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Please help a cruise newbie! Mardi Gras Nov 2021.


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Hi all,

 

I'm about to book my first cruise and I'm excited, but I do need some advice. My choice of ship and destination has already been decided, as I'll be going with my girlfriend's family. It's going to be the Mardi Gras doing both East and West Carribbean consecutively. We've managed to get some decent quotes from an agency that cover our flights from the UK as well as a couple of nights in FL before travelling. I just want to check that our room selection seems ok (will just be myself and my gf in a cabin - others are booking for themselves).

 

Now, I know it's a new ship so info is likely to be a bit limited, but I wanted to know if 8J rooms on either decks 10 or 11are likely to be of a decent quality/location? Any tips about other decks that might be better, or any rooms that offer a lot better quality for a relatively small price increase?

 

I hope there are some kind hearted cruise pros who don't mind sharing a bit of their experience

 

Thanks in advance 🙂

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57 minutes ago, danh84 said:

Hi all,

 

I'm about to book my first cruise and I'm excited, but I do need some advice. My choice of ship and destination has already been decided, as I'll be going with my girlfriend's family. It's going to be the Mardi Gras doing both East and West Carribbean consecutively. We've managed to get some decent quotes from an agency that cover our flights from the UK as well as a couple of nights in FL before travelling. I just want to check that our room selection seems ok (will just be myself and my gf in a cabin - others are booking for themselves).

 

Now, I know it's a new ship so info is likely to be a bit limited, but I wanted to know if 8J rooms on either decks 10 or 11are likely to be of a decent quality/location? Any tips about other decks that might be better, or any rooms that offer a lot better quality for a relatively small price increase?

 

I hope there are some kind hearted cruise pros who don't mind sharing a bit of their experience

 

Thanks in advance 🙂

I have no advice, but i just booked the Mardi Gras for next August...we booked the Havana cabana ...our first time in that type.   I hope we like it.

 

Good luck with your room choices and booking...cant wait to get back to cruising...we have 2 booked already

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Those are extended balcony rooms.  Those staterooms with the larger balconies would be very nice for a back to back cruise.

As this Ship is still being built, nobody will be able to give you first-hand info.

Enjoy!

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When we pick a cabin, we like to try to centralize ourselves between the places we spend most of our time. We always do mid-ship, just our preference. It gives us a good starting point when going to things on the ship that are forward or aft (rear). Then we like to pick a deck that's fairly centralized to the areas we spend most of our time. As a first-time cruiser, you're not really going to know what those things are, but you can look to see what kinds of activities are aboard the Mardi Gras and where they are to get an idea. This is just what works best for us, but everyone's different. Since you mentioned location, I just thought I'd share how we pick. No matter what, you're going to be doing a lot of walking on a cruise ship, especially the biggest one in Carnival's fleet.

 

Your biggest obstacle is that it's a brand new ship that isn't even sailing yet, so there aren't any first-hand sources. You didn't mention when your cruise is, so maybe by then, others on here will have sailed on her and you can get more details. We're not allowed to post a link to this particular website on CC, but do a google search for cruisedeckplans and it should be the first search result. That's the name of the site. If it gives you the option, choose "Public Site," not "Member Site." Choose Carnival, then the Mardi Gras to get a good set of deck plans. Normally, it includes a lot of user-submitted pictures, but since it's brand new, not sailing yet, there aren't any yet. But there will be. One of my favorite and most useful tools on that site is their Cabin Check Tool. Once you get to the Mardi Gras page, scroll all the way to the bottom and click on the Cabin Check Tool. Pick a deck, then pick a cabin and it will show you exactly what is above and below that cabin. It's very handy when picking a cabin because there are some that can end up quite noisy from whatever is above or below, like galleys or loud venues. Good luck and welcome to Cruise Critic.

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It’s going to be so hard to get good information on that ship before it starts sailing. I will be on it next August. I normally like to be near the lido so I’m on decks 9 or 10 of current carnival ships. On Mardi Gras I’m on deck 15 or 16. I think it’s going to be vastly different than anything I’ve been on.

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6 hours ago, danh84 said:

I'm about to book my first cruise and I'm excited, but I do need some advice. My choice of ship and destination has already been decided . . . 

 

I wanted to know if 8J rooms on either decks 10 or 11are likely to be of a decent quality/location? Any tips about other decks that might be better, or any rooms that offer a lot better quality for a relatively small price increase?

