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About CarrieAP

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Syracuse, NY

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  1. I've been using TA for my cruises recently (and am kicking myself for not doing so on one next spring because I could have gotten ~$400 OBC) but will not for airfare. Became aware of a problem last year when a winter storm cancelled many flights. We overheard airline counter staff turn away folks looking to rebook who had used agencies/ sites, such as Expedia. I hadn't considered that aspect so will continue to book my flights directly from now on.
  2. Have a wonderful journey and look forward to hearing about it! We've taken 3 MSC Caribbean cruises, with our first to/in Europe next spring so that will be a new experience for us. And yes, agree wholeheartedly with the helpfulness of the folks on this forum!
  3. On our cruise earlier this month we ate outside on the sundeck most days. They serve until 10:00, with made to order omelettes/eggs, other breakfast staples, as well as lovely mimosas and cappuccino. No better way to start the day! On a particularly lazy day we did head to the Biscayne Bay Buffet on deck 16 that served breakfast later, 10:30-11 depending on the day. No crowds by that late time and we found it convenient and satisfactory. Oddly, we never did make it to the YC restaurant for breakfast. Lucky you, enjoy your cruise!!
  4. They have been open from12-2 during seadays on this weeks’s Cruise.
  5. Tons of storage!! Seems a waste for our current 1 week cruise lol. We packed for 2 weeks with land stays on both ends and still have empty drawers. Next spring we’re spending 20 nights on Meraviglia in an inside YC cabin then two 7 night B2B’s in Fantastica Balcony. That will be quite the logistical challenge for us!
  6. Thanks for your comparison!! Would eagerly try Viking if could get a reasonable rate. Will keep an eye out for the TAs based on your review to see if I can find one to fit our budget.
  7. Congratulations and what a blessing!! Please note that it is not safe to cruise (i.e. be in the middle of an ocean) with a baby younger than 1 year per society of pediatric physicians. When little ones get sick they can deteriorate quickly. While there are doctors on board they do not have the required pediatric knowledge or resources. Depending on the port stops, resources may also be limited there as well.
  8. OMG your Yacht Club stay on the Divina will blow you out of the water! That's been our favorite cruise thus far. The ship is beautiful. Met lots of lovely people from around the world and loved our evenings sitting in Laluna lounge listening to music while people watching. Loved your report- thanks for sharing!
  9. Warning: you may find yourselves talking about that pineapple for years to come! My daughters still bring it up 2 years after our Getaway cruise. I admittedly was a little leery but oh my it was heaven and my daughter still berates me for not buying more lol.
  10. Wow, tough crowd here. I do empathize with your experience and appreciate your sharing it. I sadly do not make perfect, fully informed decisions 100% of the time and also would be disappointed to find myself in such a cabin. Hope your cruise was enjoyable otherwise.
  11. Lovely review (as always) and absolutely gorgeous pictures! Some are truly spellbinding. Thank you for sharing your adventures and perspective!
  12. Thanks for sharing your virgin cruise experience. Great report! Sounds like you were well prepared and accomplished a lot. We were so naive when we started cruising lol. Even though I’m a night owl at home I too find I get pooped out earlier then expected when I cruise. Curious to see if you got bit by the cruise bug like so many of us on these boards!
  13. Personally I enjoy details regarding planning, logistics, and of course experiences along the journey. To be honest, I enjoy reading almost all the reviews! I’ve learned so much on these boards. Mostly though I’ve been inspired to broaden my travel horizons through the generosity of those taking the time to share their stories.
  14. Great review- am enjoying immensely! We’ll be in Nassau in March and now I’m actually excited about getting off the ship. This is the first time hearing about the staircase, thank you!
  15. NCL and MSC seem to be our current go to lines. We've sailed both on a couple different ships each and have more scheduled. Each is terrific, though they each have a different feel. MSC is Italian and generally has a mix of US and European passengers. Some complain about announcements in multiple languages, but that to us is trivial; there are a few other quirks but MSC has evened many of those out to appeal to US passengers when sailing out of the US. Even with a language barrier we've met lovely people that have added to our enjoyment of the cruise so the international aspect of MSC appeals to us. The Seaside is an amazing ship! Stunning, decorated with mirrors and lots of glam such as crystal imbedded staircases. It also has all the bells and whistles one finds on the new large ships. Lots of activies including water slides, zip line, bowling etc. Great selection of pools and water parks, including a covered pool that NCL lacks. The high end drink package outshines NCL making it a valuable perk. Great, high end alcoholic drinks, but also coffees and water. They serve the larger bottled water with meals in the European style of sparkling or still. What a treat having cappuccinos with breakfast and after dinner! The high end package also has included the mini bar and gelato, though a reshuffling has made some changes that are still being sorted out. Either way, MSC excels with the more inclusive nature of their packages. Dinner, as stated above, is more traditional for the Bella or Fantastic experiences. The Aurea experience (and Yacht Club) does include a my time type of dining option. There are a nice variety of speciality restaurants that do add some dining flexibility. Personally, I wouldn't let the set dining times prevent me from trying MSC. The shows are high energy, with lots of acrobatics integrated. They are shorter in duration which makes them less of a time commitment. We're sailing on the Seaside again in March. This is the first time we've ever repeated a ship, which indicates how much we enjoyed it. 7 nights felt too short to get a feel for the ship so another trip is needed. 15 nights sounds absolutely perfect!! Let me know of any specific questions you may have. Carrie
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