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About Djptcp

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Cruising, reading, swimming
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival, Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Western Caribbean

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  1. Djptcp

    Porthole cabins

    We did a porthole cabin on the Paradise in 2018 and it was fine. A little more noise and motion, but not bad. It wasn't one way in the front of the ship, but the last one closest to the front elevators. It was a free casino offer for an Interior cabin and we chose a porthole cabin to have natural light. Normally wouldn't book an inside or ocean view on a Fantasy class ship because no couch or coffee table, prefer at least a Jr. Suite to get those items for more comfortable sailing. We sail on the Paradise often because we live 45 minutes from the Port of Tampa and enjoy the ship, especially since dry dock last year.
  2. Djptcp


    We have had fridges on most of our Carnival cruises and not just in suites, except on Fantasy class ships (we have had them on the Paradise in all cabins since dry dock last year). We have found them to keep things nice and cold.
  3. We have always ordered liquor for our cruises before we sail. Nice to have a bottle waiting for us on boarding. HAL's prices are still reasonable to do so. We sail more on Carnival and they jacked up their room liquor prices a few years ago and they are outrageous now - at least twice what HAL charges, so we don't order liquor for our cabin anymore on Carnival cruises. We don't order drink packages either because we just don't drink that much and we usually have free drinks in the casino on Carnival because of special casino offers.
  4. Miami International Airport has closed one terminal due to a large number of TSA agents who are calling in sick. If you are flying in and out of Miami during the shut down, you may experience delays according news articles today (1/11).
  5. Rum starts at $36 (Meyers) and Bacardi is around $42-46. We just ordered a bottle of Meyers Rum for our Oosterdam cruise in Feb. If you go to the HAL website and log in, you will see Already Booked. Click on that and you will see a number of things you can order ahead of time which we always do.....order liquor, make Pinnacle Grill reservations, make spa reservations. You can also buy excursions.
  6. Thanks for the great and detailed review. DH and I are sailing on the Oosterdam in Feb. First time on this ship, 8th HAL cruise, and 47th cruise overall. We have another Neptune Suite booked and looking forward to the cruise. I agree that the Western Caribbean itinerary is getting a lot repetitive, but we live just outside Tampa and cruise mostly from there because it's so convenient so the W. Caribbean is pretty much the only choice. Loved the photos - certainly well decked out for the holidays.
  7. Djptcp

    Soda in Room? Cocktail Mixers

    We bring the 7.5 oz. cans of soda on all of our cruises as we also order liquor to be delivered to the cabin on embarkation day. We remove the items in the cabin fridge and tell the room steward where they are in a closet so he doesn't think we used them! We put the back in the fridge on debarkation morning. We bring the smaller cans of soda as I don't usually drink a whole can of soda at once and the smaller ones are perfect to mix with one drink of alcohol. Have a great cruise!
  8. DH works part-time for the cruise lines at one of the FL ports (checking in passengers, etc). When he worked last weekend, they were short about 15 Homeland Security agents (half of the usual 30) and more private security agents had to be called in. It slowed things down somewhat. FYI, no one boards the ships until Homeland Security says so - passengers sometimes blame the cruise line if they are kept waiting to board, but it's HS not the cruise line's fault.
  9. Djptcp

    Paradise stateroom questions

    On the Cruise Critic site, at the top select Reviews and then select the Carnival Paradise. At the top right you will see Photos - select that and you will find 35 photos of Interior Cabins. If you click on the first one it will enlarge and you can scroll through all the photos. Even though we sailed on the Paradise 4 times in 2018, we weren't in Interior cabins so I don't know about fridges in them. We had them in all of our OV and Jr. Suite cabins. The fridges tend to be on one side of the desk, but in these photos the desk has drawers. Hopefully, someone who has actually stayed in an Interior cabin after the Paradise dry dock when cabins were updated will be able to tell you.
  10. Djptcp

    Cruise Cash vs Cruise Cash Bar?

