Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Motion of the Ocean

Yep, I am a few days behind on getting this week’s blog post up.  I do have a very valid excuse.  I have been playing with power tools.  While making some very lucky kiddos Christmas presents I have used a power sander, table saw, drill, and router. But that’s not something that interests everyone… but it should.  You visited this blog to get information and information you shall have.

Today we will talk about the dreaded motion sickness, sea sickness, or just plain old yuckiness.  This does not effect all passengers but if you are one of them here is some helpful advice.

First off, make sure your cabin is closer to the center of the ship.  You will experience less rocking that way.  Also, the farther down the ship the less you feel the motion.  Now I am not saying you won’t feel anything.  I mean let’s be serious, your on a boat in the ocean going 20 knots there is going to be motion.  How else are we going to get to all the awesome ports of call?

Upon doing research I have found that for people that get sick during normal car rides it is best to start the meds before the sickness has a chance to begin.  You can purchase SeaBands at your local pharmacy or Walmart.  These bands are worn on your wrist and should be put on either the night before the cruise or first thing the morning of.  The starting price is $7 a band.

Another option for people that are prone to motion sickness is a patch also called a Transderm patch.  This gets placed behind your ear and should be kept on for up to 72 hours. Apply this at least 4 hours before embarking on the ship. I did a quick search and found them on Amazon. They can get a little pricey  starting at $19.99 but really can you put a price on not throwing up?

If you feel very strongly that you will be getting sick and need serious medication then I suggest you see your doctor and get a prescription before heading out to Galveston. You can also get pills over the counter like Dramamine.

Ok you just say no to anything not natural being put on or in your body.  There are a few things you can eat to help.  Ginger snap cookies and apples.  While on our last cruise in October there were some hella bad waves.  The cruise director told us he hadn’t seen waves like that before and suggested the ginger and apples.  By the way, October is not a month Scott and I will be picking to cruise again if we can help it.  Oh the waves!

Another way to help avoid the sickness is when looking over the ship to check out the water and sea creatures, don’t look straight down.  Have a look out across the water.  it really does help.

I’m hoping beyond hope that nobody has a ruined cruise over motion sickness.  Fingers crossed!

 

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | 1 Comment

Cheers to You and Bubbles Too

Happy Thanksgiving week to all.  I hope everyone has plenty of food and family.  We will definitely have both and we love it!

Let’s take a moment and get our drink on.  Now I’m not just talking about alcohol. I’m talking about the Carnival Cheers and Bottomless Bubbles packages. If you would like to purchase any of the packages you can go right onto http://www.carnival.com and log into your account.

The Cheers Package is for adults 21 years of age and older. If one person in your cabin orders the Cheers package then all persons over the age of 21 in that cabin must order the package.  If you have a medical condition that does not allow you to drink alcohol you can get a doctor’s note and contact Carnival in advance of your cruise.  I will give the Cliff Notes on this package:

  • This is a prepaid bar package that allows you to order up to 15 alcoholic beverages a day. The day is from 6 am to 6 am.
  • The cost of the package is $49.95 per person per day if purchased in advance of the cruise. $54.95 per person per day if purchased once on board the ship.  There is also a 15% gratuity per day added.
  • Any cruises leaving out of Texas, New York or Alabama cannot get the Cheer packages until day 2 of the cruise.  So instead of being charged for 7 days you will be charged for 6. This would be a cost of $344.64 for the family cruise next year if the prices stay the same.
  • All spirits, including cocktails, cognacs, whiskies and other spirits, as well as beer and glasses of wine, with a $50 or lower menu price per serving
  • Zero-Proof frozen cocktails and sodas, including specialty sodas
  • Specialty coffees and teas served in the main dining rooms, specialty restaurants and coffee bars
  • RockStar energy drinks, Powerade, Vitamin Water, Coconut Water and Honest Tea
  • 500ml bottles of water served in bars and lounges
  • Large format (1 liter and 1.5-liter) bottles of water in the main dining rooms and specialty restaurants
  • 25 percent discount off the menu price for any spirit, cocktail or wine by the glass, costing above $50 per serving
  • 25 percent discount off the menu price for wine and champagne by the bottle and larger format water bottles purchased outside the main dining rooms or specialty restaurants
  • 25 percent discount off the menu price for all beverage classes and seminars
  • Here is a helpful chart that was made by a fellow cruiser (not me) to give you an idea of the breakdown to see if the Cheers Package is a good purchase for you.
  • Please note these prices are as of today.  I cannot guarantee the prices in a year will be the same.  I will keep you posted as to any changes that are made.
  • You cannot just pick one or two days that you would like to purchase the package for.  If you want the Cheer package you pay for it for all cruise days.

Bottomless Bubbles is for adults and kids that want unlimited nonalcoholic beverages.  There is a per day charge of $6 for adults and $4.50 for kids under 18.

