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Everything posted by dlphn501

  1. Okay. But I can't think of another scenario where a gathering of hundreds of people, shoulder to shoulder, would be necessary unless we needed to get off the ship ASAP. If there is, God forbid, a shooting attack to the ship, I would think a giant group of people would be a target. *I'm seriously not trying to argue, but that's the only scenario I could think of that would personally affect ALL the passengers*
  2. I get this, but on a lot of ships, the muster station is in a theater, dining room, on Lido, or other area not next to the life boats, and the life boats are the main purpose of the drill.
  3. I can drive to pretty much any southern port except Galveston, and a stay over would be determined on the port. I am (hopefully) cruising on August 1st out of Miami, and will drive down the night before and stay in a hotel (about 350 miles). Definitely eat out, or order in via Uber Eats or Grub Hub if I pregame too much after hotel checkin 😉
  4. Has anyone done this excursion through ShoreExcursionsGroup dot com? Just wondering if it's any good? I was going to get a day passes at Santa Barbara Resort, but we are only in port until 3pm, so we would only have 3 hours max at the facility. Doesn't seem worth the price tag. It will be me and my 2 young daughters traveling. I had wanted to hit up the Blue Curacao Distillery (mainly to get some authentic Curacao and free samples; don't care too much for a tour), and the Island & Beach Tour stops there. It's also 2 hours on Mambo Beach which seems sufficient. Are we able to "leave" the tour and take a taxi from the beach? It starts at 10 am and says it's 4 hours, so that means we won't get back until 2pm, and that's a little too close for comfort for me making it back to the ship without getting left behind!
  5. Anyone ever do this through Carnival? I was looking at the pictures, and it looks like the vendor is ABC Tours. Can anyone confirm this? We dock at 9am, and the Carnival excursion starts at 9:30, but if I book privately through ABC Tours, their morning tour starts at 9am, which would be too early. Do they have different start times for the privately book tours and the cruise line booked tours? I will save $100 if I book on my own.
  6. Ah, sneaky! That might work! But is it worth it to lose the deposit? That could be a few hundred dollars or more.
  7. Not true - see my reply above. We had 2 twin beds and a pullman on the Ecstasy, no couch, and I THINK, but not positive, all fantasy-class ships are like that when there are 3 people in a cabin. The ship's deck plans have symbols that tell you what type of beds are in each cabin.
  8. I'm just repeating more of what's been said here, but itinerary definitely matters. I think the aforementioned Alaskan cruise would be worthy of a balcony. I am cheap, and i'd rather save the money for Cheers and excursions. There are secret decks and serenity where you can get the views shown in the photos above. you also need to factor in how long the cruise is. I just got back from a 3-day on Liberty that cost $500 for 3 of us (oceanview), so no way I'd be paying another $500 for a balcony. I would like to point out the size difference of a balcony cabin compared to an oceanview, as several have mentioned they like the "extra space". Standard balcony cabins are smaller than oceanview cabins on most ships, so you do not have more space. You do have "separate" or "private" space, however, if you want to close the curtains and "put the boys outside while the girls get ready" kind of situation. Also, since you can't pick the cabin, you are taking a gamble that the $500 is actually an upgrade. Look at the deck plans to make sure you would be okay with ANY balcony cabin on the ship. As much as I appreciate the extra space of a standard ocean view cabin, I would be tempted to "splurge" for a balcony IF I could pick my cabin AND it wasn't much of a price increase. Finally, if young kids will be in the cabin, it would make me nervous to leave them alone for even a minute.
