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Out of Iowa

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  1. Cozumel never fails to disappoint: whether you want to sit in the sunshine with a cold drink and watch passers-by, go to the beach, try parasailing, shop downtown, visit the ecopark or try diving...so much to do! Mahogany Bay - it's all about the beach 🙂
  2. I agree. The heated tile loungers are luxurious and one of my favorite things about the spa area.
  3. $8m sounds like a big cost - but at $10 per rider, it could recoup the original expense in ~2 years. Maybe then, they could consider dropping the fee? Or perhaps the cruiseline will become addicted to the money like airlines are to bag fees...
  4. Be prepared that your airfare will be far more expensive than all cruise costs, combined! We booked a Mediterranean cruise based on the low Carnival cost. Then we learned the airfare was horrendous. We flexed: flew into London and attended theatre, took a bus to Paris (under the Chunnel) and saw the main attractions, enjoyed the TGV to Barcelona (great city; watch your purse/billfold extremely closely) and boarded the ship. Great cruise that finished in Dover, where we took the bus via Canterbury to London and flew home. RT air is cheaper than "open-jaw." Amazing 3+ week European tour
  5. My first voyage on a ship was trans-Atlantic on Cunard's original Queen Elizabeth in 1967. Too small for my comfort crossing the Atlantic Ocean. We were moving from England to the US. My dad and I (a pre-schooler) were in sick bay for jabs and then our cabin, both horribly ill with seasickness while my Mom went to the dining room, sat at the Captain's table and danced the nights away! Forward to me as an adult on my first pleasure cruise, aboard Carnival's Fantasy. It was horrible, too. Big waves (14'), rocky and there was a slamming door audible in our cabin. That door slamme
  6. The cruise line has a cabin with you in mind. If the casino player doesn't show, they could well choose to board the 2nd person, in hopes that individual will pay to play bingo, buy photos, purchase drinks, go on Carnival excursions, spend in the spa, etc. One at the dock willing to sail solo is worth more than 0 sailing in the cabin....? It seems to hinge on the company's use of the word "may" (may be denied boarding).
  7. Altun Ha....we took this riverboat tour, lunch and a visit to the ruins. We were so thoroughly impressed by the entire day. The ruins were spectacular! I've never been to Egypt but these were at least as interesting to me as Stonehenge or Chichen Itza. It was even worth the jerk chicken juices which deliciously spilled on a great travel skirt (which I am still trying to replace)! Two kayakers overturned in the River and our boat crew were intensely watching the water, on their behalf, for danger while they got back in and paddled away.
  8. OP here: I reviewed menus that were posted over on the CC VV board. One of the food outlets features a drag show (I mention that because someone mentioned the Hairy Chest competition). Whether the VV menus were predominantly vegetarian food outlets, I do not know. It seems it will be quite some time before anyone has regular cruise reviews for VV (or any other lines departing the US, sadly).
  9. I’m a Carnival cruiser for a variety of reasons…and after reviewing the menus posted over at the Virgin Voyages board, I now prioritize Carnival’s food on my list of reasons to choose the Fun Ships. There is a demographic for every cruiseline – and menus designed to please each brand’s customers. While I am not a PB&J, chicken nuggets and cold cereal kind of diner, I would definitely not choose these items I saw on the available VV menus: Breakfast: watermelon and sesame tofu cream with granola and frozen berries; avocado toast with pickled cucumber, radish, lime and toasted see
  10. Ladies: someone else mentioned it but I want to re-iterate: you must wear pants, capris, jeans or shorts. No skirts/dresses. I was able to book it - but had to take my name off the list when I was told my standard travel wardrobe was insufficient. I still want to do this tour. Next time!
  11. Well, these protocols shared by the OP make me feel entirely unlikely to cruise while in effect... Mandatory testing nearly a week prior to boarding is pointless. What is the purpose of a giant swab up my nose when any result may not be meaningful by the time of boarding? Temperature checks upon leaving/reboarding the ship may make people feel good - but they are not reliable indicators of anything. I pity the folks who were at the beach, ran the pier to return to the ship or are simply hot & dehydrated from the Mexican sunshine...they could easily show up with an
  12. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I was impressed when I read there is a Carnival shuttle from DFW...then I read the "oops, IAH..." bit. Hadn't considered Southwest out of Des Moines; that's a 3-hour drive and could involve 2 flight changes. Perhaps with a mid-day, 1 stop (St. Louis) flight. Otherwise, it makes for a very long day! From our "home airport," a direct flight to Dallas, then fly to Houston with shuttle, Uber or transfer service...thinking aloud here. Possibly a Galveston hotel with door-to-door service? Who knows what all the options will be pos
  13. If so, details please. If not, without renting a car and driving, what is the best way to get to/from DFW? This may be our next cruise (and first experience at Port of Galveston).
  14. Fantasy was our first family cruise; it was so disappointing that many family members were surprised that we ever sailed again. The waves were high, the Gulf was large and it wasn't a fun experience. [When the advertising brochures and credit card applications around the ship are replaced by sick bags, that's more than a hint that the passengers are in for a rough trip.] Yet we tried it again on a bigger ship - I just knew there had to be a reason why people cruise repeatedly and now I have figured it out. So happy about that... and look forward to sailing with Carnival again! 🙂
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