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About Pellaz

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Atlanta, GA
  • Interests
    Freediving, radio deejay, railfanning, writer/editor
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  1. Yes, in fact I spent about three hours in the water out there close to the ship and out from Margaritaville, after making a pilgrimage to Jack's Shack. The sunken cannon is still there, as well as an anchor that's easily spotted and another anchor that appears to have been partly melded into the bottom; it's harder to spot. I also freedove down to the deeper part, maybe 35 or 40 feet. I was out there with one of the lifeguards from the ship, pretty cool guy, and he freedove to perhaps 60 feet, but he wanted me to "spot" him for safety reasons. 🙂 We saw quite a few small squid (first time ever for that at Grand Turk, for me) and also a small octopus in a hole not far from the aforementioned cannon. There was a guy feeding fish out by the safety line also, and so we didn't lack for fish at all. Underwater visibility was great until toward the end of the day, when it degraded somewhat. Not sure if it was caused by a receding tide or something else.
  2. [Sorry about the formatting; the "new improved" forum still won't work properly here] Things I liked: 1. numerous free/included food options for lunch: JiJi's, La Cucina, Guy's Burgers AND Barbecue, Blue Iguana Cantina, Fresh Creations (salad bar in Serenity), plus the usual pizza and Lido buffet 2. Lots of open deck space that puts you closer to the sea instead of in a shopping mall 3. Engineering Control Room (on the BtF Tour) was really nifty, looked like something out of a sci-fi novel 4. SkyRide was fun, as was the waterworks area and the slides 5. Location of the Casino on Deck 4 means you can walk through the Promenade on Deck 5 without (too much) smoke Things I disliked: 1. No adults-only pool 2. Only two adults-only hot-tubs (in Serenity) 3. There were lines in many places (which we mostly avoided by going to alternate eateries, etc.)
  3. Sure, we had the Value plan. That's the mid-tier one.
  4. This was a bit different for us. Our food in the MDR always seemed warm (and hot in a few cases). After getting slow service on two nights we switched teams and had GREAT service. There WERE long lines at the buffet sometimes so we went to other places, like the Cucina for lunch, the Blue Iguana Cantina for breakfast (my friends were envious of my breakfast burrito), Guys Pig & Anchor on embark day after the Mongolian Wok..... Us, too. We're booked again on the Magic for next October. Can't wait!
  5. If it's your first time for the BtF Tour and you have any interest in the inner workings of what amounts to a city on the sea, I'd say do it. It's $95 per person and takes place in the morning on the last sea-day. It's a 3.5 hour tour and you see a LOT. Stops include the steakhouse, the galley, the bridge, the Engineering Control Room, the main theater (typically dressing room and then the actual stage), the beer/soda storage room, the meat locker area, the main laundry, the crew lounge/bar, the training office, sometimes the recycling center. You MAY get to see inside a crew cabin but usually there isn't one available, so they will show you photos. You might get to see the doors to the ship's brig and morgue, and sometimes other bonuses at random. On other tours I've seen the inside of the captain's cabin once, the captain's private dining room once...things like that. You will receive a photo with the ship's captain taken on the bridge and generally another group photo taken on the prow by the ship's bell. Plus a Carnival string backpack, a BtF exclusive baseball cap, the BtF lanyard (but not the actual pass), etc. It seemed quieter along the Lanai decks than up above, and there are four hot-tubs along the sides there. As someone mentioned the Red Frog Pub (Deck 5, adjoins the Lanai) always seemed fairly empty. If you'd like to be a little closer to the action there are quite a few loungers and chairs along Deck 11, and the aft pool bar always seemed to have a stool or two available. We made friends with THAT bartender pretty quickly. 🙂
  6. Pellaz

    Fun Shops Snorkel Set?

