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Amyracecar

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About Amyracecar

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
  • Interests
    Dance, travel, painting, world music
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Carnival, Ocean Village (sadly missed)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska

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  1. It's one of those things that i'm happy to pay for if I need the peace of mind, but I can live without. On our recent cruise we stupidly booked a very early flight and spent the rest of the time worrying we'd make it. Having FTTF meant we actually got to the airport early (before even the advertised debarkation times) with hours just waiting around. If I was in a similar situation again i'd definitely pay the extra, however I wouldn't pay it just to get onto the boat early. I don't think the additional cost is now worth it just to have a couple of extra hours on board.
  2. One thing I can definitely say from experience is to allow as much time as you can in New Orleans. We went early and stayed for 4 days, and barely scratched the surface. One of the most fascinating places i've ever been to.
  3. We emailed the Maitre 'D about a week before our recent cruise to request a table for two. We didn't hear anything back but had been granted the table we wanted when we arrived on board. I would imagine it's worth trying this method or the Facebook one, and then you can check after you get on board. If it's not the one you want you can then speak to the MD personally.
  4. We sailed on Glory on April 8th, so probably the cruise before the OP's. I can only assume that the debarkation issues must have been due to something at customs/immigration because leaving the ship is easily the smoothest and quickest we've ever had. (We were at the airport by 8am). We were FTTF so probably got off in the first group, but if the OP had express debarkation I'm guessing it was a similar group, so should have been leaving at a similar time. Very unfortunate that things weren't communicated, as I find this is what makes/breaks the response to any given situation. As for luggage tags, we received a letter in our cabin the day before telling us where to collect them if required, then a second one with further info for FTTF people. Seemed much simpler than previous years where you're filling in info and returning forms after you've only been cruising a couple of days. I don't want to be thinking about going home that soon! As for Glory, she was ok. I wasn't expecting a huge amount as this was a very cheap cruise (I'd seen the 5 days in an interior advertised for less than $300 at one point and what can you really expect for $60 a day!), but thankfully there were no issues that stood out to me. It was clean, a bit dated, but lots of nice rooms and areas. I couldn't find any issues in our cabin (midship balcony on Deck 7), in fact it's the first time on a Carnival ship where the shower water hasn't run all over the floor. Normally the drain isn't quick enough for the size of the tray. One thing I do like about older Carnival Ships are the weird themes and decor, so the 'Colour' theme seemed a bit boring in comparison. I think other people might have appreciated a bit less of the usual tat! We didn't eat at the buffet apart from one quick breakfast, just didn't need to. Sea days we had brunch in the dining room at about 11am (Who is queuing for something you can't describe in a dish when you can have someone serve you steak?!) Port days we had a light breakfast in bed. We also tried Guys burgers one day and found a very small queue. The deli always seemed very busy but on previous cruises it normally moves very quickly so has never been an issue. Dinner was always in the dining room apart from one night in the steakhouse. Again, I feel like I might as well go with the sit-down option where possible, and if I don't like it I can always try something elsewhere. Food seems to have changed a lot since the last time we went with Carnival, I used to occasionally quite like the homey (and rather boring) options like pasta carbonara, but they've gone in favour of something slightly fancier. Probably in response to the complaints they used to get about the basic menus! I'm not sure they always get these things right but at least they're trying to respond to what people want and lots of options were very nice. Baked Alaska is still the most disappointing thing they serve. (on any cruise line, you'd think I'd learn after all these years but it sounds so exciting on paper!) Service in the MDR wasn't amazing. The people themselves were lovely, but I suspect they're just overworked and can't handle the number of tables to the degree expected. On two occasions someone forgot to replenish my Husband's knife and fork, so he had nothing to eat with when his entree arrived. When you asked it took a long time for them to bring one and by that time his food was going cold. Similarly I had to ask for them to bring the cream for the baked potato as they forgot, and a dry potato isn't the most appealing thing in the world. By the time they brought it i'd finished everything else on the plate. This has never been a problem on other Carnival ships we've sailed. Shows were ok but it's a shame to be watching something I first saw about 5 years ago. how often do they change them? Entertainment on non-show nights was a bit non-existent, but we enjoyed Hasbro the Game Show.
  5. I was on the Glory last week & could smell smoke from the casino when walking up the middle atrium stairs on the first day. I was dreading having to put up with it all week but I don't know if ventilation was particularly bad that day or I got used to it (probably this), because I couldn't smell it in the same area later in the cruise. Personally I'm not that bothered who smokes where, but some ships are definitely more unfortunate for non-smokers than others. The layout on Glory/Valor etc makes it somewhat of a chore to avoid the casino area when getting from A to B, not to mention lots of quizzes & activities/photos take place down that side area. So many bars are barely used during the day, I don't see why they don't just move trivia to one of them. It'd be easier to hear too.
