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havanadaydreaming

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Everything posted by havanadaydreaming

  1. What is your experience with an assigned cruise consultant from Carnival? I know one person at work who raves about her fella, but we've never gotten anything above and beyond the website's offers. My wife just went to whatever level 75+ nights is with Carnival, I must admit I am a lowly 19 nighter guy. Thanks!
  2. my wife and I are about to book a cruise, almost certainly on Carnival. does anyone else get a heightened level of excitement right before booking? I am late to the cruising game, only starting earlier this decade. My wife has been cruising since the 80s. My first three cruises were on Carnival - so it was all I knew. Then, we booked a NCL cruise since I am a huuuuuuuge Parrothead and it had a Margaritaville at Sea onboard. Our last three cruises were on either NCL or MSC, it was really hard to come close to matching their deals during the timeframes we were sailing. During those few years I've accumulated a MESS of Carnival Gift Cards ($1200 or so) and I can't wait to get back on onboard!!! I have enjoyed all the cruiselines we've been on but there's something about your "first love", no?
  3. havanadaydreaming

    NCL logo merchandise online vs. on board

    I got XXL linen windbreaker 2nd day of cruise for about $10, it was on the clearance rack in the main NCL swag shop. I think it was 80% off. they had several other items, too. really didn't need it but I didn't have one for a November cruise and thought it couldn't hurt.
  4. havanadaydreaming

    Types of balconies

    Obstructed view is never a good option unless it's due to a "balcony guarantee" rate that was considerably lower than getting a regular balcony. midship balconies are pretty decent, lots of folks like them and swear there is less "motion to the ocean" than the front or back. I must admit I've never experienced any motion in front, middle or back. extended balconies would be my choice if give the option, obviously. I've always wanted an aft facing extended balcony, however the last cruise we were on we came across a couple that just couldn't stand it. I was stunned.
  5. havanadaydreaming

    Mardi Gras Districts!

    the districts screenshots are pretty, pretty cool. much obliged.
  6. havanadaydreaming

    NCL Epic - Saving money on alcohol?

    drink off the ship at local bars a short distance from port? drink beer instead of cocktails on the Epic. after that, I'm plum out of suggestions.
  7. Cagney's is my favorite. We tend to have a "liquid dinner" on embarkation day, followed by a few bites in the buffet right before closing. Cagney's is my favorite NCL restaurant but Teppanyaki is also quite good and my wife's favorite. we usually do hibachi first and save steak for near the end of the cruise.
  8. havanadaydreaming

    Laundry Special on Epic?

    we were on 11 day epic in Nov/Dec and we had two laundry specials. if memory serves it was $9.99. we fit 5 days worth of clothes, for 2, in bag both times. day clothes + dinner clothes. bag is paper and its a big delicate but we rolled up items and made it pretty easily.
  9. havanadaydreaming

    What do you look for in a blog or review

    I like to read a fair review. Personally, I have very few areas to nitpick while on cruises. I understand that some folks are happiest when they are miserable but I avoid them at all costs. I know there are some (very few)things that I dislike about cruising that don't impact others in the same manner and vice versa. C'est la vie! I also really dig into the "why" behind the comments, pro or con, when someone takes the time to submit a paragraph instead of a sentence. I also love a sense or humor or wit.
  10. havanadaydreaming

    Sky to Bahamas

    loved the sky and gsc. would recommend staying on ship in freeport, which ive never said about any port.
  11. My first three cruises were on Carnival, my last four have been NCL/MSC/NCL/NCL. NCL has my favorite food at sea. We generally do either the buffet or Specialty Dining Restaurants. I don't have anything against the MDR other than I prefer the specialty restaurants or the casual dress at the buffet. I didn't care for the buffet on Carnival (sorry!) but LOVED Guy's burgers. NCL wins me over with the Free at Sea. Carnival's unlimited drinks fee puts them out of the competition, for me, with NCL. I think NCL has considerably better entertainment options, too. Carnival is hard to beat with number of ships and ports in this hemisphere. I really liked their balcony rooms, except for the shower curtain mentioned above. I didn't mind the Epic bathroom weirdness but I'm sure some despise that feature. The art auctions are very comparable. Carnival has the better outdoor movie setup, but the Epic is pretty strong in this area.
  12. havanadaydreaming

    Only ever cruised NCL... considering MSC Seaside... help!

    great point, Wheels.... the MSC website is an abomination. trying to do anything off mobile phone was nearly impossible. we had to call to book.
  13. havanadaydreaming

    Only ever cruised NCL... considering MSC Seaside... help!

