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About wemjam

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    Cruising, Travel Abroad, All Inclusives
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  1. Thanks, exactly the info I was looking for. I was guessing 45 minutes or so, so my 1 hr thought will only give us 15-20 minutes to kill. Hubby was thinking 30 minutes early and I figured we would miss the bus - pun intended lol!
  2. After all my cruises I know all this lol! I am asking specifically about Cuba because it is slightly different than other ports and want to know about how long it took people to get through the customs process and get the money exchanged. Cuba is not like other ports where you just walk off the ship and boom you are there. My understanding is you will have to wait in lines for customs, and then again to change your money since only CUC is accepted and no credit cards. Comments on that process and time it takes from those that have done it.
  3. Just curious if anyone knows how much time we should allow ourselves to get off the ship, go through customs, and exchange some currency on our upcoming Paradise to Cuba stop? We arrive at 5:45 am, and our tour leaves at 10:30 am. I tend to be an early bird, but don't want to just stand around in the heat waiting for the tour to start. I was thinking we should get off at 9:30, but hubby thinks this may be way too early as he figures crowds should have thinned out a bit by the time we get off. We also thought maybe, Carnival might have us meet on the ship somewhere and get off all at the same time to keep everyone together (possibly?) but not sure. Any first hand help appreciated!
  4. Yes, as long as you are still within the "change" window for your future cruise or have ES booked. I do this all the time. Call you PVP (hopefully you have one as times like this is when they come in real handy), if not call an agent at the main number) and tell them you want to apply the future cruise rate. This should also get you some OBC too that you might not have already.
  5. I started a similar thread a long while back and got slammed for being "mean". I wasn't trying to be be mean, but express frustration with oblivious people. In reality, it was meant to just point out things that many people don't often think of when they are wrapped up in the moment. There are things I had to "learn" when I first started cruising too. Common courtesy just isn't so common anymore unfortunately. Some people have no manners and their isn't much you can do about that. (i.e. washing your hands especially after using the restroom, letting your children run uncontrolled around the ship, jumping in line in front of others - the buffet is a line not just walk up and serve yourself regardless if there is a hole you can just fit into, elevator etiquette, etc.) There are things though that I think people often just don't think of: 1. Don't let your room door/balcony door slam - this resonate through several rooms and I can't count the times I have literally had my head bounced of the wall it was leaning against while sitting up in bed reading or watching TV. 2. Don't try to carry your own luggage on/off the ship if you really can't handle it. I have started more than one cruise tripping over the suite case in front of me someone dropped because it was bigger than they were and they couldn't manage it (to the point of me almost hitting the ground myself after tripping). Or the entire boarding line getting backed up while they stopped to wrestle it over the ramp. I carry my own on, but we always have one small shoulder bag on top of our suite case, and we pack in airline approved carry on size or just slight larger that has 4 wheels, and is easy to manage and handle just for this reason. 3. For sanitary reasons do not reuse the same cup, plate, bowl, etc. and go back to drink dispensers or the buffet line. Even on land buffets they will tell you to use clean dishes every time. There are 2000 people enclosed on a vessel for days together and we all need to try NOT to make each other sick. 4. If you start to take food off a serving station and decide you don't want it after all, don't leave it laying on the counter area or worse yet don't throw it back into the serving dishes. If you don't want it, simply don't eat it and leave it on your plate when you are done eating. To add to this don't let your children help themselves unsupervised either unless you are 100 percent sure they won't do something crazy. I have watched kids go up and take something, take a bite and not want it and put it back in the serving container! 5. As someone else said, the walls and floors are thin, think of those around you when it comes to noise it will travel. This includes dragging things or dropping things on the floors, your TV or personal music, talking loudly or yelling at each other across the room or balcony. And please, don't sit on your balcony with music blaring, others may not like your choice or may be trying to have a quiet read or nap.
