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-   -   New to cruising! Carnival Magic (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/carnival-cruise-lines/391583-new-cruising-carnival-magic.html)

endicotts September 1st, 2012 02:59 PM

New to cruising! Carnival Magic
 
This will be mine and my fiances first cruise. We are getting married on board in Galveston. Just looking for good tips and things that we should look out for :)
3-3-13 6 months till we say I DO!!!!!

storybookcruises.com September 1st, 2012 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by endicotts (Post 1444685)
This will be mine and my fiances first cruise. We are getting married on board in Galveston. Just looking for good tips and things that we should look out for :)
3-3-13 6 months till we say I DO!!!!!

Talk to your travel agent. Hopefully, they are a cruise specialist and will be happy to help answer all your questions. A first cruise can be a daunting undertaking and there are a ton of details and questions, so your cruise specialist can be an invaluable resource. If you booked it directly with the cruise line, they're not going to be any help as they just want your money, not your business.

Now, with that said, what exactly are you looking for? Are you talking about things on the ship? What to do in ports? What clothes to take?

Let us know and there are plenty of people on here to answer any of your questions.

Pete

Stennsan September 1st, 2012 08:27 PM

A first cruise can be overwhelming. They throw a lot at you in a short period of time. My advice to a first time cruiser is take it slow. Don't feel like you have do everything all at once. Take your time. Pick the activities and events that you truly want to do. If they don't fill up all of your time, branch out and try something new. You'll find no shortage of things to keep you busy.

Trip September 1st, 2012 09:07 PM

Since you are getting married onboard, I am assuming you have a liason person helping you through that part, so that's good.

I sailed the Magic, in the Med, and, I really enjoyed the ship. Make sure to checkout the Red Frog Pub. The Atrium is a great place to head before dinner. Lots of music and dancing and fun there, The Steakhouse & Cucina del Capitano resturants were delish!

The MOST inportant tip I would have for you is: go to insuremytrip.com and buy travel insurance. Plug in your info,and get side by side pricing for your trip. The health/Medevac portion is most important. Age should not be considered when purchasing this. Everybody needs the piece of mind, if taken sick, or has an injury onboard.

More tips will be forthcoming, & I'm sure more questions too.:)

OKGIRL September 3rd, 2012 09:38 AM

The Magic is a great ship, I was on her for the 1st time in March and absolutely fell in love.

The most important tip I can give you is to really study the deckplans. The Magic is a large ship with lots of things to see and do. Many people find the layout confusing at first.

Things not to miss:

Pub Grub in the Red Frog. There is a $3.33 upcharge, but well worth it.

Cucina del Capitano is free at lunch and a $12pp upcharge in the evening when you order off a menu.

Steakhouse, this would be a great place to go on your 1st evening, you will get a free bottle of wine. $30pp upcharge.

I love the outdoor BBQ on the starboard side of the Promenade, and inside at the Plaza cafe you can get hot breakfast in the morning and sandwich wraps and salads at lunch.

The cabins have a hairdryer but they are not very powerful so if that is something that you require you might bring your own.

The main dining room is open for breakfast on port days and open for the Punchliners comedy brunch from 9 to 1:30 on sea days.

There are a total of 4 lines in the buffet on the Lido, a lot of people just stop at the 1st two and it's pretty crowded.

I think these days you have to ask your cabin steward for an ice bucket and to have it automatically refilled when he services your cabin.

Trip insurance is really important, but something I just found out this past week (and I've been on 26 previous cruises) is that you need to be EXACT when entering your trip cost. I've always just estimated or rounded up or down to the nearest dollar, but I read an article this week that if you aren't accurate to the penny as to the cost of your cruise and airfare that can be grounds to deny your claim.

