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Everything posted by Oldsweets

  1. Ok, it seems to be official given Gov Abbot signed the bill prohibiting proof of vaccination yesterday. We have a couple Galveston Cruises booked foe early 2022 and this could be a game changer or simply follow Fla lead? Any thoughts or insights?
  2. Can you give us a sense of how your trip was from masks to social distancing and the process of port visits move smoothly all week
  3. I also heard the same thing when I called Windstar. I should add that they said that the purser will accomplishing any needed documentation needed for each guest per location. I did also ask about self tours and told that no changes from the letter but things could be change and once aboard.
  4. We received a letter last night from Windstar about our cruise with some vague advice referring us to a site that lists country requirements and advising us we meet these requirements for each country. It also says that Greece and Croatia don’t require tourism restrictions and we can venture out on our own while all other locations do require ship sponsored tours. We will call Windstar this morning to clear up some confusing details in the letter as clearly we can’t afford to book something from an external site to only be denied entry.
  5. Ah hah….. that is the point. From what I can determine from the Windstar site I need do nothing other then have been vaccinated and have proof. But when I look at the entry requirements through the airlines or any other site that takes me to these countries the requirements are clearly laid out. So be careful I accomplished what May well prove to be a waste of paper and time. Yes, I am going to call windstar in a week when the trip is closer and see what if anything they can advise. I am waiting simply because it can obviously change. Just as the shore excursions can change. When I called Windstar they advised that while the rules today allow self tours for Greece they don’t allow them for any of our many other stops but that they won’t really know the rules until closer to sailing.
  6. Will be interesting to see how Windstar handles the different countries requirements for entry requirements for Covid. We are booked in Sept to travel from Athens to Venice and then onto Rome Port on a trip just over 2 weeks long. We know through our research that Italy require you get pre approved for entry and as a precaution went ahead and accomplished this documentation. Sadly, nothing from Windstar about what we should do and what they will do in this arena. Seems strange as we cruised Celebrity and they did provide details on special requirements fir each country outlining what they would do vs what we needed to ensure we accomplish. We decided have two documents for entry into Italy for disembarkation would be better then having none. I guess our concern is not what we know and what we have done but rather what is it we don’t know.
  7. We are aboard and will start by saying the crew is working hard, they are trying, and they are happy to have guests aboard. This start up is clearly not a smooth as Horizons first cruise with a number of challenges almost all the result of just starting, major changes put in place by carnival, or maybe poor planning or simply bad luck. Bar servers in many locations is slow at best with the casino clearly bogged down and your will be lucky to see a servers every 45 minutes and once your order is taken it’s so long before they return you simply believe they are nit returning. Part of thus seems to be a problem of congestion at the bar setup and some the shear size of the casino. The tables and slots are clearly full and carnival is clearly not ready for thus much business. We are seeing that in a 4 hour casino visit you we will lbe able to get 2 drinks using our drinks on us card. The servers are clearly rusty as they often will visit a table and ask just a couple guests for orders and run off instead of taking The Who tables order. The Specalty Restaurants are no better as the staff simply don’t know the drink or dinner menu and simply avoid asking about any desire for a drink which I can only assume I’s because they are overwhelmed by taking dinner orders. So far at 2 specialty restaurants for 2 nights of dinners we have had very long waits before our order is taken [35 min last night] and attempted to order a glass of wine and told they didn’t have it and hustled off. We went to the restaurants bar and order the very same wine 3 times during dinner so right now I would say bar service is going to be self serve. We find that the smaller bars are giving great service nut the large venues are nit. We are not expecting the carnival of 18 months ago but they have a much BIGGER learning curve then I expected. The new coffee machines are simply plain annoying as most are not operational so you are always looking for one that is green. The elevators now seem to cancel out the floors picked if more then 4 selections designed I hear to resolve kids pushing multi floors as a game.
  8. We only travel this way with recent back to back 2 week cruise on 2 different lines. Funny we come home with items that we have never worn. It is so liberating for us while many simply enjoy dressing up.
  9. The temps were perfect and easily adjusted in our inside cabin Havana on horizon a few weeks ago
  10. We were on the first Horizon sailing and had completed “ALL” needed documents and each day we checked our cruise manager page and yep they remained lined through. At checkin at the port after a long delay (45min) a checkin counter {very nice lady} determined we were flagged as the system was saying we hadn’t completed the Health Assessment. They took us downstairs to a higher level supervisor who in about 10 minutes had it straightened out and we were able to complete the check in status back upstairs at the checkin counter. We are booked on the Mardi Gras the 31st and I will be taking a s teen shot though clearly not needed nor will it help. Well it will help convince my wife I wasn’t the problem but wouldn’t be any help at the desk. So yes Virginia they do fall out if the system and yes they do a nice job at least in Miami of working through the glitches.
  11. Just stayed in Havana inside on Horizon and it was great and acceptable BUT we knew it was our last time booking an inside vs Balcony. Just can’t enjoy the 4 walls vs an outside view of a Balcony. We literally got out of bed and got a cup of coffee and set on the deck of Havana club. This is a clear what is your preferences but an inside room no matter the location is still an inside during the time when your in the room.
  12. I have received a new email with cabin confirmation with all details each time after getting approvals on horizon and Mardi gras
  13. I sent my request in fir Mardi Gras 41 july about 5 weeks ago and heard nothing so last weekend I sent in a respectful duplicate request acknowledging my first request. Just last night 5 days later I got a very nice email acknowledging my request, apologizing saying they are behind because of volume of request, and my approval. The system does work.
