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About alreadypacked

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Southeast Florida
  • Interests
    reading, writing, photography, sun and fun
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. alreadypacked

    First Smartphone

    I've had a smart phone since 2013. I always keep my phone on airplane mode during the cruise to keep from getting texts and calls, but I'm still able to take pictures with my phone. I only take it off airplane mode briefly (only in certain ports where I know what my roaming rate is) to make a quick call or two to folks back home. Then I put it back on airplane mode. I've never gotten any surprise charges.
  2. alreadypacked

    Trip Insurance

    I sailed for quite a few years (about 2002-2008) without trip insurance (without incident or accident)... Very thankful for my Cruise Critic education! Previously, I considered myself young and healthy... What could possibly happen that I'd require insurance? A few years ago, I developed excruciating abdominal pain and sickness 2.5 weeks prior to my annual 7-day fall cruise. Ended up in the ER... Appendicitis. Needed emergency appendectomy. If my appendicitis had occurred in the middle of my sailing, I'm not sure emergency appendectomy could've been performed on the ship. What then? Emergency evacuation? And to where? My point is that even young, healthy people (or their travel companion) can come down with an unexpected life-threatening medical emergency. Now, I go the extra step of booking only "primary" trip insurance coverage with "hospital of choice" medical evac.
  3. alreadypacked

    Liberty....to party hearty or not

    Thank you for the review! Used to love Carnival, but haven't sailed them since 2015. Mainly because food and "live" entertainment had declined for us. Must say, even when I was sailing Carnival regularly, other cruise lines we sailed throughout that time held muster indoors and it lasted a significantly shorter duration. We once had a Carnival Muster last 45 minutes outside in Miami heat as the [cruise director] repeatedly pleaded for guests to report to muster stations! I know Muster is a small portion of a cruise vacation, but after leaving Carnival the last few years, we've fully appreciated the INDOOR muster stations/drills on ALL other lines we've sailed...and they get all the pertinent info in with no problems. I'm not much for the tropical heat anymore [in my older age] and prefer indoor musters these days!!
  4. alreadypacked

    Royal Caribbean banning emotional support animals

    Agreed... But sometimes you have to pick your battles. IMHO DH did the right thing. Saying something wouldn't have changed anything in this instance. I'm sure you don't go around chastising friends and neighbors on everything they do that you don't agree with either.
  5. alreadypacked

    Royal Caribbean banning emotional support animals

    Yes!! That's it exactly. Sad that people are abusing the system with "fake" service animals (emotional support/comfort/anxiety animals--whatever), because this behavior makes for even tougher acceptance for truly disabled people who need that service animal just to get about in their daily lives. Just to be clear, I know there's a real need for support animals for veterans suffering from ptsd, abuse victims etc. Not bashing them. Only against fakers who just want to take Fido along. I would never fake needing a service animal or misuse handicapped parking spaces etc. I'm appreciative that such is available to those that need them... And thankful not to need them myself... Thus far...
  6. alreadypacked

