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matymil

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Posts posted by matymil

  1. 1 hour ago, cruisemom2 said:

    That was exactly my point.  They're not allowing "unvaccinated" cruise ships to dock.  If someone is eligible to get vaccinated but isn't, they're unvaccinated.  

    Um....ok. I think our definitions of unvaccinated are different which is fine. In your world, if a toddler is not considered "unvaccinated" then why make the comment in this thread? 🤷‍♂️

  2. 13 hours ago, x lindsay x said:

    For us, we are taking our toddler on a Carnival cruise in the next few weeks because the price was right with the $100 casino rates, paired with dirt cheap plane tickets to Miami. If we were paying pre-pandemic prices we would not be going. Plus our kid is a total social butterfly and will be living their best life surrounded by lots of people, and opportunities to dance to live music. 

    Sounds exactly like our situation. Our sailing a couple weeks ago was 169 for a balcony. Our toddler is also a social butterfly but totally agree, if it was full price we would have canceled. Just a heads up, i dont know if you plan on taking yours to the splash pad or pool but they were very strict with their protocols up there. We got asked alot if he was in a diaper and he also got the whistle blown on him afew times for going down the baby slide face first.

  3. 4 minutes ago, cruisemom2 said:

    The Bahamas are not allowing ships to dock if they have unvaccinated passengers (at this point that means those who are eligible to be vaccinated).

     

    https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/coronavirus/bahamas-orders-all-ships-to-show-the-vaccine-status-of-passengers

    This is literally in the first sentence of the article "except those 12 and younger or those with a medical excuse". We were just in the Bahamas with our son three weeks ago and had no issues getting off the ship with the bubble tour.

  4. On 10/10/2021 at 10:28 AM, kwokpot said:

    It's unfortunate that you didn't have the best vacation. The things you listed seem more to do with the guests and less about the ship itself.  I think it would be helpful for others if you can elaborate what about the Mardi Gras itself you didn't like versus other Carnival ships it would help people understand why you feel ambivalent about the ship.  

    Totally agree. We went on the 1st USA cruise of the Vista out of NYC and the guests made it the worst cruise i have ever been on to this day. I thought i didnt like the Vista but when i went back 2 years later i realized just how much bad guests can impact a cruise. Not sure how long ago the OP went on the Mardi Gras but i also think that being a new ship increases the "Karen factor",  the amount of people complaining was unbearable on our Vista cruise.

  5. 10 hours ago, jsglow said:

    It'll be interesting to see how the protocols are handled for those under 5.  Seems clear to me that once approved by the regulators, 5-12 yo will need to be vaxxed to sail.  I'm hoping that the CDC will then adjust its guidance and that the cruiselines will modify their protocols accordingly.  What I'm confident about is that Carnival will continue to sail 'fully vaxxed' (meaning above the 95% threshold) for the foreseeable future.

    Im thinking thats whats going to happen. If the CDC doesnt approve the vaccine for kids 2-5 i cant see Carnival banning that age group entirely from the ships, it would be too much money lost for them. They would probably just continue to test that age group on board like they are doing now.

  6. 12 hours ago, BoozinCroozin said:

    Vaccines are expected to be approved any week now for 5 and up. That will also be 2 and up as well. Once the CDC approves vaccines for 2 and up, there is no need for an exemption. Everyone onboard is vaccinated and there are no more questions. Under 2 is obviously unvaccinated. Ports will deny ships if there is an unvaccinated passenger. This is why Carnival or any cruise line for that matter will require vaccines to sail. They can use the ports as the reason for denial regardless of medical or religious reasons. 

    They have been saying 2-5 will be eligible for vaccines because all Ive heard is 5 and up? Where did you hear that ports will deny ships if they have unvaccinated passengers?

  7. 5 minutes ago, vwrestler171 said:

    You answered your own question.  The reason they aren't doing exemptions right now, is that it appears that the vaccine will be approved for younger children.  So things may change as it gets closer if the CDC doesn't approve the vaccines for younger children.

    My question was if anyone heard John Heald address this or know if they changed the policy. Im just speculating like most at this point but i figured if anyone heard it from John then it is legit. Like i said, i just got back two weeks ago with zero issues getting an exemption.

