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norcal2

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About norcal2

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Interests
    Traveling
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Any ship with me on it
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Mexico and Caribbean
  1. That is touchy ground even if you are paying. A best friend may not want to go and may have other life issues that impact it like wanting more family time etc. My best advice to you is before you book anything as a gift for her, be sure and discuss it with her family as they would likely know how she will respond and why. You don't want her to feel cornered so get some help from her loved one's. Sounds like a lovely idea so good luck.
  2. That is how I see the new rules. Not bad at all but more about common sense. No one will be happy and that is usually a sign that the new policy is good. I knew you could smoke in cabins before but I suspect even smokers will like having smoke free cabins as they find where they can smoke. They will adjust even if they simply book cabins near exits to areas where smoking is allowed.
  3. You can pour a drink and carry it around if you wish. As for the bar, I guess you can take a drink to a bar but I would not take up room at the actual bar where people are buying drinks. Maybe grab a table and kick back but that is more a common sense idea than any rule I am aware of. Be sure and use plastic containers in areas like the pool etc.
  4. I leave autotip as is (distributed) but with that said, I do tip over and above very well for great service, I tip so so for so so service and I do NOT tip for poor service. The basics of tipping for por service is flawed. Thankfully I have never had poor service on a cruise but if I did it would be no different then receiving genuinely poor service when dining out - tipless.
  5. My fav was the question of whether a little girl could sell Girl Scout cookies door to door on the ship. I think legs were being pulled but it was high humor.
  6. Exactly. Tipping for no service rendored just confuses the tipping process. The norm for anyone curious is that one leaves the auto tip on as it is spread around to many who made your trip wonderful and you never saw them. The tip at the end is given if you feel you have had exceptional service from any one person and it is more personal. You don't just give it because you have to, you do it because you feel it is warranted for exceptional service. The last tip is the same as on a land vacation when room service brings you anything from meals to pillows etc. In that tip you decide what is appropriate though it is lower than at a hotel. Many just tip a dollar per person in cabin for breakfast, lunch or snacks and give more for dinner but it is up to you. Trust me, giving a pre-tip gets you no extra frills or gratitude. Even the stewards know that some of the biggest tippers may tip at the end of the cruise (the norm.) Hand a twenty dollar bill over when you first meet and they may think you are cheap and focus on your neighbor who gave nothing. lol Kidding but in reality, they are professionals and $20 won't impress them or make them do anything other than what they do for everyone - provide great service.
  7. I don't know or worry about what other cruisers do. There are families who may not be able to afford anything that is optional and I won't judge them as I say good for them for managing to put a cruise into their lifetime memory bank. The tip aspect is a personal thing that I am sure everyone will work out according to their wallet. Some give more, some just give the auto-tip, some very few (if any) may stop the auto tip but I doubt that is any high number. It is hard to guess another cruisers real life affordability or reasoning and most won't say "I am removing the auto tip because I am poor" so I don't really listen to the reasoning. In fact it may happen for percieved poor service. Is it really an issue?
  8. I don't understand the whole idea of pre-tipping. Good service is good service and pre-tipping will not impact that. It seems to be done by a few and they seriously think it improves their service but I suspect it only makes them feel like they are getting better service than is the norm. Nothing has proven that theory to date that I am aware of. I don't do it and get good service and tip well at the end of the cruise. I think giving $20 pre-cruise is poor form unless you hand out $20 bills or more every time they come to your room and most won't do that. In any case, the staff and crew treats everyone well even if any person thinks they are getting more attention than everyone else. As a general rule, $20 bucks pre-cruise is not going to buy you any kind of elite status. lol
  9. Thank you Pomm. Ah yes, Siesta Key beach - thanks for the reminder. I read it is rated #2 in the US so can't wait to see it. I've been to Miami in the Summer and it was really humid but time has tried to erase that memory. Ha. Interesting about the temperature of the water in summer. That would be uncomfortable. We moved from Northern California to Utah and that was like a reverse situation going from 90 to 100 degree dry summers to Utah's below zero nights. Ouch! I did notice that it can be hotter in Sacramento than Miami may be but that humidity makes it much more uncomfortable in Florida. In any case, we are planning on living this new Florida adventure as a lifetime vacation interrupted by days of work. Just thinking about it makes me want a Margarita. Thank you for the "Welcome".
  10. We are packed and will be relocating to the Sarasota area of Florida and will be settled in before the end of April. I can't wait. We checked out the beaches online and one of the gulf beaches they said is like baby powder and not hot so I'll report back on that. We are heat and water worshipping people so I am hoping that the humidity won't impact that love of all things hot. So I am soon to be your neighbor if we call all of Florida a neighborhood. :D
  11. Ok girls since we are having a bonding moment I have a story for you. When I was single I was too skinny and my g'friend was fluffy and beautiful. We went out and one day we noticed that the guys who were attracted to me barely looked at her while the guys who were attracted to her didn't know I was alive. Even when we date we have no idea what woman a man may be attracted to. I learned that most women are far too self critical and we have no idea about body image and appreciating what we all look like. We are always stunning to someone even if our problem is being thin and unable to put on a few pounds. Now that I am married that information does me absolutely no good but it does remind me not to stress over anything I may or may not be. So all together now shout "I'M HOT!" (repeat at least until we finally get it that we have no clue and stop hiding!) LOL
  12. My best advice is go with the cruise that has the ports you want to visit. That is how we decide what ship to go on. You can't go wrong that way. I do not just sail on Carnival but when I do I find Carnival closer to NCL than being a so-called "Party" cruise. You will enjoy it just go with the flow and seek out areas on the ship you enjoy.
  13. You know what is sad is that women tend to avoid public pools and beaches if they feel fluffy but men don't. That is the one single area where men have it right. lol The good news is that on a cruise the self imposed rules go away and women of all sizes and ages take full advantage of fun in the sun poolside. Never let fear of what a stranger "may" think stop you from anything. Odds are they are each worried about something they see as an issue. We are kind of funny about accepting our own beutiful self no matter what we weigh until we go on vacation and see that the magazine version of women 101 is thankfully not accurate. Seems we had kids and new bodies happened and Women 101 became a lovely snapshot of reality based life. Real life is not a bad thing at all so wear it proudly. :D
  14. I wish everyone added one day to their vacation but many think it is fine until they are the unlucky ones and they miss the ship. It is so much more relaxing to fly in a day early. There is nothing logical about flying in the day of the cruise though the temptation to do it is encouraged by those who have not hit the bad news cruise yet. We just spend too much for the floating vacation to let something so minor ruin it. I do arrive early and I think of that extra time as a part of my vacation. Very often this kind of bad news regarding the airline can make things go terribly wrong, quickly. Some need to miss a cruise to understand how unwise and stressful taking that kind of chance can be. I am glad it worked out for that cruiser but sorry they went through so much stress.
  15. Let's not leave out flipflops either. Lots of stuff to stress over when at sea with every need catered to and we are forced to relax. My next cruise I am wearing camouflage until the DOD kicks in.
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