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Hi,first of all take a deep breath,we have not long returned from our first cruise on sea princess and we also had lots of questions,so here goes.
1.If you like soft drinks ie coke sprite etc then you can buy a soft drinks card for the whole cruise,just buy one between you,a lot of people did,if you enjoy a nice cappuccino/latte then definitely buy a coffee card,you get 15 drinks for the price of 14 and at about 14 quid they were excellent value and really nice.Free tea and coffee is available but not the fancy coffees.Alcohol is not included but again not bad for price,I drank becks beer and it was about £2.50 a bottle.
2.As regarding tipping,it is entirely up to you,however 15% is added to your drinks bill.We opted out of automatic tipping and tipped crew ourselves.My suggestion is leave it on,and see how you feel after a few days on board,you can withdraw it at any time.
3.You don't say which ports you are visiting,but we did not go on all the organised tours and free shuttle buses were there,however some ports,ie vigo,lisbon,the ship docked right in in the place itself,it was quite easy really.4.And finally your on board account,im not sure about a debit card,but we registered a credit card,and ticked the box DO NOT CONVERT.Then let the credit card company convert it back home it is much better value.
Ps Don't be worried it really went very smoothly,the main thing is enjoy yourselves,we had the best holiday ever,the sea princess is a lovely ship with a lovely crew.
pps. i am off to sulk now because Iv'e had my cruise and you have got it all to come.bye.
You won't be the 'babies' on board! I'm 29, my partner 31. Sea princess at Easter 2008 in the Caribbean was my 2nd cruise and my partner's 4th. We won't go back to the 'package holiday' as found cruising gives you everything a package holiday does and more! At least on my return I was able to say I visited 11 different countries! Can't say that on a package holiday!
Anyways, there are lots of 'older' people on board and young families. If you book a table for 6/8 you'll meet lots of interesting people. We were fixed dining (1st) and met three other couples; all older. One couple were only older by between 5-10 yrs! But we had a fab time with them!
As for excursions (if it's the caribbean), do one or two of the Princess tours. Found them safe, reliable and good fun. If you just want a general tour of the islands, use local taxis but is best to buddy up with others and go in the minivans as it works out cheaper. You'll have a great time. So much to eat and do!
PS: If you find the other passengers were just too out of your age bracket for comfort, try the larger Princess ships (Crown, Emerald, Caribbean, Grand). They cater for 1000 more passengers. On the Crown during Easter 2007 and found more people between 20-30! But we booked again on Sea princess for Easter 2010! Hope this helps. Happy Holidays!