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Everything posted by ScottsSweetie

  1. EXACTLY. For instance, on the Panorama we played lots of trivia at Ocean Plaza (I think that's what that area is called) near the coffee bar. No masks required while playing trivia. Masks required if a tie-breaker and one is called to the dance floor area near the host. No masks required while walking around the ship. In the evening this place is used as a music venue. There was NO sign at the beginning of the cruise, then halfway through the cruise a sign appeared noting that masks are mandatory on the dance floor. Most dancers did NOT wear a mask and no one appeared to attempt enforcement. There were never enough dancers at one time that social distancing was not doable.
  2. I think that the 9/4 sailing (disembark 9/11) was the last sailing that docked at a "normal time", meaning the all clear was called by 10:00am. That may have been due to a combination of the propulsion issues + having our last port at Cabo cancelled due to Hurricane Olaf. Most of the postings I have seen on subsequent sailings have noted that the planned docking is at 9:00am, and it will be a fair amount of time after that when debark begins. I believe you are right to be concerned.
  3. I would definitely change that. I debarked on 9/11 and our all clear and last call was right before 10:00am, but it seems that we were an anomaly and the only cruise since restart to have such a timely debark. The cruise that came in on 9/4 (my embark day) was late in debarking, and the cruise sailing on 9/11 was not scheduled to dock until 9:00am, and it takes a while to get clearance to start debark after docking. I would definitely change that flight!
  4. I'm confused by this - you had someone call you every single day that you had covid to answer questions? When I had covid, CVS called me on the way home from my test and said call a doctor if you get bad symptoms, quarantine for 10 days and good luck. No one ever contacted me again. Also, if your contact number was cell only then how would they know where you were when answering the phone - you wouldn't have to be home. I have honestly never heard of anyone who had follow-up like this.
  5. That was my understanding also - 100% vaccinated, no exemptions for Alaska cruises.
  6. If you are this worried then cruising may not be the right vacation choice for you at this time. I can't imagine you would be very relaxed on the ship with these worries in the back of your mind.
  7. Try and make your reservations as soon as you can. I looked at booking something during a port day and noticed that the closer you get to sailing day the more expensive the appointments get. Something that might start off at $100 the first day you see it offered can be up to $130 the next time you look!
  8. We did not eat at the buffet during lunch or dinner. We did go in to get gelato and order from the deli once and on those days I did not see or seek out the desserts. However - I did go into the buffet specifically on the last day to get something chocolate from the chocolate buffet always held on the last full day. It was pitiful. Unfortunately for your husband, I saw only 6 or 7 cakes. No puddings, no mousses, no pies, no marshmallows or fruits with chocolate. It was so disappointing. My hubby got the peanut butter chocolate cake - horrible. We couldn't finish the slice between the two of us. I got the chocolate bourbon pecan cake. It was quite yummy despite the absence of any actual pecans.
  9. You'll have to be a very good actor indeed to "pretend to play" during refueling on embark day, while the casino is CLOSED. 😏 And I sincerely hope that anyone who sees you lighting up during refueling reports you immediately, as that poses a hazard to the entire ship.
  10. I did not keep my info, so I'm doing this from memory and may be a little off. If your schedule is reversed like ours was, then you will have 2 sea days - PV - Mazatlan - Cabo - 1 sea day. Puerto Vallarta - arrival around 9:00am - departure 8:30pm/9:00pm. I know that we were still docked when we went to dinner at 8:15 and it was sometime after that when sailaway started. Mazatlan - I think we arrived around 8:00am/8:30am - we had to report to excursion meeting place at 9:15 and the all clear for debark was given between that time and 9:45. Back on board time was around 4:30 or 5:00. Cabo San Lucas arrival was around 6:30am and I believe back on board time was 1:00pm. If your schedule is reversed as ours was then this is also your 2nd elegant night.
  11. The only real downside to the port order changing is that your visit to Cabo starts really early and back on board time is 1:00pm. We experienced no problems due to the announced propulsion issue. As noted above on post #2, we did seem to be moving pretty well.
  12. You really eat dinner after 8:45pm? I don't believe the buffet is open after that time, either.
  13. I have seen this reported elsewhere on this site - it must be an extra precaution being taken now. It is not a bad idea.
