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Writerfl

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About Writerfl

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    United States
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Carribean

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  1. Just did this on Empress. Brunch is a bit of a misnomer as the selections are pure lunch. Meat and cheese antipasti, choice of around four different appetizers, main course is either a 6 ounce filet mignon, cold lobster tail or one other that I'm drawing a blank on. Three or four dessert options. Mimosas flow VERY freely and the gallery tour beforehand was fascinating. We got the single Chops dinner and Brunch package, booked onboard for $59 plus grats. I thought that was a pretty good value and enjoyed both meals. I should add that it was sit-down service, not a buffet like the unwashed masses received on sea day.
  2. Sorry, no photos at all. Twangster has pretty much slammed the book on this one. His recent review has dozens of really professional looking photos, MUCH better than I could do with my little Canon Rebel. Again sorry, no drink menus cause I don't drink. I did, however, have the soda package and definitely got my money's worth, especially since ALL previously purchased packages were extended without cost for the remainder of the cruise.
  3. Hi all. Just off the extended Empress cruise where we hit every major cruise port in the Western Caribbean (except Ocho Rios). Detailed review to follow, but the TL;DR is "Fantastic Time, great food, amazing crew, teeny weeny cabins, surly Guest Services staff, but overall a super effort under trying circumstances." While I'm putting the review together, feel free to AMA.
  4. I'll be on Empress August 24-Sept 1. Back in the 80's I sailed on both Emerald Seas when she was Eastern Cruise Lines and Azure Seas when she was Western Cruise Lines before they were both bought out by Admiral. It's funny that, thirty years later, I'm going to complete the Trifecta by sailing on what was to be "Future Seas". Twangster, thank you a million times over for your excellent review. I was somewhat apprehensive as I've never sailed RCI before, but it;s obvious that you really, really enjoyed your time on Empress. Now I'm quite looking forward to it.
  5. Texas also charges state cigarette taxes on cartons bought through duty free while on the cruise, whether purchased on board or at a port. That's $15 a carton, taking away most of the price break enjoyed by buying duty free. They also collect between $3.25 and $5.50 for liquor purchased while on the cruise, duty free or not. If you live outside the state it doesn't matter that you're "in transit" and that none of the goods will be consumed in Texas, they still want their pound of flesh. Even though the individual amounts are small I refuse to support this behavior, so I'll not be sailing out of Galveston ever. Reference: https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1382/~/texas-tax-declaration%3A-the-texas-alcoholic-beverage-commission-(tabc)
  6. In Costa Maya the town of Mahahual is a $3, 10 minute taxi ride away, and is not to be missed. Tons of souvenir vendors, very beautiful, sleepy and SAFE little town. Some excellent restaurants as well with beach seating. The sargassum won't be a problem in town either as there's a sand bar about 100 yards off shore that holds almost all of it back. One of my favorite places to visit.
  7. Hi folks. I'm due for my first RCI sailing on August 24 on the Empress western Caribbean itinerary and I'm curious about what Royal does for solo travelers. By comparison Carnival tends to ignore them, offering a one-time solo cruisers meetup on the daily activities page that is rarely if ever attended by cruise ship staff and nothing thereafter On the other hand Norwegian has a dedicated solo host who organizes daily meetups and optional group dinners. They also invite all the solos for a tour of the Studio cabins and lounge (and lately, a pitch for the spa at the same time). What does Royal do? Will there be a scheduled introductory meeting? Will there be any organized activities after that meeting? Any information will be greatly appreciated.
  8. Actually, physic IS a word. It is an archaic term for medicine, usually a laxative. Imjustsayin.
  9. Just posted on Carnival.com: Cuba Update - 06/05/19 – 8:00 AM (EDT)The U.S. government has imposed a series of new sanctions on Cuba prohibiting travel via cruise ship and rescinding certain categories of authorized travel, which previously allowed U.S. citizens to visit Cuba under the People-to-People program. Effective immediately, cruise ship travel is no longer allowed and we are required to cancel our visit to Havana. We have replaced our call to Havana with a replacement port to provide our guests with the best experience ashore. Guests currently aboard Carnival Sensation’s June 3rd sailing will be calling on Cozumel this Thursday instead of Havana. We recognize Havana is a unique destination and may have been the reason for the selection of this itinerary. Along with our apologies, guests will receive a $100 onboard credit posted to their Sail & Sign® Account.We are in the process of notifying our other guests of their new itineraries and their options, in the order of sailing date proximity. Mailings for sailings through the end of July 2019, are now in progress. Guests will have the following options:• Remain on the sailing and receive a US$100.00, per person, onboard credit (no need to call us if you are continuing with your plans to sail with us) • Move to another itinerary and receive a US$50.00, per person, onboard credit• Cancel and receive a full refundWe are working as quickly as possible to secure alternative itineraries for the remainder of our Cuba voyages and expect to have information for sailings further out in the next 2-3 days. In the meantime, please check back on our website for further updates. We sincerely apologize to our guests for this unexpected change and thank them for their understanding. We look forward to welcoming them on board a Carnival cruise in the near future. ***** Personal Note: Well done, Carnival. Eminently fair.
  10. I had a balcony guarantee on one cruise that was assigned as a Spa Balcony and I thought "awesome". Then I researched it and the cabin had horrible reviews (ping pong tables overhead, angled mini-suite balcony next door that was all up in your business). Since I'm not a Spa kinda guy I called NCL to find out what my options were and was able to "upgrade" to a normal balcony in a more favorable location for about $100, BUT when I did that it became a regular reservation and I got the "Pick Three Free" applicable at the time, giving me back about $300 in freebies. Win-win.
  11. I'll throw my two cents in. Booked a Balcony Guaranty on the Tuesday before the ship sailed Sunday. I'm just Bronze, made Silver on this 5 day trip. Got my cabin assignment the next day, it was a BA on Deck 10. No complaints. I've done this a total of three times on NCL and been happy every time. DON'T get me started on Carnival, who has given me cabin assignments I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy's dog. I no longer travel the (not very) Fun Ships.
  12. Coke or Pepsi on board? Price per drink/can/bottle? Thanks!
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