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Everything posted by carohs

  1. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
  2. I really don't actually ๐Ÿ˜… DH does and takes all the beautiful pictures, but I'm not a morning person at all. He always shares the pics with me, but in a perfect day, I feel like I would get to see it for myself and not be grumpy, tired, or otherwise annoyed to be awake.
  3. Ooh, this is fun! Well, since you said perfect, some of this may not be entirely realistic. I wake naturally, no loud bangs or other startling noises, after a wonderful night's sleep. The coffee is piping hot and delivered a few minutes thereafter. I then walk outside to the balcony discovering to my delight that the sun is just about to rise and I am able to take pictures and have several moments of mindfulness, enjoying the view and grateful that I get to experience this. DH is somewhere in this picture, too. We walk to lido, where we find the last person in line has just finished being served at Blue Iguana, and we get our breakfast burritos with no wait. We go back to the stateroom and get ready to go to the Spa. We get a relaxing couples massage then I grab my book and find an open thermal lounger to sit down, relax, and enjoy the view. In the afternoon we grab lunch, where we snag a table by the window, and get chocolate chip cookies and soft serve. Then we head to Serenity for drinks and the hot tub. In a perfect world, the tub is mostly empty but we make new friends with our fellow passengers there. In the evening, we head back to the stateroom for a shower and a nap. After we get ready for dinner, and head out for pre-dinner cocktails. In a perfect day, there's no line again, and the singing group is really good. We people watch and then head to enjoy a 3 course dinner, served by the friendly wait staff. After dinner, we head to the comedy showcase, grabbing two cocktails on the way. On the way, we also happen to walk past the casino when a whim slot spin lands on the Jackpot. Score! After comedy, I convince DH to take me dancing. We dance until my feet hurt, and then crash back in our rooms, looking forward to doing it all again the next day. Or maybe changing it up depending on my mood.
  4. Ooh and that time was when vaccines and testing requirements just started to be lifted. I imagine more families now than in that period of time. The kids aren't in club 100% of the time, and they're with us during port times, but knowing ahead of time what the sitch can be like helps with managing activities and expectations. Thank you!
  5. Yes, absolutely!! DS will be getting a phone by the time we sail, so we'll have the ability to communicate. As long as they stay together, they're perfectly alright to grab a soft serve and meet us somewhere, or walk to the club to sign themselves in. Even to sit in the library to play chess and find us when they're done.
  6. Wow! Didn't expect such rude comments from someone who doesn't want me to sail with my kids! I won't pretend that my children are well behaved angels but neither are most adults. The only difference is most adults have years more experience in learning boundaries and a little more impulse control. But we all do something that other people take offense to. No one is 100% perfect and I don't understand why anyone is offended by kids who are still learning and growing. And you know what, we do sail other mass market lines. It just so happens that for the four of us on the dates we want to sail, Princess has the best value. I won't go on a ship and allow my kids to run amok out of sheer boredom. Hence me asking about kids club and activities. As for their ages, they will be 11 and 9. They should be able to be in the same group and have sign in/out privileges. They've done well before being on their own on a ship (for limited situations) but I like the idea of giving them just a little more leeway if I can track their location via the medallion. That's a perk I hadn't considered.
  7. Thanks @CruiseRaider and @karatemom2! Your responses were reassuring. I do expect some crowding during S/B so no big deal there, and actually it just makes it more likely the kids will find friends onboard. My only concern there, really, is based on my experience on a different line last year, the club filled up super quick and if you wanted a spot you had to be in line 15-30 minutes before club opened. I don't know what capacity is like on Princes.. Follow up, are the clubs open all day, or do they close for lunch and/or dinner? We usually take the kids out anyway for meals but it could have an effect on the capacity availability depending on their hours. I looked into the deluxe balcony obstructed but when I clicked through I don't get the option for Princess Plus? It's not a huge difference from an inside to a regular balcony (about $56/per day) so I may as well get the balcony; although I tend to book inside if can get a better location and save money in the process.
  8. Hi! Considering booking a cruise over spring break. Can anyone tell me about the how crowded the ship gets that time of year? What kind of activities are available for the kids on Princess? Also, specifically for this ship, the layout looks like the casino is somewhat near the theater; is the smoking smell noticeable from the theater? Any other information on what you like/dislike about this ship is helpful! And if you've been on this ship before, what stateroom would you pick? And Princess in general, can you explain the "premium desserts" please? Are these available in the MDR or another specific location? The description says up to two per day. So if we bring the kids, can we get 4 total and each have one? TIA
  9. Well, no one ever needs a balcony, and anyway I most frequently will book an inside room anyway and spend my $ elsewhere. Especially in Hawaii, we would rather put the money towards excursions than a room upgrade. We never missed the balcony. By the time we actually made it back to our rooms (after dinner and a couple of drinks), we were tired and ready for bed. Heck, most days I was tired before getting back on the ship.
  10. Sorry I missed you live, but I managed to get caught up. That sure went by too fast, but it was fun while it lasted. And just because no one else did ... That's what she said.
  11. That's only a $200 difference, yes NCL can be cheaper and it's a great value for some. I'm not in any way bashing NCL as I like their product too. But with only a $200 difference (maybe it's having one port less?) how do you argue that the cost of FAS is not baked in?
  12. Hmm I find this comparison interesting. Not exactly the same since one is a closed loop. Although the NCL one may arguably have a better itenarary for visiting Alaska. I'm willing to bet the NCL one doesn't include air, too. Not that the CCL one does. But NCL cruise fares have been known to drop as they get closer to sail date, and maybe it's a coincidence but they also drop the FAS BOGO air closer to sail date too. Don't get me wrong I do think NCL can be a great value and continue to keep an eye on their offers. But although they can be a great value it's not always going to be the case.
