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About mikesteg

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    5,000+ Club

About Me

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  • Interests
    cruising and crusing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival and MSC
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Any cruise ship!

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  1. Yes, call your carrier. Cellular at Sea takes a piece of the pie, but your carrier should have an agreement with them and be able to quote the rates. You might also consider the social WiFi plan, if you know any urgent issues would come from 1 or 2 sources so you could tell them specifically to use FB messenger or such. Of course, that would only make sense if you'd use the package otherwise. If you have T-mobile you will have text and data for free in many ports, so depending on your definition of 'urgent' and what you'd be willing to do (ie fly back home), having service for 6 hours on 3 or 4 days might be sufficient.
  2. On Magic last month, the 'rooms not ready' signs did not have the tiny text and the bottom saying 'platinum and diamond come on it...' Not sure if they removed the text to avoid people claiming status, or it's just the version of the signs that Magic has. One of the room stewards did tell us we couldn't come in, but my wife kept telling her we were platinum and kept no walking. This was pretty late relative to the rooms opening for all, like 12:30-12:45...
  3. Sure, but you can do that with discounted gift cards (bonus!), or just by sticking the money in a coffee can. (Do coffee cans exist any more?) The cruise cash creates a risk of losing any leftovers, or alternately creates a requirement to make sure it's all consumed. I can see doing this for funds which you absolutely know will be consumed (ie. gratuities, soda cards if you buy them, St. Jude t-shirts, etc.)... after buying the CC using discounted GCs of course. :D That would alleviate the need to carry hundreds of extra dollars in gift cards onto the ship, which is a benefit.
  4. I believe it's actually $500 per type (cruise cash, bar cash, photo cash), so $1500 total. Though, if it's truly restricted to those items I can't imagine anybody doing $500 for photos. Like others, I don't see the point in buying for self... except that I did buy $225 on our past cruise in order to use gift cards where I had no physical card. I think they came from eBay at 15% off, so worth a bit of effort. I had previously had issues adding GCs via kiosk and didn't want to deal with trying to use eGCs at GS if there was an issue. Also: apparently you cannot add a GC under $10 to your account via the kiosk OR at guest services. I had (still have) one with $5.04 on it, since I could not apply it on the ship. Next time I'll buy cruise cash with it prior to the cruise. Note the kiosk actually says "for gift cards under $10, enter $10 as the value"... and then rejects it because the card doesn't have $10 on it. :eek: :confused:
  5. That's a tough one, and I have no first hand experience (and possibly nobody here does.) You should call Carnival or the State Dept. for clarification. From Carnival's page: https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3409 I would read the above to mean that if you have a US Birth Certificate, and a state issued photo ID, you should be good. However, you should call Carnival if you have any questions (and write down the names of the people you talk to.) Nobody is going to let you board with improper docs because someone on Cruise Critic said it was OK. It appears that you don't need the adoption paperwork, but it seems silly not to bring a copy just in case? Also note: There are examples of this type of form floating around CC. You should also get a medical permissions form. Why risk having an issue for the sake of not carrying a few sheets of paper (perhaps more than a few for the adoption, but still...) ?
  6. Agreed, then spread it on some freshly baked and toasted bread... heavenly!
  7. OK, I'm back with facts! There is a kids menu with the typical stuff (details later), and the kids can order off that for $5. However, they can share and there is plenty to go around. I had another question if this was really 'family style' as claimed in some descriptions. The answer: sort of, but not really. Any apps that are ordered by more than 1 person are served on a single plate, family style. However, the main course and desserts are plated individually. We ordered 2x calamari and 2x arancini. (Each adult is able to order 2 apps, hence the total of 4.) The calamari was on a large oval plate, and the arancini was about 8 golf ball sized items. Both were very good and large enough portions for the whole table. They also provide warm-out-of-the-oven bread. Super light and fluffy in about and 8" round, maybe 2 inches deep. It was served right after we were seated, and was just awesome. Between the bread and the apps, we were getting full before the entrees came. Sorry, I should have taken some pictures of the food... :o I got the short ribs, my wife got the chicken parmigiana. Both were very large portions, and both very good. Far too much food for us actually. Just about everything came with a clove of