Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

Posts posted by xitappers2bx

  1. You need to find a better travel agent.  Mine doesn't work much with Carnival, but she ALWAYS finds the information that is needed without question or argument.  On the one hand, it's great she was going to find out, but on the other, it's kind of annoying not to do it quicker.


    You can also book online, using the e-z pay option, and then move the booking to a TA painlessly.  (I do this all the time, I tend to book super late at night, when no TA in the US is awake).

  2. On 7/15/2019 at 10:50 AM, pjfnme said:

    Hi all.  I'm platinum, but I've never done this before so please forgive my ignorance in advance.  My DH and I will be travelling with our 19 year old daughter and one of her friends on a cruise in November. 



    You're an awesome parent. 


    On 7/15/2019 at 10:50 AM, pjfnme said:

    As they weren't eligible for any discounts, we booked the rooms with one of us in each room along with one of the minors.  My DH used an offer that included $400.00 on-board credit, and I used one on the second room that had $100 on-board credit.  The plan is to go to guest services and switch cabins around once we are on board (not just ask for an extra room key). 


    You aren't actually switching rooms, you're merely getting extra S&S cards.


    On 7/15/2019 at 10:50 AM, pjfnme said:

    My question is this - after we switch cabins, will the on-board credit from my husband's cabin then be assigned to me or will it still be assigned to my daughter?  (I wasn't sure if the folio was changed when the switch was done or if they simply re-keyed the sail and sign for the new cabin number). As the on-board credits are split between each passenger in the cabin, I wanted to make sure that the $200 would transfer over to me once we switch. It wouldn't be an issue but my husband and I use our on-board credit to pay for our alcohol and it would be wasted on the minors who can't drink (and aren't able to order drinks for us).  Like I said, I've never been in this position before (never even had to switch cabins) so I'm honestly just not sure how it works.  Thanks in advance!


    One way to do this would be to have ALL the charges go to you, and then all of the "credit" goes to you.  Have your daughter and her friend give you cash (if the arrangement is for them to cover their own expenses) and then you just be in charge of it all.  You'll get the $500, and then the cash they spend to cover their spending.  If you don't spend the whole $500, you still get what they spent back.

  3. 19 hours ago, Eli_6 said:

    Advice from anyone who has dealt with this before would be appreciated because I am not getting correct information by calling carnival.


    This is really why a travel agent is the best. 


    19 hours ago, Eli_6 said:


    I am trying to book and plan a family cruise with multiple people and rooms. It is turning into a nightmare.


    Don't let it stress you out!  It should be FUN!


    19 hours ago, Eli_6 said:


    My question: Is it possible to change a guest name once you provide it? If so, how much does this cost?  How did you do it?  


    It's been about a decade since I've had to do this, but back then it was $400.  I have seen others say it is as low as $100.  A travel agent would 100% be able to get that information for you though.


    19 hours ago, Eli_6 said:


    Alternatively, have you had a guest as a TBD right up until sailing before? How did you book it?


    I don't think that works because they have to submit to the government the passenger manifest; you would probably need names and then if need be change them.


    19 hours ago, Eli_6 said:


    The issue is we don't know if my stepdad is going to come yet.  Because I am trying to get the rooms together, I want to go ahead and book them and, if necessary, put someone else in his place if he ends up not being able to make it.  (He and my mother have a fraught relationship and they have split up before so that is my concern.) But I am sure my brother or father or a friend will go in his place if he bails. 


    You can always put his name on the reservation and then change it.  Family is complicated. 


    19 hours ago, Eli_6 said:


    Our Carnival "personal vacation planner" is telling me I have to provide the name of all guests AT booking which I know is not correct because on my last booking, I didn't fill in my husband's name until I paid the final deposit. I had him booked as a TBD for months. So, I know it is possible to book a guest "TBD."  This vacation planner has also told me numerous other things that were incorrect such as telling me that a Grand Suite on the Vista does not have Havana access and telling me if I am using a prior Cruise credit, I have to use it at time of first booking. I don't plan to use him again.


