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Panthers65

Basically first time cruiser- Questions

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Greetings all, great forum, I've been reading and learning a lot. I booked a "last minute" cruise a couple days ago and we leave on Valentines day. It won't be my first cruise, but it's my first time planning a cruise (it's been 20 years and I was 12). My wife(first cruise) and I are leaving on Carnival Fantasy out of Mobile and I've got a few questions I'm hoping you all can help with:

 

Parking: I"m assuming the parking is pretty self-explanatory, I think I added it up to around $100 while we're gone, pre paid? Just put the 201 Water St. address in the GPS and I'll get there?

 

Departure Time: This is my really dumb question, but since Mobile is Central time the 4:00 departure and 3:00 last board is CST too, right? We'll be leaving from Atlanta around 9:00est that morning, and it's a 5 hour drive, getting to Mobile around 2:00EST/1:00 Central. I've prechecked in and choose the latest checkin time (1:30-2:00), so the extra hour would give us a bit more buffer.

 

Drinks: I'm going to bring a couple bottles of wine with me (and some cokes), Does Carnival have any restrictions on the wine glasses that we can bring (Glass vs plastic), or will they provide us some? Not saying I wouldn't drink from a dixie cup, but if I take a glass of wine to dinner I'd rather not. 

 

Mr Sanchos- Has anyone ever done this in Cozumel? Seems like a good deal, all inclusive for $50/person. I'm worried about the beach in February, getting to/from the beach without booking through Carnival, ect... Would your recommend this? 

 

Thanks all, surprising my wife with this trip, so I'm tring to get the little details taken care of and tell her as late as I can. 🙂 

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Parking - yes

Departure time - I would always allow myself extra time and yes it is Central time.  

Drinks- 1 bottle of wine per person and 1 12 pack of soda per person is all that is allowed and must be carried on the ship with you.   I have never brought wine glasses and they have always provided them for me when I asked.    

Mr Sanchos - I was there last March and it is a great place to spend the day.   My 20 year old son and I had a great day there.   Everything is included.  Be sure and make your reservation now for it as if there are alot of ships in port that day it may be full.   It's really easy to get a cab from the port to Mr Sanchos.  Just be sure to get back to the ship in plenty of time.   

Most importantly enjoy your cruise

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12 minutes ago, Panthers65 said:

Greetings all, great forum, I've been reading and learning a lot. I booked a "last minute" cruise a couple days ago and we leave on Valentines day. It won't be my first cruise, but it's my first time planning a cruise (it's been 20 years and I was 12). My wife(first cruise) and I are leaving on Carnival Fantasy out of Mobile and I've got a few questions I'm hoping you all can help with:

 

Parking: I"m assuming the parking is pretty self-explanatory, I think I added it up to around $100 while we're gone, pre paid? Just put the 201 Water St. address in the GPS and I'll get there?

 

Departure Time: This is my really dumb question, but since Mobile is Central time the 4:00 departure and 3:00 last board is CST too, right? We'll be leaving from Atlanta around 9:00est that morning, and it's a 5 hour drive, getting to Mobile around 2:00EST/1:00 Central. I've prechecked in and choose the latest checkin time (1:30-2:00), so the extra hour would give us a bit more buffer.

 

Drinks: I'm going to bring a couple bottles of wine with me (and some cokes), Does Carnival have any restrictions on the wine glasses that we can bring (Glass vs plastic), or will they provide us some? Not saying I wouldn't drink from a dixie cup, but if I take a glass of wine to dinner I'd rather not. 

 

Mr Sanchos- Has anyone ever done this in Cozumel? Seems like a good deal, all inclusive for $50/person. I'm worried about the beach in February, getting to/from the beach without booking through Carnival, ect... Would your recommend this? 

 

Thanks all, surprising my wife with this trip, so I'm tring to get the little details taken care of and tell her as late as I can. 🙂 

Mr. Sanchos is very popular.  My daughter went recently and said it was wonderful but the drinks were not strong at all you can also go to the Cozumel board for great info ! 

