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About mprucha

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  1. Sunrise and sunset are listed on your capers each day.....check the times and I'd get a bottle of wine or drinks of your choice and be on that balcony at least 30 minutes prior to sunset or even an hour....you can relax, watch the sunset, enjoy a toast being together! That's what we do.......fantastic!
  2. Thanks Janette! We'll be cruising with our little grandson next year and these are great ideas! Thanks for taking the time to put this together for us!
  3. Some supper clubs on some ships USED to be open at times for lunch for free IF they were having too many open slots in their reservations. This peaked people interst in making a paid reservation for the actual full experience. It was like a teaser. The food wasn't the same nor the service because it was meant to make you want it. It wasn't done every day and it wasn't done on all ships. As far as Nick & Nora's goes, they didn't do it on either of the Miracle cruises we've been on and this year they did have the supper club blocked off at lunch. You can make reservations online at the link they already provided or in person once you get onboard by going to Nick & Nora's and this year they had someone in Horatio's from Nick & Nora's on the first day to confirm peoples reservations they made online and to take new reservations.
  4. I wouldn't try and miss the muster drill. I agree that even if you've on a zillion cruises and have the general idea of muster drill, different ships, different meeting points, possible changes to plan would be important in a real emergency. I've not seen a roll call done but know that sometimes they do one plus it is mandatory for all passengers. They try to keep an eye to see everyone goes so they only place you would have to try and "hide" would be in your cabin and already on some ships they are having the stewards start to actually check inside the rooms to prevent people from doing this. It's only 20 minutes at the longest.
  5. Here are a few more things to add to possible needs for cash. LIke another person said, we dont' know the total plan the OP has for the trip. 1. tips for luggage at airports if you are flying 2. cash for the casino IF you want to do it that way and IF you plan to gamble 3. extra cash for food in ports unless you're planning on using a credit card for that too. If so, we usually make it a different card than the one attached to our s&s account onboard 4. the specialty coffee shop onboard you have to pay for.....it has starbucks type coffees and special pastries Here is what we do. We usually have the money set aside in an account at home to pay off whatever we place on our s&s card while on the ship. We budget ourselves about $2500 for an 8 night cruise and that's much higher than we need really. We put everything on our credit card that's attached to our s&s card and we leave it on there until we get home so we get the rewards attached to our card. Then when I get home, we pay the whole credit card balance off with the money we had put aside. Then, we take a separate credit card for things like food, drinks, souvenoirs we buy while in port. For us, this is a safety issue for our credit cards. This way, if we use the card in a port and someone in a shop or something got our card info it wouldn't affect our cruise account (this is never happened, just a precaution, we all know stealing credit card info anywhere these days is a concern). We actually take about 300 in small bills broken down as $100 in 20's, $100 in 5's & 10's and the rest in ones. It sounds like alot but you do use ALOT of small tips throughout the cruise. Just whatever you decide, watch your account while on the ship by using your tv personal folio to make sure the charges are correct as you go along AND more importantly, so you don't end up with culture shock when you see the final total you used on the s&s card. If you're intended to use ONLY cash for the s&s card then you need to decide what you're going to spend overall and then set aside your "extra" cash needs. They will notify you if you need to add more money as the cruise going along.
  6. 4kidsplusty, on casual nights you tend to see people dressed all sorts of ways. There were some women in dresses or dress pants, some in jeans with nice tops, some kids in little sun dresses or in jeans and tops. I will warn you that the dining room was very cold for me this year. We had the late dining time and maybe our table was posititioned under a cold vent but I had to bring a jacket with me each night. In fact, on both formal nights I was wearing long beautiful formal dresses and I had to wrap something around me the first night and went to the gift shop to buy a shawl to match my dress the second night and was still cold. I tended to wear nice pants with pretty tops on casual nights, nice earrings, etc. The first night most people wear things they wore to get on the ship unless they have already gotten their luggage or if they brought an outfit onboard with them. The first night and last night of the cruise tend to be cooler because you're headed out of and back into NY. I'll be posting some pictures of us online and I'll make sure and send you some of what I wore on some casual evenings. I don't remember seeing many people wearing shorts and polos this cruise. My email address is on my website since they don't like us to post our email addresses on cruise critic so if you want to see the pictures sooner, just email me and I can scan them in to you sooner! Hope this helps! Quench, No, we booked our flights through the airline. The problems we had wouldn't have been prevented even if I booked through carnival because the problems were involved with the fact that with the fuel costs going up they want the planes filled so all the airlines are cancelling and rescheduling or combining flights multiple times a day to make sure they are full when they take off. I did feel the quality of the meals was very good and met last years standards. No, the Miracle was the only ship in port the day we embarked. Yes we did take a few pictures of tea time but they aren't posted yet. I took a few last year as well so I'll try to pull those for you. When are you traveling?
  7. mprucha

