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  1. We had mixed results on our last cruise on Zuiderdam. I had no issues on my iPhone except a fairly delayed message one time. My mom had nothing but problems with her Android- it wouldn't allow her to log-in, then wouldn't recognize me as someone she could chat with even though we were sharing a room, then consistently wouldn't deliver messages timely. It is nice when it works, but when it doesn't...
  2. I'm 40-something and have 5 cruises on Celebrity and 2 on HAL in the past 4 years- some solo, some with others. Here are my thoughts: Rooms: Insides on Celebrity are in general larger than most inside classes on HAL. Balcony rooms about the same, although HAL has tubs instead of just showers for X. Food: Subjective. I like X's breakfast better (dining room, lido & room service), HAL lido lunch better (love the salad bar and asian station), find the MDR to be about the same, and X specialty restaurants to be generally better although more expensive. Tamarind on Eurodam was the exception- as good or better as any X specialty and half the price. Itinerary: HAL tends to have more interesting itineraries to me. Pool: X- Cool weather itineraries- I love the indoor adults pool area much better than the retractable roof HAL pools that don't stay warm in cooler weather. Warm weather itineraries are tied. Burger joint: HAL wins hands down. Cabanas: HAL. I love this option, especially as a solo traveler, or for large #s of sea days in warm weather. inside + cabana for less than an outside, never mind a balcony, was a major win! Bars: X. The martini bar is my favorite place on ship after dinner. I have yet to find a great bar on HAL with the fun social atmosphere as the X martini bars. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places?? Also like the drink package upgrade for such a small fee and just paying the amount over the package on X. Entertainment: MainStage is pretty even, although I appreciated HAL trying to appeal to a younger demographic with PostModern Jukebox. HAL BB Kings and Billboard OnBoard are great for dancing or singalongs. X's silent disco is one of my favorite things to do on a cruise. In-room tv/movie selection: HAL by a landslide. WiFi: X by a landslide. Crew: equally wonderful with a few exceptions on both lines. Laundry: edge to HAL because their prices are cheaper, but both lines do a great job. Solo travel: I really like X giving double loyalty points to solo cruisers, since we are usually paying 200%. I was able to get a great solo discount on HAL which made me try them in the first place. Loyalty Program: It was easier to get to 2 star on HAL than to Select on X for someone like me who books balcony and below cabins as opposed to suites. However I enjoy the X perks like $ off wi-fi more than the HAL perks so far. I might change my mind once I get up to higher tiers. I have enjoyed both lines and will likely continue to cruise on both when the itinerary and price make sense. I'm looking forward to trying Princess as well someday soon. I'd encourage you to give HAL a try and see if it fits what you are looking for.
  3. Loved our aft extended balcony on the Pride. Some vibration, mostly when docking or at sailaways. Biggest pro was running up one floor to the Lido for hot breakfast and bringing it back to have breakfast on the balcony. Way better than the free room service options. We also got TONS of steps on sea days going back and forth to the kid's club at the very front of the ship and heading to trivia which was forward of the casino. We didn't hear a lot of noise from above us, which I was nervous about since the pool are was right above us. Cons: We were on deck 8, immediately under the adult pool area. There wasn't much shade due to no overhang above us. We had 2 days out of 7 where someone's stuff blew off the pool area and onto our balcony, including once when ship's officers came knocking to ask if they could search our balcony for the missing item. I would get an aft extended balcony again in a heartbeat, but if possible, choose a lower deck where there might be more shade and less chance of disturbances from above.
  4. I used Uber multiple times in Quebec City on September 15th without issue. It was a must for us for disembarkation as we were not at the main cruise terminal due to 6 ships being in port that day, so we weren't close to any of the tourist attractions and the cab line had to be 300+ people. We were able to get a ride within 10 minutes every time we requested one, although we did have to pay some multiplier fares due to heavy demand. I don't use Lyft, so I can't comment on price/ease of obtaining one. If you are disembarking in Quebec City, you can store your luggage at the cruise terminal until 5 pm for a charge of $CAN 5 per bag. They were very kind to us and let us wrap a smaller bag around the handles of a roller bag and call that "one bag".