  6. The value is insane. I see cruises starting as low as $250 for 5+ days. Where on land could you find a hotel and food/entertainment for $50 a day? You wouldn't be eating steak for brunch!! Aside from that though, it appeals to my down to earth nature. I don't drink so I'm not looking for a booze cruise (as people often accuse), but at the same time I don't want stuffiness and people who think they're better than everyone else. (Sadly you get this on every line but less so on Carnival). I love the crazy decor & some of the quirky themes. I know that will divide opinion but where else will you find a secret enchanted forest halfway through the week?! I've found the staff to be lovely on all ships I've sailed on. Lots of younger trainees who are friendly and eager to chat.
  7. Thanks all, we'll just rock up when we get hungry then. 🙂
  8. Just jumping on this thread rather than opening a new one. Just wondered if there is a 'best' time to go to sea day brunch? Does it get busier nearer lunchtime or do more people go early? Mainly wondered if there's a likelihood of a queue/wait time.
  9. I had problems with the website accepting my Mastercard and tried multiple times (it said it wasn't processed but a temporary pending transaction did appear each time), there was an option of PayPal as a payment option for clearing my balance on the site which I ended up using to pay with the same card & it worked, although the exchange rate wasn't quite as good as the pending charges had been the same morning. That card wouldn't work for funshops or excursions either & I just used my debit card in the end as those didn't have a PayPal option.
  10. This comments about the sauce on this thread reminds me of a guy I was listening to on the radio who said 'For years I thought I loved snails, but it turns out I really just love garlic!'
  11. Hi all, I've tried searching topics but can't find a recent answer to my question, hopefully someone can assist. I was wondering how easy it is to get a taxi from the port at New Orleans after we debark (We'll be on the Carnival Glory). I want to try and get off the ship early and get to the airport, but wondered if it's easy enough to get a taxi outside or if it's better to pre-book and order something myself? I don't mind waiting a little while if there are frequent taxis arriving, but don't want to be stuck for hours.
  12. I might even bring my own tablecloth for non-formal nights. 😄
  13. I have a couple from previous cruises. I might flaunt about with one on my next cruise and innocently say "oh, did you not get one in your room?" if anybody asks. Maybe while eating my antique pillow chocolates and getting food poisoning. 🙂
  14. My first cruise with NCL we booked a package including flights, which arrived same day. I can't remember if it was directly with the cruise line or with a Travel Agent. Our first leg was an internal flight to London, with a two hour wait and then a flight to Barcelona. The first error happened with the initial check in, but I didn't discover this until later. We arrived at Heathrow and transit passengers needed to go through security again. Unforunately they only had one lane open. No worries I thought, plenty of time. Sadly, when we eventually got through to the other side we discovered that we'd only been checked in as far as Heathrow, and we'd missed check in cut off by about 10 minutes. Despite having at least half an hour to get to the nearby gate, they wouldn't let us on the flight because checked passengers had already been communicated to the captain etc. I literally begged the check in guy but he wouldn't let us on. Watching my flight take off without us is the most depressing sight. I called my insurance company, the cruise company, and neither were particularly helpful. They just said to go to the port and if we missed the cruise to contact them again. We were booked on the next flight, but that arrived with only about an hour until the cruise left. Second error. Because we'd been checked in halfway, our bags had only been checked in halfway too. Our new flight info appeared to have reached my suitcase, but not my boyfriend's. We wasted additional time at the airport reporting the missing bag, and by the time we left I had no hope that we'd make the cruise, it was well past time. It further didn't help that the taxi driver didn't speak English and we had to go through a lot of actions and drawings to get him to understand where we were going! (We hadn't planned for this as we were supposed to be getting the cruise transfers, normally i'd make sure I had the proper info to hand. It was back before the days of freely available Google translate!) As we arrived to the port I nearly cried to see that the ship was still there. As the taxi pulled up some staff literally ran/dragged us along security and radio'd the ship. It had just started to pull away, but thankfully we had a nice captain and he agreed to pull back in and let us on board. They put a little plank down from a doorway and we had to scramble up it with our suitcases, not very dignified with loads of people pointing and laughing as they had their sail away party!! By this point I didn't care though, the sense of relief outweighed any shame! We finally properly checked in at guest services who also gave my boyfriend a few t-shirts and toiletries. They also gave him free laundry for his clothes over the next few days. (The missing suitcase arrived 2 stops later) And the moral of the story is... Well, I suppose should be don't fly in on the day of a cruise. You'd think that, wouldn't you? I've done it at least 4 times since though! Maybe I like to live life on the edge! 😄 (Actually, the one more important thing it taught me is that whenever I'm changing planes, cruise or otherwise, to make sure myself and my suitcase are checked into both flights at the first check in desk!)
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