Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cruise Swag

I often get asked about merchandise on board in terms of what they have and the costs. So here's the lowdown based on my experiences on the 2011 cruise.

When to Shop
When it comes to the merchandise, I noticed that there's really not a good time to go. In the beginning of the cruise I found it to be super crowded, lines out the door and down the hall. Even inside there was barely room to move around and shop. But towards the end I found that some of the more popular items did sell out. I suggest shopping when the alternate group has their event. That lessens the lines a bit, though still expect crowds.

My secret from last year, which worked really well, is that I went the very first night when the other group had their event, and my group was supposed to be at dinner. That means that everyone on the ship was either in the lounge or at dinner. So I had zero lines, zero crowds in the room, and a full selection of everything. To clarify, I didn't skip out on dinner, but rather my friends and I all took turns in small groups leaving the dinner table for 5 minutes- got our stuff, and came back. This worked really well!

What to Shop
Here are some of the items they had available on the 2011 cruise:
  • Blue wheel Jr T-shirt- $40
  • Black wheel Jr T-shirt- $40
  • Anchor Sweatshirt- $60
  • Black metal Sphynkter T-shirt- $35
  • Pink mermaid tank- $35
  • Pink baseball tank- $35
  • Gray T-shirt- ?
  • Shot glass- $12
  • Gray mermaid long sleeve-?
  • This is Us Key Chain- $5
  • Cruise Key chain- $5
  • Towel- $30
  • Tote bag- $15
  • Pajama Jam Sleep mask- $10
  • Pins- $5
  • Black & White photo- $5
  • Pink Slap Bracelet- $10
  • I <3 BSB Underwear- $25
 *I apologize I don't have all of the prices.

Merch Gallery

Now obviously they will have a different selection for the upcoming cruise, but this can give you an idea of what to expect and how much to budget for souvenirs. And budget more than you'd expect. I have one thought in mind before I go, but once on board I know I'm guilty of the thought, "Well this is the only chance to buy it, I better stock up now so I don't regret it later." There's definitely a few things I bought that I thought Id use, now sitting in my closet collecting dust.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

1- Some of the items they sell on the cruise are also sold online in the Backstreet store. For example the slap bracelet, underwear, and most non-cruise specific merchandise. Thus if you have a limited budget but still see things you want, go for the cruise-specific merch first. You can most likely get the rest online later.

2- Any extra merchandise will most likely go online in the Backstreet store at a discount in the future. Not something I would rely on if you see something you really want, but there is that possibility.

Also be sure to check out my post on the 2010 Merch to see what they sold on the first cruise.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Payment Due Today

Not a very exciting post, just a reminder to all of you cruisers that our next payment is due today, and the amount due will vary depending on the price of your cabin. You shouldn't have to do anything- Rose Tours will automatically charge the credit card on file. If they have any issues with a credit card not working for whatever reason (new bill address, new expiration date, etc) they will contact you; they will not cancel your reservation. So don't worry!

Meanwhile those of you who are on the waitlist, payment time usually means some people will be cancelling as they realize the trip might be more they can afford. So I wouldnt be surprised if the waitlist starts moving a bit.

The only good news about a means we're getting closer to cruise time!