Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

About MichaelCMTX

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Fort Worth, TX
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Georgetown, Grand Cayman

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. My experience lines up with what others have mentioned. 1) Before DW's employer changed and January because part of their "peak" season, we actually went out of our way to cruise in January. Prices are great, most people have family vacation fatigue so the youngsters are back home in school. A winner all around. 2) Anyone with a gripe about the weather in the port city must not be coming from someplace with "Real" winter. Florida is freakin Florida, and while you might want something with sleeves in the evening I've had zero issues with the weather. The trip out of New Orleans had more issue with a little rain, but the temps were fine. As for Galveston, the Florida rules seemed to apply. I wouldn't do shorts and a t-shirt 24/7 in January at any of them, but you can leave the parka packed once you get to the airport for departure. Basic logic here: where I'm GOING beats where I LEFT. 3) For inbound travel we always do a day in advance when things-with-wings are involved. That's January, July or June. You cede too much control over your destiny to the carriers and whims of the weather. One hub airport far away sneezes and the whole system catches a cold. We'll gamble a little more with a drive, so long as the local weather or TxDOT construction isn't doing anything feisty we'll head out before dawn and be at the coast by lunchtime, and that usually includes a break or two. So at the risk of sharing our secret, ABSOLUTELY go in January but make a plan and use your head.
  2. Her days of raising her left arm any higher than 90 degrees are OVER. Still working with a lawyer on a settlement.
  3. ...and for the record, the Body Bag has never topped the 50lb surcharge threshold.
  4. Seeing as I'm unlikely to see another dime from them at this point: Berkshire Hathaway. The caveat here is maybe, MAYBE they offer other policies with different coverages and we just "got a Whammy" with the way that one was structured; but for the Love of Stitch I made VERY sure on the upcoming trip that the travel insurance covered "repairing what the trip broke." The injury was obviously painful but obviously not life threatening, so while there was zero chance of an evacuation from the ship - it actually WOULD have been covered.
  5. I get to speak up on this one here. Get it. Always. But keep an eye open. Last trip, DW fell on day 5 of 7 and broke her arm badly enough to need a shoulder replacement. Insurance we had covered through the last day of the trip. So while we were several thousand out-of-pocket for an injury that happened on the trip, because they didn't schedule surgery for the day we arrived back on shore we didn't get back any of it. Best they covered was the ER visit, where they said "have some pain meds and go see an Orthopedic specialist, we're not gonna touch that thing." Even the TA's not using them anymore.
  6. You've got me beat on the detail. I just go with "shave kit" and sort of hope I was bright enough to remember after the last trip to replace or top-off every bath item I depleted. My responsibility for anything not electronics-related ends when I hand off the items to DW as she physically does the packing. Though my lists (hand-written, but saved going back a while) do specify exactly which shirts were brought. I know I'm not going to run into these people again and if I do they won't remember; but don't want photos from THIS cruise to have me wearing the same clothes as the LAST one.
  7. I hear ya, if I feel like wearing something white and all that's left is black. If I want to wear jeans and all that's left are dress pants. If the one pair of swim trunks is still a little clammy from the last trip to the pool there's another that's nice and dry. I over pack. Guilty. I don't consider it a badge of honor that I could make one pair of pants last a whole week. I own too many nice clothes and take great care of them doing laundry. My secret is we bring a hockey bag, we call it the "body bag" because it's a duffel large enough to stuff in a... well... a stowaway. THAT is the "Hamper" for the week. All rolled up it's about maybe 15" x 4". We do not spend time on the last day intricately repacking dirty clothes to fit in the bags that brought them. Then we can Russian Doll the other bags to go home and not have to check any more bags on the return trip than the outgoing.
  8. I was going to mention this. If you do it right there will be few bills waiting at the end except for stuff purchased on the trip. I'm in the unhappy portion of hoping to max out every monthly sales bonus and funnel it directly to the trip in November before I do something foolish (ahem, more foolish 😉) with it. However, once this is done, we're in the Haven with OBC, prepaid gratuities, beverage package and several days of complimentary specialty dining.
