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Hurricane Ivan

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Hello all! I'm a cruise newbie and leave out of New Orleans this sunday for my first cruise!!!! I am so excited I can't stand it. My question is, if Hurricane Ivan hits Jamaica really hard would we still stop there? That is our first scheduled stop. I am sailing on the Carnival Conquest and am getting nervous about how Ivan will impact my cruise. Any advice would help to calm my nerves. Also, if Ivan hits Florida how would sailing out of New Orleans be? Thanks!

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If you are prepared, you should have a wonderful time. Normally when an island is hit very hard by a hurricane, they will substitute a different port. With all of these Hurricanes around this past few weeks, many cruises are visiting places they never intended on going. Some (most) that booked the Eastern Caribbean ended up in the Western to avoid potential problems last week.

Hang in there and just go with an open mind. You will get to visit some ports but it just might be a TBA (to be announced) thing as the first and highest priority of the Cruise line is to keep their passengers safe.

And enjoy that first cruise, you will love it.

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The most important thing to keep in mind is that the cruise lines want you to have a great time, and go home and tell all your friends about your wonderful experience. They will do nothing to put you at risk, or in harm's way.

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That being said, this is your first cruise; treat it as an "adventure!" On the off-chance that something happens to one of your ports, and the cruise line has to make a change in the itinerary, enjoy whatever port(s) you visit. each one has something unique to offer, once you get off of the 'main drags.' All of the main streets look about the same, with their mix of duty-free shops, hair braiding, McDonald's, KFC, Dunkin' Donuts, Burger King; all very "Caribbean...." (LOL).

Just to give you an example of how important it is for the cruise lines to give you a good time, several years ago I was on a Carnival Ship. It was a scheduled day-at-sea, and the sky had a mix of cloud cover and blue skies. As I relaxed on the Lido Deck, frozen thingee in hand, I began to notice that the ship was, slowly and methodically, changing direction. Almost imperceptible, but obvious if you wtched carefully. Then, I realized that the Captain was aiming for the patches of blue! He was able to keep the ship in full sunshine about 70% of the time, even with the heavy cloud cover....

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Thanks for the words of wisdom and encouragement! :) I'm just really excited and don't want anything to ruin my first cruise experience! I guess I have another question if anyone would want to answer. My friends and I were wondering if a sport coat is necessary for the "formal nights?" Or would a shirt and tie be acceptable? Thanks again everyone!

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At least a sport coat and tie would be appropriate for formal night in the dining rooms. In fact, in the dining rooms you will see a substantial number of tuxedos and formal gowns, the normal formal dress. However, many men wear a simple suit and tie on formal nights. We think it is fun to dress formally and pretend we are hobnobing with James Bond and friends :grin: .

The Carnival website says:

Formal Wear: tuxedo (optional); suit and tie; sport coat, tie and slacks; evening gown; cocktail dress; pantsuit. For those not wanting to dress up, the Lido restaurants are open nightly (with the exception of the last evening of the cruise), and have a casual dress code.

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