 

I hope there are some kind hearted cruise pros who don't mind sharing a bit of their experience

 

 

 

Welcome to Cruise Critic . . . and (even better than that) Welcome to cruising!!!

 

You've certainly made an exciting choice for your first experience, but, as you've already mentioned, with Mardi Gras being a new vessel, there are a lot of unknowns.

 

Those 8J Extended balcony staterooms would be superb for your back-to-back (especially if you're able to locate one that's available for both, without having to change rooms at the turnover).  If you do change location, the cruise team helps to make that pretty easy.

 

I'm on the Nov 6 Eastern sailing, currently booked in a cove balcony, and have been toying with the idea of taking a nice upgrade to an 8J myself.  I sorta like the Deck 11 idea, being 'sandwiched' between two other passenger decks with no public areas above or below to create potential noise. No matter which location you choose, I hope you'll have a fantastic time onboard with your family.  I also highly suggest you join the Cruise Critic roll call(s) for your weeks, as there is a lot of good info to be obtained there.  We might even cross paths one of those weeks if that's when you're booked.

Edited by DGP1111
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Thank you all so much!

 

I'm going to do a little research tonight, looking over the info you guys have posted and then I believe we'll be booking tomorrow.

 

I've got a while to go before we sail, so I'll definitely be around learning from the community.

 

Thanks again.

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33 minutes ago, danh84 said:

Thank you all so much!

 

I'm going to do a little research tonight, looking over the info you guys have posted and then I believe we'll be booking tomorrow.

 

I've got a while to go before we sail, so I'll definitely be around learning from the community.

 

Thanks again.

I would strongly recommend not booking anything until the Covid crisis settles down. The cruise lines are likely to look a lot different by fall 2021. Fewer ships, different routing than what you see today.

The Chapter 11 bell is starting to ring for Carnival as well as most other cruise lines.

Your group is going to have way to much money tied up in deposits for cruise, airline, and hotel with the amount of uncertainty going on.

Wait it out.

Edited by HaveWeMetYet
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19 minutes ago, stellarose said:

Have we me yet- 

 

so don't put a deposit on MG for winter 2021???  I am sure the things will look different but at least having a 'spot" would be good???

 

 

OP is asking about a large group flying from overseas so a lot of money.

I am not sure how much Carnival requires for a deposit and I will leave it up to each to determine if that amount is a lot.

There a surely a lot of changes coming to ships and routings but if the deposit is low and you don't mind possibly having to make changes and the risk of your money be tied up your probably OK.

Bankruptcy is usually transparent to customers but you never know.

If your looking at a bread and butter inside or oceanview I would hold off.

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1 hour ago, HaveWeMetYet said:

OP is asking about a large group flying from overseas so a lot of money.

I am not sure how much Carnival requires for a deposit and I will leave it up to each to determine if that amount is a lot.

There a surely a lot of changes coming to ships and routings but if the deposit is low and you don't mind possibly having to make changes and the risk of your money be tied up your probably OK.

Bankruptcy is usually transparent to customers but you never know.

If your looking at a bread and butter inside or oceanview I would hold off.

 I think the deposit is 50 a person. I am willing to risk the 200.  we are looking at ocean view on MG.

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3 hours ago, HaveWeMetYet said:

I would strongly recommend not booking anything until the Covid crisis settles down. The cruise lines are likely to look a lot different by fall 2021. Fewer ships, different routing than what you see today.

The Chapter 11 bell is starting to ring for Carnival as well as most other cruise lines.

Your group is going to have way to much money tied up in deposits for cruise, airline, and hotel with the amount of uncertainty going on.

Wait it out.

 

 

This is sound advice in terms of caution. The one benefit I have (not sure if there is an equivalent in the USA) is that I can use a credit card to make the bookings. If I do this then I would get what's known as section 75 protection, meaning the card issuer becomes liable if the merchant is unable to honour the commitments of the contract.

 

There are some family based in the USA, so I will chat to them as they may not have equivalent protections.

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To use a RCCL term. Those 8J cabins are "hump cabins" and they should be just fantastic. We had a hump cabin on RCCL's Mariner of the Seas and it was the best. We even had an 8J booked (9366) for Mardi Gras 16 night repositioning cruise from New York to Port Canaveral. However - ship yard delays (pre COVID-19 even) canceled that cruise plus others. But we did get a nice FCC & OBC from it. We parlayed that into a 15 night Hawaii on Carnival Miracle next April.

