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About tw67

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival and RCCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Key West

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  1. Cabin Steward - We didn't have much interaction. One person came in the first day to get our preferences, and we pointed out that we only had 2 pool towels, that we needed more. I know I can get them at the pool, but then I also know that we must return them at the pool, and if we don't we will be charged. Sometimes the towel at the pool I want to bring back to the cabin with me. We finally received 4 pool towels the morning of Cozumel. We kept writing notes and leaving them in the cabin. We were told that the ship laundry wasn't keeping up on the towels. Apparently at least once that we noticed, the towel area by the pool also didn't have towels, and we were told that the laundry couldn't keep up. Otherwise that was the only room issue we really had. Having the Grand Suite I think that if we had been spending any time in the room we could have asked for the other bed to be made back into a couch, but it isn't like we were in the room much.
  2. Pixels Package - I haven't bought pictures on a cruise ship in years. I mean years. So many times I would buy them, and they are still in a pile somewhere waiting to be put in a frame! This year I don't know why, but I actually bought the Pixels package. I really think it is because it will be our last cruise together as the four of us for at least the near future, and it was a "mom" moment!! I really think because of my medical issues, I play a lot of "what if" games in my head, and I think gosh, I appear in NO PICTURES since I am the one always taking them. So this time I bought the $99 package before we went. I am so glad that I did. You get 5 pictures, and one of them gets made into a big canvas print. I did get everyone to stand for a picture one night. I almost had total cooperation without using guilt. There ended up being some good shots of my boys, and one of the 4 of us. It just might make the Christmas card this year!! Getting the canvas print home I thought might be difficult, since I wasn't sure it would fit in our suitcases. They give it to you in a tube. Luckily we had a few days in Florida to visit with my inlaws, so we found a UPS Store and had it shipped to us. It arrived the day after we did. I have already sent my husband out with the task of getting it framed! I am really glad that I did this. This forced me to get pictures.
  3. I would ask for the ingredients. This way you know what it is made with. I don't remember the taste being bad, but I honestly don't think it was just whipped butter either.
  4. Pools - We enjoy standing in the pool, having a drink, and talking to people. Most of the time the pool was very crowded. This ship is small, so there is no "over 18" pool. That was probably a good thing for us, since the 16 year old hung out with us so much, if we were in the over 18, he wouldn't have been able to. I realize the three of us could do to Serenity Deck, but there are only hot tubs, and again, we would have to leave the 16 year old behind. There was definitely not enough bar waiters for the pool. Those that were there kept running like crazy. When I get into the pool, I must use the ladder. One day, I started down the ladder, and a little boy, with a life vest on was hanging on the ladder. My thought was that he will see an adult coming down, and will get off the ladder. Apparently not. I had to ask him to stop hanging on it so I could get down. He tried to tell me that I could use another ladder across the pool...uh..no, I am already heading down this one.... I couldn't tell who the boy belonged to, but he did move. This was one of those shaking my head moments. On the sea day, that pool was definitely a party place. If I was 30 years younger I would have enjoyed it a lot more! Honestly, it was kind of fun watching the 20 something year olds have fun. We had a fun, and the DJ entertainment at the pool was a lot of fun.
  5. I could not tell you if it was "real" or whipped with something else. It was served in small bowls, I didn't think of them as crocks since they were small, but I guess they are. Since we never sat with anyone but ourselves, the "communal" part didn't bother us. Usually we had 2 to split between 3 of us. My son with Celiac always had his own due to cross contamination. I think that the servers are aware that the crocks aren't a big hit, but they had no problem giving you extra ones. So if you didn't want to share with someone, you could get your own. I do think that this will lead to a lot more butter being wasted. Once a crock is on a table, it isn't like they can reuse it at another table.
  6. I have never heard of a limit. If someone was worried they could buy cruise cash with their gift cards. Just make sure that you use it all up.
