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xitappers2bx

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Everything posted by xitappers2bx

  1. Carnival doesn't have an one back per person limit; anyone who told you that is sooooo wrong. My kiddo always brings two bags, and then I have one πŸ˜„ do need not worry about that. We like to hire a private car you can hire a shuttle through Mears, or Orlando Limo Ride (all but one time we have used them they upgraded us to a limo from a towncar which is always a fun time). We also have rented cars from the airport, but that's then an extra step going from Universal to MCO to the rental section to the port (annoying).
  2. I have never been able to find a hotel in MCO with a shuttle to PC. When we did this, we picked a hotel in PC with a shuttle to the port, and then rented a car, it was great and much cheaper than a shuttle (and a lot less stress). You then also have the ability to pick up last minute things which was great, we were able to pack a lot less and just pick things up at the Walmart in PC. We stayed at the Fairfield, and it was fantastic.
  3. Probably Mears, but this is probably very expensive. I was able to rent a car from FLL to TPA for $47 with Fox Rent-A-Car; I had to pay for an extra day (so instead of AM to PM on 12/29 AM to AM 12/29-12/30 even though our flight is that night) which was much cheaper than a car service or shuttle from FLL to TPA.
  4. There's dozens of hotels... I have lots of friends that have stayed at the Hilton, so that's where I booked for our night before our cruise. It's really a pick your own adventure based on what your comfortable price point is.
  5. I feel like everyone really loves the Embassy Suites; I have a room booked at the Hilton using points or I'd probably stay there too. It has great reviews.
  6. Check out Fort Lee, NJ. It's an easy jump to NYC (cheap uber), and parking is fractional compared to parking in NYC or at the pier.
  7. You do get a good bit more though in a suite on Celebrity. When we did Alaska, we were in a Neptune Suite on Holland America and it was by far the most wonderful suite experience; the rooms were quite similar to the Grand Suite on Carnival, BUT the service was insane, we had access to the steakhouse as a private dining room for breakfast (best breakfast ever), concierge, lounge, amazing stewards that doubled up as butlers, unlimited laundry service, in room dining from the dining rooms, basically anything we wanted, we had access to. Things that just don't exist on Carnival. My kid loves Carnival though, so I pay the silly amount for the suites but on other lines, once you get to the top tier suites you are getting an entirely better suite experience.
  8. Stroller was much easier and less of a hassle. We were with my parents, my older kiddo, my sister, my brother in law, and their then 19-month old, we had a big table for us all and did my time dining; we were able to actually be sitting down and eating before the crush for the early dining. It was great for the baby. Pack n' Play--so much safer, my nephew is a climber, and he would totally have never stayed on the bed. Cabins also have to be baby proofed. We did not... but my sister and BIL had my parents and me to watch the baby sleep, and it was fine. When my kiddo was little (4-5) we did the baby sitting service, and it was totally fine. We packed woolite and washed anything we needed for the baby in the sink. It was super easy and less drama than trying to do wash ourself. We also packed a lot of baby clothes in everyone's suitcases' free space. It's going to be a fun time, but it'll also be super tiring. Try and keep a similar schedule. I've been traveling internationally with my kiddo since she was very small, and even now at 15 we try and keep a similar wake/sleep cycle so we don't get cranky and miserable. Always try and nap and sleep at the same time, and if not, just be patient. Make those memories mama!
  9. I'm guessing if your kiddos are in the room next to yours, one is at least 21 (and can therefore totally board on their own, and if they screw that up... well... they should know better) or your partner/friend/spouse is in one room with one child and you're in the other room with the other child. in either of these situations, they aren't going to let anyone board, they obviously wouldn't let a minor board alone, but there is no situation where a minor would be in a stateroom alone without a 21+ booked into that room. With that said, I randomly grabbed access to FTTF last night, so it's still totally possible.
  10. I wish I had a good answer as to why, except that after I wrote out a step by step on how to do it, and then added a bunch of photos along the way, when it came time to pay, the only options are for credit cards and PayPal, there is no gift card place to put it in. That's why I said that--see the attached photo
  11. I think it depends where you are. Our spring break next year is early--the week that you are going away, and then a long weekend around Easter. I think most schools outside of the northeast have spring break in March though... we are in school until June, so ours is later than the rest of the country that seems to get out in May.
  12. My parents are HUGE RCI people... they also really love the Magic; they were trying to hop onto our trip this winter, but I nixed it, this is a do nothing kid and mom trip. I love the size, it's like just big enough to not feel crowded, but not so big like you get lost (which I've experienced on NCL and RCI). Interesting about the service, but I wonder if they aren't as fully staffed during the slower seasons. I'm interested to see how it is in a few weeks when we are on the Magic.