Min my research I have read that you can take your own wine glass or ask for one and it will be provided.  I plan on taking my yeti one with the lid because I’m classy like that 😂

Have fun!

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Departure: Just a suggestion but if possible go the day before and get a hotel. Getting in at 1p for a 3p cutoff would make me a nervous wreck. Going the night before would allow for an easygoing start to your cruise. It would stink to get stuck in traffic or have car trouble on your way down and then not make it on time. 

 

Drinks: I just ask one of the bartenders when I pass a bar if I can have a couple wine glasses. They have yet to tell me no. I believe you can ask your room steward as well for a couple to have in the room. I fill mine before dinner and then take to the MDR. 

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Thank you everyone!

 

Would love to get down a day early, but we have 3 kids we'll be dropping off for school in the morning. We had plans to leave right after dropping the last one off at 8:30. Is 2 hours really not enough of a buffer for a 5 hour trip? 

 

One more question, I know carry-on and checked luggage is recomended, but I've also read the one of the big mistakes is overpacking. My wife and I are pretty simple on packing, what is y'alls recomendation here? I was thinking 1 large suitcase with 2-3 sets of clothes each, electronics and then a smaller roller carry-on with drinks, toilitries, bathing suits, wallets/ID and 1 change of clothes. Are there size limits for the carry-on like the airport, or whatever I want to drag with me? 

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17 minutes ago, Panthers65 said:

Thank you everyone!

 

Would love to get down a day early, but we have 3 kids we'll be dropping off for school in the morning. We had plans to leave right after dropping the last one off at 8:30. Is 2 hours really not enough of a buffer for a 5 hour trip? 

 

One more question, I know carry-on and checked luggage is recomended, but I've also read the one of the big mistakes is overpacking. My wife and I are pretty simple on packing, what is y'alls recomendation here? I was thinking 1 large suitcase with 2-3 sets of clothes each, electronics and then a smaller roller carry-on with drinks, toilitries, bathing suits, wallets/ID and 1 change of clothes. Are there size limits for the carry-on like the airport, or whatever I want to drag with me? 

It’s so dependent on traffic and everything going just right. Many people drive/fly in the day of and make it just fine. It makes me super anxious to do so. We drive to Vegas a couple days in advance and then drive to Long Beach the day before so if something goes wonky we have time to get it taken care of. Our interstate out of town has been known to be closed for hours because of an accident or weather. We know we have to give ourselves plenty of time for the unknown. If you live where there’s several possible routes it’s less of a risk. I live in Wyoming where that’s not really an option and we could get snowed in pretty easily. You live where that’s much less likely to happen. 

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47 minutes ago, Panthers65 said:

Would love to get down a day early, but we have 3 kids we'll be dropping off for school in the morning. We had plans to leave right after dropping the last one off at 8:30. Is 2 hours really not enough of a buffer for a 5 hour trip? 

I've made the trip across I10 from Florida WAY too many times to feel comfortable with a 2 hour gap... I don't know how many times I've parked on the highway, gotten out and walked my dogs because we were stopped so long due to an accident (one time, it was a police chase and a suspect shooting on the bridge approaching Pensacola!) I'm not saying anything will happen but like other posters, I'd be a nervous wreck til I landed at the port, if I was driving in the same day of the cruise. 

 

Any chance a lovely relative or considerate classmate's parent could drop off the young'uns at school for you, so you could drive down the evening before? It certainly relieves the stress and actually starts the trip off right, for me!

 

Having said that, if you have no choice, just make the best of it, keep your fingers crossed and enjoy your cruise!

Edited by Shaded Lady

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38 minutes ago, Panthers65 said:

Thank you everyone!

 

Would love to get down a day early, but we have 3 kids we'll be dropping off for school in the morning. We had plans to leave right after dropping the last one off at 8:30. Is 2 hours really not enough of a buffer for a 5 hour trip? 