  8. So i wanted to see if i could get some clarification on here before i waited on hold to call Carnival. We are going on a cruise with our toddler in Feb 2022. Like everyone else we were sent an email to complete our vaccine attestation questionnaire. I find it odd that we got this 4 months out because they ask if you are vaccinated and if not do you have an exemption letter.....while you cant even apply for an exemption letter yet. I understand the reason for this is probably because they are waiting to see if the CDC allows 5 year olds and up to get the vaccine. Since we just got back from our last cruise a couple of weeks ago and had no problems getting our 2 year old an exemption i put that he was "unvaccinated with an exemption letter" because i just assumed there wouldn't be an issue getting one. I was told by our TA to change my answer because that may actually keep us from getting an exemption for our son (why is it even an option then). So i did go back and change it to "unvaccinated w/o an exemption letter". So that i was able to fix on my own however i was also recently told that 'John Heald said that no additional exemptions would be given to children under 5 until after Feb 2022" I cannot find that information anywhere and i feel like thats something i would have heard about. Did anyone hear him say that, see a post he made about it or know if they changed the exemption policy? Sorry for the long winded nature of the post 🙂

  9. Just now, matymil said:

    We had a very similar experience when we went a couple of weeks ago. Our child is much younger (still a toddler) but he at no point was board. These kind of questions are literally impossible to get answers to because there are so many factors at the end of the day nobody knows your kids like you do. Like i know our son could have just as much fun playing with his cars on the balcony (he did) as he would on an excursion but its not like that for every child.

    Also...i see you said you didnt get charged for your kids tests at the port? Did you get the $150 fee waved somehow because our son is only 2 years old and we still had to pay.

  10. 33 minutes ago, Tapi said:

    When are you cruising? Ship/itinerary?

     

    We are also a family of 4 with two children too young to be vaccinated (9 and 11). Like you, I struggled with the decision on whether to go on a cruise or not. 
     

    Long story short, we did sail during the first week of September and had an absolutely wonderful time. Making sure that we met all the health and safety protocols was the most stressful part about it, but once we got those initial steps out of the way, it was smooth sailing from there. We scheduled NAAT (IDNOW) Covid tests from Walgreens and they were completely free of charge (with or without insurance). We got the results in one hour. At the port, the kids were required to take an additional pre-boarding Covid test (also free of charge) but it was quick and uneventful. We just had to wait 20-30 minutes inside the terminal for the results, but after that, we proceeded to regular check in. 
     

    There was PLENTY for the kids to do, both on the ship and ashore. The kids club ran a good program with plenty of activities to keep them entertained (although they only attended two times for an hour at a time). Swimming pools, water slides, video arcades, ropes course, etc were all open. At the private island, we were allowed to unmask and enjoy the day with few limitations. We also enjoyed a fantastic waverunner excursion as a family. It was truly the highlight of our cruise. 
     

    Since this was our first cruise since the pandemic started, I wanted to keep things as simple as possible and to minimize limitations, possible risks and last minute setbacks. After looking at various itineraries, and reading health and safety protocols

    from different cruise lines, we chose a 3 night itinerary from Miami on MSC visiting only the cruise line’s private island followed by a day at sea. While super short, it was the perfect way to “test the waters” and get back into cruising. The experience was so enjoyable that we’re now planning our next cruise(s). 
     

    Hope you decide to cruise. I know you may have concerns. I sure did. But once I was there and got to experience how all these protocols come together, and how we were able to have a wonderful time even with those in place, I was glad that we decided to cruise. It was a much needed and long awaited break. 

    We had a very similar experience when we went a couple of weeks ago. Our child is much younger (still a toddler) but he at no point was board. These kind of questions are literally impossible to get answers to because there are so many factors at the end of the day nobody knows your kids like you do. Like i know our son could have just as much fun playing with his cars on the balcony (he did) as he would on an excursion but its not like that for every child.

    • Like 1
  11. 1 hour ago, amcankid said:

    Haven’t been on this ship. But the easiest thing to do when picking rooms is go to a website like *****.com and pick a ship for a booking and then check the deck plans.  You’ll be able to see what’s above you, below you and around you as well as seeing how close to various features on the ship.

    We only stay towards the bow if we’re able to book a lido deck cabin.

    The 10th deck on the Panorama is the Lido deck. But you put 8740 as your cabin number which would make it deck 8. Except there is no  such number on this ship.

    the site is cruise deck plans .com ? Cause thats where i go

     

  12. On 10/11/2021 at 3:34 PM, Badfinger said:

    Okay maybe there are other posts about this, but since you talked about the QR Code in the dining room....does one have to buy the internet package in order for your phone to read the QR Code and display the menu?  