  5. Just off the Zuiderdam going from Boston to Quebec City and we also did the HOHO bus in Halifax, before the hurricane hit. My understanding about the Titanic cemetery was there was a giant sinkhole where the bus is supposed to drop off/pick up passengers. Apparently, there isn't anywhere else to drop people off?? Since all their advertising was mentioning that they now go out there, and nothing was said until we were zooming past the cemetery about the fact that we wouldn't actually be stopping there, that was a fairly large disappointment for me, in an otherwise enjoyable HOHO experience.
  6. I did the 18 day circle Hawaii RT from San Diego last year in November with a Retreat Cabana. There were a few times when I used the complementary blanket due to wind, and one time that we had rain showers, but of the 10 sea days, I used mine every day at least part of the day and thoroughly enjoyed it. You could also pull the drapes at the entrance closed to break the wind if the wind is in the correct direction. Seeing as you are from Texas, it may also depend on your tolerance for "cold". It was high 60s and low-mid 70s for the first few days out and last few days back to San Diego. There were a high percentage of Californians on the cruise and they were all complaining about how cold it was. I had just come from a Minnesota snow storm, so it was positively balmy to me!
  7. I don't remember exactly how many our Carnival cruise had- I think 2 full pages on the website and about half a page on the 3rd. We did the island tour which was interesting, but honestly hanging out at the beach right off the pier with the free chairs was just as much fun. As for FTTF- if you don't get anything right away, keep checking back. They ended up releasing some about a month before our cruise and I was able to snag them for our family. Hope you find something you enjoy! Val
  8. If cabana purchase pre-cruise gets points (and it did for me), I see no reason why Club Orange wouldn't, but I have no experience with that one to personally confirm.
  9. I would like to purchase a FCD for myself and my sister to go on a cruise together. She does not have a Mariner number, although she has a Carnival VIFP number. Would this be permitted?
  10. Our recent cruise in June, we were able to access the lot around 10:30 am. Many passengers were still disembarking, and they were letting cars in as ones from the previous cruise were departing.
  11. I have yet to be on a ship where music is played around the pool deck that isn't too loud for my tastes. I've only sailed HAL once so far, and was happy on that sailing to have a cabana in the retreat area. I would have been very unhappy if on days when the pool roof was open there had been music loud enough to disturb my relaxation in the retreat. To each their own...
  12. I just took my first Carnival cruise and the biggest difference to me was smoking. On Carnival the smoke drifted out of the casino into the coffee area where the trivia and other games were played. We started going up a floor to cross over the casino area and come back down to avoid having to walk through the casino area. Other differences- Guy's Burgers are much better than the poolside burger joints on Celebrity. Trivia on Celebrity isn't just an excuse to shell for BINGO card sales (as one Carnival staff member told us). I haven't had good luck getting towel animals on Celebrity, but had them every night on Carnival. Only 1 daily announcement around noon by cruise director & captain over the loudspeakers on Celebrity, rather than every 2 hours or so all day and night on Carnival (at least after little ones were in bed. 😞 ) The muster drill on Celebrity is no longer held out on the deck, but in lounges/the theater where it is to your benefit to get to your station at the beginning of the drill to get a good seat. And as others have said, there is less of a "party" atmosphere on Celebrity, although I've never had a problem finding something to do, but I'm not a stay up all night/sleep all day kind of person. Hope you enjoy your cruise!
  13. Last year I did 18 days solo on HAL's Eurodam with an inside cabin and one of the extra-charge cabanas. This was much cheaper than a solo balcony cabin and perfect for my needs. I had access to my reserved cabana spot from 8 -5, butler service to bring me breakfast, lunch & afternoon snack/champagne, with sunny or shady spots, depending on my preference. On Celebrity, I like the deck 11 lounge at the front of the ship on the M class, or the Cafe al Bacio in the early mornings. Most recently on the Carnival Pride there was the Sunset Garden on deck 3 forward- I never saw anyone hanging out there. Good luck & enjoy!
  14. I did an inside guarantee on the Eurodam last year. I ended up with an inside on deck 6, many categories above the class I booked, so I was very happy. I got my cabin assignment about 10 days out. Good luck and enjoy your cruise!
  15. No apology necessary! Cabana relaxation is much more important! But I do appreciate the info. Sorry to hear about the lack of robes in your cabana. The Eurodam Cabanas in November didn't have the misters or fans, but we did have the robes, and on some days, but not every day, the slippers.
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