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Clueless First Time Cruiser with probably dumb questions

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If the multi-outlet device you mention from Amazon is the "Cruise On" device, please do not bring that.  Despite it's advertising that it is "cruise compatible" and "non-surge protected", it is in fact surge protected and therefore dangerous to use on a ship.  If you look at one of the photos, of the back of the unit, you will see "VPR=800 volts".  VPR is voltage protection rating, and is a measure of surge protection.

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14 hours 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.

 

All depends on how long you are in port. In Cozumel you can just take a taxi to the beach resort that has the dolphins and walk in, plenty taxis waiting outside to take you back when you are ready.

In St Thomas I have always just gotten a tour from the people at the dock, when we get there. I havent seen a need to do an excursion. The tour people on shore and taxi drivers all seem to know the boat schedule better than the passengers on it and will get you back to it on time.

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I don't have anything to add, just wanted to say I love how organized your post is! Cudos to you for doing your research and asking questions! I am a research kind of person and love how much time you are investing in your trip! You will love cruising!

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13 hours 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

Do they have blow dryers you can use in the fitness/spa area?

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11 hours ago, Cruzer1102 said:

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. 

Haha.. Oh my gosh...the picture I have in my mind of him swimming back. I can see my husband being that mad LOL

 

9 hours ago, CChamp said:

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.

Ohhh I didn't think of milkshakes.  You are right about the convenience. It's why I love all inclusive. We get the Disney Dining Plan for this purpose. So I guess it's sort of the same thing. Thanks for making me think that way!

5 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

If the multi-outlet device you mention from Amazon is the "Cruise On" device, please do not bring that.  Despite it's advertising that it is "cruise compatible" and "non-surge protected", it is in fact surge protected and therefore dangerous to use on a ship.  If you look at one of the photos, of the back of the unit, you will see "VPR=800 volts".  VPR is voltage protection rating, and is a measure of surge protection.

 It was. Thank you! I won't buy that one. I think this is the biggest confusion I have. We definitely have to bring an extension cord for the CPAP. I also want to bring a fan . We were thinking of those hooks that a magnetic? Although I know that some walls aren't metal on some ships. I was hoping they were on the breeze. We were going to try and use them for the extension cord or hide it somehow so people don't trip. Although I am not sure how this will work since the CPAP will be on one side and the fan on my side. But sometimes extension cords only have two slots for plugs. Is there a multi plug that can be used ? 

1 hour ago, louanne93 said:

I don't have anything to add, just wanted to say I love how organized your post is! Cudos to you for doing your research and asking questions! I am a research kind of person and love how much time you are investing in your trip! You will love cruising!

Oh thank you! I research the poop out of things. I can't help myself. I like to know what to expect and what I am doing. That way I can completely relax on vacation lol

28 minutes ago, JaniceB said:

Do they have blow dryers you can use in the fitness/spa area?

I didn't think of the fitness area. Someone else mentioned that to me awhile ago. I know you can  use the exercise equipment as well.  But the rest of the spa is $$ correct? I am bringing my own hair dryer since those little wall ones eat my hair lol 

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Posted (edited)

We did this same itinerary in December.  Below is what we did at each port with some pros and cons.  Let me know if you have any questions and I would be happy to try to help!  😊

 

San Juan – Walked around the city and had pina coladas at Barrachina.  This was our second time in San Juan.  The first time we walked to both forts (long day of walking but we found it worth it.  😊 ).  We enjoyed both days for different reasons.  It was hot and humid both days we were there so I would recommend taking some water if you plan to walk around for a bit.

Grand Turk – Walked down to Jack’s Shack, rented chairs and an umbrella and husband snorkeled.  There will be multiple vendors all down the beach wanting to rent you chairs, just say “no thanks” and keep walking.  You will either need cash to rent the chairs and umbrellas at Jack’s Shack or you have to start a tab at the bar.  My husband said the snorkeling was bad and not really worth getting in the water.  The water was cloudy due to the sandy bottom and he hardly saw any fish.  He went all the way down to the half sunken ship down by Governors Beach.  The beach was pretty nice and the dogs are cute and fun to throw the ball for but I would say the view is marred by the cruise ship being docked just to the left.  That may just be personal preference though.  This was my least favorite port this trip.

