 teens. Our itinerary ( 7 days)  has us stopping in four ports.  So here goes...

 

-The Cheers Package: I know you get a lot of questions on if it's worth it. This is another one of those. We are definitely drinkers. I read that you need 5 drinks to break even.  If we do a few beers, lots of bottled water, some soda, frozen rum drinks, and more beer.. it seems like it would work for us? But my concern is the port days. Although we don't have any excursions booked, I know we will get off the ship for a bit. I guess I don't want to be worrying about trying to make the Cheers Package worth it.  What do you guys think? Do you rest easier (if you buy the cheers package) and don't have to worry about it?   Can I get an alcoholic drink and water at the same time? Is it wrong to take the water back and put in the fridge for port days? 

 

-The Outlets: I am so confused about this. I keep reading different things. Can I bring a non-surge extra outlet plug-in? I know that there is a Cruise recommended one on Amazon? My husband has a CPAP  so we are going to bring an extension cord and keep our fingers crossed. I know it has to be non-surge protected.  Having a portable charger in my carryon isn't a problem correct?   I read that the outlet in the bathroom isn't super strong, but would it be ok for a dryer or curling iron?

 

-Sail Card Accounts:  I'm confused about this as well. Does every person need to be linked to a credit card?  Can different people be linked to different credit cards? Is it by room? For example, my daughter's boyfriend would have his own credit card. My son is also staying in that room. He( my son)  is young so I would want him linked on my credit card. Do the Laundry and arcade use this card or take change/dollars?

 

-Gratuities:  We prepaid them. So I should be good for most things on board? If I get extra special service, I know I can tip more. But I have read some people still give their stewards a couple of bucks? Does the steward get tips from the prepaid gratuities?  Is Room Service part of the prepaid gratuities and is it not included in cruise price anymore?

 

-Food Allergies: My son has food allergies. It is noted as "other" on our reservation. Should I email special needs at Carnival? Wait until I get on the ship to ask? Do they have lists of their restaurants that show if it's dairy free, gluten free, etc?  Can I bring snacks in my luggage?

 

-Dinner:  How Elegant is elegant? Could I wear a nice pair of capris with a top? Could men wear dockers and a polo shirt? Can my son wear cargos and a shirt? Getting him to dress up would be getting him out of his b-ball shorts and t-shirts lol.

 

-Excursions: We are going to Grand Turk, Amber Cove, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico.  We are not set if we want excursions ro not. They are pricey so we may do just one.  I know in Grand Turk there are the free chairs to the left of the pier and Margaritaville. If we head to the right, is that where Jacks Shack is?   Can we get food, drinks, and chairs(rent)  there?  I read it was rocky but just at the beginning? That would be a good place to snorkel?  Amber Cove is where my daughter wants to swim with the dolphins. Has anyone done this? St. Thomas, I am not sure what to really do? We aren't divers or thrill seekers at all. Puerto Rico we are planning to just walk around which is what I imagine most people do.  Can we use good ole cash to pay for drinks, food, souvenirs at all these ports?

 

 

Thank you so much and I am sorry for so many questions!!

 

 

Cheers - Many people buy Cheers for the convenience. They don't worry about drinking enough to equal the cost of the package, but instead like the convenience of not having to pay as you go and wonder what the drink bill will be at the end. Whether or not you drink enough equal to the daily price of the package depends on the drink. Obviously it'll take fewer higher priced cocktails to reach the daily cost of Cheers. If you're drinking beer that cost ~$6, it'd take 8-9 of those. None of this factors in the 18% automatic gratuity. If you're big drinkers and you think you'll be drinking just about every day, and you can afford the package, I'd say go for it. Especially if you like the idea of not having to worry about a per-drink bill at the end of the cruise. Feel free to take your waters back to your cabin. Or you can buy a 12-pack of water for $4.50, either before your cruise from the online Fun Shops or when you get on board through room service.

 

Outlets - A lot of people recommend (non-surge protected) power strips, but we prefer taking a long extension cord (9-10 ft.). And we also take one of those 3-way adapters. This gives us plenty of outlets to suit our needs, the extension cord isn't as bulky as a power strip, and with the extension cord, we have much more room to move something around than with a power strip. I take a portable fan, so I can put it right next to the bed or my wife can stretch it into the bathroom to air it out after a hot shower. She can also use the extension cord to use her curling/straightening iron in the bathroom when she wants better lighting. As has been said, the ships that do have an outlet in the bathrooms is low voltage and usually only good for an electric razor, not blow dryers and such. The cabins do have blow dryers in one of the drawers of the desk (not in the bathroom), but they're not always the greatest. They're similar to many wall-mounted hotel blow dryers. The portable charger in your carry-on won't be a problem. I also recommend carrying any of these extension cords, power strips, whatever you might bring in your carry-on. Terminal security are employed by the port, not Carnival, and they occasionally aren't familiar with items Carnival allows or doesn't allow. If you have these things in your carry-on, and they question them, you can point out that they're allowed (especially if you print out the FAQ page from Carnival's website). Otherwise, if it's in your checked luggage and gets confiscated, you won't know until you get to your cabin and get the letter.