roasted garlic, which is probably common in Italy, but a great touch (and tasty!) Kids menu: no apps are offered. They have the typical entrees (chicken strips, fish sticks, basic pasta, and mac n cheese). They had only cannoli or sorbet on offer for dessert. I have posted a snapshot of the menu here, so hopefully you can access it if interested: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ncxNVAgA2CDMbeWb7ux_CH65QsI8ZxKi/view?usp=sharing Also, the generic adult menu on carnival.com: https://www.carnival.com/~/media/Images/explore/dining/menus/cucina-del-capitano-menu.pdf I had read something about this being a long dinner, but that was not our experience. Everything showed up without unreasonable delay, and I think we were there for just about an hour which was perfect for us. I would totally recommend this, even with kids, provided that are old enough to get through a dinner in the MDR. The restaurant was 1/2 full but only one other child was there. For $40 (family of 4) this is probably the best value at sea for up-charge dining.
  8. Very nice son you have there! You can contact Carnival (specialneeds@carnival.com I think)... they can answer your questions and if needed they'll get you plugged in, so to speak.
  9. Take this with a grain of salt, because I'm not sure Carnival does things 100% the same when sailing out of Australia. (1) There should be. They've been trending towards smaller tables over time, but worst case they might put you at 2 adjacent 6 seat tables. However, assuming you're not all in one cabin :eek: you will need your TA to link your reservations so Carnival knows to seat you together. (2) If you have an assigned dining time, you will have an assigned table(s) at that time. If you do "my time dining" and go at a busy time you could be in for a long wait to get that much seating together. (3) We don't do this sailing out of the US, so I would not think it would be necessary over there either. That would be something of a cultural thing though. (4) You can do as you choose individually. However, if some are not dining in the MDR, it's nice to let the others know so they can tell the waitstaff, so they don't delay taking orders.
  10. It appears to be $500 per cabin per category: Cruise Cash purchases are limited to $500 per category, per stateroom. Each stateroom can purchase Cruise Cash Bar $500, Cruise Cash Photo $500 and Cruise Cash $500 for a stateroom total of $1500. https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3602/~/cruise-cash-program The booze and photo category claim that you can only use them on those items, but I don't think Carnival has ever tracked OBC by type (aside from refundable vs. non-refundable.) Buyer beware, however. I also had issues applying GCs using the kiosks, and had to apply them via guest services. Not an issue though: just waited until the line is short. This was with the old terminals. I would hope the new kiosks that are being used with the quick check in are more capable.
  11. True, but it never hurts to be prepared! :D I suspect that is the case, but hopefully there is some flexibility. As with most things Carnival, it may well depend on who you talk to (or in this case, the waiter you get.)
  12. The booking form/description says: That suggests (to me) that it's just cheaper for the kids. Given no other input I'd think it would align with the rest of the ship, meaning the kids could order off either menu. However, when I just did the google search and found the general page, it says: https://www.carnival.com/cruise-food/cucina-del-capitano That suggests (to me) that it's $5 only if they order off the kids menu. It also says the food is served "family-style" which implies (to me) that the food is served in larger dishes in the middle of the table and everybody takes what they want. In other words, order 2 adult entrees and there would be plenty for everybody in our family. Ah well, we'll know soon enough. Worse comes to worse, we'll hit the buffet a bit later. :D
  13. Thank you. I thought about posting in the main group, but I think this group has 90% of the experience and knowledge with regards to kids. Also, we get a much lower rate of people asking why I'd take my kids to a nice dinner and/or even take them on a cruise. :confused: Anyway, I'll know the answer in about 6 weeks, and hopefully remember to come back here and answer my own question. :)
  14. I've booked this for our upcoming cruise on Carnival Magic, but I'm wondering if they kids get to order off the main menu, or a kids menu, or both/either? They are 8, so they won't eat a regular portion, but they are fairly adventurous eaters so I could see them go for something 'grown up' for the entree... but they'd also be happy with 'kids meal' noodles and sauce/butter, so I'm not worried about the entree. However, they will demolish some calamari and probably would go for some salmon carpaccio if it's on Magic's menu. The thing is that if they can't order calamari, they will eat all mine! That's my big concern. However, I see so many good things on that example menu that I'm tempted to book another night just for my wife and I. Thanks!
  15. Did you try https://myaccountrwd.allstate.com/anon/account/login?campaign=145 Logout first.
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