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Thread: Going on a cruise

  1. #1
    Wait, what? ArchieComic Fan's Avatar
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    Going on a cruise

    My husband and I are planning a cruise in May. We picked a 5-day Bahamas cruise that leaves from Jacksonville, visits Key West and Nassau and then back to Jacksonville. It will be five days long. We'll probably rent a car to travel from our home city to Jacksonville to save on airfare. We want an oceanview cabin versus interior.

    I need tips on:

    cabin selection (decks, location of cabin, views, etc.)
    gratuities
    entertainment
    port fees
    ways to receive discounts
    travel insurance
    safety tips
    any additional info that would help

    We haven't booked it yet. I've looked at various sites and they all seem to offer the same rates.

    I'm so excited and want to make sure my first time cruise experience is as fun as it can be.

  2. #2
    Wait, what? ArchieComic Fan's Avatar
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    In case anyone else is considering a cruise, I found this great website.

    http://cruisediva.com/

    I'd still like to hear from anyone that has taken a cruise before!

  3. #3
    MIA, RIP, or Busy...
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    ArchieComic Fan. I've been on 3 cruises and really enjoy them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchieComic Fan View Post
    I need tips on:

    cabin selection (decks, location of cabin, views, etc.) It really isn't worth it to pay the upgrade price to have a view IMO; ask yourself how much time you'll spend in your room AND, if you really want to see the water, go out on deck...the view is the same. I had an ocean view for my first and never booked one again since...the interior rooms (not located on the lowest level or the ones directly under a theater/dance floor or near an elevator) are just fine

    gratuities many cruises have a daily rate they suggest and you are welcome to tip more or less depending on your circumstances; they'll give you envelopes on the last night of the cruise and I know Royal Caribbean will give you a voucher that is billed directly to your room so you don't have to worry about cash) I also tipped more on my last cruise but it went directly to the Adventure Ocean crew because they made the cruise so much fun for my children and I really thought they deserved it!

    entertainment plenty of it non-stop and you choose to suit your taste-no extra charge. Overall, most of the evening shows they put on are really great quality and pool side games are usually a lot of fun too.

    port fees included in final quoted price

    ways to receive discounts if you find out let me know

    travel insurance highly recommend it if you'll be traveling during hurricane season or with children that can fall ill unexpectedly

    safety tips ships are usually pretty safe....to avoid illness/stomach viruses, wash your hands everywhere and frequently

    any additional info that would help a little known fact, is that during the evening dinner, you are able to try "everything/multiple entree items" on the menu that evening. It is structured to make it look like you should choose one of each (appetizer, main course, dessert, etc), but meals are all included, so eat and sample to your heart's desire! If you enjoy wine with dinner, buy a bottle....they will recork it for you and bring it back the next evening and its much more economical.

    Beyond that...enjoy! I was hooked after the first time.
    A Bachelor fan til it dies a slow death and oddly enough, A Rock of Love fan...finest hair extensions from Europe and all. ;-)

  4. #4
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of about.com, but here's a decent article on things to think about when selecting a cabin:

    http://cruises.about.com/od/cruisepl...sing_cabin.htm

  5. #5
    Wait, what? ArchieComic Fan's Avatar
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    Thanks Igotalife and John - you've both given me some really good info. At first I was dead set on getting an ocean view cabin but now I'm not so sure. It would be nice to use the money saved on an interior cabin shopping at the ports.

  6. #6
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    You are so lucky! I hope you have a great time.

    Nassau is very nice. It used to be a great place to buy gold jewellry. I would make sure you don't bring a lot of expensive things with you or ask about a room safe or the ship's safe if you want to store a couple valuables, just in case.

    My cousins have taken several. And enjoyed them very much. Lots to eat, lots to do, lots of shows to watch, lots of time to do nothing and watch others. From recent news reports on cruises, I've seen several major issues. Get as much health insurance as you can. Once you are on open waters, the rules of crime do change. As well find out the medical qualifications of the doctors who will be on board your ship and if they are able to handle more than just sea sickness. Like minor injuries, heart troubles, and the like. Not that you will need them. But in case you will need them. Just because a ship leaves America, it is no longer sailing in American waters, with American staff. And the rules are different.

    Have yourself a most wonderful time. You probably won't spend much time in your room as the ocean liners are huge. And you will also be landing in a couple of ports of call, I assume.
    Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly

  7. #7
    Premium Member DesertRose's Avatar
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    Archie, count me in with those that think that a cabin with a view is a waste of money. These room are usually small and it's a much better experience to be out on deck.

    Great tips from Igotgoodadvice regarding the multiple entrees (gaining weight on a cruise is mandatory) and the wine. I'd like to add that you should take the later dining service. Less kids and more time to lounge around, then get ready.

    Make sure to bring vests for inside, especially in the theater. It is freezing in there.

  8. #8
    Premium Member dagwood's Avatar
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    Wow. Sounds like fun. Take lots of pics so you can post them for us to live vicariously through you.
    He who laughs last thinks slowest

    #oldmanbeatdown - Donny BB16

  9. #9
    FORT Fogey
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    YIKES, I'd be careful about some of the nasty gastrointestinal viruses that can sometimes spread among the passengers on a cruise ship, e.g., Norwalk Virus. More info on Norwalk Virus can be found here:

    http://www.lambtonhealth.on.ca/communicable/norwalk.asp

    I'd take a bunch of hand sanitizer with me if I were you, and I'd use it liberally.

    http://www.pfizerch.com/product.aspx?id=488

  10. #10
    Rock Stars! bbnbama's Avatar
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    http://www.cruisecritic.com/

    http://landfalltravel.com/formsx.html
    (couple of sites I've used)

    ArchieComicFan....I've been on 3 cruises and my last cruise that I went on was in January on Carnival Celebration and we took that exact route-Jacksonville, Key West, Nassau........Key West was great...unique and you MUST get a frozen key lime pie on a stick ...Nassau...Atlantis was unbelievable...we were there from 11:00 a.m. till midnight and we didn't have enough time....I'm not at my regular computer so I'll try to remember to look for any additional info I have and please feel free to PM me....

    I love going on a cruise and have had nothing but great experiences...I've even sailed during Hurricane Wilma when the ship was rocking and rolling and still had a great time! Food is around ALL the time...anything and everything you can think of...its definitely the place to try new foods....always some type of activity going on...bingo, shows, art auctions, gambling, dance lessons, wine tasting, spa treatments, contests...you can do anything or nothing at all...On my last cruise I saw a lady every day who sat in a lounge chair by the pool with her headphones on and knitting.....! Not my idea of what to do on a cruise but she seemed to be very relaxed and enjoy herself!

    Your cruise is what you make of it....but I'm sure you'll enjoy all of it! I'm so jealous...wish I was going back soon.........
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

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