 

Back to the 8J cabins. The more toward the center of the hump - the deeper the balcony. The ones forward of dead center give you a look out and a little forward (where you are going). The ones aft of dead center give you a look out and a little aft (where you have been).

 

Back to RCCL hump balconies. I saw on some of their ships that have the hump balconies - they are being converted from balcony staterooms to high end suites during their next yard refurbishment. That gives you an idea of how valuable (and popular) RCCL considers those locations.

 

My personal opinion - you can't do better on the Mardi Gras than a hump cabin balcony short of spending for a suite.

Edited by SDPadreFan
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4 hours ago, stellarose said:

so don't put a deposit on MG for winter 2021???  I am sure the things will look different but at least having a 'spot" would be good???

 

1 hour ago, danh84 said:

This is sound advice in terms of caution. The one benefit I have (not sure if there is an equivalent in the USA) is that I can use a credit card to make the bookings. If I do this then I would get what's known as section 75 protection, meaning the card issuer becomes liable if the merchant is unable to honour the commitments of the contract.

 

There's nothing wrong with being cautious, but be aware that some of the loudest voices on here aren't merely advising caution. It's much more extreme than that. For instance, obviously Carnival is taking a huge financial hit, as are all the other lines, but they are currently financially stable, and will be for the months to come. They secured loans early on to keep them afloat (no pun intended) until the end of the year, possibly beyond. The talk of bankruptcy has been tossed around for months now, but it simply isn't true.

 

Stellarose, I don't have a crystal ball, but I'm willing to bet that they'll be back before this year is out. We're booked for Jan. 2021 and I'm not worried. You're talking about cruising at the end of 2021. For something that far out, I think you can book with confidence. For anyone to advise otherwise just isn't realistic.

 

Danh84, there are some credit card issuers in the U.S. that provide trip insurance as an included benefit. For those who don't have one of these cards, there are a lot of trip insurance options here...to include buying it directly from Carnival. When buying plans outside of Carnival, the amount of coverage and the price of the policy varies depending on which one you choose. As of right now, Carnival is offering two choices if they have to cancel the cruise due to the pandemic: a full refund or a future cruise credit + on board credit. Currently, people have been getting $600 OBC for choosing to re-book with the future cruise credit. I don't know when you plan on cruising, but if it's several months from now or longer, I don't think there's anything you have to worry about in regards to being cancelled because of COVID.

 

My advice to both of you is that being cautious is good, but don't let some of the more extreme comments scare you away.

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12 hours ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

 

There's nothing wrong with being cautious, but be aware that some of the loudest voices on here aren't merely advising caution. It's much more extreme than that. For instance, obviously Carnival is taking a huge financial hit, as are all the other lines, but they are currently financially stable, and will be for the months to come. They secured loans early on to keep them afloat (no pun intended) until the end of the year, possibly beyond. The talk of bankruptcy has been tossed around for months now, but it simply isn't true.

 

Stellarose, I don't have a crystal ball, but I'm willing to bet that they'll be back before this year is out. We're booked for Jan. 2021 and I'm not worried. You're talking about cruising at the end of 2021. For something that far out, I think you can book with confidence. For anyone to advise otherwise just isn't realistic.

 

Danh84, there are some credit card issuers in the U.S. that provide trip insurance as an included benefit. For those who don't have one of these cards, there are a lot of trip insurance options here...to include buying it directly from Carnival. When buying plans outside of Carnival, the amount of coverage and the price of the policy varies depending on which one you choose. As of right now, Carnival is offering two choices if they have to cancel the cruise due to the pandemic: a full refund or a future cruise credit + on board credit. Currently, people have been getting $600 OBC for choosing to re-book with the future cruise credit. I don't know when you plan on cruising, but if it's several months from now or longer, I don't think there's anything you have to worry about in regards to being cancelled because of COVID.

 

My advice to both of you is that being cautious is good, but don't let some of the more extreme comments scare you away.

How come you have to take a swipe at people every time you make a post.  We get it you know everything and there is no way possible Carnival could ever go bankrupt.  Got it.  Stellarose the most important take away from this post is OC doesn't have a Crystal Ball, and neither does anybody else.  I can promise you the so called extreme comments, if you listen to them will never cost you any money.  They might just delay your vacation a little bit.  Do what you think is best for you and your family.  

 

Dahn84 if you are going to listen to OC's advice on COVID, I would take a look at OC's history of getting it right in reference to this virus and other peoples track record.  Spoiler alert, you aren't going to think OC had access to a Crystal Ball.

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