  14. Forgot to say - disembark was awesome! We were given luggage tag #3 (Platinum early disembark), but were not in a hurry to get in the car and drive home. I got tags #18 instead and we had breakfast and relaxed. The all clear for all numbers was given right before 10:00am, so it appears that it went swimmingly for all involved. You're welcome, 9/11 cruisers!! 😄
  15. Cleaning - more than usual and all the time! You could hardly finish a drink or a plate before someone was taking it and hovering in the area to clean your table once you've left. Ship - in great condition, which was expected since she's still really brand new. We had a room in the back on deck 7, and we walked our booty's off! When I book this ship again I will definitely book mid-ship because it was a lot of walking. Forgot to say in the food portion of the review - between the meh food and all the walking I LOST 2 POUNDS on this cruise - never have I lost weight before on a cruise! Never an issue finding a lounger. We rode the Sky Ride, did the ropes course and played 2 rounds of mini golf - all good! Staff & Entertainment - we enjoyed Lee and his entertainment staff. He may not be everyone's cup of tea but I think he does a great job (we sailed with him in 2017 on the Sunshine also). The Panorama Rockband (as they are listed in the activities - their band name is Rubber Duck) is not to be missed. They have quite the eclectic playlist - country, pop, rock - even some rap. They are FUN! The violin trio that plays in the atrium are great also - and just as eclectic. The biggest response I heard to them was after a Metallica song. The one disappointment in entertainment is the Pig & Anchor set-up. The musicians are set up back in the corner far away from the bar. There is no way to enjoy the musicians unless you enter the restaurant part of the facility. We visited one night to have a couple beers and listen to the music - sat at a high 2-top just off the bar area. We were given the stink eye when we ordered beers and told the server we would not be dining, and we had trouble getting him to come back so we could order another round - so we left. Masks - I will say that compliance with the mask policy is around 80% - 85%. There are workers at all entrances of the buffet making sure everyone is masked (and will give you one if needed). Of course, once you sit at the table it comes off - I would say compliance here is 100%. Also, compliance in elevators was around 100% - I never saw anyone entering or exiting an elevator without a mask. In the comedy club and show lounge, it's a bit lower. They have people at the door reminding you to mask, and there are pre-recorded announcements every few minutes reminding you that it is a mandatory mask area and you are required to "sip and cover". Of course, there are lots of people who ignore this. It is not a requirement to wear a mask while walking around the ship - but I would say that about half of people do. All in all, despite losing a port, food being meh, and DH and I taking turns not feeling well, we had a good cruise and surely will be on the Panorama again in the near future. Any questions, please ask away!
  16. We skipped Cabo because of Tropical Storm Olaf - it was not yet a hurricane. It would have been unsafe to operate the tenders. Also, after getting of the ship and reading about the hurricane it appears that Cabo closed the port as part of their preparations pre-hurricane. It had nothing to do with the propulsion issue.
  17. Food - meh. We had breakfast one morning at Blue Iguana - all other mornings at the buffet. It was fine. I really missed the fruit. They have no berries, no watermelon, no pineapple. Fruit is always a big part of my breakfast on ship as I find it's the best opportunity to save those calories! I did find the watermelon slices on the Blue Iguana salsa bar on the next to last day. For lunch we sampled Pig & Anchor, mongolian wok, the deli and Guy's. We sampled the gelato a couple of days. Dinner was a real disappointment for us this time. Firstly, we always have assigned dining as we love to chat with our wait time. Despite the dining room being very empty they just have no time for chatting as they used to. We saw our head waiter in the breakfast area one morning and had a nice long chat with him. He has been with Carnival for 20 years, so he has experienced all of the changes that we have. For instance, he told us that there is now no bar service in the DR (save the damn shot people coming around every night). He says they really don't have the time to perform bar service, but they also are being graded by how much alcohol they sell. Dining times varied from about an hour to hour and a half (the second night was the longest). We were so disappointed in the food - we had very few things that we commented that were very good. I almost never finished a plate of food. I had chocolate melting cake twice - once it was great; once it was so overcooked there was no melted part. DH had it twice also - once it was great, and once it was so undercooked that it was completely soup. Bar Service - never had a problem getting service. This was our first time having Cheers (booked under the elusive RU1 code). We don't normally drink a lot, but did take advantage of having drinks included on this trip. Must tell you this story - we visited the Alchemy Bar early on the first elegant night. There were two women sitting at the bar - we sat at the outer ring on the end (on the low bar area). We notice that one of the women has her hands over her face and appears to be not feeling well. All of a sudden, she THROWS UP all over the bar in front of her. Her companion starts trying to get her up and moving back to their room, which took a while. The bar staff, meanwhile, immediately jumps into action. They tore that bar apart! First off, about 3 or 4 officers in their dress uniforms show up to monitor the situation. The staff then proceeded to strip everything off of and out of the bar, including emptying and sanitizing all of their ice bins. We were allowed to stay and finish our drinks since we were at the outside bar while of course other patrons were turned away. We were sure that this would be the cleanest bar on the ship when they finished - it was quite an impressive show, and I felt so bad for the bar staff. Please don't be the person who does this!
