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CruisingBeans

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About CruisingBeans

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Portland, Maine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival and Celebrity

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  1. Oh I wish they would get rid of February break (President’s day week) but it’s not happening anytime soon here in Maine or most New England states (I suspect). Usually when we do book group family cruises we use a cruise only travel agent we know and have used many times in past. I didn’t initially because it was only the 4 of us and easy to book online. I think I can still give her all the bookings and may consider this option now.
  2. Oh I wish they would get rid of February break (President’s day week) but it’s not happening anytime soon here in Maine or most New England states (I suspect). Usually when we do book group family cruises we use a cruise only travel agent we know and have used many times in past. I didn’t initially because it was only the 4 of us and easy to book online. I think I can still give her all the bookings and may consider this option now.
  3. I agree maryred- that was my understanding as well, but he called back the next day, booked an interior and the deposit was $100. I looked up the booking when I linked it. Weird huh!
  4. It’s the Magic and it’s break week for school in the Northeast so I’m not surprised it’s a popular booking. He called to book and the Carnival rep would only offer non refundable deposits. He asked because when he booked he did a refundable deposit fare. When I tried to mock book online they only offered the early saver and the won’t assign you a cabin yet for any of the categories. We were trying to figure out when the best chance to try and upgrade would be. If we can’t at least they have a cabin. They’ve never cruised before so they won’t have any comparison.
  5. So my immediate family and I decided to take a cruise during February 2020 break and all these other family members started jumping on. Which I’m cool with as it’s my favorite line and ship/itinerary I picked. So recently my sister in law and her young son decided to join us. So my father in law called Carnival to reserve her a cabin and was told only 20 cabins left. He was leary of booking a balcony for them (that’s what he wanted) due to the $500 non refundable deposit and there is 50% chance she’ll decide not to go. She’s never dependable (I said in law right?) So he booked her an inside room (deposit was less) and is getting trip insurance. Though he wants to try and upgrade her to a balcony later, he wanted to guarantee she had a cabin. Is it best to try and upgrade prior to final payment? Just after final payment? Is a PVP helpful with this? He had no issue with the price of the balcony- it was the non refundable deposit. He would also probe happy with an inside cabin closer to his cabin as well. Any advice appreciated! Thanks!
  6. We did Seaside this last December for a New Year’s Eve Cruise. I’m Platinum on Carnival and have been on 3 celebrity cruises. Here was our take- staff was very nice (but we traveled with young kids and they always seem nice to them). Dining room food was quite good, smaller portions but ordered different dishes, no issues with water. Buffet food was mundane and repetitive. Pizza was good. We had drink pack and no issues with water. Announcements were rarely in multiple languages, mostly English. Pool and slides are great. My kids loved them. The kids program goes later. No comedy they have Improv that is hit or miss. I went to one regular show and it was ok. The gelato is to die for but the soft serve has limited hours and is not DIY. It is not as friendly in general because people speak all different languages so not as much chit chat as on other cruises. I didn’t feel passengers were rude-just kept to themselves more. I’m originally from Ohio so this went against my nature but live in the Northeast now so not a deal breaker. My big big complaint was the drinks. They were awful- warm, not mixed well, sometimes weak and service was so/so at most bars. The best bar was the sports bar and I drank a lot of beer and wine which is not my thing when cruising. That is the only thing holding me back from cruising MSC again- so if that’s not your thing then try it.
  7. I think cruising is the best mom vacation. No dishes, no food prep, always kids food available and no extra charge so who cares if the don’t eat it! My kids love the water so always something to do. My oldest went on her first cruise at 2 and cried the whole time at the kids club- they called me to get her! Now she’s 8 - loves to cruise but doesn’t love the kids club but she’ll go. Her younger sister loves the kids club and would go all day. Take some laundry detergent and clean their clothes in sink. Blow up pool or bathtub works if they won’t shower.
  8. I am pretty sure charter buses are exempt from car seat laws. This includes shuttles. We often travel from Portland Maine to Boston on charter buses to catch flights and no car seat required. For taxis, it depends on the state, some require them. You would have to look that up but Florida traditionally has less restrictive car seat laws. If you Uber or Lyft you can request a driver who has a car seat- it’s an extra fee but possible. Now how comfortable you you are traveling without using a car seat is a whole other debate that I am staying out of. Head over to the cruising with families board for more on that debate.
  9. Nice start! Can’t wait for the rest. Though I’ll admit your profile pic and user name is what grabbed my attention. As a mom to 2 senior beagles I couldn’t pass up your review. We’ve never been on Breeze but we are going on it’s sister ship, Magic, in February. I suspect your group will get the most out of your cheers package so feel free to make recommendations on drinks to try-I love to try new yummy drinks while cruising.Thanks again for the review.
  10. My mom needs 8 more points to turn Platinum and we are going on an 8 day Magic Cruise in February. I told her she would be Platinum on the cruise- am I correct? I know it happens if you turn in the middle of the cruise but what if it’s the last day?
