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nutzx2kids 12-06-2006 09:17 AM

Does anybody out there have a guestimate of what your total due will be for an average couple upon debarkation of a 4 night 5 day cruise (not including shore excursions) & tickets, taxes, port fees, etc. have already been paid? I hate surprises! I'd also like to know if there are any reputable shuttle providers from Ft. Lauderdale Int. to the Port of Miami that are less $ then Carnival? We sail on 12/10/06 thru 12/15/06 from Miami to Key West to Cozumel & back. Any advice on excursions vs taking a taxi on your own? We need all the advice we can get.

CruiseDad 12-06-2006 09:29 AM

Typically you will have $10 per day per person as gratuity on your sail and sign card. The carnival web site will give more detail. The rest of the bill depends on how much you drink, use the paying part of the Spa and charge stuff.

I have flown to Ft Lauderale and sailed Miami twice. Both times I used a Comfort Hotel the night before and booked the room to include transport. I recall it was about $12 each doing it that way.

You will love Cozemel. One of my favorite ports. I hope the dock is repairing well, it was destroyed in one of the hurricanes but I understand it is partially rebuit now.

Be absolutly sure to go to the Cruise Directors briefing on shore excursions. Ignore all the hype about buying stuff but he will tell you good things to know about saftey and taxis and such. Some places will have taxis that are just people trying to rip you off. The CD will tell you how to tell the difference between real taxis and just a guy with a car.
Caribbean Activities & Attractions

Jim C. 12-06-2006 09:36 AM

So you are asking what your sign and sail account balance may be at the end of your cruise assuming no shore excursions and the cruise itself already being paid for?

That's hard to say because it depends on how much drinking and gift buying at the on board shops you do. But you will be charged the first day for $10 per person per day for tips. so that is $100 (5 days) then I would budget about $7 per drink ($4 per beer) you think you will have. So at 3 drinks per day for both of you, you are looking at another $210. Then pictures come in play. They take your picture at least 3 times a day it seems, so those can add up too if you insist on buying them all (typically a 8x10 is about $15)

The only thing you have to add on would be the tips. The rest is up to you. But for us on a typical 7 day cruise with a family of four and a wife that buys nearly every picutre they take, we typically (with exursions) have a $2000 bill at the end of the cruise. With about $800 to $1000 of that being excusrions.

Hope that helps.

nutzx2kids 12-07-2006 04:47 AM

Thank you for the information. The CD you mentioned, do they give that to you on the ship?

nutzx2kids 12-07-2006 05:00 AM

Thanks so much, that helped immensely.

Jim C. 12-07-2006 07:15 AM

In this case "CD" stands for Cruise Director not an actual audio CD. What CruiseDad was referring to is called (on Carnival) the "Port Chat" normally held the day before you get to your first port. Sometimes its called the Super Shopper discussion too. But basically, the cruise director will host the seminar (for lack of better terms) and they go over what to expect at the port... getting on and off the ship, what stores they recommend, the Port Chats also go over the excursions available and provide more detail than what is available on-line. Thos are very helpful for first timers because you can better choose which excursions you may want to do since there are normally a couple that sound fun and you normally can not do more than one unless they are 2 short ones.

nutzx2kids 12-07-2006 02:55 PM

Thanks again Jim. I must seem like an idot, or do I just feel like one I have another question I'm hoping someone can help with. Do you have to leave medications in their original bottles? Can things be put together to conserve space or could that cause problems?

Dwayne 12-08-2006 12:59 AM

I am sure Jim does not think you are an idiot. He is one of Cruise-Chat's more respected members. There is no need to conserve any space by mixing any prescriptions. You will have plenty of room to bring all your Prescribed Medications.

I would leave the Prescribed Medications in their original containers with the Person they are Prescribed for on the label.

No Problem

Frase 12-08-2006 01:05 AM

First of all, you can mix all your medicines together. They will not search your medicines. The security is not that drastic; not at the airport nor cruise port.

If it is liquid medicines AND you are going through an airport: keep the liquid medicines in your carry-on under 3.5 fluid oz (100ml) and put it in a quart sized ziploc bag. If not, put it in your checked baggage. If not, declare it to the security screeners before you send it through the checkpoint X-ray. Solid medicines (pills) will always be allowed, mixed together or not.

Also, if you are going through airport security, make sure you don't have any beverages: Soft drinks, bottles of water, juices, etc.

Cruise port security is less strict than airline security. They will allowed just about any liquids except alcohol beverages.

Liquor is always a big sale item in the ports of call. When you return to your ship, you will have to undergo airport-stlye security screening (each and every time you leave the ship and return to it). It's at that security screening area (immediately inside the porthole entranceway) where they will collect your bottles of alcohol and hold them in storage until you return home. I suppose awhile back the cruiselines got fed-up with rampant drunkeness onboard and decided to crack-down and limit passenger's access to alcohol. So that is probably how this collecting and stowing of purchased alcohol came about.

Speaking of a CD. Carnival instead, has a DVD which you can purchase and recieve at the end of the cruise. It will contain old stock video footage mixed in with the videotaping that occured during your very cruise. They usually sell it for around $30. It will make an excellent momento; I always order one during my cruises.

By the way, EVERYTHING you purchase on a cruise ship will be made with your room card (better known as a Sail and Sign card); not with paper money nor credit card. On the last day, a finally bill with all the purchases tallied will be slipped under the door of your room. When that happened to me, I look at it quickly for mistakes, I saw none so I did nothing. Eventually the final Sail and Sign bill charge appeared on my credit card. On a certain page inside my cruise documents (which I received by mail prior to the cruise) I filled in my credit card number to be used as payment for my Sail and Sign account.

Anyway, I hope you have a great time on your cruise. Take care

Frase 12-08-2006 01:14 AM

Actually, there are just 3 places onboard where paper (and coin) money are used:
- While gambling in the casino
- While washing your clothes in the laundry mat
(bring rolls of quarters for that)
- While giving crew members tips (above and
beyond the automatic tips charged to your
Sail and Sign account

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