Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sign ‘n Sail Card

111 days until we cruise…..woohoo!

The Sign ‘n Sail card is your room key, your ship ID card and your charge card for things on the ship. During check-in each person is given a Sail ‘n sign card, even Uriah.

Sign ‘n Sail is Carnival’s on board cashless credit program, which allows you to charge all your services, gratuities and purchases during your cruise to your stateroom.  All locations on board will accept your Sign ‘n Sail card for payment; the casino will also accept cash.  As a side note, when gambling always use cash so you know what your spending.

A credit card or cash deposit is needed to establish your personal on board account. After reading up on the deposits to your Sign ‘n Sail card this is what I have learned.  At check-in you will be asked for a credit card or cash to set-up your Sign ‘n Sail account. If giving a credit card or debit card Carnival will put a hold on your card for approximately $1000. Please be aware that even if you don’t spend that much on the ship the money will be held for up to three days after the cruise. If you use cash, which is what Scott & I will be doing, you can put $200 down and then add to your account as needed.

On the tv in your stateroom there is a guest services channel that updates you on all of your expenses to date. Please check it often so there won’t be any surprises at the end of the cruise.  Hate for you to go home broke as hell! If you pay cash and have an available balance at the end of the cruise Carnival will give you a check on the last day as part of your check out.

To keep your Sign ‘n Sail card on you at all times the casino offers guests a free lanyard. If it’s free it’s for me!

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Mr Sanchos

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On Thursday, January 16th we will be in Cozumel, Mexico enjoying Mr Sanchos All-Inclusive Beach Resort.  It includes all you can eat and drink all day…woohoo!  Also included in the price is use of the snorkel equipment, ocean kayaks, lockers, mile long private beach, beach chairs, lounge beds, swim up pool bar, fresh water showers, changing rooms, beach volleyball, ping pong (not beer pong), hammocks (Allen likey), and a whole lot more.

We will have to take a short taxi ride to Mr Sanchos, the cost is approximately $16 one way for 4 people.  The resort only allows 200 people entry per day.  I have spoken with shoreexcursioneer.com and there are tickets still available for January 16th.  I have chosen to go thru shoreexcursioneer.com because of the lower rates, great reviews and ease of prepaying.  For $44.99 per adult and $24.99 per Uriah we will be enjoying Cozumel from the beach.

Mr Sanchos does have activities at an additional price such as parasailing, ATV rentals, horseback riding, cooking class, shopping, etc.

Many reviews did mention wearing water shoes/aqua socks due to the rocky shoreline and beach.  Mr sanchos also charges $4 for beach towel rental and a $10 deposit.  We will not need that because Carnival allows us to take beach towels off the ship as long as we return them.  Just an FYI 🙂

Shoreexcursioneer.com requires a deposit to be put down to lock in our reservation.  The deposit is $4.99 per person and can be purchased from the website.  I have a 20% off deposit coupon promo code that each of us can use and we will get $1 off.  The code is PROM865.  I suggest going on as soon as you can to make your deposit so we can be guaranteed to be part of the 200 people allowed per day! the remaining costs are paid when you arrive and can be paid using cash, credit card, or travelers check.

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Food

That’s right it’s time for a talk on food.  From all of the reviews I have read the food seems to make people the happiest.

Dining Room

Our selected dining time is 8:30 pm Central time.

*Breakfast in the main dining room is between 7:30-9:30 am.  There is also a buffet on another floor of the ship and it serves breakfast until 11:00 am.  A helpful hint for you…there is an omelette bar where they will fry your eggs to order if you ask.

*Lunch is served at noon in the dining room and buffet on other floor.

*Dinner is included in the price of the cruise if you eat in the main dining room.  If you choose another location it is at an additional cost.  The dinner menu can be viewed on your tv in your stateroom.  Dinners take approximately 2 hours and include an appetizer, salad, main course, and dessert.  You may order as much as you want from each course.  Any pasta dish on the main entree section can be ordered as an appetizer.  When the lights go dim in the dining room it means that the entertainment is coming so have your cameras ready! A helpful hint…ask for a cheese plate off the dessert menu to take back to your room for a late night snack.