 

One more question, I know carry-on and checked luggage is recomended, but I've also read the one of the big mistakes is overpacking. My wife and I are pretty simple on packing, what is y'alls recomendation here? I was thinking 1 large suitcase with 2-3 sets of clothes each, electronics and then a smaller roller carry-on with drinks, toilitries, bathing suits, wallets/ID and 1 change of clothes. Are there size limits for the carry-on like the airport, or whatever I want to drag with me? 

I would ask a parent friend to drop my kids off on that day.  Maybe drop them off with a friend at 7 AM.   Then you give yourself a bigger buffer.   I know my kids have friends whose parents I am sure would help for a souvenir bottle of rum or something.   As far as carry on as long as it fits through the xray and you are comfortable hauling it then you should be good to go.   

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Since you are arriving later, your light packers and your cabin will likely to be ready when you arrive you can carry on all your luggage and bring it straight to your cabin. My husband and I pack light and last 7 night cruise each just brought a roller carry on size suitcase each. We put a 12pk of soda on top of each roller and my husband had a backpack for electronics and stuff like that and I had a tote bag with toiletries, wine  and sunscreen. We’re beach pool people so we just need bathing suits and cover ups/T-shirt’s with a pair of flip flops we wear on for the day times and one dinner/night time outfit per two nights with a pair of shoes that’ll work for all each. We still come home with stuff we haven’t worn. Have a great cruise and nice surprise for your wife!

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On 1/23/2019 at 12:00 PM, Panthers65 said:

 

 I was thinking 1 large suitcase with 2-3 sets of clothes each, electronics and then a smaller roller carry-on with drinks, toilitries, bathing suits, wallets/ID and 1 change of clothes. 

 

Definitely keep your electronics and anything of value in your carry-on.  Any of the eleven cruises that we have been on, all have had wine glasses in the cabin when we got there.  If not, just ask your cabin steward and they will bring them for you.  They will also ask you if you want ice brought to your cabin, if you want your cabin attended to morning, night or both and ask if you want robes.

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Mr. Sanchos is great!   They also had an a la carte side when I went...  I am thinking of doing this exact cruise next and will probably go there again. 

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On 1/23/2019 at 12:00 PM, Panthers65 said:

Thank you everyone!

 

Would love to get down a day early, but we have 3 kids we'll be dropping off for school in the morning. We had plans to leave right after dropping the last one off at 8:30. Is 2 hours really not enough of a buffer for a 5 hour trip? 

 

One more question, I know carry-on and checked luggage is recomended, but I've also read the one of the big mistakes is overpacking. My wife and I are pretty simple on packing, what is y'alls recomendation here? I was thinking 1 large suitcase with 2-3 sets of clothes each, electronics and then a smaller roller carry-on with drinks, toilitries, bathing suits, wallets/ID and 1 change of clothes. Are there size limits for the carry-on like the airport, or whatever I want to drag with me? 

Are you driving down through Birmingham? If so, please note that I20/59 is closed through downtown for road construction, so you will have to detour on I459 around to 65 South. 459 and 65 both tend to have heavy traffic before the construction started and will be even more so now. If going that route, you will need to factor in more driving time to get to the port before they close it. If sail away is at 4, the terminal will close at 3.

 

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I am a fan of flying in the day before, but even in that scenario one time we nearly missed the ship.

Friend loves to push things to the brink & valued Miami driving around time & sightseeing more than boarding early.  We had trouble finding our way back to the car rental by the airport to drop off car & take their shuttle to the cruise port.

 

I had the Carnival cruise port emergency number with me, and called to let them know we were running late.  It made a huge difference.   I don't know if we were just given an exception, but we were told so long as we made it before 3:30 with 4 pm sail away, we would be able to board.  Had also of course completed the check in online long before.  So take the  port number with you, and let them know in case worse comes to worst.  We made it, but I learned a tough lesson on "just get to the ship early and don't give yourself a stroke."  If you run into  a serious traffic issue or mechanical breakdown it could really turn out badly.  