    I would say Cruise Cash is better than Cruise Cash Bar because you can use it for much more than just bar drinks. I also agree with PalmTree601 about the Carnival gift cards. We buy them at a discounted rate through AARP - we pay $90 for each $100 gift card and what you don't spend is refundable.
  11. We also sail both lines, but mostly Carnival because I receive great discounted bounce back offers from the casino and we live just 45 minutes from the Port of Tampa. Two very different lines and I prefer HAL because of the elegance of the ships, the service and food are superb, and we always stay in a Neptune Suite with many perks that Carnival suites do not have. While I spend most of my time in the HAL casinos and do not attend shows, DH does attend the shows and there are a number of music venues around the ships. We have found all ages on the HAL ships. Having said this, I also like Carnival as the ships are usually in good shape and the crew is always friendly and helpful. Again, I'm always in the casino, but DH said the shows and comedians on the Carnival ships are pretty good. He finds more to do in the evenings on the Carnival ships than HAL, although he also spends times in the casinos. We find the shorted Carnival cruises to have more party animals, which we are not, but the longer cruises are a bit more sedate. It's a crap shoot for you to decide, but whatever you do have a great time!
  12. Djptcp

    Short Oosterdam/Neptune suite review

    We will be sailing on the Oosterdam in a Neptune Suite in Feb., first time on this ship but our 5th Neptune Suite on HAL. We have never done the Pinnacle Grill breakfast, but have always ordered a hot breakfast from Room Service and it's always been on time and hot. We also order most dinners through the Concierge in the Neptune Lounge from the MDR, again always on time and everything is hot. We only eat at the Pinnacle Grill for one or two dinners on a cruise, preferring to eat in our suite in a more casual setting - takes much less time than in the MDR and then we're off to the casino for the evening.
  13. I book Carnival cruises all the time at casino rates and the $198 deposits are non-refundable. I've had to change cruises several times and when I have, I receive a form to put the cancelled cruise information along with the new booking. $98 of the non-refundable deposit from the cancelled cruise is then credited to my new booking. I have two years to do this, but normally I have booked something right away. I recently booked a HAL casino cruise rate and the whole fare was due at booking and non-refundable. I got a Neptune Suite for a song and we knew we would definitely be going on the cruise so didn't mind the non-refundable aspect. I would not do it, however, for just any old cruise without a huge discount. Royal Caribbean does the same thing, so it looks like the non-refundable rates are here to stay.
  14. Djptcp

    HAL Pinnacle Grill and Neptune Suite

    The Neptune Lounge is for Neptune/Pinnacle Suite passengers only. I have never seen kids in there before and certainly don't want to see any. This is an area for which we have paid big bucks and expect an atmosphere that encourages quiet adult conversation. We often eat there and who wants kids putting their hands on food and then putting it back as we have often seen in the Lido Buffet. If you do receive permission from the Concierge to let your kids in there you can be sure if they are disruptive they will be asked to leave and not return. DH and I order room service for breakfast so I can't speak about kids in the Pinnacle Grill for breakfast, but disruptive behavior from kids would not be tolerated. Given the more stated atmospheres of the Neptune Lounge and the Pinnacle Grill, I would think your kids would be happier in the Lido Buffet for breakfast. I'm so tired of people trying to get around the rules.
  15. This was posted today on the Carnival Cruise Critic forum from John Heald, Senior Carnival Cruise Director and popular Carnival blogger: From John Heald, ”I had previously told you about changes to our room service offerings that would go into effect in January. I wanted to let you know that we are in the process of making some adjustments to that plan to balance the interests of our guests with our efforts to reduce food waste costs. For the time being then, there will be no changes until we finalize a plan that will I will communicate to you all.” When asked to specify, John stated that the changes have been cancelled and room service will revert to being free until 10 PM. I guess Carnival did pay attention to the many complaints. Sounds like they are still working on devising some sort of charge plan, but not the one recently released - given the suspended announcement and not a cancelled announcement.