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About SpliceTheMainbrace

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  1. SpliceTheMainbrace

    Carnival Freedom

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2]msnbc had feature on new ships; this is what they had on Carnival Freedom (more new ships described in full story located at [/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2][URL="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14471443/"]http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14471443/[/URL] )[/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2] [/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2][URL="http://www.carnival.com/"][B]Carnival Freedom:[/B][/URL] Thirteen decks high, 1,160 feet long, and 110,000 tons hefty, the newest addition to the Carnival fleet — part of the aptly named Conquest class — will carry almost 3,000 passengers when it debuts in March 2007.[/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2] Like other new Carnival ships, Freedom will sport an eye-popping decor in which each public area evokes a different era. London circa 1880 in the Victoriana Show Lounge. 17th-century France and the court of Louis XIV in the Sun King Supper Club. Going back even further, the ship’s casino will recall ancient Babylon — think Hanging Gardens and the Ishtar Gate — by way of the Vegas Strip. [/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2]Sure, it’s a bit over the top, but considering the ship’s proposed schedule, the journey-through-the-centuries motif actually makes some sense. Launching from Civitavecchia, outside Rome, on March 14, Freedom will offer 12-day Mediterranean and Greek Isle cruises that include visits to history-rich cities from Istanbul to Barcelona.[/SIZE][/FONT]
  2. SpliceTheMainbrace

    The Supper Club

    It's unfortunate there doesn't seem to be rock solid information on this subject. What I found when I went looking for it suggested to me that a majority of posters felt the gratuity was already included (as evidenced by the "additional gratuity" line on the bill) but many offered that they left a little extra anyway. I did too, but I'm still not sure if this was "correct" (as in "expected"). I know part of the reason I did was simply because it would have felt so strange experiencing such a restaurant-like atmosphere and leaving without adding a tip. To me there is somewhat an issue of "fairness" involved. I felt our dining room waiters worked as hard, actually much harder than the supper club staff, and yet they did so for only their daily ($3.50 pp?) gratuity. So while the supper club food was well worth the extra charge, should the staff there earn 2x or 3x the tip $ than our waiters receive? I think in the end everyone gives what they're comfortable with. Because we felt our daily service & experience in the dining room was one of the highlights of our cruise, we effectively doubled their tips by giving extra cash on the last night. In fact, we felt we were treated so well by them, I remember feeling almost apologetic to them when I explained we wouldn't be "joining" them one night due to our supper club reservation!:eek: Of course, THAT was the night they probably appreciated us the most -- one less table to have to serve! LOL!
  3. SpliceTheMainbrace

    The Supper Club

    I'm not suggesting you cause a scene, but if you want two sides -- and let me heartily recommend the Yukon Mashed Potatoes and the Creamed Spinach, the latter of which was TOO DIE FOR! -- I can't imagine them sticking to their guns regarding this "rule". A polite request ("I'm sorry I just can't decide between A and B, so could I please have both?") ... if it's initially denied ("I'm sorry Sir, only one side dish accompanies the main course") ... could be countered with a polite but respectful response ("I'm disappointed to learn that, as I'd read such good things about both of them. If it's at all possible to accomodate me, I'd appreciate it; otherwise I'll have to settle for A"). Said with a smile and not a snarl, I find it hard to believe they wouldn't bend the rule to satisfy a customer. At our table of 7 my friend's wife had, prior to placing her order from the menu, asked about whether she could order two sides. She was told no, only one. I never asked. When it came time to announce my selections, I simply said "...and I'd like the Yukon Mash and the Creamed Spinach." I didn't need to say anything more. Now, interestingly enough, one of the entertainment staff on the ship had, when asked the opinion of the Supper Club, let slip that you could order more than one ENTREE. I didn't question him on this, as I just presumed this was incorrect, as I'd read here that one could only do that in the Dining Room. Now I'm not so sure. I don't know WHERE you'd be able to fit it all, because you get SO much food, and it's all SO rich, I can't imagine being able to handle more than one. But I do wonder how the polite yet pleasantly persistent request of a passenger would be handled. In the final analysis, the passenger has every right to expect their request to be honored, just as the Supper Club's Maitre d' has every right to impose a second charge for honoring it.
  4. SpliceTheMainbrace

