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About christieSF

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  1. Can you expand on why Carnival in Europe was bad? We're doing a Med cruise next summer on the Legend and I have only read positive reviews about both the Legend and Carnival in Europe. I'd love to hear the other side of the coin. Our financial alternatives would be a shorter Norwegian, RCI, or MSC cruise or doing it by land. Princess would be about $5000 more expensive for our family.
  2. This was actually my first thought which is why I was so wishy washy when I wrote the post and said we would likely not do it. However, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea!! We wouldn't have to worry about getting back to Livorno at any certain time. We could either spend longer in Florence or get to Rome for dinner and walk around the fountains at night. Then we could get an early jump to the day in Rome before it's too crowded and hot and return to the ship early enough that we won't be stressed about the distance. This will only be our second cruise (unless we squeeze a bonus quick trip in!) and we are choosing to cruise because we like the convenience of getting to lots of places while staying on a ship and enjoying the amenities of the cruise, but forgoing that for one night doesn't seem like it would negatively affect our cruise experience. I will reach out to Carnival to see if it's a possibility before we go further down this path. Thank you all for your thoughts. It helps to hear the pros and cons!
  3. Yes, if we decide to pursue this, we will definitely contact Carnival ahead of time and if they approve it, we would let our steward know on the ship. I was wondering if anyone had done this before or if it's something that is likely to be allowed.
  4. Sorry!! Thanks for sticking with me 🙂 I appreciate the feedback. This is the cruise. It's a 9 night 1 way cruise from Barcelona to Venice. We are planning on spending a couple days in Barcelona and Venice. Day 1 Barcelona Day 2 Marseille Day 3 Florence (Livorno) Day 4 Rome (Civitavecchia) Day 5 Naples Day 6 Cruising Day 7 Corfu Day 8 Kotor Day 9 Cruising Day 10 Venice We would either get off in Florence and back on in Rome (leaning towards that) OR get off in Rome and back on in Naples. Either way we would spend the night in Rome.
  5. Yikes. I realize my wording is confusing! I tried to edit it, but could not. I meant back to back days, not cruises! I would use my newness as an excuse, but as I've probably read these boards for 100 hours, I should have known better. Hahahaha. What I'm thinking (if we did this) is we would get off the ship in Livorno and travel to Florence (ship ports at 7:00AM). Spend the day in Florence and then take an evening express train to Rome. Then we would wake up in Rome with a full day in Rome. The ship doesn't leave Civitavecchia until 10:00PM, but we would shoot to be back around 7:00PM to leave loads of wiggle room.
  6. I very highly doubt we will do this, but I was wondering if it was even allowed. We are going to do a Mediterranean cruise next summer and we have back to back to back days in Florence, Rome, and Naples. Would it be allowed to get off the ship in Florence and make our way to Rome ourselves and get back on the ship the next night or get off in Rome and get back on in Naples? Again, I doubt we would even do this, but I like to know all my options! We are on Carnival if that makes a difference. Thanks!
  7. We are likely taking a Mediterranean cruise next summer as well. I was shooting for $5000 max for our family of four. Since the kids are a much reduced price, it's close to the same budget as yours (though we can only travel in July which is the most expensive month!). I've done a ton of research along with posts here and we decided on the 9 night Carnival cruise that starts in Barcelona and ends in Venice. It has 4 Italy ports as well as 1 France, 1 Greece and 1 Montenegro (I would have preferred Croatia, but can't have it all!) The other cruises I was looking at were Royal Caribbean, MSC, and Norwegian. Celebrity was just out of our price range (and I didn't think the best option for the kids) but it might work for you. Most of the cruises with Norwegian are on the Epic and that ship doesn't seem to get the best reviews. Most 7 night cruises either do Western Mediterranean (includes Barcelona) or Eastern Mediterranean (includes Greece or Croatia). We ended up choosing Carnival for the two extra nights and the fact that we could do Barcelona and Venice. Have fun planning!
  8. Funny enough, I was one of those people until my parents wanted to take us on a family cruise. Since I wanted to travel with my family, we joined and now I can't get enough! It's basically the only way I want to travel now to make up for lost time!