    This is the problem with PVP, they don't really work for you.  There is also a possibility that the rules/laws have changed and no longer can you make a reservation with TBD.  I quickly looked online, and the fact their own website says Grand Suite guests get access to Havana is just another reason not to use PVPs.


    19 hours ago, Eli_6 said:


    The other day, I called Carnival directly on another issue. That person told me that I could book someone TBD until the final payment was due...which I think is probably correct.  She also said if I booked a certain type of ticket (not a VIFP sale) that I could change the name on the ticket for a fee even after the deposit is due, but if I booked a super saver sale ticket, that name could not be changed.


    I'd double check the cost of the name change; that seems suspect to me.


    19 hours ago, Eli_6 said:


    So, I just called back to find out HOW to book someone TBD and the woman I talked to this time just copped an attitude and said, "You just book it how it is already booked."  Only, I don't have the room in question booked yet because I was waiting to hear back from my stepdad on if he was even planning to come at all! She was looking at the room reservations I already have booked which have names on them. I go through the entire explanation above and she keeps just repeating herself and it becomes clear to me she doesn't understand and she is copping an attitude with me so I just politely ended the phone call. For example, when I asked her "when do I have to provide a guest name?" Her response was: "As soon as possible." So, I asked, "What is the latest I can provide a name?" "Before you sail."  So, while that technically may be correct, I suspect there are restrictions on that and potential fees involved and it was clear she didn't want to be bothered by having to explain those...


    You need a travel agent. They would help you without the attitude.


    19 hours ago, Eli_6 said:


    Sorry this is so long.  All I have learned is that I will never again offer to take my extended family on a cruise again.  One would think they would be grateful considering I am paying...but it's not turning out that way.




    Just stay focused on how much fun it will be while you're on vacation with those you love.  Life is complicated, this is just an annoying hiccup.  I would strongly suggest finding a local travel agent in your community who would be willing to help you, help you manage the process, and take off all the stress you are experiencing. 


  4. You can get to the terminal as early as you would like.  You run the risk of sitting outside/in a holding area while the ship is unloading passengers and they are getting ready for the check in process. I haven't cruised out of FLL all that often, but the last time we did it was the middle of winter in the Northeast and I booked super super super early flights and we sat outside for about 90 minutes (but, coming from the ice cold northeast, we welcomed the warmth and the sun).  We don't do FTTF (we usually book suites), did the VIP lines, got checked in, and then hung out in the "VIP" Waiting area (not sure if there is a similar room for those with FTTF). 

  5. Ultimately, this is the problem when booking directly with Carnival.


    I would take one of two paths:


    1.  Find a travel agent, most are knowledgeable about cruises. Explain that you would like to transfer the booking to them (they will get the full commission) and then you would like to remove the third person from the room.  Because you will still have two people, the price should (in theory) go down, you *may* have to change rooms though (to a room that only holds two people).  They will be able to deal with the right people at Carnival to fix it the right way, the first time.


    2.  Call the 800 number and get the highest supervisor you can (can be a challenge... call centers are the actual worst).  Explain as clearly as possible that you need to remove the third person from the room, BUT that you DO NOT want to cancel the booking and rebook, you ONLY want to remove the third person.  This is possible (I have done it).  If they give you a hard time, see above.  There is zero cause for them to cancel the entire booking (outside of collecting that $50/pp administrative "fee"). 

  6. This is a sad and tragic example (and what a terrible family dynamic?), but with so much information available online, and the boarding pass specifically saying that you must have a form of proof of citizenship, I would love to know why they didn't see that? 


    I do think this is a great example as to why having a passport for traveling is a great idea, yes they are expensive, but it's much more expensive to miss out on an otherwise great vacation. 

  7. Here's the main difference between a travel agent and a PVP:


    The travel agent works for YOU.  They want to get YOUR business again, because they make a commission.