Amber Cove – We did the 27 Waterfalls excursion with Iguana Mama.  If you are only looking to do one excursion I would highly recommend this one!  Definelty do it through a private vendor like Iguana Mama though as you will get more for your money.  This was my favorite port and one of my top 3 excursions we have done.

     https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2488907-amber-cove-damajagua-waterfalls/

     https://www.iguanamama.com/full-27-waterfalls.html

St Thomas – Took a cab to Sapphire beach and snorkeled.  The cab ride was interesting….lots of steep hills and tight curves here!  😉  The beach was beautiful and uncrowded, just as we like it!  The snorkeling was great also!  My husband saw 2 octopus and a sting ray!  I was a little jealous because I mostly saw fish but they were plentiful.  😊 There were chairs and umbrellas for rent closer to the bar area but we just walked down the beach a bit and put our towels in the sand.

 

Octopus.jpg

Sapphire Beach.jpg

Edited by HangryGrl

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21 hours ago, Sersee said:

 

 

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?

 

 

I have only read this far in the thread, so someone else might have mentioned it...for the Soda drink package, unless your kids just drink a ton of soda, this might be something you want to skip on.   you can bring a 12 pack of soda per person on board.  I'm not a soda drinker, but I think like one or 2 sodas a day is a lot.   you might put that money toward an excursion.  but if you drink a lot of soda, then you should get the soda package.  just putting that out there for you.

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3 hours ago, Sersee said:

Although I know that some walls aren't metal on some ships. I was hoping they were on the breeze.

All of the walls in the cabins, on all ships are metal.  It is just that they are covered in a vinyl coating (like an industrial wallpaper), and some of that is so thick it requires a really strong magnet to hold.  Also, some of them are aluminum.

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1 hour ago, pyropoodle said:

I have only read this far in the thread, so someone else might have mentioned it...for the Soda drink package, unless your kids just drink a ton of soda, this might be something you want to skip on.   you can bring a 12 pack of soda per person on board.  I'm not a soda drinker, but I think like one or 2 sodas a day is a lot.   you might put that money toward an excursion.  but if you drink a lot of soda, then you should get the soda package.  just putting that out there for you.

Hmm I didn't think of this. My teens are allowed soda on vacation and they love it. But I do remember the soda package does not include water bottles. I had it in my head that it does.  So maybe it would be better to bring soda. I guess they could bring cups to pour it in.  Question: we are going out of Port Canaveral. We are flying in. Is there anywhere to get this stuff easily enough near the port? 

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33 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

All of the walls in the cabins, on all ships are metal.  It is just that they are covered in a vinyl coating (like an industrial wallpaper), and some of that is so thick it requires a really strong magnet to hold.  Also, some of them are aluminum.

Do you happen to know about the Breeze?  I have read many suggestions about these magnetic hooks from Amazon that people like. They say it can hold up heavy purses.  I could use command hooks too I suppose. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Sersee said:

 

It was. Thank you! I won't buy that one. I think this is the biggest confusion I have. We definitely have to bring an extension cord for the CPAP. I also want to bring a fan . We were thinking of those hooks that a magnetic? Although I know that some walls aren't metal on some ships. I was hoping they were on the breeze. We were going to try and use them for the extension cord or hide it somehow so people don't trip. Although I am not sure how this will work since the CPAP will be on one side and the fan on my side. But sometimes extension cords only have two slots for plugs. Is there a multi plug that can be used ? 

Oh thank you! I research the poop out of things. I can't help myself. I like to know what to expect and what I am doing. That way I can completely relax on vacation lol

 

If you do an Amazon search for "Cruise On," the top result should be the one chengkp75 mentioned that isn't allowed. But the fourth one down, from a seller called Tessan, is very similar and does not have a protection rating at all, and gets good reviews. That's if you're looking for something like those with usb plugs as well. I think most of them show a picture of the back of the device with all the voltage info., etc., so now you can look around for others than don't say VPR.