    Midnight Buffet Sensation

    [quote name='serene56']The gala buffet is ... impressive to see for a first time cruiser. The room opens about 11:30 for photo ops only and then reopened about 12:30 for the eating. VERY crowded.[/quote] Having experienced 2 of them (2001 Victory & 2006 Legend out of NY), I doubt I'd do it again. IMHO it's more a treat for the eyes than the stomach; worth seeing but not eating. My advice is not to go expecting a spread of the best of the best, and you won't be disappointed. It's for your viewing not your dining pleasure, so if it's the latter you're after, line up for the photos but take your stomach elsewhere. On the Victory the buffet was on the Lido, but on the Legend it was in the Dining Room. I'm fairly certain the Lido on the Legend was still open for other food selections.
  5. SpliceTheMainbrace

    Carnival Legend Galley Tour Question

    [quote name='nybumpkin']Hi Palani - On our cruise, there was no registration for the galley tour; you just show up; no charge. Just check your Capers for the schedule. Ours was pretty crowded, but the line moved and we enjoyed it.[/quote] I'd suggest sitting near the back of the Follies during the pre galley tour talk. By sitting up front we could more easily see & hear the person giving the talk, but we ended up at the back of a long line that literally snaked it's way through the entire ship. But for that, once you got inside the galley, it moved pretty quickly. I can still picture the floor to ceiling oven that must have contained a dozen or more roasts. And that was just one of them.
  6. SpliceTheMainbrace

    Legend Review 7/31/06 to 8/8/06

    [quote name='cruzindad']...the crew is exceptional. Almost every crew member we encountered gave you a smile and a "hello", even a maintenance worker we passed on one of the decks one day. Its those little things that make you feel welcome, and want to return.[/quote] Probably repeating myself here, but the little things bear repeating... Example 1: Shanghai'd a maintenance worker from the hallway to take a last minute posed shot of our group on the balcony. Only a NY'er would have the chutzpah to make such a request ... and only a Legend crewmember would be so happy to accomodate it. Example 2: Couldn't get a book of matches for use post debarkation (all the bars were closed). Crewmember gave me a light from her lighter, then said keep the lighter.
  7. 2001 Victory out of NY was our 1st cruise and we thought the food was good, though our more experienced cruisemates thought it paled compared to other lines (Celebrity I believe). 2006 Legend out of NY and we thought the food was EXCELLENT. But I have very recently read poor reviews here of the food on Carnival's Mediterranean cruises; I've also gotten the very same opinion from a Carnival employee who recently took this cruise. OK, here's the question... The poster here opined that the problem is Carnival's food supplier in Europe. They haven't had enough time to find the superior suppliers they may have settled on in their more long-standing US ports. Got me to thinking what is it exactly that most affects the quality of the food? I've read here that Carnival's menu is not only brand spanking new since early this year (supposedly George Blanc menu?), but that it is IDENTICAL (more or less w/a few variations?) fleetwide. If that is so -- and if I ran the company that's what I'd want to do...get a great menu and serve it EVERYWHERE! -- then how do you explain this alleged problem with the food on the Mediterranean sailings (and perhaps other ports?). Discounting for personal preferences, and also for the impact a mediocre waitstaff can impart (if your food is never hot, maybe it's the server's fault, not the chef's), a true difference could seem to be attributable only to two factors: 1) different food suppliers; and/or 2) different preparation As I thought the food on the Legend out of NY was EXCELLENT, I'd think Carnival has nailed down both the supplier AND the preparation for this sailing. So the bottom line for me -- again, if I owned the company, I'd expect my ships to be able to prepare the same high quality food experience regardless of the ship -- I guess you can count me in among those who think the biggest factor is probably the food supplier in the embarkation port. I'm real interested in the opinions of others here, not just because I think it's an interesting question, but also because we may be taking the Mediterranean cruise next year. If the food is truly not up to par with what we had on the Legend, that might impact our decision.
  8. SpliceTheMainbrace

    Buying Liquor on the ship.

    [quote name='miched']What it comes down to is it worth all the trouble to save A few dollars. I think Grey Goose was selling for $19 for a litre. It sells for $29 for a fifth at home. Buy 2 bottles and you saved $20 and got a bigger bottle. Is it worth it?[/quote] Liter of JW Blue sells for $199 in my local NJ liquor store. Bought it for $130 in Saint Thomas. Recently read someone paid $79 in St. Maarten. If you stop in St. Thomas you're allowed 5 liters per adult. Max out a hubby w/wife's purchases, and the $2000 I'd pay back home is $700 cheaper in St. Thomas, perhaps as much as $1200 cheaper in St. Maarten. Is it worth it? :cool:
  9. SpliceTheMainbrace

