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Everything posted by NCTribeFan

  1. My most recent HAL sailing was on Koningsdam almost 2 years ago (loved the ship). There was smoking in the casino at that time. Sailed Zuiderdam almost 3 years ago (really liked her too - had one of the J class interior cabins that are quite large, centrally-located, and a great cabin, especially for a solo). Both had the BB King's Blues club which had great bands. Open until about midnight, I believe. I had no idea that HAL had further restricted their smoking policy since I sailed. Makes me very happy since I just received a casino offer for a free interior and am currently trying to get in touch with my PCC. I haven't yet sailed X (am booked on Infinity for March 2021). One of the main reasons I've wanted to try X was because the casinos are non-smoking. I do wish HAL was more transparent with their pricing structure. I search for a sailing that looks interesting, see the price, then log on and almost every time the price drops about 30%. I have no idea why. Is it because I put in my Mariner number? Is it because I get casino offers? Is it that they aren't charging 200% as a solo? I'll take the discount. Just wish I knew why I was receiving it! Anyway, thanks to OP for posting.
  2. Another female solo cruiser here. I've even chosen to eat solo at 2-top tables and been hounded by neighbors insisting that I join them. If I'd wanted to eat with others (and I often opt to do just that), I'd have told the Maitre D that I wanted to be seated with others! One of the things I enjoy most about sailing solo is that I get to people watch. When you're sailing with family/friends, you spend most of the time chatting with them. When you're solo, you have all that time to watch the crew/staff do their amazing jobs. There have also been too many instances where I've been seated and then ignored. Once I finally get someone's attention, the remarks are always "oh, I thought you were waiting for someone!" Really? And it didn't occur to you to even come and pour some water and ASK ME? And just because I'm alone doesn't mean I'm lonely! It is frustrating.
  3. Oh, let me chime in on cruise ship food! My past 3 sailings have been on MSC - Divina last December, Armonia in May and again a month ago. I'll be on my 30th Carnival cruise in 10 days. I've also sailed 3x HAL, and 1x each on RCL & NCL. First X coming up in early 2021. Sometimes the food is good. Sometimes you get a dish that is very good. Sometimes it is just barely OK. I certainly didn't think the food on Armonia (either time) was inedible. I almost never eat from the buffet and I rarely have dessert. Think MSC's burgers on the pool deck on Armonia were better than the highly-praised Guy's Burgers on Carnival (but not better than the burgers on HAL's Koningsdam). Guy's has a great toppings bar but the burgers themselves are usually over-cooked and over-charred. I gave up even trying to eat the pizza on Carnival. MSC's is miles better! I like Carnival's deli for lunch. It's subjective. It can vary greatly within one cruise line from ship to ship and sailing to sailing. I personally think the food tends to be better overall on the smaller ships although you have fewer dining options. JMHO.
  4. Got major Med/TA Legend booked for October 2020 and wasn't planning on sailing again before then since I have a land vaca planned for May, but I may have to squeeze in one of Breeze before she moves! Just had a quick look at Jan-May 2020 and prices seem really high, especially since I'd be solo so doesn't look like I can do one from Pt C. Slightly cheaper from FLL but I'll be broke after that long Legend sailing! And have my first Celebrity sailing booked in March 2021. Good news is I should be living in FL before too much longer so not having to fly would make a huge difference!
  5. Still haven't sailed on Breeze and was hoping to do so, but I'm not going to fly to Texas when sailing from FL is so much easier for me (and cheaper) with better itineraries. Doesn't actually state when Breeze will move, does it?
  6. Also believe that we had whatever movies were showing when we boarded; no change during the cruise.
  7. Before my Armonia sailing in May, there were issues with the Roll Call(s) disappearing, and mine didn't even show up until a few days prior to sailing (too late to register for the M&M). I sent the CC folks here an email telling them about the RC issues and that I hadn't registered for the M&M in time. The response was that all I needed to do was go to the Service Desk on the first day (because the M&M is almost always on the first sea day), tell them I wanted to attend, and they'd put me on the list. I did that and, sure enough, I received an invitation in my cabin that night for the next morning at 10 am. When I arrived, I was not on the list but I had brought my invitation and was welcomed (and my name & cabin # added to the check-in list). A couple of days later, my group photo arrived in the cabin.
  8. On my 2 MSC cruises this year on Armonia, they wanted you to order the full meal at the start. It worked out OK. Their cheese plate isn't as good as Carnival's. That's my "go to" when I know I'll eat a couple of appetizers and my main. I'm not much for sweets and usually don't have room for them anyway. And I don't need those empty calories. I'd rather have another drink than a dessert! 😊
  9. Did they enclose the Piano Bar? When I saw the deck plans and realized they'd replaced Ocean Plaza (on Sunshine) with the Piano Bar, I thought it a strange location. I really like the Ocean Plaza area. Me, I'm not a Piano Bar person. Too much of a music snob. Just so many "popular" songs never should've gotten a minute's air time imho! I do recall going to the Piano Bar on Pride and apparently was still there when it closed. I don't really remember, but I suppose I had a good time! 😲 πŸ€”
  10. My tour to Chacchoben with Native Choice was very good, especially for the price. I liked that the site still had lots of the jungle around it.
  11. I love a good pumpkin ale! So hoping to find this in the Pub on Sunshine in 2 weeks!!
  12. I have Anytime dining this time (which I'm not really all that crazy about) but I'll see if Ronaldo is still on the ship and request a table in his section. The Chicken Parmesan looks like a pizza!
