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Everything posted by sc4125

  1. Can anyone recommend a decent hotel in Miami that will let you leave your vehicle for a 7 day cruise? I've seen several at the airport, but not sure I want to hassle with getting a taxi from the airport to port & back. We only live about 3 1/2 hour drive from Miami and normally just drive down the morning of the cruise & park at the port, but I always get nervous about having car trouble or getting into a minor fender-bender that will cause us to miss the ship. Just trying to determine if it would be cheaper to stay at a hotel the night before & still pay to park at the port, or if it would be better to stay somewhere that allows parking for the 7 days.
  2. So, my sister & I booked our first Ultra Premier cruise yesterday. We'll be on the Glory in October. I've been on several Premier cruises, but have a question or two about the Ultra cruises. BTW I did a search, but everything I found was a bit dated and then there was something about changes for this year. For those who were on the last Ultra cruises, can you give me the low-down? From what I understand, they are just like Premier, but with better prizes. However, I've also seen that everyone with the invitation will receive a "high-end" gift - like IPADs, large screen tv, etc. Any information will be greatly appreciated.
  3. I've also done this instead of CHEERS. I know, I know, why not Cruise Cash - I actually purchased $500 in Cruise Cash and $200 in Bar Cash. FYI - If you don't use it all, you can actually add it as tips for your favorite waiter/waitress/bartender. This happened to me and my sister - because we earned Drinks On Us earlier than usual for that cruise, just didn't spend as much as I thought I would of the Bar Cash, so, on the last day, I tipped my favorite Casino bar waitress $50 for one drink order. I didn't know that any tips you added came from the Bar Cash, so I was tipping throughout the cruise in cash. So, remember, you can use your Bar Cash as tips.
  4. I think a lot depends on the age of the passengers. For old farts like me, 4-5 drinks a day is about my max, but a do like to purchase CHEERS - I like getting the specialty coffees for example, and I don't worry about getting my money's worth. BUT, I learned the hard way that when you're traveling with someone in their 20's (my daughter), they're all about getting to that 15 drinks a day marker (lol). Then, I remembered being that age, and I know that I would have been right there with her. Basically money means something different to a 20 something and a 50 something.
  5. I too typically use local tour operators, but I did have a potential problem that was not the tour operators fault. With plenty of time to spare, we were headed back to the ship when in St. Thomas. Well, you know how some of the streets are really narrow? There was an accident that was totally blocking one of these roads - two drivers about to come to blows & refusing to try to move their vehicles. We got boxed in so that the driver could not go forward and couldn't try to back out to take another route. We were stuck for almost an hour waiting for the police to force one of the drivers to move his vehicle. Thankfully, we had given ourselves almost 2 hours to make it back so we weren't late, but all of us in the van were freaking out. This was the one time I was thinking "you should have taken a ship excursion."
  6. I'm with you Sparks! I purchase Cruise Cash because it works for me. I will never have a problem not spending it, because I can always "cash it out" in the casino on the last day if I need to; although I haven't had that problem yet. Not sure why the concept bothers some people, but like I said it works for me.
  7. I didn't say anything about an arrest. I was simply saying that when someone makes an accusation, law enforcement would be negligent if they didn't question the person accused. Suppose it was the right suspect, and while security waited to compare videos, the suspect goes after the original victim or victimizes someone else? I'm not sure what it would entail to determine which videos needed to be viewed or how much time this would take. However, I can say that if you were the family member of the victim, and you thought this guy did something, I don't think you would be okay with waiting for concrete evidence before questioning a suspect. Making an arrest is a different story. Again, I don't know what CCL security protocol is, and perhaps they violated that protocol. Law enforcement agencies are suppose to be exempt from civil liability if the officer is acting in good faith. I don't know every detail of what led to this "interrogation" but to automatically assume that CCL should be sued may be inaccurate until all facts are in.
  8. In reference to casino - my sister & I get fairly good deals, although not as good as we got a couple of years ago. Once your husband starts earning points (by using your S&S card in slot machines or by having dealers let you earn points at the tables), he will be able to qualify for anything from Bounce Back (he will get this at the end of the cruise if he earns enough points) where you typically get a "free" interior cabin by paying taxes & port fees, to cruise cash, Premier cruise offers, etc. You can contact the Players Club prior to the next cruise to see what he may qualify for. I'm not much of a sun worshipper either - maybe an hour in the sun & then it's shade for me too. I just can't remember ever seeing such a crowd outside. I'm an early riser & after eating breakfast, I was outside at 8:30 - the only place we could find a spot was near the waterworks & there were only a few chairs available even there. I really think it was just a bad week.
