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Old 02-26-2006, 10:50 AM
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Hi everyone! I'm a first time cruiser with some questions. My husband and I are going on the Carnival Conquest May 7th-14th to Jaimaca, Grand Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. I'm just going to list the questions and hope that they're easier to answer that way! I'll apologize in advance for all of the questions but Carnival's website wasn't very helpful and this is my first cruise!

1) If you don't book your shore excursions through Carnival and you go through a different online site, do you have to worry about not getting back to the ship in time and being left in port or does the tour guide make sure you're done in time to make it back to the ship?

2) For the ports, do you need to echange your money for their currency to do any shopping and can you do this on board? Do the ports take american money? We'll mostly just be buying souveniers for friends and family in ports along with our meals.

3) Are the same exursions that Carnival offers, offered through other agencies? For example, the Hell, Turtle Farm, & Stingray city excursion that Carnival offers.

4) Are the souveniers in the ports high priced or are they pretty affordable?

5) Are the formal nights in a different area than the nightly dinners? Can you eat in the dining room on a formal night without dressing up? My husband doesn't own a suit or a tux and doesn't really want to attend the formal dinners but I've heard that the food in the dining room is wonderful and the buffets are only so so.

We're a rather young couple (21 and 25) and this is our first big hoorah by ourselves! So we're a little nervous and not really sure what to expect. Any other tips or suggestions would be wonderful! We're flying in a day early from Oklahoma City to Houston and we're hoping that might ease our nerves a little!

Thanks!

Kayla



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Old 02-26-2006, 11:50 AM
Emr Emr is offline
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I can try to help with some of your questions:

1) If you don't book your shore excursions through Carnival and you go through a different online site, do you have to worry about not getting back to the ship in time and being left in port or does the tour guide make sure you're done in time to make it back to the ship?

I have not had a problem, but I have only been on one cruise. In Grand Caymen, I just made sure I would make it back in plenty of time and in Cozumel we went to the beach.

2) For the ports, do you need to echange your money for their currency to do any shopping and can you do this on board? Do the ports take american money? We'll mostly just be buying souveniers for friends and family in ports along with our meals

Grand Caymen & Cozumel take US Currency. I am not sure about Ocho Rios

3) Are the same exursions that Carnival offers, offered through other agencies? For example, the Hell, Turtle Farm, & Stingray city excursion that Carnival offers.

Check out Capatin Marvins in Grand Caymen. GREAT SERVICE is all I have to say. You can google them.


4) Are the souveniers in the ports high priced or are they pretty affordable?

We only shopped in Cozumel before the hurricane, but they seemed to be reasonable.

5) Are the formal nights in a different area than the nightly dinners? Can you eat in the dining room on a formal night without dressing up? My husband doesn't own a suit or a tux and doesn't really want to attend the formal dinners but I've heard that the food in the dining room is wonderful and the buffets are only so so.

We didn't do any formal's on our cruise.
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:18 PM
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post from cruise-chat.com > cruise-chat.com > Carnival Cruise Lines!

Author Topic: 1st timer with questions
Kaychell
Posted February 26, 2006 10:50 AM
Hi everyone! I'm a first time cruiser with some questions. My husband and I are going on the Carnival Conquest May 7th-14th to Jaimaca, Grand Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. I'm just going to list the questions and hope that they're easier to answer that way! I'll apologize in advance for all of the questions but Carnival's website wasn't very helpful and this is my first cruise!

1) If you don't book your shore excursions through Carnival and you go through a different online site, do you have to worry about not getting back to the ship in time and being left in port or does the tour guide make sure you're done in time to make it back to the ship?
1. if you book off the ship the tour operators know the Itineries and they stay in the time line of your shore time when you get off the ships in all the ports there are all kinds of venders with every tour on theier island some at a fraction of a cost. so you do not even have to prebook as there are always openings.

2) For the ports, do you need to echange your money for their currency to do any shopping and can you do this on board? Do the ports take american money? We'll mostly just be buying souveniers for friends and family in ports along with our meals.
2. American money is the primary cash they prefer in all ports (caribbean)east and west.

3) Are the same exursions that Carnival offers, offered through other agencies? For example, the Hell, Turtle Farm, & Stingray city excursion that Carnival offers.