    The PVP works FOR Carnival.  Their paychecks from FROM CARNIVAL.  They still have an incentive to help you, BUT at the end of the day, they work for CCL not for you.  The ONE experience i had with a PVP was a total cluster, and I have never strayed from my amazing TA since.

  8. 20 hours ago, lovenorwegiancruiseline said:


    I would like very much to join my sister and her husband on their cruise in May of next year on the Radiance. I am willing to pay for my part. How do I get the reservation(booking number) from Carnival without getting into trouble and them(my sister and hus) finding out. I think you can still add a person after booking.


    You can't add yourself to someone's cabin as a "surprise" you would have to book yourself, and then you can link together the reservations, but you likely would have to get the booking number from your sister.  Carnival doesn't know you from Joe Schmoe, so they would not give that information out.  But I know with 100% certainty you cannot book yourself into their existing stateroom without your sister and her husband finding out, you just can't do that.

  9. 40 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

    That’s a strange response because the commission is a % of the cruise fare excluding taxes and fees and Non commissionable cruise fare amounts so every cruise would pay a different commission. 


    Yes, they get 12%, and when you start with RC and go to a TA, the TA gets the whole amount, it is not shared.  You must not have understood how I typed my response.  

  10. On 7/19/2019 at 11:43 PM, molole said:

    Curious mind wants to know.  


    I already put down a deposit with Royal, but I now see a TA offer a better rate with some perks and I am still within the 60 day transfer deadline.  If I transfer to the TA will the TA make less money vs if I book with the TA from the beginning?  I don't want to penalize the TA. 


    Nope, they get the whole commission.  I recently booked with RC on the phone, and then moved it to my TA, and then RC sent me the invoice that was meant for the TA, and included all the commissions, I asked her if it was less, and she said that's what she gets for each cruise, regardless.  So that was interesting to see.  

  11. On 7/8/2019 at 3:56 PM, plynn said:

    What is it like to cruise from NYC?

    it's so easy! 

    We are booked on the May 2020 cruise on the Legend out of NYC. What are some of the best Hotels to stay at ?

    My daughter LOVES the Row.  There are literally 1000 choices though, so if you want something funky and fun you will find it (although the Row is funky and fun and right in Times Square).

    Is it a rough ride from port to the open waters?

    Nope!  More than once we didn't even realize we had left... 

    Is there anything else we might need to know?

    NYC is a great place to cruise out of, but they seem to REALLY struggle with getting people OFF the ship efficiently.  And I've experienced insane waits on multiple cruise lines which leads me to believe this is a NYC Problem, and not a Carnival Problem.  I would STRONGLY suggest either self-debark, and then you wont be waiting a lifetime and a half to exit, OR just chill out and don't plan on getting to an airport (if that's how you're getting to NYC) until later in the afternoon.  

    How about the Legend...have you sailed her before? Thanks for your help!

    I haven't been on the Legend, but have been on the Miracle and the Pride, her sisters, and they're great ships!  Smaller, which I think isn't a bad thing, and all around a good time.

  12. I'll toss in my two cents..


    My two favorite ships are the Magic and the Miracle (which is a sister to the Legend, I've also cruised the Pride, the third of the four spirit class ships).


    I LOVE the Magic.  The layout (super easy to navigate), the size (not too big and not too small), the food (the bbq is fantastic!), and the rooms.  


    I also LOVE the Miracle (Legend). The layout is also very easy to navigate.  There isn't much ship to get lost on, and I don't hate smaller ships.  They are somewhat outdated compared to the newer glitzier ships.  The last time I was on the Miracle it definitely could have used the facelift, but the rooms are just as comfortable as on the Magic.


