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Everything posted by sailawaybellaluna

  1. Just got off the Imagination this week, and the Platinum gift I received was a rubber luggage tag.
  2. Hi cruisers! Any recent reviews or photos from the MSC Opera? We're sailing her out of Venice this summer, and I'm hardly seeing anything recent on the boards. Thank you!
  3. Thanks everyone for your responses! We sail on her this spring, but I just haven't been seeing too much about her on the boards. It was a difficult decision between booking the 6-night on the Freedom or the 5-night on the Dream, but in the end, we wanted the extra night - especially since it is Mahogany Bay - a port my children really love! I appreciate the opinions and advice. We have a balcony cabin on deck 7!
  4. Hi all, I've been hoping to find some recent reviews on the Freedom, but I'm coming up short. Has anyone that has sailed her lately want to share their experience or point me to a more recent review? Even the search function doesn't seem to bring up much for me. Thank you!
  5. I would get the notarized paperwork for sure! My experience is a bit different. I am NOT divorced, but I frequently cruise and fly internationally with my two children without their father/my husband (or he meets us at the destination). I also still have my maiden name, therefore different from our kids on passports. I have been asked several times not only to prove I'm the mother, but also that I have permission to take our children internationally. In terms of cruising, I had to provide the notarized letter in August in the port of Seattle, in June, 2016 in the port of Athens, Greece, and in November, 2013 in the port of Southampton, England. I've done lots of cruises in between times with no one asking for anything. But it's better to be safe than get denied. In these three instances I specifically asked the staff if I would have been denied boarding without the letter (plus birth certificates) and they said YES!
  6. Oh wonderful! I would really appreciate if you report back! Have a wonderful trip!
  7. Great suggestions, thank you so much! Yes, if the seaweed is terrible we may stay at the port as well!
  8. Hello all, We will be in Mahogany Bay this upcoming April onboard the Carnival Freedom. Last time we were there (onboard the HAL Rotterdam), I was able to pre-book the flying chairs as an excursion option for my family. I don't see this as an option this time. I know they aren't really necessary, but my kids loved them and we rode them around and around! 🙂 I want to make sure: *Are the chairs still operating? *Do we just purchase tickets onshore at the ticket booth? Thank you!
  9. I've been scouring the boards trying to decide on what to do during our day in Costa Maya this April... Last time we were there, we spent the afternoon out at Maya Chan. We loved the service and food, but admittedly, we aren't really big drinkers or eaters. This time around, we are in port from 1 - 8pm, so we will probably eat lunch onboard the ship and return for dinner in the main dining room. So, I'm hesitant to book an AI sort of beach club for $50+/person when we won't be there during a proper meal time. I've requested loungers at Tropicante and I'm thinking we will probably just do a few drinks/snacks. Is this a good idea? Any other suggestions for our group? Thank you!
  10. Hello, I'm getting ready to cruise out of Long Beach in February, and received an email that the parking structure is closed. I've cruised on Carnival out of that port several times, and always parked in that cruise structure, so I'm not sure what the alternatives are? The letter said to Uber, but I am in South Orange County, and that's a $80/way Uber ride, minimum. The Queen Mary offers exorbitant parking costs, even if we spend the night prior there... Any other reasonable options in Long Beach? At the moment I'm considering parking at the Pike Outlet Parking Structure ($16/day) and taking the quick Uber ride ($6) to the pier. Would love your advice! I'm also open to spending the night in a hotel that offers extended parking if it's not $400... Thanks!
  11. Thanks everyone! The price on the Freedom ended up dropping even further, and since my family LOVED Mahogony Bay, we went for it and booked it yesterday!
  12. Thanks for your feedback! We've been to all the ports before, but the Freedom is an extra $300 for our family of 4 and includes Mahogany Bay (which we really like). My kids loved the chair lifts on the beach last time we were there...I usually plan around $100/person/day on average if we're not in Europe, so an extra $300 and a port we like is why I'm tempted to go with Freedom. But the Dream does seem like a "nicer" ship!? Plus my kids love the Chipmunks movie that they filmed onboard! 🙂 I'm appreciating everyone's feedback!
