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Everything posted by Caracarn2

  1. Thanks for all the feedback. It seems we'll just have to wing it. In between when I was here last I just got off the phone with Carnival and was told we'd need dress slacks and a button down shirt for elegant nights (of which our cruise has 2 I guess) and wife would need a separate skirt and blouse at minimum as dresses are only appropriate if "elegant" enough. And for casual nights long shorts were OK. so it seems she was reading me the code, but hearing people's actual experiences it is a matter of how it gets enforced. My wife and I do not wear anything that would remotely be termed "ratty" so hoping that will be enough. If not we will have to go with it and obviously will likely influence any future decisions to ever cruise again as we are not really the "dress formal" type of couple. When we go to the theater for our season tickets for Broadway series shows when they come to town we may dress up one out of the seven nights just because we feel like it, but as such she does not even own a gown/cocktail dress. We'll dress up for weddings, but our take is very much we are going on vacation to relax not for dress codes to be enforced like attending a parochial school. Thanks for the feedback, but if I understand it right, no one knows and it will depend on who's at the main dining room door when we arrive.
  2. Trying to find this. What I found differs (the biggest one being that in what you posted it seem non-gym shorts are allowed, which is what we typically wear), but this page on the site seems to say even for casual not allowed? Where on the site did you find your list? WHAT TO WEAR During the day, casual clothes are suitable. After 5.30pm, smart casual clothing is required in the public lounges and restaurants or as published in the ships newsletter. Cruise Casual Dining Dress Code: Gentlemen - casual pants, jeans (no cut-offs), dress shorts (long), collared sport shirts; Ladies - casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses, summer dresses, Capri pants, dress shorts, jeans (no cut-offs). Not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Casual dinner for ladies and gentlemen: shorts, gym shorts, basketball shorts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, cut-off jeans, sleeveless shirts for men and baseball hats. Cruise Elegant Dining Dress Code: Gentlemen - dress trousers, dress shirts. We also suggest a sports jacket. If you wish to wear suits and ties or tuxedos, by all means we invite you to do so. Ladies - cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts and blouses. If you'd like to show off your evening gowns that's great too! Not permitted in the dining room during the Cruise Elegant dinner for ladies and gentlemen: shorts, gym shorts, T-shirts, beach flip-flops, bathing suit attire, jeans, cut-off jeans, sleeveless shirts for men, sportswear, and baseball hats. Important Note: All guests are expected to ensure their clothing and accessories are respectful to fellow guests. Specifically, items worn during the cruise should not contain any message that may be considered offensive or contain nudity, profanity, sexual innuendo/suggestions. In addition, clothing/accessories should not promote negative ethnic or racial commentary, or hatred or violence in any form.
  3. OK reviving this thread as we are now within two weeks and getting ready to pack. My question now is should we assume on Carnival that pants are expected at dinner time? I still thought we'd need to wear khakis or at least jeans but my wife had been planning on shorts and thought that with no formal nights that what it meant, however I have heard that you still are expected to wear long pants for the dinner service. I know some above said people did show up in shorts but just trying to understand not what we can get away with but what is normal and then we can decide from there. I was just going to bring a pair of khakis for me to change into every night but my wife would rather not have to change during the day if possible and it also messes up he packing if she has to suddenly change the whole wardrobe. So a bit of stress and drama here as she's now convinced she'll hate the experience as she thought no formal mean we could be in shorts and tee shirts all day.
  4. @hrmkrLove to hear how things went and what type of tour you did.
