Post # 1
Me and my fiance are trying to book a cruise for this coming January in 2016. We just want a 5 day cruise and leaving out of Florida. I need to know anything I might need to know to go about this..
Extra cost that are not paid at the time of booking
Tips for a hotel for the night before since we board at 8am
Anything about packaging and luggage
Ect.. No one in my immediate family has ever been on a cruise so anything will help to help us decide on booking. Thanks!
Post # 2
Hey! You guys are going to have a blast! Here are my 2 tips: Bring a Britta or Pur pitcher and a new filter with you. This way you can use the water in the room and have clean fresh water all the time without having to either pay for bottled water or go up to another deck to get it. The steward will bring you ice if you like it cold so it all works out perfectly. Also, I don’t know if you plan on drinking, but most ships will allow you to bring 1 bottle of wine per adult and a soft sided cooler with individual drinks. If you do drink, I would suggest bringing little bottles of cranberry or pineapple juice (or whatever mixers you’d like) and then bringing what they call “Bladders” filled with the liquor of your choice with you and putting them in your suitcases rolled up in a pair of jeans. They won’t be detected by the security scanner and you will not have to pay for alcohol for the whole trip. http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Rum-Runner%C2%AE-Cruise-Kit/dp/B000IUO3VE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432821112&sr=8-1&keywords=cruise+bladder Here they are on Amazon for $29.90.
Just 2 ways we’ve found to save money; hope it was helpful and that you have a beautiful trip!
Post # 3
I can’t help with the hotel situation since I’m from Australia. But, the extra costs were the shore excursions, alcohol and the day spa. You don’t need to pack towels since they had both beach and bath towels. We basically packed a couple sets of clothes, undies, swimmers, a nice dress for formal night and a Hawaiian outfit since there was a Hawaiian night. They have shampoo and body wash in the bathroom but we brought our own toiletries. We also hide alcohol in shampoo shaped bottled Lmao. We also brought hair straightener, makeup, 2 pairs of shoes each and thongs, phones, camera, chargers and money. We went with very little and it was still too much. Have fun!!!
Post # 4
Which cruise line are you sailing on? With some cruiselines, you pay the tips/gratuities ahead of time for dining etc. I’m going on a cruise in November on Royal Caribbean, and our dining gratuities have been prepaid. We also bought unlimited drink packages, and an 18% gratuity was added to that as well. I’m sure we’ll tip additional for great service though. You’ll want to bring cash to tip the room stewards and waiters (they give you an envelope the last night) if your cruise doesn’t have these options.
Obviously, if you aren’t buying a drink package, you’ll have to pay for your drinks. It’ll be charged to your onboard account and then your credit/debit card will be charged at the end of the cruise. Bring money for offshore excursions and food/drinks.
As for hotel, where in Florida? Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, or Miami? I have sailed out of all three of these ports, and can recommend a hotel based on where you’re leaving from!
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2015 - Versailles Banquets (Northwest Suburbs of Chicago)
What port are you looking to leave from? Port of Miami or Port Everglades (out of Ft. Lauderdale?
There are a lot of extra costs – daily tips (about $12 a person and are normally taken out in one lump sum around day of the cruise), any soft drinks or alcohol and any off shore excursions. Those are the main ones.
Make sure you check how many dressy and how many casual dinner nights you have on your cruise. Most people don’t dress up how they used a few years back, but it is still cocktail attire for the fancier nights. I pack really light for the day activites, mainly a few suits and 2 coverups and some shorts and tshirts and just really focus on what I want to wear for the evenings.
At most of the ports, you don’t even have to do an ecxursion. There is plenty to do right at the port or a short cab drive away. Turks and Caicos has a fabulous port with beach access and a Margaritaville. Grand Cayman has 7 mile beach that is just a short cab ride away. San Juan you can walk around to all the cute shops and town that is right outside the port.
We love cruising and go on at least one cruise a year 🙂
Post # 6
Go to http://www.cruisecritic.com You can research ports, ships, cruise lines etc. There are also forums where you can learn as a first time cruiser.
Most ships have packages you can buy that will cover all your alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. You just have to figure out of your drinking styles make it worthwhile.
Post # 7
Awesome advice! The pitcher is smart and I do not drink very much so the blader idea is amazing advice! I also was unaware that you could bring two wine bottles which I don’t drink wine so that is technically two bottles for my fiance. Thanks for the advice 🙂
Thank you! I will be sure to include some of these too. I don’t plan to pack to much and fiance is an extremely light packer!
