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Old 08-11-2007, 05:40 PM
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Hi All! I am a "Group Coordinator" for 34 of us leaving out of New Orleans on the Fantasy in September. I am a FIRST TIME cruiser and so are most of the friends and co-workers I am dragging along with me - so I have a few questions if anyone would be so kind to answer! We are only 33 days away from sailing (I believe) so the anticipation is rising!!!

*There are several single ladies in our group (mid-20s and mid-30s and even mid-50s). Would it be okay for us to walk around, by ourselves, early in the morning or late at night? I am an incredibly early riser and my roommate is not so I am sure I will want to be up on the deck smelling the air and seeing the sites, long before most passengers are awake - is this safe? (I'm 35, single and incredibly hot if you want to know) Okay, all kidding aside - what about at night? My roommate is 23 and likes to party so she will probably hang-out with the extreme drinkers in our group and come in at 3am and I'll be ready to sleep by midnight - is it safe for either one of us to be roaming the ship alone at all hours??

*I am not a soda drinker. I have an addiction to UNSWEET iced tea. For real. I think I spend more on iced tea at McDonald's monthly than I do on food. Everything I read says Carnival only serves sweet tea - and super-sweet at that. What are my options? Do I have to bring my own tea? I would rather just pay for it somewhere. What about at dinner? Is unsweet tea an option to order then? What's a girl to do??

*Seriously....we are all very excited and looking forward to the cruise. I am about to send-out a final 'reminder' flyer to everyone about hints, tips, etc.....so feel free to send any our way! We have about 12 mid-50 ladies, about 6 couples ranging from mid-20s to mid-40s and the rest are mid-30s ladies and about three kids thrown in the mix. Say HI to us if you start talking to a group of surgery employees from Missouri.... :-)
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:26 AM
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Hi, first time cruiser! I worked on the Fantasy back in Nov. of '04. It's a pretty nice ship, especially if it's your first one. It's a good one to 'get your feet wet.' Sorry. It really doesn't matter what time of the day you want to stroll around the ship. There's only been 1 or 2 instances where I have seen unruly guests make cat calls towards unexpected fellow guests, but that's about the extent of it. There are security guards on duty 24-7. Point being, feel free to wander about. It's your vacation. Enjoy it. That said, tell your single friends they're in for it. Meaning, a great time. For the 4 years I've been on cruise ships, I believe it's the singles that take advantage of the excitement the most. Most ships have activities and events just for singles. Parties in the disco, back lounge, main lounge, all over the place. Make sure your group takes advantage of the deck parties on lido deck (deck 10 on the Fantasy, I believe). If you drink or if you don't drink, the party people will enjoy the party atmosphere. Who knows, maybe a few of you will be chosen to lip synch up on the Lido deck stage!

As for your iced tea, what's the trouble of bringing some of your own. Carnival does offer it for free, but they might not have your brand, so go ahead and stash some in your luggage. Just carry a few packets with you when you go to dinner. No worries at all!

If you have any more ?'s before you leave, just ask! I work as a karaoke host, so I have a very good idea about what happens in the guest areas. For lots of people, especially first time cruisers, cruising is a life changing experience. In a good way, of course. Ciao for now! Boston Bobby
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Old 08-12-2007, 02:39 PM
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Boston Bobby - Thank you sooo much for the reply! You make this cruise sound even more upbeat and exciting!! It sounds like we are going to have a blast! Thanks for all the info...
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:50 AM
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You're very welcome!! Also, a couple of subtle hints for you: try and carry the ship's caper and deck plan with you at all times. The caper is the ship's pamphlet of daily activities. No one day is the same. You get a brand new every day in your cabin. The ship's deck plan is exactly that. It's a little booklet telling you the name and number of each deck. If you lose any one of them, there's plenty at the information desk (purser's desk), deck 7 (right where you embark), midship. One other thing, there was always a few people asking me what time it was. Most areas are not equipped with clocks (you're on vacation, who cares what time it is!) so you might want to wear one in case you want to be on time for an activity i.e. bingo, scavenger hunt, music trivia, t.v. theme show trivia, you get the idea. Enjoy your cruise!!!
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:37 PM
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oops! See below...
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
The ship's deck plan is exactly that. It's a little booklet telling you the name and number of each deck.
...do they give you one of these at check-in?
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:34 AM
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You are going to have a great time.