    Golf in St. Thomas

    [quote name='arcticcruiser']How much was the cost of Golfing Mohogany?? Sunday night...can't call for fees...just ballpark it! Thanks![/quote] $160 thru Carnival compared to $130 if you booked it yourself. Included cart, transportation to/from ship, but not clubs (I brought my own; I think a rental Nike set was $30). This was August/off-season price; think it's $30 more in-season. There were 5 of us from the ship that day. Legend's Golf Pro Jeff put us out as a twosome and a threesome, and played half the course with each group, offering up advice and knowledge from his familiarity with the course. Wouldn't advise booking yourself. If the ship is late or misses port, a self-booking would still be responsible for the cost if you miss your tee-time; not so when booked thru the ship. Bring lots of balls, golf shoes & tees, and don't forget a little tip for the golf pro. Me & my buddy gave him $20 each for a memorable day we won't forget. Any more questions, just ask :D. Otherwise, enjoy! It may be a bit overpriced -- back home it'd be right at about $75 for cart+fee -- but it was well worth the one time experience!
  10. SpliceTheMainbrace

    Embedded Watermark in Carnival Photos???

    That's why I posted the original question. My DW saw the "Carnival Watermark" warning at the Legend's photodesk and believed it. I was sure others did too. But from what I knew about embedded watermarks, I did not think this was likely. For the record, I do not doubt that it is possible to produce a photo that, when scanned, WILL pop up a watermark that ruins the copy. I just do not think it is possible to produce a photo with this feature that you would want to buy: the features that they would have to add to the photo to make the watermark appear would be noticeable to the naked eye; nobody would be willing to buy such photos in the first place. Now, as to the release, I thought it was pretty nice when I learned on this site that Carnival actually provided you with one (and I don't know whether or not they've stopped this practice as part of their program to protect/enhance their on-ship photo revenue, for that's really what the "Carnival watermark warning" is all about). My understanding of copyright for photos is that it is retained by the original photographer until he/she relinquishes it by way of release. No reputable photo store will make a copy of an original photo that they believe is the product of a commercial (professional) photographer. If they do, it's unlikely they will ever be called to answer for this violation of copyright, but most follow the letter of the law rather than risk skirting it. As I said before, the release I have seen from Carnival is NOT a blanket release. I'll leave it to the lawyers to debate the fine points of what it does and does not allow: "Dear Guest: Thank you for your recent request concerning the consent for copyright of the photographs taken aboard a Carnival Fun Ship’ Consent is hereby given for the limited reproduction, as set forth herein, of photographs taken of former passengers of Carnival Cruise Lines by a photographer employed by Carnival The photos will have been purchased by such passengers from Carnival Cruise Lines as a memento of their cruise. The Photos contain certain registered trademarks owned by Carnival, including without limitation “Carnival,” “Carnival Cruise Lines,” “the Fun Ships,” the Reverse-C Logo Design, and the Ship Funnel Design. For that reason and to preserve Carnival’s copyright in the Photos, the reproductions of the Photos may only be used for the purpose of incorporation into a gift memento to each such passenger such as a calendar a computer mouse pad or the like. [ THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH IS WHERE THE LAWYERS GET TO ARGUE OVER WHAT IS REALLY BEING SAID. EVERY PHOTO WE BOUGHT ON BOARD HAS THE CARNIVAL LOGO AT THE BOTTOM OF IT, ALONG WITH A BARCODE, IT'S HUMAN READABLE EQUIVALENT, AND THE SHIP'S NAME. THIS IS OUTSIDE OF WHAT MOST PEOPLE WOULD CONSIDER TO BE THE ACTUAL PHOTO, BUT PERHAPS IT'S MADE PART OF THE PHOTO PRECISELY SO THAT COPYRIGHT MAY BE RETAINED. IN ANY EVENT, NOTICE THAT CARNIVAL LIMITS THEIR RELEASE TO "GIFT MEMENTOS", AND, IN THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH, GOES ON TO EXCLUDE "OTHER PRINTED MATERIAL OR ITEMS INTENDED FOR DISTRIBUTION OR SALE". SO, ONCE AGAIN FOR THE LAWYERS, WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF "OTHER PRINTED MATERIAL"? IS IT ANYTHING BUT "MEMENTOS" SUCH AS A "CALENDAR", "MOUSE PAD" AND "THE LIKE"? ARE DUPLICATE PHOTOS OF THE ORIGINAL PHOTO A "MEMENTO" ETC? OR ARE THEY "OTHER PRINTED MATERIAL"? ] The Photos may not be used in flyers or other printed material or on items intended for distribution or sale, If the Photos are scanned into your computer system in order to accomplish approved reproduction services, you are required as a condition of this consent to ensure that the Photos are removed from your system promptly after approved use. Please feel free to contact our Guest Relations Department at 1-800-929-6400 if you have any questions regarding this consent. Thank you for choosing Carnival. Guest Relations Department Carnival Cruise Lines" I would think the reality is that the release would be sufficient to satisfy the copyright concerns of most photo shops. If they give you a hard time, just go somewhere else.:D
  11. SpliceTheMainbrace

