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About mdsgu

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Baton Rouge
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCI, NCL, Carnival

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  1. mdsgu


    We booked the Mardi Gras for Thanksgiving week 2020 out of Port Canaveral. I haven't read anything about Carnival doing anything like T-shirts or parties except on the maiden voyage, but, hey, you might get lucky. I imagine they will offer some sort of reduced-price specialty dining package (a la NCL) that they are currently trying out on one or two ships. We've always found Carnival's MDRs to be more than adequate, but we often book the steakhouse for the last night. The Lido buffet will probably be whatever is standard Carnival fare at the time.
  2. Have been on the Dream several times. Great ship! Spa cabins are nice, even if you aren't "spa people." We had them on our last Dream cruise, but, with kids, we never visited the spa. They are higher on the ship and very quiet. Alchemy Bar is a great place to hang out. Really nice cocktails and entertaining bartenders. Later in the evening, Promenade has nice outdoor seating that gets fairly quiet as the night wears on. We don't do the buffet, either. The MDR is nice, and I would encourage you to splurge one evening (we always do it the last night) and book the steak house. It really is rather good. Don't book it on a "formal" night -- you'll miss out on some of the better food in the MDR. Seaday brunch is good. We've spent 2.5 hours in the MDR for brunch before, just enjoying the views and the Bloody Marys.
  3. mdsgu

    Carnival vs. Royal

    I've been on and I like both lines. Carnival is more fun-oriented. Royal is more service-oriented. I find the MDR food to be better on Royal, although lately Carnival has stepped up their game. (Can't really comment on the buffets as I tend to stay away.)
  4. mdsgu


    Yes! My wife is Platinum, but I have seven nights to go -- I guess our Mardi Gras cruise in 2020 will make me Platinum. The priority embarkation and P&D reception are quite nice!
  5. mdsgu

    Restaurant on Dream deck 11

    It's the perfect spot for lunch on embarkation day. No one realizes it is even there until about halfway through the cruise, so it's not a madhouse on the first day like the buffet!
  6. mdsgu

    What would you take?

    Power strip WITHOUT a surge protector, bubble wrap and packing tape if you like to bring home bottle of alcohol, OTC meds for reflux and headaches. Basically, pack what you think you need, and then take out half. Don't worry about shampoo and soap -- the ship provides that. You don't need a beach towel -- also provided by the ship.
  7. Our kids are 9 and 8. Clearly we haven't put them in their own cabin, but I'm sure the time will come.....
  8. mdsgu


    We booked Mardi Gras last month, and I really don't care where the bed is -- I'm just excited about the new ship! They also do the alternating thing on NCL's Breakaway-class ships.
  9. mdsgu

    upper pullman

    Typically, yes. They don't bother to put them away, but, if you ask, they will.
  10. Free in the dining room with the Cheers package!
  11. Please realize that Carnival and Royal Caribbean are very different. Yes, they are both "mainstream" cruise lines, but they are still very different. If you want serene and slightly upscale, go RC; if you want to party, go Carnival. Four days is pretty short. Personally, I'd stick it out. Any day on a cruise ship beats a day at work, and you might find there are some things you enjoy.
  12. mdsgu

    Not Happy with Liquor Up Charges

    We have an NCL cruise in May (Jade) out of Rome. We were just on the Breakaway in November. The alcohol prices were "ok" as far as what was included in the UBP, but the service was POOR. So poor, in fact, I removed half of the pre-paid gratuities before I left the ship -- and I had never done that before. If this new pricing scheme is in effect in May, and the service is similar to Thanksgiving, I highly doubt we'll be sailing NCL again.
  13. We were on this same sailing (Breakaway over Thanksgiving). This was not our first NCL cruise, nor our first cruise on a megaship; we sailed on the Escape in 2016. However, after all our cruises, this one ranks the absolute worst for service. Our cabin steward was fine, but the restaurants were terrible and the bars were worse! Twenty minute waits for drinks? Yes. Hour-long waits in the MDR -- after being seated? Yes. Having to ask three times (on more than 1 occasion) for iced tea? Yes. Missing dining room reservations? Of course. Someone told my father-in-law he just had to understand that they were overbooked that week and understaffed. Puh-leeze -- these ships know exactly how many guests they can hold and well in advance. Staff accordingly. I have never, in all my cruising (see my signature) adjusted the DSC, but I did on this one. I didn't remove it entirely, but I took back half. We have another NCL cruise in May out of Rome. I can only hope it is better!
  14. NCL is really picky about moving tables around. They just don't like to do it. They are more likely to accommodate you in the MDRs than in the specialty restaurants, though. For large groups, I highly recommend reservations every night.
  15. mdsgu

    First time NCL cruise

    Make your dinner reservations as soon as they open. Not sure what you mean by weird bathroom -- NCL usually, at least on newer ships, has nice bathrooms with glass showers -- no curtains to deal with. NCL's "premium" liquor isn't very premium, unlike Royal. The Rebellious Fish is their unique drink, but don't bother with it.