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Old 02-17-2007, 11:34 AM
BirdLady's Avatar
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Hey all, I've read posts back through to about September and found lots of great info. But I still have questions. Hopefully it's okay to post them all one post. If not, just let me know.

My husband and I have reservations on the Mariner OTS May 6th for the Western Carribean. This is a family cruise. My brother, his wife and their daughter along with my parents (all experienced cruisers) will be celebrating my parents 50th anniversary (and our 10th).

Here goes - in no particular order.

1-Hubby is a Coke-head (as in cola) and will be taking full advantage of the soda card. We want to know do they automatically charge tips to those sodas too?

2-Hubby says he has no interest in wearing a suit or tie on his vacation. He doesn't have a problem wearing slacks and a button down shirt. Does this mean we will not be able to attend formal dinners?

3-I understand there are safes in the rooms. Are they large enough to hold a laptop?

4-We've heard rave reviews about Chops. I understand it books quickly so I would like to handle that when we board. But, I also understand that one night Lobster is served so I would hate to miss it. How do I find out which night is Lobster night?

5-Excursions-We are interested in doing the Dolphin Swim & Snorkel Adventure in Cozumel. From many things I've read, it sounds like due to Wilma it's not worth it. But then again I don't know if/when we'll ever be able to go again. I would love to hear your experiences. Also, if we do it some other family members may choose to go. If so, they say it's 'safer' booking through RCCL. From what I've read, ya'll have raved about www.shoretrips.com.
Thanx again for any and all input.

Erika
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Old 02-17-2007, 04:51 PM
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Hi BirdLady--
1)when you purchase the soda card, they put a stamp on your seapass and then you just show them the stamp and they bring your soda, so there isn't any additional charge on your seapass.
2)I have never seem them turn anyone away, but usually everyone dresses up for the formal nights.
3)The safes on Voyager class ships would not hold a laptop too small. I'm not sure about Mariner, never been on that one specifically.
4)the daily will tell you what dinner is for the night it is printed, but you need to make reservations for Chops. I think there is a web site to view past Dailys.
5)never did this excursion, so no input here

Have a great trip!
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Old 02-17-2007, 05:38 PM
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No safe on any mainstream ship is large enough to hold a laptop computer. They are all about the size of a shoe box.
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:10 PM
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Slacks and a button down sirt will get him into the dinning room on any night including formal night. If he doesn't care if he is not wearing a coat and tie when others are, then its no big deal.
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:16 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about your laptop. I leave my camera and dvd player out and never have a problem. If you want you could just put it in a suitcase that you store under the bed.

Formal night is picture time. My wife likes pictures taken in formal wear. I would consider a sport jacket with a turtle neck if a tie is an issue.

Sonny
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Old 02-18-2007, 09:15 PM
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Hello BirdLady!
With regard to some of your questions:
1- When you purchase a Coke Card the tip is added to the price of the card and then divided between all the bar waiters. Something to remember is if you can give a few quarters to the waiter that actually serves you, it will prevent them from ignoring you.
2- It would be nice if your husband would play along and dress up at least for the photos, but if that's out of the question, formal night would be a good time to eat at one of the specialty restaurants.
3- I agree that your laptop should be safe in a suitcase but if you're really concerned and are only going to use it on certain days, the pursers desk could keep it for you.
4- When you get on board, a quick call to the dining room would tell you for sure which night is lobster. It's usually the second formal night. Also if you want extra lobster, don't be bashful. The best night for Chops is Wednesday. If your cruise is less than seven days, there may not be lobster.
5- With regard to the Dolphin Swim & Snorkel, be sure to check the details and make sure you get to swim with the dolphins and not just pet them. The main reason for booking through RCCL is if you're on a boat trip and the boat breaks down the ship will wait for you. I don't think that's a concern for that excursion.
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:18 AM
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As I recall from my dining experience at Chops on Mariner, gentlemen are expected to wear a coat and tie to dine. If you husband has no interest in wearing a suit or tie on his vacation, he may want to skip Chops; but you should still go.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:58 AM
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As Mr. Biscuits state, make sure you book a swim with the dolphins, not a dolphin encounter. The swim allows you to interact with the dolphin. We did the swim with the dolphin in Chankanaab Park (Cozumel) pre-hurricane and it was the most awesome experience of my life. I think the dolphins are back now. No matter where you do the swim, you need to experience it at least once in your life. I would have loved to have done the afternoon swim as well, but it was a bit expensive. We bought the video tape and when I am feeling cold and longing to go on a cruise, I view the tape. Best wishes!!
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Old 02-19-2007, 12:00 PM
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I keep telling hubby I'll buy him a sports coat just for this trip but he keeps saying it's a waste of money. But o be honest, I can undertand how he feels as he's already compromised WAY more than necessary since it's our 10th and this wasn't how he had planned to celebrate, with my family. Ahhhh, family.

Mr. Biscuits & Penny, yes, thank you. The excursion I am referring to is the one you can find through RCCL. It says it's 3.5 hours and includes actually swimming & 'dancing' with them.

Cruisedoggy, thanx for the heads up about Chops. I guess that's something I'll have to ask when we try to make reservations.

Also, when it comes to the sodas for the soda card, do they only serve you small glasses or can you actually get a decent sized serving?

Can ya'll tell I'm getting excited?
Thanx,
Erika
(p.s. feel free to share other hints on things I may have not even thought to ask.)
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Mariner - Eastern - March 2008
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Old 02-19-2007, 03:31 PM
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1: your soda card is taxed. they will give you a souvineer cup for sodas but i found it a bit small. they will fill any size cup with soda as long as you have the stamp...I either bring an insulated cup or buy one at the gift shop onboard...holds more, stays colder and has room for the rum i sneak onboard. Don't waste money on 2 cards because except for dinner nobody ever checks them my wife gets her diet coke and passes it off to me so i can get regular cokes...also you are allowed to bring on your own soda (it states in your documents: a reasonable amount) i've seen people bring 2 cases and they sent it to thier room with thier luggage no problem.

2:I've seen people wear worse to formal night on RCCL..so as mentioned as long as he is comfortable being underdressed then not a problem.

3: safe is not that big

4:lobster night on the last RCCL cruise we were on was the first sea day, but i suppose it varies from ship to ship so ask the maitre' de

5: the ship should have a dolphin tour, check the specifics of the tour at the desk and if you have a group be sure to book it early...if a tour has too many or too few people they will take it off the list of available tours. Also Chakanaab park had major damage and thier dolphins excaped back to the wild as of last july they did not have a swim with the dolphins tour there. if they have one now it is with freshly captured dolphins which may not be thouroghly tamed...my advise stay away from Chakanaab park...it's not worth it since wilma destroyed thier overpriced beach park.

Even with "family" you will have a great time on your first cruise...as long as your not booked 4 to a cabin (heh heh)...enjoy
 
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