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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2009, 07:43 PM
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Thanks Dave...that is a big help...I willl take your advise.
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2009, 07:45 PM
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Thanks Dave....I did hear about that one. My kids are big on video games...
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2009, 07:50 PM
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I usually budget $100 per day just in case. I always have some traveler's checks left. Of course this doesn't include my casino money, I keep that as a separate budget.

Dwayne
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2009, 09:16 AM
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Do careful math on the soda card. We bought it only once when we did a southern itinery--we were in port later in the day, had more time/meals on the ship, etc. Otherwise with nearly full days spent in port we came out ahead just buying a couple per day for the kids as desired. I think it works out to 4 per day as a minimum to make a soda card pay.

Our cruise for 4 usually comes out with about $200-$300 for the entire week total. The kids can play video games at home. For that matter we can "drink" at home and keep that to a minimum--not hard at 7.50 for some white zin. We probably play bingo a couple times, times three of us who are legal age. We don't do casino (which by the way being offshore is not regulated by the fed. gaming comission and the machines are more slanted toward the house than you will find in Vegas for instance). Spa treatments are great, but my daughter has a cosmetology license so we have good access to luxurious treatments at home. We go to relax, get sun, see the islands, be together. Native Minnesotans are just so happy to be out of the cold perhaps it takes less to keep us entertained.

Our indulgence: We do VERY expensive shore trips on one or two days. We have been on a submarine, swam with dolphins, chartered a sailboat for just our family, etc. We stick to the beach or exploring the other days to keep the costs down. And if you go to Labadee you can have a marvelous beach day there for a minimal cost. Of course this indulgence is not included in the $2-300 amount--we book outside the cruise line as a general rule for our excursions.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2009, 09:23 AM
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quote:
Our cruise for 4 usually comes out with about $200-$300 for the entire week total.


Does that include gratuities?
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2009, 10:43 AM
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Just my 2 cents. We budget $100/pp/per day. That does not include gratuities. We leave the automatic tips on the sail card and give extra to those that we have deliver drinks, bar tenders, cabin steward, waiter/asst. waiter, maitre d', room service, and casino attendants. We don't play video games and do take excursions in at least half the ports.
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2009, 11:47 AM
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quote:
We leave the automatic tips on the sail card and give extra to those that we have deliver drinks, bar tenders, cabin steward, waiter/asst. waiter, maitre d', room service, and casino attendants.


I was beginning to think that I was the only one that tips the casino attendants. I always give the one's that go around picking up trash and emptying ashtrays a tip the last night. They seem so surprised and appreciative.

Dwayne
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2009, 11:54 AM
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No Dwayne, but we must be the minority. Every time I have tipped them, they seem so surprised. If it wasn't for them, you couldn't get to machines for all the glasses that are left. And you'd never find an ash tray.
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 07-14-2009, 08:24 AM
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Dave-$200-$300 does not include gratuities. WE just decide what's important--being able to cruise, doing really expensive and memorable things on shore, and it makes the bar, casino and other attractions, well, less attractive. I know there are people who wouldn't feel like it was a vacation if they didn't order a drink when they wanted it, or spring for the arcade for the kids, but frankly if the budget were any tighter we couldn't go every year. The trade off is worth it.

Think about it: Wine with dinner, or doing the Royal Swim x 4 people on Cozumel. Guess what wins? Arcade games, or a sea ray boat for just our family on Cayman. Guess what wins?

Our budget doesn't extend to both, on vacation or at home, so we put all our eggs in one basket and aim for the "lux" experience.
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RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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Hey Carmena610

Two of my boy, exact same ages. They spend no money on the ship except we buy each of them a pop card. Can't rememeber the going rate, but on my last cruise - 12 days I am pretty sure it was $50 each. WE do not allow them to spend money on Video games - forget it. They can do that at home. I usually will buy bottle of wine and let it trail me to the various locations on the ship. You do not have to finish your bottle at dinner or at a particular bar. They will put it aside for you.
So right there, that saves you money. Jonny Rockets will cost you. Years back it was free but now you cannot walk out of there without spending at least the cover - what $5.00 now. So I will let them try it once maybe twice. But truly perfectly good free food everywhere else. We do not do spa - very very expensive. We do not do the bingo - again a zinger. We do however partake in excursions offered by ship if and when we feel that it would be difficult for us to reach on our own. That is where the expense lies because both your kids will pay adult fare. I think cut off is under 12. Best thing is to get a guide book and check out places you can reach on your own if you do not want to pay high cruise ship excursion prices. But the way I see it, is excurions are part and parcel of the experience. Gratuities - we pay whatever the rate is. These people work hard to take care of our every whim so they deserve it and it really bothers me when I hear people down at the front desk the last night of the cruise trying to reduce the gratuities because they have spent all their money on the casino and at the bar. Try the stuff you might not do at home - if you have a chance to swim with the stingrays - go for it. Even my 17 year old loved it. Cheers.
 
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