3. again when you get off the ship venders are everywhere selling thier tours in caymen we pre booked capt marvin great tour and time, you just need a c/c to hold. they prefer cash when you arrive and pay, they do not even run your card, they just want it as assurance that you will show up for tour if you don't then they charge your card
40 Are the souveniers in the ports high priced or are they pretty affordable?

4. I find that Cozumel is by far cheaper in shopping, then all the other ports we did get some good deals in costa maya, as it is a new a upcoming port not in the mall itself but in the village

5) Are the formal nights in a different area than the nightly dinners? Can you eat in the dining room on a formal night without dressing up? My husband doesn't own a suit or a tux and doesn't really want to attend the formal dinners but I've heard that the food in the dining room is wonderful and the buffets are only so so.
5. the formal nights are in dining room and you need not worry about a suit or jacket Carnival is very laid back in dress codes nice slacks and button down shirt and he is good to go

We're a rather young couple (21 and 25) and this is our first big hoorah by ourselves! So we're a little nervous and not really sure what to expect. Any other tips or suggestions would be wonderful! We're flying in a day early from Oklahoma City to Houston and we're hoping that might ease our nerves a little!
6. be prepared to have a good time and enjoy take one day at a time as you will not get every thing in one cruise you will no doubt come home and book another, to do all that you missed on the first one. I am on my 8th just got back in Jan. 7day. going back to cozumel in April for 5 days. Have FuN FUn

Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:24 PM
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Let me add to what the others have said......

The buffets on Carnival are actually quite good and offer tremendous variety. Regular stuff on the main cafeteria line, but also great deli sandwiches (try the corned beef) and oriental food. For the formal nights, you may wish to consider going to the buffet dinner instead of the dining room. They will have a good selection and we have found it to be very worthwhile. Carnival also has the best pizza afloat - 24 hours a day!
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:30 PM
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I will second, or third, or fourth, can't really tell... the opinion that "formal night" on a Carnival ship is pretty casual. No jeans- that's it. And I will second, or third, okay- you get the drift- that the buffet restaurant on the Carnival ship (Elation) I was on last summer was very good.

But I thought the pizza was bad. So did all of my kids. It was doughy, at times undercooked, sparsely covered, and often hard around the edges. Calzone took half an hour once and was not good.
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:01 PM
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Never been on the Elation, so I can't speak for it's pizza. The pies we have had on the Pride, Holiday, Triumph, and Legend have been quite good. There were always lines waiting for it. Never undercooked and with good crust. It isn't NYC pizzeria good (nothing could compare with that), but I'd say the Carnival pizza I've had is like Papa John's or Dominos.
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Old 02-26-2006, 04:54 PM
 
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We just cruised the Conquest ...

1) Formal night, I would go to dining room. Nice pants and collared shirt are acceptable. The guys in our party don't own suits, and they went with nice pants and shirt and tie, but I saw PLENTY of people with no ties.

2) Captain Marvins tour is all that you have read about. It is only about a 5 min. walk to the left of the pier when you get off. We did stingrays, HELL, turtles and still had about an hour to shop. The prices were extremely high in this port.

3) I would book a tour somehow for Montego Bay. I would not venture off too far by yourselves unless it is to one of the beaches that are close to the pier...shopping here was so so ... prices not bad. The rum cakes were cheapest in this port even than on the ship.

4) We had no problems using american dollars and travelers checks. A good suggestion, is to take about $50 in $1 bills for tips.

We found the buffets on Lido deck, both inside and outside by pool to be very crowded at regular meal times. We ate lunch instead in the dining room. You can wear shorts in DR at lunch time and breakfast (we ate breakfast thru room service). Room service was very prompt and was delivered within 5 min. of our requested times.

Pizza on the Conquest was very good, but the server in the late evening was not the friendliest on the boat.

Skip the murder mystery on Saturday, it was really long and after a while got boring.

If there are any other questions I can answer ... abc2001@swbell.net
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:21 AM
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Hello to all, I guess i'm just speaking to be speaking because I find that all of your questions have been answered to perfection. But there is one little (ok, 2 little) notes I would like to add. When you take the shore excursions with one of the million taxis outside waiting for you (and it's not a bad deal) you don't pay them until they return from dropping you off (at beach etc.)and return you to the ship. I have done 4 Carnival cruises and always booked my excursions with outsiders. That was note #1 and note # 2 is I have always enjoyed Carnivals pizza, it's always been very good to me and I'm a NY'er. Enjoy your cruise,, and if all goes well start saving for you next cruise because you will be sailing again.
 
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