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As for luggage, no size limit like the airport.  But there are weight limits - 50# for the suitcases you hand off to the porters at the cruise terminal.  For bags you carry on yourself, just whatever you can manage wheeling around in possibly tight quarters.  Although boarding late, much of that issue is not a factor.  You should be able to drop off your bag to your room by then.  Just remember if your family will be hungry, the lido may be closing up & not serving if you board too late.  

 

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On ‎1‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 11:04 AM, Panthers65 said:

Greetings all, great forum, I've been reading and learning a lot. I booked a "last minute" cruise a couple days ago and we leave on Valentines day. It won't be my first cruise, but it's my first time planning a cruise (it's been 20 years and I was 12). My wife(first cruise) and I are leaving on Carnival Fantasy out of Mobile and I've got a few questions I'm hoping you all can help with:

 

Parking: I"m assuming the parking is pretty self-explanatory, I think I added it up to around $100 while we're gone, pre paid? Just put the 201 Water St. address in the GPS and I'll get there?

 

Departure Time: This is my really dumb question, but since Mobile is Central time the 4:00 departure and 3:00 last board is CST too, right? We'll be leaving from Atlanta around 9:00est that morning, and it's a 5 hour drive, getting to Mobile around 2:00EST/1:00 Central. I've prechecked in and choose the latest checkin time (1:30-2:00), so the extra hour would give us a bit more buffer.

 

Drinks: I'm going to bring a couple bottles of wine with me (and some cokes), Does Carnival have any restrictions on the wine glasses that we can bring (Glass vs plastic), or will they provide us some? Not saying I wouldn't drink from a dixie cup, but if I take a glass of wine to dinner I'd rather not. 

 

Mr Sanchos- Has anyone ever done this in Cozumel? Seems like a good deal, all inclusive for $50/person. I'm worried about the beach in February, getting to/from the beach without booking through Carnival, ect... Would your recommend this? 

 

Thanks all, surprising my wife with this trip, so I'm tring to get the little details taken care of and tell her as late as I can. 🙂 

We live in the ATL area. I would leave at least two hours earlier than you planned. Remember, the ship will not wait for you.  If you get there earlier, you can stop and enjoy the area.  You just never know when a wreck or something will prevent you from getting there on time.  We were coming home from Mobile a couple of years ago and were in a lot of traffic due to rain and car accidents. It took us 7.5 hours to get home.

 

There will be wine glasses in your cabin. Make sure your wine isn't larger than 750 ml.  You can bring up to 12 canned soft drinks. You must physically bring these on your self.  They can't be checked in your luggage. 

 

A cruise is a wonderful vacation so I know a great time will be had by all.

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I’ve done the all-inclusive at Mr. Sancho’s twice and had a lot of fun both times!  I love Paradise Beach too. I think it’s a couple bucks to get in with the promise to spend a minimum of $10 on food/drink.  They have an awesome pool there!  We usually spend a few hours on the beach then end the day at the pool.  I’ve never been, but a lot of people rave about Nachi Cocom which is another all-inclusive for $55pp and a max limit of 100 people I believe.  You can get a taxi to/from any of these for less than $20 (one-way) & they’re 15-20 min away.... I think.  I haven’t been for a couple of years so prices may be different. 

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Thanks everyone, I'm working on plans to try and leave early. There is a FB group about this cruise and they have posted a few B&B's/Hotels that offer free parking and shuttle service for a few dollars more than just parking at the Pier would be, I'm lookin into those place.

 

Paradise Beach sounds like it might be a better fit for us, both of us will have a drink or two thoughout the day, but i highly doubt we'll drink $100 worth of drinks between the two of us. 

