Cruise missiles; hold the missiles

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Jake
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Cruise missiles; hold the missiles

Post by Jake » 20 Sep 2017, 15:49

So last December, my wife won a raffle at the company Christmas party (I take some credit for this, 'cause I showed her the winning raffle-ticket-strategy for small unprofessional drawings). And we ended up with a four-night cruise to Mexico, which we're taking this December.

We'll be leaving from Long Beach CA on December 10, hitting Catalina Island, Ensenada, then returning to port the morning of the 15th.

The cruise company (Carnival) offers these "excursions" things, which are expensive add-on "experiences" for the days in port. Stuff like "ride sit on a horse in a line with a bunch of tourists riding sitting on horses" and "enjoy wines and cheeses of Mexico with your new neighbors from Iowa". I already know they're overpriced and we can do better going outside the Carnival brand to arrange said excursions, but here's where I need help:

I've never been to these places, so I have no idea what they're like in mid-December. Is "try surfing" (something Shannon is interested in) or "learn to scuba dive" (something Gideon is interested in) going to be fine, because it's Mexico, or going to be miserable, because it's December? Anyone have any good advice on that (or other cruising info... we're noobs)?
"Quis pimpodiet ipsos pimpodes?" -- Ellie

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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Cruise missiles; hold the missiles

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 20 Sep 2017, 15:57

Jake wrote:
20 Sep 2017, 15:49
So last December, my wife won a raffle at the company Christmas party (I take some credit for this, 'cause I showed her the winning raffle-ticket-strategy for small unprofessional drawings). And we ended up with a four-night cruise to Mexico, which we're taking this December.

We'll be leaving from Long Beach CA on December 10, hitting Catalina Island, Ensenada, then returning to port the morning of the 15th.

The cruise company (Carnival) offers these "excursions" things, which are expensive add-on "experiences" for the days in port. Stuff like "ride sit on a horse in a line with a bunch of tourists riding sitting on horses" and "enjoy wines and cheeses of Mexico with your new neighbors from Iowa". I already know they're overpriced and we can do better going outside the Carnival brand to arrange said excursions, but here's where I need help:

I've never been to these places, so I have no idea what they're like in mid-December. Is "try surfing" (something Shannon is interested in) or "learn to scuba dive" (something Gideon is interested in) going to be fine, because it's Mexico, or going to be miserable, because it's December? Anyone have any good advice on that (or other cruising info... we're noobs)?
It will be as advertised. For that matter, there will be an excursions director on board both to try to sell the excursions and to answer questions. And yes, they will be overpriced compared to what you could do if you had a more flexible shore time schedule and time to research and bargain, but one way of making the prices seem a bit more reasonable is that they guarantee you'll get back to the ship on time. (In fact, for cruise ship sold excursions, they'll actually hold up the departure time as long as possible if necessary.)

I neither surf nor scuba dive, but I thought scuba wet suits were warm enough for most non-arctic water for the short time he'd be using his Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. (One of the first acronyms I ever learned, probably from watching Sea Hunt starring Lloyd Bridges.)

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lunchstealer
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Re: Cruise missiles; hold the missiles

Post by lunchstealer » 20 Sep 2017, 19:15

I have a gargantuan wetsuit that I bought for use in the Galapagos in January of '16, and ended up not needing it. Perfectly comfortable water for swimming un-insulated, shared with penguins.

So if that's a concern, I could probably ship it to you. I doubt I'll be back in cold-water swimming situations again, and if I were I could probably rent a wetsuit.

I'd have to look it up to give you exact sizing details, but I was able to squeeze into it at 6'2.5" and probably 270lbs, so even though you're a bit taller, I think it should be in the ballpark of fitting you, at least.
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Jake
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Re: Cruise missiles; hold the missiles

Post by Jake » 21 Sep 2017, 00:31

Thanks, both of you. No need for the wetsuit; I'm more than happy to let them try and find one to fit me. ;)
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Sandy
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Re: Cruise missiles; hold the missiles

Post by Sandy » 21 Sep 2017, 02:24

Way to bury the lede...what is this raffle strategy?
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the innominate one
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Re: Cruise missiles; hold the missiles

Post by the innominate one » 21 Sep 2017, 10:28

I'm guessing buy a lot of tickets and dogear them.
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Warren
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Re: Cruise missiles; hold the missiles

Post by Warren » 21 Sep 2017, 11:08

Buy them just before they do the drawing and yours will be on top.
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dead_elvis
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Re: Cruise missiles; hold the missiles

Post by dead_elvis » 21 Sep 2017, 17:20

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
20 Sep 2017, 15:57
And yes, they will be overpriced compared to what you could do if you had a more flexible shore time schedule and time to research and bargain, but one way of making the prices seem a bit more reasonable is that they guarantee you'll get back to the ship on time.
I've been on one cruise, in Alaska, and yes this is the selling point- you *could* do the excursions cheaper, but do you want to risk getting stranded if something is running late? I don't know how real the risk is, but that's how they scare you into buying their overpriced option.
Jake wrote:
20 Sep 2017, 15:49
or going to be miserable, because it's December?
As for the time of year, it's a crapshoot- might be cold and rainy, might be 80 and sunny. The water *will* be cold, even in summer, but I imagine they wouldn't be offering those activities without proper wetsuits.
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Jake
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Re: Cruise missiles; hold the missiles

Post by Jake » 22 Sep 2017, 22:11

Sandy wrote:
21 Sep 2017, 02:24
Way to bury the lede...what is this raffle strategy?
When I get the tickets, I crease them lengthwise, unfold them, and re-crease them widthwise. Then I give them just a bit of a crumple, so they no longer lie flat.

When the raffle-can-holder shakes the can, the non-flat tickets tend to rise to the top, and when they have some rando jam their hand in there and pull one out, the crumpled tickets tend to be the first things they can get a hold of, and thus tend to be drawn noticeably more often than a more "well-behaved" ticket.

And yes, throw your tickets in as late in the game as possible, because the mixing action tends to be half-assed at best, so tickets on top tend to stay at or near the top.
"Quis pimpodiet ipsos pimpodes?" -- Ellie

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