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Everything posted by UpstateCruizer

  1. I agree! My membership was due for renewal in November. I opted to not renew as the only reason I even signed up for it was the value of the gift cards. I don’t want to deal with only being able to purchase one per month given that they only have the $100 cards. Now I’d be fine with one per month if they offered larger amounts. The rest of the gift cards available are a joke. I’m not interested in buying a restaurant type $40 gift card for $38 lol. There’s also so many issues people have had with buying them and the money not being on the card as well as the pins not working. If they improve the program I’ll revisit my membership but not the current program.
  2. I too received my first offer. I will admit I was excited as the list of benefits seemed impressive. However as you mentioned when pricing the cruise it would cost me at least $250 more to book with this rate vs the cheapest rate while comparing exact cabins. I get that for some the benefits may be worth the extra money but I was expecting a better deal on the cabin cost or at the very least for the price to be the same. I was surprised to see that it actually costs more with the premier rate. Essentially that means I’d be paying for the benefits! If there was a savings or even a break even point I’d consider booking one but I don’t want to pay more and feel like I have to spend my cruise in the casino to get free drinks and value from the offer. I’d definitely play more in the casino if the price for the cabin was the same.
  3. No but feel free to approach the cruise director and they may be able to announce it in the FunTimes for set days/times. It would have to be something run by you as they don’t usually send staff to manage card games or puzzle activities. Calling Carnival is a waste of time as the people answering have no clue what activities may be included. I’ve cruised 25 times on Carnival and there’s never been a bridge director.
  4. We haven’t been to Grand Cayman in several years. On previous trips we headed to Sea Grape beach but I haven’t seen any recommendations for that area in several years. We are considering Royal Palms or Calico Jacks and would love input on either or both of these locations. We will be going at the end of September. Thanks!
  5. We have been to Nachi Cocum a few times and to Mr Sanchos a few times as well. This is the differences I’ve experienced (yours may differ) Nachi Cocum is quiet and more geared towards those who prefer a much less crowded beach or pool experience. The drinks were a lot better at Nachi and the swim up baron the pool was nice. The food is ordered in courses off the menu and nothing i ordered was overly impressive. Service was excellent. Mr Sanchos is lively and has a define fun vibe to it. It gets crowded pretty quick and we tend to get there early and grab loungers by the pool. The swim up bar is nice as is the pool. The drinks are the biggest disappointment here for me. Nothing ever seems to taste like what I’ve come to expect. For example a margarita which is one of my go to drinks on a beach doesn’t resemble anything I’ve ever had before. I’ve tried several different drinks and had some made but the mixers are what throws the flavors off in each drink. Not sure what they use but like I said it’s not anything I’ve tasted before. The drinks tend to be sweeter as well. The food is much better at Mr Sanchos with a wide variety to order from on the menu. Fresh hot and delivered right to you is a huge win. The coconut shrimp is excellent. Needless to say on our next cruise in October I’m looking into giving Paradise Beach another try as it’s been several years since we’ve been back.
  6. Embassy Suites is close to the port and offers a huge complentary breakfast as well as complimentary happy hour with drinks and snacks.
  7. It will depend on your wait staff! In 24 cruises I’ve only had one tell me to make the bottle disappear or he would charge me the corkage fee!
  8. You will get in the line that’s reserved for VIP and it will allow you to bypass the general line,
  9. We visited this place several years ago when Carnival initially returned to cruising this itinerary. I haven’t seen anything mentioned about this place in quite awhile. We actually got to the end of the pier and made a left and continued to walk until we found the hotel. People said “No worries it’s a short walk” Needless to say we took a taxi back 😉. We had a nice relaxing day at this location. Anyone been there lately? I read on the website they offer beach passes for $19 nalf. Seems like a good deal but just curious is there a reason it’s not suggested as a beach day stop? Thanks for any info!!
  10. We choose the anytime dining and typically go when they first open. We use the first night as a guide to see if the wait team is a good fit for us. I’m one of the ones that prefers to not have a 2 hour dinner as we have comedy and various other activities that we enjoy attending. If we like the servers the first night we always aks for them on the second night. There’s also nothing wrong with letting your server know that you have something you’d like to attend. We are lucky as many nights we skip dessert which means we get to leave before “showtime” begins.
  11. This isn’t necessarily true. I have purchased insurance for all 24 of my cruises. There was a cruise where my mom ended up in the hospital and because of that we weren’t sure we’d be able to go. I called my insurance and was told if her condition was serious and I had a doctors statement they would cover my costs if I had to cancel. I would have to notify them and have the doctor complete the forms. Luckily it worked out and we were able to go.
  12. When we first started cruising we quickly saw the value in purchasing CCL stock. We just finished our 24th cruise on Carnival and I believe we’ve had shareholder OBC for at least 22 of them. Our Hawaii cruise gave us a nice chunk of OBC. Add in the dividends and we’ve done very well with the stock as a long term investment. It’s gone way up in value as well. We also purchased Royal Caribbean stock low and sold high lol
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