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Thread: Going on a cruise

  1. #21
    Rock Stars! bbnbama's Avatar
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    I'll go in your place!!!

    You don't have to take the ship excursions...as a matter of fact, IMO you are better off booking your own excursion. But the one thing they stress if you book a ship excursion is the ship will wait on you to get back..if you go out on your own...nope..they don't wait and its money out of your pocket to get back onboard!

    I'm all for misskitty's idea of layering your clothes rather than going and spending a fortune on clothes you won't wear again for 2 reasons (1-you live in Florida and 2-your weight loss surgery!). Every cruise I've went on, I've bought items on eBay and did well.

    I bet in San Francisco there are trolley rides that you can take that would show you highlights of the area and that maybe you could hop off and on. That's what I would recommend! We did that when we docked in Key West once...we only had 7 hours there and we took the trolley tour that took us all over the island and had a tour operator that told us what we were seeing and then you could hop off and on all you want. We wound up riding around the island one full time and then picking spots to stop at.

    I'm sure you will have a wonderful time....I, myself, am very jealous of you!
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

  2. #22
    MRD
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    If you need that much convincing you probably should bow out. Then spend the money on a trip you WILL enjoy; either that or save the money for your daughter's braces and your hearing aids. (If I remember correctly.)

    If you are expecting the trip to turn out bad before you even go, you won't be disappointed. [/QUOTE]


    See this is why I'm having reservations. My friend paid $2000 for my ticket to go so I don't know if she can get refunded at this late date or get someone else to go, but I figure I'm going to need about $1000 of my own money and honestly, while the cruise probably will be fun and I DO appreciate her and her late husband giving it to me, she does know our financial situation and how my daughter and I do need the medical things you mentioned. I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. She is looking forward to it and really wants me to go. I am looking at the financial aspect and wondering if I can afford to go even with her paying the cruise and airline tickets. Because I do want to go, but is it going to be fun for me to just stay on the ship, not see the ports we visit and not buy a souvenier or two. If I do no excursions and stay on board, then I could probably get by with 200-300 dollars spending money.
    See, she and her husband have always lived in the moment. They did what they wanted and spent what they wanted and then worried about bills and kids and medical later. But now she has life insurance money and wants to get out there and spend it. Good for her. I don't. And I'm moving in 3 months which is also going to be expensive. The braces and hearing aids are on the back burner until we can get moved. Once we are moved and established and dh and I are both working, then I can probably swing the braces and hearing aids.

    I have some heavy expenses coming up and this is why I am worried about this cruise and I know if I say now: I can't go, she's going to go postal on me. And it was a hugely nice gesture. This was to be his 40th birthday cruise. His birthday is the day before mine and that is one of the reasons it was offered to me when he found out he was dying. But truly, I really can't afford to go and enjoy it. I mean, the ship is nice, so having to stay on it for 6 days and just enjoy what it has to offer will be fun too. But I've never been to California or that part of Canada and would like to see some of the sights.
    I'm just going to have to tell her: I will be able to go, but I can't afford to do any of the excursions. Then I can scrimp and hopefully get by on $200. I don't drink, so I don't have to buy drinks on ship. I'm assuming you can get water free? or do they make you pay for that?
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  3. #23
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    For Rosie

    Rosie, my computer's been iffy and I haven't been able to access all the posts so if I'm repeating something someone said etc., apologies. I've been on a couple cruises and while I thought I was never the cruise type, I actually enjoyed them very much...without spending a lot of money. I don't think you have to be apologetic for not having a lot of money to spend on this. Your friend made a very generous gesture and that's to be appreciated. But if she can't appreciate that you don't have enough spare money to do everything she does, she's not a very good friend. You could be honest with her and just tell her...or you can emphasize that you're REALLY looking forward to just getting away from it all and relaxing on the ship and reading/watching TV/playing their boardgames... most cruise ships have organized activities that don't cost any extra (golf, swimming, aerobics, dance lessons etc.). She may offer to pay for some of your excursions and if she does, and she has the money to do so, take her up on a few of them so you can see that parts you've always wanted to. You can make it up to her when you get back home by making her a scrapbook of your trip (take lots of photos) or making her dinner or something.

