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Please improve 7 night Caribbean itineraries CCL!


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On 4/28/2020 at 6:22 AM, xDisconnections said:

Ehh, that itinerary is tiresome and not the best. If it's allegedly on its way out per you, consider me happy to see a change of pace.

 

As for San Juan, you'll get a better ship as soon as Carnival is able to see increased occupancy levels that exceed forecasted demand combined with a higher ADR and RevPAR. Cruises out of San Juan have been deeply discounted in the past and you can expect that to continue. At one point, you had the Victory then two Conquest class ships (Valor/Liberty) and now back to Fantasy class. The occupancy levels don't warrant a newer ship as of yet. For those willing to pay a higher rate to have a more immersive experience, the Freedom of the Seas prior to Covid-19 has done a fantastic job in capturing that market segment.  For San Juan, you have options if the Fantasy class ship is not able to meet your accommodations.

I wonder what happened to the Destiny class ships (like 101k tons I think)?  I sailed on the Destiny years ago from San Juan and it was a blast. I thought it was a nice ship at the time and certainly nicer than the Fascination. It looks like the Destiny may be gone at the point. (and I believe it was built after the Fascination??)...I may have to look that up. In regards to why we love that itinerary...It's because my family loves to snorkel and/or SCUBA dive.  Every stop on that itinerary has excellent (some world class) reefs that are easily accessible. 

Edited by Spike2000
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Destiny was refurbished and changes made to it, also renamed as Sunshine.  They have done the same with the Triumph, which is now called Sunrise, and Victory will become Radiance.  Not all are happy with the changes, which are extra staterooms added and less public space, meaning more crowding,  and I am just saying what others have reported on Sunrise and Sunshine, but others do also love the refurbished ships with more food options, and updated rooms etc.  I cant speak from personal experience because I have not sailed on these ships since they changed, and were renamed.  I would love to do the cruise from San Juan, and include an added 5 to 7 days in San Juan before the cruise, because I love the place, and would love to see more of Puerto Rico.  I would do it on a Fantasy class ship, but would be just as open to Sunshine, Sunrise etc, or another class.

 

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I agree.  We sail out of Galveston and it's the same old ports over and over.  We don't even get off the ship in Freeport, Belize, or Costa Maya anymore.

 

I know cruising isn't all about the ports and we really enjoy sea days but it is nice to get out and see new places or relax on a beautiful Caribbean beach for a few hours.  I would JUMP at the chance to sail a different 7 or 8 day itinerary out of Galveston.

 

I know we could sail out of Florida which would open up a whole new world of ports but it greatly increases the cost of the trip if we have to pay to fly or drive (and stay in hotels and pay for food) to get to one of the Florida ports.

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1 hour ago, Jjzbl said:

I agree.  We sail out of Galveston and it's the same old ports over and over.  We don't even get off the ship in Freeport, Belize, or Costa Maya anymore.

I know cruising isn't all about the ports and we really enjoy sea days but it is nice to get out and see new places or relax on a beautiful Caribbean beach for a few hours.  I would JUMP at the chance to sail a different 7 or 8 day itinerary out of Galveston. I know we could sail out of Florida which would open up a whole new world of ports but it greatly increases the cost of the trip if we have to pay to fly or drive (and stay in hotels and pay for food) to get to one of the Florida ports.

we sail out of Galveston too. Don't forget that starting in 2021, Carnival will have 4 ships sailing out of Galveston, instead of the 3 we now have. There will be longer voyages. Different ports than what we are used to.  Take a minute to read this article. It excites me every time I read it:

"Carnival to Homeport Fourth Cruise Ship in Galveston in 2021"

https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/4595/

 

Let's just hope that these plans still remain in place. 👍

 

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On 4/26/2020 at 1:22 PM, Tapi said:

I wonder if Carnival would increase itineraries that call in places like Limón, Costa Rica, a partial Panama Canal transit, or even look at new ports, like Santo Tomás de Castilla, Guatemala, or Trujillo, Honduras, that currently appear on a few itineraries from Holland America, Seabourn, and Royal Caribbean. 
 

