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About WackyWayne

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Central Florida
  • Interests
    Caribbean cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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120 profile views
  1. In my opinion, having done both Celebrity & HAL recently, there is no comparison. HAL wins totally. For late night snacking in the buffet, HAL serves hot & fresh & different every day. Celebrity had the same, sad, lame, choices every night. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I used to think that HAL was the significantly better breakfast buffet.... almost always hot & fresh everything. Pancakes & french toast basically cooked to order right at the serving line. Omelettes & egg stuff are cooked to order on almost all cruise lines, so I didn't see much difference there. But Celebrity has been improving their breakfast service nicely to be almost as good now.
  2. I don't think CruiseCritic has much to do with it? I assume that the old (cancelled) roll calls will become idle, but they still serve a purpose for a while, as people discuss their new travel plans. New roll call threads can be created for any sailing by any CC user. I just started the roll call for our 12/23/2020 holiday sailing.
  3. I just transferred a booking to the 12/23 sailing today. It seemed that every time I looked at cabin availability I saw MORE cabins becoming available, at least for the Sweet Sixteen section that I was looking at. My guess is that it is due to folks that were on the original Far East itinerary are slowly cancelling out and freeing up space? My impression is that when a ship is redeployed the booking availability and pricing can be really wacky.
  4. Carnival has posted 9 videos from their CCL drone. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnUTmArdJk2vMLbNyLmtuiw/videos or search for "CCL Drone". They have drone videos showing the prep, loading and sailing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TXW50KzGUc
  5. Carnival has posted a bunch of drone videos on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnUTmArdJk2vMLbNyLmtuiw or search for "CCL Drone"
  6. Recently on the Equinox doing western Caribbean, they had a Fish Station in the OceanView cafe (buffet) at least twice for lunch. They had signs for Grouper and Red Snapper that I recall. There may have also been Mahi at some point, based upon a sign I saw sitting on top the buffet, but laying down. I did NOT see a sign saying it was fresh or local, but maybe I missed that sign. I believe I saw them sectioning it or filleting it, but I don't recall them being "cleaned" (ie descaled or gutted). I know they were very tasty, being freshly cooked. I recall that everything I saw was apparently being grilled or "pan-fried" on the flat top, but maybe some was deep fried. We have seen this "Fish Station" feature on other (probably Celebrity in the Caribbean) sailings, but I forget exactly which. This is different than the common (deep fried) "Fish & Chips" feature that I see frequently at lunch in a buffet. This Equinox sailing also had a deep-fried Calamari station multiple days for lunch. Edit: I should have taken a pic of the chef station as they were prepping the fish.
  7. Cell phones have GPS receivers. My (limited) understanding is that Apple doesn't allow that GPS data stream to be exported to other devices (such as over BT). iPads sometimes have a GPS - the cellular iPads generally have GPS and the WiFi only iPads generally do not have a GPS. The Bad Elf GPS is water resistant and can easily be put in a baggie to keep off salt spray. I also have lanyards that keep anything from blowing away. Even with that, I am not keen on leaving my cell phone on the balcony railing for any long term sailing. A cell phone or GPS equipped tablet inside a cabin is likely to have GPS reception issues, YMMV. The Bad Elf also has much better battery life for long term logging (multiple sea days).
  8. I use a Bad Elf GPS Pro logger. It works great with an iOS app. It supposedly will send GPS data over BlueTooth to an Android, but it lacks the full management app that an iOS device will give. I leave the Bad Elf logging on my balcony while sailing, then take it with me ashore on excursions. It send GPS data over BlueTooth to my GPS-less iPad in the cabin or to an iPhone. I use the maps.me app with downloaded map data for off-line mapping software, so I use no internet or cell for map data on a cruise. When I get home, I can export the KML or GPX tracks to do whatever I want with them (typically onto Google maps and they are shareable that way). I admit that I haven't used the Bad Elf and iPad for vehicle navigation or routing. I use it mostly for logging. The Bad Elf has a functional text display built in, but no graphic mapping display like I assume a typical Garmin would.
  9. Does anyone know the status or location of the "River Countess" now? According to MarineTraffic, her last AIS update was yesterday morning. Might the incident have taken the AIS offline?
  10. You might not want noon position reports for your friend's boat, but I bet it is an option in MarineTraffic. The notifications are quite versatile. Compare your notification setting for the two vessels. I believe that MarineTraffic may have changed the default notifications that are enabled when a ship is added to your fleet since you added your friends boat. But the noon and/or midnight position reports will eat up your monthly free notifications. Your friends boat is likely always within land (ie free) receiving distance. I believe the "real" (including cruise) ships also send their AIS data to satellite, but that is a paid upgrade to get access to that data. I have no idea if the paid satellite services can pick up and track small-ish sailboats, or if the sailboats need a better transmitter.
  11. I believe all basic MarineTraffic memberships are free. Those basic memberships have the limit of 30 notifications per month and no satellite info. Basically, I believe the land based AIS info is crowd sourced with volunteers running receivers, so it doesn't cost MarineTraffic much to spread this info to consumers. When you add a ship to your fleet and it enables notifications by default, the mid-day position report is on by default. I think this mid-day report MAY be an exception to the "no free satellite info" policy. The cruise-line "private islands" in the Bahamas are often a black hole with no data coming out when the ships make beach port calls. By the way, so NOT use the MarineTraffic option to notify you when a ship changes their AIS destination on a free plan as it can burn thru it very quickly. Maybe somebody can enlighten me on how the AIS destination is set on the transmitter, but I have seen some instances when I got 10 notifications in almost no time as apparently an officer was slowly scrolling thru a list of (bogus) destinations and I got a notification for each one until they found the right one. On a semi-related note, folks can use MarineTraffic to follow "Mr Steven", the SpaceX ship that has the big net to try and catch the rocket fairings. It does some crazy zig zag patterns as it practices. I haven't figured out how to track the SpaceX landing drone ships (OCISLY), but since they are basically barges, they don't have AIS and the tugs used change?
  12. I have had good luck with the one with the fishy name. At only a buck a cruise, it is a cheap investment that could pay off big.
  13. @flagmom Thank you to Rod & Leslie sooo much for this great guide. I hate thread forkers, but this may be the best place to get an answer that a number of us on the Mardi Gras cruise are wondering... as we sail up river, at what point do we pick up cell service?
  14. You may want to examine the luggage tags that you can print yourself (your cruise docs on te Celeb web site) to see if they look the same. Maybe your pre-printed & mailed tags are "defective"? I would rather use a tag I printed or a hand-written tag from a porter with just a number, than risk using a "defective" tag that may really aggravate you with missing luggage on embarkation day. True, the room number on the tag "should" get it to the right place, but sometimes I don't like being a guinea pig. :)
  15. The mainstream cruise lines are more similar then they are different, so don't worry too much. Everyone is given headphones which have your choice of 3 music sources. Then everybody dances. But people around you may be listening to a different song, so the timing is all funny. The room itself is pretty quiet, except for laughing. The headphones have colored LEDs that match your music selection, so you can tell who is listening to the same music as yourself. Good fun.
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