    we have only sailed MSC once and it was delightful. the only negative I would state is that MDR is slooooooooow. we got used to it. PROS *staff are very eager to please. and the Divina was immaculate. *passengers have more of an international feel, not just americans. I liked that. I didn't see any proverbial "ugly American *tourists" that we always see on NCL/Carnival. might have been luck. *buffet pizza is best at sea. *the shows are different than NCL, it was explained to us that they were designed to appeal to everyone not just folks who spoke a particular language. again, very cool. *not a lot of trivia, which I missed. *MSC is less of a "party boat" than NCL/Carnival.
  14. havanadaydreaming

    Epic = yes or no ?

    been on the Epic, Escape and Sky. all are very different, all are very pleasant. sure the Epic bathrooms are weird, and tall people won't exactly LOVE the round beds but we were amazed with the amount of storage in our balcony room. way more than we've had previously. we had a great time over 11 nights.
  15. havanadaydreaming

    Least Favorite Port

    I have enjoyed almost every port we have been to over the years. Except Freeport. I'd probably stay on the ship if we ever went there again.
  16. havanadaydreaming

    NCL Sky daily beverage gratuity?

    We were on the Sky last year for 4 nights, under $200 for OV. What a bargain! that said, we saw almost nobody else "extra tipping" on that cruise. Like Bird we always carry extra singles.
  17. havanadaydreaming

    Latest NCL offer

    last month we sailed for 11 nights, balcony, with 5 free at sea + distinctive voyage perks for under $1050. I had little interest in the wifi or the shore excursion but I did make use of both of them. I was a big fan of the UBP and SDP. the deals are out there with NCL if you're diligent. not for all months, unfortunately, but they're out there.
  18. havanadaydreaming

    Sky

    I think you'd be fine. the Sky stops somewhere every day (GSC, Nassau, Freeport) which is fun. I would recommend staying on the boat at Freeport and using the slides and pool which should be fairly empty then. Freeport was a zzzzzzz for me. that said, my nephew is a spoiled brat and would have probably disliked the Sky as a youngster. my kids are captivated by ships since they don't cruise as often. (I'm a former Disney character, decades ago, and I've never sailed Disney. I'm available for hire, fyi!!!)
  19. havanadaydreaming

    Balcony Vs Suite

    My wife and her sister were upgraded to a suite from balcony earlier this year on an older Carnival ship. they said it wasn't noticeably bigger/better than the balcony. that said, yeah...i'll take that free upgrade every time and hope for the best. ha!
  20. What would you name it? Since I've been on the EPIC and the ESCAPE....I would nominate EXPLORE! with an exclamation point. like WHAM! (which would have been my 2nd choice)
  21. havanadaydreaming

    Sneaking in right before Dining Room Closing Time

    O'Sheehans is always an option after a show, they're open 24/7. I'm very leery of going anywhere right before closing time even if folks are welcoming and adamant it's no big deal. As a former bartender I knew I was in for late nights closing and it didn't bother me at all, but I also had the power to say drink em up and get em out ...I gots to lock up. And I got tipped so I had financial skin in the game for latecomers. the restaurant folk on the ships seem to work awfully hard and seem to have long hours. I couldn't keep them longer if it wasn't necessary and I didn't have other options.
  22. havanadaydreaming

    Harvest caye changing January 1st

    We just went a few weeks ago, it was pretty fun. Spent most of our time at Landshark Landing in the pool, which is pretty much what we do at Margaritaville on Grand Turk. I wouldn't imagine thinks will change much. I assume Landshark ponied up a sizable investment for their establishment and I'd bet they have at least a 10 year lease. Just my two cents. Employees are Belize citizens, not NCL staff right?
  23. havanadaydreaming

    Breakaway - 10 day cruise food question?

    we just got back from 11 nighter earlier this month. I tried to book specialty restaurant for each sea day then filled in the gaps so we didn't go 4,5 days without dining upscale. oddly, I like the buffet more than the MDR personally. I love dining super casual a few times a cruise. I recommend you book Cagney's and Teppanyaki first, they book fastest. Cagney's is good enough to go to twice, fyi.
  24. havanadaydreaming

    Flight at Noon out of Miami

    Easy breezy. quickest way to debark is to wheel your own luggage off the boat and then get a porter in the terminal...you jump to the front of the line. we self wheeled out of Canaveral earlier this month, but skipped the porter option. had an 1115am flight from Orlando, which was a 40 minute shuttle from the ship. made it with plenty of time to spare.
  25. havanadaydreaming

    Great Stirrup Cay

    We were on GSC in Feb 18 and I don't thing you'll have to worry about the sun too much. I was out in it for 4-5 hours without issue, although I did wear a ballcap due to mah trees receding up top. We went again in Nov and same thing. hung out on the Bacardi bar deck for a couple hours (UBP! UBP!) before heading into the surf when it thinned out a bit. My only advice is to temper expectations on actually making it to the island until you see tenders are actually running the morning you drop anchor. about 1/3 of the time, it seems, the waves are too rough to send the tender boats over to the island from the ship.
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