I’m guessing that these more “off the beaten path” and less developed ports of call may not be attractive to majority of cruisers who seek the comforts and ease of mass market ports of call with well developed and tourist friendly welcome centers, but it may be nice if Carnival offered a handful of itineraries with these and other ports of call for those cruisers who do have an appetite for something different.  
 

My next Carnival Cruise (with a stop in Costa Rica and a partial Panama Canal transit) was chosen exactly because it’s not the same ol’, same ol’ itinerary. 

Have you made plans for Costa Rica yet? We toured San Lucas Island and prison while we were there. Awesome tour!

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12 hours ago, familyoutdoors said:

Have you made plans for Costa Rica yet? We toured San Lucas Island and prison while we were there. Awesome tour!

Have not, so thanks for the tip! 😀

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On 5/1/2020 at 12:12 AM, CheersPkg4Us said:

Yes we think itineraries should be upgraded. We also think/ hope the Mardi Gras winds up in Miami. It's just so much easier to get to than Canaveral or Everglades !

 

On 5/1/2020 at 2:04 AM, SNJCruisers said:

The Mardi Gras will not be repositioned to MIA unless there is a LNG refueling area built nearby.  And how is MIA so much easier to get to than Everglades?  You can fly into either FLL or MIA easily no matter which port of embarkation you're using.

 

Of the 3, Canaveral is the easiest to get to BY FAR.  It's not as close to the airport as Everglades or Miami, but it's the Beach Line the whole way there (maybe 45 minutes/hour) and the traffic is normally quite easy.  Plus I much prefer MCO over MIA or FLL for flying into.  Especially if I'm renting a car, which we normally do because we would never fly in the same day as the cruise.  MCO they are right on site and all you have to do is walk across the street out of baggage claim.  MIA you have to walk 6 miles to the train before you can get to the rental car center.  Dumbest set up I've ever seen, I hate flying into MIA when I'm renting a car!  FLL you have to catch a public bus to the rental center, but it's a pain in the rear too, especially with luggage.

 

Any driving in FLL/MIA area is a mess, always.  Blech.

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1 hour ago, Jobeth66 said:

 Plus I much prefer MCO over MIA or FLL for flying into.  Especially if I'm renting a car, which we normally do because we would never fly in the same day as the cruise.

If you fly into MIA or FLL, there is no need to rent a car, even with flying into the day before (which we always do).  Airport shuttle and/or Uber/Lyft  does the deal very nicely and either of the aforementioned airports are close to their corresponding cruise ports.  Unlike PC, which you either need a rental car for or take a shared shuttle since Uber/Lyft is expensive.

To each his own, but I personally prefer either MIA or FLL.  As a matter of fact, after taking 30 Caribbean cruises, I have never gone out of PC and will do so for the first time when we cruise on the Mardi Gras.

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4 hours ago, SNJCruisers said:

If you fly into MIA or FLL, there is no need to rent a car, even with flying into the day before (which we always do).  Airport shuttle and/or Uber/Lyft  does the deal very nicely and either of the aforementioned airports are close to their corresponding cruise ports.  Unlike PC, which you either need a rental car for or take a shared shuttle since Uber/Lyft is expensive.

To each his own, but I personally prefer either MIA or FLL.  As a matter of fact, after taking 30 Caribbean cruises, I have never gone out of PC and will do so for the first time when we cruise on the Mardi Gras.

 

MCO is fine.  Stay near the airport overnight very cost effectively and then have a shuttle pick you up at your door in the morning.  All good.  We enjoyed sailing out of there.

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17 minutes ago, jsglow said:

 

MCO is fine.  Stay near the airport overnight very cost effectively and then have a shuttle pick you up at your door in the morning.  All good.  We enjoyed sailing out of there.