    I'm not sure what the $200 or $300 was for that you were budgeting, but if you have that to spend, you can go on a couple excursions ('cause unless your cruise is different, meals are included with the cruise ticket price)! I've been on excursions that cost $50 or less for hikes around various places...

    The food on cruises my friends and I have been on were all included (as far as I remember). There were some extras that you had to pay extra for (like a caviar tasting night) but meals are included. The ones I took included the drinks/bottled water/sodas etc., too.

    Go, spend what you know you can afford and relax!
    Last edited by Lois Lane; 04-15-2006 at 09:27 AM.

  4. #24
    Rock Stars! bbnbama's Avatar
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    If your cruise has been like the others I have been on-booze is extra and soft drinks are extra. You can usually purchase a soft drink package and then you can drink all the soft drinks you want. There's usually a deli/bistro type place that's open 24 hours and you can get lemonade, tea, coffee, water all the time. Food is usually free except speciality restaurants-room service is usually free too!

    Like Lois Lane had said-there are plenty of on ship activities to do and most off-ship exursions aren't very expensive. Souveniers are usually my biggest expense. Eat real good before you get off ship, bring a water bottle that you can refill while off the boat and you shouldn't have a big expense as far as food is concerned, unless you choose to eat somewhere.

    I've known quite a few people that have been on 7 day cruises and got by with less than $300.....it can be done and still have alot of fun. I think since your friend thought enough of you to pay for and invite you on this great trip, she would understand if you explain that you can't or don't have alot of major buckeroos to go and do anything and everything, especially since you've got medical bills and you are about to move. I think she would understand and I also agree with Lois Lane that if she offers to pay for it, go and enjoy it. She obviously invited you for your great company and companionship and she probably wouldn't want to do alot of stuff alone. Go and enjoy and have great memories!!!

    Bon Voyage!!
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

  5. #25
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Rosie, the layering idea for clothes that people suggested is a really good one. I wouldn't worry about buying a new wardrobe. Do you have any silk undershirts? Those are really thin and keep you warm on the colder days underneath a shirt and a sweater or a windbreaker/rain slicker. I usually travel with one carryon (like the kind that flight attendants use) and that's worked out well--even when I'm gone for 2 weeks! As long as I have clean underwear and socks, that's the most important thing to me. It's easy to travel with on planes, it's always with me so I don't have to worry about lost clothes, and I keep all the other important items (passports, money etc.) in a very LARGE purse I always carry (so it's like having 2 carry ons!).

    I don't know which cruise liner you're going on, but ours had washers and dryers on every other floor that all the passengers could use...for FREE! So that was a nice way to maximize the clothes I brought. I'd suggest checking the website for the cruise you're going on. I think that'll answer a lot of your questions (what's included in the price your friend's already paid; what do you have to pay for; what activities are included on the trip; etc. etc.). Most cruise liners have gyms so it's nice to get a workout (free!) in the mornings before you start your day etc.

    Most importantly, don't be afraid to tell your friend that you don't have the kind of disposable income that she does to spend, and that you want to make sure you don't go overboard (figuratively!!!). She must love you very much to invite you on such a generous trip, and I think once you get on the ship you will have a fabulous time!

  6. #26
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    myrosiedog: I didn't mean to sound mean or anything, but I do think you need to feel "happy" about going and not worry every minute about every expense. You won't enjoy your trip that way.

    I think it's a great idea to talk to your friend and let her know you won't be able to do some of the things she may want to do. Set a budget. There's always lots to do on the ship and even getting away for a holiday will be very enjoyable. It's a great opportunity to see a few new cities. Even if you aren't able to see everything there that you want to this time around. You can always go back if you like one place in particular. People are always interesting to watch and I'm sure your friend will appreciate that you have gone with her on this cruise.

