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edspec

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Everything posted by edspec

  1. Very cool, this is something I would enjoy.
  2. This. I don’t worry about someone breaking into my house, don’t worry about someone breaking into my cruise cabin. I’m a very soon to be 61 year old woman and it doesn’t scare me to travel alone now, and didn’t in my younger days either. I don’t understand all the paranoia and self-importance. Trust me, people are focused on themselves and their stuff, not you or your belongings.
  3. Thank-you so much. We had better make the most of this, w/ prices like the above this will never happen again.
  4. We are in Star Class this coming week and I have two questions: 1. How to tip the Genie? Cash or onboard account? 2. We got a great deal on a two bedroom aqua-theater suite, at least I think it's a great deal, $9700 for the three of us for an 8 day cruise. Is it realistic to think I can get that price or lower on Star Class in the future? Yes, I know, post-Covid world, etc... TIA
  5. We've cruised and enjoyed both Allure and Panorama. The cost and nuisance of flying to Florida or Texas is not a deal breaker for me, but living in California I've been trending towards Panorama, Princess, or NCL. Yes, I love the Oasis class experience, we're actually on Harmony the 26th of this month, but for February I've booked Panorama. Navigator's 7 day cruises haven't coincided w/ my school's breaks so haven't been able to try her yet. The comedy club, the included food choices, and specialty restaurants are wonderful on Panorama. Also, and this most likely has no bearing for the OP, Carnival was wonderful with our autistic son last July. The service couldn't have been better, it made a huge difference to our family. I really hope that Carnival starts doing some new, longer itineraries when the Costa ship comes over in 2024.
  6. Got a great deal on the transatlantic, $330 for solo inside, w/ $200 obc. It was a casino offer, don't know why I'm getting those all of a sudden since I've never put even a nickle into the slots or played any table games, but the second time in the past two weeks that I've been able to book a very inexpensive cruise.
  7. You don’t have to be outgoing to enjoy cruising solo. I’m introverted and have never had a problem. It is a great way to truly relax and as many have said you don’t have to compromise on meals, activities, or shows. Another vote for the solo lounge and the coffee machine, loved it.
  8. I haven't tried Q Texas Smokehouse but I can say I love Food Republic and always eat there if it's an option. I usually pay a la cart as the prices are reasonable and the dining credit gives you four items which is way too much...I won't make that mistake again.
  9. Just off the Sun. Great service, food excellent, loved the Great Outdoors. Don’t miss the Frank Sinatra tribute, watched it twice last night. Would definitely sail on this ship again.
  10. Thanks all for your help, appreciate it.
  11. Going on a cruise w/ a friend, separate cabins. I'm a wine drinker, w/ lots of water and other non-alcoholic drinks during the day. If I order a bottle of wine at dinner am I allowed to share? Had the package for a solo cruise in January and the waiters really encouraged me to order a whole bottle each night, but I generally went w/ the one or two glasses I would normally drink. Don't want to cheat on the plan, because that is why we all pay the high prices we do. If consensus is that I shouldn't share than I will order the glass vs. bottle.
  12. Now gloves are another matter. DS wears black leather gloves EVERYWHERE! DH and I think in response to the initial chatter that you could get Covid from surfaces. Shorts, light shirt, flip flops and gloves. Oh well, as he ages his hands will look great.
  13. I probably could have tried pushing the issue, but DS doesn't like to see any type of argument or confrontation, and tbh the service had been so outstanding I didn't want to argue about something that was my fault. We'll reserve again for next time, and I'll make sure DS has long pants.
  14. Inspired by@JillK and her excellent review, I've decided to share my family's experience on 9-16 Panorama sailing. My 32 year old son is autistic, and the pandemic has effectively isolated him for the past 2.5 years. DH and I are both pretty sure the staff at his day program scared the life out of him in regards to Covid. Then his day program shut down and even though programs have started up they are not the 9-3 M-F as they were. In person two half days a week, then virtual, basically a much diminished service...which doesn't matter to DS because he refused to go back anyway. All the above to say that I was desperate to get DS out of the house and experiencing life again. He did not share the same drive and was unhappy every time I talked about the cruise (often 🙂 ) Lots of stress leading up to the trip, and don't get me started on the testing! Lots of fun with DS and it took the results forever to come back. We drove down from the Sacramento area the day before and didn't get DS's negative test back until we were at the Grapevine. Checked into our hotel, Residence Inn Long Beach downtown. Nice hotel, good breakfast, and right on the sea walk which leads to the cruise terminal. I didn't realize this until we checked in and that fact changed our embarkation morning. I was stressed that the parking garage, (DS is often afraid of parking garages), would upset DS, but given the easy walk I had DH take the bags down early, park, and walk back. The plan was to have a leisurely morning and leave the hotel at noon, with time for a slow walk until our arrival time of 12:30. DS was super quick getting ready and we ended up at the terminal at 11:15. Not good. I explained to the gentleman in charge of the 12:30 line and he immediately walked us into the terminal and got our initial check-in taken care of. Then we went to special access and the person there sent us to someone who completed the check-in and walked us immediately onto the ship. Incredible service. I'd communicated with special needs before the trip as I didn't want a long time in the terminal because DS won't wear a mask and I didn't want his lack of mask scaring people or others yelling at him for not wearing it and scaring him. Woohoo, so we're on the ship! We had connecting balcony cabins on 9 aft, great choice and I'd book these again. Super easy to Lido deck. I did hear people above a couple of nights but it wasn't that big a deal. We booked close to sailing and got stuck with late dining, and I'd explained to special needs that we needed our own table. Was thrilled to find that we had early dining at a great table. Here's a hint, request table #300 in the Vista dining room if anyone in your party is ASD. The table has a wall behind, a wall on one side, and huge window on the other. Quiet and great views, the absolutely best table we've ever had on any ship. Servers were great and accommodating of DS. We ate at Pig and Anchor for dinner twice. Once because I didn't read the fine print and we showed up at the steakhouse w/ DS in shorts. I hadn't packed him any long pants so all of a sudden we needed somewhere to eat so tried the P and A. Service was outstanding and DH and DS loved the food. I loved the onion rings...I'd been eating all day and wasn't that hungry. Went back again another night and the server remembered us and our drink orders, super nice guy. Food in general was great. It always makes me laugh when people say there isn't enough selection at the buffet....really? I wonder what these people make at home? I personally do not do 5 different versions of eggs every morning, or toast 10 different kinds of bread, etc... DH and I did Teppanyaki lunch one day. Fun, and they cooked our filet rare as requested, but I wouldn't need to do this again. Activities were enjoyable. DH and I had a lovely afternoon sitting in the Ocean Plaza playing trivia games and eating the strawberry cheesecake from Java Blue. If you like cheesecake I'd definitely recommend trying this one. Disembarkation was handled in the same manner as embarkation. I spoke to a woman in guest services the day before, and we were whisked off the ship quickly and with a minimum of fuss. Carnival's service was outstanding. DS enjoyed the cruise and wants to go again, so a win.
