June 2015 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Triumph
Be ready to spend, spend, spend!
If you stick with the "all inclusive" parts of the cruise, you will do fine. It is the extras that get you. Pictures, sodas and alcohol, the gift shop, all marketed very strongly. The "sales" in the gift shop and the jewelry store would draw anyone in and you end up buying things that you don't need. Then when you are not spending on board, you can take a free workshop to show you how to shop at the port and get the best deals. Some offer free stuff, but it's all cheaply made "tchotchkes" and the sole purpose is to get you in the door and make you GREAT deals on jewelry. Be careful to not get caught up in the thrill of it all. You credit card will thank you later.
Then, don't forget to either turn your phone off during the entire trip, purchase an international data plan or put your phone on airplane mode. Better yet, contact your cell phone carrier to see what they suggest. If you don't, they may charge you an exorbitant fee for roaming in international waters. Doesn't matter if you use your phone or not. I spoke with 8 people who have taken many cruises and not one mentioned this to me, until after my return. So I am telling you so you don't get hit with a $200 fee or worse!
Excursions are fun, but they can sometimes feel rushed and not worth what you paid. Also, there is always someone standing by to sell you more stuff. So plan them wisely. We did the dolphins and it was amazing, but didn't feel like we had much time for anything else.
So now you ask what is included in the "all inclusive"...You get fun & entertaining shows, all the wonderful food you care to try and enjoy (if you want to try all of the appetizers that night, go ahead and indulge) and most of all, you get great individualized service by people who seem to care that you have a good time.