    So relax, and ENJOY!
    Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly

  7. #27
    FORT Fanatic Kay118's Avatar
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    myrosiedog, I've only been on one cruise (Princess): water, coffee and iced tea are free, sodas are extra.

    I don't know where your ship will dock and how much time you will have in port. You don't need to join the ship's excursions and can do it on your own, I suggest that you spend a little time before going to research online what you would like to see, how to get there etc.

    This is a great message board: http://boards.cruisecritic.com

    There are reviews, trip reports and you can find info in the ports of call section.

    I hope you'll have a great trip.

  8. #28
    Rock Stars! bbnbama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay118 View Post
    myrosiedog, I've only been on one cruise (Princess): water, coffee and iced tea are free, sodas are extra.

    I don't know where your ship will dock and how much time you will have in port. You don't need to join the ship's excursions and can do it on your own, I suggest that you spend a little time before going to research online what you would like to see, how to get there etc.

    This is a great message board: http://boards.cruisecritic.com

    There are reviews, trip reports and you can find info in the ports of call section.

    I hope you'll have a great trip.
    Oh, I definitely recommend the cruisecritic website People give you tips on where to go, excursions to try, hints and tips for the ship....its a great website!
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

  9. #29
    Miz Smarty Britches queenb's Avatar
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    MRD, I don't like the idea of a cruise very much either, because I like to get out and do on my own schedule. But I think if it were free, I'd go an enjoy it for what it is; you know, if the excursion is sitting on a bus, look at it as a "drive-by" for you to see things you might want to see if you ever come back. And take the chance to enjoy just hanging out with other people on the cruise or excursion. As for the food and drink thing, it might be a good chance for you to see how you're going to feel on holidays and so forth after your surgery--you will have to do this sooner or later anyway. (My sister had the stomach surgery, and really got depressed on the first few holidays)
    By the way, I'm from nearly as far south as you, and I haven't frozen to death yet traveling Northwest! As others have suggested, a long sleeved shirt under a windproof light jacket will probably be all you need. If you really think you might get too cold, just order a couple sets of lightweight long underwear (cheap!), and possibly a fleece vest, and you'll be good to go for sure!
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  10. #30
    MRD
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    Thanks for all the great advice guys. I'm feeling much better about going and I will talk to my friend about money.

    Queenb, since my surgery, my body has been out of whack temp wise which is what concerns me. Usually I am always hot. But the last 6 weeks, I am in flannel pjs, socks and wrapped up in a blanket with the thermostat turned up and my family are all complainiing they are hot. I can't seem to get warm. I hope it straightens out soon. I'm told its normal. I'm told everything is normal, so I'm starting so suspect something.

    I did great yesterday at Easter and there were cupcakes and potato salad and all really good things that I didn't eat. The eating thing hasn't really bothered me that much because its offset when I see the weight I've lost. Besides for the first few weeks, food turned my stomach and I couldn't eat. I still have a few problems with that, but its funny that my focus is not on food anymore because just thinking about makes me nauseous. I did worry about the food on the cruise, but not anymore. I'll eat what I need to eat and not worry about it. But I'm NOT paying outside excursion food prices for food I will not be able to eat. I'm sorry, I may sound cheap, but that is the way it is. I'd rather eat on the ship where the meals are included and then use my limited money to see or do other things.

    For some reason, most of the excursions on this particular trip are in the $75-$100 range. So I can only pick one or two to go on. I am going on the Mt. St. Helen's one. It's $110, but if I only do one, I'm doing THAT one.

    I'll talk to my friend this week. I think a lot of this is guilt that I'm leaving my family home. They so want to go on a cruise and we have not done one yet. We have not done many family vacations due to lack of big money for them. Our choice, but.... my daughter is really having a hard time that I'm going on this. Husband is more accepting. I think a lot of this is guilt on my part and also feeling bad that I'm going and my friend's husband is not and this was his trip. Lot of emotion connected with this.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
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