  14. With the old system you could simply mark drivers license as proof (not enhanced) and no additional info had to be provided vs passports which required all data. At port you showed them your passports and easy peasy your all done. The new system simply doesn’t allow that which was my point. Now that I know the rules we will indeed follow the newest procedures. I should add that the procedures by carnival have been changed since first sailing for airlines as now you can enter your own flight details if the carnival loaded options don’t show your flight. Or at least for our Mardi Gras sailing on the 31st they allowed us. I only provided an outline of our experience to hopefully help some not hit the roadblocks we created.
  15. Humm I would have thought John H would have given them out given the Cruise is closed out for new bookings. Thanks though
  16. Has anyone saw the first sailing numbers for Mardi Gras?
  17. Be interesting to see how the 4 hour boarding window works for the first cruise. Computer glitches and First Cruise issues were a delaying factor fir Horizon and suspect the same for Mardi Gras. We got an 1130 window and will be interested in seeing how port handles the early arrivals here. Miami had an issue with this and fully expect the same here. Who thinks that 3 pm all aboard will go off as planned? Carnival seems to have tweaked its airline section as you can now enter your own flight data when a booking isn’t listed. Not like that for horizon first trip. Still be careful when completing data entry as the changes caused us an hours and half processing. This time we are doing a screen shot showing all actions were completed to be able and show it if again something disappears.
  18. Nope they did not have tournaments and gave you $25 in free slot play. This is one of those changes that simply made little sense when you see that the casino and slots are busy and nit a bit concerned about social distancing. Same for not having plat/diamonds waterin cabin. They still left gifts and cookies in the cabin from casino and still left some printed notices on the bed during the week. Can only surmise it’s a cdc requirement. This is an area of inconsistency with the realty of what was happening around you
  19. We completed ours within minutes of receiving it for our 4 July cruise and it appeared on our cruise manager page the next few days as completed with a line through it. Once at pier checkin we spent and almost an hour and a half with this and other registration glitches as the system said we hadn’t completed health form. The staff was clearly overwhelmed with issues but helpful friendly and kind and all resolved with patience. Be prepared to roll with the punches for awhile
  20. The broc/calif veggie was wonderful side in Cucina while the Steak house asparagus was not eatable. Dry, woody almost like trying to eat a cooked tomato stem.
  21. We booked this restaurant while onboard through carnival hub and it was our favorite. They had a offer card for 3 specialty restaurants with some exceptions that gave you$8 off.
  22. Ok, folks the rules have seemed to have changed with carnival new computer online check-in and port check -in. We did the Horizon on 4 July and it took us almost an hour and a half from the time we started checkin until on the gangway. With the ok’d system we saw we could enter just about any form of iD from enhanced drivers license to birth certificate to passport. We said enhanced ID just like we always did and what do you know when we presented passports thinks started unraveling. Once that was sorted out the real problem came up in that the system said we had NOT completed the health screening form. We had and we checked back each day morning and night to make sure no new requirements might be needed and each time the Health Assessment document was lined through and marked completed. But at the pier it’s gone. Just roll with the changes as they are leading a new system. We still weren’t done though as now the system demanded that our departing flight info be provided but just like we couldn’t give the system the port couldn’t either. The reason was that the system wasn’t loaded with all the airlines flight data so our flights were nit an option which happened to the folks checking in next to us as well. Again just roll with it and they did work it out although I think they told the system a fib and said we were driving at this point. The pier reps told us they wished carnival hadn’t rolled out a new computer system on opening but they did. Once aboard the system problems didn’t stop with problems with the hub and you could see the frantic work to trouble shoot the issues and bu 2 hours after boarding all was fine. Our advice is for now at least be exact in every answer as the system is most sensitive and not forgiving. A big change from the old system. We cruise again on the 31st so we will see how it’s changed
  23. Wow, Windstar clearly dropped the ball on this. We were booked on this trip and we are obviously scrambling to make changes. We got a phone call about our flight being oversold so this may help the oversold flights into St Marten on American. We have reservations for Oyster Bay on Thursday for a couple days in advance. Our best bet to save some of our effort and funds is to switch over to Celebrity on Sat and been working on that since we got Windstar’s letter. Not as easy as one would think. I called Windstar last week and asked about this and was assured nothing had changed. I can honestly say that I am most disappointed in Windstar and how they let this mess play out……. It seems like the situation managed the Management Team instead of the Management Team managing the situation! WOW, WOW, WOW
  24. Great Offer and that’s same one we used as well. Today’s Offer was called “Great Deal Of Fun”.
  25. Be interesting to see if Casino Offers are changing or is today’s new offer just unusual blip on the screen? We were booked on 6 day Horizon for 1 August on a Casino Offer but in looking at another offer it seemed like it would make sense to check and see if we could shift to 7 day Mardi Gras on 31 July. We checked first and found all our hotels and airfare bookings were refundable and airfare cost to fly for us in MCO was not only reasonable but still great Direct Flight times. We went from a Havana Inside on Horizon to Havana Balcony on Mardi Gras for about $700 more. So we got a new offer today and it had a number of cruises but all seemed much higher then past offers. In today’s they included the Mardi Gras trip on 31 July so we did the math and compared pricing on the 2 offers as well as perks. We saw that they increased the Casino Bucks to $1,000 on our new offer vs $500 from the offer we booked with yesterday and the same category Havana Balcony would have required another $1,000 above our $700 we purchased at yesterday. So we thankfully pulled the trigger yesterday instead of today and saved ourselves $500 and ended up with a much better cabin. . This new offer had a number of Cruises listed but all seemed (without) doing actual comparative research to be much higher. I taking $500 to $900 per person or more with normal casino perks and $1,000. I am glad we grabbed a few Casino Cruises order the past 40 days just in case this is the new normal. Let me know what you see, are Casino Offers start getting tighter or was this just a blip?
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