quote:Originally posted by black roses 19: Oh, and Errata, that sounds amazing. I don't think our school offers anything like that, but I'll definitely have to check up on it. I would love to do something like that.
Its a single program that students (and faculty) from hundreds of universities all use, so your university doesn't have to organize it. The actual University that is nominally in charge of it has changed before (currently the University of Virginia), but it doesn't matter much, since the host university only accounts for a small number of the students. Its like a transfer credit/exchange student type arrangement. So the chances are pretty good that you could do it. Of course most of the classes are pretty generic, so it might not advance your major much, but it should at least be good for language requirements, electives, humanities, arts, etc. And the real world educational value is priceless.
Ooh nice. Next Semester they have Archbisop Desmond Tutu actually joining for the entire cruise as a guest professor in anthropology, history, religion, and political science. Thats really awesome. They frequently have visits with major world political figures, but having one as a professor is really great. The classes are mostly pretty small and intimate too. I bet you cant spend 3 months with a nobel peace prize winner on Carnival.
Hey, if I want to see a walrus I'll strip off, stick a couple of parsnips in my mouth, and look in the mirror.
-------------------- "No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/ Posts: 7581 | From: Gainesville, Georgia | Registered: Jun 2000
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quote:Originally posted by Special Turkey: I have only been on one cruise. Last January I went on a 7-day Hawaiian cruise on Norwegian's Pride of America.
It's a very casual cruise with a lot of different dining options. There's a free buffet-style restaurant with no dress code (or at least no one enforced it) that basically serves food 24/7, and about half a dozen restaurants that serve only dinner and/or lunch. Even in the fancier restaurants dress pants and shirt will get you by.
The ship had an absolutely amazing sushi bar. On the last day of the cruise myself and three other people ate what must have been a few hundred dollars worth of sushi for $10 per person. (Some of the restaurants have a flat rate per meal for whatever you order.)
Everyone boarding the ship had their bags checked for alcohol and other contraband, so I'm not sure how other people manage to sneak booze on board a cruise, but they weren't having any of that. But you could go ashore and buy your own non-alcoholic drinks to avoid paying $2 on the ship for a can of Coke.
The excursions organized by the cruise line tended to be pretty expensive. Some of them were worth it, some of them not. $50 a head for snorkeling on the beach was a bit of highway robbery when you can just rent the gear yourself for ten bucks. But $50 for a historical tour of Kona coffee plantations was well worth it.
I had an amazing time and liked the laid-back atmosphere on the ship. Some of the older passengers that were cruise veterans complained relentlessly, so obviously some people prefer to be more pampered on a cruise.
ETA some more info on what was included in the cabin price:
All food at the buffet restaurant was free, as was coffee, tea, milk, and water. Soda and alcohol was extra.
Two of the more casual restaurants (a burger joint and an italian restaurant) were free as well, but still required reservations.
As mentioned, some of the other restaurants were a la carte and some charged a flat fee per plate. (And I think which as which depended on what night of the cruise you were on.)
All shore excursions were extra.
Tips were added to the bill at a flat $10/day. You could tip extra to individual employees, and I did a few times, but I never felt any pressure to do so.
Special Turkey, dontcha love Norweigan? And if that was your first cruise with them, you're now a Latitudes club member, and get special discounts, deals, a private parties on future cruises. The cruise you described was actually the one my dad and step-mom want to do. (We live in CT, so the ones they've been on leave from NYC). Did you stop other places besides Hawaii? And what were the options for shore excursions?
-------------------- My software never has bugs. It just develops random features. Dr. Wilson: Beauty often seduces us on the road to truth. Dr. Gregory House: And triteness kicks us in the nads. -House MD Posts: 114 | From: Glastonbury, CT / Houghton, NY | Registered: Jun 2006
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quote:Originally posted by black roses 19: Are alcoholic drinks pretty expensive? I assume they are (because they can be).
