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About gratamama

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  1. I'm still on the fence about our April 11 cruise, but I am concerned about employees (esp. entertainment folks) jumping from one ship to another.
  2. I wonder if the risk of cruise cancellation (on their part) is keeping rates higher? this is complicated math for them, right?
  3. Hi all, We looked a last minute-ish cruise this week for spring break. This is our 5th or so cruise on Carnival. Before I booked, I wanted to make sure Your Time dining was still available - bc if it was not we would maybe consider a different boat. Anyway, PVP said yes. I am looking through docs and all it says is that dining is Confirmed but it doesn't explicitly say Your Time. I don't remember this from other trips. Does this look right to you? TIA!
  4. Thanks for this review. Our family (12 people in all - 4 cabins) is doing the Seaside this Christmas. We've got a different itinerary and I'm so looking forward to this. Question How was your large group accommodated in the dining room? Any other "big group" tips?
  5. Hi all, Considering an RC cruise and have never done CocoCay. I know the beach club is extra- is the other stuff included. (My boys will insist on the water park stuff.) TIA!
  6. Hi all, Looks like Deck 5 on MSC Seaside is the first passenger deck. Right now Oceanview bella and fantastica are only offered on Deck 5. Is this level OK in terms of noise? Anyone experienced this deck? I think its a porthole deck which is sort of a bummer, but I'm more concerned about noise. Looks like Deck 6 forward is the theater and Deck 6 Mid is the lobby. TIA!
  7. These are all really helpful points, and maybe my information about Eataly is outdated. I looked into Yacht Club but I think those options are basically gone, unless we all got suites, which is not happening. I'm sure we'll all survive ;) However, I looked at things a bit more closely and I may suggest Seaside over Meraviglia to my parents. It seems like that ship is a bit stronger in the pool/outside game and that's what we're all there for anyway. And, as PP mentioned pasta on board is great wherever you eat it. We can do Eataly any day we want here in Chicago anyway.
  8. Hi all, My parents are celebrating their 50th (!!) wedding anniversary in 2020 and they so very graciously want to treat our group of 12 (4 cabins) to a vacation. We're a diverse group of age and lifestyles, so it looks like maybe a Christmas break trip, and more specifically a cruise. We've done Carnival and RC before - never MSC. Looking at Meraviglia for 12/20/20 or 12/27/20 sailings. This ship looks beautiful and it looks like it can have a lot for our group (4 kids ages 6-16) and my active 72 yo parents. Also considering this is for my parents to enjoy, I love that its a little more glam. My mom is a lover of Europe/ Italy specifically and i can see her enjoying Eataly, Cirque de Soleil, etc. It might be silly but a few things give me pause on this ship over something like maybe the newer Carnival ships. Are any of these justified? Or tell me they are easily surmountable? 1. To get the equivalent of My Time dining, it looks like added cost, which is maybe not in the cards? correct? 2. I know this sounds insanely silly, but no soft serve ice cream machines? That is my kids' favorite part?!?! 🙂 3. Evening entertainment for kids: beside shows, what's available? I don't think they do movies on the big screen? I say all the time that I want something different/classier than Carnival/ RC, but maybe that's not totally true!?!?
  9. I will second a trip to Uxmal. It was absolutely amazing, and one of the most memorable days EVER. Also, it was incredibly hot. There is a little restaurant at the site, and after thoroughly discovering the grounds, we drank enormous quantities of horchata.
  10. Thank you! Is it just old and small, or also shabby/ in poor condition?
  11. Hi all, We've cruised Carnival and RC but today I see a GREAT fare on MSC Armonia. The price is so, so good. What do I need to know about MSC? Am I missing a major detail? No food or something???
  12. Hi, We finished an 8-night exotic Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Conquest last month. We had a great time and LOVED our ports. This was our 5th cruise - 4 on Carnival and 1 on RC. I am not dissatisfied with Carnival, but I do think next time I want to try a different line. We are a family of 4 - two boys ages 14 and 4. Looking for recommendations for a line/ particular boat: Things we really liked about Carnival: Carnival is priced great, gotta love that - that said we will pay more - but probably not Disney prices Excellent staff/service We enjoy those comedy shows and outdoor movies I might be wrong but cabin sizes might have been a smidge better on Carnival than RC? Up til now, we have had all 4 of us in one cabin. (Might change) Things we weren't so into: We love pool time, but our ship had so much loud, nonstop music on Lido, DH and I felt we had headaches at the end of the day (and not from booze!) Also, I can live without another hairy chest contest or twerking. ;) That said, wish Carnival still had live music on Lido Shows so far on Carnival were really so-so. We've been on 1 RC cruise and I don't know if its fair to base everything on that, but it seemed higher quality Most Carnival ships are kind of loud décor wise, however not a deal breaker for us Edited to add: Oh, and we have no use for casinos and tried to avoid Deck 5 because of all the smoking yuckiness. Can this be avoided? Thanks!
  13. We're just off the Conquest. Overall great trip, but I looked through buffet several days for lunch and usually came up pretty not into the offerings. Did Guys/ deli/ BBQ instead. So even so it didn't appeal, there are still options!
  14. BTW, I did have the wrong email address (duh!!! and Thanks!!!) We're all set - looking forward to this!
  15. I'm not a casino person, so I can't comment. I wouldn't be surprised to hear Serenity Deck was busy but that's because it is in the most awesome aft location. Absolutely great location for serenity
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