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Warm Breezes

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About Warm Breezes

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    Reading, Cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Which ever one I am on.
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Where ever my cruise takes me.

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  1. I do agree that some cruise lines have very uncomfortable chairs on their balcony. Princess is one that immediately came to my mind. Haven't really had an issue with Carnival or NCL. Having said that, I do pay attention to balcony size when I book a room. On NCL Escape I discovered angled balconies that you can get for the same price as regular balconies and ask for a lounger on it. This was awesome. I have also had my first Aft balcony on NCL Getaway with 2 loungers and 2 chairs....absolutely loved it. I have my first Aft balcony booked on Carnival on the Mardi Gras next year. I am definitely becoming a balcony snob.
  2. Before we take any vacation (land or sea) I keep a Excel Spreadsheet that has our Itinerary, Confirmation Numbers, Addresses, Phone Numbers, and Costs with a separate tab with a packing check list. I keep an e-mail folder with e-mail confirmations for all future planned vacations. Before we leave I print/email some copies of our itinerary (minus the costs plus emergency phone numbers/e-mails) to give/send to selected members of my family, work, and my Mother's assisted living facility in case of an emergency. I also print one of for myself with the costs and the packing check list as well as e-mail confirmations/boarding docs/travel insurance/etc which I put in a folder to keep in my carry-on travel bag while we travel. After our trip is completed, I delete all related e-mails and the excel sheet from my files and update an excel sheet I have with all of our past cruise information date/ship/days/itinerary/room type/excursions/who went with us. Everything else but our memories, souvenirs, and photos/videos get trashed.
  3. We have had one Aft Balcony so far on NCL Getaway and have our second booked next year on CCL Mardi Gras. What I loved about having an Aft Balcony was having a large private space with a beautiful view of the ocean and my own lounger....never had to deal with the crowded lido or chair hogs.
  4. OP I must be one of your suckers. I purchased a tanzanite ring on my Carnival Fantasy cruise in 2017 with my casino winnings and because I like it so much I purchased a matching tanzanite necklace on our NCL Getaway cruise last year. Having said that I bought them because I liked them and the price was right. Period. I don't spend a lot of money on jewelry and I didn't on these pieces either. It's not where I want to spend my money. I've gotten lots of compliments on both since I purchased them and I spent less than $100 on each. In fact I am wearing both my ring and necklace right now. They go perfectly with the outfit I chose for today. I may be a sucker but I do like the tanzanite pieces I purchased and to me that is all that counts.
  5. We prefer tables for 2. If possible we ask for a booth to ensure privacy. Not a fan of the tables for 2 that are 6 inches apart and 2-3 tables are treated like one table by the wait staff. Not really a table for 2 anymore. Our worst experience of this was on Princess. Never really had to wait for a table either except for some short waits on elegant nights.
  6. Of course it is additional income stream. They are a business. A business whose job is to maximize the revenues of it's shareholders or they wouldn't be a business. They are not a non-profit organization. But they are also not the bad guy out to personally get you. I'm not sure why you hold that against them. Your job as the consumer is to spend your money wisely on the things you want or need, or not if you so choose. But you do have a choice and the buying power to take your business elsewhere. Apparently there are enough buyers of Carnival's excursions and wi-fi that it is profitable for their business. If they didn't they wouldn't be selling them. Excellent business decision on their part is what I believe.
  7. LOL. The last past guest party we went to before they changed the program and our gold status no longer got us in, DH drank about that many rum punches in 45 minutes. I couldn't even get 1 down because they were strong and in the larger glasses. Needless to say we missed dinner that night as DH spent the evening the rest room while I made my way to the buffet and then down to the casino by myself. He also missed Grand Turk the next day too while I got off to do a little shopping. I don't think DH has had a rum punch since then🀒. I don't think he really missed the party that much either.
  8. My first encounter with CHOGS was on our 2011 NCL Epic cruise. Not a chair be found on the sea days. All had bodies or things on them. After that it was only balconies for us with exception of a 2 short cruises on smaller ships where we stayed on the ships at port. Problem solved. I'd rather be on my private balcony than on a crowded deck when looking for some sun and ocean. We now save our deck time for port days when we are at ports that we stay on the ship. When the masses are away we will come out and play. If there is no port where we are staying on the ship I am finding myself booking larger balconies with my own lounger(s). I'd rather pay for this added private space in the sun then spend the money on a drink package. To each his own. All I know is I rarely even go on the public open decks anymore unless it is a port day and then I enjoy having them mostly to myself. It's beautiful, I never even see the CHOGS anymore.
  9. 1-2 times a year depending on how many week long + land vacations we take that year. Our schedules currently allow us to take 3 week long + vacations a year. Two of those vacations are just DH and myself and one of those vacations is with our adult kids who are 22 and 25-both unmarried. DS lives 16 hours away so we like to have a family vacation for everyone to reconnect. One of those vacations is usually a cruise, in recent years that has been two of those vacations have been cruises. I will be retiring in Jan 2021. DH is already retired. I expect that number to go up, both land and cruise vacations, once our time is freed up from job demands.
