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Dive Master

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  1. On 1/10/2020 at 3:32 PM, BerlinLink said:

    Thanks Charlestonians for being on this thread!!!


    I will be there January 29 with an 11 and 12 year old. I am all for walking around and wandering but with kids, it's a bit harder. Anything that would be very interesting to see in the historic area for that age group? What about non-seafood restaurants (we live so far from any lake/ocean that we aren't used to it and my 11 year old is very picky and won't try new things unfortunately)? Could we go on the ferry to the island and see the aircraft carrier museum and wander around old town in one day or is that too ambitious? What is the weather usually like end of January?

     You might want to check out Charleston Pirate Tours with Eric Lavender. Eric does a great walking tour and knows his pirate history. He dresses like a pirate captain complete with a parrot on his shoulder. The tour is about two hours, covers about a mile, and has frequent stops. Plus you would never be more than a mile from the ship if that. The tour leaves from the Powder Magazine on Cumberland Street—— Maybe 4 blocks from the ship. The magazine tour is included and you can add on a tour of the beautiful and historic Exchange Building where the tour ends. Eric is great with kids. They would have a great time and learn some fascinating history too.


    Plenty of places in the Market area to eat. For non seafood maybe try T Bonz for steaks or burgers. We also really like a great Greek family restaurant Olde Town on King Street . Their chicken is fantastic. King Street has great shopping.


    The historic district is safe and great for walking and exploring. Most anyone will kindly give you directions and advice.

  2. 21 hours ago, CM1984 said:


    Hi magictam - I posted something about 3368 on Rotterdam Lanai Thread after the first night on the Rotterdam.  After we had a full week in the Lanai 3368, my opinion differed just a bit.  Here you go:

    1.  Noise level from above, minimal, if you look on Deck Plans you will see just a "bit" of the kitchen is above, and we heard ONLY just a BIT.  The noise level is not an issue.

    2.  3368 - Deck sliding door has moisture between 2 pieces of glass, but got less throughout week.  There is permanent clouding at bottom of door but was not an issue. 

    3.  If you have been in a balcony cabin on another HAL, you will realize this cabin is smaller, but not significantly.

    4.  Storage - I found it to have more  storage or better organized than the Eurodam or Zuiderdam.  Personal opinion - and I took just as much.

    5.  No magnetic walls.

    6.  NO noise from cabins on either side, barely heard their toilet flush.

    7.  Only way you can look inside the cabin from the outside desk is press your face and hands against the glass.  Close those curtains at night.

    8.  Couch only a 2 seater, not as big as a balcony

    9.  Outlets - 2 USB on desk/vanity & 1 220 - 1 110v - that's it.  Bring an extension cord, multi-USB charger - I got one from Amazon, worked great.

    10.  Okay - and I would rather not have to say, but you need to know - the A/C was working poorly throughout the week, without them being able to fix.  They gave us a fan, plus a dinner at Pinnacle plus $350 OBC.  VERY nice of them.  And I believe it was affecting other cabins in our row, too.

    11.  Lastly, we did like the option of going out directly on the deck, but we really like the privacy of a balcony cabin better.


    A few more: 

    --Of all the ships we have ever cruised on, 2 other HAL within last year, the Rotterdam's water was outstanding!  I'd drink it anytime and not waste $ on bottled water, and I'm picky.  Everyone should learn from them!

    --The crew was outstanding in service, professional and kindness! 

    --We had Anytime Dining and never had a problem getting a table, BUT we were not picky, and enjoyed sitting with strangers, who then became friends.

     We were on the Rotterdam March 3 rd  through the 10 th. We had AC issues also. The cabin stayed about 82-85 degrees and got really stuffy at night. The Front Desk admitted we were not the only ones. They had run out of fans so we did not get one. We got a $300 credit but no Pinnacle dinner. This did not ruin our cruise but I prefer to have AC.

  3. Check some of the hotels in the Market area and see if you can leave your luggage with them. Perhaps sign up for a carriage tour and ask about leaving your luggage with them. After the tour you could have lunch and shop in the Market Until it’s time to go to the airport. The Market is only two blocks from the cruise terminal and in the center of historic Charleston. The area is very safe and the locals are friendly. 

  4. I enjoyed your review. We were also on this cruise. We also cruised the Rotterdam last year. She is a beautiful ship with a great crew. The one big negative this cruise was the air conditioning in our stateroom ( 3326). Our room stayed between 82-85 degrees and would get very stuffy at night. The front desk admitted the ship was having issues with the AC and they were doing their best to fix it. They were out of fans and admitted many cabins were having issues. We did get a credit but I would have rather been cool ! I guess issues happen on a 22 year old ship but I would hesitate to book her again.

  5. The Retreat pool area was remodeled during the November 2017 drydock. Most of the shallow pool was covered by teak decking. The small curved section remains and is flanked by two new spa tubs. The curved pool area is about 4-5 feet wide and maybe a foot deep. I did see a few folks sitting in the pool to cool off.

    The area does look nice but I still would prefer a regular pool on the back of the ship.

  6. Sounds like you were conscientious as regards the lanai door. Just wondering, did you report the malfunction of the card/lock to the front desk?


