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About nybumpkin

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    Upstate NY

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  1. Our first cabana was in 2009 and it was much less than $360 - it's gone up significantly. I want to say it was under $200. However, we're a family that can't afford sunburns - Northern European ancestry and family history of skin cancer. We spurge. Since there's four of us on our cruise next year, it's not quite as painful as if there was only two of us.
  2. You can reserve a cabana in advance - we have one reserved for next August. However, you can't reserve a specific cabana - you need to go to the excursion desk when you board to pick one. We're rather partial to the higher-numbered cabanas - the beach is less crowded.
  3. Carnival seems to have soured on the Magrodomes - since Dream, they haven't found a home on Carnival ships and, as you noted, have been eliminated on Sunshine, Sunrise, and soon-to-be-Radiance. If I had to guess, they don't like the room they take up and the extra deck work it takes to open and close them. However, one of my favorite memories is from our first cruise on Victory in 2004, when we met our oldest son, then 13, at the aft pool with his Camp Carnival group having a party under the dome. He was in his bathing suit, dripping wet, with a slice of pizza in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other, exclaiming "this is great!".😀
  4. We've done Behind the Fun twice, on Conquest in 2010 and Horizon in 2018. Both times the cost was $95 (I'm still amazed that it didn't increase in that time). The tour takes up the morning - both times we finished about 11:45. It's also pretty intensive, with a lot of walking. You will see backstage in the main theater, a fairly extensive galley tour, food storage areas, the laundry, waste treatment area, and the crew mess. The highlights are the engine control room (not the engine room) and the bridge, where you can meet the chief engineer and the captain respectively. It's really educational. You can't take your own pictures, but the ship's photographer will take several for you. At the end they give you a backpack with a cap and lanyard. They sent chocolate-covered strawberries to our cabin. It's not something we'd do on every sailing, but we thought Conquest and Horizon were different enough that it would be worth doing again - and it was. As for signing up, we're Platinum so we board early. On Conquest, the excursion desk wasn't open yet so we signed up at Guest Services. On Horizon, the excursion desk was open and we signed up there.
  5. We had dinner at Fleet Landing the night before we cruised out of Charleston. Good food and great location.
  6. We sailed on Victory four times - in fact, she was our first cruise, and got us hooked. We're booked on Radiance for a 9-day sailing next year, and we did a short (4-day) cruise on Sunrise this past August. I do find problems with Sunrise's buffet line and fully expect that those problems will carry over to Radiance - but the problems are the result of the original buffet design of the class of ship, not the overhaul (which does add passengers). Victory has two main buffet lines (Conquest-class ships have four) - and from what I can see on the deck plans, she will still have two main buffet lines as Radiance, same as Sunrise. The main buffet lines are long; they do try to open up "express" lines at breakfast, but there are some items you can get only in the main lines. At lunch there will be more options - the deli, Seafood Shack, Big Chicken, Pizza, Cucina, Guy's, Blue Iguana and BBQ. We're prepared for the lines - the only truly bad one on Sunrise was the deli. DH gave up after standing in line for 10 minutes without moving. As for seating - we never had a problem finding seats on Sunrise's Lido for either breakfast or lunch, and we eat at prime time. The only ship on which we couldn't find seating at lunch and brought our food back to our cabin was one day on Carnival Miracle out of NYC for an 8-day cruise in 2009. We docked in Freeport and back-on-board time was 1:00, sailing at 1:30. Of course, everyone waited to eat lunch until back on board, and the dining room wasn't open for lunch since it was a port day. Lido seating was not happening on that one, but that was an unusual occurrence. We're looking forward to Radiance. I just hope there are some vestiges of Victory left.
  7. DH has had recurring bouts with cellulitis since 2007. It's traced to an injury he received in 1980 when he slipped in the attic and fell, straddling a ceiling beam (ouch😮). It always manifests itself in his left leg; the last time was during a Mediterranean cruise in 2016 on our last port day of an extremely port-intensive cruise. He was in the ship pool exactly once on the cruise, and he's never had a problem with pools, hot tubs or the ocean on any other cruise. He thinks he just tried to do too much with all the ports on the Med cruise and became susceptible to the infection. I agree with the recommendation to talk to your doctor. DH has a prescription antibacterial soap he uses for his leg, and before we travel his doctor prescribes a Z-pack to take with him in case the cellulitis rears its ugly head on a trip.
  8. I did a double take when I saw your picture - looked awfully familiar. Then I got out Doug's sail and sign card and yes, we had #231 as well on our August sailing. We never saw the maitre'd either. Nice location, though. I liked how you could exit aft, without going back out to the lobby.
  9. I figured one of the crew who gets these 2 dollar bills as part of their tips donated one for the cause.😀
  10. I hated the sliding door buttons. We like to get tables either midships Lido near Guy's or aft, near pizza or the seafood line. If my hands were full I had to use my hip to push the button. Looked like I was doing a dance.😀 I always love your reviews, Jeff. Looking forward to the next 12 days.🙂
  11. One source of amusement (or amazement) to DH and me was to watch people lay claim to the tables in the bump-out areas with the full-length windows. If a table vacated, someone would be there in an instant, before the table could be cleared. One time we saw a group take over a table before everyone in the previous group had finished their meal.😮 I thought the food was fine - nothing great, but a good selection. We had breakfast and lunch there to save time, since we usually had somewhere else we wanted to be. DH was in the guest choir that rehearsed at 1315 on sea days, so Britannia didn't work for lunch.
  12. DH and I had after-dinner drinks in the Chart Room most of the 21 nights of our sailing. We would wait until the Britannia second seating started and then took our seats for the evening. I think a couple of nights we went to a show so we were a little late. The wait staff wondered where we were. And we were by no means the only regulars.🙂
  13. Our middle son renewed his NY driver's license last year and he didn't have all the documentation he needs for a Real ID, so he renewed a license that is stamped "Not for Federal purposes." . He was in college, and couldn't produce a tax bill or W-2. (In retrospect, he probably could have used a college transcript that showed residence, but hindsight is 20/20.🙂.) However, he has a passport and has had one since he was 4. Now, older son - he has a military ID, regular passport, and military passport. I don't think Real ID is high on his list.😀
  14. DH and I are jazz fans. We spent most evenings in the Chart Room. The music was good and the wait staff was fantastic.
  15. I mailed my renewal application on 8/31 and the new book arrived on 9/18. Our TA is happy - now she can work on our flights for our river cruise next summer.
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