 

I don't mess with the outlet adapters like that because so many of them are surge protected, even some of the ones that say they aren't. There was one particular one being passed around these forums a while back that people claimed was not surge protected, but it had a little LED light on it that, when lit, was labeled "protected." Meaning surge protection was active. So we just take our usb wall plugs for our devices and one of these...

 

orange-eaton-plug-adapters-4402rn-box-64

Very simple and definitely no surge protection. They come in different shapes, too. Some are cubes, some are T-shaped with a plug on the front and one on each side, but I prefer them on the front. This and the extension cord, which has 3 plugs, gives us plenty.

 

The beds are sitting on a frame raised off the floor, so you could always run your extension cord under the bed if you want to get it out of the way. Most of it, anyway. By the way, you can put our luggage under the beds. I just push our cord against the wall when we're in the cabin. When we're not using it, or leave the cabin, I just fold it up and set it on the desk so it's not in the way if the steward or his team come in. You might need 2 extension cords if you want the fan & CPAP on opposite sides.

 

Do a search for Breeze threads. I'm sure somewhere on here people have said whether or not the walls are magnetic. Or someone in this thread who knows can let you know. A lot of people use Command Strips, too. You just can't use tape or anything that leaves an adhesive residue.

 

I'm a huge vacation researcher, too. Cruise and land-based vacations. I like to learn as much as I can. We went on our first cruise with my wife's aunt & uncle. I researched so much, I knew things they didn't and they cruise often. I'll even go as far as using Google Maps a lot, especially satellite view, to find places, see how to get there, what to look for when we're there, things like that. I think it's a gift and a curse. Sometimes feels like an obsession. LOL

Edited by Organized Chaos

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  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? 

we did not have package. so not sure. know in some ports HMC- you can't use the 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 problemcorrect?   I read that the outlet in the bathroom isn't super strong, but would it be ok for a dryer or curling iron?

we brought USB adapters for the outlets so we could charge more items .

 

-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?

yes linked to CC. we did not link 16 and 14 year old  to sign sail to CC

 

-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?

we pre paid. 

 

-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?

my son has severe food allergies (nuts/ fish/ sesame). they were great!!!!! we would get a menu a day ahead to order.  you can call / email the ship ahead of time.

-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.

most dinners capris and a top. elegant- wore a nice dress. hubby suit and tie. NO TUX

 

-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?

had FTTF for half moon kay. did an excursion in Grand turk- zip lining/ beach. worth it. 

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2 hours ago, Sersee said:

Do you happen to know about the Breeze?  I have read many suggestions about these magnetic hooks from Amazon that people like. They say it can hold up heavy purses.  I could use command hooks too I suppose. 

Sorry, no knowledge of the Breeze.

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6 hours ago, Sersee said:

 

I didn't think of the fitness area. Someone else mentioned that to me awhile ago. I know you can  use the exercise equipment as well.  But the rest of the spa is $$ correct? I am bringing my own hair dryer since those little wall ones eat my hair lol 

Some ships will also have free sauna and/or steam room. Don't remember if there are hair dryers or if I went back to the room to dry. Did not need to use for showers on last trip.You can just ask at the spa desk or take a free tour on embarkation day.

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DW sailed on the Breeze earlier this year, and was able to use magnet hooks on the wall.

 

Make sure you tell your waiter about food allergies.  We once were assigned to a table with a lady who had food allergies, and the waiter brought her a 3-ring notebook containing menus each night so that she could pre-order for the next night.

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We sailed the same itinerary in February. 

