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Need Cruise Advice ASAP! (prease)

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#1 boo7382


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Posted 02 September 2012 - 10:25 AM

Hai guyz,

FINALLY we are leaving! 6 months ago we booked this cruise and have been looking forward to it ever since.

We leave Friday to drive to Tampa. Will be leaving my car there with a friend and catching a ride to the port.

We leave out of Tampa Saturday on the Carnival Paradise woooottt!

5 Day Western Carribean Cruise, going to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Since I talk to so many people in my job now, I have had so much input on things to do and not to do. Which has been great!!

My big thing (other than being worried about the weather) is the best way for us to smuggle liquor onto the ship. I know you can take 1 bottle of wine each onto the boat.

I went on a forum on cruisecritic.com and it seems like most people are recommending these Rum Runner flasks, basically like a bladder thingy that goes in boxed wine or a soft flask, etc.

I have also been told the whole mouthwash bottle thing too.

Anyone been on a cruise more recently ....like in the last year or so and can give me some advice?

Any other advice about on land activities, etc would be greatly appreciated.

either way, were so EXCITED!

#2 Anybodyhome


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Posted 02 September 2012 - 11:38 AM

Won't happen. I've witnessed the mouthwash bottle thing first hand- very embarrassing for some distant family members who I dropped at the pier. They look at anything with liquid in it and if the seal is broken they will open it and check it. This is before you even get on the pier...

#3 Chimera


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Posted 02 September 2012 - 01:38 PM

so you don't have to break a seal
Posted Image

#4 cookinwithgas


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Posted 02 September 2012 - 02:10 PM

I've brought in boxes of wine in our luggage, and water bottles with rum/vodka as well, no problems. Wife would buy a glass of wine then refill from our supply.

Since this is your first cruise I'd recommend staying with the ship sponsored shore excursions. If you want to hang by the pool get out early to get a decent spot.

I enjoyed just walking around Grand Caymans shopping area but there are some great snorkeling excursions there.

Cozumel, we went to a resort where we got to use some of the facilities and eat from the buffet - in retrospect I think I would have rather gotten lit at Senor Frogs right off the pier. There are some good deals you can haggle on touristy items there as well.

Have fun!

#5 KendrickPanther



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Posted 02 September 2012 - 02:31 PM

My parents are avid cruisers and they live on that critic website you linked. They smuggle in the tiny bottles but I prefer to pony up the dough. I'm very paranoid about being caught so it's worth it to blow a hundred or 2 bucks on booze. I prefer the late dinner and order as much as you want. The gambling is unregulated and you usually see a "big winner" early on the ship to create a buzz. Buy liquor on the ship, it's usually pretty cheap in the store but they won't give it to you until the last day. The only thing I really regret about my cruise was not taking enough pictures. I had a really bad experience with room service on Royal Caribbean. Explore the ship, there are all kinds of bars. There should be a sports bar with the game as well. My parents would buy beer on the islands where there was competition for their business. Bring lots of sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. Remember your medicine!

Bottom line: be liberal, cruises are special. Buy things unique to the destination and support the island merchants.

#6 Bronn



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Posted 02 September 2012 - 07:43 PM

I won't be much help on the booze front, but

At Grand Cayman, if you're looking for an excursion, we went to the turtle farm and Hell (the town)... it was pretty cool...

Cozumel's port was destroyed during our trip, so we couldn't stop there...

Carnival has a reputation for being a party boat, so you'll probably have fun... booze may be cheaper too...

My best advice for cruising would be to avoid the fancy dinners and other extras... Everyone you come into contact with is going to want a tip at the end of your cruise (I think Carnival is notorious for this, but have no experience)... There are like 5 people at the fancy dinners that expect a tip... lol, not to sound cheap or anything... but yeah... Even at ports, they'll be hounding for your business...

If you've never snorkeled, and have time at one of your stops, that is really worth it too...

Have fun! (from SLJ)

#7 cookinbrak


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Posted 02 September 2012 - 08:22 PM

#8 BMorgan


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Posted 02 September 2012 - 10:02 PM

In Cozumel, go to Mr. Sancho's. $40 or $50 for a day pass and includes food and alcohol. $15.00 for the taxi (one way).
In Grand Cayman, find a charter to Stingray City (Stingraysailing.com is who we went with, or try NativeWayWatersports.com).

As for booze, take your chances with the Rum Runners in your checked luggage. Since the wine and drinks you bring must be carried on, the water bottle trick is dependent on security being thorough. They can tell the difference between water and alcohol by shaking the bottles.

On our first cruise out to Ft. Lauderdale, I got beer through, but that was because they didn't open my bag I had the 12 packs in (probably because we were wrangling the kids and trying to keep them occupied while going through security). When just the wife and I sailed out of Charleston, they actually opened and dumped out our two 12 packs and checked the seals on the wine bottles (didn't smuggling that trip).

We have only sailed Carnival, the daily tips are added to your bill and tips on your drinks automatically, no one on the ship should have their hand out for a tip. But we did tip our room steward, and tip the porters at the port, or you bags may not make it on board (they don't work for Carnival).




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Posted 02 September 2012 - 11:24 PM

That's gonna be boo...

#10 g5jamz


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Posted 03 September 2012 - 08:58 AM

Why bother. Last few days on ship they usually do pretty steep markdowns at the liquor store. But you insist...why not just take some gallon ziplocks with some ducttape and fill them up and tape them to your body. You'll need to figure out the bottle thing once on board though. It's really not worth all that savings.

#11 Dick the Butcher

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 10:00 AM

i've been on one carnival cruise, and it was horrible. will never do it again. with the money you drop, you can fly to one place, get a hotel room, and buy all the cheap mexican booze you want. there are def. better ways to spend your money.

but if you insist . . . for my carnvial cruise, here were my steps for getting vodka on:

1. buy two 6 packs of bottled water and two single bottles
2. without ripping the plastic, puncture one bottle in each pack
3. take out the punctured bottle from each
4. now easily remove the two bottles in the middle from each package
5. fill the two you removed and the two singles with your clear booze of choice
6. easily replace the 6 bottles

note: make sure to fill the bottles all the way to the brim, so that any air bubble might get eliminated.

this little trick worked for me. hopefully it does for you.

#12 thefuzz


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Posted 03 September 2012 - 10:13 AM

Go to dunkin doughnuts and ask to buy a big coffee bag without it being filled, sometimes they will give it to you.

Fill that with what ever you want, and put it in your luggage on top of some cloths and under your dive mask/fins/medicine bag.

They are checking in thousands of pieces and they are flying through the x ray machine. They will look closer at water bottles and the such as that's what everyone else does.

That DD coffee bag acts just like the "rum runners" you read about.

#13 boo7382


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Posted 03 September 2012 - 11:48 AM

Thanks for the Mr Sanchos thing B! I should have known you or Bo would be chock full of information!

We will definitely look into doing that in Cozumel, Im reading the reviews now.

It was super cheap for us to do this, which is why we just went for it. Only about $300 each not counting what we will spend on liquor. Im probably going to go the Rum Runner bladder route. I will pack one and so will le bf. From what Ive read you can have better luck if you divide everything up. Probably going to put some mini bottles in my makeup/toiletries bag as well. Then we will both carry on a bottle of wine each.

Snorkeling in GC sounds like fun, my bf is certified but Im not so that will make a happy medium.

More worried about everything with leaving work for a week and cutting off all communication. Also a bit worried about the weather with it being hurricane season and all.

whatever, neither of us have been on a vacation in.....I cant even tell you how long. Cant wait to be on the beach with a drink in my hand!

Thanks for the advice all!