Old January 30th, 2008, 07:48 AM
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darkdoug darkdoug is offline
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Default Yet another Newbie w/newbie questions - Long Sorry

I have been lurking for some time eagerly reading everyone's posts and I finally decided to try to get some questions answered. I apologize if the post is a little long.

Being rather anal about investigating most everything I do, I did a lot of research and found this board to be the most comprehensive. Kuki's Report on the Blogger's Cruise and Paul Motter's current report have been helpful but I still have a few question.

First as an intro, Until recently I had never considered taking a cruise. As a child I remember wanting to but my parents always told me that they were for "newly weds and nearly deads."

Well it took a few years but now being an adult and able to think for myself, I have recondsidered. It seemed like a great way to go on vacation with the family, eat great food, have entertainment for Zack, some alone time for Mrs DarkDoug and I and hopefully fun for all.

My wife, 3 year old son Zack and I are Americans living in the small South American country of Suriname. We are with the State Department and work at the US Embassy (passport questions will be happily answered as much as possible).

During our three year tour here, we get two paid trips back to the US. The point of entry for all trips is Miami.

We decided after some resarch to pick the Imagination as it was based out of Miami and had just come out of drydock.

We booked a Cat 11 Suite, V-16 to be exact, through International Cruise Planners for July 14th. They gave us a good rate, more than $100 less than Carnivals website.

So my questions thus far with more to come as we get closer:

Does Cat 11 count as a Suite and do we get VIP boarding?

Does anyone have a good pic of the Cat 11 Suite verandah? Is it possible for an active 3 year old to climb up and over the railing? From what I have been able to tell the Promenade deck is directly below the patio so he wouldn't be going in the drink but he could still get hurt.

Is the Sofa bed appropriate for a 3 year old or will we have to tie him down? (just kidding- we use duct tape)

Do the new TVs accept Video in. If Zack doesn't get his daily dose of Diego, he can get a little cranky?

How are drink coupons delivered? Are they good for ALL alcoholic drinks no matter the price at all bars/restaurants? "Premium" beers, martinis etc? After reading the post here it sounds like this is a great way to pay for drinks and avoid what I am sure is going to be a large bill at the end. I am considering buying a couple hundred dollars worth. If I don't use them can they be used on another cruise or by someone else?

Anyone try the Poker Pro Tables? Both Mrs. Darkdoug and I are avid poker players and are really interested in getting some hold-em in on board. These tables seem interesting but I am wondering how people are liking them. I have played live hold em on several occasions but my wife has only played on the net. I think this would be less intimidating for her.

Is the Serentiy area truly adults only? While I love my son, getting some quiet time with a good book (can't wait to read "No Country for Old Men) is really looked forward to.


I think that's it for now, again apologies for the long post.

Thanks in advance for any replies and if anyone needs/wants anything from Suriname please let me know.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 09:25 AM
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dina dina is offline
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Cat 11 - I believe is always a suite on carnival. Yes you do get VIP which means you don't have to stand in the regular line for boarding the ship.

I'm not sure about the balcony railing but you wouldn't leave a toddler out there alone anyway.

I'm sure others will chime in on the rest of your questions. Welcome to cruising.. I know you'll enjoy yourself.

Life is too short to let the ship of your dreams sail without you.

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Old January 30th, 2008, 09:56 AM
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ScurvyDog ScurvyDog is offline
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Tried the Poker Pro table on the ship and really did not care for it as well as live. Don't know exactly why but it just did not click for me. As previously posted the Cat 11 should get you VIP boarding.
The cabins that I have been in the little guy would not be able to open the balcony door by himself so mom or dad would have to be with him. Don't think it would be a suitable play area for him alone. As for the drink coupons can't help. We just put them on the card. Camp Carnival does a great job keeping the little people busy and out of sight. You should be able to find plenty of places to hide out with a good book. As for video in don't know. Some of the newer ships may have it in the suites but most cabins don't. Have Fun!!!!!!!
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Old January 30th, 2008, 01:57 PM
jackiesbooks jackiesbooks is offline
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I suggest portable dvd player with headsets - then he can watch Diego anywhere.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:09 PM
binkey36 binkey36 is offline
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The Cat 11 on the Ectasy class ships do have a VCR. You will get VIP boarding. The Cat 11 is about the same size of a balcony cabin on the newer ships. As you walk in you will pass your closet and bathroom, and then there is the couch, which pulls out into a bed (kind of like a J bed in a motorhome...if you know what that is). It is the same height as the coach so you 3 year old should have no problems with it. No rails or anything though. Your room will have a small refrigerator as well. I wouldn't worry about the balcony. It is hard for an adult to open the door leading to the balcony (very heavy) so I doubt a three year old could do it. Lastly, you will be high up on the ship, so their could be alot of motion. Have a wonderful cruise, and enjoy your visit back to the States.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:21 PM
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ready2gonow ready2gonow is offline
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I can't answer the questions about the drink coupons, and the other questions have been answered pretty well. And, YES, a 3 year old could climb over the rail, if left on the balcony and unsupervised! My 3 year old grandaughter can be very determined and very resourceful! She has also been on 4 cruises!

A cruise is a wonderful family vacation. Congratulations on your decision.

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Old February 2nd, 2008, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ScurvyDog
Tried the Poker Pro table on the ship and really did not care for it as well as live. Don't know exactly why but it just did not click for me.
I didn't care for it in the beginning, but it grew on me. It's a combination of the 'live' game since yu are setting with the other players, yet it has the convenience of a faster game.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 10:32 AM
davidutman davidutman is offline
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Default Drink Coupons'

Those will be in your room that first day, or the first night after dinner. They should be fine for most drinks, just don't order a 125 glass of bubbly and you should be fine.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 07:13 AM
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darkdoug darkdoug is offline
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Default Thanks and Few more questions.

Thanks much for all the answers thus far. Still curious to see some pics of Cat 11 Suites and verandahs on the Imagination, especially after the dry dock and upgrades.

Also, can anyone tell me how the Poker Pro tables are set up. Do they have set limits 2/4, 3/6, NL? Are they set up differenlty at different times? Do they do tourneys?
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