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About davelinde

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    Cool Cruiser

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    golf, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean, Carnival
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  1. We have done a lot of Carnival cruises, sticking with them mostly due to price. We are nearly diamond on Royal and began with them because we liked the trans-Atlantic itineraries and that ended up leading us to doing trans-Atlantic back-to-back as well as an Alaskan land-sea combo. I cannot make any general conclusion about food or staff - we have run across good food and friendly staff on both lines. We have run across mediocre food and OK staff on both lines. Each ship can be different I think. On Carnival it's easier to get food any time and especially ice-cream, for Royal there are times of the day where there is little if any food out and for ice-cream the machines are almost always shut down. We have a lot of nights sailed on both lines and the Crown and Anchor perks are a bit ahead of anything Carnival offers - but for a first cruise with a line this is not much of a factor I guess.
  2. Years ago we also missed Roatan because of high wind. We were a bit concerned because we had a shore excursion booked privately and prepaid. They refunded it. I still remember the ship comedian critique... back then there had been a spate of cruise problems and the comedian mocked it by quoting the captain as deciding we could not dock due to high wind and that he knew the winds were high because of how violently the flags were whipping about... on the flags of the ships docked there. More recently I've missed ports due to health issues on the ship and now we are will miss Havana due to high winds (political this time).
  3. We just got a version of this offer via e-mail for our September sailing. For our situation I'd say this is a perfectly acceptable compensation, all things considered. Instead of this being a destination cruise it will just be a get-away to relax. Between the rate we got by booking a year in advance, the OBC already given and this extra $200 OBC it turns out to be a low budget vacation for us. My hope is that the economic pressure here works and they are able to open the port again in the future, I don't think 90 days is enough for the wheels of diplomacy to turn though so I'm not expecting it fixed in time for this trip.
  4. So... one of the things topical moderated discussion board does is "help" companies be consistent. While I would hope policies are consistent I am going to assume that every CSR or manager looking at whatever policy they need to find will both find the right policy, understand it, and be able to put it through the system. Knowing what is possible allows you to have a discussion about it without being angry or pressuring the CSR. I'm not asking anyone to brag about anything, just asking what folks find out. And, in cases where there's a big problem like this one companies don't always make uniform offers of compensation. A few years back we had a problem with an airline and had not thought to ask for compensation until someone told us what to ask for and how to do it. There was no angry call or anything like that - once we knew what to ask for we got compensated. If we had not asked they were not going to seek us out and offer. In this case there may be nothing offered or even possible. We will see.
  5. I don't really care what Carnival knows or that this is out of their control and I am well aware they can change ports or even skip a port altogether while en route and simply stay at sea. I've been on cruises that have done all kinds of things - sometimes they offer compensation, sometimes they don't, sometimes there is compensation if you ask the right person in the right way. Just looking to see what anyone knows here.
  6. We booked Cuba on Carnival a year ago and were going to sail in September. If not for Havana I really had no interest in that cruise itinerary. Has anyone pushed Carnival for options now that they are changing ports of call? We booked this one direct so we don't have an agent to go to bat for us and get some kind of compensation.
  7. Yes, they only have one broadway production and it runs all week. You make reservations for all the shows on the Oasis class, opens about 90 days prior to sailing IIRC. On the Oasis itself I remember the broadway show, diving show, ice show, acrobat show along with the "regular" acts like comedians and singers.
  8. We've had our refund for a while now. It came in parts over time.
  9. One thing to be aware on Med cruises... The EU likes to tax you. We did a transAtlantic with b2b Med cruise and once we were departing an EU port the VAT kicked in and prices on board went up by 24%...
  10. We tip extra if the service is exceptional, but honestly this is not always the case. Sometimes we use envelopes, sometimes we just find the person and hand them cash, and sometimes we use extra OBC to tip and handle it via guest services. On our last back to back cruise the first MDR team was awesome and we gave them a few extra dollars. The second leg the new team was really pitiful. In the WJ our assistant waiter from the first leg kept saying "hi" and would guide our group (4 cabins of folks) to a common table. We ended up giving her a second tip and none to the "needs improvement" MDR team. When we get exceptional service we always fill out the survey with all 10's and in a few cases we have sent notes to commend staff. As I understand the RCCL system those surveys and positive notes impact compensation as much (or more) than tips.
  11. In our first sailing on an Oasis class earlier this year I was surprised to find that the spa had no open (free) steam and sauna, instead had a thermal suite area with heated recliners, a room with some kind a fragrance as well as the traditional steam and sauna rooms. They were pushing this as a for fee service during the tour something like $120 for a single and $180 for a couple unlimited access. While cruising I do like to go do a good workout then spend some time stretching in both the wet and dry heat... so no free service was a disappointment - but I did not decide to buy it then. We are sailing on another Oasis class in the fall and I have some questions for any here who may know or have opinions. First, can I buy this service before sailing and is it cheaper that way? What is the least I might expect to pay? Next... did I misunderstand the tour or were these rooms in a common area? How does that work? Bathing suits I guess? It had never dawned on me to wear more than a towel in a steam room and for sure not a robe and swimsuit. Finally, any who bought this, was it worth it to you? Was it crowded?
  12. We had a 5:30 seating and were rarely done before 7. Part of that is on us since someone always arrived 5 or 10 minutes late putting us in a delayed rotation for ordering, bar service, etc. We did have one night we wanted to be in line for a show early and told our headwaiter in advance (and all showed up on time). We had to skip desert but he did turn us around faster as we requested.
  13. We got our fare back except for $66 which was the port tax for Haiti I believe. I was also happy to see we got all 7 of the Crown and Anchor days credited. I see the CDC site updated to indicate Norovirus was confirmed. We have booked another cruise on an Oasis class in the fall. So I have a few other observations on the ship in general before I forget - looking for feedback on our next cruise on RCCL Oasis class. We were warned away from the WJ several times by crew indicating other venues would be less crowded. On boarding we took that advice and went to the Solarium Cafe... getting a table there was very hard and the buffet line was huge. For our next cruise I'm looking for advice on where to get a light lunch without the heavy crowd on boarding day. As I noted before the steam and sauna were for a fee - I cannot remember any cruise having a full sauna and that has always been something I enjoy. For our next cruise I'm wondering how to get the best price on access to the sauna. And finally - in the MDR I was not so happy to get a choice of Medium rare or Medium well for all beef and the lamb. I got mostly medium rare and found it just a little too rare for my taste. I tried one steak medium well and, predictably it was too well done. For our next cruise I'm wondering how to get meat done medium.
  14. didn't mean to sound defensive, you made an on point observation and I was just adding our experience here. As you noted, some won't report and for us we gave up on reporting, but in fact we were likely not norovirus but food bourne infection. FYI as I mentioned in one of the other threads on this sailing, I overheard crew saying they thought Haiti was the culprit. No idea if that is accurate but it is plausible.
  15. We tried to report but after several promises of "we will call you back" (no call back) we gave up. My wife was symptom free when she left the cabin again and if she had food poisoning she was not contagious in any case. But yes... it is hard to know for sure how pervasive this is and how many people are not careful while still symptomatic.
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