  13. This pretty much sums up the point I was trying to make. Add in the taxes and fees and subtract the FAS gratuities, and NCL is more than the cost of the CCL cruise. I don't need to or want to add any extras or drink package. Just comparing the two fares above, CCL would come out ahead for me.
  14. Yes but are you comparing prices with an included drink package on both? OP has already provided examples of where Carnival comes out ahead if you have no interest in any drink package. For the most part we don't drink enough to make a package worth it and even when we do it's a nice glass of wine. You're right, we aren't spending the grand, we're bringing our two bottles and supplementing with a drink or two on board, which can be way cheaper than booking on NCL. NCL can also lose value for the customer if for example the customer isn't flying in. When you booked you looked at the total cost for things you would have purchased anyway out of pocket and NCL worked in your favor. But if I'm looking at a few nights, out of a port I can drive to, more likely than not NCL isn't going to be the best deal for me. You know what would be nice is if my allowed bottle of wine on CCL for a 3 night cruise, would be doubled for a 7 night cruise. Twice the nights, why shouldn't I be able to bring on two bottles?
  15. DH and I are the reverse in what we like. But since I'm the vacation planner, we've been doing cruises. He does get to go camping almost once a month but that's more or less local. And he did really enjoy the scenery and weather of our Alaska cruise, and the hikeyness of our Hawaii cruise. I hear you about career advancement, I don't think my past self 10 years ago ever really thought she'd get to plan these kinds of vacations let alone on a semi regular basis. If you do decide to go solo, sometimes NCL will offer a no solo supplement or solo discounted rate. It may work out better or not, depending on all those price changing factors. Congratulations to your son's graduation!
  16. Welcome back to cruising! I've looked at and sailed both lines. I'm not dumb enough to think the cruise lines are loosing money by giving me things for "free." The cost for FAS is for sure built into the cruise fare, gratuities excluded. I agree that if you're not a drinker, you're going to find better value on any cruise that doesn't include an alcohol package. Just do the maths and pick what gives you the best value for you. What I find interesting is that you been on two cruises, each a decade apart, and didn't decide then to turn into a duck. What makes you think you might this time (figuratively)?
  17. I hope when my daughter grows up we'll have the kind of relationship you have with your mom. Looking forward to seeing what kind of hijinks y'all get into. I find that spring break memo somewhat reassuring. Hopefully it leads to more people second guessing their bad decisions.
  18. Here's my advice. Say you're not going to get cheers, and in exchange if you manage to spend over $1200 she has the right to a big ole "I told you so" for the rest of your cruising days. Nothing like giving your wife the right to an air of superiority to convince her to go your way this time around.
  19. I think you settled on a great compromise. We next to never head out to Catalina, but it is fun to stop there for a few hours. I liked the Radiance and the crew onboard, too. While Cabo would have been great, too, it's very touristy. Keep in mind you booked a cruise not a vacation to Mexico, and enjoy the ocean breeze as you sail on the Pacific. I second the Cloud 9 Spa pass. Neither Catalina nor Ensenada are ports that should take up most of your day, so even on port days you should have a chance to take advantage of the heat loungers or saunas. If you feel comfortable enough there's Spas in Ensenada where you can book facials or massages at a fraction of the ship's price. Easy to take a Taxi or Uber there and back.
  20. I've seen 3th and 4th for $99 each (plus fees) often. Still a great deal if you think about costs of food or running the kids club. What's even better is the $99 deal will be the same regardless of stateroom category booked.
  21. We were on Spirit late Aug 2022, and it was my least favorite cruise to date. Here's what I didn't like: -The casino is between the atrium/lobby and the main theater. The smoking smell was not super bad, but it was at times inconvenient to either have to go thru it or around it. -The temp was in the low 60s high. I was definitely in my winter clothes on Tracy Arm day and still felt cold. Went inside after an hour or so. Inside viewing areas were all either crowded or obstructed. -I'm not a gambler or trivia enthusiast. I felt bored. They had not yet brought back any Dr. Seuss activities either. -The water slides water was not heated. Too cold for Alaska temps. -When the roof covered the pool the smoke from the forward smoking section would come in whenever someone would open that door, which was often. Because the roof was closed, the scent wouldn't dissapate. -Couldnt hear the poolside movie from the pool. We were swimming late and there were very few people out. Not a noise pollution issue. Had to be seated basically in front of the screen to hear. Seemed like they should have had more speakers. -The forward smoking section on 10 is near the kids club. Had to approach kids club from inside the ship to avoid it. -The pool is shown from your stateroom TV. It was a little weird knowing anyone could be watching you swim at any time. -Times in port were limited. We have a full day in Juno but only a few hours at night in Victoria and only til 1 or 2 pm in Ketchikan. Combine that with I'm not an early riser, and lack of activities that interested me, and you can see why that ended up being a disappointment. -Sea Day brunch was not very brunchy. More breakfasty with a steak choice, and less options than buffet. Slow service and couldn't order anything custom. -The Playlist shows were only about 30 min and not quite Broadway quality. While fun, they just didn't impress. I hadn't known what to expect since it was our first CCL cruise. I say all that, sounding like a privileged spoiled 1st world citizen, to explain why we didn't have the best time ever. I didn't say it was bad, just that it was our least favorite.
  22. Oh! Thanks for the info ๐Ÿ˜Š
  23. We have often taken a glass to dinner and it's never been questioned. DH even goes as far as to request glasses from a bar, and that's never been an issue either. Haven't tried the lounge but also there's nothing preventing you from ordering a glass in one place and walking around with it to another lounge. Not like you can really tell if a glass of wine is a one of the brands offered on board once in the glass, right?
  24. We did them when they were $25. I wouldn't say they are worth the $85 though, unless they've changed the experience. The pours are small, and the bites were literally bite sized.
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