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FloriDan

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Posts posted by FloriDan

  1. On 10/11/2019 at 1:49 PM, CruisinCrow said:

    I think the tour is actually a good one for virgins because they give you driving and safety instructions.

     

     

    Thanks, CruisinCrow! I think we're definitely going to give it a spin. I'm hoping we'll enjoy it so much that we'll want to make it a regular thing when we get home. Appreciate the feedback! 

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  2. So my wife and I are complete jet ski virgins, but we're thinking about doing the excursion at CocoCay. I guess our concerns aren't specifically related to CocoCay, but I thought I'd ask here since that's where we'll be...

     

    My wife can't decide if she wants to be a passenger or drive her own See-Doo. She's afraid she'll have trouble operating and controlling it. It doesn't seem like it could possibly be that difficult to me, but ... who knows. I think she would love it. That girl loves anything fast. Second, we're both wondering what the likelihood of tipping off of one of those things is. She has very little upper body strength and I'm ... well I'm a big, buoyant, roundly shaped individual. Seems like pulling yourself back up on a jetski in the water could be a challenge, to say the least. 

     

    Anybody have any experiences/advice/horror stories they can share?

  3. Wow! We walked Animal Kingdom in one day and didn't see it all!

     

    LOL, we've been annual passholders for more than two years and, on average, we visit the parks at least once a month and we still haven't seen it all!

  4. My question is, once we purchase our one day ticket how do we get Fast Passes?

     

    You can get FastPasses online 30 days prior to your visit at this link. If you have your heart set on riding something specific, it's always best to log on that day. The system starts taking reservations at 7 a.m., Eastern. For future reference, you can book FastPasses 60 days out if you're staying at a Disney resort.

  5. Jeff and Patti, Thank you SO MUCH for the Paradise pix! We sail on Monday and I've been so busy with work and life in general that I haven't done my normal amount of prep before vacation. It just hasn't seemed real. But now, looking through your posts, I'm really looking forward to getting onboard and leaving our worries behind for a few days.

     

    And a question ... Are you using an app to scan the FunTimes and menus? Your shots of those things are clearer than I've ever seen!

  6. Rocky Point is a good choice, although I tend to steer people more towards Westshore. Just because it's a little closer to the airport and there are tons of food choices, and two malls and a Target and a Walmart nearby if you end up needing any of that. If those food/shopping options aren't needed, Rocky Point is about 10 minutes closer to Clearwater. If you're into aquariums, we have a good one here and it's right by the cruise terminals. And from there you can take the trolley to Ybor. It's a fun place to walk around and has some great options for lunch. The Tampa Riverwalk starts a few blocks west of the Florida Aquarium and it's always a nice stroll if you want to stretch your legs for a bit.

  7. Whew! That's a full day, but awesome you got to do it. We live an hour from the parks and have Florida resident passes and I can't remember us ever doing three parks in one day. But now I'm kinda inspired to try it!

  8. It seems to me that you have cruised before, just not with Carnival, and want some verification that you chose wisely. You booked an older ship, a smaller ship, and I always choose them over the must do everything ship. A cruise is what you make it, but are you looking for something that you have had elsewhere and want to know how it compares? What are you really asking?

     

    Just really asking if there's anything special or unusual on Carnival that we shouldn't miss. Anything that might set Carnival apart from the pack. We talked about taking a cruise for years but never made it happen until we moved to Florida. We've loved our previous cruises and decided we would try different lines to see which one might be the right fit for us, or if there would even be a "right fit." What we've found out for sure is that even a mediocre day onboard is better than just about any day on land!

  9. Tampa has a wicked rush hour ESPECIALLY at the I-4 I-275 merge...

     

    What he said. We live in Tampa and avoid I-4 like the plague. If there's a chance you're going to hit at a bad time (and maybe even if you aren't), consider jumping off the interstate at Seffner, coming down into Brandon and taking the Selmon Expressway into downtown. The quickest way will be on the elevated lanes and the entrance is south of the Westfield Brandon mall. It will dump you out a couple of blocks west of Channelside Drive where the port is.

  10. So we're sailing on Carnival for the first time next month, on the Paradise. Is there anything special or different the line does or has that we need to make sure and not miss? Any special events? Dance parties? Activities? Food or drinks? A friend of my wife mentioned something about raspberry bread in the MDR, but beyond that ... we got nothing.

     

    Thanks!

  11. Nicely done. interesting that you get to do a drive by by the dock.

    Yeah, I live in the 'burbs and drive into downtown to work on an elevated expressway. I can usually see if there are ships in dock from about 4.5 miles out. Then we can see all the happy cruisers on the ships departing the channel in the afternoons from my office. We had wanted to try a cruise before we moved to Tampa, but seeing the ships as much as I do really fueled that fire!

  12. You can't remember what they looked like, because there weren't any. this is what she would ahve looked like before drydock...

