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About ldlewis45

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Phoenix, AZ
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL, Holland America

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  1. If you like seafood, definitely go to Rudi's Sel de Mer! It's one night only, but it was incredible and definitely worth the price! Also, there is lunch offered at the Pinnacle Grill, which is a nice change from the buffet.
  2. You will LOVE 5190! We had that one booked for our 2017 Alaska cruise, and managed to get it again for our Sept 1 Alaska cruise this year. The balcony is flat-out AMAZING and almost ridiculously massive. Just be careful not to lock yourself out on the balcony! We accidentally did that during our Hubbard Glacier day and had to yell to one of the other balconies, so that they could get the attention of our steward, lol.
  3. From "behind the scenes" tours I've taken, and from having to board ships for work, the medical centers onboard aren't meant for much beyond basic first aid. I mean, CPR, attempts at resuscitation if someone stops breathing, attempting to keep someone alive long enough for transport to shore, sure. But extended care or diagnostics, nope. It's like a triage center. Can something be fixed by a bandage or some anti-emetics, or is it something that needs to be taken to shore?
  4. You misunderstood my post. I never compared the quality of a Carnival cruise to the quality of an MSC cruise. I was basically saying that, just as I have to do with Carnival, I was going to have to strongly weigh what I was likely to experience on MSC versus the cost of the cruise to determine if it was worth the price. I had a very good time on my MSC cruises, and I'm likely to take one again. I'm just not likely to take it if I have to pay a premium to do so, and that's looking more likely as their prices rise for the US market, and not if I'm looking for more time in certain ports. There's multiple reasons I feel that way. One, the fact that both cruises I took had issues that were harder to rectify than they should have been. Two, the fact that the fellow cruisers sometimes had different standards for what constituted polite behavior. (Although, I've found that to be true on US cruise lines departing from different regions in the US, too, so I place less emphasis on that than some other people. I'm very good at ignoring other people's behavior and basically doing a mental "well, bless their heart!" If you're from the US south, you know what that means, lol.) Three, the port times aren't always ideal if I plan on doing something particular in a port. Granted, that's something that has to be considered on every cruise, no matter the line. If I'm looking for a relaxation cruise, where all I'm going to be doing is the spa, sitting on my balcony, finding a good spot to read in a bar, and not planning on doing much in the ports, sure, I'll sail with MSC again if they're the right price. But I'm also willing to go with Carnival, NCL, Holland America, etc. Yes, I did know the port times when booking, obviously. I just didn't realize at the time that it would impact it as much as it did, as when I initially booked, I was going to be traveling by myself and had been to the forts in San Juan previously. Then my parents decided to join me. I was disappointed in the times for my dad, especially, as he is a history fan and had never been to the forts at San Juan before (or any others that I know of). I don't usually do cruise line tours, as I've found that more often than not, they're a cattle call and not ideal for people that have difficulty getting around or issues with hearing (my parents). So basically, we got off the ship, went to a restaurant nearby that I'd been to before and knew was good, had dinner, went to a couple of nearby shops, and got back on the ship. I just don't know why they timed the port stop like they did, when it cuts out a huge portion of available on-shore attractions, especially since the previous MSC Seaside cruise I took had a much earlier arrival in San Juan. So yeah, I won't pay a premium in the future for a cruise that basically wastes what would have been a great port. And as for the disembarkation in Miami, well, that's more on CBP than MSC, lol. I work for CBP. The reason it was so fast is that CBP in the port of Miami has fairly recently implemented facial recognition equipment, which speeds everything up considerably. Now that most people are just getting cleared by the camera and aren't having to stand in a line and speak with an officer, you get off the ship a heck of a lot faster (as long as the system doesn't crash, which it did for a short period on the 18th). It's ideal for the passenger, not so much for Customs, lol. But it has absolutely nothing to do with MSC's abilities.
