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I have never been on OV but know the Caribbean quite well
You do not say which ports you are visiting so it is difficult to be specific but y and large it is cheaper to use taxis etc than to pay for ships excursions
It is generally safe although establish the fare first
In terms of money $US is accepted everywhere
As OV is informal I would pack clothes that you would take to the Med in Summer as it should be very warm when you go
I have never done a cruise where tea and coffee is not provided free (other than speciality coffees at a coffee bar) and assume OV is no different.
Read the reviews on this site for the recent transatlantic voyage to the caribbean. I have 2 reviews on this site both of which are comprehensive and popular with those who have commented. Go to reviews, ocean village cruises, ocean village, med, in the little boxes above left. My first was written on 7th Sept 08 and is on page 3 of the OV reviews. The transatlantic one was written after 18th Nov. Most things are covered under these reviews.
My best advice is use the Waterfront Rest and La Luna for 'on deck' dining in the warm nights in the caribbean. Dont miss the village square entertainment and Planet show. It is casual cruising. Shorts/t shirts/jeans or casual trousers/swimsuits with cover ups/summer dresses, for daytime. Most people have a shower and change into smart casual for the evening. Some ladies are quite glam with pretty tops and skirts or cocktail wear but there are those who wear clean t shirt and trousers. All fine. Men wear open neck shirts and casual (chino) trousers or jeans. You do not need towels of any sort only a flannel if you use one. There is tea and coffee in your cabin and you dont need to pay for those with meals at any time unless you have a speciality coffee or tea i.e. Capuchino, Irish etc. As for money, take some dollars/euros for useful cash (taxis)otherwise get a NATIONWIDE DEBIT AND/OR CREDIT CARD. VERY SIMPLE TO DO ONLINE AS YOU DONT HAVE TO PAY YOUR SALARY INTO THEIR ACCOUNT. Put some money in the account for your holiday and you are away ! There is no exchange rates charges or usage charges and you get a very good rate of exchange. I work for another bank and I have one, as does many who use this site. It is also more SECURE as it is seperate from your usual main account and the credit card gives you peace of mind with the purchase protection it provides. Just pay off the card when you get home or set up a DD to do it automatically. Finally - read the details in the brochure and the booklets you will be sent a couple of weeks before your cruise. They cover everything and are a very accurate representation of what will happen/be like on your cruise. Relax, they take care of everything. It is easier than your usual travelling abroad as you are helped from the minute you get to the airport, just get there in plenty of time !! and dont be late back to the ship - it WILL go without you !
I forgot - research the advice from cruisers on this site as to where to go and what to see in the ports you are visiting. Search previous questions rather than ask again as there is everything you need already on this site including sample menus ! (top left above under www is a tiny word 'sitemap'. you will find menus etc. there).
Well you are in for a treat going to the Carribbean. I agree with Macro advise on the Nationwide card we have one and it is a god send, and you will be very surprised a the the rates of exchange you get as it is not based on the tourist rate. You will be amazed that these work in the most unusul shops and atm's.
With all cruises do your homework on the locations before you go either via the internet or by looking at books ie the dorlling kingsley books. Make a list of where you want to go and when you get off ship haggle with the taxi drivers, do not get pulled into giong onthe trip they want you to go on. If you are giong to Barbados as for Uncle Harry!! What locations are you going to?
Remember it can also rain, we have always been lucky with the weather. Also remember thet sometimes the ship may not dock due to bad weather, so if you privately pre book a trip bear this in mind. We have been very unlucky with the Grand Cayman and have as yet to dock here. Last year a couple had organised their wedding in Grand Cayman, you can imagine the upset and anxiety this caused.
Also make sure you get back on board ship in plenty of time. We found the taxi drivers on all the Carribbean Islands very aware of this fact. And even if there car broke down there was always back up and normally others passing would stop and help.
The cruise ship will leave people behind if they are late and it is up to you to make your own to the next port. Always carry your passport. OC will give you a contact number on their daily information paper which I always take out with us. We have just come back form a Celebrity Cruise to Australia and four people missed the ship in Melbourne and had to make their own arrangements to pick up the ship in Tasmania and we were at sea for one, apparently it was two flights and hotel bills etc.