  10. It depends on the ships that are being priced the same. If the ships were apples to apples in terms of size and age I would probably pick Royal since we haven't tried them yet and I would like to if the price was right for a sailing I wanted. A few years ago we compared NCL Epic and Royal Oasis of the Seas. Both were newer bigger ships at the time. Both had the same itinerary in reverse of each other for the same week. NCL Epic was $1000 less for the same type of rooms (needed 2). Just couldn't justify spending $1000 more for Royal. These are the mass cruise lines we have yet to sail HAL, Cunard, Celebrity, Royal, and MSC. We have sailed Disney, Carnival, NCL, and Princess. If prices and ships were comparable between all these lines right now my order of preferences would be as follows: 1) Royal-want to try since it would be new to us and looks like we may like it 2) Celebrity-want to try since it would be new to us and looks like we may like it 3) NCL-My current favorite line 4) CCL-DH's current favorite line 5) Disney-Our current favorite line with small kids - would love to go again when I have Grand kids to enjoy it with 6) MSC-although this would be new to us this line has not sparked our interest as others have for some reason 7) Princess-a line I don't wish to go back to until well into our retirement. I can only take so much of "My Way" on a ship-heard it way too much on our Ruby Princess sailing. '8) Hal and Cunard tied for last....again 2 more lines that will probably be higher up the list once we have been retired for a few years. Right now they just don't interest us.
  11. I found a good TA that gets me about 10% back on my cruises unless I book a casino deal on Carnival. From previous experience with him, I know he can't beat the casino deal so I always book those direct and use discounted Carnival Gift Cards I get from Meijer or AARP for an additional 10% off my casino rate. Otherwise when I call my TA, it is after I do my research so I know the ship, sailing, and cost for the specific room I am looking for. I just need him to book my cruise for me and he gives me approximately 10% more OBC than I could get booking direct with the cruise line and sometimes he has a lower rate as well if he has a group booking on that sailing. I have had times when the prices have dropped. I would just send him an e-mail with screen shots of what I am seeing and he takes care of it with the cruise line. I'm all for saving money where I can. Keep in mind that these places cannot advertise a lower rate than the cruise line. You need to call them directly and get a quote from them.
  12. 1. Because this port is almost always on any Eastern Caribbean Itineraries we go on and we like going to the other islands on those itineraries. 2. Since we have been to Nassau many times now we have seen all the attractions there that we want to see there...quite frankly we were not impressed with any of them and felt they were a waste of money. 3. Nassau is always overcrowded both with tourists and vendors. 4. The vendors in Nassau are extremely pushy and aggressive. A sure way not to get me to purchase anything there.
  13. I try to book an Embassy Suites at our Departure ports for the night before and enjoy the evening managers reception with free drinks and snacks. When the DD(22) and DS(25) are with us we usually get a game of Uno going while we enjoy our evening refreshments. If there is a casino close by we will sometimes visit there for a while too.
  14. Personally I don't look at it as a negative to stay on the ship at a port. Not all of us sail just for the ports. Sometimes we do and sometimes we don't. When we don't, an empty ship is a wonderful place to relax. Getting to the point where you don't feel like we are missing something if we don't get off, for us, has given us more time to enjoy parts of the ship that are usually crowded with people. Sitting in a jacuzzi with a drink and no one around is wonderful and relaxing. Not sure why you think it has to be a negative thing. I am looking forward to doing just this on our next cruise in Grand Cayman. I can avoid the crowded tenders, already swam with the sting rays and dolphins, visited Hell, 7 mile beach, the Turtle Farm, and Rum Cake factory. This time I will let the crowds go do that while I am looking out over the ocean with a drink in my hand in jacuzzi on an empty Serenity Deck. Sounds like heaven 😍 to me...I won't even miss Hell 😈.
  15. I would never believe anyone who told me the odds were pretty strong that you can take an early flight on embarkation day and make your cruise. We have always gone in a day or two early, but there were a few times out of all our sailings that if we had been flying in the day of we would have missed our cruise on the flights we were on....even taking an early flight and not due to weather. Our second cruise flying to direct from Detroit to Orlando we had to make an emergency landing in Tennessee due to mechanical issues and were stuck on the ground for 5 hours. Our 10th cruise flying direct from Detroit to Ft. Lauderdale we had to wait 5 hours for a replacement plane from Pennsylvania due to our plane having mechanical issues. There were many people on both flights having to make other arrangements quickly in order to make their cruise that day. I couldn't tell you if they all made it or not. They definitely did not make it if they stayed with us and waited since we didn't get into Florida until after 5 pm both times. Friends of ours had a flight from Detroit to San Juan cancelled due to a pilots strike the morning of their flight. Luckily they were flying in a day early and were able to get there the next day before the ship left on another airline. On our last cruise on his way home DS had his layover flight in Minneapolis St. Paul to Minot delayed until the next day and ended up sleeping at the airport. He never did find out why. They weather was fine there. We have had many other non-cruise flight delays too that I would never take the chance to come in the same day and I would never say the odds were pretty strong. Especially for us. We were stuck sitting on the tarmac in Las Vegas for 3 hours waiting for approval to take off on one vacation. We came extremely close to missing our connecting flight to Michigan in Milwaukee. They had already given our seats away to people on stand by and had to get the people off the plane they gave our seats to. We had a direct flight from Chicago to Orlando that was delayed in Chicago for 4 hours due to mechanical issues. I count my blessings every time we have a flight with no issues.
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