Originally Posted by messenger13
We know NOTHING about this, and we don't want to waste our time and money obviously. Our best friends are also considering coming with us. (We've vacationed before, no problem.) A few questions...
- What's the best value?
- How many days/nights?
- What ship? From where, to where?
- All inclusive?
- Got a website?
Thanks for any information...
If this is your first cruise we recommend Carnival Cruises.
1. Cheap prices.
2. Catch the boat out of Galveston (temporarily out of Barbours up the channel).
3. Very casual atmosphere, i.e. you don't have to figure out how to dress or act.
4. Very friendly and accomodating staff on-board, but they expect tips.
5. A lot of activities on-board, casino, clubs, passenger activities, live shows. Important to get the ships newsletter and carefully plan your activities for the day. So much going on you can't do it all. MAKE SURE you catch a couple of the broadway-like shows in the main amphitheatre.
6. Great excursions at port-of-calls.
7. Decent size state rooms.
8. Casual buffet style dining on the Lido Deck always open as an alternative to formal dining if you wish.
9. Formal dining dress is Sunday best, not black tie. The food is awesome. and the wait staff is entertaining. They make you have a good time.
10. People party all night and sleep all day which leaves plenty of space up top for romantic moments alone.
11. Carnival Cruise Line travel planners are most helpful and the same person stays with you from the first call to day of departure.
12. Go for an inside cabin on the Empress deck. A window or balcony is nice but you won't be in your room except to sleep and.... Besides, the inside rooms are so dark with the lights out that you will sleep like a baby. The empress deck will provide easy access to the whole ship at a better price than the top deck.
13. Do not pre-pay tips, you could get double billed. Everyone that helps you wants a tip. Your cabin steward gets at least a $50/person tip and that goes on the closing invoice.
14. And if this is your first cruise we recommend a short one, say 4 day/ 3 night. Just the right amount of time to get an idea of what you like and how to get around the giant boat. Makes you want to come back for more and you will know what you're doing the next time.