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Old 03-23-2013, 08:14 AM   #286
Esully
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Great advise, leaving for our first cruise in 6 days.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:16 AM   #287
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Great tips
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:47 AM   #288
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Originally Posted by tweis View Post

They have Disney and they have the ones that you can load anywhere from $15-$500 on them instead of just the $25 and $50 cards that Target has. It saves us alot. My DH and I fill up our tanks at the same time to get the most savings.
This varies by store. Mine only carries the 3 pack of $15 cards
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:50 PM   #289
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This varies by store. Mine only carries the 3 pack of $15 cards
That's a little more difficult for making payments but still worth it to me to save on gas. When I first starting buying the GCs my Kroger was only carrying $50 cards but around Christmas started carrying the ones you can load up to $500 and still has them.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:05 PM   #290
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After just completing our first cruise ever, on the Fantasy, our list is :

DO AGAIN
- play mini putt & basketball during the sail away party - it wasn't busy at all! Afterwards we found a quiet place on deck 12 forward to wave to the port camera and watch dolphins jump beside the boat. We were in the atmosphere of the sail away party, but no crowds!

- tell our waiter if there was something we just loved. After we did this, DH received escargot each night, even when it wasn't on the menu. Thanks Anthony!!!

- bring our own champagne and wine. We just asked our room steward for ice and a corkscrew and we were able to enjoy drinks and an All Hands on Deck platter before dinner each night on our verandah. Heaven!

- room service for bedtime snack for the kids. They enjoyed Mickey bars each evening while watching cartoons on demand. (Their idea of heaven). I only wish DH and I could have had more room in our tummies to order something too....

- agree to meet up with our parents and in-laws at dinner. We linked our dinner times so we always met up then. No worries about planning activities for anyone else - we just all did our own thing until dinner.

- Palo brunch - it was fantastic and the view was just as amazing.

- adult comedy shows. Went early to get seats and we were impressed by the quality of the entertainment.

- bring the kids to the Lab after excursions in port, or when they got hot and tired. We did this in St. Thomas and San Juan. The kids enjoyed going back to play games and cool off, and DH and I enjoyed the time alone to shop or go to the local pub for a drink.

- Martini tasting. So much fun and we met great people. I only wish I had done this our first sea day and not on our last sea day.

- get off ship early for CC. We got to spend the whole day in paradise. After 3pm when most people headed back to the ship my kids took advantage of the floating mats and tubes left behind and played right up until the end of the day. We thought that was funny since they had no interest in renting them earlier. They just wanted to play in the sand and go on pelican plunge all day.

- stay Aft again. Our elevators and stairwells were rarely busy - unlike mid- ship.

- opt to take our own luggage off the ship upon disembarkation. We slept until 7:15, got up and went to Cabana's for breakfast, then returned to our room about 8 to get our bags. We then encountered barely any lines as we departed the ship. So easy.

DO NEXT TIME

- visit guest services as soon as I get on the ship to book a mixology class. The martini class was fun, but I think I'd enjoy the mixology better.

- get quote for another cruise early, then drop the card in the box at the Future cruises desk whenever you are around. No waiting in line. We just booked a double dip to CC for Oct. 2014 this way. We are going to try a smaller ship this time, just to compare.

- eat at least 1 breakfast and 1 lunch at the sit down restaurants. We spent most days eating breakfast at Cabana's and lunch from Flo's because of the convenience.

- try to make it to the Rainforest room at least once

- use the adult only areas on the ship more. We tried them near the end of our cruise and wish we'd tried them earlier.

- go to the bars for a drink after the adult show. We were pretty tired, but I wish I'd been able to make it for at least one drink in each bar. Each had their own amazing atmosphere.

- book a Spa Treatment

- catch a movie in the theatre ( saw OZ 3-D, wish I could have seen Lincoln)

- ride the Aquaduck at night

- not be afraid to put the kids in separate clubs - I think the 10 and a half year old would have preferred the older club vs. the Lab - and he could have called me if he didn't like it.... Ah hindsight is always 20/20

- parasail at CC. Looked like so much fun!

- get family pictures done at least once

- visit serenity bay at CC

- go to the gift shoppes the first night and buy something if I like it. Who knows when you'll get a chance to go back, and your size or item might be gone....
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:09 PM   #291
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Very informative thread. Keep it coming.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:56 PM   #292
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My mercy, what an awesome thread!!! I have to stop reading so I can stay awake, while I am working at our local hospice home...I will have to get my notes ready to take...what great ideas and experiences...thank you
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:36 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by wld4mky View Post
1Will not do
1- book shore excursions prior to boarding

Anybody know why this would be a bad idea? Pros? Cons?
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:55 PM   #294
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Would do again:

start taking Dramamine/bonine before cruise and keep taking it each night before bed

carry on bottles of wine and take a glass to dinner each night

do ports on my own-not an excursion

spend lots of time lounging at the pool drinking drinks of the day

take all the fun classes/do the fun competitions that interest me

eat new things

get to know the CMs

explore the ship-thoroughly

order room service!

do fish extender exchange

go with a group of fun people

eat at the dining rooms and not the buffet for meals

drink coffee from cove café

get on the ship as early as possible

order room service food to eat while in port

use TA & DV for OBC


Do for the first time:

a spa treatment

Palo brunch

a scavenger hunt

lay by Quiet Cove Pool



What I wouldn't do again:

see Villains Tonight

take high heel shoes

take really dressy clothes

Do express walk off

expect my daughter to like/stay in the kids club

get sunburned
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:16 PM   #295
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobofan5 View Post

Anybody know why this would be a bad idea? Pros? Cons?
We did our first cruise in Jan and did not book anything in advance. It was nice not to be tied down to a schedule. We ended up getting a taxi and visiting one of the local places by ourselves. Turned out better for us bc we could tour at our own pace and come/ go when we wanted to. We had actually slept in that day, which was nice.