We have sailed on the Fantasy 3 times since December and found it to be very safe for ladies. I am 53 and walk the ship all the time alone without any concern.

Hubby and I part ways after dinner because I do karaoke and he goes to the shows. He goes to bed early (around 11:30) and I don't usually get in until 2AM. I have never had a problem.

Of course, as with any situation, just use common sense. Any "big partiers" who are ladies should ALWAYS use the buddy system. Carnival employees are screened....but you never know who your cabin neighbor is. I walk around all the time alone...even at 2 AM but I am not a big drinker.

One good tip is that we bring our own insulated mugs with a TOP. Since I get up from the table to sing karaoke and must leave my drink unattended...the top helps deter anyone trying to slip something in it.

Do not worry about the ice tea. As a Southern gal, it is good. It does come UNSWEETENED and it is available 24 hours a day.

You will love Big Tex (he will be your cruise director) and Hennie "Papa Smurf" is the main Social Host (hopefully he will be promoted to Asst CD soon).
Hennie is a hoot!!!

They have a Mardi Gras pub crawl which we brought our own beads to that lit up. But they give you beads as well.

Milby will be in the piano bar. He is very nice.

Nicole "Nicky" will be your karaoke host. She is lots of fun.


Some other tips:

1. I bring $50 in one dollar tips to tip the free room service, tip the piano guy if I request a song, tip the porters with the luggage etc.

2. I make sure I have several $5 bills when I go into port so that I don't get a lot of Mexican money in change if I make a small purchase.

3. If you are on a 5 day and are going to Costa Maya, you can go into town or you can join the "hole in the fence" gang and go to Chac-Chi. There is also shopping and a salt water pool right at the dock.

4. Cozumel has a CarlosNCharlies, Senor Frog1/2 and a Margaritaville all within 3 blocks of each other right there at the port.

We always spend it as a beach day at Paradise Beach. Paradise Beach does not charge an entrance fee. Lounge chairs, tables, umbrellas, clean restrooms and changing rooms and the internet at the bar are all free. All they ask is that you eat/ drink there.

You can also purchase an OPTIONAL $9 wristband and enjoy their non-motorized toys like kayaks, snorkeling, iceberg, 2 water trampolines and floats. They also have lockers for rent if you need them and all kinds of independent (reliable) vendors around with jetskis, banana boat, parasailing, beach massages, etc. You can even climb a coconut tree!!

Paradise Beach is about $15 one way for a taxi of 4. And don't worry about getting back to the ship. There are more taxis than sand in Cozumel.

5. IMPORTANT - bring an extention cord. There is only ONE (can you believe it) ONE electrical outlet in the ENTIRE cabin.

6. Bring a few extra hangers if you like all your stuff hung up (like me) .

7. The cabins will have robes. If for some reason your cabin does not...just ask the cabin steward to bring you one.

8. They have soap and shampoo in the shower in dispensers. You will need to bring your own hair dryer.

9. They will give you beach towels to use on the ship and in port. DO NOT LOSE THEM...they are $22 each if you lose one. But at least you don't have to waste space packing that.

10. The casino and disco run the latest at night. When I walk past them at 2AM, they are still going strong.

11. You can charge gambling money on your Sail and Sign, but they do charge a surcharge...so if your folks like to gamble...have them bring cash to avoid that expense.

12. Sit close to the front during the shore talks...sometimes they throw freebies out into the audience.

13. In the formal dining room, you can order as much of what is on the menu as you would like. We usually get 2 appetizers. The hot soups are particularly good. If you want 2 lobsters and 3 desserts...go for it! ALSO, expressos and Cappicinos cost extra on the Promenade but are FREE in the formal dining room at night.

14. There is a gym and a sauna that is included. They are located in the Spa. The only things that cost extra in the spa are things that required HUMAN assistance (manicures, massages, facials, exercise classes) Ladies go on one side, men on the other. Walk right in and enjoy. Our guys really like the showers. It gives them an extra place to shower up which frees up our cabin shower. (I have 3 boys)

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email me at musicalcruiser@hotmail.com

One more tip~~ relax and have a GREAT cruise!!!
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:22 AM
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Thank You So Much for all the great tips! I like the idea of taking small bills into Mexico and hadn't thought of it...and frankly, the unsweetened iced tea available 24/7 does make me a much happier camper! I'm getting very excited.....and ready to read, relax and enjoy a much-needed vacation!!
 
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