  11. I would choose #3- that’s my favorite itinerary but I’m a beach person with young daughters who love the beach. And good weather in Aruba is almost guaranteed. La Romana is often a boat day for us. My husband would pick new #2 as 2 stops we’ve never done (st Lucia and Barbados) and he is one of those who walks around and gets the local feel. Surprisingly he hasn’t been kidnapped/robbed or gotten lost and missed the boat yet (🙏🏻 knocking on wood). Wichever you pick- wishing you a wonderful cruise!
  12. I was wondering the same about the Magic aft pool, we sail February 2020. I think it’s family friendly like all other Dream class ships but I’ve never been on it. My kids enjoy the aft pools when available to get away from the commotion of the main pool.
  13. I’m pretty disappointed in Carnival if you don’t get all that deposit money back. Maybe not for all the cabins but at least your cabin. We had a family cruise booked for this past December and my dad was diagnosed with Leukemia. They cancelled air fare on American and B2B cruises- one week MSC and 1 week RCL. The oncologist wrote a letter advising against travel and that he was diagnosed after booking. The airline and both cruise lines refunded all their money including deposits. They did not have any travel insurance and it was going to be their first cruise on MSC.
  14. Ohh thanks for the info about NCL. I’m checking that out! Both kids loved the water park. The 4 1/2 yo could go on all but the inner tube slide (they do it by height) but she only went on the real little ones and brown one but loved the splash area. The 7 1/2 year old went on all of them. There at lifeguards at every pool, no drinks near pools or hot tubs and they count how many people in hot tubs do not overcrowded. Kids program until 11- I didn’t see an after hours on advertised. Yeah the adult improv was 10:45.
  15. Just of Seaside today. We were in a balcony Fantastica and it was my family with 4 1/2 yo and 7 1/2 yo and my brothers family with 21, 19 and 15 yo kids. It was the first MSC cruise for all of us. Usually we are Carnival or Celebrity cruisers. And we all enjoyed. Like every cruise I’ve been on there are always good and not so good things. But I’ve yet to go on a bad cruise! Cabin- yes shower is small, storage is small but none of this was surprising. I did my research. Luckily my daughters got bunk beds cause a pull out sofa would take up way too much room. I love the buttons/ lights to tell attendant when you are in/out of room and when you want it cleaned-learned the first night if you don’t press the button they’re not coming in. The ship is a year old - not sure why the shower was so moldy if the clean it every day, it wasn’t an huge issue for us but may be for someone else. Overall ship- beautiful, lay out a little choppy, hard to find bathrooms. If you want sun, have to go to Miami pool area. Jungle pool doesn’t have sun neither does the water park area. None us walked in to a mirror so that was a bonus. Get your waterslide bracelet day 1 as on day 2 the line is super long and if you already have it can jump on as soon as the open. Adults need bracelets too. The table is next to the end of the single blue slide with the inner tubes. Food- we all loved smaller portions. We had 7:15 dinner and good service except for drinks. It wasn’t any worse then any other cruise line- walk in with a full drink and order another immediately and you are good. The dinner ended at around 9. Made it a little difficult for kids program after but 5:15 was just too early. My family ate breakfast in dining room twice, one with good service and one bad. Breakfast menu is standard, regular fare. We had lunch in dining room twice, mostly because food on buffet was always the same it was nice to get something different. My brother’s family ate more often in dining room for breakfast/lunch and had great experiences. The food in buffet wasn’t bad just the same. This was fine for breakfast but got old for lunch. The pizza is good but even my kids got sick of it. Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t go hungry and this is not a deal breaker for us as food at dinner was great. Shows- I never go to shows, went to one cause I heard they were good. It was ok, not my thing. Very rude person behind us that caused person next to me to move seats. My husband went to adult improve and said it was pretty good. Book the shows you want early, the Michael Jackson show which is last night and filled quickly. Drinks- never found a bar I loved. The sports bar was the best sports bar I’ve ever seen but didn’t love to sit there dressed up after dinner. Drinks were average to below average so I drank a lot of beer and wine. Since I’m from a great craft beer city I will never find a cruise that has great beer. We upgraded from DOU to all inclusive deluxe. Included gelato and mini bar. My brother had drink tickets and waited to upgrade til on ship and did get some credit for vouchers. Bar service was on par with other cruise lines. Button on tables didn’t always work well. Liked that I could order a bunch of drinks at once (for kids and husband with one card) Kids program- my kids didn’t love it. Not sure why. The oldest only went after dinner but the younger went before and after. They had themes and parties but because of dinner often missed the face painting. I didn’t feel the staff there knew the kids as well as other cruise programs. They never refused to go, I think they just preferred other ones. Fellow passengers- other than the fact that lots of different languages were spoken, it was very similar to other cruises. People can be rude no matter where they are from (trash and food left on elevators, cutting people, being pushy). Ports- hadn’t been to them since having kids. We don’t do ship tours. Ocho Rios- climbed falls, did the boat to falls tour- it was 40$ person, included falls guide. Grand Cayman- Turtle Center- this was great if you have kids 3-7 especially who want to try snorkeling cause you snorkel with turtles but don’t take a taxi there take the bus, it’s 2.50 per person. Cozumel- shopped a little and stayed on boat which was empty. Nassau- walked to public beach. Overall we had a lovely cruise. I would go on MSC again if price was right and different ports.
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