*Room Service is FREE and 24 hours a day!  Menus for room service can be found in the stack of “mail” in your cabin or in the Fun Times Newsletter delivered to your room.  If you would like breakfast delivered to your room just order it the night before and specify a time to have it brought to you.  A helpful hint….bring salt and pepper and a bottle of ketchup from Guys Burgers to your room for condiments when ordering a midnight snack.

*Pizzeria is open 24 hours a day, all you can eat all day and FREE! A helpful hint…on outdoor movie night order a large pizza and take it to the viewing area.

*Ice cream and frozen yogurt is 24 hours a day and FREE! A helpful hint…at the ice cream take a mug and fill it half way up with vanilla ice cream, a bit of ice, and coffee.  Stir well and it’s a Frappachino!

*Guy’s Burgers is FREE!   Food Network personality Guy Fieri brought all the appetizing appeal of a roadside burger to Guy’s Burger Joint, the cool poolside spot for hot burgers and hand-cut fries. Try a fresh-off-the-grill burger Guy’s way, or take it to the topping bar and make it your own.

* Blue Iguana Cantina is FREE! They specialize in tacos, burritos, homemade tortillas, chips, and salsa.

It’s an awful lot of food and it’s all for us!  Yummy.

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The Cheers Program

Carnival Cruise Line has a program for all passengers over the age of 21 who drink alcohol.  For a daily price of $49.99 plus tax you may drink up to 15 alcoholic beverages between the hours of 6:00 am – 6:00 am.  The beverages must be under $10 on the menu and do not include any beverages where you keep the glass.  If one person in your cabin purchases the Cheers Program anyone over the age of 21 in that cabin is required to purchase as well.  So if Keegan pays for the Cheers Program then Samantha will also have to pay for the Cheers Program since they will share a cabin.  The program must be purchased for all five days of the cruise and you may not pick and choose which days you want it.  There is a major downside to the Cheers Program while leaving from the port of Galveston: Texas law prohibits cruise lines to offer the Cheers Program while in U.S. waters.  That being said, on the 1st and 5th cruise day you will pay full price but will only have half the time to use it.  Also on port days, which we have two, you will be off the ship but still pay all day pricing.  (We only have one full day at sea) For approximately $260 per person 21 years or older in your cabin you can enjoy the Cheers Program for the five days.  I do not know the drinking habits of everyone over the age of 21 in our family so I cannot tell you if this is the right program for you or not.  As for Scott and I we are choosing not to participate.

*Kelsey & Allen since you are not 21 years old you are not allowed to drink alcohol on the ship.  In Progreso and Cozumel the legal age is 18 so you may drink in Mexico.  Samantha has offered to take care of anyone that over consumes 🙂

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Beach House

Beach House

It’s a party up in here!

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Schedule

I thought I would start things out with a simple schedule.

January 10th – Kelsey goes to Temple

January 11th –  Everyone arrive in Houston

Head to Galveston

January 12th – Explore Galveston

January 13th – 10:30am head to port and board Triumph

January 14th – Fun day at Sea

January 15th – Progreso, Mexico

January 16th – Cozumel, Mexico

January 17th – Fun Day at Sea

January 18th – Arrive in Galveston and head to Houston for the night

January 19th – Everyone heads home

Of course as all of the airline tickets are purchased I will have a better idea of times for airport arrivals and departures.

I am currently looking at beach houses in Galveston for us to stay at on the 11th & 12th.  If the price is right we can live it up at the beach for two days before setting sail.

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Hello Family

Over the next four months I will be blogging all things cruise related, road trips taken, and just some rambling words of wisdom to all.  I have done so much research on our upcoming cruise that Scott thought it would be easier to set me up with a blog instead of trying to call everyone to tell you all the same things.  Now don’t think I won’t still be calling or texting or snap chatting, I can’t go without some random communication.  If you have any questions you need answered regarding the cruise or even helpful suggestions just add a comment I will be excited to hear from you.

I do hope all of you find this to be an easy and informative method of planning the best freaking family cruise ever!

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