    toddlers in alaska

    Thanks for the thread! It's already helped with ideas from experienced parents!
  8. Thanks for the info about ideas for toddlers. I just now posted a thread about this very topic so I already have started getting some great ideas. Hopefully people will continue this thread with more ideas!
  9. We're traveling on the spirit May 27, 2009 and our 19 month old grandson will be traveling with us. Any thoughts from those of you that have traveled with small ones about the ship or alaska, the thoughts on excursions that are small child interesting. We've traveled on the Miracle twice so we're well acquainted with the Spirits layout, cabins, rules, etc and I'm a huge planner so I already have lists of baby packing plans & needs. I'm more interested in hearing from parents or grandparents that have taken this trip with little ones about their actual experiences and also about anything they've learned to do differently after making the trip. Thanks in advance! Anne
  10. There are issues with the communication however part of the problem isn't carnival's. The port authority in NY handles the pier so Carnival demanding they paint the place isn't going to happen because for one Carnival isn't the only cruise line coming in and out and secondly because the Port Authority isn't going to take orders from a cruise line. Unfortunately they are use to hearing complaints on many issues (the port authority) and are tough skinned. And cruise ships aren't the only type of ships that use the piers so beauty isn't always their first concern I doubt....unfortunate but true. Does it look like a big warehouse...yes it does but it's a big empty warehouse used by NY city in a crowded busy area on the water for multiple types of boats and ships including cargo, etc. Would it be good for some kind of updates from a carnival employee (possibly someone from their purser's desk or the cruise director) to keep people updated......it would be a definite plus almost more on debarking than on embarking. Most important especially for new cruisers is to not go into the trip looking for problems or letting it ruin your experience. You go on a cruise to relax and have fun....you don't want to stress yourself out on the way on or on the way off. Anyone planning an early flight should always consider the time it takes to get on and off as a possible problem as well as the MANY flight changes and cancellations from the flight industry. Anyone that read our post on the "all things miracle" regarding our flights home would see how many changes can take place in just one day. Recommendation.....always, always, always try to fly in early and fly out late or even better, fly in the day before and out the day after a cruise.
  11. Djwood24, hope you have a great trip as I'm sure you will!! I'm glad everyone is enjoying the review! If you are leaving in less than a couple of weeks and need info or certain pictures before we can update our website let me know and I'll try and send them by email! Mary49, you know I feel like Music Unlimited was just as good if not better than Music Boardwalk. When I first went to hear them I was slightly worried because we loved Music boardwalk so much but we were thrilled with them! Their vocals and transitions between songs is actually maybe even better than music boardwalk although I think music boardwalk MAY have a bigger set width as far as playing things from the 50's through 90's. Dottie, I hate to hear that your embarking/debarking was rougher. I did hear that the computers had issues during embarking but that was after us and yes, I knew that there were 26 numbers of debarking so considering we got off at 11:30 and we were one of the first that weren't self assisting, I knew that others would be much later. Glad you had a great trip though! And we really enjoyed meeting everyone at the meet and greet! MaryZ, I know how you feel about having the aft wrap cabins! The first thing we did when we got home was to see if any of them were available for Alaska next May but right now there aren't. I'll keep an eye out just in case that changes of course.
  12. Yes, I know the feeling. We usually try and come up with what we think it will be and then we double that in our head to be safe! We also check our tv daily to make sure the charges are correct.
  13. There's really no way of knowing how the seas will really be like for your trip so just be prepared. Take your bonine with you and back ups like ginger capsules, dramamine, sour or mint candy, fresh air works, sour things like pickles sometimes also work. Going out of NY is great and most people really like it if they like the sea days since this cruise has 4 of them. We love the sea days so it works well for us and we don't get sea sick so I take things with us as precaution! You'll love your trip!
  14. I'm glad you found the review cv322 and thanks for the help sending it to them cathyoo! The website we created doesn't compete with cruise critic. In fact, it came out because of cruise critic. And I always post our cruise review first on cruise critic and then start working on updating our stuff. Our site is very different as we're trying to make it easier for people for lists and tips and stuff. We've had thousands of people look at it and email me about the help its given them preparing for their cruise. :)
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