  9. I don't remember thinking there was a huge difference in the food in the MDR. I'm not much of a foodie and am generally pretty easy to please. As for daily activities, again I don't remember there being a difference in the normal daily happenings - trivia, deck games, etc. are pretty much the same on all of the ships. I spend a lot of time in the casino (lol). I just liked the vibe of the Breeze. The only thing that I didn't like on the Sunshine was the crowds on all decks on sea days. I've been on many CCL ships, and I'm not sure if it was just an unusually crowded week or not, but I've never seen those kinds of crowds. It's always difficult to find a lounge chair near the pool on sea days - you know, flip flops, books, towels on chairs rather than people, but I've never had difficulty getting a chair on the upper decks on any ship other than the Sunshine. Again, it may have just been a week where there were lots of sun-worshippers. I didn't dislike the Sunshine enough not to go on her again - I had a good time & there were things I really liked. I just liked the Breeze better.
  10. I work for a law enforcement agency. Unfortunately, people do accuse the wrong person and officers or detectives have to investigate. As you can imagine, guilty people also claim to be innocent. It's not like you go to someone who's been accused, say "did you do it" the person assures you they are innocent and you say, "oh, sorry - must have the wrong guy." You have to question the person accused. Do some officers come off as jerks - yes, they do, but when an accusation is made, we have to investigate. There have been numerous instances of a females purposely giving a false statement to get back at an ex or to explain why she was out all night. We do file charges against those women for filing a false police report, but if someone makes a mistake and picks out the wrong guy, it's not actionable. If law enforcement agencies were sued every time they question an innocent suspect, we'd all be out of business.
  11. I have been on both ships - the Breeze several times. Although there were some things I liked about the Sunshine (Havana area and the very nice, big Serenity for example), I would definitely vote for the Breeze. On sea days on the Sunshine it was almost impossible to find a lounge chair on any of the outside decks and I just found it to feel crowded overall. I love the Breeze & am very happy she's coming back to Florida. The Breeze is larger and has a very nice "flow" throughout. Though I would try the Sunshine again, it wouldn't be my first choice. It seems that with the Sunshine, you either love it or hate it - I certainly didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.
  12. It is indeed use or lose; however, if you have anything left near the end of the cruise you can pull the money off the S&S card at a slot machine in the casino & then cash out the "players bank" with the casino cashier. I spend a lot of time in the casino & never had a problem using my cruise cash (lol). You may need to play the slot for a few bucks before cashing it out, but it shouldn't be a problem.
  13. The moscato wine in the MDR is very good - nice & sweet. I haven't seen the Sangria offered at any of the bars or MDR. I wonder if you can only get it on certain ships or if I just missed it somehow. I do love a good white sangria.
  14. I've never had it show up on my documents prior to the cruise (I book with one of Carnival's PVP). I was concerned, but never had a problem once I was onboard. I always make a copy of my receipt just in case, but never had to use it. So, don't be concerned that it doesn't show up on your CCL documents - just take the documentation from your TA showing that it was paid for.
  15. Not sure if it still works this way, but I was a purser on another cruise line & we were in charge of the $$ - that was back in the day where you actually used cash to purchase bingo cards. We would take in the $$, and pay out the wins. This is the way it happened "way back when": Everyday on the 7 day cruise, you would play the cover all (or black out) as the last game, calling XX numbers, which increased each day. If no one won, the jackpot rolled over and on the last day of the cruise, you called numbers until someone did win. Typically, the jackpot would be quite substantial on that last day. No one was suppose to be able to win until the last day - if they ever did (and there were some close calls) - we would not have had the $$ to pay it out on those first few days. Remember this was back when everything was done in cash. There were some really nerve wracking days when someone would call Bingo on the first couple of days of cover all knowing there was no way I had $2000 in the cash box to pay out, but it was never a "good" bingo. The cruise line take back then was one-half of the sales. We would count the $$, keep back 1/2 and then determine what the prize $$ would be for each of the games. It was a great money maker, but no where near the amount we took in from the casino.
