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Old 08-01-2017, 07:36 PM   #1
Bald Mike
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Default Cruises from TX

We are strongly considering a family cruise over the holidays. Never been on one! Likely departing out of Galveston. Probably drive to TX...two days down, two days back. Looking for any advice on the following:

- How to get the best price
- Length
- Rooms (wife and I and our two 20-year-old children)
- What is included (and what's not)
- Budget for what is not included
- Daytrips/excursions
- Anything else...

Thanks,
Mike



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Old 08-02-2017, 01:23 AM   #2
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I am the worst person to give you advise here, but what the hell.

Two days down? It's only like 14 hours. Tell her to toughen up and save me $200 to spend on the bar bill.

Length? I heard size doesn't really matter. I trust my sources because they love me. And I take her boating a lot.

Rooms? at 20yo, I am buying two rooms. Not lying that at 15, I am going el cheap and making them sleep on the floor.

What's included? Not good here, but I hear usually my friends spend 1 to 2 thousand on their bar bills. I am serious. Screw that. Hear there are plans to drink a lot and spend less, but I did that math, and put my ass on an all inclusive beach in Cancun and put a grand back in my bank account.

I am an all inclusive guy. I like to pay it up front and take another $500 cash. That's me though.

See the $500 mentioned above. Not going to lie though, starting to get out voted here last few years.

Research how to sneak handles onto the boat in your carry ons. Bar soap washes hair. You don't need shampoo.

Sorry not much help, but speaking the truth. I have no desire for a cruise. Wife and friends are in mission to convert me.

Best of luck sir
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Old 08-02-2017, 04:57 AM   #3
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My bar tab would require me to sell the house.

I'm a all inclusive type too.
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:51 AM   #4
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We have done a couple cruises on Royal Caribbean. It all depends on where your going and what you want to do. Most of the cruise lines now offer a BOGO half off on prepaid bar. I think ours was like $450. and the other was half that. The cruise boat will have a list of things to do at each port that you dock. I think with all of you putting your heads together you will be sure to come up with something fun for all. Good luck and have fun..
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:53 AM   #5
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Do the math for the bar options. I figured break even point was 5 drinks each per day. Also, I hear new rule is BOTH in the cabin have to buy the inclusive bar. So you and wife have to average 10 drinks per day to break even. Excursions $100 plus each. You can wing it and find a beach yourself but excursions can be fun. There are "premium" dining options we did not try as the regular food was pretty good. Keep in mind my experience is 1 cruise with Royal Caribbean. My experience was lots of fun ... BUT not cheap.
Enjoy,
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:36 AM   #6
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Cruising was fun for a time or two. We have done Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Preferred Royal. Bar bill was very high. We did several excursions. I always used the Cruise line vendors. They guarantee you return before the ship sails.
When they say the ship leaves port at 6:00PM, they mean it. If you arrive back at 6:01 you are screwed. You must get to the next port on your dime.
I, too, prefer the all inclusive. Cruising is fun, but after two, I prefer to do something else.

My advice is to talk to a travel agent that specializes in cruises. They have and can get deals that are not on cruise line website. They can also tell you which ships are the best for what you want to do. There are ships that specialize in seniors, lots of kids, alternate lifestyles, etc.

Look at New Orleans for departure as well as Galveston. Just remember that over the holidays, the boats will be full, and the cost the highest of the year.

Sorry to ramble.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:57 PM   #7
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We have done a few. Royal Caribbean is very good. Our bar bill is only about $500.
I don't want to send $200 + a day on booze though.

Tips for your cabin steward and waiter are also expenses normally incurred. Paid at the end of the cruise.

Guessing there is Cruises 101 on the internet somewhere.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:32 PM   #8
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Don't those prepaid bar bill options have drink limits? Anyone know what the limits are? Check on that. 7a to 3a is a long day!! ��
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:15 AM   #9
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We did a cruise on Royal Caribbean and looked at the drink packages. At the time, I calculated that I would need to be pretty much drunk all day to get the value out of it. In my opinion they are just not worth it. Drinks weren't really all that bad. I think a beer was about $6 or so.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:31 PM   #10
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Mike,

I think Dave summed it up very well. Diane and I went on our first Cruise last year, it was really great. We are AAA members and used their travel agent, she was fantastic getting us the best value, class of room, beverage plan, on board credits and excursions. Travel agents are a [U]must tool to get the most current and best value. We enjoyed ourselves so much we booked another cruise 6 months later (6 days out of the hospital from a heart attack). Our first Cruise was Celebrity and the second was Holland America. Note, our first cruise we had the beverage plan this includes bottled water. You really have to pound the drinks down in order to get value. The second cruise we didn't have the beverage plan, common drinks like Gin and Tonic, Bloody Mary, Martini and straight up Bourbon, Scotch, etc. run about 6-8 bucks. We brought a couple of insulated mugs from home to fill up on the Lido Deck where food is served all day (soft drinks, coffee, tea and water are free there). We had the cabin attendant bring us fresh ice twice a day and filled our mugs with ice water and we were good for the day for free. Remember, when you're in port, you aren't on the ship so you can't take advantage of the beverage plan. 2 drinks a night each at 8 bucks a drink is not outrageous. The internet is a great place to get a jump on what you want to do and definitely use a Travel Agent. Damn, I am a gabby old fart.
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