     

    They can also provide you with a paper menu if you ask

  13. 15 hours ago, xtraquispe said:

    Thank you!!  Cruising Magic next week and the last time was in 2019 on the same ship!  I was curious about the masks also, so thanks for hitting that point.  Did you happen to check out the smoke free casino?  

    They had workers stationed at the doors on the lido deck with bags of masks....they were not playing around. I also was not bothered by the covid protocol. The smokefree casino was great. I think 6 (maybe 8 at most) tables total, several dozen slots and a bar. Drink service is much faster down there because of there being less people. I was normally alone at the roulette table.

    • Like 1
  14. On 10/11/2021 at 3:12 PM, Super27 said:

    My fiancé and I were on the 9/23 four day sailing on the Magic, so I thought I'd post a quick review with some highlights of what we experienced. This was my first time back on a ship since COVID, and was her first cruise altogether, so we were very curious to see how everything went. We had a great time overall, and it just felt so good to me to be back sailing with Carnival. That said, not everything was perfect, so read on for the good, the bad, and the ugly!


    Embarkation
    We had a 12:30-1:00pm arrival time scheduled, and using the Go Port Canaveral shuttle we arrived at port right around 12:50pm. Our scheduled hotel pick-up time was 11:30am, and the bus arrived about 10 minutes late, but other than that the experience with Go Port Canaveral was excellent and for the price I'd highly recommend them. There was a short line to get in the terminal building, but once inside the process was very smooth. Before going through security, they look at your COVID documents, then it's through security and on to the check-in desk where they look at your citizenship documents. Security was very quick, and I noticed that this time they did not do the secondary inspection of the bottles of wine that we had in our carry-ons like I've seen them do in the past. The check-in process moved relatively quickly as well, and after that it was straight on board with no additional waiting. All in all, I'd say it was one of the smoothest embarkation processes I've been through. 


    Cabin
    Our stateroom was 6339, which is a balcony cabin on the starboard side. The cabin was neat and clean when we arrived, and everything was in good working order. This cabin had the new bedside lamps with the USB charging ports, but from talking to others on the ship I learned that did not seem to be the case with every cabin. I won't say much else about the cabin itself, since there are plenty of reviews and videos online so you can get an idea of what one actually looks like. However, I will offer some comments on the location. First, the cabin was very convenient to the mid-ship elevators/staircase, which made access to the casino and Ocean Plaza a breeze. I think in the future I would go with a higher deck though. We did get some noise from the common areas below on deck 5 (e.g. loudspeaker announcements in the casino). Our balcony also directly overlooked one of the lanai whirlpools, so there was absolutely ZERO privacy when out on the balcony. Not that we really cared, but if you're the type that likes to try and engage in any shenanigans out there, that location would definitely not work. We didn't have any noise issues from folks in the whirlpools, but I can imagine it could be an issue if there were people being loud (more on that later). In general though, we were perfectly satisfied with the cabin experience.


    Ship in General
    I last cruised on Magic in 2018, and she has undergone a lengthy drydock since then. I didn't notice any significant changes to the facilities onboard (with the exception of the addition of the non-smoking casino annex on Deck 4), and it appears that that the drydock was mostly focused on improving some cosmetic issues. Carpets were new in a lot of areas, and obviously they've done repainting. Overall I'd say the visible condition of the ship in public areas was quite good. I also didn't notice any odor issues anywhere on the ship - some of you may recall that was a major complaint about the Magic pre-COVID. 


    Dining
    I'm going to spend most of my time talking about food here, since that is one of the main reasons I cruise Carnival. As a very general and broad statement, I'm going to say that I felt that the food was a step down in quality from what I've previously experienced with Carnival. Now that being said, we didn't have any "bad" meals, but I normally am quite impressed with Carnival's food, and I just didn't feel myself wowed on this trip (with a couple notable exceptions I'll mention below).