But had we booked in advance, you don't get money back for bad weather or if you change your mind or if you just want a slower day.

I'm sure there are other reasons...
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:00 PM   #296
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Would do again:

* Roll the dice and wait for a good VGT rate
* Palo dinner
* Matinee show when available, dinner, then Aquaduck/pool at night
* Deck 10 Aft
* Rent a car from MCO to PC, stop at the store on the way to buy wine/beer

Didn't do but on the list for next time:

* Skip the MDR, once or twice, especially on Castaway Cay day. I'd rather to be the last one back on the boat instead of feeling like we needed to rush back for dinner. We had an early seating, and I think if we skipped dinner I think we could have spent at least another 2 hours on the island.
* Use room service more
* See a movie. Even if I have to go by myself
* Mixology or a tasting. Have to sign up first thing..they were sold out by the time I pulled the trigger.
* Bingo

Will not do again:

* Bernards tour if we go on another Eastern
* Overpack. Only bring 1 cute black dress for both formal and semi-formal, and more things I can mix/match
* Sail away party. Very crowded, been there, done that.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #297
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2aredhead View Post
Would do again:

* Roll the dice and wait for a good VGT rate
* Palo dinner
* Matinee show when available, dinner, then Aquaduck/pool at night
* Deck 10 Aft
* Rent a car from MCO to PC, stop at the store on the way to buy wine/beer

Didn't do but on the list for next time:

* Skip the MDR, once or twice, especially on Castaway Cay day. I'd rather to be the last one back on the boat instead of feeling like we needed to rush back for dinner. We had an early seating, and I think if we skipped dinner I think we could have spent at least another 2 hours on the island.
* Use room service more
* See a movie. Even if I have to go by myself
* Mixology or a tasting. Have to sign up first thing..they were sold out by the time I pulled the trigger.
* Bingo

Will not do again:

* Bernards tour if we go on another Eastern
* Overpack. Only bring 1 cute black dress for both formal and semi-formal, and more things I can mix/match
* Sail away party. Very crowded, been there, done that.
Why do you mention deck 10 aft? What is it about this room you like so much? I don't know much about any of the rooms, so I found your comment interesting
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:20 PM   #298
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Originally Posted by erinfarber

Why do you mention deck 10 aft? What is it about this room you like so much? I don't know much about any of the rooms, so I found your comment interesting
I specifically mentioned it because a lot of people seem to be afraid of it since it is right below Deck 11...Cabanas, Pool, etc. They're worried it will be loud, or they would feel a lot of vibration, etc. We LOVED the location. Found the Aft elevators to be much less crowded than mid-ship, and for us, and 1 quick flight up to Cabanas, beverage station, pool, etc outweighed the little bit of noise we heard a few mornings.

Actually, even though I said I would roll the dice for a VGT rate, and we are doing that for this year, we did book Spring Break week for 2014 (since I know for sure there won't be a discount that week) and specifically requested deck 10 Aft, category 5A because we thought it was great.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:14 PM   #299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2aredhead View Post

I specifically mentioned it because a lot of people seem to be afraid of it since it is right below Deck 11...Cabanas, Pool, etc. They're worried it will be loud, or they would feel a lot of vibration, etc. We LOVED the location. Found the Aft elevators to be much less crowded than mid-ship, and for us, and 1 quick flight up to Cabanas, beverage station, pool, etc outweighed the little bit of noise we heard a few mornings.

Actually, even though I said I would roll the dice for a VGT rate, and we are doing that for this year, we did book Spring Break week for 2014 (since I know for sure there won't be a discount that week) and specifically requested deck 10 Aft, category 5A because we thought it was great.
I always thought to stay away from this part if the ship but maybe I will try it out if I book the 2 night to nowhere. Thanks for the information
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:12 PM   #300
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Originally Posted by jmarsh

I always thought to stay away from this part if the ship but maybe I will try it out if I book the 2 night to nowhere. Thanks for the information
This is where we were assigned when we booked a VGT rate last year. And I read reviews, and proceeded to panic before our trip. I honestly think the people that were unhappy were either extremely light sleepers or people that have drank way too much Dis Kool-Aid and don't have realistic expectations. There was virtually no foot traffic since we were so far back, we had a spectacular view pulling into St. Thomas and Castaway Cay, and it was so convenient to Cabanas etc.
I look at it this way. You wake up on the ship 7 times. We were up early on the 3 port days, and you have to be up early on the last day anyway. The other few days we were just so exhausted from enjoying our trip we would have slept through a bomb!
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