That's what we will be doing in August, staying at the Hyatt Regency built into the airport terminal for free using Hyatt credit card and then getting shuttle  to PC in the morning.

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2 minutes ago, SNJCruisers said:

That's what we will be doing in August, staying at the Hyatt Regency built into the airport terminal for free using Hyatt credit card and then getting shuttle  to PC in the morning.

 

Good plan.  In addition, there are a couple dozen solid hotels within 1-2 miles, all with airport shuttles and then served directly by the private shuttle companies directly to the pier.  Easy 45 minutes down the highway.

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On 5/8/2020 at 12:21 PM, crusinpsychRN said:

Cruise lines should pay Tampa partial payment to be able to open the bridge.  Wouldn't want to be needing to drive to work that way while they did it!


I think it is more likely at some point in the future a new terminal is built on the other side of the bridge either in Pinellas or Manatee County. 

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19 hours ago, SNJCruisers said:

If you fly into MIA or FLL, there is no need to rent a car, even with flying into the day before (which we always do).  Airport shuttle and/or Uber/Lyft  does the deal very nicely and either of the aforementioned airports are close to their corresponding cruise ports.  Unlike PC, which you either need a rental car for or take a shared shuttle since Uber/Lyft is expensive.

To each his own, but I personally prefer either MIA or FLL.  As a matter of fact, after taking 30 Caribbean cruises, I have never gone out of PC and will do so for the first time when we cruise on the Mardi Gras.

 

Except we always visit friends and do stuff in town, so Uber/Lyft doesn't really work for us, we have to rent a car.  Then we can run out and do what we want, where we want.

 

And my mom lives right outside Kennedy Space Center.  If I'm going out of PC and DON'T see her, I'm in trouble, so a car is a must there.  🙂

 

I travel to Florida often for work, I hate the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area.  I'm used to driving in it, but it's always stressful, and traffic is never good.  Cocoa/Titusville?  Easy peasy.  

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I know there have been many discussions of airline ports of which one to use, or which cruise ship to take, for what itinerary. I have cruised for many years on all size of ships, but not as large as the Horizon. There were 8 of us that were going to do the Horizon, which is a new ship, and very large, until the virus came and cancelled us out.  I had liked what I had seen on the Horizon, but then there were a few things that I didn't really care for.  This is just ME talking, but I really like the glass elevators in the A trim. Also when I read that there were several poles blocking both levels of the viewing in the main auditorium to see the shows, and much smaller than most auditoriums, I really didn't like that.  The reason for making it smaller was to ADD more state rooms to the ship. 😞  So thus, "if" we are able to cruise next year, I have a different itinerary picked out, and much smaller ship.

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4 hours ago, beshears said:

 There were 8 of us that were going to do the Horizon, which is a new ship, and very large, until the virus came and cancelled us out.

Just to educate you, the Horizon is far from very large,  it's 135,600 tons.  It is the second largest in the Carnival fleet,  slightly smaller than the Panorama, but there are currently  44 passenger cruise ships that are larger than the Horizon.  Royal's Symphony of the Seas is currently  the largest at 228,000 tons.  Royal currently  has 16 ships larger than the Horizon and all 4 of the Oasis Class are larger than the 180,000 ton Mardi Gras when she comes out next year.

 

Just wanted to give you a bit of perspective. And I am also well aware of the few short comings of the Horizon, but the two times I had the pleasure of sailing on her we stayed in the Havana area, which none of the smaller ships in the Carnival fleet has.  So while you're sailing on that  smaller ship, enjoy the adult soup in the pools and the kids taking over the hot tubs, neither of which you need to worry about if you do your research ahead of time and learn about the Havana area, which is the best thing that Carnival has come up with.  And I have cruised Carnival  18 times since 1986.

