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Gatordad815

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About Gatordad815

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    Florida

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  1. We received the bulk of our refund today for our March 21Breeze Cruise. Our sequence of events: Week before 3/12: Starting to feel uneasy, I called Carnival and cancelled our drink packages, internet package and FTTF just to be sure I got the money back for those. This was before mass cancellations and I easily had that $1000+ refund within a week. 3/12: Requested refund for cancelled cruise ($3901 due back), and was clearly told we would have refund within 30 days (this was prior to them starting to tell people 90 days). 4/16: Concerned about reports on here that nobody was receiving refunds (and zero info/updates from Carnival), I called Amex to inquire about when it may be too late to file a future dispute, honestly explaining the refund was promised but late in coming & I was getting concerned. Amex answered the call right away (no extended hold), actually encouraged me to just dispute it right away, so I answered 3 questions and they immediately gave me the $850 that I had paid with AMEX. At that point I really wished I had put the whole purchase on AMEX. 4/17: Went ahead and disputed the rest with Barclays Carnival Mastercard since Amex was so easy. Night and day from Amex as far as service/process-impossible to get an agent on the phone and dispute process involves filling out online form and then sending faxes with receipts-intentionally cumbersome process. 4/30: Received refund of taxes/fees to Carnival MasterCard 5/12: Received majority of refund to Carnival MasterCard Still outstanding: $350 I paid on a Wells Fargo CC, but I know different cards process at different speeds. I’m sure if they refunded everything else that will be coming any day now. I’m grateful to have the money back. This has been a tough experience for all travel companies, no doubt. If Carnival had been a little more communicative about their plans/refund process, I never would have disputed the charges and stayed patient, but the lack of communication, coupled with AMEX’s great service, made me choose that route. I honestly doubt the dispute helped resolve this faster, except it did put that AMEX portion back in my pocket quicker. And it reaffirmed to me AMEX is by far the best in terms of customer service and protection. I hope seeing another other report of a successful refund on here gives the rest of you faith that the refunds are indeed coming....
  2. As a Floridian and a hospital employee working nonstop to prepare for and confront this crisis, thank you for a measured and thoughtful response to this topic. You hit the nail on the head. Stay safe and well all.
  3. Hi all! I’m reluctantly beginning to accept the fact that we will be canceling our Spring Break cruise plans (Breeze Eastern March 21). While the virus itself doesn’t scare me (two healthy adults in early 40s and two young kids ages 4 and 6), the risk of a quarantine with 2 kids in a 185-square foot room or some other unforeseeable situation does concern me. In looking at alternative options to use the FCC this summer, I see 2 cruises that interest me: the exact Breeze Eastern itinerary we are already booked on (Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk) or the Horizon 8 night Southern itinerary (Aruba, Curaçao, La Romana, Amber Cove). All ports but St. Thomas would be new to us. We haven’t previously sailed Carnival (prior family cruises have been on Oasis class ships). Given our kids’ ages, and taking into account the bells and whistles and general condition of each ship, as well as the different ports, which itinerary would you recommend? Any advice from the expert Carnival cruisers would be appreciated!
  4. We are thinking of the same question, but having a hard time deciding! We haven’t done a Southern itinerary before, so we are excited to explore all these ports! My preliminary thinking on this (as a Floridian who can easily drive to Port Canaveral) is that St. Kitts may be the best day to stay on board. I say this because St. Kitts, St. Thomas and St. Maarten are on other itineraries from Florida so we will likely see all of them again on a cruise where we can drive to the port. If we are making the effort to fly to San Juan, I definitely want to explore all the Southern Caribbean islands that aren’t included on Florida itineraries! And of those 3, St. Kitts isn’t known for beaches. Plus it’s Day 3, so it’s closer to the middle of the cruise. But honestly, I’m still eager to see St. Kitts since we haven’t been there before.... My other thought is to just let the weather and our moods decide. For St. Lucia I think we will book the Coastal Cruise to the Pitons ahead of time, but for all the other ports I’m thinking we will plan a “do it yourself” day which we could scrap if it’s rainy or we are just in the mood to chill at the pool on the ship with the kids. I’m definitely interested in reading opinions on this question from others who have been to the Southern islands!
