Welcome to cruise chat. Yes, you will find 2-3 formal nights at sea on all RCCL ships. The longer the cruise, more nights will be formal. And drink cards are found on all RCCL ships. As an adult, I find it too costly, and when in port, buy a coke light (diet coke) for about the same as in the states.
we are from germany and have been on the Jewel last year to the scandinivian capitols. It is a wonderful ship, nice staff, very good dining in the main dining room, but also when you do not like it formal, in the Windjammer cafe.
We had 2 formal nights on a 11 day cruise, but you dont have to take it too serious. You have to be dressed nice, but not that much people are dressed in evening dresses and smokings.
I hope you will enjoy your first cruise, we are from 13 february on the Zenith in the southern caribbean.
By the way, be careful in Cozumel. We were happy to be back on the ship after 3 hours staying in Cozumel, because we dont like to be touched by strangers who try to get you in the stores.
I hope you have a chance to check out my review of my trip on the Jewel to New England in Sept. It is a totally awesome ship and I loved every detail.
As for the soda card. As David stated, there is a soda/juice card available. (I love you used the term "pop" since that is what I call it too! But since I have gotten teased my many of cruise buddies from the west coast I am working very hard to say "soda".) It is $4 per day for anyone 17 or younger. The adult soda card for anyone 18 and over is $6 per day.
If you have any other questions about the ship, ask away!
Any advise on the best place to swim with the dolphins or horseback riding?
Our ports are san juan, nassau, st. thomas, antigua, st. maarten.
It is very cold and there is lots of snow in toronto. Our cruise starts on feb 26th. will i really be wearing shorts soon?????
Deb, I feel your pain!! We have had a miserable winter here in NE Ohio and I can't wait to get on my next cruise on Feb. 12 (AHH!! Sun and warmth here I come!)
Of the ports you mentioned the only places you can do a swim with the dolphins experience are in Nassau and Antigua. The facility at Blue Lagoon Island (Nassau) is very nice and is only a short ferry ride away from the pier (usually this tour runs about 2.5 to 3.5 hours). On the other hand the experience in St. Martin requires a boat trip to neighboring Anguilla and is about a 7-8 hr excursion). Of course, the bonus in Anguilla is that you will go to Shoal Bay, voted one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world. So, I guess it would come down to how much time you have in port and if there is anything else you want to do while at the port.
I am not a horseback rider so I can't respond first-hand and make a recommendation, however, you might want to check out other readers reviews of these islands at our sister site PortReviews.com. I am sure you will find suggestions there. Just go to http://www.caribbeanportreviews.com and click on the ports you are interested in.