    Chef's Table: Our first night on the ship was the Chef's Table. We booked it in advance and paid for it online. Keep in mind that they do not confirm the specific date ahead of time; instead they leave an invitation in your stateroom mailbox with the information, and they also call to confirm. The experience has changed a bit since COVID. Our group met outside the piano bar at 6:15, and shortly thereafter we were escorted into the piano bar where they served several hors d'oeuvres, along with champagne. I believe this portion of the experience would normally happen in the galley, but we did not get to go there. Everything was excellent though, particularly the pretzel bread puff and shrimp served with bacon ice cream. We were then escorted to the Escape Bar just outside the Northern Lights Dining Room on Deck 4 where we were seated at a large table for dinner. I won't go into detail on the menu, but suffice it to say it was an incredible experience and well worth the price. A choice of red or white wine was offered, and the glasses were kept full throughout the entire meal, which consisted of 6 appetizer/entrée courses and 2 desserts, as well as what may be the best bread I've ever had. The service was wonderful, and the ship's magician also stopped by to do a quick show. I'm not normally much for gimmicky stuff, but this guy was incredibly good, so if you're on Magic and see him in the dining room, definitely try to get him to come over. He actually recognized us on the last night in the MDR and stopped by our table to say hi and show us another trick, which was equally impressive as his previous performance.


    MDR Dinners: We did dinner 2 of the 4 nights in the MDR, one of which was elegant night. They are really pushing using the app to check-in now, but it seems like they've worked out a lot of the kinks and the process was quite efficient. We ended up in the same section both nights; not sure if that was by chance or somehow programmed into the app. As with all venues, they have a QR code on the table that you have to scan with your phone to see the menu, but paper menus were readily available upon request. Since it was a shorter cruise, there was no free lobster on elegant night, but they did offer prime rib. The prime rib was definitely the highlight of my MDR experience; it was tender, flavorful, and cooked perfectly. Carnival consistently impresses me with their prime rib, and this did not disappoint. The only difference I noticed from previous cruises was that they did not bring au jus or horseradish to go with it. Not that it really needed either, the flavor was that good and it was very juicy on its own. For dessert both nights we did the melting cakes, which as always were excellent. Our second visit to the MDR I started with the steak ale soup and frog legs, and my fiancé had the chicken tenders. The soup was excellent; the other appetizers were simply okay - nothing to write home about. For entrees I had the braised short rib and she had the strip loin steak (which has seemingly replaced the flat iron steak on the menu). Neither of us were particularly impressed; hers was overcooked, and mine was very dry.


    Cucina: Dinner in the Cucina was our 3rd night of the cruise. This is normally one of my favorite dinners on the ship, and while it was still very good, again it just didn't live up to my expectations from previous cruises. For appetizers we had the arancini and the calamari. The arancini was excellent, and the calamari was good, although quite salty. Entrees were spaghetti carbonara for me and chicken parmesan for my fiancé. The carbonara was good, but almost drowning in sauce. My fiancé described her chicken parmesan as perfectly average. For a side I had the gnocchi, which was awful - dry, strange texture, and completely flavorless. We did both really enjoy our desserts. All in all, despite not being quite up to par based on past experience, I would still recommend the Cucina, and think it's worth the upcharge. 


    Sea Day Brunch: Unfortunately the Sea Day Brunch was very disappointing. I had the salmon eggs benedict, which was cold by the time it was served to me and had very little salmon on it. The bacon and brunch potatoes, while also barely lukewarm, were good. The banana cream pie was the only high point of the meal; it was excellent as always.


    Lido Dining: We had several lunches/snacks on Lido throughout the cruise. My favorite spot was the deli. I think their buffalo chicken sandwich is one of the most underrated items on the entire ship, and the truffle fries they serve with it are really good as well. There was a bit of a line, but it moved very quickly. The pizzaria was also very good, and there never seemed to be much of a line. I had two burgers from Guy's and they were just as good as I remembered. As always, even when there was a long line the crew did a great job of getting everyone served very quickly. Although not technically on Lido, we had Guy's barbeque on embarkation day, and it was decent. The brisket was pretty good, the smoked sausage was a little dry, and the mac and cheese and coleslaw were tasty but nothing to write home about. 


    Entertainment

    The only stage show we went to was America Rocks, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was also probably the most crowded I've ever seen the main theatre on a Carnival ship. We did bingo and trivia a couple times, and both were fun. Our cruise director was Gary, and he was very pleasant on his announcements and when he'd make appearances throughout the ship. I didn't find him to be quite as enthusiastic as Simon who was on Magic last time. I will say that every even we went to ran like clockwork - if they said the show was starting at 7:30, it started at 7:30 on the dot. Same with trivia, bingo, etc. 