  6. While I am not familiar with EZ Air through Princess I am familiar with Carnival's program, and contrary to coevan's post there are benefits to using it. While 90% of the time I do end up booking my own air, it is for one reason only, and that is we often want an earlier flight home than what Carnival can offer. This is the only serious drawback to their program. If you want an 11:30 flight home or something you may not be able to get it as they will not book before their "cut off" time of like 12 or 12:30ish depending on the port. That being said here are the benefits: 1st. If something happens and your flight is delayed or canceled, they step in and help you get there, even so far as getting you to the first port if you miss the ship at no charge to you 2nd. You can book your air when you book your cruise and no extra deposit is required, you just must have it paid in full when your final cruise payment is due. This means you can always cancel, and rebook if you choose anytime between initial booking and final payment with no penalty - you can't do this with normal airfare (once booked you pay penalties and fees if you want to change). I usually book with Carnival and then watch the airfare prices all during the time I am paying on the cruise. If the price goes down, I cancel and either have them rebook me at the new rate - or go and book myself if I find something I like better. 3rd. Other than the timing of the flights (meeting their cut-offs), you can book the same exact flights with many of the same airlines you can book yourself directly, and I have found that Carnival's price is the same (and sometimes a few bucks cheaper than what I can book direct with the airline myself). It does not have to be just the crappy flights with long layovers etc. 4th. The final reason I can think of is if you take advantage of the 10% off Carnival gift cards (read on CC to see about these) you can use these to pay for your airfare with Carnival too. That saves you 10% on your air as well as your cruise. For someone like us that lives in Michigan where airfare can run between $250-$500 pp/ and we cruise several times a year, this can add up to a few hundred bucks we save booking with them and using Carnival gift cards we buy at 10% off. There are pro's and con's to doing it either way, but I hope this helps identify some reasons you may want to consider using it sometimes as we do. PS: Changes to flights etc, are going to happen no matter what, and having it booked through Carnival does not impact this either. We fly to Orlando for one of our cruises this year and they changed our flight time slightly and we received a notification just as we normally would. It also does not impact being able to upgrade your flight if you want with certain air carriers. We usually fly Delta, and I paid a little extra directly to the airline (a couple of months after we initially booked our airfare and paid it and our cruise in full) to upgrade us to Delta Economy Comfort from regular seats just as I would have if I had booked myself direct. Nothing different.
  7. The one thing I can't help but think though... isn't it "bad luck" to rename a ship lol!
  8. HMC! NO DOUBT ABOUT IT - AND RENT A CABANA IF YOU CAN! I would be really surprised if anyone said Princess over Half Moon
  9. I have done 35 cruises. For the first more than 10 years I cruised I flew in the day of to save money and never had any issues. Way more hectic and chaotic and you are exhausted by the time you get there. For the last 5-8 years, we have flown in the night before. We work the full day usually and then take a 7-8pm flight in from Michigan into Florida and get in 11-1am. Which means we are dog tired! But WAY better to come in tired, crash, sleep in have a nice breakfast and head to the port refreshed. Could you go in the day of... absolutely! Suggest you try to go in the night before even if it is a late, late flight. Also gives you breathing room in case something goes wrong and you can't get out, you have the next morning to recover and get out on a different flight.
  10. MistyRo76, I think we sail with you - April 27th? Looking forward to Cuba too! May I ask, do you have a web address for I Love Cuba Photo Tours? I looked them up on TA, but I can't find a direct email. I may check them out too as TA has them very highly rated too.
  11. Thanks, everyone... looked and I see the reservations now. I knew the steakhouse was there, but never thought to look for the others there too. So, next question I guess if anyone knows. Horizon on May 26th. out of Miami. Day at Sea, Ochios Rios and Grand Caymen, Cozumel, Day at Sea.... any idea what days we are looking at for Formal Nights?
  12. Sailing on our first of the mega ships in 3 months - the Horizon. Quick questions on the specialty dining (sushi, Asian, Italian, BBQ, etc). please (first time for us). 1. Do you need to make reservations for these restaurants or is it first come? 2. If you make reservations, is it advisable/or can you make them early in the cruise to assure a place? If so, where do you make them at? 3. I believe I have seen there is an "upcharge" for these restaurants, is this so? 4. Is it like the steakhouse where you if you do pay, it is a set price and then you order, or is it like a regular restaurant where you pay for each item you wish to order? Any examples of such cost appreciated - I am familiar with the Seafood Shack and Pay Sushi on other ships such as the Conquest. 5. Do any of these locations on the Horizon have a special dress code (excluding the steakhouse, I am aware of the dress code here)? 6. Is the Bonsi Sushi the only place to get sushi on board? I love it but husband hates it, and would like to be able to get it (like on other ships), where you just order and take away since he is not going to want to sit down to a "meal" with me in a restaurant setting. - BBQ place too, eat in only or take away? Hubby doesn't care much for that either lol, but I love me some good BBQ. Any help is appreciated, even after all our cruises this will be a new experience we are much looking forward to it. PS: Know it is not food related, but want to try the sky bikes too. Do you reserve this? If so in advance or what - if anyone reading these questions about the food knows.
  13. Usually, but it seems like right now they are in that "hard to get mode"... so if you need some savings this is better than nothing :-)
  14. Love California rolls and not sure if the Miracle has a place to get Sushi. I know they don't have the regular sushi window like on the Conquest, but was wondering if they might have one of the little kiosks where they offer it on the promenade like on some other ships
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