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Everything posted by cruisinqt

  1. We have that one booked as well. The Mardi Gras is one of my favorite ships. I love the beignets at Emeril’s Bistro. And the red snapper at Rudi Sodamin's seafood restaurant. Maybe this time I’ll have time to tryout the roller coaster.
  2. That’s a great idea. I completely forgot that most hotels do that, I even did it in Barcelona last year. Thanks. I’m thinking about dropping off the bags then taking a taxi to a shopping area with some nice restaurants and just hanging out there for a few hours until our room is ready.
  3. We were thinking about using our points at one of the Hilton properties. There’s the Conrad Singapore Orchard, the Hilton Singapore Orchard, the Conrad Centennial Singapore, and the Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon. We were leaning towards the Hilton Singapore Orchard based on price and location. The Conrad’s are nice but pricey. I’ll look into the Ritz Carlton maybe it won’t be too expensive. We are only staying a couple nights pre cruise before a 25 day transatlantic sailing. The Hawker market and shopping sounds nice. We are foodies so the variety is exactly what we are looking for. Maybe we could do that instead of a tour. Thanks.
  4. Oh that’s a great idea. What hotel did you use? We are in the process of booking one right now and trying to decide where to stay.
  5. We are visiting Singapore for the first time and have a dilemma. Our flight arrives early in the morning but our hotel check in is late in the afternoon. Are there any tour operators that would pick us up at our hotel or the airport (along with our luggage) to go on a tour for a few hours until our hotel room is ready? We thought about storing our luggage at the airport but we don’t want to have to make a trip back there unless we have to. I also thought about using stasher or something similar and walking around and doing our own sightseeing. But will be coming off of a direct flight from Los Angeles so we will be too tired to do much walking. Any experiences or suggestions?
  6. This will be our first visit to Singapore so this is all new to us. We are arriving early in the morning but our hotel has a late check in. We were thinking about doing a tour for a few hours until our room is ready but will the tour company have a place for our luggage? Or will the hotel be able to store our luggage until our room is ready? We aren’t sure what to do and don’t want to lug around luggage all day.
  7. Our flight arrives early in the morning in Singapore but our hotel check in is in the late afternoon. We would like to do a tour for a few hours until we can check in at the hotel but we will have all of our luggage with us. Are there any tour operators that will pick us up at the airport (luggage and all) and take us to some of the sights? Or would it be better to go straight to the hotel and get picked up there? Any experiences or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This is our first time in Singapore so we have no idea where to start.
  8. I was on that same cruise on the Freedom from Barcelona to Port Canaveral and had a completely different experience. Yes the ship was old with tacky decor, (it’s one of Carnivals oldest ships & is 15 years old) but the crew kept it exceptionally clean. The food was very good in the MDR and there was a bbq place up the stairs above the lido not many people knew about that had pretty good food. And that’s saying a lot because I’m from Texas and we take our bbq seriously. And if you didn’t mind paying a little extra for your food the Seafood Shack had excellent fish and chips for $8. But if a person were just to eat at the lido buffet or the sandwich or pizza place they would probably have a very poor opinion of the food like this cruiser did. We never heard hammering and drilling at night. Maybe it was because of our cabin location but I was told by staff that they only do it in the daylight hours when guests are awake so as not to disturb them. But yes a post refurbishment cruise will have work going on but it wasn’t that big of a deal to us. There was a smell in some hallways from the glue used on the new carpeting but it definitely wasn’t a urine smell and it was only a slight odor that disappeared once you were out of the hallway. When they were shampooing carpets or repairing something we just stepped around them and went on our way. Someone flooded their bathroom on deck 8 and it made a mess all over that deck so a lot of cruisers staying in that area were understandably unhappy. I think that added to the overall frustration some were experiencing. All I know is the Facebook group for that cruise got pretty heated. There were a handful of complainers that belly ached about every little thing and exaggerated some situations. It seemed like they were just looking for things to fuss about. It got so bad that a number of people left the group because of the bellyaching. I would say 90% of us had a wonderful cruise and would do it again. On several occasions I got my laundry back the same day I turned it in. Most of the staff remembered me and greeted me by name. And the cruise director was super entertaining. I enjoyed the cruise so much that we booked the exact same cruise for 2025 (a repositioning transatlantic sailing from Barcelona to Port Canaveral) but it’s on a newer ship, Mardi Gras.
