Travel With RJ

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I don’t drink alcoholic drinks really. Maybe one or two strawberry daqueris on a seven day cruise. But I drink a lot of soft drinks! And those soft drinks add up on a cruise. I remember hearing that Carnival had added some sort of soft drink cards. When I got on the cruise ship, I inquried and found they were called Fountain Fun Cards. They have one for kids, and another for adults. The one for adults is more expensive. On my last Carnival cruise, which was an 8 day cruise, the card cost about $45, plus gratuities. The gratuities are paid when you buy the card. So you don’t have to be tipping the bartender everytime you get a soft drink. The cards can be purchased at any bar on the ship. I usually try to get my card very first thing when I am on the ship, so I can get maximum usage from it. Out on deck, you can use the card at any bar. You can also use it in the show lounge, and at dinner in the restaurant. Just show the drink person the card, and tell them what you want. Carnival carries Coke products, so I usually got a Diet Coke.
Another thing I do is to pack a couple 12 packs of soft drinks in my luggage. Then I keep a can or two on ice in the ice bucket in my cabin. Then I have nice cold pop in my cabin in the morning, or late at night when I might not want to leave the cabin.

If you are going on a Caribbean cruise, be aware that the sun in the Caribbean is different. It is really easy to get a sunburn down there! Getting fired can really ruin a cruise, so you want to avoid sunburn. You want to tan before a cruise to build up a base tan. I usually start tanning about one month before a cruise. When you are tanning, start slowly. You can as easily can a sunburn on a tanning bed as you can on a cruise ship. So I will repeat! Start slowly. I usally will go for 5 minutes on the first day. If I get a little pink, I will wait a day. I will slowly build up to the max time by the end of the month. Ask the people at the tanning place for advice. They hopefully will know what they are doing. If you do get a little pink, rub aloe vera gel on the pink skin to help it heal faster. I generally don’t use tanning lotion. I haven’t found them useful. Many of them contain bronzers which seem to be dyes, and give you a fake tan. I tan to avoid sunburn, not for cosmetics.
Now once you have built a base, you can still get sunburn. Use sunblock! I will try to find 45 SPF or even 50 SPF sunblock. If I am going to be spending much time out in the sun, I will cover all exposed skin. Don’t forget the back of the neck, tops of the ears and head. On my first cruise, I had built up my base by tanning before the cruise. I covered myself with sunblock. By apparently I had missed a small spot on the top of my foot between the webbing of my sandal. I ended up get a small but painful burn on the top of my foot.
So as I said, tan before a cruise. Use sunblock. Avoid sunburn! Oh yeah, have fun!

I had been geocaching from a relatively early time. Two years ago my wife and I did a cruise to the western Caribbean aboard the Carnival Victory. As our cruise approached, I searched to see if there were any geocaches at our ports of call: Cozumel, Grand Cayman, or Jamaica. There were geocaches in each of the ports, but only in Cozumel was the geocache close enough to the port to attempt.
Were supposed to be meeting some people at 10am. We got off the cruise ship slightly after 9am. I followed my GPS, and it led us to an area behind a strip of stores. My GPS was bouncing around, but then I finally spotted where the geocache was at. The name of the geocache was the clue that gave it away. At about 9:30, as I was only 10 feet away from the geocache, my wife yelled that she spotted our friends. I couldn’t keep them waiting, so I abandonded the attempt for the moment. I intended to come back before we reboarded the cruise ship, but unfortunately, we got back after dark, and it was raining. I did not think it wise to be walking around behind buildings, after dark, in the rain, without a flashlight, in a foreign county such as Mexico. So I gave up my opportunity to bag an international geocache. Thats the way it goes in Geocaching! :)

I have been on four Carnival cruises to the Caribbean, so I have a little experience. Different lines or destinations may be different as far as what to wear on a cruise.
Most of the time, I wore shorts, sandals, and a tee shirt.
For the regular dinners, I wore dockers, a short sleeve polo shirt, and some casual shoes.
For the couple of formal dinners I wore a suit, shirt, tie, and dress shoes.
When going ashore I usually more the shorts, tee-shirt, and sandals. I might wear swimming trunks under the shorts depending on what we were going to be doing. Once in a while, I wore a pair of jeans if were going to be hiking in the jungle, or doing something like a canopy tour with zip-lining.
If you are going on an Alaskan cruise, you might want to dress warmer. I have not been on an Alaskan cruise yet.
But most of the time the answer to what to wear on a cruise for me is shorts, tee-shirt and sandals.

For women, what to wear on a cruise would be different, involving dresses and stuff like that, but I am a guy, so I don’t know.

Q: Do I need a passport when I take a cruise?

A: If you don’t have a passport, you should get one. In the past, cruise ships would allow you to get on and off the ship using a driver’s license and a birth certificate. Security is getting tighter, and will continue to get even tighter. Getting a passport is easy, but takes a little time. If you are short for time, you can get an expedited passport. This costs extra. But it is always a good back up. About 10 years ago, my wife were booked on a cruise. Almost a month and a half before the cruise, someone stole her checkbook with her driver license tucked inside. That was the only picture ID she had. She of course went to the DMV to get a replacement. She got a temporary driver’s license, but this had no picture. The replacement driver’s license would take 4-6 weeks. It was kind of close, and we were worried that the replacement license wouldn’t make it before our cruise. We went through the steps to get her an expedited passport. We got her passport a couple weeks before the cruise. Thankfully we ordered as her replacement driver’s license didn’t show up before we had left on the cruise.

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