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Randy Burlin

Age: 45

Occupation:Firefighter

Number of Cruises: First Cruise

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Celebration

Sailing Date: October 17th, 2001

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This was my wife and my first cruise. I had done some research on the Internet to learn what I could about cruising. We had a great time. Let me start by saying that there was a hurricane in southern Mexico and the water going was very rough. It took a while to get your “sea legs”. There are a lot of good reviews here so I will not try to repeat what has already been said. Instead, I will try to fill you in on some things that have not been covered much.

First of all, when you reach the terminal, unload your baggage and proceed to the parking lot (about ½ mile away). Parking will cost you $40 when you drop your vehicle off (cash only). The lot is fenced and guarded. There are plenty of shuttle busses to take you back to the terminal. Check in lines are long but move fairly quickly. You can expect about 45minutes to an hour thru check in.

You will have to get a “Sail & Sign” card. Except for the casino, cash is not accepted on the ship (drinks, shops, etc.) you have to use your “sail & sign” card. You need to know how much you intend to spend (cash or credit card) before you embark. You can always go to the purser’s desk and add more to it.

The rooms are the same size, whether inside room or outside room. They are nice size rooms, one has a window in it and the other doesn’t. LOL Plenty of storage space. The beds push together to form a double bed. THE BOTTLE OF WATER IN YOUR ROOM IS NOT FREE. IT IS $4.00. I found that the tap water was just fine. Let the cabin Stewart know if you need anything they are good at taking care of you. Don’t be disappointed if your Cabin Stewart doesn’t visit much. They are very busy with several rooms to take care of.

There are plenty of shows and activities to keep you busy. Don’t try to do it all. It is impossible. The shows are great. The karaoke bar was a blast. You don’t have to sing but the atmosphere is great. The disco was fun but too loud. The drinks are a bit pricey. Beer was near $4.00 with gratuity added and mixed drinks were near $6.00. Gratuity is automatically added you don’t have choice. You can take your liquor with you and save money. They don’t check luggage. The food was good, not really great. We ate at the Wheelhouse for breakfast and lunch. They had a varied menu everyday. We ate at the Dining room for supper. The menu was always great. The portions were kinda small but good. You can have as much off of the menu as you want. They don’t advertise it but you can have as much as you want. You can even get 2 of something if you want it.

The shore excursions are fun but pricey. Order your excursion early. Some will fill up quickly. The Locals are usually real friendly. They want your money. You can bargain with them. It is allowed. All of the excursions are good. The topless area is on the Lido deck all the way forward.

On the last night, you must put your luggage outside your room in the hall for the steward to pick up by 10:00pm. Be sure to keep your carry-on with your clothes and toiletries for the next morning. When you get ready to leave the ship, they separate people according to the color of their luggage tag. You will be called by color to disembark. You do not have to wait for your color. Nobody is checking. They just don’t want everyone trying to get off at the same time. Put some kind of colorful yarn or string on your luggage cause when you get inside the terminal, there are about 2000 pieces of black & dark blue luggage. They all look the same. Make yours stand out and easy to find. When you get your luggage and go to the loading dock, go to the far east end of the terminal. Everyone stops at the first 2 or 3 doors. It get very congested. When you pick your car up, you will enter the terminal from the east end and if you take your luggage down there, you will be able to load your car and get out of there much quicker.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Have a safe and fun trip…

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