 

S&S account - When you reach the 90-day mark from your cruise, you'll be able to complete the online check-in process when you log in to your account. You'll set up your S&S payment methods at that point. Or, if you'd rather wait until you're on board, you would choose the "cash" option on your account. Everyone has the ability to set up their S&S to their own credit card, if that's the method y'all will be using. Then you'll link your son to your credit card. If you're managing everyone's booking on your Carnival account, you can do all of this. Otherwise, one person from each booking would have to do it from their own accounts. The arcade uses the S&S cards (swipe them on each game like a credit card). I don't know for sure, but I'm assuming the laundry rooms on the Breeze also use the S&S cards.

 

Gratuities - Technically, once you've pre-paid gratuities, you don't have to worry about it anymore if you don't want to tip extra. Gratuities on drinks is added automatically, either through Cheers or if you buy them individually. Room Service is not included in the pre-pad grats pool. I think the average is $1/plate when you order room service, but it's up to you.

 

Food allergies - I'd start by contacting the special needs dept. to have it noted on your booking. You can also go to the MDR on embarkation day, or ask your waiter that night, to confirm. I don't know if dietary restrictions are listed anywhere. Possibly on the menus. Yes, you can bring store-bought, pre-packaged/unopened snacks on board. You can also bring one bottle of wine per drinking-aged adult and up to 12 cans of soda per person.

 

MDR attire - Elegant nights aren't as formal as they used to be years ago. What you described would be fine. I don't think your son's cargos will be a problem, they just can't be shorts on elegant night. Nice pants and tops at a minimum for elegant night. Here's more info. on MDR attire: https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1093/~/what-to-wear

 

Ports - Grant Turk: Jack's Shack is to the left, farther up the beach (north) from Margaritaville. To the right of the pier, there will be a smaller area with some lounge chairs under palm trees. This area was always much less crowded when we've been there. We always snorkel on our own at Grand Turk. We go to the right (south). It it kind of rocky closest to short (big rocks you have to walk over) but it clears just a bit farther out. Last year, we walked to the southern point to snorkel. It's not far, you can still see the ship. Hardly anyone there, we don't like the crowded places. I've also heard that Governor's Beach, which is to the north (left) right by the big shipwreck you'll see when you pull into port, is a good place to find sea glass (pieces of glass that have been worn down smooth from waves). We want to have a look around there when we'll be there next March.

 

Amber Cove - We were there last summer. We took a taxi ($30 for 4 of us each way) to the cable car that goes to the top of Mt. Isabel. The cable car is $10/person. It's about 15-20 minutes from port. At the top, there's a smaller version of the Christ the Redeemer statute that's in Brazil. And there are walking paths that you can take around a large garden and forest area. We loved it. If you want to do anything here, besides stay at the port, you'll have to do an excursion or take a taxi. There are signs posted in the loading area with taxi prices for all of the most popular places to go. The port area is very nice. All the usual port stores, plus a huge pool with food & drinks. There's also one water slide (free) and a zip line that goes directly over the pool area (last year it was $20 for unlimited runs).

 

St. Thomas - We took a taxi to Sapphire Beach. Do some research, there are a few beaches people like to go to in St. Thomas, but all require a taxi ride.

 

San Juan - You can pretty much walk everywhere here, but they do have free trolleys that go around and stop at certain places, including near the port. Google San Juan trolley for more info. about those. We toured the two forts ($7/person gets you into both forts, just show your receipt at the next one). Grabbed the trolley outside of one, took it to the other, then walked back to port.

 

These are the ports we did last year. FYI St. Thomas and San Juan are U.S. territories, so most cell phone carriers offer service in those two places without any special plan. Just like you were back home. Yes, you can use cash at all these places. Some will accept credit cards, but not all. Don't forget to notify your credit card company you'll be traveling so they don't think it's being charged fraudulently.

 

If I repeated any previous answers, I'm sorry. I just started typing and didn't stop. LOL If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. There's always someone here happy to answer.