  13. I always buy cruise cash (NOT the bar or the pixels one) and it is basically like buying a gift card for all your shipboard expenses.
  14. I did this yesterday too, I did eventually get a confirmation e-mail (like 2 hours later). I just checked, and its' still not showing up under my planner, BUT it is showing up under "Booking and Order Details." I always print that all out (I buy a ton of cruise cash and water and stuff) and bring it with me, so if there's ever a question I have proof. I would print out that page of your CC statement so that if there's an issue they can rectify it.
  15. You can do it all through the cruise manager now; I was able to book Chef's Table, the Steakhouse, and the Italian spot on the Magic and pay for it. It's great to not have to worry about payment later. The only thing NOT charged is gratuities.
  16. If you didn't buy trip insurance, which you don't state that you did, then when you bought your cruise fare, you agreed to their terms, which are, if you don't cruise and cancel after a certain point in time, you don't get any refund. You can't call them soulless for you not reading the contract you agreed to. I am 150% certain you never thought you would need cruise insurance. Unfortunately, without it, there's no reason they should give you anything.
  17. So I was writing out a whole step by step thing, and it turns out, you can't actually use a gift card to prepay gratuities online. You can use them to buy cruise cash though, which can be used to pay all onboard expenses. So that might be an easier way?
  18. You can have the exact same experience with YTD as with early dining. When we get stuck with YTD we always go down to the dining room at the same time as the early seating, and we request the same server each night; usually after the first night of telling them you want the same table and server you do get them without having to ask. I booked my Christmas/Hanukkah cruise around the same time you did, and neither YTD or early dining were available. We booked really late for the holiday season.
  19. My travel agent has always been able to obtain OBC after final payment, before final payment I am often offered either OBC or to have it refunded to my card. You should always take a screenshot of the information being sent so then you have it after the fact if need be. It's odd that they wouldn't give you the currency that benefits them (OBC).
  20. I like to live debt-free and credit card-free, but as a single mom traveling with my (with a now teenaged) daughter, I always buy cruise cash before boarding and then give them my credit card and never worry about a huge bill, and don't have to worry about carrying a large sum of cash on my person. I figure out how much cruise cash is needed for gratuities, bingo, about how much for drinks, specialty dinners, and then some extra for whatever the teenager wants, and then at most I'm charging 100 or so on my credit card. It's a seriously less stressful way to vacation, I never have a huge bill at the end to worry about, and I'm not basically taking out a loan to pay for my vacation by using a credit card.
  21. It's been a while since I've been on the Miracle, but it's a pretty basic globo style gym... but KBs are easy enough to replace with DBs; I use that all the time as a scaled option at the box I coach at.
  22. You'll get on the ship either way, and I get the sense most people don't follow those times anyway... at least it seems that way.
  23. I've cruised a few times during Hanukkah; there's no candles allowed--they will take your menorah and your candles. I just got a nice battery operated menorah on Zion Judaica's website for like $40 that i'll toss into my front window next year. They do have a giant menorah in the atrium they light each night. I also found some amazing ugly Hanukkah sweaters ('lets get lit" and "oy to the world") and some stupid cute hannucats shirts to wear with my teenager on Etsy. What Carnival ship are you on? We're doing the Magic out of FLL.
  24. We've sailed on ships during Christmas time but being Jewish, haven't actually ever decorated for Christmas. I'm feeling the holiday-ish spirit this year though and wanted to surprise my kiddo with some decorations. Their website is pretty ambiguous on what is and isn't allowed, "fire retardant materials," and "no string lights," what does that leave? If you've decorated for the holidays while on board, can you offer up some ideas and maybe even a photo?
  25. For the Panama Canal partial transit, it doesn't matter what side you are on, because it turns around, so you see what you missed going in on the way out. As for location, I prefer mid-ship, mid-level; on the Miracle and the Pride (sisters to the Legend) I have been on Deck 6... once I was aft though, and that size of ship does rock a lot and I found that I spent a huge amount of time being lulled to sleep, and when seas got rough, quite an upset tum. Generally speaking, balcony's are small, I think in a regular balcony room there are just two chairs, so it's not like a place you'll be lounging, although I spend most of my time on my balcony, even if there are no lounge chairs and just the more uncomfortable smaller ones. Even when we've had 4 people in a room (in a suite) we have only had seating for 2, and when we asked for extra chairs we were told it's a no go. My kid and my friend's kid spent a lot of time laying on beach towels on the balcony and were just fun with it.
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