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About groundloop

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  1. The US is amongst the worst in the world for Covid, both on the basis of total cases as well as per-capita. Open your eyes and do just a wee little bit of online research. Our response to the pandemic has been horrible, our leadership has ignored advice from medical and scientific experts and instead relied on wishful thinking. We have around 4% of the worlds population yet over 20% of Covid deaths in the world, that's not hype but simply cold hard facts.
  2. You DO NOT need to use the gift cards on a 2020 cruise. I took advantage of this offer and combined it with the 10% off 'Have It All' promotion for a June 2021 cruise. Was also able to use the promotional gift cards to pay for excursions (just one thing to be careful of - for some reason the HAL website won't let you combine gift cards and credit cards when paying for excursions.
  3. For Alaska cruises in 2021 HAL is promoting a "Have It All" special fare. One of the perks listed is "Free Drinks". Can anyone verify what is included with this? Over the years I've become very skeptical when dealing with sales promotions, and in this case I can't tell if they're offering free water, free soft drinks, or free adult drinks.
  4. We did it on February 20th and were extremely disappointed with what was going to be the highlight of our trip. I wound up paying a lot of money to just bob around in the ocean for a couple of hours. They couldn't find a single solitary whale that day. I understand that there are no guarantees with this activity, but you'd think that you could at least get a partial refund if they can't locate whales on a particular day.
  5. We took the whale watching excursion and were extremely disappointed. I even researched online and we were supposedly there at the peak of the whale watching season. So.... I paid a lot of money to bounce around in the ocean and see nothing but water. Granted, I understand that spotting whales is not a guaranteed proposition, but when a company sells itself as being experts on a certain activity you'd think they'd at least be willing to offer a partial refund if things don't work out.
  6. I'd never considered that option. Maybe that's why Carnival makes their wi-fi so slow.... to keep people from doing that. 😁 It'll be interesting to know if that idea works or not.
  7. I sailed on the Elation out of Port Canaveral last week. The only extra health 'precaution' was a short questionnaire which had to be filled out prior to entering the terminal. Both times I've sailed out of Port Canaveral boarding has been very smooth. As has been mentioned, cabins will be ready by 1:30 for all guests. Even if you purchase FTF there's no guarantee your luggage will arrive early, I tried FTF one time and my luggage didn't get to my room until 5:30 (but at least it did finally arrive).
  8. Well, my favorite port that I've visited was Havana, Cuba - but of course due to a very unfortunate decision by our government you can't go there on a cruise anymore. There's so much history there, and the people are wonderful. I loved touring Old Havana, the architecture was spectacular. And don't forget Hemingway's house in Cuba, that was one of the options for excursions. Everyone we met was so friendly. We finished off our too-short stay by taking in a show at the Tropicana which was absolutely fabulous. If we're ever allowed to go again I'm in.
  9. Yep, I've seen a few people ask for them done a certain way and they were always taken care of. And I'll say that I LOVE Guy's Burgers, especially with the wide array of options to customize them yourself at the topping bar. I had them three times for lunch on the cruise I just got back from and couldn't be happier.
  10. Yes, and there's a reason for restricting items with electrical heating elements. For one thing they draw a lot of current, if many people used them at the same time it could well cause problems (as in circuit breakers tripping, which would be a big inconvenience to a lot of passengers). And if left unattended a fire could start, which is a HUGE problem on a ship.
  11. Thanks for that information, now at least I know how big of a storm we got hit with. I looked out once and saw another ship not too far away, I assume that was you. No, we never had ANY announcements about anything until we were docked, and that was just information about how disembarkation would proceed. As far as that goes the crew did a good job of handling getting everyone off the ship, but it sure would have been nice to have more information during the storm..... something along the lines of "we expect this weather to last approximately 4 more hours".
  12. I've got no complaints at all about the Elation. We had a mini fridge in the room (Junior Suite - I can't give a definitive answer as to whether or not all the cabin classes have a fridge - you might be able to find out for sure somewhere on Carnivals website). And there's no need to insert the Sail & Sign card in a reader to keep the lights on, they're strictly operated by light switches. In a way I kind of like the smaller ships in the Carnival fleet. There's less of a walk to get to wherever you want to go, a smaller line to fight through when getting off at a port etc.
  13. I recently attended a Q&A session where our cruise director explained that the same shows stay on a particular ship because it would be a huge undertaking to change out the shows. Think about all the props, costumes, the lighting system setup and programs, etc. etc. etc. What they do is to rotate ships through different ports so that people have a chance to experience the different shows which are available. As an aside, it's my humble opinion that by and large all the shows are extremely well done. My very favorite were on the Paradise when we sailed to Cuba last year.
  14. Yes, exactly. On the tracking it looked like we took a slightly longer route coming back - to the inside of the Bahamas (I assume in an attempt to find 'calmer' waters). And also the speed had to be reduced, so we didn't dock until somewhere around 8 AM.
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