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About mjonis

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    Albany, NY

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  1. Does Disney participate in any sort of Cruise Critic "meet'n'greet"? I know RCL, Carnival, and MSC do, just couldn't seem to find the right wording to search on this forum for such a beast. Also: Looks like our cruise will have Star Wars day on it. Do we need to dress up or something for that? Is that a "thingy" you have to sign up/register for? And the Pirate Night: I'm assuming this is standard and I guess it shows up on your plans, so it's an "open" event? (no need to register for it)? Lastly, I saw a vlog thingy on YouTube and it sounded like there was some sort of event/FB thing you could get for $18 and "open bar", which sounded like a reasonable offer, although after 2 drinks I'm probably toast, LOL! Does anyone know what that is (or is that part of like the CC meet'n'greet or is that organized by the group?)
  2. Thanks Shmoo for the reply/info. Guess we'll just take chances at the 75 days out, which sounds like pretty much everything will be booked (if I'm reading other posts correctly). But fingers crossed.
  3. Sorry to "hijack" the thread, but I had a question about booking "part" of the group. Well, a few questions. So we're all newbies, except for ONE person who had ONE prior Disney Cruise. Party1 - dad & wife (wife is silver Castaway) Party 2 - sister, husband, 2 kids Party 3 - me and buddy Party 2 would like to schedule one of those character breakfast/lunches for each child. Given that we're traveling on Fantasy in January, it's high season with bigger ship. How would one go about trying to book at the 90 days out for the kids to do the breakfast/lunch thingy? I've only ever done bookings like when we were at Disney last year so I could book for others, so not sure if I can book for the Silver person, or if she has to login and book as herself to get the 90-day part? Thanks in advance!
  4. Thank you very much! We'll hold a small chance that we get a cabana, but otherwise, will scope out a spot for the umbrellas. I'm sure it will be fine. Do they have people that come around (even at the umbrellas) to offer/sell you drinks? I'd forgotten about the Drink of the Day, thanks for that!
  5. Not sure if this will help, but: In addition to discounted GC (sometimes you can get them close to 10% off), if you have a timeshare that's affiliated with SFX Travel Store, you can use your savings dollars/credits for money off a cruise. (in my case about $400 cheaper than Disney site). Or there's another site that competes for cruises (not sure if we can post the URL), but we ended up using that service and it came to about $450 cheaper per cabin, so that helped (IMO). We'll pay the balance with our discounted Disney cards. I've got the old Sears Credit card (issued by Citibank) that has 15% cash rebate on "supermarkets" up to $120/month so I bought $800 in Disney cards this month and I'll do another $800 next month.
  6. So if I'm reading correctly, there's like two sets of Cabanas on Castaway Cay? Serenity Bay for adults only (and I think someone said there's only 4 of them) and Castaway Cay/Family Beach which has 20 Cabanas? I found this site useful. https://dclprepschool.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-castaway-cay-cabanas/ Not getting our hopes up, but there's far worse things if we don't get one, LOL! It sounds like your stuff is safe on the beach if you decide to leave it by your chair to go into the water, but you never know.
  7. Thanks to both of you for the pool pictures/etc!
  8. Again, many thanks!!!! I'm sure as long as the weather is nice, (not that Disney or anyone else can control that), and nobody gets sick, we'll have a great time. Typically we're freezing our butts off in NY that time of year, so sun and beaches/snorkeling and adult beverages and I'm happy. 🙂
  9. Thank you for the info/confirmations. In the event we can't score a Cabana, I think I read that there's some umbrellas or something you can use by a diff. area. I plan on trying some of the snorkeling, so I'll have to look up where that's actually located. Plus of course, lounging in the sun and having adult beverages. LOL! Off to research Castay Cay some more.
  10. First time Disney cruisers (family trip) on Fantasy upcoming Jan 23, 2021. I've been on other cruises (hopefully they show up in my signature). I'm fairly certain I've searched before posting, but sometimes my keyword skills aren't the best, plus some of stickies seemed a bit outdated/old (2014/2015), so wasn't sure if they still applied. OK here goes: 1) If I read correctly there's no drink packages available, it's basically Pay as you go? Which is fine, I don't think we've ever ordered a package before. I did find some online menu/drink prices, so they're within reason. I see that there's 2 for 1 happy hour for that Cove area. 2) For those that drink beer, there's a refillable beer mug (you can exchange for a token? and carry that around instead)? 3) WiFi is included/free for 50mb/day? (Wasn't sure on this one). Are there additional packages/faster speeds you can buy? (Ironically the Wifi on our least fav. cruise--MSC --was very good and we had the "highest" package). Carnival's WiFi (highest package) was very good as well (WiFi calling on T-Mobile worked fine on both lines). However, not sure if disney blocks T-Mobile Wifi stuff (ie, on planes, depending on their provider, the wifi texting may be blocked so you have to rely on iMessage for iPhone to iPhone or What'sApp). 4) all rooms have 2 Wave phones for texting/calling each other? if you don't want to use your cell phone? 5) There's 2 adults-only pool areas on Fantasy? How crowded do these get (ie, do I need to get up at 6:00 and be a CHOG?) Biggest issue we had on all cruises except our last Carnival one (we paid extra for the Havana area and now we're spoiled) was pool/hot tub/chair availability. 6) Castaway Cay - sounds like we can reserve/purchase/rent Cabanas if we want them? Is there a window upon which this booking can take place? (ie X days before sailing, etc.)? 7) Last (for now), this always causes a big poop-storm, but I like to stir up things (LOL): There's HDMI connections/ports on the in-room TV's? (I think I only found old confirmation from like 2016 on the disboards, so wasn't sure if it still applied). If one is adventurous to try to watch some previously downloaded content/shows (some of us are old--haha) and go to "bed" and like to watch a show or two before falling to sleep. I know, I know, the "why are you watching TV on a cruise, blah blah". haha. Thanks in advance!!!