  13. You're lucky! Our home port in Southern California only does 3 and 4-night sailings. So they are notorious for bachelor/bachelorette parties and can get crazy! I still take the risk in going because they have great service, good food, and I enjoy any cruise regardless of who's around me! 🙂
  14. Wow! Thanks so much for your feedback! I too have sailed the Breeze (in the Med during her inaugural season) and so far, she is my favorite Carnival ship! Happy you were wowed by the Freedom! I do love the wrap around promenade on Deck 5, but I don't enjoy crowds. How were the passengers on the Freedom? I know some Carnival ships are known to be more "booze cruises", and we're not really boozy cruisers. 🙂
  15. Hello, I'm debating on booking the 5-night Dream for my family next April (great price, we like the ports). But then I noticed the 6-night on the Freedom with the same itinerary also includes a stop in Mahogany Bay, which my kids really loved! The price for the extra night is comparable and we'd be doing a balcony cabin on both. It seems overall that the Dream is just a much nicer ship?! I've been on a good number of Carnival cruises but never either of these ships! I'd love your feedback, especially if you've sailed both. Thank you!
  16. Thank you for your review! I'm taking my almost 4-year old daughter on the Joy for a girls' trip next week and am so excited! Did you notice any venues with live music during the day? On our last few cruises (Holland America) they've had violinists performing and she was mesmerized. We went every day to listen! She goes to bed around 8:30pm usually on vacation, so I don't think we'll be hitting up any of the late night music venues, but wasn't sure what the vibe was like during the afternoon?
  17. I'll be sailing on the Joy in a couple of weeks, and it's been nearly 12 years since I've sailed Norwegian! I'm wondering if they offer any sort of proper afternoon tea in the dining rooms? On recent Holland America cruises we have really found ourselves loving the daily afternoon tea. I was surprised it was even offered on port days, and was something my children really enjoyed! I haven't read anything about it on the NCL board, but wanted to ask and double check. Thanks!
  18. Thank you! Also wondering if there are any favorites amongst the free main dining rooms? I have just made most of our reservations for dinner each night in the Manhattan, with only one reservation in each Savor and Taste. My understanding is that Savor and Taste are both opened for lunch on sea days - is that right?
  19. We'll be flying into Seattle Seatac airport and arriving at 10am for our sailing onboard the Joy which departs at 5pm. I was told that I can book a transfer through Norwegian for $20/person and that a representative would meet us at baggage claim. Since there are only two of us traveling, this is basically the same price for an Uber and I'd probably prefer booking it through Norwegian. My question is: will this be a huge bus/shuttle that we'll have to sit on for an hour or more while they fill it up in each terminal?I'm not expecting a private transport for that cost, but I'd also prefer not to be at the airport for hour(s). Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!
  20. We'll be sailing the Joy out of Seattle in a couple of weeks, and it's been so long since I've sailed on Norwegian! From reviewing the deck plans, there seems to be an abundance of restaurants onboard,but I'm wondering what is open for lunch on the day of embarkation at no charge? I'd prefer sit down and not buffet if that's an option. Thanks!
  21. One more question! Are the ports above ones that we can easily access the downtown areas walking from the pier? Or does the ship dock in more rural/industrial areas, requiring us to take taxis or buses downtown? Thanks for all your help!
  22. For the train, is it the White Pass Scenic Train everyone loves in Skagway? Is it worth trying to book this privately? I was quite shocked to see the cheapest one offered through NCL would be $215 for the two of us. Is it worth that? My daughter has been on lots of trains. 🙂 Although not through the beautiful Alaskan scenery, so I'm open to it!
  23. Thanks! I was debating between the lumberjack show or the duck tour!
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