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-   -   First Time Cruiser - lots of questions (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/carnival-cruise-line/6787-first-time-cruiser-lots-questions.html)

hugs516 08-10-2010 02:32 PM

I am planning a cruise to the Bahamas in April 2011 and have lots of questions.
How long does it take to get on the ship the first time? My husband is disabled and not able to stand for long periods of time.
How do I gamble in the casino? Do I use my key card or do I need to take cash.
Can I add all my tips on my bill at the end of the trip and will they be distributed to the right people, or do I have to hunt them down?
I assume the pools are saltwater, but what about the showers, are they fresh water?
What drinks are included and what are fee based? I understand that alcohol is extra but what about sodas?
I think that's it for now but I'm sure I will have lots more as the time comes closer. Thanks for all your help.

Dave 08-10-2010 04:35 PM

Welcome to cruise-chat

Quote:

How long does it take to get on the ship the first time? My husband is disabled and not able to stand for long periods of time.
It depends on the time you show up at the pier, and also the port. Some are better at moving people than others. If your husband is not able to stand for a period I suggest your agent contact Carnival's Special Needs department. Generally speaking, if you show up at the pier anytime from noon onward, you will be aboard the ship fairly quickly. 30 to 45 minutes at most. Show up early and you may have to wait until they start boarding. Cabins are not available until after 1:30pm but you can board and have lunch at the buffet, visit the open bars, etc.

Quote:

How do I gamble in the casino? Do I use my key card or do I need to take cash.
I am not a gambler but you can use your cruise card as well as cash. We have some big time gamblers on staff, some of them even win, such as "Diamond" Jim C. I'm sure they'll fill you in on Carnival's casinos.

Quote:

Can I add all my tips on my bill at the end of the trip and will they be distributed to the right people, or do I have to hunt them down?
Carnival automatically charges $10 per person/per day for service staff tips to your onboard account. These tips are for your dining room staff, your cabin attendant, and for other service staff such as those in the buffet. It does not include any tips for room service personnel, or if you feel he/she deserves it your dining room maitre'd. They will provide information about the maitre'd tips during your cruise. Room service is tipped in cash when they make a delivery. $2 to $3 is usual. Bar staff makes their money from a 15% tip added to each drink you order. Actually, even if you use the sodas or bottled water in your cabin they will add 15% tip to it.

Thus, if you are fine with everything you don't need to tip any extra to those covered by the automatic options. No need to track people down.

Quote:

I assume the pools are saltwater, but what about the showers, are they fresh water?
The showers at the pools are fresh water. And of course, all the water in the cabin is fresh water.

Quote:

What drinks are included and what are fee based? I understand that alcohol is extra but what about sodas?
Coffee, tea, milk, tap water, fruit juices, are included and available at meal times in both the dining room and the buffet. They'll also have coffee, tea, tap water, available at the drink stations in the buffet all the time.

Soft drinks and bottled water are bar items and will cost you - even in the dining room. So will fruit juice if you ask for it at a bar. You can buy a soda package on embarkation day which gives you unlimited soda-by-the-glass for the cruise. It cannot be shared and it is not a full can of soda. It is a bar glass of soda, although it is poured from a can. Unless you drink a lot of soda, it isn't really worth it in my view.

Dwayne 08-10-2010 07:36 PM

Welcome Aboard!

Quote:

I am not a gambler but you can use your cruise card as well as cash. We have some big time gamblers on staff, some of them even win, such as "Diamond" Jim C. I'm sure they'll fill you in on Carnival's casinos.
http://bestsmileys.com/lol/21.gif

Yes, "Diamond Jim" has been on a roll the last few cruises. http://bestsmileys.com/happy/7.gif