  5. Would you mind sharing the independent companies you use? You mentioned them for some of our ports but did not name them. For trying a cruise we're not the typical cruiser demographic I think. My wife and I hate sitting on beaches (too boring) we love history, certainly food tours sound like something we'd like but with her motion sickness things with little boats or even floating platforms like snorkeling etc. are not something she sounds too excited about. I'm also not a terrific swimmer to not sure how comfortable I am with trying snorkeling myself. I've heard it's super easy if you just know how to float to yes you should be very comfortable in the water. We're not drinkers so bars etc. are not huge draws for us. We can certainly get around as in our early 50s, part of our local hiking club and do 3-5 mile hikes regularly and comfortable just winging it. My biggest concern is about all the horror stories of tourists getting into some problem on their own. Perhaps these are overblown, but having never been to any of these places it's on my mind. Now keep in mind, I was born and raised in Chicago and have no problem going into major US cities at night and exploring where many others are IMO unreasonable afraid of the crime etc. so I'm not someone who gets uncomfortable easily. I've also worked abroad in China and Europe and just hopped in cabs and went to the zoo ot temples or whatever so that's my level of comfort with things, pretty broad. But somehow I've gotten concerned about the "you could get kidnapped and ransomed" trope, that I understand needs to be overblown but yet seems reasonable to me for some reason. Maybe it's an unhealthy after effect of the pandemic. So I'd hate to "play it safe" by taking cruise excursions (especially after nearly 100% of you make them sound dreadful with the issues that would drive both of us INSANE, like just spending time waiting for folks to get bathroom breaks or finishing shopping) and then regret we did not do something more exciting. My wife and like like to explore and adventure, within reason. We're not going to go bungee jumping or skydiving, but finding a wonderful historic item off the beaten path or getting to experience the local feel are right up our alley. So I guess it's getting to experience what it's like being a local without being taken advantage of by the locals. So after that long explanation, what do folks have for me? 🙂
  6. Thank you for the continued replies. I've read them all and they are extremely helpful being a first time cruiser. @Mum2Mercury yours especially as I would have had no idea you had to or should make reservations. I thought it was exactly the opposite that since we did not have a fixed time it was just walk up whenever and go with it. Related to that though, it seems like with yours and other posts that you still are somewhat tied to the two seating times anyway? Meaning you could not just want to eat right in between and be seated say an hour into the early seating? Or am I misunderstanding? If we are basically still having to pick a time each day and the only flexibility is 5:45 or 8 then we may revert back to the fixed option just to avoid the added logistics of moving eating around. I thought it would be better because I thought we could just eat whenever the dining room is open.
  7. The "conflicts" the rep was suggesting were not the interpersonal kind, but rather schedule conflicts. She brought up that we might want to attend a show or other activity on board at the same time as our fixed seating and therefore would have to choose what to miss. With flex seating she was suggesting we could do both, the event, and then eat in MDR when we had time.
  8. I'm sure they meant the jeans you buy brand new that are all chopped open.
  9. Was popping back to raise what is above, that just got an e-mail so be aware if you wait to get it onboard then you are supposedly now going to pay 31% more rather than 15%. I was told you can cancel any days once on board, but for the poster wanting it at the end, I guess you'll have to decide if this changes your math. As said we are just getting one plan to share and this seems to make even more sense to do now given the price hike we can avoid.
  10. My wife and I are cruising for the first time. We stayed away from Holland America as my parents pointed out their formal nights are tux our suit and gown for women, not our style at all, even for "fancy" at home let alone when trying to pack light for a cruise. Being the "fun" ships hoping Carnival is a LOT lower than that. Would prefer jeans and a polo, but would nice khakis and a collared shirt count for men on Carnival? Also my wife is not even looking to pack a dress, so capris and a nice blouse? Or will that not cut it and we just have to eat somewhere else those nights? We are doing the Your Time seating versus the set time so not sure if maybe they are also more lax in that space? Given more kids on the Carnival line just hoping we can not have to miss what I assume is some nicer meals (I've heard those are lobster nights, but not sure if that applies to Carnival or not), but just figuring things out. We are not sailing until the end of March so a lot of time to learn.
  11. Yes, they are games like Hay Day, Transit Tycoon etc. They need wifi to even load and function. Not because of ads but because they operate that way.
  12. FYI, I called Carnival and they had to transfer me to another department but after explaining my question and then being on hold for 10 minutes for them to mull over the answer they assured me the middle plan would work for simple mobile game data and would only need to bump up if for speed. Also said if not doing what we want we go down to a desk and just get refunded for the unused days, so we will try one middle plan between the two of us and that should give us the middling amount of connection to the world we'd need.