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2 minutes ago, purplephenom said:

You said you weren't sure about St Thomas, I highly highly recommend swimming with the sea lions.  It's expensive, but you get a LOT of water time, more than any dolphin excursion I've seen.  And the picture prices weren't awful, and you get a ton of pictures, both candid and posed.  The sea lion girls (their name for themselves, not mine) seem to really love their job and love the sea lions- and when one sea lion has had enough, they will switch him out in the middle of the excursion.   We only had 5 people in our excursion group so it was really a great experience- and I didn't even want to do this excursion in the first place. 

1

 

Oh I wanted to do this one. This was the only excursion out of everyone I saw that I wanted to do. I love sea lions. But it sold out 😞 

2 minutes ago, purplephenom said:

 

Cheers- it sounds like you'll break even, so for you I'd suggest it.  Even on port days, you're not going to be off the ship all day long. And if you are a drink short on port days of breaking even, you can easily make up for it on sea days.  Yes you can take the water to save for later. The only thing is if one 21 in a room buys it, everyone will need to- so hopefully it is a good deal for everyone.  

2

That's what we are trying to figure out. My daughter isn't a beer drinking and only drinks cocktails. When we all went to Jamaica, we always had a frozen rum drink in our hand. So I know she will want to drink those kinds of drinks. My daughter's boyfriend is definitey a drinker as well.  We wanted to try Alchemy as well. My daughter and I are dying to get either bellini's or mimosas in the morning just to do it lol.  I think it sounds like it would work for us. We were just iffy since it is expensive. 

2 minutes ago, purplephenom said:

 

Dinner- dress code is a touchy subject on this board mainly because Carnival has a dress code they sporadically (rarely?) enforce.  Take a look at the dress code, and assume whatever you wear, there will be people dressed nicer than you and people dressed more casually than you.  I think you said it's your first cruise- there are a lot of photo backdrops set up so its a nice way to get a family picture together if that appeals.  And you're not required to stay dressed up (whatever amount of dressing up you do) after dinner.  I think what you have listed meets the dress code FWIW

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh I didn't know it was a touchy subject! Thank you though, I appreciate the insight and that I will be up to dress code! I guess I could always skip it as well although I heard dinner is good on elegant nights

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8 minutes ago, Sersee said:

 

Oh I wanted to do this one. This was the only excursion out of everyone I saw that I wanted to do. I love sea lions. But it sold out 😞 

That's what we are trying to figure out. My daughter isn't a beer drinking and only drinks cocktails. When we all went to Jamaica, we always had a frozen rum drink in our hand. So I know she will want to drink those kinds of drinks. My daughter's boyfriend is definitey a drinker as well.  We wanted to try Alchemy as well. My daughter and I are dying to get either bellini's or mimosas in the morning just to do it lol.  I think it sounds like it would work for us. We were just iffy since it is expensive. 

Oh I didn't know it was a touchy subject! Thank you though, I appreciate the insight and that I will be up to dress code! I guess I could always skip it as well although I heard dinner is good on elegant nights

 

If you're trying Alchemy the break even point will probably be a little less because those drinks are more expensive.  Another option, is to move people around for booking purposes (depending on your fare code, you'll have to see if you can adjust).  So one cabin gets cheers and the other one doesn't.  Once youre on board switching back is no big deal.  Some people book that way, so i really don't know if you can switch after booking but couldn't hurt to find out.  

 

Don't skip dinner due to dress code.  Skip if you're tired or not feeling it or want to eat elsewhere or whatever.  But the dress code really isn't enforced much, and you don't sound like you're planning to show up in whatever you wore to the beach :-) 

 

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13 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

Cheers - Many people buy Cheers for the convenience. They don't worry about drinking enough to equal the cost of the package, but instead like the convenience of not having to pay as you go and wonder what the drink bill will be at the end. Whether or not you drink enough equal to the daily price of the package depends on the drink. Obviously it'll take fewer higher priced cocktails to reach the daily cost of Cheers. If you're drinking beer that cost ~$6, it'd take 8-9 of those. None of this factors in the 18% automatic gratuity. If you're big drinkers and you think you'll be drinking just about every day, and you can afford the package, I'd say go for it. Especially if you like the idea of not having to worry about a per-drink bill at the end of the cruise. Feel free to take your waters back to your cabin. Or you can buy a 12-pack of water for $4.50, either before your cruise from the online Fun Shops or when you get on board through room service.

 

I forgot we could buy water as well.  That would be helpful for the kids. We are going to definitely buy them the soda package but I didn't think that came with the water. I am already going to be buying a bottle of distilled anyway.  I do think it makes sense to buy it. When I was in Jamaica , we were at an AI and hung out at the pool all day. We all had 4 frozen rum drinks throughout the day and a few beers with lunch and dinner. I actually may be low in my estimate about how many frozen drinks we had lol. 