    With that said, we picked the Magic for our winter break cruise this year when I decided paying 2500$ for airfare to san juan was stupid and not worth it.  I really struggled because I wanted to pick Harmony of the Seas (my name is Harmony and how cool would that be!) but I also struggle on massive ships.  The Kiddo (she's 15 now, but was 12/13 the first time we were on the Magic) LOVED the Magic and really thought the activities were awesome, so we went for that and I haven't regretted it.


    I don't know much about the Glory, except she's bigger than the Legend, and smaller than the Magic.

  13. On 7/20/2019 at 2:49 PM, Bigmike911 said:

    I am a long time voyager on Cunard, and have taken one voyage on Princess. Living in the Greater Houston area I am considering a voyage to the eastern Caribbean on Carnival Vista out of Galveston next year. I usually book Queen's Grill accommodation (their top) on Cunard, and am a Diamond Tier loyalty customer, and with those come a lot of benefits. I don't mind paying extra for food, drink and services, but my experience on Princess was less than satisfying. Here are my questions?

    My dream is to cruise in a Queen's Grill room one day... I work for government so that's a long ways off. 

    On 7/20/2019 at 2:49 PM, Bigmike911 said:


    How large are the largest suites on Vista and what are they called?

    They aren't going to be anything close to what is on Cunard.  Grand suites are the largest suites on Carnival, and they range in size, but expect about the size of 3 "regular" state rooms. 

    On 7/20/2019 at 2:49 PM, Bigmike911 said:

    Where are they generally located.

    mid-ship.  the vista does have harbour suites and the Havana, Harbour would be more geared to families I believe, and the Havana ones are cool looking and get you some early access to a pool. 

    On 7/20/2019 at 2:49 PM, Bigmike911 said:


    How big are they?


    Do the suite bathrooms have tubs, showers or tubs with showers? 

    Whirlpool tubs with a shower.  

    On 7/20/2019 at 2:49 PM, Bigmike911 said:


    On Cunard, I am provided with spirits of my choosing (Johnny Walker Black Label in my case) for my suite. I was not able to even buy it on Princess which was very disappointing. 

    Not to sound mean, but at the price point of Cunard, they better be giving you the spirit of your choosing.  It doesn't work quite that way on Carnival (nor Princess).

    On 7/20/2019 at 2:49 PM, Bigmike911 said:


    Can you order canape's or the like for consumption in your suite before dinner?

    I do believe you can order these (I'm not 100% sure, I do know in suites on RCCL, HAL, and NCL I have been able to obtain them, but I was traveling with family, when I cruise Carnival--always in a suite--I am with my kiddo and sister/s and their kids and that's not something I'd enjoy just us.  

    On 7/20/2019 at 2:49 PM, Bigmike911 said:


    Does Vista have any special events or make special accommodations, for their suite passengers, as they do on Princess?

    No.  Although, I didn't think the suite experience on Princess was all that impressive (nothing like the Haven on NCL or the Pinnacle (and to some degree Neptune) suites on HAL.  

    On 7/20/2019 at 2:49 PM, Bigmike911 said:


    I am fortunate enough to be able to pay for life's little pleasures so money is not a major issue, but being an old guy getting things I am used to is.

    I really don't think Carnival is something you would really enjoy.  You sound very much like my family, which is totally fine and there is nothing wrong with any of them, but if you're used to that high level of luxury, it may not be the experience you are used to/wanting/find enjoyment in.  I find Princess to be entirely equal to Carnival in every way, although I think the service in Carnival's dining room to be better.

    On 7/20/2019 at 2:49 PM, Bigmike911 said:


    Thank you for your help. Please remember I am interested in Carnival Vista, and in Suite accommodations. 


    One of the reasons that Carnival's suites are so affordable compared to other lines is because they don't offer a whole lot (think like how Royal offers nothing but double points for Junior Suites, but you don't even get the good suite amenities until you're in the top tier).  I do enjoy Carnival's overall product, but they are severely lacking in the area of suite amenities, outside of VIP embarkation, you don't get priority dining assignments or reservations to the specialty dining.  There is no private deck area.  I have always found the level of service to be phenomenal (and better on Carnival than Princess, and massively better than on Royal), and never felt like i wasn't treated well, but a place to at least be certain to get a deck chair on the pool deck would be so much nicer than having to fight it out.  