I am actually going to do carnival since I have found it to be cheaper. And either Port Canaveral or Jacksonville so we don’t have to travel as far south. I looked into the drink packages but at carnival it says that if one person buys unlimited alochol drinks and someone else that is 21 or above is with them they have to buy it. After gratiuity that would be 500 for a 5 day cruise and I doubt I will hace more than 3 alcohol beverages the whole trip so I am not sure that is the best option for us.
Either Jacksonville or Port Canaveral. How do you check out the days for when to be dressy and stuff? I have always wondered that cause I see pictures of people in super dressy dresses and was unaware of how to do that. Thanks for the advice!
Thanks for the site I will definitely check it out!
Another question I have is is it possible to have fun and enjoy the cruise without spending a lot of extra money on food, drinks and excursions. While I would love to snorkel and swim with dolphins we are trying to hold out on this and save this more for the honeymoon trip. This trip is just a get away for us as my fiance will have downtime in work in January and I will have just finished my second semester of nursing school so we just want time to relax and enjoy ourselves. Thanks again everybody, y’all all had amazing advice 🙂
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2015 - Versailles Banquets (Northwest Suburbs of Chicago)
I always look on the cruise lines page and find it there.
Post # 9
Most definitely. Enjoy food on board that is included, drink cordial, water and coffee from the buffet and just relax by the beach when the ship is docked. Or, stay on board when docked and enjoy the pool or spa without heaps of people around. 😁
Post # 10
I am having trouble booking the cruise 🙁 I turn 21 years old in exactly a month and therefor will be 21 when we cruise and my fiance will be 22 when we cruise but it is saying I am too young?
Post # 11
Can you put your fi as the first person? Sorry, not sure how it works over there as legal age is 18 here lol
Post # 12
I tried doing that too and it still keeps saying you have to be 21. I will probably call them tomorrow and see what they can do or maybe make a new account and make sure it is created in his name. Thanks!
Post # 13
I would just call them to book it if you’re having trouble online.
Some extra expenses are alcohol, soda, excursions, the steak house (not the main dining room), and the spa. I would recommend doing at least 1 excursion. You don’t have to do one in every port.
Note that you can bring 1 350mL bottle of wine or champagne with you and cases of water (maybe soda as well) as long as they are not opened.
Also, I did a quick search for you and I didn’t see any cruises leaving out of Port Canaveral or Jacksonville in Jan 2016 on Carnival’s website. Are you going to the Caribbean?
I’ve been on 3 Carnival cruises and they have all left your “home” port at around 3:00 or 4:00pm. You get back into your home port at 8:00am. So I’m assuming you’re getting the times mixed up and therefore won’t need a hotel the night before because you can just get an early flight the day of the cruise.
Post # 14
I did call! They have a 24 hour reserve on it so after I talk to my fiance we will decide for sure. And i’m not sure why you aren’t seeing that. It is a 5 day bahama cruise leaving Jan 2, 2016 from Jacksonville. And yes you are correct about the 4 pm thing. I am not sure where I misread that but the lady on the phone did tell me that it was 4. We won’t be flying we will be driving so I am not sure if we sould just leave early Saturday and not get a hotel or leave Friday and get a hotel still. Its a 6 hour drive. She also said that to park out car at the port was 15 dollars a day. Anyone else have any other car options or suggestions?
Post # 15
I went on a similar cruise out of Charleston. I really didn’t spend *that* much. Remember that the spa on the ships are pretty bad. I would not spend money on that. Fun drinks were probably $8-10 a piece. Once you get into international water, they’re tax free. I would bring extra one dollar bills for tips. Service is great and you will probably want to tip more. I went with a bunch of girlfriends, so all we did was hang out on the Serenity Deck, read, and drink.
We didn’t do any excursions in Nassau because it was a rainy, nasty day. We were suppose to go to Little Stirrup Cay but the water was too choppy so we spent the day at sea which was fun. The piano bar on the ship out of Charleston was great. They have so many activities on board from comedy shows to tea time.
You can pack almost as much as you want, but space in the room is pretty limited. I would bring a power strip because most ships only give you two outlets. The bathrooms are tiny too. No towels. I went ahead and just ordered bottled water to be sent to my room on the first day. There’s plenty of water onboard though.
Get out as early as you can on seadays and get a nice seat at the 21+ deck. Enjoy the three course breakfast and dinner. Have fun. You will be treated well.