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BallFour4

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About BallFour4

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Texas Gulf Coast
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Warm weather ports (makes the wife happy)

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  1. We cruised to Canada on the Glory from Boston. It's been a while, but what a nice trip. Halifax, St John, Portland (Maine) and Sydney. Airfare from Houston to Boston was nearly as much as the cruise! .
  2. I could reply to most of these comments, but this is spot on. Those Fantasy class ships just won't stop. They have retrofit them with water park stuff, grafted Lego Block balconies and other things to keep those slab sided cash generators going. Some of our best times were on that class. We returned to cruising after the Disney decade with the Ecstasy and Elation both coming here to Galveston and loved every one of them. Here's a Flikr link to some of my favorites: https://www.flickr.com/gp/leeusry/5ea309 .
  3. I truncated your post, but got your point. Up to this week I agree with you and the other posting about the popularity. But the expense is greater to do a 5-5-4 rotation than a 7-7. The shorter cruises make the hard run to Cozumel and back from here. That's akin to more operating costs for fuel and wear and tear on the ships. There is no doubt these are popular, we've been on all of them since the Celebration and at least 12 of our Galveston departures were the five day. If Carnival could reduce the days spent doing turnaround and those costs then it is something they might consider. You are right about the popularity of the 4 day trips, every other Thursday is busy here with those that can extend a weekend and be back home early on Monday. We've done that two New Years Eve trips on the Triumph with several other families and had a blast! I do expect significant changes to what we have experienced in the past all designed to reduce costs and risk. Pay as you go for specialty dining, exercise classes and other things are already in place. See you aboard! .
  4. When cruising returns what are some of the things beyond hygiene and sanitation techniques would you expect to change? Some logistics; I went on the Mardi Gras in 1976 for my first cruise with my parents and my wife and I closed in on diamond in January aboard the Dream. We also have six trips with RCCL. None of that makes me an expert at much of anything, so let me open the crystal ball (Pandora's Box?) of ideas. I see less short cruises. Here's my example: Carnival runs from here in Galveston to Cozumel and Progreso on a 5-5-4 rotation. That's harder on the ship with more full day and night runs to Cozumel reflected in fuel consumption and wear and tear on the ship. A seven night agenda would add one more port and less run time. That would also mean higher cruise costs and fewer turnover days in Galveston that cost port fees and other fixed cost savings. The additional expense of cleaning and risk reduction would be passed on in the form of higher fares. Carnival is a publicly traded company, and share holders expect a return on their investment. The argument that "Carnival pays this cost, or refunds this amount, or gives this amount in credit is passed on to the cruiser. Personally I think cruise lines would welcome this with a big IF. That's if they could sell a higher priced product and deliver something more than men yelling like Tarzan and the same ship on a stick they got on the last cruise. Finally, we love cruising from here. We have two more in the planning stage with Carnival and all of them on eleven ships have been super vacations. A day spent in Nachi Cocom, Seven Mile Beach, riding a bike in Key West or exploring Peggy's Cove in Halifax have all made cruises special for my wife and I. I welcome your thoughts. This is my opinion only, I'm no travel agent, have no vested interest in one line over another and appreciate your comments. .
  5. We were over at the pier today watching both ships sail away. The Freedom didn't start their muster drill until just before they passed the Elissa. They were out in mass as they started the spin. The LOS looked half empty when they went by. Who knows? .
  6. We did the Bacardi trip on our own. It's a five min walk down to the ferry and for 50 cents you are across the bay. The vans to Bacardi are $3 per person (I think) from the ferry landing and then the price of ticket based on tour length and detail. One really cool thing we did was get a bottle of Bacardi Limitada engraved while there. It's a really different memory of cruises from the past. .
  7. Yet as I stated, it's commonplace at McDonalds and other fast food restaurants. .
  8. Buy one plan, and when the second device attempts to log on it prompts to log off the other device. I'd be curious about the hotspot as well. I use DMR for ham radio and that would be really novel. .
  9. I'd take Galveston over NOLA for the ships. The Vista is a nice trip and the Dream is as well. We have priced the Royal ships for the balance of 2020 and they are more expensive on our open dates. The Dream has great shows, is easy to navigate around and is a reasonably priced vacation. .
  10. We haven't seen them check invitations for the past guest party in the last several cruises. Last month we left the invitations in our cabin and walked right in. .
  11. I truncated your post and I agree with it entirely. We walked off the ship in January with a 5 dollar credit. We prepaid gratuities, shore excursions and Bottomless Bubbles. Our only expenses were tax on sodas while in US waters and tips for the other days. The past guest parties have morphed into a "I'd rather be working the recycling dumpster" look from officers and staff. I don't blame them after hearing some of the complaints while in line at Guest Services in the priority cue. I don't care if I get another luggage tag, blanket, binoculars, hat, game board or anything else. We find a kid who is being well behaved at dinner and give those things away. There is a big gap in the second one hundred days to get to Diamond, so perhaps another level there and one above Diamond will be created. .
  12. I've never understood the "always use a clean cup" recommendation. We don't at self-serve drink stations in restaurants on land, does something about salt air make a difference? The cup doesn't touch the dispenser nozzle or the ice discharge outlet. I think this is the same worn out messages like "no jeans or shorts allowed in the MDR" or "if you don't have a passport you can't get home" message(s) that are both wrong. We take insulated mugs and with Bottomless Bubbles they will fill them with ice and soda. On the Dream in January they returned my mug with ice and gave me the full can of soda. Sometimes I think it changes from cruise to cruise. .
  13. Perfect kept secret until now... 🙂 We take our friends carry-ons to our cabin as well. They get them once their cabins become available. .
  14. One of our favorite weekend pass times is to take one of the Baofengs with a mix of ham frequencies, marine and some of the terminal operations UHF stuff and listen in. We ride our bikes all over the island on weekends, so the range works for me. Galveston 2 meter and 70 cm is like many repeaters, so it's quiet, but the opps stuff is entertaining. As you would expect, I lock those channels out for transmit so zero chance for mistakes. .
  15. It's hit or miss. Some of the bed side lamps have them, and some of those don't work. If you are wanting to have a USB charger for your phone, camera, iPad, etc then invest in one of these. They are on Amazon and most electronics retail stores. A similar one stays in my travel pack.
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