  9. Tune in about 180 days from now as we've done 7 on RC in a Grand Suite or Owners Suite and will be on Getaway in a Haven Spa Suite in November. So we can add the Suite Lounge vs. Haven comparison for those interested. I see it here and it's also on the RC boards about the food. Personally, I've never, never, not one time had food on any cruise ship as poor as some folks are claiming. Now granted, they're service 2000-3000 people so I'm not expecting Del Freakin Frisco's in the MDR, but certainly better than the likes of Golden Corral; but from some comments you'd think a Roman Galley Slave would turn these eats down. Geez, just ask for something else, it's not that hard. The last time on Celebrity was the Best Ever food I'd had on a ship, but since we were in a Sky Suite we ate at Luminae, which had everything from the MDR plus additional selections; and THEN Celebrity threw in 3 nights of Specialty Dining because that was the offering on a cruise of that duration for ships without Luminae, and we booked before that was offered on Equinox (and major kudos to Celebrity for standing by the offer). But needless to say it's gonna be a S-L-O-W Summer for us having that waiting for us come November.
  10. C'mon folks, is it a "gouge" thing or a "supply n demand" thing? If we're talking drinks, there's no shortage of spirits aboard; but on the go kart track there's only so many go karts, so many people who can ride them at a time, so many hours in the day, and they're going to need recharged. It's the difference between raising the cover charge at a specialty restaurant that's always packed vs. one where there's seats available and servers idle.
  11. Thanks for the tip. Granted, with New Orleans it's part "fly in a day early because things don't go as planned" but also part "nice place to stay an extra day." Our T/A has at least been upfront that dealing with this package and NCL is new for her (she'd booked a lot of our RC trips) so I'm sure we'll be "rewarded" on board for getting her some experience.
  12. Holy crap, DW wouldn't see me again until debarkation. I'll even bring my own helmet liner.
  13. I may not be a lady but I'm rocking a shoulder-length mane that kinks almost exactly like Monica on "Friends" in humidity - meaning constantly once boarding - so maybe I can offer assistance. Lush Cosmetics has a great shampoo bar that travels like a bar of soap. They also have a location at Ala Moana but with it being solid it'll travel a lot better than liquids. Their stuff is not cheap but it's also not junk. Also a fan of putting my own stuff into long-saved little bottles, so what came with has been gone for years and refilled with some whatever Redken shampoo is working for me at the time and Nexxus Humectress from home. Otherwise there are certain accommodations to make for traveling and while I usually hit my hair with a barrage of different chemicals to keep it constantly guessing and in fear of misbehaving, only one travels with me and that's currently Argan oil. And finally, I really try to get away with as few shampoos as possible during the trip. When we did Hawaii to Vancouver 13 nights I made sure to get a really good wash before departure, and maybe did 4 the whole time. I have the good fortune of being taller than the average cruise showerherad. Being a few elastic circles or use a shower capo if they provide one and you may be able to sneak an extra day or two in-between washings. Terribly jealous. We had a blast in Hawaii in 2013.
  14. What our TA has told us (and she admits she's also fairly new to NCL) We're flying Dallas to New Orleans. Yes, a ridiculously short hop but it was free and there was no credit back for not doing it. I don't mind the drive, but last time it was very dark and very rainy once we hit Baton Rouge so DW was very in favor of flying. Word was we're flying in "The morning of" which doesn't spook me due to weather but does in that it's not at all Fort Lauderdale when it comes to airport/cruise post proximity. I also can't possible believe it's anything but a direct AA (there are two early in the morning and one late morning that looks like it could be borderline close) flight with a miniscule chance of a United flight connecting thru Houston. Has anyone ended up on Southwest with NCL? We were told NCL will not hold the ship due to a late flight, they'll just fly us to our next destination. Not at all excited about trying to fly New Orleans to Roatan no matter who pays. We had the option to come in a day earlier IF we book a hotel package - which we cannot do until 90 days out. The hotel is probably not much better than if we booked on our own, but then we get the day-earlier free flight. But watching this one with interest for others' experiences.
  15. My first source of cruise advice is my folks, who started in the late 1970s. Their thinking was "at first we started to get a little ticked about the idea of specialty restaurants, and then the price of the drinks, but after a while we thought about the sorts of accommodations and ships we're sailing on today, the kind we were on in 1979, and the price adjusted for inflation after that much time. When we look at that big picture, it's not so bad paying a little extra for Specialty Dining." The other piece of advice we learned was when you see or hear (for example) "Cruises starting at $499," you're a fool if you expect to plunk for five $100 bills and expect change. That's like the radio ads for a car for $14,997 (and a huge disclaimer statement read at warp speed afterwards). No, uh-uh, pay no attention to that figure. Do the vacation right, get the packages you need to make it right, buy right and cry once.
  • Create New...