  7. I loved having the extended balcony, but there was someone close by smoking weed on their balcony. Since I have horrible allergies and asthma, this really bothered me when sitting out there. One time I did reach guest services to let them know, and they told me that they would notify security. They told me that when I smell it again, to place another call. Three different times I tried guest services when I smelled it, and had to come into the room. Each time they didn't pick up. I also noticed the smell of weed when I was in pool, like it was coming down from the smoking area. A smoker friend of mine confirmed that yes, many people up there were smoking it in their pods. It was even bothering the other smokers.
  8. Dining Room Service -- We had anytime seating. The 21 year old has Celiac, he orders his meals the night before. We have found that this works seamlessly and we usually don't have have any problems. The first night we sat in Anthony's area. It was wonderful. We had no issues what so ever. If anyone is going on Sensation soon, and you have Anytime, please go to Anthony's area! There was also a magician making his way through to the tables. He was a pretty good. The second night was a disaster. This was formal night. Anthony's section was full, and we were told that there would be an hour wait. I won't name the headwaiter in this area, but all in one meal we had to wait over an hour to get water, 55 minutes for our meal, there were missing appetizers, missing main courses, and when ordered flat iron steak, received prime rib. The servers in the area were pretty much missing, so when you could track someone down to get help, they would walk away with no apologies. Breakfast - Unfortunately for breakfast and Sea Day Brunch we had the same area. We tried to request elsewhere, but we were told that this is where people were being seated at that time. Took a long time to get barservice, and meals weren't correct. They seemed annoyed by the special menu for my son with Celiac, and no where did we ever have this problem before. I really think that this was a problem to this one area of the dining room, and not for the whole ship. The rest of the nights we managed to get into Anthony's area, and never had a problem. The last night I made sure to go beyond the gratuities that we had paid, and I made sure to tip those in that area, and told them how much we appreciated it.
  9. Second Port was Cozumel. We knew that we were going to Paradise Beach. The ship wasn't getting in port until Noon, but that is ship time, so 11 am local. We were not going to do All Inclusive, but about a week before we really thought it through, and with a 15% code on their web site, we went for it. Last time we were there, they didn't have the AI yet, and we did spend over $200, so it really would be a break even or come close. When we registered and prepaid on their website we were given discounts for other options, so we all took advantage of the $30 30 minute massage on the beach. It was ok. We had a great day, and good service. We did the beach first. Kids enjoy the bouncy mats, etc... They are very competitive with each other, so it was fun to watch them. We ate and drank all day. No real service issues. After awhile we hung out at the pool. We were the last to leave. When our waiters were leaving they came by with two more drinks for each of us, and told us to stay as long as we wanted!
  10. I love the piano bar. When I have a great entertainer in the piano bar, that is the highlight of my trip. This one was one of the best. Ash Gordon. She was so much fun. The piano bar was not crowded during this cruise. I will tell you that the people on board for the most part, weren't piano bar types. The first night my 16 year old went to check out Club 02. Usually he meets kids the first night, and then every night on the cruise he finds his group, and they do things. Not on this trip. The first night he tried, but didn't connect with many kids. He was actually ok with it, and it was nice to have him join us at night. So the first night in the piano bar, Ash asks me how I actually know all 6 verses of American Pie, and somehow it comes out that the 16 year old is an Irish Dancer, I spend way to many hours in the car driving him to class, and she is so excited, while growing up in Australia, she was also an Irish Dancer. Well from then on, she wanted Bryan in the piano bar. He actually has a good voice (gets none of his talent from me) and other people who would show up in the Piano Bar would ask him to sing so they didn't have to. The deal was that if you request a song, you sing it, dance a lyrical dance to My Heart will Go on, or try Vegemite. Yes, she is from Australia, and that really is a thing. At night after last call, and everyone was gone, they would move the tables and chairs and dance. She was excited to see how much she remembered. First Port, Key West. We have been to Key West on cruises, and once a few years ago, my husband and I managed a few days there without kids. We love KW. Years ago for my son's birthday we did a Jimmy Buffett Trails of Margaritaville Tour, and had a great history of the area. This port I put my husband in charge. He was responsible for a family friendly (if possible in KW) pub crawl. Our stops included Sloppy Joe's, Schooner Wharf, Hog's Breath, The Smallest Bar in Key West, Irish Kevins, Captain Tony's, and Amigos Tortilla Bar. There are two things I noticed...the only people who like to be carded are those newly minted 21 year olds, and women my age.... Irish Kevins was the highlight of our crawl, and where we spent the most time. The 16 year old was a really good sport.
