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Everything posted by mulewagon

  1. I bring a waterproof pouch for my phone and sit in the hot tub and read books. Bonus if it's one overlooking the ocean! It also makes for interesting pictures. Sometimes I hang out in the pool between floating and reading. Sure, there's kids jumping in and out but I enjoy watching them have fun.
  2. Hot tub That high place up front with my camera and the wind trying to knock me down Falling exhausted into that lovely neat bed in a tidy room where somebody else washes the towels
  3. I carry my phone in a waterproof bag because I like to sit in the hot tub and read books on the Kindle app. I leave a few things in a bag by the poolside: coverup, prescription glasses, sunscreen, beach shoes. Nothing anybody else would want.
  4. One, two, three, testing...
  5. I love the packing and prep! I read other people's lists and get ideas of more things to bring. It's not inconvenient -- everything is in smaller bags or pouches so I can get the cabin set up in about 10 minutes. And we both bring different nice outfits for every evening. More this time because we know about afternoon tea! My mother is old-school and wants the gracious cruises of yesteryear. I'm a pet sitter so I spend all day, every day, in faded baggy clothes that smell of wet dog. On a cruise I dress up and go to all the photo ops, too. But I figure we'll keep the everyday clothes and undies down to about enough for half the trip this time. I'm bringing a little bottle of Woolite, and some detergent pods and dryer sheets. I have laundry day picked out on the schedule. Now meds, I pack under the assumption that we're both going to have terrible colds, migraines, seasickness, and the runs for ten days. We haven't yet but if so, I'm ready. Also have a complete wound care kit. Because of the time at Mahogany Bay that I needed a bandaid and the guy photographed my injury, took a statement, and wrote up an incident report before he would let me have it! I'm not exaggerating! So now I'll just take care of those little things myself.
  6. I'm breathing that stuff, so I always order the distilled water. It's a small price compared with everything else!
  7. A home-sewn dress so I'll have something pretty that fits in a flattering color.
  8. I'm glad to hear that there's no problem canceling on the ship. We have one expensive excursion and my mother is elderly, so I'd worried about whether we could get a refund if she isn't feeling well that morning. On the weight limits: At the zip-lining in Mahogany Bay, the guides hoisted us up on their knees to clip us onto the lines. And they were not big guys! So think about the risk to everyone when you choose an excursion.
  9. The steward gives you a card where you can check off what services you want, as well as things like robes, etc. It's not a bit uncomfortable! I write in extra pillows, too.
  10. At approximately 10 pm Wednesday, Carnival Fascination responded to a distress signal from a small fishing boat that was 25 nautical miles from Barbados. The boat had run out of fuel and was adrift. The two fisherman, from Barbados, ages 43 and 51, were rescued and taken aboard Carnival Fascination. They received medical assistance, a hot meal and accommodations. They also had the opportunity to call their families. “We are extremely proud of the team on Carnival Fascination for rescuing these fishermen in distress,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. “Performing such a procedure at night is extremely challenging and I applaud the team for their efforts in saving lives at sea.” The ship is in St. Lucia today where the two men will be disembarked and return to Barbados. Carnival Fascination is on a seven-day Caribbean cruise that departed San Juan on Sunday, August 26. Recently, Carnival Glory rescued a crew member from another cruise line who had been drifting in the water north of Cuba. On September 13, the Captain of Carnival Elation will be honored by the Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS) in Washington, DC for his team’s role in the rescue of a fisherman whose vessel had sunk in rough seas during Hurricane Irma off the coast of Freeport, Bahamas. https://carnival-news.com/2018/08/30/carnival-fascination-rescues-barbados-fishermen-in-distress/
  11. I didn't know they would tape the cord down for you. Huh! I bring a roll of duct tape, as I sleep across from the desk so my mother can sleep under the window. Taping it down keeps anyone from tripping. And I'm breathing that water so I jolly well get distilled. Didn't realize other lines gave it for free. That's interesting! OP, you have fun and sleep well. May your humidifier never fail you.