  9. The only other cruise line I have sailed was Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas in November 2018. It was for my 40th birthday, and I wanted to work it around my kids 4-day Veteren's Day weekend, and it was the only cruise that did that. We then sailed on Carnival in April during their Spring Break, and I was nervous after hearing so many negative reviews about Carnival being the WalMart of cruise lines. Again, I was working around their school schedule and not wanting to burn a lot of extra vacation days, so both weekend days had to be utilized, and Carnival Liberty was the only one that fit the bill. All that being said, my kids (almost 13 and 8 years old) had such a blast on the Liberty, that we since sailed on Carnival two more times, with one being a repeat on Liberty. There is always something going on, and we found that lacking on RC. our RC sailing didn't have any sea days, and I still felt like we were always looking for something to do. From what I've read, Carnival's kids club take the cake over any other cruise line. We never used the club on RC so I can't compare, but my 8 year old loves going. She actually asks to go. I love the comedy shows, and they have PG ones early in the evening and adults-only ones later in the evening. My 8-year old was not a fan of the comedy, but my 12 year old enjoyed it. For the next comedy show, the 8-year old went to camp. We enjoy the theater shows, the kids LOVE the Hasbro Game Show, we do Bingo at least once per cruise also, per the kids request. I think all the ships have an arcade, some better than others, and I allowed my kids $10 each in there. My 8-year old is still pretty picky about food, but she loves tacos and burgers, so the food is a win-win for us. They also love the waterslides/waterworks on Carnival, as do I 🙂 I don't think RC has any water slides on any of the ships, although some of the bigger ones have the Flow Rider, but my 8-year old is too little for that. IMO, the buffet on RC is far superior the lido buffet on Carnival, but the food overall on Carnival takes my vote since they have Guy's Burgers and Blue Iguana Cantina at a minimum, Mongolian Wok, and BBQ sometimes too. There are so many other things going on that I didn't mention: Trivia a couple times a day, music in the atrium and sing and dance-alongs, hairy chest competition, mixology, giant Jenga (called Carnival Tower, and my kids loved this too, and my youngest won), Trivial Pursuit, and more! Since your dislike of RC was the lack of activities and events, I don't think you'll regret either of the 2 cruises, and I hope you have a great time :)!
  10. Yes, this exactly! FTTF was showing up as "sold out" for a week, up to and including late last night. Now it's just gone!
  11. Same! I was up at 2:30 this morning and I got "uh oh, we are resolving issues...." on the screen!
  12. I came here specifically to ask this question! Hopefully someone has an answer. I called Carnival about it this morning, and the rep told me that she was able to see all the excursions on her end and she had no knowledge of the website being down or glitchy.
  13. I had 2 twins and an upper pullman for 3 people in an oceanview (no balcony) on the Ecstasy. The twin beds were in an "L" shape - one was against the wall that the window is on, the other was where a sofa would be. The pullman came down on top of the 2nd bed. You get a lot more floor space in the smaller cabins that way, and Ecstasy (fantasy-class) doesn't have the larger OV cabins that the newer ships do. That being said, in studying different deck plans that show the types of beds, I have concluded that only smaller (185 sq ft) OV or interior cabins will allow for that setup. The larger oceanview and higher, which are 220 sq ft (except standard balcony rooms), will have the sofa bed as a 3rd bed. So essentially you have the same amount of floor space in a 220 sq ft cabin with 2 twins/king and sofa bed as you do in a 185 sq ft cabin with 2 twins and upper pullman. Without a sofa bed, there is no seating area. There is a small chair/bench if you need to sit to tie shoes or something, but typically you aren't in the cabin long enough to be chilling and entertaining where you need a seating area.
  14. Does anyone have pictures of the food and drinks menu from the resort? Is the included lunch buffet style? If so, what type of food do they serve?
  15. Where can I get a bloody Mary, or other adult beverage for the drive over? Are there little bars at or near the port? Where exactly does the shuttle bus pick you up?
  16. They have mac and cheese on the kids menu that you can order. I had some of my daughters on the Ecstasy, and it was amazing! So I ordered it recently on the Liberty, and it looked like Easy Mac 🤷‍♀️ Maybe they were just having a bad day?
  17. Agree about the 12-hour french toast. We tried it twice on two different ships, and it wasn't cooked in the middle.
  18. I was just on the Liberty out of Port Canaveral, and I had a check-in time of 11:30-12:00. I parked my car in the parking garage at the pier at 11:04 and walked right to the terminal arriving around 11:15. They looked at my documents and just waved us on, and I went right to the "regular boarding" line. I guess because I was only 15 minutes early, I was not told to go "early/late" line. I showed our documents to another person inside the terminal, and he said they had started boarding our zone already! We got in the queue line to board the ship and never stopped moving. We were walking on the ship at 11:28am. It really does depend, but if you like to gamble and won't mind waiting once inside the terminal, I say go it and show up at 11.
  19. When a child needs a passport, both parents have to show up to the passport place. If one parent cannot attend because they are deceased, out of the picture, etc, there is a Statement of Consent form that the custodial parent can sign and have notarized. Have mom fill out that form and maybe it will suffice?? Link below. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/how-apply/forms.html
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