 

Amber Cove, DR: We didn't swim with the dolphins but the friends we went with did. They enjoyed it very much! We stayed in the port area and the kids went on the zipline, went swimming and went down the waterslides, played on the huge chess board, and relaxed on loungers. We rented an umbrella for $20 and it gave us a lot of shade. I read a book and sipped on a daiquiri. A waiter brought us menus and we ordered some appetizers to share. It was sort of expensive but we didn't want to walk back to the ship to eat. DH and I are going back to Amber Cove in November and we are planning on doing the 27 waterfalls tour with Iguana Mama. The reason we didn't do it in February was because it would've been pretty expensive with our group of five kids and two adults and I'm not sure my younger two would be crazy about it.  

 

San Juan, Puerto Rico: I wasn't expecting to like San Juan as much as I did. I downloaded a map of Old San Juan and highlighted some places I wanted to check out, based on recommendations from this board. The first thing we did when we got off the ship was walk to Chocobar Cortez where the kids got hot chocolate (they give you cheese to put in it...very interesting and surprisingly tasty!), DH and I got lattes, the kids and I split a couple of pastry platters, and DH got chocolate pancakes. It was very good! Then we walked to the umbrella street and took some pictures, then headed up toward El Morro and the cemetary. We stopped at the Cathedral on the way and looked around, then spent a lot of time in the cemetery looking at old and new grave sites. When we went under the arch to the really old graves one of the guys that was sitting near the entrance walked along with us and told us about some of the more notorious grave sites. His English was rather broken so DS15 and I interpreted for the rest of our group. We saw several large iguanas at the cemetery, which the kids really enjoyed. We made it to El Morro and wandered around for quite a while until we decided that we should head back into town to get some lunch. We took a different route out of the fort and ended up down by the cat rescue place. I have never seen so many cats in my life! We walked to the red city gate and then back up and over to Barrachina where we enjoyed a sampler platter, some mofongo, and of course pina coladas (virgin for the kids). We did some shopping and then wandered around a bit more before heading back to the ship. I could have easily spent a few more days in Old San Juan.

 

St. Thomas, USVI: I was underwhelmed at this port. I was really expecting to like it more but there were at least six ships in port the day we were there and I read that the beaches get really crowded then so we just took the sky tram up to Paradise Point (for once this excursion was cheaper to purchase through Carnival than to buy tickets right at the sky tram entrance). The view was pretty but other than a little bit of shopping there wasn't much else up there to do. We went back down via the tram and had lunch at the Smoking Rooster, which was delicious. After we ate we just walked back to the ship and enjoyed the mostly empty ship. If I go back here on a cruise some day, I think I would take a ferry over to St. John's where it isn't as crowded. I think I would've liked it more if we had been able to go to a beach but our friends went to Magen's Bay and said it was so crowded that they only stayed for a little while then joined us on the ship.

 

Grand Turk, BWI: This tied with San Juan for my favorite port on this cruise. We did a lot of walking and exploring in San Juan (we logged about 8 miles on foot) and in Grand Turk we just kicked back and relaxed! Once we got off the ship we went left past all of the beach chairs and walked on the edge of the water where the sand is packed until we got to Jack's Shack. We grabbed some chairs and set them up even farther to the left. We paid $10 for an umbrella and the kids, DH, and our friends went snorkeling with snorkels we brought from home while my friend and I relaxed under the umbrella. The kids also played in the sand, played with Topher and Calypso (the famous dogs from Jack's Shack), and just had a really enjoyable and relaxing time. DH, our friends, and I went to the bar and got our free shots of rum (there is a coupon online, you just need to ask for the free shot and tell them you saw it online) and additional drinks and went back to our loungers. My drink was quite strong and after throwing back the shot of rum and sipping on my Sandy Vagina I was quite mellow. We had some cracked conch and conch fritters and we bought some souvenirs at Jack's Shack before heading into the area of the port where the shops are. We walked past Margaritaville and were so glad we didn't decide to go there, it looked super busy and our ship was the only one in port that day. DH and I will be heading back to Grand Turk in November as well and since it will just be the two of us we are planning on renting a golf cart and driving around the island a little bit before ending the day at Jack's Shack with more conch fritters, Turk's Head beer, and a mixed drink for me.

