We are on the march 4th., 2007 Conquest cruise out of Galviston, Tx. I am very excited, however my husband is very nervous. Any info on what is included,(they just don't tell you about it) and what is not. I am traveling with 4 of my children ages 10-23.We have 2 balcony rooms and 3 inside staterooms on the Verandah deck, towards the front. Any tips or advice will be very appreciated!
Well I would be excited too! Cruising is awesome but with family, the experience is so much better. What is your husband nervous about? Thinking from a guy's perspective I guess I would naturally be protective of my loved ones and new situations and cultures takes one outside of their "safe zone."
It's natural to be nervous but if I can answer any questions I am happy to do so as well as all the great people who post here regularly.
Just post your questions and people will seize on the opportunity to help!
You'll have a great time. My first tip would be to read through this forum. Many of the same tips and tidbits of cruising knowledge get discuss over and over again in this forum. So, read through some of the other message on cruise questions and most of your preliminary questions will get answered quickly. If you can't find an answer or have a different question, come on back and ask it and you will get more help than you probably wanted.
As for what is included on your cruise....all meals except in the Bistro. We passed on that. Why pay for food when you can get it free? Some said the specialty reastaurant was great and others said no better than the rest of the food. Sushi. All water, coffee, milk, juice in the morning and coffee, tea, lemonade and punch the rest of the day. All entertainment.
What will you pay for with your sail and sign card? Any pictures you buy, BINGO, anything purchased from the gift shops. All alchohol, sodas etc. Any visits to the Dr on board. All shore excursions booked on and off the ship and anything you do or buy on shore. Also though room service is free please tip the waiter. It is not part of the automatic gratuity that will be added to your sail and sign bill. A 15% gratuity will be added to any bar drinks ordered including soda. Also there is a coffee bar on board that sells coffees, cakes, cookies, chocolate covered strawberries and you can order special occation cakes. You will pay for all this but honestly who has room with all the food on board? I have yet to try this coffee bar though the prices are very reasonable. 5 chocolate covered strawberries for $3.00. Huge piece of cake for $2.00 and giant cookies for $1.00 each.
Remember you will be asked for a credit card when you arrive. They will issue each person a sail and sign card. This will be your room key, identification card on and off the ship though you should still carry your passport off ship and your credit card for making any purchases onboard. They do not accept cash anywhere on board except in the casino.
Each child will have a card so please be careful as they can use it to make purchases. Give them the rules before hand or you may be shocked when the bill arrives on the last day.
Don't forget the bungee cord to hold the balcony door open. Great to sleep at night with the door open and listen to the waves.
Don't wait to pack the last day as we just did and forgot important things that we had to purchase on the ship or on shore.
DO book with www.captainmarvins.com for the entire group. We did for our family of 14 on the Conquest and it was the highlight of the cruise. We basically had a boat and tour guides to ourselves. Do buy the DVD they will sell. I am so glad I did!
And last but not least DO have a GREAT time!!! I know we all did.
I guess you can "do" or 'not do" whatever you want. If a list of options were to be created, it would be too large for this forum.
Cruising is a great experience in general but there are some things that are particularly personal. One person's fun may be a drag for someone else. (If you don't swim, you may not want to snorkel etc.)
You can eat at the buffet any time, as long as it is open. You can eat at both dinner seatings if you wish or if you don't want to limit yourself to one entree, you can order two and eat it all or share with your family. You get up from the table and walk away with nothing to sign.
Tipping is appropriate at any time but there is plenty discussed on this forum on that subject.
On the "sail and sign" card, I believe you can block some of your group from using it for anything but access to your stateroom and boarding. Check with Carnival on that if there are some in your charge who you do want to have access to your credit card.
Thanks for all the info, I guess there is alot more to know than I thought! I just can't wait. My vacation planner told me there are no guantees that we would all be seated together, however, I did tell her that it was very important to me that we do. I hope the room location is good, being the first time I had no idea on where I wanted to be, as I was given a choice. I chose the verandah deck in the front? Oh my gosh this site is so wonderful, with all the info!! thanks everyone.
Do be aware that the children's sail and sign cards can be used in the arcade to purchase tokens (up to $5 per day per card) so make sure you have an "understanding" with your children if they will be allowed to do this.
Also remind the children (and/or adults) that the minibar is not free. Even bottled water in the cabin costs extra.
Also know that it is perfectly ok to bring on soda and water in your carry ons. We usually bring 2 12 packs of soda for a one week cruise.
We carry it on so that it does not get busted and get on the clothing.