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MauiWowie57

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About MauiWowie57

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Washington, DC
  • Interests
    Music, Fitness
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, Carnival
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacific

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  1. I've done the Vancouver to HI to LA - and yes, it can be a little dramatic off the coast of Vancouver until you get out of the north Pacific - so the first few sea days might be a bit rough on your DH's equilibrium.
  2. You sir, are truly a class act, and your lady is lovely. Thank you. I wore a white dinner jacket as well. Wished I had the pic!
  3. I'll say this though - they do NOT yet have an electronic boarding pass (like Apple Wallet) for your boarding pass. The luggage tags? It's just one paper per bag. Color is good though as the decks, port/starboard, etc. all have color codings that help the crew handling bags rapidly identify where you're going.
  4. So - if you're trying to register prior to boarding, you won't have a folio number - no worries. If you're trying to register in advance (as it's fun to use the Countdown feature) - --- (a) Do you have a travel agent or did you book yourself? (b) Did you meant to book multiple rooms on the same booking number? If you don't have a TA, call Carnival and find out what the heck's up, and link the booking numbers together. You can do that so you can all board together, get seated in the MDR together if you wish, etc. If you do have a TA, they can do all that.
  5. I haven't eaten in a "Carnival Steakhouse" in a few years - as I've been on the older smaller ships most recently that don't have a dedicated steak house. I'll say this though - used to be a heck of a great deal for the (a) quality of the meat (granted it's not my local, grass fed fresh beef, but it's very high quality frozen), (b) the atmosphere and service. The $20 upcharge in the MDR for "steakhouse selections" by comparison is definitely, IMHO, not a good value.
  6. Just call CCL and ask the question specifically about your ship and cabin's furnishings. I assured my DW on the last cruise that the Paradise would have a hair dryer; she called - they didn't - and told her to bring one. She did (they didn't confiscate it). Turns out they DID have one in the room (!!!). Perhaps in some suites there's coffee (Keurig) machines - HAL has them in their suites - but generally ships try to avoid putting heat (fire) generating appliances in staterooms. The irons (and ironing boards) are 'hard wired' in the laundry rooms, and controlled by timers as an example.
  7. Definitely. I've been on everything from 3 to 18 days; the short the cruise, the more raucous the party - and again, if it's spring break/graduation/etc., you'll have more. Longer cruises tend to attract older, possibly retirees (yes, retirees on Carnival!). As has been noted, the Serenity Deck is usually quite serene (!), but you still have the option of participating in the HC Contest and other fun.
  8. And I sailed on the Vista on her inaugural Trans-Atlantic and frankly was surprised we got to do it inside. The one Princess cruise I took in ... 2015?... featured an inside muster; but my most recent HAL this past Christmas was..back outside. If anyone can decode it, I'm curious!?
  9. Got me! Website says there is. Let's just say "Magic Hot Tub."
  10. Hi, and welcome to Carnival. NO worries, I'll start the replies with what I know: We are cruising to Bermuda on Sunrise in September. If the ship leaves Bermuda at 5pm, what time must we be back on the ship? I believe with NCL it was 1 or 2 hours (can't remember exactly) but I can't find Carnival's policy anywhere. It's usually an hour before 'cast off' and 'underway time.' Bermuda isn't that big, but if you're going on your own, sometimes getting a cab back to the ship is problematic. Roads are narrow, etc. Here are a few more questions I have: 1) Adults-only Serenity area is included in the cruise cost, right? I seem to remember that NCL charges (or at least used to) for their adults-only area so I want to make sure I didn't misinterpret that Carnival includes it. And speaking of Serenity, are those fancy cabanas first come first serve or is there a fee to reserve? Again, on NCL I think there was a fee to reserve them. It's included, no charge. Everything is fc, first served - which leads to "chair hogging," - people that get up, pile stuff into a lounger, then disappear to work out or eat or something. (I suppose that's the problem with them being offered free!). Suggest you tag-team with your cruise partner and post a guard while the other one goes for chow, as we say in the Marines. 2) The deck plans make it look like the Fitness Center is inside the Spa. Would we need a spa pass to be able to use the Fitness Center? It does like that doesn't it? I've never been on the Sunrise/Triumph but I've been on her sister ships. You don't need a spa pass to use the gym/fitness center, though they're in close proximity to each other. The "spa pass" (extra charge) is getting you access to the Thalassotherapy Pool (very high end hot tub) and the magical heated tile loungers. There most likely is a charge for exercise classes, yoga, etc. Gym remains free. There are free hot tubs out on deck of course. 