     

    Casino

    I spend a lot of time in the casino, and overall had a good time. I did feel like the slots seemed slightly looser than on past cruises, but that could just be my luck this time. They had a good selection of table games open, and I spent awhile at the $25 blackjack tables and some time at the craps table. The one thing I will say about craps - it was VERY obvious that the dealers were either all new or just out of practice. At one point I ended up leaving the table because so much mishandling of chips and mispays were occurring, which was causing some tension between players and the staff. I was able to earn DOU by the end of the second day, and beverage service was generally very fast. They also happily offered to cover my fiancé's drinks under my DOU even though she had not earned enough points on her own, which was a pleasant surprise.


    COVID Protocols

    In general, I did not find the COVID protocols to be overly bothersome. Verification of vaccination and test documentation at check-in was simple and quick. Masks had to be worn inside the terminal and during embarkation. Once on the ship, there were very clear signs posted in areas where masks were required. This included walking to the tables in any dining venue, entering the theatre, while dancing in areas with live music (they had signs but they were largely ignored), in the piano bar and comedy club, and at all times in the casino unless drinking or smoking. Staff members were posted at the dining entrances offering masks if needed. I would say the majority of people wore masks at all times while indoors, but it was only technically required in the specific areas I mentioned (which they list in a letter in the room on embarkation day). I do not wear a mask at all back home, and was concerned about whether it would bother me on the cruise, but I really didn't find it to be an issue considering the limited areas in which it was actually required.

     

    Crew

    The reason I haven't mentioned service up to this point is that my comment is the same across the board. Everywhere we went, the crew was simply amazing. Everyone was friendly, outgoing, and professional. They genuinely seemed so happy to have guests back onboard, and went out of there way to make the cruise a great experience. The crews are 100% the reason I come back to Carnival, and this crew on the Magic was just another example of how awesome their crews are!

     

    Debarkation

    We did the self-assist debarkation, and it was definitely one of the slower debarkation processes I've seen. Apparently things got off to a rough start because the escalator in the terminal building broke down. Once we got off the ship, they have one line for guests with passports and one for those with birth certificates. If you have a passport, you just walk up to a facial recognition kiosk, smile for the camera, wait for a green light, and you're on your way. I had to wait in the other line, which probably took about 15-20 minutes from the time we actually got in the customs area until I got up to the podium.


    I think that's about it. Like I said, it was a great cruise overall! Feel free to ask any questions!

    We were on the sailing after you. I totally agree with the sea day brunch and cucina. Somehow we got passed over and my wife had to talk to the desk at the sea day brunch because we waited almost a half hour before someone came to get our order. Cucina was good but it has changed, the portions seemed smaller and we also got the gnocchi and we were convinved it was something else because whatever came out to our table was not the gnocchi that we were thinking of. They were like 3 small yellow circles, my wife thought it may have been pancetta? Did you have a passport because we did and it made the debark process super easy. We had a stroller so we had to wait like 10 mins for the elevator but after that i think it took less than 60 seconds. Our most favorite part of the ship was the staff (aside from the medical staff) they are always amazing. Also loved the new smoke free casino and the arcade seemed better than other ones we've been it. Worst part was by far the gym. WAY WAY WAY to small for the size of the ship. We sailed nowhere near full capacity and I felt uncomfortable with how crowded it was.

  15. 5 hours ago, Calnev1 said:

    A very specific question.  Did the blackjack in the smoke free casino include the fun21 game?  Since you were mostly playing roulette you may not have noticed . . . .

    Yes. I play fun21 but I lost alot of money really fast so that wasn't in the cards....pun intended 

  16. On 9/25/2021 at 12:34 PM, ellenmb said:

    SORRY DOUBLE POST~Wondering if pools are open as well as buffets during this covid time? thanks..I am SURE there are other posts; I cannot find them easily and DH is asking before I can book; I am sorry if you opened this, but please no nasty replies🙂

    Just got back. As far as the pools and buffets its business as usual. We stuck to the aft pool mostly because we much less crowded and our little one enjoyed splashing around in the little wading area.

  17. 12 hours ago, tiffy0728 said:

    As much as it will hurt me. I think I am going to leave my one year old home. I was hoping at least the rules would ease up for infants but I guess not

    Totally your call but bringing a one year old isn't all that bad. All they need is a exemption letter which shouldn't be a problem. They do not have to get tested like our son did. Camp Ocean may not be open yet, i may be wrong but i dont think they take one year olds anyway so that wouldnt make much of a difference. Our 2 year old had an absolute blast for whats its worth 🙂

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