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Silent Penguin

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  1. Hi, I completely agree about the comedy on Carnival . The comedy shows on Carnival are not-to-miss event for dh and me, even if we have to stand in the back the whole time. I appreciate that they do a PG show as well as an R show, too. Here's our experience with older teens and cruising. They had a blast on DCL. But, they also had a great time on Carnival. DCL wins though. Here's why. One one DCL cruise, the youth made a movie. I don't think that's a thing on any other cruiseline. Here's another. On our last Disney cruise, our older two teens attended a meet-and-greet with the ship's officers. The Hotel Director asked each kid how he could make their experience more "magical". My son requested "cheese fries" be offered at dinner. The director had never heard of them so my son told him what Philadelphia style cheese fries were. There were three other teens (my son and two of his friends) who agreed cheese fries at dinner were magical. So, a couple nights went by but there are no cheese fries at dinner. The last night of the cruise, which was a fixed menu, we figured, oh, well, too bad, no cheese fries. But...during the appetizer course, to our surprise, a parade of waiters, followed by the Director, came to our table with baskets of real Philadelphia-style cheese fries! Everyone around our table was goggle-eyed. There were WAY too many fries for us, so the kids shared them with the other families around us. The Hotel Director apologized for not presenting them sooner in the cruise but it took some time to research cheese fries the way the boys described them. Don't know if tht's actually true. Unforgettable. That's DCL.
  2. We don't have as many Carnival cruises under our belts as some others, but we did sail with DCL several times before switching to Carnival, so I've been where you are now. I might have even come to this board to ask the same questions - I don't remember. I think most people wouldn't be here if they didn't like cruising with Carnival, so I'm sure you will get plenty of reassuring feedback. It would be helpful if we knew what kind of cruiser you are and why you are making the switch. Maybe I missed it, but are you traveling alone? With a partner? With little kids or teenagers? Do you like the night life? Do the "horror" stories have to do with how people behave? The service? The food? The lack of anything to do that doesn't involve eating or drinking? The youth programs? We made the switch for one reason, we couldn't afford to cruise with DCL after a certain point in our lives. If money wan't the ultimate issue, even without our children to consider, we probably would not have felt the need to leave DCL and try Carnival. But, as it was, my husband and I wanted to go on a cruise - two of our three children were adults by then so none of them were going-and we needed to do it on the cheap. Like you, we too had reservations about trying Carnival. We thought it might be too much of a party ship (Non-stop frat party at-sea) and we're not partying type of people. We like activities, socializing and entertainment but not pool-side stuff, bars, karaoke, or dance parties. We had also "heard" the food and the customer service were not that great. Ultimately, our hunger to cruise won out, I booked a 7-day Bahama cruise out of a port an hour's drive from home, prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. As it turned out, we had a good time. It wasn't DCL cruise but it definitely was a great value for the money. CCL checked all the boxes for what was most important to us, providing a comfortable and relaxing cruising experience, offering good food options, and extending attentive customer service and, to a lesser degree, personal attention. The ship -while we didn't like the decor of this particular ship- was very, very clean. Our balcony room (and especially the bed) was comfortable and a decent size. There were good food options on the ship, and we had excellent service in main dining room. Lines and crowds occurred, of course, but there was no mayhem. The crew managed embarking and debarking (ports of call, etc) pretty well. There did seem to be a lot of activity options in the Fun Times for at-sea days, not much that interested those of us who didn't want to attend a shopping seminar, bingo game, karaoke session, alcohol-tasking (sales event). At night, honestly, we made our own fun. Not there weren't entertainment option, other than a comedy show -which was very good- they just weren't our kind of thing. Having made friends with two other couples I met in the Library playing Scrabble, we arranged for game nights of our own to have drinks and play ping pong or board games. By the time I post this, you will probably have gotten plenty of helpful feedback and it will probably include the fact that while you can expect to enjoy any Carnival ship, the different ships do -or at least they did for us- impact your experience. Horror stories are not the norm, for the price, the food is good and often beyond, the customer service is good and sometimes even great, and entertainment and activity-wise, there is something for everyone on Carnival. I forgot to mention, we also give high marks to the workout facilities.
  3. Our 3 kids -grown now- were not as wowed by Carnival's youth programs as by DCL's but they still had no problem having a great time. It's like the dining experience, if you are not hard to please, you can enjoy a good meal just about anywhere.
  4. If this was directed toward me, I take issue with your interpretation of my words that I am looking for free money. I don't see where you're getting that from my posts. As for the second -about TA's company name - thank you for pointing that out. It wasn't intentional, and if anyone has any instruction on how to further alter that screenshot to remove the name, I'll do it.
  5. That's what I was thinking too. The only OBC that wasn't due to the cruiseline's cancellation was the 25.00 that our TA's agency gave us. Both cancellations were by the cruise line due to COVID-19. If we wind up with 625 when we re-book, great. If not, it's only what I expected anyway. Either outcome is probably something other cruisers want to know about, so I'll update when I re-book.
  6. Or maybe OBC is stackable (if I'm using the term correctly). Here is the email I got from our TA yesterday.
  7. Yes, I think I get it. I just thought I remember other people getting the OBC on each Covid-canceled cruise when they chose the FCC.
  8. Our TA was told by the Carnival rep that we would get only the refund or future cruise credit for our COVID-canceled cruise (Sept 14) but wouldn't get the extra OBC we got the first time our cruise was Covid-cancelled cruise (August). I advised her to not take any action on our behalf since I'm not so sure that's right. I wanted to come here and hear what others are experiencing. We all know Carnival's reps aren't always consistently providing the same information.
  9. Thanks for the link. Entertainment with a deeper message. It whet my appetite for more of his writing and to see if he has a podcast (I listen to podcasts all day while I work), which he does.
  10. If I may ask, what's drawing you back to CCL? It looks like you bounce between NCL and CCL.
  11. Did you sign up on Carnival's website for notifications concerning your sailing? I ask because I also booked with a third party but I did get the email this morning.
  12. That's a good deal! She's been busy! Not only is our upcoming (hopefully) cruise the first one we've ever gotten an offer, we got two in one day. The first offer was an upgrade from our balcony cabin ondeck 6 to deck 9 for 19.00. The second one offer was to deck 19, Cloud 9 Spa balcony for 38.00. We're supposed to be sailing at the end of August, but who knows if that's going to happen.
  13. This thread puts my concerns about our August 31st cruise on the Sunshine in perspective. Friday, I checked on it (on the Carnival site) to see if the prices had changed. Not only could I not find my sailing anymore but all the August cruises out of Charleston were gone. When I called about it, the Carnival rep read me the announcement about "control of the inventory".
  14. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I strongly suspect 8B is considered a Forward location and 8C is Midship location. I went through this just last month when booking a balcony room on the Sunshine.
  15. My TA just called me back. We got the upgrade for 38.00 total. Yeah!
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