They can add up. You won't break the bank if you have one or two drinks a day, but the problem is that you can't stop. First, they have their employees walking around hawking the drinks, and you could be sitting by the pool all day and the drinks will come to you. Second, the drinks are tasty. Third, everything gets charged to your room; You just sign for it. So, it's easy to lose track of how many you had.
quote: As for excursions - I'm honestly not planning on paying for any unless there happened to be something we absolutely couldn't pass up. I figured we could either rent snorkelilng gear or buy it before we go and just wander the islands for the rest of the time we're there. I'm not a big fan of guided type things anyway.
Some of them are worth it, though. We took the Dunn's river falls excursion at Ocho Rios and that was worth it because a) a the guide knew what route to take and b)it was fun with the big group. There were some people who were trying to wing it on their own. It didn't look like they weren't having too much fun
-------------------- Nico Sasha In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel. Posts: 4912 | From: VA | Registered: Jul 2003
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If you go to Grand Cayman, don't book your excursion before you go on the trip. We found people lined up to take us to the Turtle Farm, 'Hell' & the Rum Factory. For snorkeling & such you'd want to pre-book but for a simple tour, wait until you get to the island.
We found a room with a balcony to be more than worth it. It seemed to open up the room & I enjoyed the privacy when watching the sunset or passing by various islands (Cuba, etc.). Its not an essential thing but for me it was worth the extra money.
If we cruise again in a few years, I'd like to do either Asia, Australia/NZ or Alaska. I'd probably go on Princess as they seem to be the most family-friendly outside of Disney who only does the Caribbean (except for rare 'special' cruises like the Med. Cruise next summer.)
-------------------- I cannot live without books-Thomas Jefferson *~* A child educated only at school is an uneducated child - George Santayana I'm going to pummel you with such zeal, Buddha will explode! *~* Never miss a good chance to shut up - Will Rogers Posts: 6585 | From: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX | Registered: Feb 2002
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I've been on 2 cruises. The first was a Windjammer for our honeymoon, but not the clothing-optional one mentioned earlier in this thread. Clothing was casual, though. They required you cover up your swimsuit with a shirt at meals, but shoes were not required. And once, they made an exception on the shirt thing because hubby had a henna tattoo drying on his back at dinner time!
That cruise was mostly younger folks and the excursions tended to cost about $30. Also, we were in small, non-tourist ports where just stepping off the boat and snorkeling was a viable option. You could sleep on the deck at night, and once they let us jump off the deck of the ship into the ocean. It was a small group, less than 40 guests on the ship, we all got to know each other. On Windjammer, definitely splurge for the bigger room. The smaller rooms have twin bunks and NO storage space.
Our other cruise was Royal Carribean with my family. We took up an entire table at dinner, so we didn't have random people to possibly annoy or convert us. I thought the internal cabin was best, because I could sleep in total darkness and was never in there any other time. But I wouldn't count on skipping all the excursions on one of these. Most of the ports are huge and you will need at least transportation to someplace to snorkel when you get off the boat. And also, they have really cool excursions that are hard to pass up. But count on excursions costing around $100 for normal ones and more for the really cool exciting stuff. The food on our cruise was passable, but not exciting. The on-ship entertainment was sometimes cheesy, but could be fun if you just embraced the cheese.
Posts: 2115 | From: Texas | Registered: Sep 2003
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quote:Originally posted by Morgaine La Raq Star: If you go to Grand Cayman, don't book your excursion before you go on the trip. We found people lined up to take us to the Turtle Farm, 'Hell' & the Rum Factory. For snorkeling & such you'd want to pre-book but for a simple tour, wait until you get to the island.
We walked off the boat and down the beach a bit and found great snorkeling at Grand Cayman without a tour. We were close to shore, but the fishies were amazing.
So no pre-booking in Grand Cayman needed.
-------------------- If you say you love ice cream, you better be dreaming of an orgy with Ben, Jerry, and one fine-ass chunky monkey.
quote:Originally posted by black roses 19: Wow, thanks for the info, everyone! This is great stuff I'm getting. Are alcoholic drinks pretty expensive? I assume they are (because they can be).
Much less than the ones at the bar of the hotel where I was staying over the weekend ($6 for a glass of mediocre White Zin? ).
And on my cruise, they did have daily drink specials, which were quite reasonable. And they were not little wimpy mall-restaurant drinks.
