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keels81

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  • Posts

    243
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About Me

  • Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • Interests
    Food, Wine, Cocktails, Parades, Theme Parks, Beaches, Dogs, Friends, Conversation
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Crystal
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean
  1. I just got off the Mardi Gras on Saturday -- we cruised in a premium interior and loved it. Perfect amount of space for three ladies. The bathroom was a little tight, but that's to be expected. The other bonus of the premium interior is they're on their own little corridor off the main hallway -- far less foot traffic and no hallway announcements! I think there were 6-8 other rooms in the corridor we were in.
  2. Just completed our three today for Saturday's sailing -- it was easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy. Two of us used MacBook Airs and one used a Surface Tablet. It's a really great way to test and I'll definitely be using it again.
  3. Ask for a hand shaken daiquiri at the Quarter bars. Not a frozen one @ hand shaken has simple in it but it’s nowhere near as sweet as the mix of the frozen and it tastes way better.
  4. The easiest option is just changing her last name back to maiden on the cruise booking so she can use her passport as that trumps every other form of ID for a closed loop and will likely be the only thing she needs (possibly with her LPR in place of a Visa but I haven't had experienced anything like this yet on a closed loop cruise). Even with a marriage certificate, she won't be able to use a passport with a maiden name that doesn't match the name on the reservation. Otherwise, she'll need her U.S. ID, LPR and birth certificate at a minimum. Personally, I don't want to travel with my birth certificate or marriage certificate if I don't have to as they're difficult to replace since I don't live in the state where they were issued, but that's just me! She'll need her passport regardless in the event that you get stuck in Mexico and have to fly back to the states since you plan to stay overnight, so my first suggestion is likely the path you'll need to pursue. It stinks to not have your true last name listed on booking documents (I was married for 12 years before I legally changed my last name to my spouse's name other than just going by it in social situations), but it's the best and easiest solution to book international travel -- including cruises -- under her maiden until she gets a passport that reflects her married last name.
  5. So, I'm eligible for my third Pfizer shot here in Louisiana and obviously, in a perfect world I'd be able to get the jab before my cruise on the Mardi Gras on Oct. 2 ... however, with Carnival's wording about requiring proof that you've had the final shot of your vaccine course 15 days prior to sailing, I'm worried that it may affect my ability to board on the 2nd. I've left a voicemail for my rep for guidance, but just taking a shot in the dark that someone around these parts might have some advice or insight. Obviously, I'm happy to wait to get the booster until after my cruise if need be but I'm all about all the protection possible and I can get the booster first thing tomorrow morning if I choose. Thanks y'all!
  6. I just have the Mardi Gras on 10/2 and that's it. I'm willing to wait on a last-minute offer that works with my schedule for either the Glory or the Valor since I only live 5 minutes from port. NYE and all my 2022 cruises are booked on other lines.
  7. Hmmm ... I wonder if they'll fire sale the Valor when she starts sailing in November.
  8. Premium to even get it going, and it's still going to be rough. You'll have to find a place that has really great signal (like the piano bar, if it's open and not crowded) for a Zoom or any kind of video streaming call. You won't be able to do anything from your stateroom and it will be spotty in outdoor areas. I tried streaming and Zoom multiple times on the Magic back in August and my best locations were the Serenity bar for outdoors, the Piano Bar when unoccupied and the Escape Bar when it wasn't being used for meetings or Chef's Table. The Library might also be an option, but it was always full when I went with others doing the same thing. Good luck!
  9. What part of New Orleans did you live in for Katrina and what part do you live in now? It's ridiculous to say that supplies would come up the river to support cruise ships when people in the region and metro area are still without basic needs even though they have power. Also, linemen don't drive "in and out" on a daily basis. Laplace is 38 minutes from the Port of New Orleans. Houma is an hour, given weather and traffic. These are the hardest hit, most populated areas outside of the metro. New Orleans can't handle cruise ships right now other than to have them house frontline workers, linemen and first responders. The port is open, but the terminals and convention center are being used by FEMA for cooling shelters, relocation and transportation and even temporary housing. I know you don't live here -- most of y'all on this thread don't -- so you're lucky to not have to depend on things like the street car or a bus to get you to work (if its open). Those are barely working now and people still don't have power, so they are relying on these mass spaces like the port and the convention center (which are the same thing) for air conditioning and basic needs. Most hotels are filled with local evacuees and other frontline workers. They've also been asked not to run mass services like laundry and dishwashing because it WILL overpower the sewage system and back raw sewage up through the catch basins and into the streets. The airport is only open to flights under or around 90 minutes and it has to be a fully staffed turn with no catering or refueling needed, and that's only for airlines that have airport-based crew that didn't evacuate with their families. So, yeah, the airport isn't there for your pleasure currently. Maybe in October. This wasn't Katrina, thank God, but it isn't anything to joke about. People actually left this time, and are in no hurry to return when they can't even live reasonable life. They certainly don't care if your cruise gets canceled or not. But hey, Oceana will always be open for y'all.
