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coldweather

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  1. Although not all of the beaches are listed, I answered my own question. Posting here for others who may be in need of taxi info. http://www.antiguanice.com/v2/page.php?page=25
  2. Hello. Lots of discussion about some fantastic beach choices. I didn't see the cost of cab fare to these beaches. Any cab fare info from the cruise port to: Turners Beach Darkwood Beach Ffryes Beach Runaway Beach Dickenson's Beach TIA
  3. Thanks for the great discussion. Do you recall if there are any restrooms in the walled city?
  4. We can make show reservations 120 days out. Does anyone know what time the reservations open? Midnight eastern time? Sometime else?
  5. Thank you for your review. There is not much action on this board. Nice to see a review. Thank you!
  6. I called the phone number on the Aida website during German business hours. I used Skype. The person answering the phone spoke English and booked our cruise. I had to call back a few times and each time the person answering the phone spoke English. My confirming and follow up emails are in German. I get a weekly email that is in German. It is easy to translate with online tools. So far the emails are about things like making sure your passport is current, booking excursions, etc. I am sure there will be a few surprises but that is all part of the adventure!
  7. There were no lobsters on the Fascination buffet in January.
  8. I also do not get an internet package. I try my best to pick up some wifi while in ports. Something to think about.... I have had serious conversations with family about what to do in an "emergency." Here is what we have come up with. This applies to all travel not just cruises. Medical Emergencies: 1. We have designated 1 person who will make any contact with me about an emergency situation. This person also has electronic copies of our passports in case we have the emergency. 🙂 2. Well in advance I have had conversations with this family member about reaching out to me for an emergency. We have agreed to be specific on what she wants me to do. For example, if she contacts me to tell me that grandpa is in the hospital. Is she just keeping me in the loop so I can keep grandpa in my thoughts and prayers or is she asking me to get off the ship, make my way to an airport, buy a ticket and fly home? 3. If you ask me to fly home, what is it you expect of me when I return? If grandpa is still in the hospital am I immediately needed at home? Maybe I have some role in support/care after grandpa is released from the hospital. Back to the original question..... are you asking me to fly home now? Why? 4. We have also had the discussion about the "fly home" option. Many times the cruise port is not near an airport. It may take up to a few days to be at a port that has an airport. You could be at sea for a few days. You could be at one of the private islands and need to get to a larger port so you can then make your way to the airport. It is not as easy as another type of land based vacation might be to just go to the airport and change an existing return flight. If the person contacting you does not travel much, they may not understand the logistics and costs to changing travel plans. House/Pet Emergencies: 1. We have a trusted neighbor look after our pet and our home. For the home, our neighbor is provided with a good friend contact who will make any decisions and financial commitments that may need to be made in a true urgent emergency. Think of a tree branch falling through your roof. Who do you want to handle that in your absence? 2. For our pet, we have provided our neighbor with instructions on how to handle a medical emergency? I got this idea from the neighbor as they had a sick pet and the neighbor was going 1/2 way around the world with limited wifi access. We had the hard talk about what she wanted me to do. Under what circumstances should I take the pet to the vet? What amount are you authorizing me to spend on your pet? What if the vet recommends putting the pet down? All travel has the risk that you may not be close by for any kind of event. My suggestion is to identify emergency contacts and have a discussion on expectations. Then..... go enjoy your cruise!!
  9. I agree with the previous posters. I was on the Fascination in January. Not crowded. There were lines for Guys burgers and Blue Iguana but they moved very quickly. It is a great ship with a nice port intensive itinerary. The crew was wonderful. Enjoy!
  10. I have been on deck 4 before and like it. It is quiet when sailing. Also, because you are lower and closer to the water, you will have less motion if the ship starts rocking. I traveled with a person who could not climb stairs. It was perfect. Each time we boarded the elevator from deck 4 there was an empty elevator. No worries. Think of the money you saved with the GTY. Enjoy.
  11. If you don't mind packing up, consider 2 consecutive cruises on 2 different ships or cruise lines. The past 2 years we did this and just love it. You book a cruise you really want to take. Then look at all of the ships that sail just prior to or just after this cruise from the same port. In San Juan we just packed our stuff at the conclusion of the first cruise and walked across the pier and boarded the 2nd cruise. The reason I like to do this is I get to experience the newness of the 2nd cruise. New ship. New cruise director. New restaurants, etc. We like to mix up cruise lines. Last year we did a Carnival followed by a Royal Caribbean. This year we did a Carnival followed by NCL. It is fun to see the similarities and the differences.
