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About Qchell

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Charlotte, NC
  • Interests
    camping, hiking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Grand Turk
  1. My hubby and I do the same thing! 😄 There have been many nights where I have picked up pizza for us to eat back in our room to help absorb a bit of that Cheers package. Love the Quattro Formaggio pizza!
  2. You can view the full menu and get the pricing for each of the specialty restaurants on Carnival's website. You just have to pull up the page for each restaurant and a link to the menu and the cost of the restaurant is under "The Details". Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the dining package. If you go to John Heald's page and post your question he should be able to get you the info you need.
  3. I completely agree! A number of years ago a group of us were cruising together. We took an excursion to an all inclusive resort. It was January and a tad bit too chilly to get in the water and so windy that day you couldn't sit on the beach without feeling as if you were in a sandblaster. So we hung out in the hot tub and drank all day. Then a hour or so before we were scheduled to leave a friend had the 'bright idea' for us to do shots. Needless to say we were barely standing upright when we returned to the ship. It wasn't until late the next afternoon that I went to order a drink. The waiter came back with my drink, but informed me nicely that my card had been cut off and he had put my drink on my husband's card. So I went to guest services, I told them that I understood why they had cut me off and asked if there was anything I could do to fix that or if it was for the rest of the cruise. The GS person tapped a few keys on the keyboard and informed me I was good to go. After dinner one of my friends was informed that she was cut off and was not served a drink. She then went to Guest Services and was escorted to go have a conversation with security prior to being reinstated. We were in the same situation due to the same incident - but received different treatment due to dealing with it with different people.
  4. Cheers is generally worth it for my DH & I we enjoy the freedom from counting pennies when ordering drinks on a cruise. We take full advantage of the unlimited non-alcoholic drinks (coffee bar in particular) and enjoy the ability to try new drinks without worrying about spending $15 on a drink that it turns out we do not care for. Cheers makes the Alchemy Bar a total treat as we enjoy spending evenings there, getting to know the bartenders, and being able to try off-menu drinks. That is always a great experience for us. We just consider Cheers to be part of the cruise cost and now end up with a very small bill at the end of the cruise. However, if the price is a bit high and you are not sure you may spend that amount, and there is one particular type of alcohol you prefer, you can pre-order a bottle for your room on the Carnival website. Plan for sticker shock, but it's far less than the Cheers package and the bottles are very large. If you think about how many drinks you can make with that bottle, and compare the cost of the bottle to the cost of that many drinks individually on board - it's a good deal! I would not recommend attempting to share from the Cheers program, nor give alcohol to anyone underage. I am not sure what the penalties would be, but I would not risk ruining my first cruise that way. If it's just you and your friend, and she is underage - you may want to forego Cheers and enjoy a light alcohol cruise your first time out. Enjoy the time with your friend, order non-alcoholic frozen drinks (I highly recommend the Hurricane Wave), and maybe have a bottle in your room for you.
  5. I completely agree! A number of years ago we lucked out and a month or so before sailing the balcony rates dropped to $25 more than we paid for our Interior cabin. I called Carnival immediately, paid the $25 and we upgraded to our first balcony. Unfortunately the couple that was traveling with us waited until the next day and missed the window. I have not seen anything like that on our cruises since. We generally book a year or so out and we used to get at least a little OBC for each cruise due to price drops (and booking ES), but the last few years, the price we paid was the lowest it was ever offered. We have $25 OBC right now due to a price drop a week after we booked for our current cruise (1+ year out), but since then it has done nothing but go up. We did luck out and got an upgrade to an Interior Spa room from an aft Interior for $40. These years I am noticing that we tend to get offers to upgrade more than price drops when we book way out.
  6. When we were on the Sunshine we spent the majority of our evenings in the Ocean Plaza as well. Great music and drinks every evening. We had the Cheers package so had great fun trying out all sorts of different drinks at the Alchemy Bar and it was easy to just turn around to sip drinks and enjoy the music.
  7. We have gotten into the habit of buying it. It is expensive. However, the ability to be able to order ANY drink, at any time, without wondering what the bill is going to be at the end of the cruise has been wonderful. The unlimited non-alcohol drinks is a savior. My DH loves his coffee. The ability to order any fancy coffee he wants, and as much as he wants, is terrific. Being able to order a cappuccino with dessert at dinner (which was free once upon a time) is lovely. In addition, we have the ability to sample new drinks without worrying about ordering something and then having to pay for something (with tip) that we don't care for. We especially love it with the Alchemy Bar. We have been able to try so many amazing drinks, on and off menu, and never once had to worry about the bill. It's a personal choice, but we enjoy being able to order anything we want, at any time, and not having a bill at the end of the cruise.