We used our credit card for all purchases off the ship and left tips in cash. Important to note: Make sure to bring your passport (or your driver's license might work?) when you get off the ship, especially in US territories such as Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. Port security required us to show our passports in order to get back onto the pier to get on the ship. We saw a few people that were stopped by security and at that time they were not allowed to go back on the ship as they didn't have any identification (besides the Sign and Sail card from Carnival). I don't know if they were able to get on the ship or if someone had to bring their IDs from the ship down to them but we were cutting it close getting back on the ship in San Juan and that definitely would make me nervous. We were not required to show any ID other than getting our S&S cards scanned when we were in Amber Cove and Grand Turk. On previous cruises I have never had to show my passport but I always bring it off the ship just in case I get stuck there for some reason.  

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On 4/29/2019 at 6:02 PM, Sersee said:

People scared me from this because they say I could get left behind .

 

 

 

No you won't, 15 cruises, never took a Carnival excursion. My son was a Captain in St.Thomas and took cruise passengers snorkeling. His company was contracted with RCCL anf the trip was $75 through the cruise line. If you did some research and found his tour privately "Top Sails" you would pay only $55. The point I am making is the tour operators wear many hats and they do private and contracted tours. This is all they do year round sometimes 6 days a week, twice a day. They all have watches and cell phones. You will not miss the ship.

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10 hours ago, TomCruise48 said:

DW sailed on the Breeze earlier this year, and was able to use magnet hooks on the wall.

 

Make sure you tell your waiter about food allergies.  We once were assigned to a table with a lady who had food allergies, and the waiter brought her a 3-ring notebook containing menus each night so that she could pre-order for the next night.

Ohh that’s really good to hear. I heard Carnival was good with allergies!

10 hours ago, Stacie. said:

Oops! Double post! 

It deserved to double lost! 😂Thank you so much. I loved your reply and it was very informative!!! I feel like I kind of know what to do at the ports now!

10 hours ago, coevan said:

 

 

 

No you won't, 15 cruises, never took a Carnival excursion. My son was a Captain in St.Thomas and took cruise passengers snorkeling. His company was contracted with RCCL anf the trip was $75 through the cruise line. If you did some research and found his tour privately "Top Sails" you would pay only $55. The point I am making is the tour operators wear many hats and they do private and contracted tours. This is all they do year round sometimes 6 days a week, twice a day. They all have watches and cell phones. You will not miss the ship.

Thank you! I didn’t know that. That makes me feel better. 

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Don't feel bad that you are asking tons of questions.  We've been on 15 cruises and I still ask questions on this board.  Everyone has their own opinion of the ports so read reviews and decide for yourself what you choose to do.  I find that it can get chilly in the main dining room so you may want to consider bringing along a nice sweater.  I use the sweater in the main theater as well.  I always do lots of research before we cruise and I'm on this site asking questions and doing searches. 

 

Have a happy cruise!

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I didn't read word-for-word every response but I will answer what I can.  We just went on our first cruise in February and I researched like crazy a well.  Main points:

You've already prepaid gratuities.  Don't sweat extra, it won't make any difference.  

 

Laundry-you need quarters-bring some with you or you will be waiting in guest services line to buy some.

 

Excursions-if you want fun without breaking the bank, we did the Kon-Tiki boat in St. Thomas and had fun.  Unlimited rum punch, a great band, dancing and plenty of beach time.  I haven't been to the other ports, so I can't comment on those.

 

Formal night-as long as you have pants on, I think everything is a go.  Guys at our table wore Hawaiian shirts every night and no one blinked an eye.

 

Take lots of pictures!  You will be hounded by photographers all over the ship and when you get on/off at ports.  If you don't want to pay a ridiculous amount for the pictures they take, then make your own memories.  One thing to note thought, we did buy just  3 of the photos specifically because then we got a couple freebies-we were able to come home, sign on to Shutterfly and use codes they gave us for a free photo album and a luggage tag using our own pics.  The album was really a nice touch cause we will always have that from our first cruise.