  16. Not everyone reads JH post; however, I have emailed MD's to make a request - only one replied, but the requests were always granted. I'm not sure what Heald means by it being a waste of time.
  17. We were just on the Miracle a few months ago out of Tampa & was very excited that another 7 day ship came back to the port. We had a very good time, but I really loved the Legend when she sailed out of Tampa several years ago, so looking forward to her return.
  18. So, is the Paradise now doing the Muster Drill inside at last? Oh, let it be so! I thought I was going to pass out when we were on her in November - it seemed to take forever and they had us packed in like sardines. I'm going to be on her again in July & was already dreading the Drill. I couldn't understand why some of the ships were still doing the "line up at the life boat embarkation deck," but I was told that the only reason the newer, bigger ships were allowed to have them inside was because they didn't have the room on the outside deck to line everyone up??? Anyway, fingers crossed that we will be inside for the next Drill.
  19. One piece of our luggage didn't make it to the cabin on our very first cruise. Notices were sent out 2 different times asking passengers to check to see if the luggage was accidently delivered to the wrong cabin. This was a 7 day cruise & it was a hanging bag with all of our formal wear. On day 5 I get a call from Guest Services saying that they were just given a piece of luggage that may be ours (the tag was no longer on the case). I went down & sure enough it was our bag. Here's how it went unnoticed even when flyers were sent out. It was in a cabin being shared by 4 young women. None of them paid attention to the notices about the missing piece & each though it belonged to one of the others. The cabin steward actually "found" it in their cabin & asked them to make sure it was one of theirs. Thank goodness the cabin steward was on the ball - I imagine he saw the luggage laying around somewhere & thought it looked like the missing piece. Anyway, it does happen - probably more often when young adults are involved.
  20. This happened to us on our first cruise over 15 years ago. This was a 7 day cruise, and as newbies, we packed all of our "dressy" clothes in one hanging bag (this was when you really did dress up on formal night). The bag never made it to our cabin - flyers went out two different times to all cabins to be on the look out - nothing. Then on the 5th night we get a call from Guest Services saying that a cabin steward located the bag in a cabin with 4 younger women. Evidently each thought it belonged to one of the other cabin mates. It didn't ruin our cruise, but three of us missed the formal dinner which was very disappointing. My 15 year old daughter met some girls her age & one of them loaned her a long gown so at least she got to go with her cousin who was with us. The staff were very helpful - letting us try on "women's tuxes" from their formal shop - uh, no thank you - and letting us order off the menu & having it delivered to our cabin.
  21. My sister gets 1 or 2 Bloody Mary's every morning from one of the bars although she did love the Bloody Mary Bar itself - but like others haven't seen it in awhile. If you find a good bartender, he/she will add all kind of things to the drink but they do use a mix. They will even make suggestions. I
  22. I think the biggest reason those boarding around 1:00 can't find a place to sit and eat is because the tables are being used by those that boarded at 11:30 and then decided the space to relax was at their Lido table. You see so many people who have already eaten just sitting there taking up the table. I would love it if Lido staff would direct these people to another area to relax and give their tables up to someone who is walking around with their plates searching for somewhere to sit.
  23. I have to tell you, the Breeze is my favorite CCL ship. I've been on her several times and am really excited that she's coming to Pt. Canaveral. I was just recently on the Miracle for the second time & had a very good time. In July I'll be on the Paradise for the 3rd time. It had been awhile since I had been on one of the smaller ships, and I was afraid that I wouldn't enjoy it that much, but I was pleasantly surprised. I think you will love the Breeze. It's a beautiful ship and I never found it to be overly crowded. You mentioned the Sunshine. I have to say that as far as crowds go, the Sunshine was the only ship that I felt was very overcrowded - particularly the Lido deck on sea days. At the same time, I really liked parts of the ship - the Havana Bar area for example. As you can see from my signature, I've been on quite a few CCL ships, and have enjoyed different things about each one. There are just some that I didn't like quite as much as others.
  24. When checking in, if the agent asks where the other party is, rather than making up some total bull about "she's parking the car" all you have to say is that you're not sure he/she is going to make it. No need for the person cruising to be stressing about what to say - the person checking you in shouldn't be all that interested and may not even ask. But, the OP shouldn't call to cancel - because they may very well make the other pay solo rate.
  25. Good to know - I'll call & take care of it. Thanks for the info.
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