    Royal Caribbean banning emotional support animals

    What a great post, Presto2! Have truer words ever been spoken? I'm from the US, and I find myself shaking my head daily at the number of dogs in the supermarket, department stores, restaurants etc. Some are in strollers, some in grocery carts, some just walking along beside their owners. I am in full support of service animals (commonly dogs) who are invaluable to those with disabilities. I don't hate animals. I have a pet cat and love her immensely. I have volunteered at my local humane society for going on 6 years now. But, pets have their place--for cats that typically means indoors at home. Dogs have a slightly wider latitude--home, backyard, being walked around the neighborhood, local park, RV vacation, etc. I have to say--here in Florida, at least--you kind of have to bite your tongue about this issue... Or you might find yourself at odds with friends or neighbors. Recently, our neighbor asked my DH if he could drop her at the airport on his way to work since it's on his way. He said yes, of course, as we are friends with her and her DH. When she got in DH's car with her dog wearing a red vest, DH was like, "Why's he wearing that?" Without shame the first, she said, "I bought it online so he doesn't have to stay in his case and can sit on my lap on the plane." DH was speechless.
  7. Thank you for the great video!! Seeing the train system in action step by step is a tremendous help to us.
  8. Is Newark Liberty International Airport Station actually part of EWR airport or is it just "close to" EWR? I'm asking because, we were originally going to fly into LGA on Friday May 10 for our Saturday Dawn cruise and take Dial 7 or Carmellimo to our hotel at 135 W 30th St. But now I'm thinking it might be better to fly into EWR and take the NJ Transit train to Penn Station to avoid getting stuck in traffic. We will each have one large rolling suitcase and backpacks. I'm just concerned about the logistics of using public transport with luggage. Does the Airtrain drop you right at the NJ Transit station? If not, about how far is the walk from Airtrain to NJ Transit? Also after the cruise, would it be better to take the NCL transfer bus (or a car service) to LGA and fly out from there? Or should we take the NJ Transit train back to EWR and fly from there? Thanks
  9. alreadypacked

    Ugh! I STILL have a question

    As others have stated already, definitely ask for the egg crate topper. Read about my party's experience regarding the sofa bed situation last year on Escape in posts 9, 10, and 14 on this thread: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2492363
  10. alreadypacked

    Escaping to Bermuda - June 2018 Trip Report!

    Excellent advice! Thank you!
  11. alreadypacked

    Escaping to Bermuda - June 2018 Trip Report!

    Loving this review! Thank you! DH and I just booked our first cruise out of New York City. I'm taking note of good eating establishments based on cruise critic reviews... And I know DH--being a Guinness fan--will loveThe Perfect Pint!
  12. I have a family member who was recently diagnosed with an allergy to poblano peppers (despite having eaten them all her adult life). So far she's only done the oral food challenge for poblanos, but her allergist said to avoid other peppers containing capsaicin such as jalapenos, serrano peppers, cayenne etc. just to be on the safe side for now. Her blood test for ImmunoglobulinE antibodies to bell peppers, which are not spicy, came back negative, so she theoretically can still eat those (but has avoided them too due to anxiety over this whole situation). Since you mentioned being allergic to jalapenos, I was wondering... Are you also allergic to other spicy peppers such as poblanos or is it just jalapenos? I have food allergies too, but it's a common one--shellfish (started out of nowhere at age 43). We're all just floored by her sudden pepper allergy and are constantly on the lookout for more information, others' experiences etc. Unfortunately there are no IgE blood tests for poblano peppers, capsaicin etc. Our upcoming fall cruise will be her first one since the allergy diagnosis and she's a bit nervous because her allergy is an uncommon one, not one of the "big 8" most establishments are used to dealing with.
  13. alreadypacked

    Skyline Hotel

    Excellent info from the knowledgeable posters on this board! Special thanks to markeb, Got2Cruise and 138east for your insightful advice! Especially liking the looks of Marriott Courtyard Chelsea--gets great reviews, rooms look nice and new, has nice modern bathrooms and the price is right! I'm putting together a list of possible choices based on Cruise Critic members' advice and general hotel reviews to discuss with DH... but this one tops the list for me so far.
  14. alreadypacked

    Skyline Hotel

    Will definitely look into Marriott East Side. Thanks!!
  15. alreadypacked

    Skyline Hotel

    Want to fly into LGA from FLL and arrive late morning or early afternoon on Friday May 10, 2019. Our sailing is NCL Dawn Saturday, May 11, 2019. Just DH and I. Not interested in sightseeing, but don't want to be too far from cruise port. Would like to be within a block or two of decent places to eat lunch and dinner the day before cruise. After the cruise, we're planning to take a car service or NCL transfer back to LGA for a mid/late afternoon flight back to FLL. Any help is greatly appreciated!! Thanks! I should add, preferably king bed. Is $300 for one night unrealistic for a decent hotel (AAA rate)?