 

Cheers-definitely do this.  With over 21s going with you, they will drink and now you don't have to worry about it.  Because it includes specialty coffees, soda, energy drinks, etc. it's worth it.  I'm so glad we did it since I didn't realize until a few weeks before we sailed that no pop or perrier or anything is included, that's all extra.  

 

Something you may not have thought of:  

Carnival gift cards.  Go onto the AARP rewards for good site(no you don't need to be a member)and earn points then buy the cards at 10% off.  It may not seem like much, but I paid for the whole cruise this way and our $3k cruise was $300 off using those cards.  

 

Ship temperature-if anyone in your group "runs cold", they may want a sweater or light jacket when they are on the ship.  The open areas of the ship are plenty warm in the Caribbean but they have the AC up so high inside the ship that I was shivering much of the week we sailed! 

 

Have fun!!

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Re: allergies, a couple years ago, I did a Chef's Table dinner thing on the Carnival Pride, and it included a tour of the kitchen.  They have an entirely separate area of the kitchen that they use when someone has allergies.  I was really impressed with how careful they were about it.  I'm sure they take it just as seriously on the Breeze!

 

Not one of your original questions, but I brought a large pashmina shawl/scarf on the last cruise I went on, and it was great when I got a little chilly in the MDR or theater and it seemed a little less out-of-place to me than a jacket.

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1 hour ago, Crazy4Camping said:

I didn't read word-for-word every response but I will answer what I can.  We just went on our first cruise in February and I researched like crazy a well.  Main points:

You've already prepaid gratuities.  Don't sweat extra, it won't make any difference.  

 

Laundry-you need quarters-bring some with you or you will be waiting in guest services line to buy some.

 

Excursions-if you want fun without breaking the bank, we did the Kon-Tiki boat in St. Thomas and had fun.  Unlimited rum punch, a great band, dancing and plenty of beach time.  I haven't been to the other ports, so I can't comment on those.

 

Formal night-as long as you have pants on, I think everything is a go.  Guys at our table wore Hawaiian shirts every night and no one blinked an eye.

 

Take lots of pictures!  You will be hounded by photographers all over the ship and when you get on/off at ports.  If you don't want to pay a ridiculous amount for the pictures they take, then make your own memories.  One thing to note thought, we did buy just  3 of the photos specifically because then we got a couple freebies-we were able to come home, sign on to Shutterfly and use codes they gave us for a free photo album and a luggage tag using our own pics.  The album was really a nice touch cause we will always have that from our first cruise.

 

Cheers-definitely do this.  With over 21s going with you, they will drink and now you don't have to worry about it.  Because it includes specialty coffees, soda, energy drinks, etc. it's worth it.  I'm so glad we did it since I didn't realize until a few weeks before we sailed that no pop or perrier or anything is included, that's all extra.  

 

Something you may not have thought of:  

Carnival gift cards.  Go onto the AARP rewards for good site(no you don't need to be a member)and earn points then buy the cards at 10% off.  It may not seem like much, but I paid for the whole cruise this way and our $3k cruise was $300 off using those cards.  

 

Ship temperature-if anyone in your group "runs cold", they may want a sweater or light jacket when they are on the ship.  The open areas of the ship are plenty warm in the Caribbean but they have the AC up so high inside the ship that I was shivering much of the week we sailed! 

 

Have fun!!

Thank you for the great info! I did know about the Aaro gc. Question: Do you receive them in email? How quickly? My final payment is coming up so was wondering 

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4 hours ago, Crazy4Camping said:

Laundry-you need quarters-bring some with you or you will be waiting in guest services line to buy some.

 

 

I thought I read the laundry room used S&S cards, not coins

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I went to buy AARP gift cards last night & they are the physical cards now.  Last September they were e-cards.  Am out of luck this time.  10 business days minimum  for shipping.  Just got done saving $$ for it and final payment is May 14. Don't want to chance them not getting here on time.  Now I have to save up another $500 Lesson learned....

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