  8. The Carnival Liberty is my favorite ship so far. I loved her layout, her decor, everything. We had a marvelous time when we sailed her and I would book a cruise on her in a heartbeat. As for entertainment, my DH and I actually enjoy the shows now more than we enjoyed the shows when we first started cruising in 2010. For years we skipped them because they were just boring. The last few cruises we have been purposefully looking for them and ensuring we watched them. We also very much enjoy the live music and comedy club, so we stay fairly entertained most cruises in the evening, and I love the deck parties at night. During the day I am always happy with a book, curled up in a chair on deck listening to the music and peeking up at the antics of various deck games from time to time. Fabulous de-stressing time! I've never cruised another line, but have seen the commercials and ads with all the fancy shows. If that is what you are looking for, I agree with the others, you are not going to find it on Carnival.
  9. It's definitely not per person. Some cruises we have gotten one bottle per cabin, some cruises one per table, even though it was two separate reservations/cabins. When we pushed on the issue and explained it was two reservations/cabins - we still only received the one bottle. So it varies steakhouse by steakhouse. As for how good the free bottle of wine is, I've always enjoyed it. Wine is one of those things that can vary from person to person, production year to production year, and can be heavily impacted on what you choose to eat with it. I've done tastings where you sip a glass of wine, eat something, then taste again and sometimes the food made the wine significantly better, other foods made the wine horrid. I've also been to tastings where we were drinking wine made from the same vines, same barrels, same everything, just different years and the impact the weather had made on the taste was extraordinary. Order your free bottle and enjoy it, and if you don't, it was free.
  10. We always check our baggage and just have one small carry-on each. One time we went with a group of friends and one couple chose to carry their luggage on and did not check it. Another couple (who had checked their luggage) ended up having to assist them get all their luggage on-board. To me its too much of a hassle. We've never had any problems and our luggage was always in our room by the time we needed it.
  11. I always recommend calling in and actually speaking with someone about ES claims. They are very particular about what rates qualify and it has to be the exact same category as the room you have booked. I have found calling in helps to ensure that I do get credited properly if I qualify or get a straight answer as to why I did not qualify (i.e. there are only two cabins in your category on the ship and they are both booked, so your category is sold out and therefore there is no price drop on that category). I don't know if Carnival recognizes price comparison from other websites, etc. Truthfully, I've checked around a number of times over the years and Carnival's prices were the same or cheaper than other websites. Others may have had luck, but I've never found one.
  12. I remember right before they started asking being amazed at how many people actually wrote into Heald complaining about their rooms being cleaned twice a day, some being annoyed with even once a day service, having bathrobes in their rooms, having ice, etc. Personally I look at those as a perk to cruising over land-based vacations, but to each their own. Then there were a number of complaints when the forms came out about service being only once a day and JH came out and relayed that we were more than welcome to choose both morning and evening even though that was not a separate choice on the form. I have had some stewards ask which, I told them both, and have never had an issue. If that choice is showing up on forms now, those might be new forms in response to the confusion over the choices. Personally I like coming back from excursions and dinner to a fresh room. As long as that is an option, we will be taking full advantage of it and just using the "Snoozin'" door hanger during any time that we don't want service. Always works well for us.
  13. We generally go for the spa cabins when we are on one that has the Thlassotherapy (sp?) pool. We sailed once with a third person in the room, so had to purchase the third pass separately as only 2 are included with the room. The extra little amenities are very nice and the pass only section of the spa is heavenly. I do caution about the free consultations, I did one or two last time we had a spa room and ended up getting hounded all week. They would call the room and seek me out every time I went into the spa area to see if I wanted to purchase their products. If you are interested in purchasing the products, I very much recommend the free consultations, if you are not, be prepared for a hard sales push the rest of your cruise.
  14. They are going to be practically gutting the ship and revovating it completely. It's the same thing they did with the Sunshine. I don't remember what her name was before the transformation, but all the public areas, etc. were completely revamped, moved around, new venues added, old ones removed. If you do a search for Sunshine renovation you will get an idea of what they are about to do with the Sunrise.
  15. I would call back and check. I've gotten OBC when the price had dropped in other rates lower than what I paid for the ES rate. ES would no longer be available this close to the sailing, so you can't compare rates. Now frequently, this close to the sailing, certain room categories are completely sold out. If your room category (4A, 4B, etc.) is sold out, even if the rate for your type of room drops, you won't get OBC. That is where they get you. Some room categories have a very limited # of rooms, so if you get one of those, you may not qualify for OBC if the price drops even months before a sailing.
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