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Paelos

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About Paelos

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Atlanta, GA
  • Interests
    Sports, Food, Wine, Fantasy Fiction
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival so far
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. My question is how do you stick to Margaritas for 10 in a row? Switch it up brother.
  2. Elation is a smaller sized ship than Summit (about 100 feet, but holds the same about of guests), and the decor is what I would call more colorful than anything you'll see on Summit which is going for a much more modern feel (more neutral colors and wood). The casino on Elation I think is bigger, but it's smoking where Summit is not. Summit would feel newer than Elation, with more specialty dining and more refurbished areas. The Elation has ZERO specialty dining. All it has is add-ons in the MDR, and the Chef's Table. However, I think the upper decks on the Elation are better than the Summit, and complimentary dining is better. The lido on Elation has the Guy's Burgers, Blue Iguana, and Tequila and Rum bars all in one place, and then connects back to the buffet. The pools are newer on Summit though so if you like the pool Elation will be disappointing.
  3. Things I would cut? - MDR Dancing for sure. I think the whole practice is weirdly forced and awkward. - Paper Straws, I get they don't want to use plastic, but many times all I need is a stirstick, and you know what's good for that? Raw pasta. Works great, cheap, and biodegradable. - Stopping in the Bahamas unless it's a private island. If I never have to go to Nassu or Freeport again? I'm happy. Those are pointless stops for me. - Production shows. I think the quality on Carnival is so lacking compared to the other lines I've been on. Either commit to getting better performers and shows, or just get rid of it.
  4. If you enjoy good wine I'd absolutely bring it. Carnival's wine selection is drinkable at the higher tiers, but that's about it. I made the mistake of trying that Kathy Lee Gifford wine once, and literally couldn't finish it it was so bad. I mean when Kendall Jackson is considered one of the higher tier wines? You know you're not getting much on the quality level. That stuff sells for $12 a bottle at Target. That doesn't make a you a wine snob at all. For a nice cruise, I think getting a couple of nice $30 and up bottles and bringing them for before dinner in the stateroom is a nice idea. Then you can take them with you to the dining room in your glasses with a heavy pour. The cheers package is great for cocktails but I think it's a waste on the wine.
  5. The only meal that really stood out to me on my last NCL cruise was the late night Osheehans, so I think it's something Carnival needs to do better and I'd probably stay up later. As it is my time on the Elation last time the place was dead by 11pm outside of the casino so I didn't bother.
  6. First off, I think you're doing the right thing by comparing lines. The loyalty programs for all these lines are so ridiculously meagre that you should absolutely shop around for the best value without regards to the line. My experience having done NCL, Carnival, and RCCL is that they have basically the same elements with some things that vary. NCL has gone almost entirely to the "FREE AT SEA" or "TAKE ALL OFFERS" sort of cruising, which is the way for them to make sure they are driving up the cost of the cruise from the jump. The best way to find out what your cruise will actually cost is to make a spreadsheet, and then tabulate what you actually plan to do on Carnival (ie - if you plan to do excursions and drink packages with some specialty dining, price those out). Then compare that to the fare of the NCL cruise which includes the perks. The key thing is for NCL, they price the perks out for you, but you have to pay taxes and gratuities on those perks. That's why it's key to do a mock booking on their site, price it all the way through with the perks to the end, and you'll get a real cost. Comparatively between the two lines here's what I noted: Carnival has more included complimentary food (Guys, Blue Iguana, Pizza, etc.), the atmosphere is more "fun" which mostly means a lot of people drinking, younger, tons of tattoos and very interesting clothing choices, better comedy (imo) with more flexible show hours, the stage shows are rather ridiculous and not very good, the music is okay, and the for-fee dining isn't really worth it for me. The drink package on Carnival is too restrictive for my tastes. I don't like I don't like the fact that you're limited to one beverage at a time, and when I was cruising they wouldn't give me a bottle of water and a drink at the same time. Having a 15 minute waiting period or whatever it is when you and your shipmate are both on a package is silly. NCL has again imo, worse complimentary food, but much better high-end for fee food, alot of which will be included in your free at sea package. The beverage package on NCL is great because you can get 2 drinks at a time on one card, but it has some higher end restrictions on what liquors are included and that can piss some people off if you like a certain higher end brand. NCL tended to be a little older, a little less "intense" with the crowd type. I liked the fact that NCL does have much higher quality shows, but they are a bit too risque for me (but others would likely enjoy). The music is one of real separators for me in the two lines. If you like good bands, duos, singers, live music in all areas of the ship, etc. NCL is the way to go. Their entertainment from a musical standpoint is the best of any of the lines. If you're close on price, I'd book NCL over Carnival assuming you're okay with being in an older crowd. In my mind, it's a generally better line on the things I enjoy (food, drinks, music). However, if it's an atmosphere decision then go with the line you think provides that fun atmosphere, which is definitely Carnival.