  • Soft drinks:  Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Caffeine Free Coke, Sprite, Sprite Zero, Orange Fanta, Mr. Pibb, Barqs Root Beer, Tonic Water, Club Soda, Ginger Ale
  • Juices: Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, Tomato Juice, Pineapple Juice, Grapefruit Juice
  • This is a cost chart per Carnival website:
Cruise Duration Child (< 18)  

$4.50 Per Day

Adult (18+)

$6.00 Per Day

Price Including 15% Gratuity Price Including 15% Gratuity
3 day $15.53 $20.70
4 day $20.70 $27.60
5 day $25.88 $34.50
6 day $31.05 $41.40
7 day $36.23 $48.30
8 day $41.40 $55.20
9 day $46.58 $62.10
Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

Customs/TABC

Woot! Woot! We are under the 400 day mark.  The days are just cruising by….We haven’t even gotten on the ship and I’m going to start talking about getting off the ship.  What can I say, it’s a topsy turvy world we live in.

The  night before we return to the Galveston port you will receive a form for Customs/TABC.  In order to go through the port of entry back to the United States you must declare all of your purchases.  Now to be clear, you will not  list items that you consumed on the ship such as drinks.  If you purchased a t-shirt, cigarettes, bottles of alcohol, magnets, jewelry, etc. you will need to write down what you purchased and how much money you spent.  Every passenger gets a limit on how much they can spend duty free. That amount is $800.

So this is the scenario: You go to Cozumel and purchase t-shirts 5 for $20, then hit up Belize for coffee cups 4 for $10, and finally in Honduras you spend $60 on shot glasses.  You purchased some souvenir cups on the ship and spent $30.  When the form arrives in your cabin you list t-shirts $20, cups $40, and glasses $60 for a total of $120.  When you are at the customs agents booth you hand them your passport and your Customs/TABC form.  Since you did not exceed $800 you don’t owe any additional taxes and you can now enter the United States of America – ‘merica.

Now you have heard these rumors that alcohol and cigarettes are so much cheaper in Mexico and you want to bring back some of that adult goodness.  Each adult may import a maximum of:

  • 24 12 oz bottles or equivalent of beer or Malt Beverages;
  • 3 gallons of Wine; and
  • 1 gallon of Liquor/Distilled Spirits
  • No limit on cigarettes if being purchased for personal use

Guess what? Not only do you have to claim it on your Customs/TABC form you have to pay a fee for bringing it into Texas.     Here is a break down of fees:

  • Half Pint (200 ml) $3.25
  • Pint (500 mil) $3.50
  • Fifth (750 mil) $3.50
  • Quart (1 ltr) $3.75
  • Half gallon (1.75 ltr) $4.25
  • Gallon (3.79 ltr) $5.50
  • Beer/Malt 6 12oz containers $3.25
  • Beer/Malt 12 12 oz containers $3.25
  • Beer/Malt 24 12 oz containers $3.50
  • Wine Fifth (750 ml) $3.25
  • Gallon (3.79 ltr) $3.75
  • Cigarettes pack $1.50
  • Cigarettes Carton/200 each (10 packs) $15.00

So some of you are thinking, “I will by a bottle of Crown in Mexico and just drink that on the ship.” So sorry that isn’t gonna happen.  If you purchase alcohol at any of the ports when you arrive back on the ship the nice security officers will take your purchase.  They will give you a notification telling you that the day we disembark in Galveston you will need to go to an alcohol check area to retrieve your purchase. Then you can go to the custom area with your passport and filled out Custom/TABC form and pay your taxes.

I know it’s a lot to take in so please feel free to read this again before December 2017.  If you have any questions just ask!

Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

Do Not

What a great weekend we had!  Today Scott took off to Colorado while the kitties and I hold down the fort.

I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about some very serious Do Nots.  While the cruise is about having a good time and enjoying your vacation your way there are still rules that must be followed.  Here are a few of the rules:

  • Do Not take food off the ship at the ports.  No food at all! There are plenty of signs that clearly state this as you are exiting the ship and headed out on your port adventures.  At some ports they have dogs that smell every bag and passenger leaving the ship.  It is against the law in these countries to bring food off the ship.
  • Do Not ignore your Sail and Sign account.  Carnival has made it super easy for you to keep track of your spending by having kiosks, a channel on the TV in the cabin, and also the Guest Services Desk.  Your account must be paid in full on the last day of the cruise.  Nobody is responsible for your spending but you so don’t go asking for help to pay your account because you over spent.
  • Do Not smuggle alcohol on board.  It will be confiscated and in some cases you will not be allowed to sail on Carnival again.
  • No Not smoke in your cabin or on your balcony.  Yes this includes electronic cigarettes. There are designated areas on the ship for smoking…go there.  If caught smoking in your cabin or on the balcony you get a mighty hefty fine!
  • Do Not bring your animals unless they are certified as service animals.  If you have a service animal there is paperwork that must be done prior to the cruise. Children do not count as animals no matter what their parents say 🙂
  • No weapons of any kind.
  • No drugs.
  • Do Not be a chair hog.  If you find a chair on deck then sit in it.  It is against the rules to put items on a chair to “save it” for later.  If you need to do that so you can go to the bathroom or get food that’s fine.  After 20 minutes your items will be removed from the chair and taken to lost and found.
  • Do Not be an elevator jerk even if other people are.  Let people off the elevator before you try to get on.  And please let scooter people on before you.  This is called common courtesy.
  • Stay off the railings! No going overboard.  If drinking makes you adventurous then by all means don’t drink.  We want fun times without bad consequences.
  • Do Not bring an iron or steamer, they are forbidden and will be confiscated.  Plus, ironing is lame because I said so not because I don’t know how.
Categories: Family Cruise 2017 | Leave a comment

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