  5. Hope the wifi works in your stateroom. Mine didn't. I bought the 6 GB internet package in advance, since I do a lot of online reading, but wound up only being able to use it when I wasn't in my room. My stateroom was just off the forward elevators, too, not in some far-aft or far-forward location, so it was fairly ridiculous.
  6. For me, I have to say that I would have to weigh the cost of the cruise against what I've experienced on MSC, to decide whether to cruise with them again. I consider them to be similar to Carnival, to be honest, not in terms of the cruise itself, but the irritation of dealing with them. I LIKE Carnival, but I don't think Carnival is worth a premium price, so I'm only willing to spend up to a certain amount on a cruise with them. I like MSC. The food was rather good, especially in the buffet (although, I thought their steakhouse wasn't worth the expense). Some of the drinks are good, if I stick to one or two bars, but I have to find a particular bartender and stick with them. I like that you can get through the boarding process fairly simply. That said, since I've had nagging issues that were difficult to get resolved on both of the MSC cruises I've taken, I have to heavily weigh the likelihood that something is probably going to not be "right" and will likely be unreasonably difficult and time-consuming to have corrected. I'll have to ask myself, "Is this cruise priced to where I'm willing to probably have to spend hours of my cruise to get something corrected, that would take only minutes on another line?" Especially considering that the port times in my favorite Caribbean ports are not ideal. I mean, 5 pm for a docking time in San Juan? One of the major draws of San Juan are the forts, which close at 6 pm. The St. Martin dock times are not much better.
  7. I just got off my second cruise on the Seaside this past Saturday, also having cruised with multiple other lines. I can definitely see where the OP is coming from, as both of my Seaside cruises had issues, too. If anything is an issue, expect multiple trips to guest services to get it corrected. On my 1st Seaside cruise last year, they charged my account for something I hadn't bought, and it took 2 trips to guest services to get it removed (and having to argue to both people I spoke with that, no, I didn't make the purchase and yes, I'm absolutely sure I didn't make the purchase, and that NO, I DIDNT BUY ANYTHING FROM THAT SHOP AT ANY POINT ON THIS CRUISE). This time, I got talked into buying the premium drink package on board, even after telling the guy that sold it that I was mostly interested in the chocolate martinis in the chocolate shop and being assured that as long as they were under $12, they would be included, and also reading the description of the package that specified that it wound be valid for drinks under that amount at all bars on board, and seeing that it didn't state any exceptions. Cue me going to buy a chocolate martini at Venchi and being told that it wasn't included in any package sold, even though I was staring right at an advertising placard for the drink packages on the counter at Venchi. I was tempted to ask why they were advertising for a product that can't actually be used there, but drank my chocolate martini and went to guest services to spend half an hour in line to get it removed. That guy said it would be done, but I still had to go and repeat the process the next day, since it still hadn't been corrected. Didn't get the full price of the package back, but decided it wasn't worth the effort of another trip to GS.
  8. Does anyone have any current drink prices and/or menus for the Seaside? I'm trying to decide whether it will be worth buying a drink package for my Seaside cruise on May 11th. When I cruised on it last year, my booking had the Drinks on Us package included, and I upgraded for a reasonable price to the Deluxe package, which was nice because it included pretty much everything I was wanting to try. My upcoming cruise unfortunately doesn't include any drinks, so now I'm wondering whether to buy a package or not, as the Premium package is $434 and the Premium Plus package is $553, and I'm not sure I'll spend enough on booze, bottled water, etc. to cover it.
  9. My parents and I will be flying back to our respective cities from FLL after 4 pm the day our Seaside cruise ends. Are there any Miami/Everglades tour excursions that are available to purchase through MSC that end at FLL?
  10. Sitka also has some great art shops/galleries, if you want to pick up some hand-made souvenirs, whether it's jewelry or pieces of art. There were some gorgeous paintings there when we were there in 2017, and it was the one time I've ever been truly tempted to pay for an original painting. They've also got some great local sea salt that you can buy, and it's really worth the price.
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