The other thing they would do is that if you didn't finish a bottle of wine with dinner, it would be recorked and brought to you the next night. Which was very cool, as the wine was a bit pricey.
The issue is, as Mad Jay pointed out, that they are all too easy to order.
The only drink I felt ripped off on was the one they offered as the official start of the cruise drink. Which was meant to be rum punch. Which had very little rum. It made me want to punch someone.
The other thing to watch out for is that they will sell you the "unlimited soda cup", which sounds a good value. But be sure to ask which sodas are covered. Diet coke was. Diet Sprite was not. There was no Diet Pepsi. Bastages.
-------------------- There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe Posts: 6995 | From: New Mexico | Registered: Oct 2004
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What a convenient thread! The Fiance and I just booked our honeymoon cruise last night; we're going on Royal Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West, Cozumel and Belize City and then back. The only downside I can see is that the Caribbean in late August will be ummm...warm. I'm glad people have said they had decent time on Royal Caribbean, since it's been hard to get an idea of it's actual value. I'm so excited now!
-------------------- Triumphs cannot be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds, and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. -- A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold Posts: 638 | From: Minnesota | Registered: Jul 2005
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quote:Originally posted by Brad from Georgia: BTW, you'll have table mates. Hope you can get along with them! Just once we got stuck with a very crabby, irritating table mate who wasn't satisfied with ANYthing and not only constantly harassed the waiters and others, but also proselytized, trying to convert them to some off-brand version of evangelical Christianity. One of the waiters protested, "But I'm already Catholic!" only to be informed that that meant he was doomed to an eternity in a fiery he-ull.
Nothing like cruising with Chick
My wife and I did a delayed honeymoon on Royal Caribbean and we were quite happy with it. Though the big gotcha is the costs for all the little "extras"... But, if you're careful: Tea, Juice, Coffee, and Water are all free. Of course, we're both big soda drinkers, so we ran up a good drink tab on sodas, and the occasional alcoholic beverage.
My wife occasionally announces that she's "homesick for the ship". I don't know where people get the notion that cruising is for old people. There were a few, but mostly people in their 20's and 30's
Posts: 91 | From: Dallas,TX | Registered: Oct 2005
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We did a 7 day Alaskan cruise on Norwegian last year. Like others have said, tips were $10 per day per person added to the bill. Lots of dining options, no table mates and the only dress code (apart from the formal night) was no jeans in the restaurants (pretty much anything goes at the buffet. Food was fantastic and way too much of it. Alcohol, soda and shore excursions were extra. The only shore trips we took was a whale watching trip (with a money back offer if no whales were spotted) because it was too good to miss and a bus tour out to Sawyer Glacier that was booked in advance because we only had a very short time on shore that day.
quote:Originally posted by Morgaine La Raq Star: If we cruise again in a few years, I'd like to do either Asia, Australia/NZ or Alaska. I'd probably go on Princess as they seem to be the most family-friendly outside of Disney who only does the Caribbean (except for rare 'special' cruises like the Med. Cruise next summer.)
But the best bit about NCL for us was the Kid's Crew. Best invention EVER. During sailing days the club ran 9am til 10pm except you had to pick them up for meals 12-2 and 5-7. It's for kids 2-12 years and included in the cruise price. They had all sorts of theme days and special tours of the ship etc. And the kids (aged 5 and 6) loved it too, they were cranky when we took them out to do family stuff. The cruise line did offer late night baby sitting (til 1 am) and port play as well but there was a cost for those.
Would highly recommend NCL.
[Interesting cruise anecdote] There were three or four boats leaving from the same port we did on the same day and we pretty much leap frogged each other up the coast, we even had to take turns at some ports to bearth or get tendered ashore. One of the boats that left that day seemed to have a mostly male guest list. And as all of the passengers for all of the ships used the same customs hall we saw a very sweet sight while waiting in line, a couple setting out for their honeymoon carefully cradling the topper from their civil union cake.
-------------------- "let them eat cake...and toast...and waffles...and cookies, don't forget the cookies" Posts: 507 | From: Western Australia | Registered: Dec 2005
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