  13. All wonderful feedback, thanks so much to all! Based on what I've heard and the prevailing opinions I'm going to stick with the flexible option. Many points I had not even thought of, like the buffet option (do must ships have a main dining and buffet or only on big ones?) We're on Carnival Spirit which I understand is a bit on the middle side with a bit over 2,000 passengers and did not seem to be a buffet listed, but then again no main dining was either, just the specialty restaurants etc. and that's maybe that for those in the know you understand their is ALWAYS a MDR and a buffet option. Additionally my wife has zero interest in formal nights and it will allow us to back less things so I think the precludes us from the MDR on those nights anyway.
  14. Hmm. Perhaps calling Carnival and asking might be my only option then. Would hate to pay for a plan and then not be able to use it for the main purpose I had it for as I would imagine no refunds are given if we then decide to not use it for the remainder. If someone did get it to work would love to hear.
  15. We will be going on our first cruise ever with Carnival on the Spirit. I see there are 3 different wi-fi packages. If I just want to use a tablet that does not even have cellular available, is only wi-fi and just want to play mobile games like Hay Day and such will the Social package work? Not clear what is exactly sent by these types of games. Nothing with graphics, not hi-res stuff so I do not need streaming etc. When I have used my phone as a hot spot for example to allow my tablet to connect after a whole day of poking at it (will not do that on the cruise but like to wind down at night and I also get up hours before my wife so this is how I typically pass the time on vacation until she wakes up) I only used .02 GB of data so it seems very low bandwidth. So what package works for that? If I want to use my laptop and just keep up on clearing out work e-mail etc. I assume that needs at least the middle package to get e-mail like gmail?
  16. This basically answered the question I just posted above but we crossed. So we can have the best of both worlds with flex dining, if I understand what you are saying. We can still send up at the same table if we ask. And yes, the downside had occurred to me that with set seating you might get a bad experience too (the couple that gets drunk every meal and is obnoxious etc..)
  17. Am I correct in assuming you'll be sitting with the same passengers each time at dinner, or does this just mean we are in the same area of the dining room (hence the same wait staff) but they cover many tables so we may have different folks each time? My parents have gone one over 20 cruises and they speak about how they made friends with a new couple over dinners on the cruise so I figured the former but perhaps my assumption is wrong. That's really the draw for me, of the set seating, that I can get to know some folks and perhaps make some new friends.
  18. So as it was explained to me by the booking agent at Carnival, you can either have an set early or late dinner seating where you get the same wait staff, which I assume means the same table and same guests? Or you can do Your Time which just let's you walk in whenever. Originally I was going to pick the set time (early at 6) as it would be kind of nice to get to know a set of folks on the cruise etc. But then the agent recommended the flex as they said it avoids any conflicts. First I thought "yeah perhaps we'd be out at our port of call" but when I rechecked the itinerary we always leave the port of call at or before 6 so we'd have to be on the ship anyway so that issue seemed moot. They also mentioned shows or such and not knowing when those tend to be etc. they kind of talked me into the Your Time option. Now I'm second guessing as the set time seems nice and looks like less likely to wait (website says could wait 20 minutes for a table on the Your Time plan). So what do the vets think?
  19. So I've heard mixed stories. Some people swear by excursions, many comment that they would have rather just seen the sights on their own to now feel so rushed. I then read stories about how it can be dangerous to just take cabs on your own etc. We're in our early 50s and my wife and I tend to just explore on our own but also have never been to the locations we're going to having never been on a cruise. We love to hike and take in history so for example one of our stops in Puerto Rico I see a historical excursion but comments say they only got 40 minutes at the fort and would have loved to spend more time there so would have done it on their own. Our cruise in the spring is stopping at the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and St. Thomas as I realize location may play a big part in answering this question well. So what are the recommendations and why from the more experienced out there?
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