Trip September 3rd, 2012 10:09 AM

OK Girl,by chance do you have a link to the insurance article?

storybookcruises.com September 3rd, 2012 01:41 PM

Concerning travel insurance, insuremytrip.com is a good research site, but don't automatically assume best price is best coverage or that big name is best. We had contracts with 5 companies and fired 3 of them (some really big names in the industry) because they did not provide good customer service.

Also, make sure you're buying travel insurance and not travel protection; there is a huge difference between the two and travel protection policies are not covered under your State's insurance commission.

Work with your agent as they will normally have one or two companies they have good working relationships with.

I do not suggest purchasing the insurance through the cruise line. They sell policies from a vendor and often the coverage is not as good and costs more.

Pete

Snoozeman September 3rd, 2012 03:58 PM

Congratulations and welcome to Cruisemates.

Great ship...I'm sure you'll enjoy it. In addition to the tips here, I have 4 Magic reviews on my blog if your interested.

cp had some good advise on insurance. IMHO if your local (Texas area) and driving to the port I don't think insurance is that necessary. Your call though.

Trip September 3rd, 2012 04:35 PM

It's my opinion that, the lost baggage, and, trip interruption portion is secondary to the medical & medevac portion of the policy. Driving to the port only makes the former, a moot point.

If you have an injury, or a health issue,and need to disembark the ship as we had to, to get medical help. you will thank your luck stars you are protected.

storybookcruises.com September 3rd, 2012 06:07 PM

I do tend to disagree about driving to port and not taking out the travel insurance for a couple of good reasons; first, as was mentioned by others, the travel insurance covers alot of different items and transportation to and from the pier is only a part of it. Second, if you're driving to port, especially if you're driving for several hours, there's always the chance of accidents, weather, or other unforeseen circumstances that can impact your arrival at the pier.

Also, keep in mind that the travel insurance not only protects you against problems you may encounter, but also your immediate family. For example; let's say you have a parent who's health takes a turn for the worse and you have to stay at home and take care of them - you'll be covered for all of your out-of-pocket expenses.

We actually had that happen to us last year. The day we were to leave on our river cruise on the Uniworld S.S. Antoinette to do the Holiday Market Cruise, our son developed chest pains. I rushed him to the ER and after several hours, they could not figure out what was going on and had to admit him to the hospital. After 3 days of tests, they finally figured out it was his gall bladder (he was only 28) and 3 days later performed the surgery. Needless to say, we had to cancel our trip. We always purchase travel insurance and up until this cruise we never needed it. Sure glad we had it this time because we were reimbursed for everything.

I have a friend of mine who's also an agent and her client actually had the worse case scenario happen to her. While on a Panama Canal cruise, her husband had a heart attach. They flew him to a hospital in port where he remained in a coma for several days before dying. This turned out to be a very expensive situation, including returning the body to the U.S., and her entire bill of around $100,000 was reimbursed. In fact, the insurance company went above and beyond in helping her with many of the arrangements.

Hopefully, you'll never ever have this happen, but as I always tell my clients, you hope that purchasing the travel insurance is a waste of your money because if you need it, it's usually not for a good reason. But if you need it, you're sure glad you've got it!

Pete

OKGIRL September 4th, 2012 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trip (Post 1444884)
OK Girl,by chance do you have a link to the insurance article?

Let me see if I can find that post. It was a link in a thread either here or over on CC. I'll get back to you.

OKGIRL September 4th, 2012 11:38 AM

Finally found the link. It's a Washington Post article

The Navigator: Travel insurance claims can hinge on the tiniest details - The Washington Post

If this is to be believed I'm screwed on my next 3 cruises. I don't know if I can go back to travelguard and update my coverage or not at this point. I'm not so concerned about our Conquest cruise this month, but we have a B2B on the Breeze in January and the airfare was much higher when I finally booked it than what I had estimated it to be when I bought the policy.

Trip September 4th, 2012 11:53 AM

OKGIRL, thanks for thie invaluable piece of info...live and learn huh? If you don't mind, so, this will get out to as many Cruisemates as possible, I am going to start a seperate thread. Give then a call to see if you can adjust the amounts for you upcoming trips...might be the most important thing you do, regarding your vacations...good luck!

