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Wkdwarrior98

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Hello Everyone,

My wife and I are planning our first cruise in May. RCL Sovereign of the Seas going to Bahamas. I have read alot of threads and let me first say THANKS!!!! they are very helpful in trying to plan if you are first time cruisers. My wife is going bananas trying to figure out what extra cost are involved once you are on board, Johnny Rockets, Ben and Jerry's, Spa Treatments, etc. Does anyone know if and what charges/prices might be involved after we board. We also heard that Bahamas has a charge for you to leave the Island ($18.00 U.S.) is this true?? Sorry for the DUMB questions, just trying to please wifey, had to beg to get her on board....lol.

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More experienced cruisers might have more... but before my first cruise we wondered the same thing... What we learned is that alcohol is extra. Probably as pricy as cocktails at a bar. While iced-tea was free, soda was extra. $1.50 per glass I think. Our ship had a Ben-n-Jerry's bar... I think that was subsidized... only about $2 for a nice sized scoop. There was a juice bar that sold slushy fruit drinks for about $4 each.

All food, including room service is included. But there are some extra frilly meals/desserts you can order that will cost extra. There is also the gratuity paid to about half a dozen people who take care of you on the ship. I like that Princess pools the money at a price of $10 per passenger per day (which you can raise or lower at your descression). Then automatically adds it to your room tab. That's easier than having to hand in 6 envelopes of cash on the last day.

There are also some activities on board that may cost a little. We spent $10 per person to attend a photography class. (In a case like this you're really paying for the materials, we got a little hand book.) There might be a pottery class or the like.

There were digital photography services on our ship... you bring them your memory chip every day and they download them to disk.... then at the end of the cruise, you get a CD with your pictures on them.

Oh and speaking of pictures, there are plenty of photo ops where the on board photographers will snap your picture. Your picture (along with hundreds of others) will be hung up on the hallway... if you want it, you can buy any of those pictures. (Along with professional photos of your cruise ship). I forget how much these pics are.

Spa treatments might be equal or a little more than what you'd expect from a standard spa at home.

For what's available, and maybe pricing, you can find your cruise line's web page. I know Princess has a place where I can log in and sign up for spa services ahead of time. I expect the price would be listed ...

Keep in mind...I don't think you'll EVER be using cash money on board. Everything get's charged to your room credit tab.

Hope that helps!!!

Kris

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Kris,

Thank you so much for the response. I am sure we will have a great time on this cruise and maybe plenty more to follow, from what I can gather once you go you are hooked. We are carrying our 11 year old Daughter with us and She can hardly wait, she is so excited.

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Hi Wkdwarrior98,

Congratulations on your first cruise. After my first cruise I got hooked, so be careful. :grin:

krisp pretty much summed everything up.

I am relatively new to cruising myself. I didn't start until 2003. My second cruise was on the Carnival Fantasy to the Bahamas. I definitely did not pay anything to get off of the island. I just went back to the ship through the security area and showed my Sign and Sail card.

Your additional costs on cruises can be as much or as little as you want. The extra things like the spa services, casino, alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees besides the expresso and cappucino offerred in the dining room, shore excursions, souvenirs, shipboard merchandise purchases, bingo, and specialty restaurants are all optional. Tips are an additional expense that are pre-charged to your submitted credit card if you sail on Carnival. I personally have found that the crew works so hard and are so attentive that I throw in a little extra in an envelop. But you have to judge additional tips for yourself and the type of service that you receive on your cruise. If your service is really horrendous, you can request to have the tip reduced. I have never heard of anyone doing that. Even my worse cabin steward was not so bad. He just didn't make the little towel animals. All of the waiters and assistant waiters were great. So you may or may not be inclined to give an additional tip. It's up to you.

I find that I enjoy the cruise experience and don't have to do much of the optional events. There are so many free things as krisp mentioned. The free meals in the assigned dining room, snacks and meals on the Lido Deck, spectacular shows, tours of the galley, the gym, the small pool, and relaxing on the sun deck are enough for me.

I do sometimes take a shore excursion if I'm not familiar with the area or a site has some historical significance to me, but that's a personal preference. If the ship does not dock in the downtown area I find out from the purser how much a cap costs to get downtown. I find the shopping tours a waste of money.

Check out the ships newsletter which usally lists the activities for the next day. You may find a number of free things to do or you may want to indulge in some of the activities that require fees. On the ship, you are the lord or lady of the manor and you get to make the decision yourself contingent upon your means and your wishes.

By all means enjoy yourself.

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Hi, Wkdwarrior98, and....

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While RCI has a LOT of extra charges ("onboard revenue"), most can be easily avoided.

There is no need to buy food, such as ice cream, burgers, etc; on a ship. They serve ice cream, in the dining room, at lunch and dinner; Burgers can, also, be found there, for lunch.

You may want to try the 'specialty restaurants,' but it isn't necessary. (Since I'm not a big fan of RCI's food, I might be tempted to pay the extra few bucks...) In 58 cruises, the only 'speialty restaurants" which I have tried are NCL's, when they didn't actually charge extra, but "suggested" a $5.00, per person, gratuity for the servers. I always left quite a bit more.

The extras you will, most probably, want to take advantage are the gratuities; drinks; photos; gambling money; souveneers from the gift shop, etc;

You don't need to take a Shore Excursion, if this is your first trip to Nassau. You can do a walking tour of the town, very easily. I put together a photo tour, on one of my trips there. If you'd like, you can check out:

http://members18.clubphoto.com/broward8133...141/guest.phtml

As far as the "Bahamian Departure Tax," it's already included in your fare.

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Welcome to CruiseCrazies, Wkdwarrior98!!

You're going to have a blast on your cruise! I'll bet that your first cruise definitely won't be the last!!

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Welcome aboard Wkdwarrior. I'll be on the Sovereign next month so if you have any questions I'll be glad to try to help.

Dacruznut is right about the extras. We don't buy dinners at fancy restaurants, do the spa often, pay for coffee or ice cream.

I've never paid a tax to depart the Bahamas. I believe that is if you fly in.

Haven't been on the Sovereign in a few years so I'll be better able to help when I return.

Just tell your wife to relax and if she has any questions to just ask. We're all here to help and discuss our favorite pastime.

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