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lhall85917

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About lhall85917

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    Mount Pleasant, SC
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    http://lanceandsharon.wordpress.com
  1. lhall85917

    Tours by Local Igor - Le Havre DO NOT USE

    Yes, I believe that was done too. Looks like it may get resolved through a Paypal dispute.
  2. We were on a Princess Transatlantic this spring and a member of our roll call booked a Mont St Michel tour for a group of us through Igor at Tours by Locals. The night before arriving in Le Havre our port stop was cancelled due to high winds and being unable to dock. Igor was immediately notified and asked to refund payment. It has been two months since our return and he hasn’t refunded payment of 930 Euro. He had submitted a partial refund through PayPal, but that payment didn’t go through and was cancelled.
  3. lhall85917

    Bilbao, Spain

    Did you use a private tour guide? If so, can you recommend them? We are interested in going to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe as part of our tour but haven’t found an available guide who goes there.
  4. we will be in Bilbao in April and would like to go to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. I contacted The Best of Basque guides and they are booked. Does anyone have other suggestions?
  5. lhall85917

    New Internet Provider-Disaster

    We were on the same cruise and also were very disappointed in the internet service. Luckily, we are platinum so didn't pay for it. Both my husband and I commented that we would have asked for a refund if we did. Many times we couldn't connect at all, other times service was extremely slow. We did try from several different areas on the ship without any better service.
  6. I know a lot of people prefer to get cash at ATM's as needed, but we use our credit card as much as possible and bring a small amount of cash with us. It's been a couple of years, so I hope it is still true, but in the past we ordered cash through Wells Fargo in any currencies needed before leaving. You don't have to be a customer of theirs and their exchange rate is fairly good. If you order $1000 or more, there is no additional charge. Money is sent within 1-2 days. You have to be available to sign for the delivery.
  7. lhall85917