  18. When I booked this cruise, we really thought it wouldn't happen and I was just fishing for the OBC. Imaging our surprise when we actually started on the date announced. I figured California would be several months behind any cruising beginning in Florida, but obviously I was wrong. Since I didn't really expect it to happen I never really looked into private excursions, so we ended up booking excursions through Carnival. Since things were changing so quickly, and I figured the excursions would be capacity controlled a little more than normal we just decided that was the best thing to do here. In Puerto Vallarta we booked the Local Flavours and Traditions tour. This tour involved a tour through the city with some narration and then a trip up an down a mountain, on a dirt road - a week after a hurricane came through. I'm a girl who doesn't like driving on the highway on a mountain, so it was a little rough for me. This was actually held at a new location, so not the villa on top of the mountain with the gorgeous sights promised, but it was a beautiful place. Actually at the bottom of a mountain next to a rushing river - very tropical. The original tour mentions a pool for swimming and hammocks for lounging - this place has a pool, but it's not open. No lounging areas either. Margaritas and beer were provided - bottled water available for a fee. We made salsa, guacamole, a tostada and an enchilada. Masks were worn on the bus with pretty much 100% compliance but once seated at the tables (shared by 4 people) masks were not required. This was a nice excursion. Please don't forget to tip your tour guides (and realize that there will be several). Tips were left in a basket for the entire staff to share (there were probably 7 or 8 people between the chef, wait staff, bar staff, etc.). Also tips for the bus driver and tour guide on the bus. In Mazatlan we booked the Mini Speed Boat tour. We had fun on this one - I have seen these offered in several locations and wanted to do it for a while. We had a really nice tour of the downtown area, the malecon and the main tourist area (I think called the Gold district?). Upon arriving at the marina we were delivered to the beach and split into 2 groups - our group had about hour and a half at the beach first and then our boat tour which was a little over an hour. Vendors were plentiful but were required to stay behind a rope line, so unless you're in the front row of chairs you won't be bothered. They accepted our "no thank you" easily when we walked the beach. The water was horrible as they had just recovered from a hurricane - so much mud and silt churned up. Too bad as it was a great temp to play in. Drinks were included and available from your beach chair (don't forget to tip!). Lunch was included inside the restaurant. The boat portion of the tour was great. If you own your own boat you will probably not like this tour, but we really enjoyed it. The tour stays in the canal (no open ocean). For most of it you play follow the leader at a fairly slow pace, but you do reach a really big area where you are able to open up and go as fast as you want for about 15 minutes or so. It was a lot of fun. This tour takes a bit of a nose-dive at the end when you are let off the bus to visit a jewelry store on the malecon, where your tour guide will give you a sticker with his name on it (so he gets his kickback?). Had a bit of a walk on the malecon (maybe 10 minutes) and then back on the bus. After returning to the ship, it was around 5:00pm when the captain made the announcement that there would be no Cabo San Lucas stop the next day. If you are an experienced cruiser, when the announcement comes into your cabin you know something is up - if it's the captain then you really know it's a big announcement. We allowed ourselves time to sulk and then got over it - because what else are you going to do?
  19. DH and I sailed on 9/4 on the Panorama. Originally itinerary was 1 sea day - Cabo San Lucas - Mazatlan - Puerto Vallarta - 2 sea days - return. About 3 days before sailing the itinerary was completely reversed. Then, due to Hurricane Olaf our Cabo San Lucas stop turned into a sea day. C'est la vie. Embark was a mixed bag - I chose an 11:30 check-in time. We got in line at 11:40 - there was one really long line. No line for people arriving early or late so no confirmation if they are adhering to check-in times (the people right in front and behind me had the same as me). We reached the building at 12:00pm. At 12:25 we entered the actual check-in line after 2 document checks and security. We boarded approximately 12:40. I really did not expect it to take an hour with a capacity controlled appointment. Upon boarding, we went to muster, where our names were checked off the list. That's it. No life vest instructions, no demonstration. Nada.
  20. No rhyme or reason that I can tell. We have around 20 Carnival cruises - I have cruised twice without DH (many years ago). He has much better pp rate offers than I do; however, we just got back from a cruise and now I have the elusive RU1 offer which he doesn't have. 🤷‍♀️
  21. Yeah, I saw that too. My take on this is that I see supply line issues here in my own stores, from groceries to furniture to appliances. I would expect to maybe see less choice and maybe less stations open due to capacity. However, I do expect the offerings that they have to be good and tasty (at least to the level of pre-covid). We don't do the buffet a lot due to other options, but occasionally we will eat there. I'll see for myself in two days!!
  22. That is only for covid - not any other illnesses or diseases.
  23. Well, you can keep wanting that, but Carnival has made it clear that they are reporting to the authorities the info required, and they are not going to do anything more.
  24. I'm thinking that the port changes, or port hour changes he is referring to have something to do with a mix of the propulsion issue and Hurricane Nora. But the ship arriving in Long Beach at 8:00am is the piece that I'm interested in, lol.
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