To the OP; Yes you can use your Sail & Sign card or cash. Now the machines don't drop coins anymore (except on rare occasions), it goes on your Player's Bank. So you will need to have your S & S card in the machine to transfer money from the machine to your Player's Bank. You set this up with a PIN number. You can cash out your Player's Bank at the cage. I'll leave the table tips and info to Diamond Jim. http://cruise-chat.com/groupee_commo...icon_smile.gif

tim c 08-12-2010 04:21 AM

I dont like the sail n sign card being used. To easy for you to get carried away with the money you spend in the casino. When you see the cash disappear you are more aware of it and know when to quit.

porkchop 08-12-2010 06:47 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dave:
Welcome to cruise-chat

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">How long does it take to get on the ship the first time? My husband is disabled and not able to stand for long periods of time.
It depends on the time you show up at the pier, and also the port. Some are better at moving people than others. If your husband is not able to stand for a period I suggest your agent contact Carnival's Special Needs department. Generally speaking, if you show up at the pier anytime from noon onward, you will be aboard the ship fairly quickly. 30 to 45 minutes at most. Show up early and you may have to wait until they start boarding. Cabins are not available until after 1:30pm but you can board and have lunch at the buffet, visit the open bars, etc.

Quote:

How do I gamble in the casino? Do I use my key card or do I need to take cash.
I am not a gambler but you can use your cruise card as well as cash. We have some big time gamblers on staff, some of them even win, such as "Diamond" Jim C. I'm sure they'll fill you in on Carnival's casinos.

Quote:

Can I add all my tips on my bill at the end of the trip and will they be distributed to the right people, or do I have to hunt them down?
Carnival automatically charges $10 per person/per day for service staff tips to your onboard account. These tips are for your dining room staff, your cabin attendant, and for other service staff such as those in the buffet. It does not include any tips for room service personnel, or if you feel he/she deserves it your dining room maitre'd. They will provide information about the maitre'd tips during your cruise. Room service is tipped in cash when they make a delivery. $2 to $3 is usual. Bar staff makes their money from a 15% tip added to each drink you order. Actually, even if you use the sodas or bottled water in your cabin they will add 15% tip to it.

Thus, if you are fine with everything you don't need to tip any extra to those covered by the automatic options. No need to track people down.

Quote:

I assume the pools are saltwater, but what about the showers, are they fresh water?
The showers at the pools are fresh water. And of course, all the water in the cabin is fresh water.

Quote:

What drinks are included and what are fee based? I understand that alcohol is extra but what about sodas?
Coffee, tea, milk, tap water, fruit juices, are included and available at meal times in both the dining room and the buffet. They'll also have coffee, tea, tap water, available at the drink stations in the buffet all the time.

Soft drinks and bottled water are bar items and will cost you - even in the dining room. So will fruit juice if you ask for it at a bar. You can buy a soda package on embarkation day which gives you unlimited soda-by-the-glass for the cruise. It cannot be shared and it is not a full can of soda. It is a bar glass of soda, although it is poured from a can. Unless you drink a lot of soda, it isn't really worth it in my view. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Quick question Dave. Are you saying the ship pools are seawater??

Dave 08-12-2010 06:56 AM

Quote:

Are you saying the ship pools are seawater??
Not sure about the Carnival Dream, but the rest of the fleet has saltwater pools. The water is filtered and treated with chemicals though.

tim c 08-12-2010 08:26 AM

I remember our first cruise.. we did not know the pools wew salt water and boy what a surprise when we jumped in! http://cruise-chat.com/groupee_commo...s/icon_eek.gif Watching the Love Boat all those years,no one mentioned it..lol. But now its ok, just was a shock at that moment..

Dave 08-12-2010 08:54 AM

For perspective, Princess uses fresh water in their pools. Royal Caribbean started using fresh water with the Freedom class, but all their ships prior to that have salt water.

Jim C. 08-12-2010 09:20 AM

Well I can't say for sure on the Dream (or Splendor for that matter) as we did not go into the pools. but on the Dream the water slides were fresh (but chlorinated) water.

Dwayne 08-12-2010 06:28 PM

The Dream and the Splendor both have salt water pools. I have to say I never get in the pools.


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