  10. The power grid is still down for lots of areas of the city that provide the workforce for the "French Quarter" that "didn't take much damage" and "need the revenue". Grocery stores are barren and only open from 10a-4p(ish). Milk, bread, eggs, and other sustainable items are non-existent. In fact, most people that have evacuated -- by my count of neighbors and friends -- are only NOW starting to think about returning and will probably wait it out another week as FEMA has started giving out hotel vouchers and stay reimbursements through the middle of the month. And then we can talk about our friends at Sewage & Water Board who have asked restaurants, hotels and other places to not run large-scale dishwashers or laundry facilities because that amount of water disposal could cause the precarious system to fail (it's been holding strong) and start sending sewage backup into the streets -- including the French Quarter. And then there's the police force still out enforcing a nightly 8p-6a curfew because there's a gasoline and basic needs shortage while places still don't have supplies and power and internet. I don't see cruises happening until at least October at the earliest.
  11. Thanks! I really appreciate that -- things outside New Orleans proper aren't great (Laplace, Houma, Lafitte, Grand Isle and more as you head down towards the Gulf) are really suffering now so I'm hoping that we can get some of the attention directed to New Orleans down that way to help clean-up and restoration efforts. They're going to be hurting for a while, even if they're able to salvage what they've got left after the storm! I think @BlerkOne mentioned it above that your concern would be possibly contracting Covid while in New Orleans prior to the cruise -- we currently have an indoor mask mandate in place AND you have to show proof of vaccination or negative Covid test within 72 hours to go inside a bar or restaurant ... so, it will be great practice for the cruise! I imagine these mandates will stay in place through the end of the year so the city has a shot at Mardi Gras come February/March.
  12. Hi! New Orleanian here! Personally, I would keep the cruise from January as so many things can change between now and then. Yes, the city itself did sustain damage from Hurricane Ida and things like power restoration and clean-up are still on-going, but as far as I know the port itself is in good condition (I actually live off of Tchoupitoulas where the port is, only about a 5-minute drive). New Orleans as a city has been VERY strict in regards to mitigation, vaccination, masking and testing protocols so I would be surprised if you would not be able to find a test in New Orleans proper prior to your sailing (if those guidelines are still in effect). I'd be happy to help you with some locations that are near where you plan to stay! In fact, New Orleans was one of the first cities in the country to require proof of vaccination to enter bars, restaurants, music venues, etc. -- we've been taking Covid VERY seriously so our city and its tourism economy can get back to normal. It's not January, but I can tell you what my girlfriends and I are doing for our October sailing on the Mardi Gras as we are in a VERY similar situation to you -- we purchased the BinaxNow Ag card tests and will test the morning of our flights to Orlando and, if negative, will fly to Orlando and then test again the night before the cruise (we fly out on the 30th and the cruise leaves the 2nd). We're all vaccinated and plan to mask excessively both on the flight and on our day at Disney for the 50th Anniversary celebration before the cruise.
  13. On the Magic on 8/7, if you were disembarking with your own luggage they called you when to go down to the gangway based on your muster station (ie. A1 went first, my station E3 was last). After all those are called, if you had them grab your luggage the night before, then you are allowed to disembark. It was how they were trying to keep large groups from congregating in the port upon disembarking and keep things flowing. Worked nicely, though I would've prepped better to still be on the ship at around 10 a.m. before my station was called. YMMV tho.
  14. I was able to snag one of the last 3-persons on my sailing of the MG and I haven't been able to shift to a different category or even cabin since then (booked back in May for October 2) and when I finally called in to ask if they could move me, I was told that because of the new muster process and that they're using muster stations for disembarkation (experienced this on the 8/7 Magic sailing), if that station is full for a specific number of adults, then its done. I haven't asked if we could split into a stateroom of two and then a solo since they seem to be waving the solo supplement on some of these sailings but at this point it is what it is and I don't want to lose that sweet, sweet OBC.
  15. Just checking to see if anyone has used these Ag Card tests as proof at boarding. I need to order them pretty quickly because of logistics surrounding our Oct. 2 on the Mardi Gras, but don't want to shell out the money if it's ultimately unusable. Thanks!
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