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About Pellaz

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    Atlanta, GA
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    Freediving, radio deejay, railfanning, writer/editor
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  1. The hostess at Johnny Rockets told me I could eat there as often as I wanted. 😮 I'd have expected a daily limit of maybe 3 or 4 visits based on the $35 a la carte credit and JR's usual "cover," but she seemed certain it was effectively unlimited. Not sure if that was a "charter" thing or if it's their normal policy.
  2. Actually, they told me the Unlimited package DID include Playmakers (presumably a $35 credit). Also, dinner at Izumi was included but, as someone noted, it was a $10 upcharge for a combo or a second entree protein. It also includes effectively unlimited dining at Johnny Rockets. As far as the heralded "specialty lunch on seadays" thing, that was not available at all on our sailing because it was a charter. I advised them that, since the shipboard offerings for the "Unlimited" Dining Plan differed so much from their website's description, they really shouldn't offer it pre-cruise at all. 😞 Oh, well. At least we had the nicest balcony on the entire ship, with an unobstructed view of the aft AND the side. 🙂
  3. Egads at the confusion. I guess I'll just have to check with the specialty restaurants after boarding, as suggested. I don't expect too many "takers" at the specialty restaurants during this charter cruise, but I also don't remember the Unlimited Dining Package being offered to us in the past, either. (There are MANY differences in offerings; for example, no Suite Lounge or concierge service and no alcoholic drink packages available.)
  4. As a follow-up, I'm booked on the Indy for Tuesday's charter sailing and the Unlimited Dining Package description states that Izumi IS included, but with a $10 upcharge. This would be consistent with that $35 credit for "a la carte" dining venues (as it also states), but since Izumi's price is $45, the $10 surcharge would cover the difference. It also states that seaday lunch in specialty restaurants is also included gratis, but with no further details OR whether reservations are required for lunch. (?)
  5. That was our experience on the Magic and also the Vista (with minor variations on the items). Prior to that on Conquest-class ships we saw the "Pizza Pirate Plus" menu from 11 pm until 1am or 2 am, with lasagna every night and a rotating entree (like sausage-and-pepper, chicken parm, etc.) each night.
  6. Sea Day Brunch -- it's seriously one of the best meal experiences on Carnival. Also, always on the last sea-day, there's the Behind the Fun tour.
  7. Woah.... Lest we forget, one of Royal's Oasis-class ships failed its FIRST CDC inspection after arriving here in the States, as a brand-new ship. Also, CDC's records show that Carnival's ships have a lower incidence of norovirus than Royal. Your experience was subpar, but there's no need for all the histrionics. Our last few cruises on Carnival have been great...and meanwhile, the hallway carpet on Independence of the Seas was so filthy, I had to get a photo of it. (It looked like it hadn't been steam-cleaned in a decade.)
  8. I've always been surprised Royal doesn't sell some sort of holster or baldric to hold the cup while you walk around. Six Flags' amusement parks sell a shoulder strap and neoprene cup holder for their season drink cups for about $6...so Royal could sell something similar for, oh, about $12. :)
  9. Carnival has been doing this for several years now, with many raising concerns here on CC about security...and virtually no reported problems. Does Royal place the SeaPass cards by the staterooms right after embark starts, or do they wait until staterooms are ready? Also, is this in place yet on the Indy?
  10. No, I just walked down the beach to Jack's Shack and also went snorkeling. Sorry about that.
  11. Jiji's Asian Kitchen is similar to Mongolian Wok for lunch, and it is free/included at lunchtime also. The REALLY NICE thing about it on the Vista is that you don't have to wait in line: you are given a checksheet and a pencil, indicate what you want, and they grill it for you and bring it to you at your table. Go there for lunch on embark day, like we did. You'll see a lot of people on Deck 10 mobbing the buffet, but if it's like our cruise on the Vista, you'll walk up the stairs to Jiji's and find it to be almost empty. We felt a little guilty about it, and sorry for the folks fighting for tables just one deck below. Cucina del Capitano, right across the entry foyer from Jiji's, is similar on the Vista for lunch, but with a pasta bar instead. Both were excellent and both were a nice change from the usual madness at the Lido buffet.
  12. So, you withheld your customary tip and punished your wait staff because a late-arriving table threw off their rhythm? Whew, seems harsh. It's been a while since we had early dining, and when we did we were cruising with my old-school-cruiser mom and her DH, routinely sharing a table with other unrelated cruisers as she prefers. We also showed up timely every night on every cruise...EXCEPT one time: our port-stop at Grand Turk had been extended by an hour and we got back late...and it was the second formal night. My mom made the hitherto-unthinkable decision not to go to dinner since we would have been at least 20-25 minutes late, and I was detailed to go down to the MDR and tell our waiting tablemates (nice folks) and our serving crew that we would not be making it for dinner. The wait staff thanked me kindly for letting them know. As someone said, it's just the polite thing to do.
  13. Sorry, I don't agree with you there. Even with these relatively small increases, Carnival still comes out ahead when it comes to free/included food options and (usually) overall lower fare pricing. As for "Fun"..... I find that Royal and Carnival's slogans are both very apt. Royal's ships are certainly "Wow" (at least at first glance), and I think Carnival's ships are often more "Fun." Consider: how long did it take Royal to come to the realization that, hey presto, people of all ages really like water-slides?...the same water slides that Carnival and Norwegian have already been including on their ships for decades?
  14. Yep. For this reason I've always tried to get a cabana numbered #8 or higher. Not just because of the potential for "borrowing" but also because it's a lot less crowded out there. On Carnival cabanas are first-come first-assigned, so getting to ShoreEx as soon as you board is key to obtaining the cabana of your choice.
  15. I think the reason is that the best snorkeling and the most fish are well away from the beach (it's not a short swim), and in deep water (10-15 ft.) There are some rafts out there for people to rest on, but I can certainly see their reasoning. They post lifeguards out there for safety as well. (I bought a snorkeling vest on eBay for $10 and now I just bring it along. It packs down small.) The snorkeling is well worth it. There are sunken planes and cannons and hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of fish out where the lifeguards feed them.
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