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ASH72 02-25-2009 05:33 AM

This will be our first cruise, and I am excited, but still very unsure what to expect.
I am cruising with my husband and a pair of friends.
My husband is an alcoholic, however 3 years sober.
At home we make a point to avoid locations with temptation such as bars and pool halls etc.
He has been to parties where there is drinking has done ok, but has mentined at home that it was difficult.

I have heard that some ships offer AA meetings.
Does anyone know anything about this?

Also, hubby and I have talked about the sail and sign card, and he knows there is certain ways of restraining the card so you only have a certain amount to spend each day. I am not 100% on how this works, any info would be great.

He knows it is hard, and wants to work to make it easier for himself. We also know it is going to be rough being in a location where there is a lot of drinking. Just want to make the best of it.

Any suggestions would be helpful

Cruise Fanatic 02-25-2009 05:56 AM

Yes, they do have AA meetings on ships. They are called Friends of Bill W. Carnival's daily bulletin is called Carnival Capers. The Bill W. is usually mentioned in the Capers on the time and place where it will be held. You can speak to the Pursers desk about putting limits on your Sail and Sign card.

penny3333 02-25-2009 06:03 AM

Hi ASH72, welcome to Cruise-Chat. Congratulations on your up-coming cruise and congratulations to your husband. All of the meetings will be listed in your daily newsletter that you receive in your cabin. There are many on board that don't drink. At one time Carnival was known as a party cruise line, but it has drastically changed. Carnival is now more of a family cruise line. You'll have those who over-indulge everywhere you go, but the majority of cruisers are not booze hounds. There are lounges throughout the ship, but you can avoid any of them easily. All bars serve non-alcoholic beverages. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy on board and there are plenty of sights to see on shore, none of which require alcohol. I don't think he'll have any trouble finding areas where drinking is not going on. Best wishes and have a wonderful cruise!

drlivingston 02-25-2009 11:46 AM

Congrats to your husband. Admitting is a hard decision to make and following the sober lifestyle can be described as difficult at best. You have MANY options on a ship that will allow you and your husband endless hours of fun without making him uncomfortable. I am a huge wine drinker but, on a recent cruise, we were seated with a couple who were celebrating 5 years of mutual sobriety. My wife and I decided not to have any alcoholic beverages with our dinners. It was an easy decision for us to make and it made our tablemates a lot more comfortable. They are a great couple and we still maintain correspondence. People on cruise ships can be very accommodating to the needs of others. Like previous posters noted, you will find "Friends of Bill W." meetings listed on the daily calendars. Make sure that you pay attention to any excursion that you intend to book. Many party boats (i.e. booze cruises) and "beach breaks" include an open bar. Sometimes these details aren't listed and it pays to do a little research to make sure that you aren't paying a premium for a part of the excursion that means nothing to you. They serve non-alcoholic beers on board (on Carnival, it will be mostly O'Douls and Buckler) but you will pay the same amount as if you were ordering any other beer. You will be asked by many wandering waiters if you wish to purchase the "drink of the day" or any other cocktail. If you say "no", they will graciously walk away. They will not be in the least bit offended. You may want to take advantage of Carnival's soft drink card. It is a separate card that entitles the owner to unlimited soft drinks. It cannot be used to acquire any alcoholic beverages. If you or your husband might feel that temptation would be too great, let him carry a room key and a soft drink card. Bartenders on Carnival will NOT take cash for drink purchases (this is a rule but sometimes on debarkation day they will open a cash bar---be wary of that). The only other advice that I have to give you is that Carnival almost always has a free liquor tasting onboard. It will be announced several times on the ships announcements and it will appear in the Carnival Capers as well. Don't worry about temptations on board the ship... your hubby will do fine and you will bring many great memories back with you. If you have any further questions do not hesitate to ask.

Dave 02-25-2009 11:57 AM

One thing: my understanding is the Friends Of Bill W is not an official activity where some member of the cruise staff shows up to run the meeting, but rather just a time and place is reserved and whoever shows up puts together their own discussion. It is possible that nobody else will show up. Am I correct on that?

drlivingston 02-25-2009 12:09 PM

From what I learned from the couple that I dined with, it is hit or miss. They had attended groups with leaders (sometimes Carnival staff and sometimes not) but they often found themselves in a quiet area that allowed them tme to just focus on their intent and motivation. They were able to meet other couples and they generally rated it as a positive experience.

Bem1962 02-25-2009 05:30 PM

I can tell you from my own experience, he will be ok on the trip you might want to buy the soda card for unlimited soft drinks, so when the staff come by and offers drinks he can order a soft drink, it is accepted in clubs and shows and dinner also, I was on the ship last week and did not drink, lots also did the same thing, Enjoy...

ASH72 02-26-2009 04:10 AM

wow guys, thank-you, you gave us a lot of really usful information.
I love the soda card idea, and I know he will use that one well lol
I told him about the Friends of Bill W meetings, and he is glad for that.
It is encouraging to know that many of you posted that he will do fine
That means a lot to both of us, and when he read your words it was a boost for him also.


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