  7. 6 to 8 weeks? Do you have your mail forwarded to you as well? Congrats, btw that's a lifestyle many would envy. And yeah of course decorating your house is different, you own your house. People don't walk literally 2 feet from my front door every single day on their way to work. If you're in an apartment complex (which is a much better analogy) or a hotel room, many of them have very specific rules about door decorating or outright disallow it. I don't see why the cruise lines are any different.
  8. I knew one of them had a lawn, couldn't remember! I'm pretty snarky so I don't mind getting snark back, it makes the board fun!
  9. I figured while I'm at sea I don't have to worry as much about lawn issues. That being said, is my disdain for door decorations a grumpy old man problem? Absolutely, I have no shame admitting that I find other people's certain behaviors on cruises to be incredibly tacky. You're on vacation with 1000s of other people, not a private yacht. Will door decorations ruin my cruise? No. Will they make me roll my eyes and wonder why anybody would think that I need to know as a passer-by that you love Shrek so much you threw a bunch of punny signs on your cabin door? I think we as a society will make due to if you just wear a funny T-Shirt instead of vomiting cartoons on your door.
  10. I don't particularly care for the door decorating thing because I think it's tacky as all get out. But I expect the common reason is that people love showing off or else they would just decorate with these things inside their cabins, not on their doors. "It helps me find my room" - Amazingly they've created this system where the rooms are numbered, which helps out. "But I might be drunk and can't see it." - If you're getting so drunk you can't find your room, I'd suggest a Friends with Bill W meeting, because you're verging into major problem territory. "But it's fun!" - And it would be just as much fun for you if you put it on the other side of your door where you can see it all the time in your cabin. But that's not what you want. You want OTHER people to see it. You exhibitionist you. "But It's my birthday/anniversary/etc." - Yep that's about a third of the ship, and why people cruise. Congrats! Your door covered in pandas is tacky as hell. "You're just grumpy and hating on something simple." - And it's pretty simple to leave a door a door. Not a portal to your weird Disney fetish. "Who's it hurting?" - My eyeballs.
  11. O'Sheehans is great for a late night stop, but I wouldn't do dinner there. It's very slow and I think a waste of time compared to the MDR service and food.
  12. For me I'd say the things I remember most from my NCL cruise were: - The profiteroles dessert at Le Bistro - The Jerk chicken wings at O'Sheehans - The salad bar at Moderno (all kinds of olives, cured meats, cheeses, marinated veggies, pickles, etc) - Smoked salmon (anywhere you can find it, I always enjoyed it)
  13. You'll be fine enjoy it. Some cruisers want to remember THE GOOD OLE DAYS that haven't existed for over a decade, long before you set foot on a ship. You won't notice what's missing because you never saw it. What is on a NCL cruise is a lot of good drinks, some of the best specialty dining on any line, and enough complimentary food to keep you occupied. The staff is very nice, the entertainment is very well put together, and the live music the best of any cruise line I've been on. Don't worry be happy my friend.
  14. Nassau - I'll likely never get off the boat again unless it's on a very specific excursion on the water. Never been to Freeport but I've seen videos and it looks like an internment camp when you get off the ship. I honestly think the Bahamas in general is fairly awful.
  15. I've been on the Elation, the RC Mariner of the Seas, and the NCL Epic. I found the Elation to have an insane over the top version of Tiffany lamps decor, but I could laugh that off and have a good time without issue. Also it was my first cruise and my honeymoon so it would have had to have hit a rock for me to care about what was going on there. The Epic was fine with it's weird layout and strange interior spaces, but acceptable. The RC Mariner was great with the Promenade but as you've noted it's very bland. The issue with the Valor to me is the flooring and the weird faces. It's like America threw up all over a ship. And honestly it's not as much me as I'm thinking about taking some friends who have never done a cruise before, and it doesn't strike me as the type of ship I would think I'd want to use as the first impression of Carnival. The Glory is probably better for that, but it's a longer cruise.
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