  15. Given the time frame why would anyone be interested? That ship has sailed.
  16. I was VERY nervous about my April Princess cruise due to what I read on these boards. I envisioned a crowd of wizened entitled cranks yelling at me to get out of their hallway. The reality was completely different as the people I met on the ship were lovely. These boards do Princess no favors, unfortunate for those of us who want to find information before sailing.
  17. Thank-you @KmomChicago for breakfast tower recommendation. I ordered a couple days ago and loved it, the egg salad was wonderful, lots of fresh dill which was great but something I’m too lazy to add at home. Indian vegetarian entree wonderful as others have said. The breakfast bowl lists farro as an ingredient so I was envisioning at least half a cup.Garnish size at best. If I ordered again I would ask for more. DH and DS have taken a liking to Guy’s at night. DH said it was the best Mac and cheese ever…better than mine made with a traditional white sauce or the Ina Garten overnight version I’ve been making of late.
  18. Great review, thank-you so much. Have been hesitant to book the Pride but this itinerary is less than half the price of another ship next summer. Your travel notes are very helpful and exactly the info I’ve been looking for.
  19. Thank-you to the previous poster that mentioned the candied salmon appetizer. I had it last night and it was wonderful.
  20. We've cruised DCL, HAL, MSC, NCL, RCL, Princess, and Carnival. I like them all for different things. I will say that DH and I absolutely loved our MSC cruise. Great variety of food, a beautiful two bedroom suite for a reasonable price, good entertainment, and the pizza was wonderful. I could eat pizza every meal so that was a biggie for me. Tried Princess earlier this year and while I'll definitely sail with them again I hated their pizza. No flavor dough, sweet sauce, bad toppings. Speaking of Princess enjoyed the many quiet areas to sit, lower volume music, and daily activities. The medallion is genius, and one of the reasons I was so taken with them. At this time you can use the medallion to order drink and food options to your room free of charge, unlike other lines where you have to pay for drinks delivered to your room even w/ a drink package, and room service generally has a fee. They also have good itineraries. DS loves RCL Oasis class, so when a ship is the destination that is our choice. NCL I like for itineraries, the solo cabins, great specialty restaurants, and entertainment, at least on the newer ships. I'm sailing on the Sun in September and interested to see what entertainment is like on an older, smaller ship. Carnival...with Panorama driving distance it is an easy choice for us. We enjoy the comedy club and the included food options, as well as specialty choices. It is a relaxing cruise which is sometimes exactly what I'm looking for. I'm 60 and the hassles of travel have definitely impacted my recent choices. DH and I want to book a Viking cruise, so see that happening soon. Neither of us has any interest in paying the high cost of ship w/in a ship...with a price tag that large we can sail a higher end line.
  21. We will be on the Panorama on July 9th, and wondering what parking looks like if you arrive at 1? I wish I could reserve and prepay, but that isn't an option.
  22. $6.50 a gallon here, good times! So happy to see this, I've been wanting to book the Mardi Gras so looking forward to your always wonderful review.
  23. I'm a voracious reader, but realized many years ago that if I was going to have a wide range of reading material I had to go electronic or borrow from the library. I still love "real" books but given the dearth of bookstores I generally go to my library for hardbacks, and I buy Kindle of whatever the library doesn't carry. I read the NYT review of books, Amazon's books of the month and other review sites and put interesting titles on my library waitlist. It works pretty well, and I've gone from spending approximately $400/month on books to about $30, and I always get the newest titles quickly. For a vacation I'll load 6-8 on my Kindle, but it is always a bonus to find a library on a ship. NCL's newest ships generally carry a small but nice selection, with a real library, not just shelves in a game room. Granted, I used to love my pre-vacation book store stop, but I can't turn time backwards and I'm not going to give up reading just because I don't care for the medium.
  24. Worked for my July 9th Panorama, thank-you. Bought cruise cash for tips and Chef's Table and cancelling/repurchasing drink packages.
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