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Old 11-16-2009, 09:59 PM
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Hey dudes.. I've come to cruise chat for a little insight. My friends and I are seniors in college and are looking at a cruise on the Grandeur of the Seas for 5 days for our spring break. The cruise goes to Cozumel and Puerto Costa Mesa.

We chose this cruise mainly because of the cheap price(290+tax/charges), as we are all in college, and obviously don't have the funds for an expensive vacation.

I was just wondering if a bunch of college kids will be able to find a way to have fun on board, as well as perhaps some tips for first-time cruisers as well as ways to limit the damage on my wallet during the week..

Thanks guys,
Steve B
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:26 AM
 
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Hey Vt dude ! Just being out of the winter, if you are in the state of VT, will be a great way to spend the break and enjoy a cruise. Lots to do and you will have company on board looking to have a great break as well; although, RCI is not noted as the ship that caters to spring breakers.

Enjoy !

Peter
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:19 AM
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Hey Steve! I was on the Grandeur last year for my first cruise and I had a great time. You will have fun and since you're going during spring break I'm sure there'll be more people your age than when I went. I'm a few years out of college and was a little disappointed that it seemed to be a lot of seniors, but I still had a fantastic time and didn't want to disembark.

You can defnitely limit the damage to your wallet. Don't forget to include tips to the cost of your cruise. Once on board you don't need to buy anything unless you want drinks or souvenirs so it is totally doable.

Have fun!
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:02 AM
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Hi Steve VT, welcome to Cruise-Chat. Congratulations on your up-coming cruise. Just be warned, cruising is addictive I started my cruising career when I was 25 and haven't quit. I can't think of a better way to spend spring break. Wish I could have afforded it when I was in college

Money savings tips: Stay out of the casino, don't buy every drink of the day in their glasses (you can get them in regular glasses), do buy the bucket o' beer (pay for 4 get 5), you can take them back to the room, don't get too blitzed on alcohol (that way it's less expensive and you can actually remember having fun), don't buy every picture they take of you, don't do the specialty restaurants (the food in the buffet and main dining room is great), and just take a cab in Cozumel to either Chankanaab Park or Paradise Beach and grab a cab to a beach in Costa Maya (unless you want to go to the ruins). Please note, they will add a 15% gratuity to all your drink purchases, and the auto-tips of $10/pp per day will be added to your shipboard account.

Check out our Caribbean Port Chat section a little further down the main page. Using the "find" feature in the upper left hand corner, type in your ports and it will pull up all the posts made about them. Hope this will help a little.


Best wishes!
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:25 AM
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You will have fun. RCCL has a very mixed demographic. We have cruised several times during "spring break" and my daughter never had a problem finding other young people for dancing or going to entertainment venues in the evening. One year she found a group of law students who were lots of fun. They were always pretty sober and told me that since the trip was pretty much financed by their student loans they wanted to still be able to remember it while they were paying for it--not to mention a lot of bar patronage was not in their budget. Just being away from winter and with your friends would be enough but there is more to do than you can cram in 5 days.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
and the auto-tips of $10/pp per day will be added to your shipboard account
It's not added to your sea pass unless you request that it is. Not to get technical, but tips are actually $9.75 pp/night if you have it added to your sea pass and pay according to RC guidelines. Steve, you can also pay staff in cash and more than recommended.

Just fyi, about tips RC recommends the following:

Room Attendant $3.50
Waiter $3.50
Assistant Waiter $2.00
Head Waiter $0.75

This is per person per night so a five night cruise (although you said days) would be $48.75.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by peter l:
Hey Vt dude ! Just being out of the winter, if you are in the state of VT, will be a great way to spend the break and enjoy a cruise. Lots to do and you will have company on board looking to have a great break as well; although, RCI is not noted as the ship that caters to spring breakers.

Enjoy !

Peter

haha, VT stands for Virginia Tech in this case, my college!
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:26 AM
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Thanks all this has helped a lot.. I didn't realize you had to tip so much! haha just kidding. Are the drinks on the boat expensive? I'm guessing yes, since I'm used to college-town prices.. Also is anyone a diver? My friend just got certified, and I want to take him on his first dive (I have about 30 under my belt) and was wondering if perhaps one of these locations is known for good scuba.

Thanks!
Steve
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:06 AM
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I think mixed drinks range from $5-$8.

The only beverages included are water, lemonade, iced tea, and orange juice. Beverage packages are available. I got the soda package one time, but passed this past cruise. Not worth it in my opinion.

You can look at some of the excursions offered at the ports you're going to. You should also google those ports to see what's available there. I haven't been to either of those two that you mentioned.
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Old 11-17-2009, 10:16 AM
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Just remember that the gratuities are their income since they get very little in the way of salary. I'm sure you'll find that they earn it.

Drinks...RCI has for the most part abandoned 12 ounce beers and gone to the 16 ounce versions - pushing the Anheuser-Busch brands in aluminum bottles mostly, although they have others. Brands like Corona still are in 12 ounce bottles. Regardless, they are all in the $5 to $6 range, with 15% tip added to each purchase for bar staff to pool. Cocktails and wine are $6 to $10 depending on what you order. Soft drinks are around $2.25 or so. You can get a "soda stamp" which allows unlimited Coke products by the glass. Unless you drink a lot of soda it isn't a good deal. It is $6 per day and you have to buy a package that covers all days, so it would be $34.50 each (including the 15% tip). They can't be shared.

By the way, I am assuming all of you are 21 or older. That is the drinking age as well as the minimum age for booking a cruise in your case.

We were on the Grandeur in June and the ship was in fine shape. There are no extra-fee restaurants on the Grandeur, other than specialty coffees and ice cream at the Ben and Jerry's stand. RCI does charge $3.95 per order for room service ordered from midnight to 5am. There is no charge at other times although it is normal to give a couple bucks to the person who delivers the food.

I guess this has been a wake-up to you, with all these extra fees and charges. That is why you can get a basic cruise for so little. It is often just half of what you end up spending.

My sister-in-law has a PADI C-card. She likes diving at Cozumel, and diving is huge there. Dozens of tour operators. You can book dives on the ship, but on Cozumel there is no reason to do that. You can get a cheaper price booking a private tour. There was a lot of damage to the reefs from Hurricane Wilma but it is still good diving according to her. Drift dives are popular there too.

Your other port is Costa Maya, which was created out of essentially nothing by the cruise lines just to have another port to visit. It was wiped out by another hurricane a couple years ago and they just within the past year got it rebuilt. I've never read any reports about diving there but I see many dive tours listed for Costa Maya.
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