13 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

Outlets - A lot of people recommend (non-surge protected) power strips, but we prefer taking a long extension cord (9-10 ft.). And we also take one of those 3-way adapters. This gives us plenty of outlets to suit our needs, the extension cord isn't as bulky as a power strip, and with the extension cord, we have much more room to move something around than with a power strip. I take a portable fan, so I can put it right next to the bed or my wife can stretch it into the bathroom to air it out after a hot shower. She can also use the extension cord to use her curling/straightening iron in the bathroom when she wants better lighting. As has been said, the ships that do have an outlet in the bathrooms is low voltage and usually only good for an electric razor, not blow dryers and such. The cabins do have blow dryers in one of the drawers of the desk (not in the bathroom), but they're not always the greatest. They're similar to many wall-mounted hotel blow dryers. The portable charger in your carry-on won't be a problem. I also recommend carrying any of these extension cords, power strips, whatever you might bring in your carry-on. Terminal security are employed by the port, not Carnival, and they occasionally aren't familiar with items Carnival allows or doesn't allow. If you have these things in your carry-on, and they question them, you can point out that they're allowed (especially if you print out the FAQ page from Carnival's website). Otherwise, if it's in your checked luggage and gets confiscated, you won't know until you get to your cabin and get the letter.

1

The 3-way adaptor sounds like a good idea. We will have three per room so that should be enough to charge everything. I am definitely bringing a fan for sure. Good idea airing out the bathroom with it!  I'm going to have to bring an extension cord anyway for the CPAP . Another great idea printing out the FAQ page and putting them in my carry on. 

13 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

S&S account - When you reach the 90-day mark from your cruise, you'll be able to complete the online check-in process when you log in to your account. You'll set up your S&S payment methods at that point. Or, if you'd rather wait until you're on board, you would choose the "cash" option on your account. Everyone has the ability to set up their S&S to their own credit card, if that's the method y'all will be using. Then you'll link your son to your credit card. If you're managing everyone's booking on your Carnival account, you can do all of this. Otherwise, one person from each booking would have to do it from their own accounts. The arcade uses the S&S cards (swipe them on each game like a credit card). I don't know for sure, but I'm assuming the laundry rooms on the Breeze also use the S&S cards.

 

Good to know! I manage all the bookings so that should be easy enough.

13 minutes ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

Gratuities - Technically, once you've pre-paid gratuities, you don't have to worry about it anymore if you don't want to tip extra. Gratuities on drinks is added automatically, either through Cheers or if you buy them individually. Room Service is not included in the pre-pad grats pool. I think the average is $1/plate when you order room service, but it's up to you.

 

Food allergies - I'd start by contacting the special needs dept. to have it noted on your booking. You can also go to the MDR on embarkation day, or ask your waiter that night, to confirm. I don't know if dietary restrictions are listed anywhere. Possibly on the menus. Yes, you can bring store-bought, pre-packaged/unopened snacks on board. You can also bring one bottle of wine per drinking-aged adult and up to 12 cans of soda per person.

 

MDR attire - Elegant nights aren't as formal as they used to be years ago. What you described would be fine. I don't think your son's cargos will be a problem, they just can't be shorts on elegant night. Nice pants and tops at a minimum for elegant night. Here's more info. on MDR attire: https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1093/~/what-to-wear

 

Ports - Grant Turk: Jack's Shack is to the left, farther up the beach (north) from Margaritaville. To the right of the pier, there will be a smaller area with some lounge chairs under palm trees. This area was always much less crowded when we've been there. We always snorkel on our own at Grand Turk. We go to the right (south). It it kind of rocky closest to short (big rocks you have to walk over) but it clears just a bit farther out. Last year, we walked to the southern point to snorkel. It's not far, you can still see the ship. Hardly anyone there, we don't like the crowded places. I've also heard that Governor's Beach, which is to the north (left) right by the big shipwreck you'll see when you pull into port, is a good place to find sea glass (pieces of glass that have been worn down smooth from waves). We want to have a look around there when we'll be there next March.

 

 

Amber Cove - We were there last summer. We took a taxi ($30 for 4 of us each way) to the cable car that goes to the top of Mt. Isabel. The cable car is $10/person. It's about 15-20 minutes from port. At the top, there's a smaller version of the Christ the Redeemer statute that's in Brazil. And there are walking paths that you can take around a large garden and forest area. We loved it. If you want to do anything here, besides stay at the port, you'll have to do an excursion or take a taxi. There are signs posted in the loading area with taxi prices for all of the most popular places to go. The port area is very nice. All the usual port stores, plus a huge pool with food & drinks. There's also one water slide (free) and a zip line that goes directly over the pool area (last year it was $20 for unlimited runs).