  12. Use a wheely walker. My mother has one, but she does wheelchair assist. So while they're wheeling her up I stack our carryons on the seat and roll it all up the ramp.
  13. We always reserve for 11:30. Hotel throws us out at 11:00, we taxi to cruise port. The early crowd is all in and we go right through the line. Our room has been ready by then so far, so drop carry-ons and get to exploring! (Actually last time they gave my mother one of those welcome drinks. She's 82 so had to carry her to the room and pour her into bed, then pour her out again to be the life of the muster. Arriving early gave us plenty of time for all that.)
  14. I just get the Carnival trip protection. We don't fly, so we don't need much baggage protection. My mother is elderly so third-party insurance is significantly more. And my biggest worry is that we have to cancel because of one of us or a family member being sick, so I want the cancel for any reason option. (Then I meditated on the medical coverage, my age, and what's really worth the risk, and canceled my plans to try parasailing. You have to balance things out!)
  15. I have a packing list saved on the computer for my mother, myself, and my dog (he goes to board at a sitter's home while we're away.) I edit them a little after each trip. We're a little more than three months out so it's time to start assembling things and buying the meds, sunscreen, and so on. Checking to make sure swimsuits still fit and haven't gone baggy, making sure clothes still fit, testing out the snorkel mask. Making a note to get my hair cut about three weeks before, as it looks best then for the portraits. Verifying the reservation with the quaint little B&B. Something else you can do: search Facebook for your ship's name and see if the passengers have set up a group for your cruise. The folks on my next cruise have arranged all sorts of activities.
  16. That's a great list. My mother and I went on our first cruise three years ago, after my father died. I researched and planned everything meticulously. You're right, it's good therapy. On the meds: I take enough Dayquil and Nyquil for both of us for the length of the cruise. Same with Imodium and other meds for potential disasters. We haven't needed them yet, but I bear in mind that on a ship the OTC meds are limited and expensive and that if we both catch cold or something we'll be in a bad way. I take the blister packs out of the boxes and write the name across the back and put it all in one bag to save space. On duct tape: Ignore the naysayers. On our first cruise, the only suggested item that I didn't bring was duct tape. And it turned out I really, really needed it. It's truly the most useful tool! On clothes: We're both of the old elegant-cruise school. But I confess it would be easier of we can bring ourselves to do more mix-and-match next time and save some space. But! Have you heard about all the photo ops in the evenings? You can get dozens of portraits taken against various backdrops, and you can even book a photographer for private shoots. Then you have the fun of going through all the pictures and choosing the best. So you'll get some mileage out of dressing for dinner. Tip: The portrait photographers don't show your shoes so wear some you can walk in. It's a long trek to dinner, especially on the Dream which is a maze. Tip: They also have photos as you get off the ship at port, sometimes with costumed characters. More reason for pretty coverups and tshirts! Confession: We always end up buying new clothes for the cruise. We also bring too much jewelry. Hasn't killed us yet (except for those fancy shoes -- I'm wearing sensible walking shoes with all my dinner outfits next time!)
  17. Carnival is now requiring that all decorations be flame retardant: https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3256/~/decorating-your-stateroom-door-and-stateroom You can order room decor packages and they'll put them up inside the stateroom for you. https://www.carnival.com/FunShops/stateroom-decorations
  18. mbet, I carry sugar-free drink enhancers to add to my ice water. You find them at the grocery store near the powdered drinks. There's a lot of flavors!
  19. Is that $15 a bag rate for laundry for everyone, or is it a perk for higher levels? The Carnival website lists prices at $2-3 per item for washing and folding.
