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Everything posted by groundloop

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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".
  9. 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. However, the outdoor movie screen on the larger ships is a nice touch.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. What I found with the mini fridge in our cabin on the Elation (just got off the ship yesterday) is that it was inside a cabinet without adequate ventilation for getting out the heat that it generates (there's a single small vent near the rear but that's not nearly enough). Propping open the cabinet door helped immensely. Other ships may have different types of installations, but it's certainly worth a look. OOPS, looks like I posted this before I noticed that Organized Chaos said the same thing. In any case, this one simple fix makes a huge difference in how well the fridges can cool.
  13. We just got off the Elation this morning, that was a trip I'll never forget (although I'd like to). All hell broke loose somewhere around 10 PM and it lasted until around 3 AM, maybe a bit later. It's just an educated guess, I'd say we were in at least 50 mph winds. For most of that time, as the ship went over a swell we'd go partially weightless, maybe 0.3 Gs, and as she bottomed out in a swell and started back up we'd go to somewhere around 2 Gs (I know what that feels like from my pilot days). Then on top of that there was random rolling, so it was a WILD ride. My closet doors kept swinging open and slamming, my luggage slid across the floor a few times, deck chairs were sliding all over the place, and after about 4 hours of that I succumbed got sick (and I NEVER get motion sickness). I was on the top deck, maybe those on lower decks didn't feel it quite as much as we did. Any of our fellow passengers care to share your experiences?
  14. Waiting patiently for all the naysayers. I'd heard on here a while back that Guy's is serving breakfast burgers. We'll definitely give them a try on our cruise next week.
  15. I'm curious if someone is prevented from sailing due to this restriction will get a full refund. I'd certainly hope so, as I can see the financial aspect as being a huge incentive for someone to try to circumvent this restriction. (I'm sailing in another week and certainly don't want to be in close proximity to anyone who's sick, be it coronavirus, influenza, or the common cold, and really don't want to be stuck in port at the end of the cruise on a ship that's being quarantined.) Also, it's curious that I haven't received this notice since it's so close to my sail date.
  16. Yep, IMO that's the best kept secret in the cruise industry. (Same as waiting to disembark so you can walk right off with no lines)
  17. Maybe a stupid question, but what purpose does a pocket knife serve on a cruise ship?
  18. I was on Paradise in March when we sailed to Cuba, had a great time. Their shows were the best I'd seen, and the comedians were fantastic. We stopped at Cozumel on another cruise a couple of years ago and did the excursion to Tulum, it was well worth it. There wasn't time to do much of anything else at Cozumel though since we didn't get back to the ship until right before departure. We had just enough time to briefly walk into a couple of shops on the way back to the ship and that was it.
  19. I'll chime in and agree with everyone else who suggested simply waiting until the crowds have died down. We've done that before and it was much less stressful - have a leisurely breakfast, find a table near the pool to sit and play cards until 'last call', and walk right off with no waiting for luggage or customs.
  20. There's always the option of purchasing a bottle of liquor for your cabin from the Fun Shops before you cruise. True, it's costlier than buying it at home, but it ends up costing much less than either the Cheers package or buying drinks individually, especially if at least one person in the room isn't a heavy drinker. (You also could attempt to smuggle liquor aboard, but I wouldn't know about that 😉 )
  21. A major problem when companies start worrying about stock prices is that they become short-sighted. My current employer's CEO has his compensation package tied to the share value and we've done some really stupid things to bump up stock price short term so he could get his bonus, things that wound up hurting the company long term. Overall food has been quite good on the Carnival cruises I've been on, both in the MDR and buffet. There was one meal in MDR on Paradise that wasn't so good, but that was just one time out of many.
  22. As a stress reduction move I'd go with a later flight and have a leisurely breakfast on the ship. We opted for a late disembark from on a previous cruise and it was great.
  23. The one and only time I paid for FTTF we sailed out of Port Canaveral (also on the Elation). We had the earliest check-in time available, got there exactly at the appointed time, and people were already boarding.... so I'd say we probably could have arrived around 30 minutes earlier. With FTTF we were able to bypass the regular check-in line and go to the priority line, which really wasn't any advantage because when we arrived there was no wait for either line. It was nice, though, to be able to go directly to our room and dump our carry-on items so we could have lunch without worrying about lugging stuff around with us. Another supposed perk of FTTF is priority luggage delivery.... well, that didn't exactly happen for us - our luggage was delivered while we were at dinner so we had to wear what we had on to dinner that night.
  24. WOW..... I've crossed Charleston off the list of ports I'm willing to cruise from.
  25. Maybe a fluke, but the one time I had a suite our room was ready very early. I had just taken a stroll to look around and ran into our steward who told me the room was ready. AND, the one time we purchased FTTF our luggage didn't show up until very late. Of course your mileage may vary.
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