  12. I forgot one. Carnival Fascination has guest, self-serve laundry. Bring quarters or plan to wait online at guest services to make change for quarters. It is an older ship and does not use your room card to charge the laundry fee. NCL Dawn does not have any self serve guest laundry. They do have a service where you can send out your laundry and they will wash it for you for a charge. (I don't know what the charge is.)
  13. I see on some of my posts, the system corrected my grades of A, B, C etc to emojis. That was not my original intent. I think from the text you get the point. Enjoy!
  14. (Post 4 of 4) GENERAL/OTHER/RANDOM: Adult Only Pool Area: Carnival Fascination: Grade A: They offer a complimentary area for adults only that is called Serenity. It is quiet. No sound track playing. Nice loungers with cushions. A bar and waiter service available. NCL Dawn: Grade N/A: No dedicated adult only area. (There is a dedicated children’s area off the back of the ship.) Fitness Center: Carnival Fascination: Grade A: The fitness center was in the front of the ship with many windows. You could be using the equipment looking at the Ocean. I used this every morning. NCL Dawn: Grade F: The fitness center was in a dark, dingy area. The equipment is against a wall with mirrors. When running on the treadmill you stare at yourself. It was poorly laid out and not inviting. I used it 1 day and then moved outside to the walking track. Guest Services Desk: Carnival Fascination: Grade F: The lines are always long. There is a dedicated line for guests with platinum status or who purchased the Faster to the Fun package. It is like Carnival wants this line to be long and slow so guest who have a dedicated line can feel they are getting a benefit for their status. NCL Dawn: Grade A: The line always moved along quickly. Beverage Policy: We did not have beverage packages on either cruise. Carnival Fascination: Grade A: Passengers are allowed to bring one 750ml bottle of wine per person for no charge. Additionally, you may bring 6 cans of soda per passenger. You must carry the beverages on yourself. NCL Dawn: Grade 😄 No beverages may be carried on with the exception of wine. Wine may be carried on with a corkage fee of $15/bottle. On previous NCL cruises I have had the beverage package as an included “perk” so I did not pay much attention to the beverage carry-on policy. Documents/Final invoice: Carnival Fascination: Grade A: Easy to complete check in. Flow was clear and easy to complete. 1 document for each person. Prints on 1 page. In general, I found the user experience better on the Carnival website. The guest invoice on the ship was easy to read and understand. NCL Dawn: Grade B: Check in was ok. Print spills over to multiple pages. 1 document for the cabin. The guest invoice was not user friendly. In all fairness we had a lot of charges and perk-credit for 9 shore excursions. Conclusions: Carnival lives up to its brand as the fun ship! NCL is a step over Carnival in luxury. Each ship and brand does an excellent job. As a customer it is important that you select the brand, ship and sailing that meets your interests and your expected level of service. Keep traveling!
  15. (Post 3 of 4) ENTERTAINMENT Broadway style shows: Carnival Fascination: Grade C We went to the All Board preview show the first night. The dancers/singers were ok. The aerialists were great. Magician was entertaining. NCL Dawn: Grade B : Much better dancers/singers. Comedy: There is a very clear difference between the brands for comedy. Carnival has a lounge called the Punchline Comedy club. The comedians are highlighted entertainment. Carnival Fascination: Grade A: On a 7-night cruise there were 4 nights of comedy with 5 shows and 2 comedians each night. The first 2 shows were family friendly. The later 3 shows were adults only. For the later shows, they make an announcement asking children to leave. They also announce if you are easily offended, you will be so please exit the lounge. I like that they don’t dumb down the comedy to fit the masses. The comedy is packed every night. You need to arrive a bit early to get a seat. NCL Comedy: Grade 😄 They had 2 comedians over a 10-day cruise. Both performed in the main theater. Not a very intimate comedy setting. The comedians provided generic comedy that is rated G. Comedy is clearly not a focus for NCL. General Music: Carnival Fascination: Grade A: There were music venues each night in addition to the comedy club and the main theater show. There was a Latin music band, Dance music band, 70s/80s. As we were sailing from Puerto Rico, there were a lot of Puerto Rican families onboard. The Latin music band was fantastic and packed every night. It was the fun place to be. Carnival sail away each day had a DJ playing fun, Caribbean music. The general sound track that played around the ship in the hallways was 70s and 80s classics. NCL Dawn: Grade B: The music was subtler. There were duets and slow music. There was a live band for the sail away for each port. The general soundtrack around the ship was easy listening. I found the music a bit dull. I don’t recall this from my prior NCL cruises but the music catered to the older average age of the passengers.
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