  20. Duct tape was the only suggested item I didn't take on my first cruise, and turned out to be the one I needed most. I use a CPAP machine to sleep, and had to run the extension cord across the cabin from the outlet to my bed. Turned out this is a trip hazard in the middle of the night! And I had to put everything up every morning so the steward wouldn't trip either. Next cruise, I covered the cord completely with duct tape and was able to leave it the entire time. No mess on the carpets, either. I did end up with bits of tape wrapped around the CPAP cord, but it still works just find keeping me alive and all. (On another note, TruckerDave, you are a naughty, naughty fellow. Report to me next cruise. I have duct tape.)
  21. These are cute ideas! The only people who've played a joke on me so far have been crew. On my first cruise, I carelessly left the cabin without my card. When I wanted back in I had to search down the corridor and find my steward cleaning rooms. When I sheepishly asked if it was possible for him to let me back in he bugged his eyes out in horror and gasped, "Oh no! You're in trouble now! All you can do is pray!" While he grabbed a book and made the sign of the cross at me. Then he opened my door while the other stewards laughed merrily. Come to think of it, they probably had a bet on how many people would need to have their doors opened...
  22. We've only been on two cruises so far but have had no trouble. Kept the cash and credit cards in the safe, and shut the cameras up in a cabinet. For tipping, of course we left the gratuities on (that's their base salary). Then I would leave out 5 dollars a day for the steward -- with a note, because it's not fair to make people guess if the money is for them! Other people probably tip more but on the other hand we're extremely neat so I hope it balances out. (Also I make a note of the steward's name, and any other crew member who's helpful, to include in the survey we get after the cruise.) Also included a stack of ones to tip room service 2 dollars when they bring breakfast. And I tip the excursion guides 10 dollars. Those folks work their tails off.
  23. We're looking forward to the Fantasy in November! Our first cruise was on the Elation and we loved it. Then another on the Dream, but that was much larger and with a nightmare layout. Couldn't go anywhere directly and had to walk forever. We sail in the colder months for better prices, so we love the enclosed promenades with comfy chairs, and the nice libraries with big windows. If it's cool or rainy there's plenty of places to sit inside and watch the ocean. And there's plenty of places to sit outside, too. We don't gamble or dance or go to most of the shows (though we're hoping to stay awake at least one night and see a musical show.) So we don't care about fancy stuff. We mostly read and crochet and get lots of pictures taken, which are fun to go through. Fantasy will be just perfect. My only complaint is that they've taken out the second pool with the cute twisty waterslide. I loved splashing into that pool and swimming around. The new enclosed slide makes me queasy and you have to scramble right out at the bottom.
  24. Another set of suggestions from obsessive old ladies! 1) My mother can walk, but the boarding ramp on embarkation is a considerable climb. So I request a wheelchair for her in advance. When the attendant brings that I pile all our carryons (bags of meds, cameras, and jewelry, plus my CPAP and her crochet) onto the seat of her rolling walker and push it after. Reverse on debarkation. 2) As soon as we get to the room I unpack everything (quite easy if it's all in plastic cubes and bags, or on hangers), stow the suitcases under the bed, put valuables in the safe or closed up, and my portfolio on the vanity for any papers we get. We do our best to keep the space orderly, both to reduce the chance of tripping or losing things, and because the stewards can do a better job if they can get to all surfaces. 3) We hang our lanyards with our sign and sail cards on the hook, so we can grab them on the way out. BUT ALWAYS CHECK! One day I ran out early for a long excursion and my mother went ashore later to shop. I didn't realize until I tried to get back in that I had taken her card, so of course she had mine. This caused considerable hoorah as security got the notion that she had wandered off unaccounted for. Eventually somebody worked out that both cards had checked in so we were both aboard, but it's easier to have the right card! (And it was helpful that I carry my driver's license on shore, as it proved I hadn't mugged an old lady for her card!) 4) We get travel sizes of everything possible, like deodorant and toothpaste, and throw them away at the end even if there's a bit left. More room for souvenirs! (I read that some folks bring their oldest undies and t-shirts and toss them out, too,)
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