    Legend Review 7/31/06 to 8/8/06

    I believe the CD was Trevor (a Canadian). No idea as to Maitre D'. CD and his assistants were, IMHO, "enjoyable". More memorable for us was Captain Roberto. Besides his daily announcements, and his appearances at various events, he also mingled about the Atrium bar, more than welcome to engage in small talk or an impromptu photo. As a CD, Trevor was always upbeat, bordering on over the top. Captain Roberto by contrast had a perfectly dry, droll sense of humor about himself.
  12. SpliceTheMainbrace

    Embedded Watermark in Carnival Photos???

    Here's the thread that had the info on the release: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=385622&highlight=photo+release It also has a direct link to a copy of it someone posted: http://www.bigotis.com/release_form.jpg
  13. SpliceTheMainbrace

    Embedded Watermark in Carnival Photos???

    I just KNEW there'd be someone here with the inside scoop on watermarking. Steganography, huh? That's why trhe Carnival Board here rules! We've got Pirates (yours truly, Splice!, & me bucko Mr. Salty Dingo!) that cover everything you need to know about analog & digital watermarks! Can't necessarily agree 100% with the "you own them" statement though. Some people have reported a bit of a hassle with the exact wording of the release Carnival provides; it's not a blanket release and they've had some difficulties getting copies made from some places. I also wonder about Carnival's rights as regards using photos they took for their advertisements. Me & Mrs. Splice, and our young lad Master Splice, thought our family photo came out SO good we joked about how though we were no longer on a cruise, our photo very well might be! I'd imagine Carnival certainly retains enough ownership rights to be able to use the photos as the examples that are posted at each photo station on the ship.
  14. SpliceTheMainbrace

    The WORST part of the cruise

    [quote name='CeleBrat']Second worst part--the very first meal you eat after you get off the ship. It's usually fast-food because you're traveling and soooooo does not compare to all of the great things you've eaten while onboard. (NOTE--traveling counts as part of the whole cruise experience). I'm depressed now... CeleBrat[/quote] LOL! [COLOR=Black] After disemarking in Manhattan, we cabbed back to our cruisemates house in Queens where we'd parked, & then passed on staying for pizza so we could quickly shoot back thru midtown Manhattan, en route to home-at-last in Western NJ. We even took a longer way home so we could stop at a [URL="http://www.whitecastle.com/_pages/menu.asp"]White Castle for some belly-bombers[/URL] ... after a week of wonderful albeit gluttonous food on board, we'd settled on the ultimate in fastfood comfort food, like condemned men settling on a last meal before the post-cruise diets began. My DW joked all the way how they'd be closed for renovations when we got there, and dang if she didn't jinx us, they were! We had to settle on our 2nd choice, the equally unhealthy but satisfying Taco Bell! Several weeks later I'm STILL paying the price for passing up the salads at dinner in favor of the soups, pasta entrees as a starter, and double entrees every night for a week; I figure the 12 pounds I gained amounted to 7,000+ caloriies a day! Now it's nothing BUT salad, lo-cal dressing on the side. Talk about depressing! I still DREAM of Beef Wellington! [/COLOR]
  15. I have Carnival's photo release that defines the terms under which they allow a photo facility to make a copy from one of the pictures you purchased on board. My wife -- who actually made the purchases on board the ship -- claims there was a display showing that a scan of the picture would cause the word "CARNIVAL" to pop up on the duplicate. I know it is possible to use a print process whereby an embedded "VOID" (or other watermark) will appear on a photocopy made from an original (look at one of your personalized checks & you should be able to see it). I know it's also possible to embed a digital watermark in a digital photo (Photoshop is but one program that enables you to add one). I didn't think it was technically possible to add such a watermark to an actual photo. When they add it to printed checks and other security documents, they use a process of varying the print screen frequencies and/or angles and/or colors, something that I only thought was possible on a printing press. Has anyone ever scanned a Carnival photo and saw a watermark pop up? If so, how is it possible to make a photo-released-legal-copy at a Walmart et al? Don't they just scan in the photo like you could do at home? I realize I can try this myself to find out -- and I intend to do so -- but I figured somebody here may already have the answer, or at least be able to explain to me how it's possible that what my wife say at the Carnival photo counter on board ship could be true? I just didn't think that was possible. Thanks.