  5. Does anyone know if the cabs charge $17 for the $5 entry for both adults and kids? Our kids will be 6 and 8 when we visit. If we are overcharged for the adults for the convenience, it may be worth the convenience, but if the charge applies to the kids too, it may be more reasonable to look at other options. Thanks for any input!
  6. No this Southern itinerary doesn’t have any private stops. It departs San Juan then goes to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, and now St. Maarten. Talk about a packed itinerary!
  7. Oh wow thanks for posting this! Just prompted me to look at my cruise planner and our itinerary was just updated to add St. Maarten too. I have been eager to return to St. Maarten since our one and only visit in 2018. We have never done a southern itinerary before and I was already struggling to decide if we could forego a shore day to relax on the ship with the already packed itinerary, and now we have even more to consider! How are we ever going to pick a day to take it easy on the ship with such a great itinerary of new experiences to choose from??? I could’t be more excited for this cruise! Now only 8 months to wait.....
  8. I do not have personal experience with this one, but I have done a lot of research into this same question (including you tube videos and photo reviews). By all accounts, these are great cabins-large rooms and very large balconies and no noise complaints. The only drawback is the pole, but we decided that’s not really a big deal and nobody else really complains about that in their reviews, so we have Cabin 1700 on Freedom booked later this year and again for Spring Break 2021!
  9. Thanks everyone for the input-all helpful!
  10. Oh you’d better believe we will be stopping everywhere for photos! Embarkation, each port stop, dinner, pools, everywhere! It’ll be good timing too as we typically pay for a photographer for Christmas card photos of the kids, so having lots of these pics to choose from will give us the material we need for cards!
  11. Thank you for pointing me to this-great photos! Now I have to go back and read the whole report-thanks!
  12. Thanks so much-I’d love to read a recent review! Have a great time!
  13. Hi all! Though we have been on 4 RC cruises before, we have never purchased (or even looked into) a photo package. For our fall cruise (7-night Southern on Freedom), we would like to get photos. The cruise planner lists the all digital at $174.99, and the all digital + all prints package for $229.99. My questions: 1) Are these “decent” prices compared to typical prices (seems to me they are but I don’t have a frame of reference to compare)? 2) What size are the prints if we add on the prints? 3) Are the prints worth the $55 more? Seems I’d spend around that printing pics at home anyway, but of course if we get them from RC I’d have to get them home on an airplane without damaging them which may be a challenge. Any thoughts/input appreciated!
  14. Hi all! We will be on the Freedom of the Seas Southern Caribbean itinerary this fall, and for our St. Lucia stop I have come across the “Coastal Cruise to the Pitons” excursion through Royal Caribbean. We are a family of four and our kids will be 5 and 7 at the time. The cost is $74 per adult and $54 per child for a total of $266. We haven’t historically taken ship-sponsored excursions, opting instead to go on our own to the local sights and beaches. But given the distance, maybe a ship excursion would be wise? The excursion has a 4-hour duration and is described as follows: “A leisurely and scenic cruise from the Island's North unfolds the island's beauty as you sail past fishing villages dotted along the coast line and mountain ridges before laying eyes on the majestic volcanic peaks, Gros and Petit Piton. These twin peaks are the most photographed landmark on island. Circle the bay and then head Northbound for a swimming stop at one of the bays. After your swim, cruise into one of the most beautiful bays in the Caribbean - Marigot Bay, before heading back to your ship.“ Can anyone comment on their experiences with this excursion? Given the price, duration and ages of our kids, is this one a good choice or are there other recommendations? I’ve asked on the St. Lucia page and there appears to be very little traffic there, so I’m hoping since it’s a Royal Caribbean excursion I will get more feedback on the Royal Caribbean page. Thanks for any input!
  15. Thank you for the feedback! We have been looking at the Spencer Ambrose Tour as it gets wonderful reviews! My only concern is our daughter has dietary restrictions (Celiac Disease) and 7 hours is a really long day away from the ship and safe food. I’m sure if we bring snacks for her we can make it work though! The cost is also higher at $330 for all of us, though I bet the time at the beach would justify the difference in price.... Decisions, decisions... I’d still love any further input on either of these options (or others that I’m not thinking of that would be worth considering.) Thank you!
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