 

St. Thomas - We took a taxi to Sapphire Beach. Do some research, there are a few beaches people like to go to in St. Thomas, but all require a taxi ride.

 

San Juan - You can pretty much walk everywhere here, but they do have free trolleys that go around and stop at certain places, including near the port. Google San Juan trolley for more info. about those. We toured the two forts ($7/person gets you into both forts, just show your receipt at the next one). Grabbed the trolley outside of one, took it to the other, then walked back to port.

 

These are the ports we did last year. FYI St. Thomas and San Juan are U.S. territories, so most cell phone carriers offer service in those two places without any special plan. Just like you were back home. Yes, you can use cash at all these places. Some will accept credit cards, but not all. Don't forget to notify your credit card company you'll be traveling so they don't think it's being charged fraudulently.

 

If I repeated any previous answers, I'm sorry. I just started typing and didn't stop. LOL If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. There's always someone here happy to answer.

8

Thank you for the port ideas as well. Your Grand Turk suggestions are just what iI am looking for. I am not a crowded area person either and the videos I watch in with all those chairs all packed in gave me anxiety lol.  Do you bring a big blanket to sit on when you walk to the other areas. I think I may want to check out both sides. Sea glass would be awesome to find and bring home. 

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9 minutes ago, purplephenom said:

 

If you're trying Alchemy the break even point will probably be a little less because those drinks are more expensive.  Another option, is to move people around for booking purposes (depending on your fare code, you'll have to see if you can adjust).  So one cabin gets cheers and the other one doesn't.  Once youre on board switching back is no big deal.  Some people book that way, so i really don't know if you can switch after booking but couldn't hurt to find out.  

4

 

We definitely wanted to try it!  The way I have it set up is we have two over 21 year olds in each room and each room has one under. All four of us are drinkers. My daughter and her bf are paying for their own package. 

9 minutes ago, purplephenom said:

Don't skip dinner due to dress code.  Skip if you're tired or not feeling it or want to eat elsewhere or whatever.  But the dress code really isn't enforced much, and you don't sound like you're planning to show up in whatever you wore to the beach 🙂

 

Haha .. no I definitely won't do that .

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Sorry, I tend to be a bit wordy but hopefully these answers are helpful for you! 

 

Cheers! - Absolutely go with the Cheers package! The first time I contemplated purchasing an alcohol package, I kept going back and fourth. It was about $750 for the both of us (7 day cruise) and I kept thinking... "we probably COULD come out cheaper than that if we were REALLY thinking/trying to." However, we are both pretty casual vacation drinkers and even if we were being conscious about it, I was pretty sure we would still have at least a $500 alcohol bill. The extra couple hundred dollars up front was well worth not having to think about it and order whatever we wanted, plus we absolutely got our moneys worth when we added it up after the cruise. Make sure you check our Alchemy Bar - easily the best bang for your buck with the most unique drinks and top notch bartenders. And yes you can order water & alcohol at the same time!! We always had bottled water stocked up in our fridge. 

 

Sail Cards - They will traditionally just request 1 credit card be on file per room, which is then linked to all the sail cards tied to that cabin. However, they do track individual charges per sail card (charges your son makes will show up on the bill under his sail #, vs charges that the boyfriend makes being under his sail #). Before the cruise ends, just go to guest services and ask to pay all the stuff tied to your son's sail # and your good! You might be able to tie his sail # to your credit card at the beginning of the cruise through guest services, I'm not sure though as I've always just used the method I mentioned above. Long story short - Guest service will be able to help you out! I wouldn't worry about it when your boarding the cruise, it will just complicate things. 

Gratuities - This will always vary from person to person, however I (and many others) always plan on additional gratuities for servers and room stewards. I usually give the head waiter and room steward $15-20 to cover my husband and I (a few bucks per person). And then $5-10 to the assistant waiter. They really don't make that much and work so hard. You will be amazed at how much they remember about you from even your first interaction (name, requests, special dietary restrictions)! I also periodically tip additional to bartenders that I favor. Gratuity is included w/ Cheers, but an extra buck here and there really goes a long way! Trust me, you won't be disappointed when there's a huge crowd at the bar and you get serviced faster than everyone else. People that you do need to tip that are not included are people delivering room service, baggage handlers at the beginning of your cruise, and tour guides for excursions. 

 

Allergies- I would call Carnival beforehand to let them know your situation and then go to the maitre'd shortly after boarding just to confirm everything. They will make sure everything is taken care of for you. They take allergies very seriously, so never feel like your being a burden by telling anyone servicing you! 

