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Old 12-22-2005, 11:39 PM
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Hello,
My fiance and I have never cruised before. We are more of the european backdoor backpacker vacation types. However since this is our honeymoon we don't want the pressure of having to "see" sights. After a lot of research I thought that if we did a cruise RCC Mariner of the Sea Western Carribean would fit for us atmosphere and time schedule wise. We booked a balcony cabin. Should we keep the balcony? We are flying from Seattle and airfair priceses are not dropping. We didn't know about tipping,drink prices,travel insurance,excusion costs,airport transfers and other costs not included in the RCC quoted price. Does anyone out there have some ideas on how we may make some price trimmings without sacrificing peace of mind?
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-22-2005, 11:39 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5
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Hello,
My fiance and I have never cruised before. We are more of the european backdoor backpacker vacation types. However since this is our honeymoon we don't want the pressure of having to "see" sights. After a lot of research I thought that if we did a cruise RCC Mariner of the Sea Western Carribean would fit for us atmosphere and time schedule wise. We booked a balcony cabin. Should we keep the balcony? We are flying from Seattle and airfair priceses are not dropping. We didn't know about tipping,drink prices,travel insurance,excusion costs,airport transfers and other costs not included in the RCC quoted price. Does anyone out there have some ideas on how we may make some price trimmings without sacrificing peace of mind?
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-23-2005, 12:44 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Wow, you ask some really good questions about how to have an enjoyable cruise vacation and yet control costs at the same time. I also fly out of Seattle and agree that airfare to Florida is significantly higher than it has been in years past. Typically when flying from Seattle to Florida for a cruise, we arrive in the departure city the day before the cruise departs. This requires us to pay for a hotel overnight. You could avoid the hotel cost by taking an overnight flight to Florida. If you do this, I would recommend a flight that gets into Florida very early in the morning so that if you have any flight problems, you will have sufficient time to make it to the port. Also, this only works if you are able to sleep on the airplane.

You did not say if you have already paid for the cruise or not. If you can change to an outside cabin or inside cabin, you may be able to save several hundred dollars per person. However; if you have your heart set on a balcony, I would not change. Although I personally sometimes spring for a higher category cabin, I have had absolutely wonderful cruises while occupying an inside cabin.

Tipping is pretty standard on all of the lines and you will end up spending about $10 per person per day plus whatever you spend for tips on your bar tab. You can usually save money on trip insurance by purchasing it from someone other than the cruise line. Iím sure somebody on this board will have some good information on who provides a good insurance product at a reasonable price. You can read the reviews on PortReviews.com to get ideas of how to save money in the various ports.

When my wife and I were married 18 years ago, we were very poor and going to school. We were just barely able to scrape together enough money to fly to Orlando, stay in a budget hotel, and visit a few theme parks. Since that time we have taken many vacations, and more expensive vacations, but that honeymoon to Orlando was the best trip of my life. Best wishes on your upcoming marriage.
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Old 12-23-2005, 07:59 AM
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Location: Valley Center, CA 92082
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Here is an article that you must read as it deals with many of your questions.

http://www.cruisereviews.com/BeforeYouBook.htm

I would strongly advise you to arrive in Orlando the day before the cruise just to make sure you and your luggage make it in time to board the ship. Even two days before would be good.

There is a 15% gratuity added to your bill ech time that you arder a drink, so it will just show up on your bill at the end of the cruise. Be sure to check out http://www.CaribbeanPortReviews.com for detailed information about the ports you are visiting. You can generally have a great time in them without spending much money or taking shore excursions (unless you want to).

The Mariner of the Seas is an AWESOME ship and you couldn't have made a better choice. You are in for a great honeymoon!

Tom
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Old 12-23-2005, 09:30 AM
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Since this is your honeymoon cruise, I would suggest (if it doesn't strain the budget too much) you keep the balcony. While farmerjohn is quite right, you can have a wonderful time no matter what your cabin choice - BUT, a balcony on a cruise ship is one of THE most romantic places on earth (in my opinion) and would add a very special touch to the honeymoon. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials.
Nancy
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Old 12-23-2005, 11:18 AM
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I would keep the balcony only if it doesn't cause you financial worries. I love balconies, but you can still have a wonderful trip in an interior cabin.

The tips have to be paid. You could stiff the employees but I don't think you'd feel good afterward. They will treat you like royalty.

You don't have to pay for excursions. We only did it the first time and prefer to go on our own now. There are inexpensive taxis at every port, and for $3 or $7 they will take you anywhere you want to go. They will offer suggestions if you want them to. We have never found any of their advice to be bad.

You could smuggle alcohol in your checked bags. The worst that could happen is that they would take it from you and return it at the end of the cruise. I'd gamble. They don't seem to care if you bring soft drinks on. I do it on every cruise and it's usually in a plastic bag. I've never been stopped.
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Old 12-26-2005, 07:02 PM
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Thank you for your experienced tips. I've heard of couples registering for honeymoons. Does RCC have a program where we could sign up and our wedding guests instead of giving us more household items could help pay for an excursion or something?
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:40 AM
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Dear Jessicooka
I am going on Mariner this February. For Christmas, our friends got us $100 in ships credits- When you register just before the cruise, they will ask for a charge card. That card is then linked to a Royal Carribean card that you use throughout the cruise for any additionally charges items( ie booze, gift shop purchases) If you purchase and excursion tour on board, this would get charged to that account as well, and then at the end of the cruise you get an itemized list of what has been charged and the point being that you don't have to carry your credit card with you. Anyway, I know they got the gift certificate/ship credits through Royal Carribean directly by calling, people will need to know the name of the ship and date of sail to get you ships credits. After that, I am not sure how it works, they just told us in the card that the did that , so I am going to check with my travel agent or RCI ahead of time to make sure it is all set. If I were you, I would call RCI and get all the info (the number people should call, etc) but I think it is a great idea! Something you'll appreciate far more than a gravy boat!!
 
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