  9. I’ve been cruising for over 20 years and have been on a number of cruise lines, some higher end and other more basic. Carnival has changed a lot over the years and isn’t really a party boat like it used to be, unless you go on a 2-3 day cruise but those really short cruises have a party atmosphere no matter which cruise line you go on. And the newer Excel class ships (yes the Mardi Gras is one of them) are quite elegant and look more like a Royal Caribbean cruise ship than a Carnival cruise ship. Emeril Lagasse has taken over the food and revamped the MDR menu so it’s quite good. With Rudi Sodamin opening a seafood restaurant on board, Guy Fieri opening both burger & bbq places along with a microbrewery, and Cucina Del Capitano winning awards for their Italian cuisine, Carnival has drastically improved their food options. I actually preferred the food on the Carnival Celebration over the food on the Quantam of the Seas. But Royals food quality changes are a whole other story. The spa is quite nice (it uses Elemis products) and offers thermal suites with saunas, hot tubs, steam rooms, and heated marble loungers. And the Serenity adults only area (21+) is pretty nice too. I still prefer Royals adults only Solarium to Carnivals Serenity deck but the Serenity is still a very good option. So there are lots of quiet relaxing areas to choose from. Are Carnivals repo/transatlantic sailings different? Yes, very much so. The median age is much older, the activities are more geared towards older folks, and there aren’t as many kids. On our Barcelona transatlantic repo cruise there were daily lectures, q&a sessions with various crew members (the engineers were fascinating), ballroom dance classes, and various craft activities. We especially liked the throwback days where everyone (including the staff) dresses up for a specific time period. Even the ship is decorated for that time period. The 80’s throwback day was a blast, we had 80’s dance classes, 80’s food, and 80’s activities. Our adult daughters (24 & 26), who decided to come along with us complained about the “old people music” in the clubs because it was all stuff from the 70’s, 80’s, & 90’s but we loved it. I think you’d like a Carnival transatlantic cruise if you tried one. We’ve already booked the Mardi Gras for a transatlantic repo cruise from Barcelona to Port Canaveral in 2025 because we loved the one we just did on the Carnival Freedom a couple months ago.
  10. If you and your husband both get good casino offers you can book separate cabins under each of your names with your daughter and son in law as your guests. Then once you’re on board just go to guest services and switch everyone to the cabins you want to be in. We do it all of the time. We are leaving on the Horizon this Saturday and our best friends are coming along. My husband and his buddy are in one cabin under my husband’s casino offer. Me and my best friend are in another cabin under my offer. Once we board we are all going to guest services and putting each couple in their own cabins.
  11. Cucina Del Capitano costs extra but on the Excel class ships it’s free.
  12. We’ve done AT&T’s international day pass while in both England and Spain and loved it. You can’t beat $10 a day for unlimited use of your phone. And every time we were in port on our cruise we had great internet through that plan. But we haven’t tried AT&T’s cruise ship plan. Have you tried it before? Is it good? I’m wondering how well the speeds are.
  13. It wasn’t the best I’ve ever had but it wasn’t the worst either, overall I’d say it was in the middle. It was good enough that I’d get it again. They had sausage, bacon, eggs, bread, bagels, croissants, muffins, cereal, yogurt, lunch meats (ham & turkey), sliced cheese, and several juices. I know there was more but that’s all I can recall right now. I made a bacon turkey Swiss breakfast sandwich on croissant that was pretty good. My husband liked it as well because the eggs were real (not fake) and everything had seasoning.