  11. Thanks Shmoo! We're all set. The nice lady at the Cruise Vacation Outlet took care of everything for us. Yay! Now, off to research DCL and the Fantasy some more and probably ask more dumb questions (a lot of the "sticky" articles seem really old/outdated, so will have to roll up my shirt sleeves and do lots of searching)
  12. Hi all, I'm about to book our first Disney cruise (not direct via Disney). My sister and her family will be in a Deluxe Family Verandah and we will be in a regular Verandah (two separate cabins). I thought I read/heard somewhere that you needed to book both items together so that you can keep the dinner reservations/parties together? I'm only familiar with something like this once in the past, but that was with Royal Caribbean and you didn't have to book at the same time, just had to get the booking #'s and login to the website and "link" them together. Just wanted to get all my ducks in a row before I called and booked something with the OTA. Thanks!
  13. Thanks for the info @ronbe65. I'm sure the YC will be better than Vista Havana area, but it was the only thing that Carnival has that is "close" in the sense of restricted/dedicated pool, hot tub, bar area. I think that's one of the big points that are important to us, so YC definitely. I like the open design (or whatever you call it) of Seaside, so I'm leaning towards that, although I read (even recent reviews) about the sewer smell or whatever that is still in the rooms. However, I will admit, I've not gone through the CC reviews of just the YC rooms. I noticed that for Mereviglia, anyway, YC room lead to a more positive experience. The rooms are a tad larger, but then again, how much time does one spend in room? Also, thank you for the Nov and March/April for Caribbean info. I forgot about the MSC private island now, so that would be a plus as well. Thanks again!
  14. Thanks all. If you're wondering here's my previous review/experience with MSC, so it seemed the YC (for us) would've solved a lot of the issues (not all). I believe a few folks who were in YC or Aurea experience had better experiences as well. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2348089-divina-12616-10-night-exotic-cruise-review/?tab=comments#comment-50533932
  15. It was a while ago that we were on MSC Divina. Didn't have a great experience. We both vowed the only way we'd do MSC again is if we could do the Yacht Club. Since that was a little over 3 years ago, obviously my Voyager Club expired (I had status matched from Hilton Gold at the time). We would only do the Seaside or Meraviglia as we have no desire to do Divina again. 1) I read that I would re-apply/register for Voyager's Club. OK, no biggie (will probably have to use a diff. email so they don't mess up the accounts). 2) Can I re-status match again? (I'm Hilton Diamond now). I didn't see anything in the 1 page TC document that stated you could only status match once. 3) I'm a State (not federal) government employee (USA) - not sure if I can combine discounts or how that works, but just figured I'd ask anyway. OK, now to the more interesting questions: 1) Does MSC still have issues with customer service (I would say incompetence where they screw up something and it's somehow your fault and it takes a lot of pain/time to get items squared away or refunded)? 2) Debating about the 8 or 15 night cruises. To be honest, I really liked the Divina itinerary we were on, but would try a diff. ship. We've done Cozumel to death, although wouldn't mind going back to San Juan or BVI (St. Thomas). The 15 night cruises seem to really be two 7-nights with Miami in the middle, so leaning towards the 8-night one. Unless I can find an "interesting" (exotic) itinerary on Seaside/Meraviglia. 3) We normally do balcony, but it seems that the Yacht Club deluxe suites are all booked/sold out for about as far out as I can see, so obviously those go very fast (we would prefer to go when it's colder here in New York, so Dec-Feb). I was wondering about thoughts on possibly getting the Yacht Club Interior since we have access to the Yacht Club deck/pool area, plus there's a rather large price difference on some of the cruises. 4) Pros/Cons of Seaside vs. Meraviglia? I think I'm more about the Itinerary, but the ship would factor into the decision as well. I like the Cirque du Soleil, but also liked the Seaside balconies, although we may not be able to get one (or afford one). I haven't written a review for our last cruise on the Carnival Vista, but we had booked the Havana Cabana and really liked the "Havana-only" area, so I think the Yacht Club would resolve most of our issue with our past MSC cruise. (Yes, the Yacht Club is better than Havana Cabana, based on what I see so far). I'll just try to remember to not pre-order anything since I don't think anything except the Internet order went well last time. (Certainly not the wine/canape order for the room and the drink tickets which I know have been discontinued). I'll attempt to read more about the two ships to decide. We'd probably be looking at a 2021 date (Dec. 2020-Feb 2021), or just wait a few more months to see what shows up for Dec. 2021-Feb 2022. Thanks for any advice/insight.
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