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Old 07-28-2008, 07:33 AM
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This may be a silly question but....I was just wondering if we HAVE to purchase shore excursions or are we able to venture out and go shopping and to the beach on our own?

I'm sure I'll have like a bazillion more questions before Sept. 1st! Thanks in advance for your patience and help!

Fletch
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:52 AM
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Hello Fletch, welcome to Cruise-Chat! No, you don't have to purchase shore excursions. My wife and I usually venture out on our own.
There are time when we book excursions on the internet, like the stingray city tour in Cozumel.

Sonny
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:45 PM
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If you do venture out on your own, remember don't be afraid to haggle for your tour. You'll be surprised how much you can save.
My wife is great at getting great prices, she never ceases to amaze us. The amount of times she's just walked away for the guide to run after her taking her price.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:02 AM
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Well you are a first time cruiser without the cruise experience much people has here:



Don't recomend it,

here are a few things you have to consider:

Sometimes the outside excursions are cheaper, I'll give you that,
but since you don't really know much about the islands or cruising I recomend, for now, to buy from the company.
I have read over the years a few horror stories about outside excursions,

*The ship leaving port without the cruisers, since you don't book from the company they don't have to wait for you.

*Getting rip for the money you pay, even using the company excursions it can happen...but at least you have the company backup.

I have been on 4 cruises before and I still book a few excrusions from the company that will depends on the island we will be at, mostly because I have already visit much of the islands and I know how local life is or where not to go...You have to be a little carefull depending on the island.
I live on the caribbean and from experience I know that dealing with the locals can be tricky sometimes
So enjoy your cruise and remember that sometimes paying a little extra $$$ is a wiser decision
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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Another reason for booking excursions on the ship is that you can change your mind, usually up until 24 hours before the tour.

There have been several times where we booked excursions through the ship. Once we got aboard and talked to people at the excursion desk, we changed our minds about our selection. They gave us additional information about other tours that made them appeal to us more.

The one time we booked an excursion with a private company, we had to cancel it about two weeks before the cruise. We could not get our deposit back.

So there are pros and cons. Since you are new to cruising, I would have to agree with Casanova on booking through the cruise line. If you do book with a private company, be sure to read the refund policy!

Nadine
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:18 PM
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hi now this question really sounds stupid. I know that some of the rooms are small. If you have a family of 5 is it enough room in the cabin if not can you bring a inflatable matress
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:20 PM
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also wha are some key questions that I should ask a travel agent before booking my cruise
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:23 PM
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can anyone tell me about carnival fascination? Is it the best one for families? Which fun ship is the best one?
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
If you have a family of 5 is it enough room in the cabin if not can you bring a inflatable matress
Welcome to cruise-chat.

You cannot bring your own mattress. What will happen is you will be booked into a quad cabin which has 4 beds, and a rollaway bed will be placed in the cabin for the 5th person.

Please note that 5 people in a standard cabin will be REALLY tight.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Which fun ship is the best one?
There is no one answer for that question. What is best to me is not what is best to you, or anyone else. There are eight Fantasy-class ships which are mostly identical. Carnival has been modifying these ships by adding huge water slides and a kid's water park, as well as an adult-only area for peace and quiet. I think the Inspiration and Imagination are the only ships with these new features. The Fantasy is next.

The Fascination is a good ship and the cruise experience provided will be the same as that on the other ships in it's class. Carnival is quite good at product consistency from ship-to-ship.

All Carnival ships are good for families, but the newer the ship the more "stuff" it has to offer, such as more lounges, larger kid's facilities, outdoor theaters, etc.
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