 

Dinner - I've never seen anyone turned away in the dining room for dress code. Your son will be fine in cargo's and a polo/button up, I think they are more lenient with kids! I will say that dressing up for formal night is FUN! It's so rare we get the opportunity to dress nicely, take advantage of the excuse to look a little snazzier than usual. Also they have tons of people everywhere to take your picture! I tend to dress up for all dinners. If that really isn't your thing though, the clothes you mentioned above will be fine as well. You most likely won't be the only one 🙂 

 

-Excursions - Sorry, not an expert on these ports. I did look at doing that itinerary and actually Puerto Rico was where I was going to spend my excursion money between all the different stops. I tend to look for my own privately ran excursions (not sold through carnival) and they are always cheaper, full of local history, and less crowded. I would look on the boards dedicated to those specific ports and see if anyone has a recommendation for you. I know you can use US dollars in PR, and i'm pretty sure that you can use US dollars at all the other ports as well. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Sersee said:

Hi Guys... So I know you get these posts every day. I tried to do as much research as I could but on some, I keep finding conflicting info. I do have a few questions and bear with me if they are dumb lol.

 

I am going on the Breeze and have connecting cabins. Our Cabin is on deck 11 which I am a little nervous about. It says mid ship but looks kind of forward. We are first time cruisers so have no idea if we get sea sick. I am definitely bringing all the meds just in case. Im hoping it isn't super noisy either .   We have four over 21-year-olds and 2 teens. Our itinerary ( 7 days)  has us stopping in four ports.  So here goes...

 

-The Cheers Package: I know you get a lot of questions on if it's worth it. This is another one of those. We are definitely drinkers. I read that you need 5 drinks to break even.  If we do a few beers, lots of bottled water, some soda, frozen rum drinks, and more beer.. it seems like it would work for us? But my concern is the port days. Although we don't have any excursions booked, I know we will get off the ship for a bit. I guess I don't want to be worrying about trying to make the Cheers Package worth it.  What do you guys think? Do you rest easier (if you buy the cheers package) and don't have to worry about it?   Can I get an alcoholic drink and water at the same time? Is it wrong to take the water back and put in the fridge for port days? 

 

-The Outlets: I am so confused about this. I keep reading different things. Can I bring a non-surge extra outlet plug-in? I know that there is a Cruise recommended one on Amazon? My husband has a CPAP  so we are going to bring an extension cord and keep our fingers crossed. I know it has to be non-surge protected.  Having a portable charger in my carryon isn't a problem correct?   I read that the outlet in the bathroom isn't super strong, but would it be ok for a dryer or curling iron?

 

-Sail Card Accounts:  I'm confused about this as well. Does every person need to be linked to a credit card?  Can different people be linked to different credit cards? Is it by room? For example, my daughter's boyfriend would have his own credit card. My son is also staying in that room. He( my son)  is young so I would want him linked on my credit card. Do the Laundry and arcade use this card or take change/dollars? 

 

-Gratuities:  We prepaid them. So I should be good for most things on board? If I get extra special service, I know I can tip more. But I have read some people still give their stewards a couple of bucks? Does the steward get tips from the prepaid gratuities?  Is Room Service part of the prepaid gratuities and is it not included in cruise price anymore?

 

-Food Allergies: My son has food allergies. It is noted as "other" on our reservation. Should I email special needs at Carnival? Wait until I get on the ship to ask? Do they have lists of their restaurants that show if it's dairy free, gluten free, etc?  Can I bring snacks in my luggage?

 

-Dinner:  How Elegant is elegant? Could I wear a nice pair of capris with a top? Could men wear dockers and a polo shirt? Can my son wear cargos and a shirt? Getting him to dress up would be getting him out of his b-ball shorts and t-shirts lol.

 

-Excursions: We are going to Grand Turk, Amber Cove, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico.  We are not set if we want excursions ro not. They are pricey so we may do just one.  I know in Grand Turk there are the free chairs to the left of the pier and Margaritaville. If we head to the right, is that where Jacks Shack is?   Can we get food, drinks, and chairs(rent)  there?  I read it was rocky but just at the beginning? That would be a good place to snorkel?  Amber Cove is where my daughter wants to swim with the dolphins. Has anyone done this? St. Thomas, I am not sure what to really do? We aren't divers or thrill seekers at all. Puerto Rico we are planning to just walk around which is what I imagine most people do.  Can we use good ole cash to pay for drinks, food, souvenirs at all these ports?

 

 

Thank you so much and I am sorry for so many questions!!

 

Don't feel bad asking questions!

 

For the S&S you can tie them all to one card, or tie them all to different cards.  You can even just go to guest services and put cash on some and have others tied to cards.  You can set up your on board spending online, and you can change it at guest services once you get on the ship.  Some folks recommend that you don't use a debit card as they do put occasional "holds" on your account and this lowers your balance.  I always tie mine to my Carnival MC. 

