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About BTromboneFrack

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  1. Cruised on the Glory out of NOLA this summer and loved it. Maybe I just don't notice if the chairs are worn, but I didn't see any of that stuff. Just like on every one of the Carnival Cruises we've been on, the crew were all very friendly. EVERYONE said hi with a smile as we passed them in the hallways. Back on the Conquest at Christmas. We've been on a number of the Conquest ships and they are all pretty much the same, just different themes for their decorating.
  2. My wife has mobility issues too. They do have handicapped parking right next to the elevators, however, they were already filled up when we got there. It was easy to get to another parking spot and do a short walk. Carnival is great at getting handicapped people into the right lines and through the system.
  3. We just cruised out of NOLA in July. Drove down from Michigan, and haven't been to NO in a long time. I followed the instructions given by Carnival on their website. There was also a Youtube of someone driving into town to the Fulton garage. I watched it several times and then Google Earthed the trip so I could get the lay of the land. Getting into Fulton takes you down some one way streets. I'm glad I knew what it all looked like before we actually did it. If you miss the exit, you end up across the river and have to turn around and come back. Be prepared for a big traffic jam. It was really crowded getting into the downtown area both times we got into town (the second time was a bus ride from Mobile -- the NOLA port was closed due to a hurricane.
  4. My wife has MS and uses a walker. Carnival personnel have been extremely helpful over the past few years. The muster drill for people with special needs has been held in one of the nightclubs or some other place where people can sit down. Much nicer than out on the promenade. Nobody wants a disability, but you always look for the cup being half full.
  5. We've been on a number of them, but they all seem more similar than different. Probably the worst one was the Festivale, by today's standards, but we had a great time on it back in '87. That's the ship that got us started.
  6. We recently did a similar bus trip when the recent Gulf hurricane hit New Orleans. That port was closed so we instead arrived in Mobile, Alabama. True, a logistical nightmare for Carnival (and for the next cruise too), but they handled it as well as could be expected. Mild inconvenience for us, but I'd rather be safe. Good luck to all.
  7. Yes, we enjoy the Conquest class too. And because we've just happened to be on the Conquest more than the others, it feels like home.
  8. We just got off the Valor and had a great cruise. While the decor on all of the Carnival ships we have been on has been "vibrant," it has never affected how much we've enjoyed a cruise. The Valor out of NOLA was a great cruise and it was fun sailing down the Mississippi for eight hours after departure. Saw lots of other ships, towns, and scenery. The service and food was wonderful and the staff was very friendly. In fact, what I notice most on Carnival ships is how EVERY employee we pass in the halls says hello -- and with a smile. The ship was clean and kept up very well. We love the Conquest class, but don't notice huge differences between one class of ship and another. The Carnival experience has been essentially the same on every ship we've been on.
  9. We still enjoy Carnival. Heck, the ocean is the ocean, and that is the biggest reason we go to sea. However, I also realize while Carnival has changed, they still offer a great experience. Lots of stuff is new stuff since we started in 1987. We usually go with Carnival because we've had a good time in the past, the price is usually pretty good, and they we use the extra money we save to upgrade our rooms and go to the steakhouse. So we don't worry about the cuts too much. Our cruises have improved. Maybe after we retire we'll branch out.
  10. We cruised on Carnival (Festivale '87 and Holiday '91) and simply told them the dates and details (as much as we could) and Carnival counted those cruises. I am jealous of those that got to Platinum so quickly. We'll turn Platinum at Christmas this year.
  11. Yes, I am sure Carnival has much of this set up, BUT.... The last time this happened in the Gulf was probably several years ago. Many the people working to put this together are new to their positions. In addition, to call/email all of the port authority and the transportation people and then get them organized is no easy task. There was no Carnival ship scheduled in port that day until the Valor was rerouted, so all of those people had to drop what they were doing to move 2900 passengers to NOLA, and the move another 2900 to Mobile. In addition, all of the restocking, refueling, had to be organized. While Mobile might have much of that stuff at their port, I am sure they had to load up a bunch of stuff in NOLA and ship it to Mobile. My point is, this was a monumental move, whether Carnival was ready for it or not. Overall, it seemed to go very well.
  12. Well, it might not have been good for some, but everyone waiting to be called on for debarkation, and everyone on our bus seemed to be in a good mood. The only times I saw some people get edgy was in the traffic jam getting back into NOLA and in the lines of people waiting to get to their transportation and those getting on the bus for the next cruise. Out of the hundreds of people I saw, only a few were not happy. I think Carnival did a great job. Getting 60+ buses organized, port authority personnel ready, getting customs notified in two different ports in less than 24 hours is pretty amazing. True, Carnival has done this many times, and they have a protocol, but I have traveling experience with large groups, and I know it's tough to organize things as fast as they did. I was impressed that it seemed to go as smoothly as it did.
  13. Just got off the Valor today in Mobile. The turn in the harbor was tight. For the first time in all of our cruises, a big tug was tied to the stern as we turned. Might have been one on the bow, too. Not much wiggle room, but after we turned and backed into the docking area. Everything was pretty organized in Mobile. Everybody seemed to be in good spirits. We arrived in New Orleans after a two hour bus ride, but then traffic was really bad in NOLA, so it took another hour to move the last mile. Big crowds. 60 plus buses, lots of people arriving , and lots of people waiting to get on the buses for Mobile. People were getting impatient. Lots of little glitches, but considering what Carnival had to do in 24 hours, it was pretty amazing. I was really hoping they would just let us stay at sea until the storm passed, but, alas, no such luck this time. I'll have to cruise in the fall after I retire in order to get those "hurricane days."
  14. You can also sail on the Grand Celebration, out of Palm Beach, for a pretty nice price. We did that a few years ago, and since the Celebration was a sister ship of the Holiday, it was like going back in time. We even found some of the same hots spots for catching rays on the upper deck during the day.
  15. We were on the Ecstasy a few years ago and had a Grand Suite Extended Balcony room. LOVED IT. The balcony was huge and there were two loungers, a couple of chairs and a table. Those rooms have very large balconies and it was like another living space it was so big. Our balcony was covered by another deck, but we still got some sun when it was on our side of the ship. If you don't have them, everyone that has posted has said the room stewards are good about getting loungers for big balconies. In addition, those older ships are often cheaper than the newer ones. Good luck. Spread out and have a great time.
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