  14. 1 hour ago, retiredude said:

    are there any hotels near by that will allow you to leave your vehicle while gone on your cruise?


    Yes!  The best way to find is to look at the hotels, and then check to see what their stay and cruise rate is.  We stayed at the Fairfield, right by the port, and there were a LOT of people that had parked their cars there for the duration.

  15. 2 hours ago, justhavingfun said:

    Hello, cruising to San Juan next week with 2 grand kids 9 and 11. Was wondering how safe is it or should we stay on ship. For people who have just been there what did cruise ship say stay on board or did cruise ship say. Can you tell me after getting off ship was there more police presence around port. Did you feel safe,  Any info would be helpful.  Thank You


    I have friends who live there who have been updating fairly regularly on the ongoing situation.


    With that said, I would be prepared for the ship NOT to dock, and if it does, see what is happening outside. Last night there were lots of people in the streets.  With kiddos at that age, I don't think you'd be out there at 10pm, so I probably would not worry too much.  


    Honestly though, only you will know what your gut says when it's time to decide, and if it feels off, then stay on the ship.  There will be plenty of fun things to do, and some of the best times my kiddo and I have had on board have been when we've stayed on the ship and it empties off.

  16. My guess is this is going to be on Princess, not on a Carnival ship.  At least, not anytime before 2021/2022.  I went through the ships and availability and nothing is "hiding" (as if they were going to announce) but with the terminal opening for the Olympics, I would guess that it will be Princess, which already has a steady presence there.  I do wonder if they will do a swing or two up from the Spirit currently in Australia, as it seems as though the ships do travel up and down the Pacific with ease.  


    I struggled decided who to book Japan through, since my kiddo and I are very loyal CCL-ers.  I was going to book a back to back on Princess, but was really struggling to eat the price when RCCL has a ship that's just as acceptable for a back to back that was just about half as much for a balcony room.  The price difference is letting me surprise her with a week in Japan and Hong Kong before boarding the ship.  

  17. On 7/17/2019 at 5:03 AM, Miaminice said:

    As mentioned we prefer to buy tickets for the rides we are doing instead of buying daypasses or similar.
    You will get different oppinions on that.
    We followed the advice of our Japanese friends that for just a day or two we should by single tickets...
    Since the process only took a few seconds, we were happy with it.


    This is how you buy tickets:

    On the wall above the vending machines you can find maps of the subway system. Usually one in Japanese and one in English.

    Look for the station you want to go to and you´ll find a number right below the station name. Let´s say 200 JPY. 
    Go to one of the screens (you can change the language to English), touch the button that says 200 JPN and that´s it.
    Depending on the age of the machine there can be extra buttons on the left with the symbol of one person or two persons etc. on them. That´s how you choose the number of tickets.

    In some of the newer machines this was "hidden" in the menu on the screen. To be honest I sometimes just bought one ticket at a time rather than searching for the function in the menu.


    You can also find more explanations here: https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/tips/before.html





    Thanks for the photo!!  I really appreciate your insight.  This isn't a trip I actually ever thought I'd be doing, we love public transportation and have always used it.  The thought of navigating in an entirely different language is surprisingly scary. 

  18. On 7/16/2019 at 11:34 PM, Milhouse said:

    I would say it's fairly comparable to the transportation network in Paris in that Tokyo has a pretty extensive metro system combined with a rail system (eg RER routes & high speed TGV ~ JR (and other) routes & high speed Shinkansen).  Also, similarly, some of the connections in the stations are kind of painful (long walks, up stairs, etc).  While there are no zones in Tokyo, it's configured for you to pay more the further you travel.  Getting from point A to B is pretty typical in that the lines are colour coded with letter abbreviation, stations numbered, and you find the direction you want to go by looking for the end station.  There's a lot of English also.  We've only run into some challenges on some of the route maps above the train ticket machines when heading to the burbs.  The tricky part is that if you are not using a pass and are buying individual tickets, you need to figure out how expensive of a ticket (eg 120Y, 140Y, etc) to buy.  However, you can also do a fare top up before exiting.  I'd highly recommend getting a pass though.  If you get data for your phone, google maps is also very helpful providing route options and pricing.  