3) I know on Elegant night(s), there is a more upscale dress code. I think we'd prefer to avoid packing a special outfit for 1 day so I know we won't be able to use the MDR. But I know the Lido Buffet will be available. What about the other free restaurants? Will those follow the Elegant dress code or will they be casual like Lido? Just wondering if on Elegant night if Lido will be our only dinner option unless we pack a nicer outfit for everyone. Don't worry about the Elegant nights, unless you want to. Of course the Lido has a relaxed dress code, if, as an example, men show up in the MDR with a "collared shirt" on, that's more than fine. Even on Holland America, I haven't seen people turned away from the MDR on elegant nights as long as they weren't in shorts and a tank top. 4) What restaurants are open for lunch on embarkation day? I know Lido is and so is the Italian place (right?). Wondering what our food options will be that day. Which will be the least crowded place to eat on embarkation day? Anything up on deck would be busy - the Italian place ( CUCINA DEL CAPITANO) may or may not be more crowded than, say, Blue Iguana out on deck. I'd just get on the ship and start exploring, and when your nose lights up and it's not too crowded...eat! 5) Will the pool be open for use immediately upon embarkation? We are weighing whether to try and get on board as early as possible and let my 10 year old enjoy the pool before it's packed vs spending time in New York for a few hours. It most likely will be, but it's NYC in September so it's liable to be a bit chilly! The main pool has a retractable cover though, so shouldn't be too bad. 6) Can kids join you in the lounges? In case there's ever a night we want to go to one of the lounges and listen to some live music, just wanted to know if those are considered adult-only or not. We plan on making use of Camp Ocean so we can always ship him off to them if we can't take him with us. Yes, of course. They also do two sets of shows at the Comedy Club, 'family' friendly "adult only." 7) How busy do the activities on board get during different times? Meaning what are generally the best times to try to do the mini golf or ropes course or go to the sports square area? I'll leave that one to someone just there, but I imagine it's dependent on the weather, time of year, itinerary (long/short/Spring Break) as to how active your fellow passengers are. Sounds like you're going right after school's started, so mostly single adults and retirees? 8 ) Is a spa balcony worth paying an additional $142 over a regular balcony? I never did a spa pass with my 2 NCL cruises and I'm not sure how much I'd use it since I think the Serenity area is included. So I'm not sure if I want to "upgrade" to a spa balcony or not (we are currently booked in a regular balcony). I think what you're getting with the upcharge (aside from a special bathrobe) is access to the Thermal suites (the super hot tub, special steam rooms, heated lounger) I mentioned. Serenity is included in your basic cruise fare, so unless you really want to hang out in the Spa, it's not worth it. I believe they'll also sell Spa passes to non-Spa cabin cruisers, so it can get crowded in there (that was my experience on the Vista).
  11. Honestly, I don't know. Anecdotally, as my last visit to HMC during Christmas of 2018 was on HAL, not Carnival...HAL has a similar beverage program, I read the second poster's article stating that CCL had expanded Cheers to HMC..didn't know; and I've been to HMC since 2013, on Carnival, with Cheers, and paid ala carte for drinks.
  12. Or an Australian Shepherd dog! Love your avatar. Honestly, I made a commitment to achieve Platinum status at some point, and by golly, through diligent savings and keeping my work life from interfering with my 'life-life,' I made it. The laundry and party is nice, but mostly it's nice just to cruise so many times with all you nice people.
  13. Sadly, they do seem to sell too many FTTFs; I've been Plat for a while now, and don't begrudge FTTFs at all - I don't like sitting around in long lines either, but at some point (as noted on another thread about priority room access), with staff reductions, something's got to give. In hindsight, I don't think I necessarily got my money's worth out of the FTTF before hitting Platinum status. I do think that at some point they'll monkey with the VIFP Tiers again, there seems to be more Platinum than the system can accommodate at this point. I did the Vista maiden trans-Atlantic a few years ago, and more than half the passengers were Platinum (including me!), which had the effect of...diminishing the value of that tier.
  14. Doing quite a few cruises on both lines ... I'd say the reason to start this on HAL is exactly that. Not that many HALsters are going to want a second entree, and so the incidences of this occurring are going to be rare; an easy way to see if the extra accounting procedures work, kitchen management processes easily adapts, and the service staff is able to overcome the resistance to being charged for what used to be considered "included." The first two would carry right over to Carnival from HAL once perfected, but the second is going to require some 'strategic communications/change management training" for the service staff to avoid customers getting upset. I always think it's funny when businesses (and the cruise lines are really going after this in recent years) talk about "testing" additional fees, or unbundled fees for things that used to be considered included. Airline baggage fees, fees for a seat inside the plane (as opposed to in the cargo hold I suppose), etc. The presumption with 'testing' is that the test could FAIL. All of a sudden bookings drop to zero because of additional entree charges...? I doubt it. More along the lines of "(a) how many people does this negatively impact, and (b) are they impacted enough that hurts our bottom line more than the additional revenue we're now getting from the second entree up charge?"
  15. You’re exactly right. Koningsdam. My error. I hate getting old.
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