1. Payments: Carnival Cruises will require a deposit of $250.00 at the time of reservations. Final payment will be due August 5, 2013 and will be automatically charged to your credit card unless you notify me in advance to use a different form of payment. Any and all check payments should be made payable to Cruise Designs.
2. Documents: Each person must have a valid U.S. passport, a passport card or an enhanced driver’s license. Canadian and residents of other countries will need to check with their consulates to see if a visa will be required.
3. Pre-cruise hotel: We have selected the Holiday Inn Port of Miami as our host hotel. They have offered us a group rate of $149.00 per night plus tax. To request the rate please call 800 – 526 – 5655 and ask for the CRUSE DESIGNS RETREAT rate. I am told our rate is $40 less than the regular rate. Please make your reservations early as space is limited. The hotel is located at 340 Biscayne Blvd, right by the famed Bayview shopping and dining complex.
4. Cabin Assignments: At the time of your deposit the best located cabin available will be assigned to you. From time to time you may not get a cabin number immediately. This means that the cruise line has guaranteed your rate but temporarily cannot assign a cabin number. You are guaranteed to get the cabin category that you have selected but you may have to wait a while for it to be assigned.
5. Cashless Society: When checking at the pier you will need to leave a credit card imprint. Anything you purchase on the ship will be charged to your cabin account. Cash is not accepted anywhere except the casino. Should you not have a credit card, you will need to leave cash deposit from which you may draw.
6. Ship Board Activities: The first night of every cruise we host a welcome cocktail party exclusively for our guests. This is the first time the entire group will have a chance to meet and mingle. We will make many useful announcements. Other private events are also planned for the week. Full details of our daily itinerary will be made available to you upon check in on the ship.
7. Dining: We have confirmed a block of tables together at 8:15PM each evening. Since the tables are ours, you may feel free to move from table to table each evening. We encourage this so that you get the chance to get to know as many people as possible. Dining the rest of the evenings is casual meaning slacks and shirt or polo type shirt. Breakfasts, lunches and all meals in the Mediterranean buffet are always casual. You may request other dining times if you wish but you will not be with the rest of the group. We find it a great bonding experience if the entire group dines together.
8. Room Mates: We offer those who are traveling alone the opportunity to be paired up with other solo travelers. You may select from an inside cabin as well as the lowest priced window and balcony cabins. We match people up based upon cabin type booked, age range, smoking preferences, etc. We guarantee to find you a roommate and do the best we try very hard to find compatible roommates. You will be given the opportunity to find a roommate on your own or through our private Yahoo group up until the final payment date. After that I must assign roommates and you will be sent an email introducing you to your bunk mate.
9. Shore Excursions: The ship will offer many excursions to purchase. We however, will offer at least two or three of our own including a chartered catamaran for swimming, snorkeling and fun. Our trips are usually lower priced and include more than what the ship will offer. Information regarding our excursions will be sent to you about 60 days prior to sailing.
10. Gratuities: A daily charge of $11.50 per person will be added to your cabin account to serve as tips to porters, waiters, cabins stewards, and pool boys.
11. Getting to the Ship: Fly into Miami airport and try to arrive before 11 AM – 12 PM. If you stay at our host hotel we will offer transfer service to the pier for a nominal fee. Should you fly in the day of sailing a shared van service is best, which should cost about $18.00.When flying home try to find a flight around 12 PM.