     

    After I saw your pic, I remembered seeing a pic of the Paradise in port on Google Street View. Here's a before/after with that shot and one I grabbed from the Carnival Miami Blog on Facebook.

     

    ba.jpg

  13. I saw Paradise in port on my way to the office this morning and thought I'd drive down and see what the new aft balcony configuration looked like. I wasn't sure how they were going to add balcony cabins and I have to say I thought it was pretty cool. It looks like they just welded them to the existing hull, extending outward. I can't remember what the aft balconies looked like before, but it looks like the same treatment got extended all the way around

     

    Sorry about the quality ... I was going to jump out of the car and shoot through the fence, but the security dudes were already giving me the side eye for stopping where I did.

     

    Paradise_aft.jpg

     

    Paradise_balconies.jpg

  14. I'm watching your thread because we're considering the same thing. We arrive at at 7 and are planning on being at the Sloth habitat when it opens at 9, but then I'm a little nervous that we won't have a lot of time to get out to West Bay, snorkel and get back to our ship before departure at 3:30.

  15. When friends tell you about their preferred line and that its better then others....the question to ask is what other lines have cruised, and when. The answer is often eye opening. ...

    Hank

     

    Good points, all. But you're right -- the times I've delved into our friends' preferences have been telling. Like the one friend who swears by one cruise line because they have better food beyond all the others she's tried. Come to find out she and her husband almost always eat off the buffet and rarely, if ever, set foot in the MDR. I mean I like a buffet as much as the next guy, but for me, I don't think I'd end up basing my overall preference on the buffet alone. I realize that's just my preference, though. What I do know is that after the experience on our first cruise, we're anxious to take another!

  16. ...This was one of the ports we had very specific plans for, and now I am doubting if it will be possible to get off the ship in time.

     

    I have similar concerns about our stop in Grand Cayman. Not so much about the number of other ships disembarking, but more about whether or not our arrival time will allow for us to get to the excursion we want. Even if we were on one of the first tenders, I feared it would be a close call. In the end, we made the excursion reservation with the cruise line itself, since that will give us priority on the tender list. It ended up costing us around $20pp more than what we would have paid direct to excursion provider, but I figure that's well worth the peace of mind.

  17. Having only taken our first cruise earlier this year, we're taking a slightly different tack. Right now, the plan is to try several lines and see if there are any we can definitely eliminate, instead of trying to find a single line to stick with forevermore. If our search results in one line being our go-to line, so be it. But I expect in the future we'll be driven by itinerary and price. Regardless, trying out the different lines seems like a wonderful endeavor. I suspect just about any day at sea will beat any day in the office!

     

    We have many friends who are experienced cruisers and most claim that their preferred line is far and away better than the all the others. This just tells me that people are different, as are their expectations. Spend 10 minutes looking at cruise reviews here and you'll see people give a cruise five stars and say it was the best experience of their lives, then one entry down, a reviewer will give the exact same cruise one star and swear they will never set foot on another (insert dastardly cruise line here) ship because of what they experienced. I figure what rings my bell about a particular cruise line probably won't be the same as what does it for somebody else.

  18. Leaving from Tampa Fl.

    Booked La Quinta on East Fowler Ave... Is it crazy that I just booked a room for the night before the cruise.

     

    I don't think it's crazy! But as others have said, I'd keep an eye on it. And while I was at it, I'd keep an eye on prices around downtown, closer to port. If this is the LaQuinta I'm thinking about (up by USF), it's not super close. I'm guessing around half an hour, give or take. But if that's the one, traffic getting from there to downtown can be a pain.

     

    Another option worth considering is looking east of downtown in the Brandon area. That's farther from the airport, but you could jump on one of the two expressways (if you're willing to pay the toll) and be at the port in about 15 minutes. That's my daily commute and it's largely free of the traffic snarls we see elsewhere in Tampa.

     

    Bon voyage!

  19. I can finally log in and see my reservations, check in, and do everything I need to do. Took some time but they fixed it.

     

    Same for me. Actually, I was able to get ahold of somebody who noticed a missing comment under a note about my wife's birthday. I don't know when that became a problem because I was able to get in at one point, then the website started giving me the finger at every turn a couple of weeks back. Regardless, things are better now. Finally.

  20. To be honest, in days gone by, I've gone back and forth on buying insurance for a major trip. Thankfully, I've never had to file a claim. In the end I always buy it because I fear the one time I don't will be the one time we need it. To us, the security and peace of mind offered by having insurance is well worth the couple hundred bucks. I'm sure there are instances where trip insurance claims were denied, but I've seen many, many stories where trip insurance saved somebody's bacon.

     

    I don't begrudge people who don't want to spend the extra money, but the fact of the matter is that stuff happens. Sometimes you're completely prepared for the stuff, sometimes you're not. We all want to think it will never happen to us, and I get that. But as far as I'm concerned, if I can do something to guard against the possible impact of that stuff, I'm going to do it.

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