  14. Personally I love the makeup/vanity area by the bathroom. My husband loves the living room with the curtain that separates things so his late night tv watching or gaming doesn’t disturb me. We both love the larger balcony and bigger bathroom.
  15. I just wanted to thank everyone here that recommended staying at Hotel Jazz in Barcelona. We are currently staying there and are quite impressed. It’s not very expensive and the location is perfect. We are about a 5 minute walk to La Catalunya and 7 minutes from Las Ramblas where all of the restaurants and shopping is. You can tell they’re the main hot spots to hang out at. The restaurant next door, Ramen Kasa, has some of the best ramen I’ve ever had. And there are amazing tapas bars and little grocery stores all over. And it’s just a 10 minute drive to the pier. The hotel itself is very nice with an amazing rooftop pool with beautiful views of the city. So thanks again for all of the recommendations, we are really enjoying our stay here. If anyone has any questions about the area feel free to ask.
  16. Thanks for the heads up on the ferry situation and the restaurant recommendations. We will just make a day of it in Hamilton.
  17. Sorry I forgot this thread was specifically about Bermuda. I was thinking about our hotel in Barcelona that has a rooftop bar and pool only accessible to guests.
  18. I would imagine any bar or restaurant in a hotel that’s on the ground floor is open for business to anyone that walks in. But for those that are on upper floors (or like the hotel I’m staying at that has a rooftop bar) you may need a hotel room card to use to access the elevator to go upstairs. Lots of hotel elevators need room cards to work nowadays. If you call in advance or email them in advance you could probably find out.
  19. Yeah they expect a tip everywhere its really frustrating
  20. Carnival’s website was down over the weekend while they upgraded it. Normally it works really well and is much more user friendly than other cruise lines websites. I think they’re still working out the glitches though. Hang in there it should be resolved pretty quickly.
  21. We just got back from a 16 day London trip and I never thought to look and see if we were charged in euros or dollars. I bet we got charged in dollars but never knew it. I also got a Travelon bag with locking zippers and slash proof fabric. I saw a lot of them in Europe. I think it’s a good idea if you plan on traveling abroad a lot which is what we’re doing now that we’re retired.
  22. We will be heading to Barcelona in a few weeks. I’d heard about the pickpockets and all of the games they try to get you into. I knew to avoid those things but I hadn’t heard about the flowers or the stain. We will definitely be wary of people standing too close to us. And we planned on using taxis or Uber a lot so the tip on being sure they charge you in euros is something I’d never thought about. Thanks for the heads up.
  23. The cruise was absolutely amazing! As far as debarkation goes, this is the earliest and quickest I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been cruising over 20 years). But I’d heard from cruisers on the previous trip that embarkation and debarkation is very quick and smooth and to expect to be off very early on debarkation day so I was prepared. We docked at 5:00 am, self assist started at 5:30, and by 6:30 the many of the regular non self assist cruisers had already gotten off of the ship. We left our cabin at 6:30 and by 6:45 we were off of the ship. We literally just walked right off, there were almost no crowds inside the ship (they were all outside waiting for their rides.) I heard the ship was cleared by 8:00 am. We had blackberry car service booked for 7:00 am and we were on the road at 7:05 am. The drive time from the port to Heathrow is 1 hour 45 minutes but traffic can have a big effect on that time. We arrived at Heathrow at 9:15 and this was with extremely heavy traffic due to a train strike. Everyone that had booked the train was scrambling to get a ride and the traffic was crazy bad. Our flight was at 2:05 so even though there was tons of traffic we still had tons of time to chill in the airport. A 12:50 flight is very doable. Of course there’s always the possibility of bad weather or some other problems delaying the ship’s arrival but that’s a rare occurrence so I wouldn’t worry about it. If you have any other questions just ask away.
  24. We are very interested in the forts so combining a fort along with the beach and a nice meal is a great idea, thanks.
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