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About InitialD

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    Raleigh, NC
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  1. We've been out of Charleston on the Fantasy-class ship but will be going on the Sunshine later this year. I wonder how parking will be impacted with a larger ship docking there.
  2. After doing 10 Carnival cruises we did a 7 night on NCL and I don't think we will do another on NCL. It was good but it wasn't any better than Carnival, at a higher price too. I'm surprised you don't have to swipe a credit card to use the elevators on NCL tbh.
  3. "I'm also curious what the odds are for the casino promotions, i.e. how often do they draw names vs. how many premiers (and guests) are on the ship." I've seen it vary widely from a few dozen to around a hundred. I've been on two premiere and between my cabin mate and me we won 3 drawings on the two cruises but we made sure we were there for every casino drawing, not just the premiere ones but the hotseat contests etc.
  4. I've done 10 Carnival but my last cruise was NCL. I wasn't a big fan of NCL - it was fine but I didn't enjoy it any more than Carnival. The kids enjoy the kids program on both Carnival and NCL. The Dream is a more comparable shim to much of the NCL fleet as it is larger and newer. I've been on the smaller Fantasy class ships like the Elation most than any other kind but coming from NCL you might not like it as much. Some people find some of the decorations on Carnival ships to be a bit more garish but it doesn't bother me. I didn't think the food was any better on NCL. It was fine but it didn't really stand out. We didn't do any specialty restaurants that you have to pay for though. Neither cruise line has much of a dress code any more - I saw more people in shorts and t-shirts in the dining rooms on NCL than anywhere else.
  5. If you go to either Our Lucaya or Taino beach you can get a taxi van right at the port. They will be lined up and a supervisor will direct you to one. Both places are easy to get a taxi back. It’s not as cheap as some places but not outrageous. Both have bathrooms I believe. It’s been a couple years since we went to Taino and the restaurant there was damaged in a hurricane but I think reopened- chech before you go.
  6. Yeah I would ask how long they would be on shift until break or whatnot and just ask that each time they come around they would bring my preferred drink. Then I would know when they would be going on break so if I wanted any more I would have to ask someone else at that point.
  7. I've got my 3rd premier coming up this fall. A few thoughts: Look at you Premiere schedule and make sure you are there for every drawing. Past 2 premiere cruises me and my cabin mate have won 3 drawings between us. Don't skip the premiere kick off party the first night. They bring around free drinks and the free hors d’oeuvres. are good. If you want to get free drinks quickly, hit up the casino earlier. I like to get bloody mary and mimisas in the morning on sea days. Just after dinner is a good time or during dining times it isn't quite as crowded. Around 8 to midnight or later the casino is packed so expect to wait for drinks. If you want beer, for example, consider ordering Fosters because it's 25 ounces and will last a little longer. I tip well so I've had good luck with waitstaff remembering me by name and would even ask my cabin mate where I am when I'm not in the casino. That said, they do have a lot of people to wait on but I've never gone more than 20 minutes between drinks even during the busiest times. If you like table games and want to make your money last play at a relatively crowed table so you play fewer hands per hour. I have to take frequent breaks from the casino. I'm not a smoker so I need fresh air.
  8. You can always buy Cheers if you want to drink outside the casino. I've done several DOU casino cruises and I've never said "I wish I would have bought Cheers." That said, I did buy one drink during the first sea day brunch, and I used my past guest free drink voucher the last dinner of of the cruise. I would also stop by the casino and play 10 minutes and get a drink to take to meals. If you get free drinks in the casino, I myself would be hard to spend more on drinks outside the casino to "break even" vs the cost of Cheers. Plus I budgeted to get a couple drinks while off ship too. But also only one day on a 7 day cruise did I hit 15 drinks while using DUO.
  9. In freeport we've done a couple different beaches. We did a shuttle to Port Lucaya/Our Lucaya. It's a good choice if you want somewhere with shopping nearby. Also we did a taxi to Taino beach which was nice. There's a restaurant there with bathrooms what whatnot.
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