 

Jack's Shack, one of my favorite spots in all the Caribbean, is to the left of the pier as you walk off.  You go through the cruise port and right down the beach.  Extremely friendly place with great drinks and fantastic food.  Amber cove is a beach day type of place, and San Juan is a fantastic place just to explore on foot or using public transportation.  Love Old San Juan.  Honestly, St. Thomas I don't even get off the ship anymore.  If you find an excursion you really like there, maybe consider that one.  You can use cash off the ship. 

 

As far as tipping, everyone is different.  I normally give my steward a little tip when I fist get on the ship and meet them.  If they give the normal outstanding service that they normally give, I give them more at the end.  Some if I have a really good bartender or server. 

 

Everyone does the math different on cheers program.  My wife and I like to drink, but I never get it because by my math it doesn't pay.  The port days are a big reason for that.  If I spend $100 during a port call, I don't want to be charged for drinking on the ship when I am not.   So I don't get it. Also remember everyone over 21 in a cabin will be charged for the plan if 1 person in the cabin gets it.  Also there is a 24 hour limit of 15 drinks and some ships will stop selling you drinks if you hit 15 in 24 hours. 

 

Enjoy your first cruise and by all means keep asking questions!

 

Jim   

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48 minutes ago, Sersee said:

Thank you for the port ideas as well. Your Grand Turk suggestions are just what iI am looking for. I am not a crowded area person either and the videos I watch in with all those chairs all packed in gave me anxiety lol.  Do you bring a big blanket to sit on when you walk to the other areas. I think I may want to check out both sides. Sea glass would be awesome to find and bring home. 

 

We've never taken a blanket when at Grand Turk, but don't let that stop you. You are allowed to take your Carnival beach towels (their blue) from your cabin off the ship. Just be sure to bring them back or you'll have to pay for them (around $22). Last year on Grand Turk, we just took a beach bag with our towels, snorkel gear, and some water. I didn't even need my towel. By the time we walked back, I was pretty dry. We'll be there for our third time next March and I'll try to talk my wife into skipping taking a bag with us. Snorkel gear and my GoPro is all I need. To the right of the pier, there's a NASA exhibit. Somewhere near there is a beach shower to wash off the sand.

 

Supposedly, if you walk to the southern point (again, not far from the pier), and around the point to the other side, I've heard there's some good snorkeling there. It was too windy on that side when we were there last year, so we stayed on the west side of the island. There some large rocks just off the southern tip you can climb on, but these are very rough and sharp, so you need water shoes of some kind (sandals would work). There are sea urchins clinging all over these rocks, kind of neat.

 

When you pull into port, you'll see a large metal shipwreck right by the shoreline, called the Mega One Triton if you want to look it up. That's Governor's Beach. We haven't been there yet, but will try next time. I've read online that it's a good place to hunt for sea glass. The only thing is, you can't get all the way there along the beach from the pier. You can get down to around Jack's Shack, then there's an industrial pier in the way, so you have to go to the street a little ways, then down the entryway to the beach. Check out Google Maps, I'm constantly using it to scope out everything for vacations. Especially satellite view. There's a lighthouse on the northern end of the island, but that's about 7 miles from the pier. You can take a taxi or they rent scooters and golf carts at the port.

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I think everyone pretty much hit most of the answers I would have given.  I am surprised no one mentioned Topher & Calypso at Jack's Shack.  If you are a dog lover, you will enjoy them.  There are also some other dogs, but I don't know their names.  They may be strays.

 

In St Thomas, we have gone snorkeling through Carnival & we've also just grabbed a taxi to Magen's Bay.  Puerto Rico, we usually just walk around.  The first time, we took a walking tour, which was interesting since we got a little bit of history.  

 

Even though Carnival doesn't consistently enforce their elegant night dress code, I would still have long pants for any males in your group.  Our neighbor didn't pack any once & we had to beg to get them to let him in.  It's kind of funny, though, because no one could tell he had on cargo shorts once he sat down, as the tablecloth blocked any view.  He had on a collared short sleeved shirt & looked fine.  

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If you want to swim with the sea lions look for it from an outside tour, they take you to the same place.

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6 hours ago, Sersee said:

Cove is where my daughter wants to swim with the dolphins. Has anyone done this?

 

I didn't see anyone answer this yet. My daughters and their friends did the dolphin swim and loved every minute of it and they were 16 & 20.  They got to spend quite a lot of time with the dolphins even though they went in a big group. If you want to go along to watch you have to purchase a day pass to the park. They also don't let you take photos so if you want photos you have to purchase one of their packages. You do have time after the swim to explore the other exhibits at the park. They had the usual birds that eat out of your hand, iguanas, sea lions, sting rays, etc. It was a small park, but nice. We wouldn't go just for the park though.  