  11. So this next part was the most difficult part of the cruise. The one that left me upset and worrying for at least half the time. At some point during embarkment day, I went to Guest Services to apply my Gift Cards. I always get my gift cards from either AARP or Allstate Rewards. I had a lot in gift cards, but some of it was from money my sisters sent my son for his birthday. He wanted to gamble, and have a good time, maybe even have a massage in the spa. I apply the first $500 card, and I sign for it, then something happened. Not sure what happened, but it sent the person at Guest Services off in a tizzy. She went running in the back for awhile. When she came out she told me that my gift card couldn't be used. She couldn't go into detail, but told me that she would email corporate, and let me know what was happening. So this was a little upsetting, and I am a person who stresses, so until all this was resolved I was a bit pre-occupied with it. Later that night she said that I had to wait until morning, there was still no answer. The next morning, still no answer. So we go off to Key West, have a great time, try to forget about it. We get back from Key West, get a bite to eat, and back to customer service. I get a person at customer service who I really could tell, didn't have an answer for me, and really didn't want to deal with me. His reply was that no, I couldn't use them, it was a confidential reason, and I wasn't allowed to know why, and that if I wanted more information I could talk to corporate. So how do I talk to corporate? He handed me one of their phones and told me to step aside. He had connected to Carnival, but I was getting a menu, and had no idea who I was to talk to. Finally I reached a person, she was actually helpful. She told me that the problem was in accounting, but that she really wasn't the one I could talk to, and that the guest services on the ship needs to be the go between. She apologized that the word confidential was used. She told me what I thought was happening was actually happening....for this I need to go back over 2 years ago.... About 2 years ago there was an issue with I will call them "stolen" gift cards being sold on those gift card sites that resell gift cards. I won't go into detail, but I had a lot of issues with that 2 years ago, in the end it all worked out. At one point they told me that I would never be able to use GC on Carnival ever again, but when it was all worked out, I was told, sorry, it is all good, and of course you can use gift cards. I have used gift cards on 3 cruises since then, and of course on this cruise to purchase it. I now always buy cards from AAPR or Allstate Rewards. Normally, I might not have cared so much, and would have saved this argument for when home, and apply the cards to my next cruise. Unfortunately, I won't be cruising again for awhile. I won't go into details, but right before I upgraded to the Grand Suite, I had some bad medical news. It was one of the reasons I made sure I upgraded, this way I would have space if I didn't feel well, and the other was to give my kids memories. The older one graduates college in May, who will know when we can vacation together again as a family. I knew that the next year or so was going to be rocky for us, so these 4 days we were getting on the cruise, was time to be together. Finally after writing on John Healds page, getting help from others through FB, I got an apology from Guest Services. I was told to come down, apply the cards, and all is fine. At this point we were just pulling into Cozumel. Up until this time, we had really held back from spending much. Just a little gambling here and there. So when we got back from Cozumel and the next day at sea, we made sure we made up for it in the casino. I promise my next post will be a happy one!
  12. Isn't that great! I have no idea why my son thought we had an inside, just many times we put the two boys across the hall from us in an inside, while my husband and I have a balcony. We kept telling him the cabin was small.
  13. I must have gotten to the port about 10:30, boarding started before 11:00, right around 10:45. By 10:50 they were telling us to go on. There were very few people there.
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