  13. I like Ocean Plaza, too. I was surprised when I looked at the deck plans for Sunrise and saw that they had the piano bar there instead! It's a nice place for that "quick" breakfast and, on rare occasions, you can even sit and read in a somewhat peaceful setting (so hard to find on Carnival ships). To me, all of Carnival's ships (other than Spirit-class, which have much nicer layouts and so much better space ratios), are just variations of what I refer to as The Floating Shoe-Box Design. The have the 2 MDRs with the result that the galley blocks a deck or two and causes much confusion to many passengers. Theater up front, shops around the atrium, casino, scattered bars. I forgot that Sunshine was still based in FL when you sailed. I'm on her out of Charleston (one of my favorite places).
  14. I love Cucina for lunch. Looking forward to it! I thought the Anytime dining was always in the midship MDR. I don't typically do Anytime but didn't want early (to interfere with Bermuda day) or late (so I could eat sometime in between set dining) and not be too stuffed to head over to the Frog and Onion for a pint after dinner. πŸ˜€ I see a Welcome Aboard Happy Hour. I've asked about this on Sunshine, so hoping we'll have it, too.
  15. Thanks. It really won't make much difference since I have a casino budget and when my daily allowance is gone, I leave. OK, sometimes I draw money from my onboard account and use it in the slots. If I win (ha!), I've been known to cash out and take that back to the wheel and give it all right back. I need to find something else to entertain me because I don't even play enough to get Drinks on Us and have never gotten a bounce-back offer.
  16. Sure. Sailing in a couple of weeks and I love reading reviews to see what others thought about their cruises.
  17. Thanks. I know there were some people upset a few years ago when some of the ships only had $2 chips. I'm not a high roller and it didn't really affect me, but having come off a couple of MSC sailings where they had a casino "happy hours" on sea days where chips were only $0.50, a switch to $2 would make a difference.
  18. There are many things offered in the ship's spa that I wouldn't purchase. Teeth whitening? Botox?!?! Fillers!? Why would anyone pay for these things to be administered by someone you'll never see again and that will probably cost way more than you'd pay on land where you could follow up with the practitioner if there were any issues after treatment? I won't even get my nails done. Crappy job at double the price. I'll sometimes get a facial/massage combo on a port day when it's "on sale" but those are the only services I'll use. And everyone who has spent any time on these boards should realize that they'll get the high-pressure add-on sales pitch. I actually feel the same way about the jewelry. Buy from someone local, people. So many complaints after the cruise about the poor qualify and not getting what they thought they were buying. The duty-free savings is usually not worth the risk.
  19. Come on, Sunshine cruisers! I know someone has sailed recently that must have played some Roulette. And I'm sure people have noticed if there's a Happy Hour or not! I mean, I won't board the ship unless I know!!! πŸ˜‹
  20. I was on my first MSC sailing on Divina last December (11 nights). I honestly don't remember there being 3 Elegant nights. Maybe the Italian night was also an Elegant night. I do dress for dinner but typically something nicer on the Elegant nights. I don't go to the MDR in shorts and a tank top. No, I don't care what others wear (as long as no baseball caps). I just think dressing for dinner on a cruise is part of the experience. Not sure why some find it so painful but whatever. Just off Armonia a couple of weeks ago and went to the M&G. It was miles better than what Carnival does! I wrote a mini-review and talked about it in there. I'm not big on socializing, but I was solo and forced myself to talk to other humans. It was quite nice and I was impressed that so many heads of departments were there along with the CD and Master of the vessel (and I told them all that)! The group photo was a nice touch, too.
  21. Sailing Sunshine to Bermuda in a couple of weeks. There are two current/recent review threads but I didn't see that those folks spent any time in the casino so thought I'd ask here instead of hijacking their reviews. When I sailed Carnival last (just over a year ago), there was a Happy Hour special at the casino bar only (this was on Ecstasy) around lunch time. Is that a thing on Sunshine, too? I don't typically drink hard liquor but had some sort of "mule" that was very tasty! Since I'm usually at the port fairly early, I'd like to take advantage of the Happy Hour if possible Casino - does Sunshine have the new Roulette wheel with the triple zeros? I know that increases the house odds, but since I'm a big fan of the greens, I don't hate the idea. And, are the chips $1 or $2? I seem to remember when I sailed her (shortly after she was converted from Destiny) that they were $2 chips, which had some people unhappy. I actually did quite well at the wheel on that sailing and am hoping for some more of the same this time! Thanks!
  22. Thanks! I appreciate that (even if you are a Steelers fan; hey my Browns looked pretty awful last night! I knew once all the media started hyping them this offseason that they were doomed! πŸ˜„ ). I may even write a short review of my upcoming Sunshine-to-Bermuda sailing although there's a current thread on the boards now. We'll see how lazy I am once I get back! I'm one of the few who isn't such a huge fan of Aruba. If you're a "beach person" then I can see why people love it. I'm not. Did an island tour the first time there, which was good. After that, I haven't found much to do. Last time (in December on MSC Divina), some of us just walked down to my favorite bar and had snacks and a few of my favorite local beer (Balashi).
  23. No, it has nothing to do with your status. And not all ships have mailboxes outside the door. When I sailed Ecstasy about a year ago (Fantasy-class ships don't have mailboxes), I went straight to my cabin (yes, I'm allowed to do that), but my card was not there. But the cabin steward saw me and came down to deliver my card so I could access the cabin.
  24. They want 13,500 from me and since I only have just under 15k, I'll save them for a flight. But I appreciate the head's up. I'd never even looked. I didn't even realize you could redeem miles for anything other than flights!
  25. I usually have dinner on the ship, then walk over to have a pint. Will be there in a couple of weeks and look forward to seeing the renovations. Have been to Bermuda twice, both in late October, and the weather has been glorious. Keeping my fingers crossed that there won't be any more tropical disturbances and we'll have more of the same!
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