    I don’t think I did. We were one cabin away from the outside doors so we just used it when we were going to walk on the promenade. I did complain to the the front desk about the chairs not having a reserved sign on them. They put a small reserved sign on our chairs that evening. I noticed all of the Lanai chairs were tagged by the last night of the cruise.


    We did enjoy the Lanai stateroom but doubt we would book one again.

    We just did not use the chairs enough to justify the price difference from a regular outside.

  7. No, they don't need to leave the door open to get back in. They get a special key to get in through the outside door.


    Our roll call members demonstrated it on our cabin crawl. ;)

    Our special key worked about 10 percent of the time.

    We did close our door when we were sitting outside almost all of the way but did not give it the final push to lock it. The doors are very heavy and take some force to fully close.

  8. We just returned from the Rotterdam and had a Lanai stateroom (3335). We did have folks in our chairs before the ship even sailed. There were no reserved signs on the chairs. I went to the front desk and complained about the situation. We had “ reserved signs” on our two chairs that evening. I noticed more signs as the week went on. The last evening I noticed that all the Lanai cabins had reserved signs on their chairs.


    We enjoyed the Lanai but I question if it was really worth the extra dollars for us.We just did not spend that much time in the chairs and the sliding door was difficult to open . The keycard was difficult to lock and unlock the door. We will most likely go with a regular outside for our next cruise.

  9. Cozumel has some great Shore snorkeling from the cruise ship piers to town on the “ iron shore”. I stayed a week at Hotel Cozumel and you could snorkel or dive right off the piers at the beach club. Lots of small, colorful fish. Paradise Reef is very close to the ship piers but would probably require a boat. The best reefs are deeper and sometimes have lots of current. Fantastic diving though.


    Roatan has lots of beautiful shallow reefs in 15-20 feet of water. Lots of mooring balls for dive/ snorkel boats and little current.Healthy reefs with lots of critters to see.


    I consider both Cozumel and Roatan to be “ world class” dive destinations.


    Costa Maya had nice reefs and good snorkeling but was not near as developed when I was there a few years ago.

  10. Question my husband and daughter wants to dive in Belieze but it says must of dove in last yr. Our cruise is in Dec. my husband dove on cruise last Oct. so more than a yr. and Daughter has been longer. Everybody can't go on diving vacations every yr., are they stricked about this. Who can they call, does anyone know who is the group that Carnival is using. Is this a Carnaival thing or the dive grouop? Thanks.



    I noticed that you live in Mauldin, SC. Many local divers dive at Lake Jocassee and Lake Keowee, SC. Jocassee was still 73 degrees down to 90 feet last weekend and the Hot Hole is always warm at Keowee.I would suggest calling one of the local dive shops in Greenville/ Spartanburg and enjoy the great local diving and meet the dive requirements before the cruise.

  11. We drove to Greenville, S.C., 100% viewing and no clouds:))) so cool!



    I took my Niece and Nephew to the Greenville Drive baseball game today. They stopped the game and allowed us on to the field for the 100 percent totality. What an experience and the Drive won 8-7 in a great game at " Lil Fenway".

  12. The Sunshine was the most crowded ship we have ever sailed on. Yes the Serenity area is very nice but if you want a seat by the waterfall pool you best be out there by no later than 600 AM. Want a clamshell on the top, be out there prior to 700 AM. A decent seat for the show, be in line at least 45 minutes early. Comedy the same. Piano bar, we never got in on an 8 day cruise. This was our experience. Other people seem to love the Sunshine. I guess she was just not for us. We are returning to a smaller HAL ship for our next cruise.

  13. I'll be on the Sunshine at the end of March and have heard horror stories about how crowded Serenity can get. Is this true? I've been so looking forward to the quiet & relaxation there.


    I found the entire ship crowded.

    The Serenity section is very nice but you better get out there very early. I managed to get a clamshell on the top deck at 700 AM on our sea days. I ask someone what time you would need to be there for a seat by the pool and waterfall? He told me he was up at 530 AM and all seats were already taken by the Hoggs. By 8 AM you could pretty much forget a seat in Serenity or on the lido deck by the main pool.


    The crew did go through the motions of trying to keep the Chair Hogs in check but it was a lost cause.

  14. We were on the 10 night Sunshine cruise that ended two weeks ago.


    I cannot wrap my head around the negative comments. No more crowded than any other ship we have sailed on. "Lines for everything"? Really? Only lines we had were for security getting on the ship and getting off in ports, neither of which were bad. Always able to find seating on the lido and Serenity. Always. Walked into Liquid Lounge each night 10-15 minutes prior to show time and always found a seat, in fact the place never filled. More food options than most ships sailing today and all of it very good.


    We are not cruise line loyalists (see my signature) and will call out any ship that is not up to par, but Sunshine is terrific! In fast we have booked her again for November!



    It sounds like your experience was far different than ours. We are easy going and rarely complain but our Sunshine cruise was CROWDED ! I think Carnival must have hired Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder to redesign this ship. There was not enough seating in the public areas to handle the amount of passengers . Perhaps your cruise was totally different. I am glad you enjoyed the Sunshine. I guess she just is not for us.

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