Snoozeman September 4th, 2012 12:03 PM

Travel Guard paid the claim that was mentioned in the article.

storybookcruises.com September 4th, 2012 02:06 PM

First, let me say I'm not a big fan of Christopher Elliott. While alot of his information is helpful, he is more interested in pointing out the few problems than in writing about the overwhelming positives.

With that said, insurance companies are not the easiest ones to do business with. I've been involved with travel for over 25 years before starting my own business more than 10 years ago, so I've dealt with alot of these situations. As I've said before, this is definitely one of those things where it can be invaluable to have an agent when booking your travel and your travel insurance. Otherwise, if you do have any problems, you're on your own.

As for insuring every penny of your cruise and the story given in the article, that's not always the case. While you should try to cover all of your expenses, sometimes things change. For example, what happens if the taxes go up on your cruise.

We had a client two years ago who purchased an expensive 2 week Alaskan cruisetour. He purchased the travel insurance to cover all of the costs involved. Unbeknownst to us, he had gone on the cruise line's website two weeks before they were leaving and booked some shore excursions. His wife is a high school teacher and two days before they were scheduled to leave on their trip she got hurt. The bell dismissed the last class on the last day of school before Summer vacation. A rather large kid ran out the door and accidently stomped on her foot breaking it. The doctor her told her she could not walk on it for 6 weeks. Needless to say, they had to cancel their trip the day before they were to leave. This particular cruise line has a policy that if you book shore excursions through them and want to cancel them, you must do so more than 48 hours prior to sailing. (I should point out they have since changed this policy.) Therefore, his claim was for more than the amount of coverage he purchased. However, while it was understandable the insurance company would only pay up to the total amount of coverage, there was absolutely no problem whatsoever of denying the claim because he did not purchase enough coverage to protect all of his trip.

While unfortunate situations do occur, most of those can be taken care of with a phone call and submitting additional information. As I said, I've been doing this for a very long time and we sell travel insurance to approximately 40% of the trips. In that time, we've never once had any claim denied.

With that said, should you find that the cost of your trip has changed and the insurance you purchased may need to be changed, talk to your agent and find out what needs to be done. If you didn't use an agent, then call the insurance company and talk to them directly about it. Make sure you document the date and time you called, who your talked to, and their phone number.

But the two things to learn from something like this is first, make sure you book with an agent, and two, don't let this dissuade you from purchasing travel insurance as it can save you in the long run.

Pete

Phil&Liz September 5th, 2012 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cruise planner (Post 1444933)
We actually had that happen to us last year. The day we were to leave on our river cruise on the Uniworld S.S. Antoinette to do the Holiday Market Cruise, our son developed chest pains. I rushed him to the ER and after several hours, they could not figure out what was going on and had to admit him to the hospital. After 3 days of tests, they finally figured out it was his gall bladder (he was only 28) and 3 days later performed the surgery. Needless to say, we had to cancel our trip. We always purchase travel insurance and up until this cruise we never needed it. Sure glad we had it this time because we were reimbursed for everything.

I have a friend of mine who's also an agent and her client actually had the worse case scenario happen to her. While on a Panama Canal cruise, her husband had a heart attach. They flew him to a hospital in port where he remained in a coma for several days before dying. This turned out to be a very expensive situation, including returning the body to the U.S., and her entire bill of around $100,000 was reimbursed. In fact, the insurance company went above and beyond in helping her with many of the arrangements.

Hopefully, you'll never ever have this happen, but as I always tell my clients, you hope that purchasing the travel insurance is a waste of your money because if you need it, it's usually not for a good reason. But if you need it, you're sure glad you've got it!

Pete

In these 2 cases it appears they were "adequately" covered, to the penney, as this article is telling us to do?


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