 

 

Edited by Panthers65

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On 1/25/2019 at 5:57 PM, CanWeGoYet? said:

As for luggage, no size limit like the airport.  But there are weight limits - 50# for the suitcases you hand off to the porters at the cruise terminal.  For bags you carry on yourself, just whatever you can manage wheeling around in possibly tight quarters.  Although boarding late, much of that issue is not a factor.  You should be able to drop off your bag to your room by then.  Just remember if your family will be hungry, the lido may be closing up & not serving if you board too late.  

 

So there is a weight limit on suitcases?

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37 minutes ago, Mommawo said:

So there is a weight limit on suitcases?

At least in theory, yes.  I rather doubt this is enforced, as I've never seen a porter weighing  the bags.  Maybe just to discourage huge heavy bags & the likelihood of back injuries for the curbside porters & then carnival workers who deliver them to cabins.  

 

According to this link, there are even size restrictions which was news to me.  https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1373

 

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24 minutes ago, CanWeGoYet? said:

At least in theory, yes.  I rather doubt this is enforced, as I've never seen a porter weighing  the bags.  Maybe just to discourage huge heavy bags & the likelihood of back injuries for the curbside porters & then carnival workers who deliver them to cabins.  

 

According to this link, there are even size restrictions which was news to me.  https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1373

 

Ok thanks I will check it out 

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I have to agree with all the nervous nellies....get those kids shipped off to friends for the night and leave after work....you could hit bad weather and have to crawl for hours!....and all those other manmade problems like accidents and construction...hope you have a wonderful time!

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On 1/23/2019 at 10:04 AM, Panthers65 said:

Greetings all, great forum, I've been reading and learning a lot. I booked a "last minute" cruise a couple days ago and we leave on Valentines day. It won't be my first cruise, but it's my first time planning a cruise (it's been 20 years and I was 12). My wife(first cruise) and I are leaving on Carnival Fantasy out of Mobile and I've got a few questions I'm hoping you all can help with:

 

Parking: I"m assuming the parking is pretty self-explanatory, I think I added it up to around $100 while we're gone, pre paid? Just put the 201 Water St. address in the GPS and I'll get there?

 

Departure Time: This is my really dumb question, but since Mobile is Central time the 4:00 departure and 3:00 last board is CST too, right? We'll be leaving from Atlanta around 9:00est that morning, and it's a 5 hour drive, getting to Mobile around 2:00EST/1:00 Central. I've prechecked in and choose the latest checkin time (1:30-2:00), so the extra hour would give us a bit more buffer.

 

Drinks: I'm going to bring a couple bottles of wine with me (and some cokes), Does Carnival have any restrictions on the wine glasses that we can bring (Glass vs plastic), or will they provide us some? Not saying I wouldn't drink from a dixie cup, but if I take a glass of wine to dinner I'd rather not. 

 

Mr Sanchos- Has anyone ever done this in Cozumel? Seems like a good deal, all inclusive for $50/person. I'm worried about the beach in February, getting to/from the beach without booking through Carnival, ect... Would your recommend this? 

 

Thanks all, surprising my wife with this trip, so I'm tring to get the little details taken care of and tell her as late as I can. 🙂 

 

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We have been to Mr. Sanchos three times while cruising. Each time it got better. You are assigned a runner and he/she takes care of you including getting your drinks. Dont forget to tip your runner.

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if you are looking for something a little more quiet than mr sanchos/ paradise beach, I highly recommend Nachi Cocom.  they only have a max of 100 people a day (sounds like a lot, but it isn't)  all the drinks you want, I think only 1 meal is provided off of the menu that is included, but it is plenty of food..and appetizer, meal and desert. you don't have to order it all at once. we ordered nachos, then an hour or so later, the plentiful lunch, then desert.  we were stuffed and enjoyed the relative quite of the beach.  there are virtually no kids there.  it's around $55 per person (or it was, not sure what it is now).  very relaxing. 

Edited by pyropoodle

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