    Princess cruiser thinking of trying NCL

    We are platinum on both lines, but have more NCL sailings than Princess - leaving tomorrow for our 6th Princess cruise and have 11 with NCL. (In case anyone wonders, one of our Princess cruises was a 28 day from Sydney to San Francisco earning Platinum quickly). Last fall we sailed with NCL to Canada/New England and it will be a very long time before we return with them. We don't ask for much, but felt service was terrible. The first night in the dining room the waiter just walked up to us and asked what our order was. No introduction or even semblance of being hospitable. There were several similar instances throughout the cruise. We mentioned this to senior staff during the past passenger party and didn't receive any follow through. In our opinion, Princess offers a much better product than NCL at this time - this includes decor, service, meals, and overall experience.
  8. Yes, we all take things differently. I didn't feel the wait staff was slow, just couldn't seem to get orders to the right person and never offered refills on drinks. (not a real big deal) As far as the table conversation, everyone has a different perspective. You are correct on the Hitler comment, but when you pair it with all the other conversations about guns, shooting animals, etc. that took place virtually every night, it just wasn't enjoyable dinner conversation from our perspective. If everyone else was comfortable with it, that is perfectly fine. My point is that we should have had an option to do something different if we felt uncomfortable for ANY reason.
  9. Yes, it was and we asked for that also as an alternative. We were told it wasn't available.
  10. We (my husband and I) returned this weekend from our Fantasy 7 day sailing. This was our third Carnival cruise; however, the last one was 9 years ago. It was our 28th cruise overall. We don't have a particular reason for being gone from Carnival for so long, other itineraries and ships have interested us more in the meantime. About 3 months ago we moved to the Charleston area so this ship jumped up high on our "must-do" list, how can you live near a port and not be tempted to sail from there?! Fantasy mostly does short sailings so we were glad to take advantage of one of the few 7 day itineraries. Embarkation was really easy. We left home about 10:30 and arrived at the port at about 11:00. Traffic was starting to back up through the lines put in place because they hadn't started admitting cars yet. About 5 minutes later we were let through and went right to the passenger drop off area with no one in front of us. Another 5 minute wait on a bus and we were at the terminal to be checked in. I didn't check my watch, but I'm sure we were onboard shortly after 11:30. Our first stop was the shore excursion desk to ask questions about a Nassau excursion. While we were there she noticed that we were on a wait list for a cabana at the private island and let us know one was available. It was very nice to see that our communications before arriving were in place once we arrived. Next we stopped by the kiosk and added our Carnival gift cards. We bought these at Kroger when the coupon was available. Too bad we found out so late or would have tried to get additional ones. Our final stop was to see the maitre d' about dining arrangements, but we had to wait until 1:30 for this. The dining arrangements were by far our biggest complaint on this cruise. We requested early dining with a table for 2 and were assigned late dining at a table for 10. The maitre d' took our request, but said that "2000 other people also wanted this so he would see what he could do." The first night we ate late after being told he would send a note to our cabin the next day. Our note arrived letting us know we were changed to early dining but the same table. We accepted this and were happy to have early dining. That night we sat at the table and immediately felt uncomfortable. There were two men that dominated every conversation and despite our attempts to involve others in a conversation, no one seemed interested. That would have been fine, but then conversations turned to what I felt was offensive. One gentleman was discussing trying to get a bridge built in his area, but conservationists were thwarting attempts. He said he could take care of it, just line them up and shoot them. Perhaps this was a feeble attempt at humor, but given what had just happened in Charleston 2 days prior I felt it was in poor taste and he wasn't someone I wanted to spend the next several evenings with. The next morning we asked again for a change to a table for 2 or to traditional dining. When our note arrived in the room it was for the same time and table. The next 2 nights we ate at the buffet just to stay away from these people, I wish we had been more assertive because the buffet just wasn't very good. The last three nights we went to the dining room and tolerated all of the gun conversations and Hitler discussion. This was the first time ever in 28 cruises that we haven't been able to have a table for 2 for supper. I'm not really sure what we should have done, I know we should have gone to the maitre d' one more time with our concerns and then perhaps gone to guest services if it wasn't resolved. If anyone has suggestions for addressing this in the future, I would appreciate it. Our three stops were Grand Turk, the private island, and Nassau. In Grand Turk we just got off the ship and roamed around. The beach is gorgeous there so we enjoyed taking a nice walk and looking around. We rented a cabana at the private island. Although it is extremely expensive, it really added to our enjoyment of the day. We spent the entire day on the island enjoying the beach and amenities of the cabana. If you can do this, I highly recommend it. In Nassau we booked the Bahama Brews - Bar Hop excursion through the ship. This is a new excursion, it was just being offered for the second time. It was a walking tour to three different places to sample beer and have snacks along with some information on Nassau. We really enjoyed it and would recommend it to others. We expected the Fantasy to show its age and it does. It is hard to go from being a balcony snob to staying in an oceanview cabin but I found I didn't miss the balcony quite as much as I thought, although it was hard to see out of the windows due to condensation at times and salt water deposits all of the time. The staff was very friendly and we enjoyed them. The dining room staff was friendly, but service could have been better. Virtually all orders were given to the wrong people at the table, we were never asked if we wanted drink refills - in fact, we had to grab our waiter quickly just to place a drink order before they would walk off. We paid more for this cruise than we did for a balcony on Regal Princess last fall and didn't find that the value was there for this cruise. If we would get a bargain, we would do this cruise again, but we honestly felt that we paid too much for what we got.
  11. lhall85917

    Carnival Excursion - Bahamas Brews - Bar Hopping

    Yes, it is new. We were told on board that our cruise was only the second time it was offered. We did it, and really enjoyed it. This was a walking tour and the guide met us at the ship. We walked to a bar and had samples of three types of Sands beer and chicken wings. The guide gave us some information on pirates and their involvement with Nassau. After that, we walked to a small art gallery and sampled three kinds of Kalik beer and had conch fritters. Here he discussed Junkanoo traditions. Our final stop was the Pirate Brewing Company, this is a local craft beer brewery. Along with our beer we had pretzels made at the brewery. I would definitely recommend the tour, it was fun and a great way to enjoy a couple of hours in Nassau. Although it is a walking tour, the walk isn't too bad for most people. I definitely wouldn't recommend it for those that can't handle heat or have difficulty walking.
  12. lhall85917

    Fantastic time on the Fantasy 6/8-6/13!!

    Thanks for posting this. We board tomorrow for a 7 day sailing. I am disappointed to see that the cabin wasn't very clean, but it is good to know you still had a wonderful time. This will be our first cruise on Carnival in 9 years and we are looking forward to having a nice cruise option locally.
  13. Has anyone done this excursion in Nassau? There aren't any reviews. We did a bar hop in Cozumel and enjoyed it, but it was a private excursion, just not sure how this would be through the ship.
  14. lhall85917

    Just off the Fantasy, May 25-30

    North Charleston isn't always the best place to stay. Try looking for something in Mount Pleasant. West Ashley is also a better option than N. Charleston.
  15. Interesting approach and definitely an option for some people. Carnival, feel free to call me to extend our Fantasy cruise later this month! it's been about 9 years since we sailed with Carnival, that would be an awesome welcome back surprise!
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