  9. Unfortunately the PVP that was assigned to me doesn't seem to be the best. She will only do conversations via phone (and as I work from home at all times of day, email works best) and the deal she offered was the exact same as the website. Wow! That's a big PRO in keeping the reservation myself. This was my initial thought! As we are just getting hooked into cruising right now with our kids at 10 and 13, I see the next few years looking like: Small cruises off the West Coast of CA and then one big cruise per summer. Once the kids are in college/on their own, we would plan differently, but for now, it's going to be about itinerary, dates, and cost. I do not see us being committed to a single line in the near future. I wish I was able to find a discount/OBC that matched what is being offered! Okay, everyone, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of the feedback. I can't believe the thoughtful responses and it's given me a lot to consider. Most of the TAs I talked to offered about 8% OBC. The one who I really liked only offered $50, so I think you have all convinced me that's not worth it. I got an email this AM from one offering almost 10% in OBC. The problem is that I emailed him Friday and got the response this morning, so if there is a price drop, that's not a great turnaround time. On the other hand, doing research, I don't think this cruise is going to drop price, so I don't think that's going to be an issue for this cruise. As I mentioned above, I think the next few years will see us taking smaller cruises from CA and then a big cruise that fits what we want to do each summer so it would be great if a TA could be someone who could help us with those needs. I love doing research, but I won't be on the sites all the time knowing the latest deals. I did do some research last night on local cruise travel agents and at first pass, they seem very high end focused (thanks San Francisco!) but I will keep looking. It would be nice to have someone that could alert me to the deals on various lines out of SF.
  10. Ha. I am so used to doing everything online that I didn't think to meet in person! I can definitely see how that would be a big benefit and living in San Francisco, I bet we have some really good ones. Do you know if there is a time limit before I have to switch the reservation to the TA?
  11. Thank you all for the opinions. I really appreciate to hear the pros and cons and to see that my thoughts aren't too far off! I did book ES. If I find a reduced price (which I doubt I will for the cruise we chose, but maybe others in the future...) what do I do? Do you just call Carnival or is there an official way to go about it? Thanks!
  12. I just booked our cruise for next summer (yay!). It's the first cruise I've ever booked and I have tons of questions! I have received a lot of help from Cruise Critic already and do really enjoy researching and planning. I'm wondering if there is a big benefit to transferring to an agent or if it's better not to? I reached out to several and the one who has been quickest to reply is offering a small on board credit (certainly not a deal maker/breaker). Some of the others who have not given any good information and take a long time to reply are offering a huge on board credit, but I would not feel comfortable transferring my reservation to them. The other factor is we are hoping to go on many more cruises, so maybe it would be good to build the relationship with the TA who is responsive and helpful. I feel like I'm talking in circles, so I'd love any outside views!! Thanks again!!
  13. We are a family of 4 doing a 9 Night Mediterranean Cruise on Carnival Legend next summer. I'm very conflicted on the dining and as there are no cruises there this summer, I can't look at the FunTimes to make a decision!! We did the late seating on our Princess Alaska Cruise this summer and it had it's pros and cons. We were able to have dinner in the MDR every night (back on ship) and we LOOOOOVED our waiter. He was one of the highlights of our whole trip. However, we missed many activities/shows we would have liked to join and the girls missed about half of the kids/teen room activities/games every night. Looking at the Camp Ocean programs, it seems like if we did the late seating (8:15) the kids would definitely miss out on night activities. So that eliminates late night. The Early is currently scheduled for 6:00 which would work for most days. We only wouldn't be back on ship 1-3 nights. Does anyone have a feel of if we will be missing out on scheduled activities during that time? We really like the idea of having the same waiter and not having to make reservations which is why I'm shying away from Your Time. Thanks!
  14. That's what I'm hoping. I'm sure she'd say she'd rather be in the O2, but I think she'll have more fun in the Circle C! Though, she is young for her grade and most of her friends are a year older, so it can go either way. I just really would rather not have her switching as then I think she'd have a hard time finding a group of friends!
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