    I think there has been one possibly-related fatality in Hawaii. The full-face snorkel masks DO have other limitatons: you can't eqaalize pressure through your nose, they are very high-volume and buoyant, and they really squeeze your face if you dive below 3 or 4 feet. They had a BOGO half-off deal on them aboard the Magic two weeks ago. Must have been at least 20 of them -- mostly in kids' hands -- that appeared in the pools -- and the hot tubs -- on the ship. 😮
  7. "Noted to have the worst" muster drills? By whom? Got some empirical data for that? Please, share by all means. All Carnival SHIPS do not have their musters outside. Our last two cruises on the Vista and the Magic had indoor muster. Moreover, our muster on Royal's Independence of the Seas last February was held entirely outside and it was a disorganized mess. They were actually using clipboards and checklists and crossing people off with a pen....in 2018! We thought that was quaint. On Carnival they use networked tablets and simply scan our Sign & Sail cards. Easy-peasy.
  8. Just off the Magic last week and we had Cheers. We would tip $1.00 on the receipt for each alcoholic drink except in the (rare) cases where the bartender was abrupt. I also had sodas at times (included with Cheers) and I'd tip 50 cents on those. There was NO question that in several cases, our extra tips garnered better and more personal service from our bartenders -- the aft pool bartender in particular, who would see me coming after the second day, greet me by name and prioritize my drink. Sure, we know we've already paid the 15%. We simply choose to tip our servers directly since we know the money goes to them. At the end of the day it doesn't cost us THAT much more and the smiles and nods we see from our servers and bartenders make it all worthwhile.
  9. Pellaz

    Serenity Decks WITH a pool

    Yep, if there was one thing I really missed on the Magic, it was an adults-only pool. Worse, the Dream class has only two pools, while the Conquest class has three. At least on the Vista you can access the Havana pool after 7 pm, and the odds of finding kids there would be....low.
  10. And since I can attach a few photos from the cruise, I will! Pics from St. Thomas, Towel Animal Morning (I love how Carnival does this...do any other cruise lines do it?), Halloween decorations in the Atrium and a few of our in-room towel critters. I got a hanging "towel monkey" for only the third time in 13 cruises. ❤️
  11. Looks like this actually worked. 😮 🙂 I'll try to attach the scanned Fun Times for each day plus the "Info" sheet and the Entertainment Guide. I have other things like the sales flyers and the usual Park West art-auction come-ons ("Thanks for attending our event" when we didn't actually bother). Hopefully, HERE are the Fun Times; they should be in order from first day to last day. Also at the end should be the "Things to know" sheet and the Entertainment Schedule. 🙂 BFJBB_102318_174219.pdf BFJBB_102318_174303.pdf BFJBB_102318_174343.pdf BFJBB_102318_174426.pdf BFJBB_102318_174500.pdf BFJBB_102318_174528.pdf BFJBB_102318_174601.pdf BFJBB_102318_174634.pdf BFJBB_102318_174656.pdf
  12. I'd been thinking I could scan the daily Fun Times on my home printer/scanner, but Carnival uses an odd size of paper for the Fun Times and dimensions don't work with the scanner. I took two photos of the embark-day Fun Times and I'll attach them to this post as a test, but I'm not too hopeful they will be readable when magnified. I'm going to bring all of them to work tomorrow and see if our big Canon printer/scanners can get clean PDFs. Then I'll have to email them back to home to post here since the CruiseCritic boards don't display at work. What a mess! Oh, something else from a recentCC Forum topic that I noticed on the Magic: the TV channels were, like many other ships, almost all "Turner" channels. CNN, HLN, CNN International, etc. There was a Lido Deck camera channel available, and also the usual bow camera channel.
  13. Some quick replies since the forums still won't display correctly here at work and quoting doesn't seem to work either...... I'll try to scan and post copies of the Fun Times tonight when I get home. @grandmarnurse (I think), our October 2019 trip on the Magic might also be out of FLL and not Miami. I hope so as I like our stay-park-cruise hotel in FLL more than the ones we've used in Miami.
  14. Pellaz

    New CC format horrible!

    Yep, I've had that happen on occasion with some of our own internal intranet sites and servers. Alas, the problem with CruiseCritic (yeah, maybe a CSS issue) has been continual.
  15. Pellaz

    Carnival Sunshine Behind The Fun

    Agreed. I've done the BtF tour 8 times now and I've always learned something new or seen something different. I'll also add that the Engineering Control Room on the Vista-class is especially nifty...worth the $95 charge alone. 🙂