Monthly Archives: November 2013


Tipping is a big deal or so it has been written everywhere I have researched about the cruise.  It has been suggested to bring several $1 or $5 bills for tipping cab drivers, porters, service people, and to have exact change when bartering at stores in port.

Here are some tipping etiquette (of course tip what you feel comfortable with):

The Porter – $1 per bag

Cabdriver – $1 per passanger

Shuttle Driver – $1 per bag

Room Service – $1 to $2 every time you order

Servers in the dining room – $10 to $20 for the full 5 day cruise

Serving Assistant – $5 to $10 for the full 5 day cruise

Room Steward – $20 for full 5 day cruise

Carnival automatically puts on your Sign ‘n Sail account $11.50 per day per person in your stateroom.  Yes, even little Uriah gets charged.  So let me break this down for you, 1 person on a five day cruise would be charged $57.50.  If you are in a stateroom with 2 people your cost would be $115.00 and 3 people in the stateroom is $172.50.  Look Samantha, I did all of the math for you!  If you are ok with paying that tip amount you need to make sure you have that amount of money in your account to cover it.  If you would like to adjust up or down depending on how well you were serviced (minds out of the gutter…Dad seriously stop laughing) you may do so before the day of disembarkment.

Since we all need to be budget minded I think this will be helpful in figuring out how much you want to set to the side for tipping.

Just a quick note…..49 days!!!!

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It must be getting close because it’s time to talk about packing.

We will need to know how many suitcases and carryons each person will be taking.  This will help in figuring out how to fit everyone’s luggage in two cars and we need to print luggage boarding tags for the ship check in.  Scott and I will print out the luggage tags and laminate them so they will be ready to be attached the morning we set sail.  Each person is allowed up to 2 bags not more than 50 lbs.  I don’t think we can fit that much luggage in the cars.

You are not allowed to bring an iron so any clothes that need ironing have to be done prior to cruising.  A good trick my Mom uses is to iron the clothes and then wrap them in tissue paper.  I also read online that placing ironed clothes into space bags helps.  You might also think about wrinkle release spray.  This is way more information on ironing than I ever wanted to know and I’m hoping to not have this information take up brain space the rest of my life 🙂

Now don’t stress out if you forget to pack something, the ship usually has everything you need for sale.  Certain items like toothpaste or soap can be given to you by your room steward, just ask.  A helpful hint is to bring a couple of ziplock bags to pack wet clothes in for your return trip home.  Also use ziplocks to pack liquids so if they spill in your bag your clothes will stay dry.  There are some things that I just don’t think i should have to mention to pack, you know, under garments, pj’s, socks, etc.

Swimsuits….it has been suggested that each guest bring more than one swimsuit.  This way one can dry from the previous day while you wear another.  I have mentioned in a couple of blogs that water shoes/aqua socks are recommended, especially on the beaches in Progreso and Cozumel.

It has also been suggested that a light sweater or jacket be brought because it tends to be cool in the evenings and also in the main dining room.

Don’t forget your hat and sunglasses!

There are hairdryers in the bathrooms of the staterooms.  There are also laundry rooms and a laundry service.  The laundry rooms cost $1.50 for wash and $1.50 for dry.  If you feel the need to do laundry make sure and bring laundry soap and dryer sheets and lots of quarters.  The laundry service has a price sheet in your stateroom “stack of mail.”

* A helpful hint is to pack a change of clothes, medication, and a swimsuit in a bag you will be carrying on.  It is several hours before your checked luggage is brought to your room.

Each guest over the age of 21 is allowed to bring 1 750ml bottle of wine or champagne.  Every guest is allowed to bring a case of bottled water or soft drinks.  We will need to bring a small hand truck to wheel it around cause we aren’t allowed into our rooms right away.

Don’t forget that the 1st Fun day at sea is Formal Night.  Make sure you dress appropriately.  Guys must wear dress pants or khakis, polo or button up shirt, ties are optional.  Women…look hot!  Don’t forget that in the dance club there is a wear white night.

Now get to packing………..

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Not that I am encouraging anybody to spend more of their money but let’s talk shopping.

The Carnival Triumph has a shopping area on board.  You can buy souvenir items, candy, clothes, watches, jewelry, cigars, etc.

The liquor store is known for having inexpensive alcohol that is duty free.  Of course when buying alcohol remember those flying out need to find a way to get it home.  We would send it to you but we found out the hard way last Christmas that it is illegal to ship or mail alcohol.  You are allowed to bring back 2 liters of alcohol into the United states.

The jewelry shop is where you can find watches, loose stones, gold or silver by the inch, and standard earrings, necklaces and bracelets.  All of the items come with warranties and one year low price guarantees.  On the last day at sea the jewelry goes on a huge sale, sounds like that’s the best time to buy.

The logo shop is all things Carnival.  Nearly every item you can think of with Carnival Cruise Lines stamped on it.  Items range from robes to Christmas ornaments.  I think I will be stopping in there for a few items.

The candy store on board is perfect for those of you with a sweet tooth.  Guess Kelsey and Uriah will be shopping together.

There is also a smoke shop.  The cigarettes and cigars are at a very low price.

The ports of Progreso and Cozumel are rich in shopping areas.  I have read that there are several vendors that walk the street asking if you want to buy something.  Remember that this is how they make a living and there is no reason to be rude.  A simple no thank you and keep walking will let them know you are not interested.  Vanilla is one of the most sought after items in these ports.  It is suppose to be the best vanilla and vanilla beans anywhere and it is extremely inexpensive!  Yep, I’m gonna need some of that too.

Now when free and shopping merge….wait for it….

The night before arriving at a port Carnival gives an informative talk about the port and places that should be seen.  They give away several items to people that go to the talks and I was told that being in rows 1-15 is where you get the most stuff.  There is also a segment on jewelry shopping during this talk.  Some of the information they give is a big sales pitch but they give you free charms and a bracelet then a map that lists places to stop at in the next port.  At these shops you are given another free jewelry item.  One of the bloggers wrote about the charm bracelet that she filled for free!  She also received necklaces and some loose stones that she had rings made when she got back to the states.

Now it’s time to save even more money before our cruise….I have some shopping to do while on vacation 🙂

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Uriah Time!

The Triumph has an area just for kids and while I’m sure knowing everything about Camp Carnival would be interesting, let’s be honest, we only truly care about what Uriah can do.  The first area of Camp carnival is for ages 2-5.  It includes age appropriate activities to entertain.  Not only arts and crafts but games, scavenger hunts, swim parties, build a bear workshops, movies, and exercise.  Camp Carnival is free before 10:00 pm.

Camp Carnival also has the Night Owls.  The Night Owls allows parents to go clubbing and enjoy all of the night life while kids have parties of their own.  The kids get special party night surprises like backpacks, nightlights, caps, etc.  There are also special movie nights for the kids.  There are fees associated with the Night Owls program.  Most say it costs $6-$6.50 per hour.

Of course there are plenty of things to do with all of the adults too.  Swimming and water slides, ping pong, basketball, mini golf, the arcade, and more….way more.

Next blog will be about shopping and free stuff.  Heck yes we want free stuff!

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