    When we were recently in Paris, we used a one week unlimited Navigo card (which was kind of a PITA to set up since it required a picture and a non-refundable deposit but) which was really convenient.  

    In Tokyo, we typically have used the following:  

    There's a 24hr/48hr/72hr metro pass that provides unlimited travel on the subway lines (note there are two lines:  Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway).  The 72hr pass is pretty good value IMO.  The problem however, is that while the combined metro system is pretty extensive, some trips (eg Shinjuku to Harajuku to Shibuya) are more convenient when taking the Yamanote circle line which is part of the JR train network (not metro/subway) and the metro passes won't cover the JR trains for trips outside of Tokyo.  

    Alternatively, there's the Suica pass (and other similar cards) which is functional for both the metro lines AND most train (and bus) lines in and around Tokyo.  These are stored value cards which are rechargeable.  As with other transportation cards around the world, they're really convenient in allowing to tap in and out of the gates and can be used for payment at places like convenient stores.  However, if you end up travelling a lot, your local transportation spend can add up.  During our visit this June, we spent about $121CAD between us over 6.5days (not including transport from Narita but including transport to Haneda).

    You also have to pay a refundable deposit for a Suica card.  


    There are other card/ticket options too but we haven't really used them (other than a JRPass) so will let others provide details per their experiences. 

    Travelling outside of Tokyo can get a bit confusing with different operators and special trains, etc and is probably best answered if you have a specific question.  

    Similar to other metro systems, Tokyo's does not run around the clock so you need to prep for that if you stay out past midnight.   


    This is perfect, thank you so much for all this really great information.  I think the only reason we'd really be leaving Tokyo would be for a day trip to Disney (we're big Disney people) and then maybe do a tour with the bullet train to Mt. Fuji, but the tours I am looking at seem to include hotel pick up as standard instead of having to actually meet at the bullet train station (if that's even the right phrase). 


    And yes, the Navigo cards are  PITA... we use the monthly ones, and I hold onto them when we are home; I try to not go through that extra hassle if not needed. 



  19. 13 hours ago, Miaminice said:

    The Gracery has another advantage: 
    You can take a train from the airport to Shinjuku Station. 
    At the station there´s a bus stop for a loop bus going straight to the Gracery (2nd stop I think). The bus fare is less than 1 USD.




    How easy is the public transport system?  We only use that, and have seen some of the most amazing things because of it.  Our favorite is probably the Paris Metro, when we lived there it just became super easy.  


  20. Thank you all!  The Gracery Shinjuku looks like a great place with a fun story.  We are used to the small flats and hotels of Europe, so I'm worried less about space and more about just making sure this kid has the trip of a lifetime.  Usually I let her have her input, but she doesn't get a say.  '


    I really appreciate you all for taking the time to respond and share photos! 

  21. On 7/10/2019 at 3:51 PM, MonikaJ42 said:

    Hi all

    1st time cruiser.  Going on the October 6th sailing on the Harmony.  We have not yet booked our flights and am seeking some advice.  We want to take a flight home (international) the same day we disembark.  The two flights we are interested are leaving Orlando at either 11:30am or at noon.  Is that cutting it close? How quickly once the ship docks can you get off? 


    Thanks in advance!


    Coming from Port Canaveral, we have made flights as early as 10:30.  can be a little stressful, but we have TSA precheck so we get through security pretty quickly.  You would be fine with a 11:30/12:00.





  • Create New...