19956705_10203791509503783_6778842948220109979_o.jpg

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One thing I have not seen mentioned is that the fitness/spa area has free shower area. Very handy if you have more than two people in a cabin getting ready for dinner. Showers are larger and you can also dry hair there.

In San Juan, look up Barrachina on Fortaleza street (where the umbrellas are). It is the birthplace of the pina colada and you can even get them to go.

I would guess your only problem with noise may be that many young people annoying the neighbors. This is said with tongue in cheek but do remind them how well voices carry and doors should not bang shut.

Your dining room attire sounds just fine. Do go to the Alchemy Bar if you like trying different things. They will make drinks even they can’t repeat..Lol

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1 hour ago, dmdiver said:

I think everyone pretty much hit most of the answers I would have given.  I am surprised no one mentioned Topher & Calypso at Jack's Shack.  If you are a dog lover, you will enjoy them.  There are also some other dogs, but I don't know their names.  They may be strays.

 

In St Thomas, we have gone snorkeling through Carnival & we've also just grabbed a taxi to Magen's Bay.  Puerto Rico, we usually just walk around.  The first time, we took a walking tour, which was interesting since we got a little bit of history.  

 

Even though Carnival doesn't consistently enforce their elegant night dress code, I would still have long pants for any males in your group.  Our neighbor didn't pack any once & we had to beg to get them to let him in.  It's kind of funny, though, because no one could tell he had on cargo shorts once he sat down, as the tablecloth blocked any view.  He had on a collared short sleeved shirt & looked fine.  

Ok will do. I will bring him some pants! I think he has one pair lol.  

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1 hour ago, robc1972 said:

If you want to swim with the sea lions look for it from an outside tour, they take you to the same place.

 

People scared me from this because they say I could get left behind . I figure we wouldn’t begone the whole day? Can you suggest someone to use? Viator?

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1 hour ago, cloudninecat said:

I didn't see anyone answer this yet. My daughters and their friends did the dolphin swim and loved every minute of it and they were 16 & 20.  They got to spend quite a lot of time with the dolphins even though they went in a big group. If you want to go along to watch you have to purchase a day pass to the park. They also don't let you take photos so if you want photos you have to purchase one of their packages. You do have time after the swim to explore the other exhibits at the park. They had the usual birds that eat out of your hand, iguanas, sea lions, sting rays, etc. It was a small park, but nice. We wouldn't go just for the park though.  

19956705_10203791509503783_6778842948220109979_o.jpg

Thank you! That’s good to know about the photos. It look exactly what my daughter wants to do! That was Amber Cove right?

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13 minutes ago, 2wheelin said:

One thing I have not seen mentioned is that the fitness/spa area has free shower area. Very handy if you have more than two people in a cabin getting ready for dinner. Showers are larger and you can also dry hair there.

In San Juan, look up Barrachina on Fortaleza street (where the umbrellas are). It is the birthplace of the pina colada and you can even get them to go.

I would guess your only problem with noise may be that many young people annoying the neighbors. This is said with tongue in cheek but do remind them how well voices carry and doors should not bang shut.

Your dining room attire sounds just fine. Do go to the Alchemy Bar if you like trying different things. They will make drinks even they can’t repeat..Lol

I will definitely check that out. I think Alchemy sounds fun and definitely want to try it. 

 

Ha well my kids are 17 and 14 and they mostly sleep😂 so they shouldn’t be to loud.

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6 minutes ago, Sersee said:

Thank you! That’s good to know about the photos. It look exactly what my daughter wants to do! That was Amber Cove right?

Yes, Ocean World I think the park is called. 

 

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Bring pants! 🙂 My FIL was turned away from formal night when he was wearing nicer dress shorts and a collared shirt. I swear he almost swam back home he was so mad. (We told him wearing pants one night wouldn't kill him but he wouldn't listen). That was on the IL's first cruise in 2015. They have since taken 3 more but that interaction has completely soured him/them on the MDR. 

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My wife and I always get the Cheers package. We seldom "break even" but as someone else mentioned above for us it the "convenience". What I mean is between all the bars they make a lot of different drinks. Sometimes on the menu's something looks good but if I had to pay for it, I probably wouldn't take the chance of not liking it therefor wasting my money. With Cheers we are not afraid to order different drinks and have found some that we like that we probably wouldn't have tried otherwise. Also, don't forget that with Cheers you also get Coffee's, Milkshakes, Water and a few other things. 

 

You are going on vacation to have a good time. I say YES to the Cheers package.

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