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On 4/26/2020 at 6:33 PM, SNJCruisers said:

The Mardi Gras can't do an 8 day southern because it's home port is Port Canaveral.  It would have to be home based in either MIA or FLL in order to do it.  The other southern choices are based out of San Juan and usually are done with a Fantasy Class ship.

Others have pointed out that there are indeed Southern Carib itineraries out of Port Canaveral - not a lot, but they do exist - I'm booked on one this December on Radiance.

 

However, you might kind-of have a point about the Mardi Gras:

 

I have noticed that the released itineraries for the Mardi Gras are not as far-flung as similar cruises on other Carnival ships from the same port.  I suspect (but have no proof) that Carnival is being conservative with the sustained max speed of the ship until it shows how it performs.  Models and simulations can only get you so far.

 

Once they establish a performance baseline, Carnival might open up Mardi Gras to other, lengthier itineraries that could include the Southern Carib.  I wonder whether she is too big for the typical Panama Canal half-transits?  (I seem to recall that being discussed here awhile back.)

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On 5/13/2020 at 3:27 PM, SNJCruisers said:

If you fly into MIA or FLL, there is no need to rent a car, even with flying into the day before (which we always do).  Airport shuttle and/or Uber/Lyft  does the deal very nicely and either of the aforementioned airports are close to their corresponding cruise ports. 

 

We are flying into Miami but still get a rental. The cost is only $50 a day and we get to visit beaches and dine where we like for 2 days before the cruise. We will use Uber to get to the terminal.

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1 hour ago, ProgRockCruiser said:

I wonder whether she is too big for the typical Panama Canal half-transits?  (I seem to recall that being discussed here awhile back.)

Good question, Mardi Gras will be 180,000 tons.  The NCL Bliss, which is 168,000 tons does the full canal transit both ways when it alternates between Alaska in the summer and the Caribbean in the winter.

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On 4/26/2020 at 12:10 PM, firefly333 said:

I'm figuring fewer open ports... not more and yep changes to itineraries but probably not for the better.

 

Some just want to cruise again, to whichever ports are open. 

 

Money will be tight, I doubt carnival is going to add or change to ports that take more fuel to reach, just my two cents. Not at going prices with carnival forking over $600 obc. They will be in survival mode. 

We all know, of course, that $600 OBC doesn't cost Carnival $600.

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2 hours ago, SNJCruisers said:

Good question, Mardi Gras will be 180,000 tons.  The NCL Bliss, which is 168,000 tons does the full canal transit both ways when it alternates between Alaska in the summer and the Caribbean in the winter.

OK, curiosity got the better of me.

 

Max beam width under the "New Panamax" sizes of the locks (opened in 2016) through the canal is 49 m (160 ft 9 in).

 

The Mardi Gras is supposed to have a beam of 41.7 m (136 ft 10").  So it should fit.  It also fits length-wise and draft-wise.

 

It would not have fit under the old "regular" Panamax sizes, too big in both beam and length.

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5 minutes ago, ProgRockCruiser said:

OK, curiosity got the better of me.

 

Max beam width under the "New Panamax" sizes of the locks (opened in 2016) through the canal is 49 m (160 ft 9 in).

 

The Mardi Gras is supposed to have a beam of 41.7 m (136 ft 10").  So it should fit.  It also fits length-wise and draft-wise.

 

It would not have fit under the old "regular" Panamax sizes, too big in both beam and length.

But until there are more LNG fueling stations,  the ports that the Mardi Gras can visit will be limited.

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8 minutes ago, SNJCruisers said:

But until there are more LNG fueling stations,  the ports that the Mardi Gras can visit will be limited.

Well, they don't generally refuel on 7 or 8 day itineraries, as far as I have seen.  How long can they cruise on one "tank" of LNG?  If they can go 15-19 days without refueling (typical 10-14 days from PC plus 5 as back-up, or whatever threshold they usually need), they can hit the canal.  Well, not "hit" it, visit it in a non-contact manner.  😉 

Edited by ProgRockCruiser
Better estimate of cruise duration
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