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Carnival Vista returns to Florida


Saint Greg
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Firefly I didn't mean to disparage RCL's experience.  I have only seen the ships docked, and the huge horse shoe shape.  I love the sea and cannot fathom the appeal of a balcony without a view of the water and the sea breeze.  Neither have I sailed solo, but I absolutely agree with your point of not paying 200% to do so.

 

I meant to speak only to the ships Carnival chooses to home port in Galveston.  In my opinion we are taken for granted, tolerated as a step child, and are expected to be grateful for (dubious) upgrades in ship classes .

 

It doesn't matter what words are used to describe a two class system, it is what it is.  That, coupled with more cabins and less public space, simply isn't an upgrade from either the Dream class or the Conquest class from my personal perspective.

 

Meanwhile I long to return to cruising.

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18 minutes ago, Saint Greg said:

 

Galveston has nothing to do with a choice between Galveston and New Orleans. There are 30 million people in Texas. Most of them are all about doing everything in Texas. The market is huge. That's why Galveston gets what they get. It has nothing to do with the brown water beach they have or the parking or the hotels. I will say parking isn't much different. As long as there isn't a big convention in or event in New Orleans hotels are better deals in New Orleans. I won't stay in Galveston before a cruise. In Galveston it's $200 for the motel 6. In New Orleans I can get a luxury hotel for $100...maybe less. I have spent well over 100 nights in New Orleans and I don't know anyone who has been pick pocketed.

Your post is not my experience is all I can say.

 

New Orleans and Galveston are the only 2 drive to ports for me. I said carnival cruise prices might go up due to lack of competition because rcl just sold majesty and pulled out of that port. Less competition could mean more demand for carnival.

 

As for $200 for motel 6, nuts, and I've gone out of Galveston and almost always gotten a hotel. Motel 6 is never $200. I did actually stay there once and said never again, they charged extra for wifi which kept dropping the signal. I said never again, wifi at the hotel is a must. I think it was $45. I've never paid hardly over $100 and that was only once in Galveston because of a fishing tournament and a bunch of conventions. I did a Express deal for a hotel suite near pleasure pier for next sept for $65, and could have gotten it cheaper had I waited. Deals to be had right now of course.

 

I've done about 20 hotels in Galveston and never paid $200, lol, certainly not for motel 6, which isnt even on the seawall and lousy location. I've stayed in new orleans over a dozen times in hotels as well.

 

The only connection is they are my only 2 possible drive to ports. The price remark was because rcl is selling majesty and in the process of cancelling all those cruises with no recourse, no alternate ship offered. Nothing to do with Galveston. If someone really wants new orleans that got cancelled they now have fewer choices. Supply and demand. 

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6 minutes ago, firefly333 said:

Your post is not my experience is all I can say.

 

New Orleans and Galveston are the only 2 drive to ports for me. I said carnival cruise prices might go up due to lack of competition because rcl just sold majesty and pulled out of that port. Less competition could mean more demand for carnival.

 

As for $200 for motel 6, nuts, and I've gone out of Galveston and almost always gotten a hotel. Motel 6 is never $200. I did actually stay there once and said never again, they charged extra for wifi which kept dropping the signal. I said never again, wifi at the hotel is a must. I think it was $45. I've never paid hardly over $100 and that was only once in Galveston because of a fishing tournament and a bunch of conventions. I did a Express deal for a hotel suite near pleasure pier for next sept for $65, and could have gotten it cheaper had I waited. Deals to be had right now of course.

 

I've done about 20 hotels in Galveston and never paid $200, lol, certainly not for motel 6, which isnt even on the seawall and lousy location. I've stayed in new orleans over a dozen times in hotels as well.

 

The only connection is they are my only 2 possible drive to ports. The price remark was because rcl is selling majesty and in the process of cancelling all those cruises with no recourse, no alternate ship offered. Nothing to do with Galveston. If someone really wants new orleans that got cancelled they now have fewer choices. Supply and demand. 

 

 

Of course there are deals to be had now. It's winter and there's no cruising..I stayed in the Sleep Inn one weekend back in June for about $75/night after tax. If I try to book it right now for the night before my April 3rd cruise it's $171 after tax. That's a 2.5 star hotel that isn't near the port or the beach. 

 

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We drive from near Dallas so Galveston is a little closer for us. I’ve never cared for the beach in Galveston and usually have travelled with kids so the nightlife in New Orleans isn’t a factor either. Since we were traveling with school aged kids we were limited when we could sail. Having said all of that our personal preference has been to drive overnight to New Orleans. Kids slept most of the way, no hotel expense and we got beignets before boarding! Also for the times we could sail it was always much cheaper for same class, same itinerary.  I specifically remember one spring break we saved over $1000 by sailing from NOLA. 
 

Everyone has different experiences and priorities. I love choices!!

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7 hours ago, kdr69 said:

Uhmmm Im a little confused with the article saying her first cruise is March 5/21 out of Galveston for Carnivals Sailabration?  My Sailabration cruise on the Panorama is for March 5/22 are these sailabration cruises going on for a whole year? I thought they were just in 2022 to line up with Carnivals Anniversary?

Me too.  Look forward to seeing you onboard! 

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2 hours ago, lennythenose said:

We drive from near Dallas so Galveston is a little closer for us. I’ve never cared for the beach in Galveston and usually have travelled with kids so the nightlife in New Orleans isn’t a factor either. Since we were traveling with school aged kids we were limited when we could sail. Having said all of that our personal preference has been to drive overnight to New Orleans. Kids slept most of the way, no hotel expense and we got beignets before boarding! Also for the times we could sail it was always much cheaper for same class, same itinerary.  I specifically remember one spring break we saved over $1000 by sailing from NOLA. 
 

Everyone has different experiences and priorities. I love choices!!


Driving through the night sounds like a rough embarkation day. I’d make that a $900 savings and grab a room somewhere in between.

 

 

Edited by Saint Greg
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3 hours ago, bury me at sea said:

Firefly I didn't mean to disparage RCL's experience.  I have only seen the ships docked, and the huge horse shoe shape.  I love the sea and cannot fathom the appeal of a balcony without a view of the water and the sea breeze.  Neither have I sailed solo, but I absolutely agree with your point of not paying 200% to do so.

 

I meant to speak only to the ships Carnival chooses to home port in Galveston.  In my opinion we are taken for granted, tolerated as a step child, and are expected to be grateful for (dubious) upgrades in ship classes .

 

It doesn't matter what words are used to describe a two class system, it is what it is.  That, coupled with more cabins and less public space, simply isn't an upgrade from either the Dream class or the Conquest class from my personal perspective.

 

Meanwhile I long to return to cruising.

I would board any ship going out of Galveston.  After I thought about it I had dream booked sept 2020, then freedom nov 2020 I think and jewel OTS early 2021  all cancelled, and liberty OTS for april as I said. So I've lost dream freedom and jewel so far, and probably the april liberty. Hence how I happen to have vista booked twice in a row. I too would take any ship about now.

 

Liberty does not have inside balconys, though I'd like one. A hump balcony is because liberty has humps sticking out and I'm booked furthest out on the hump for april. Meaning I have better sight lines forward and aft than if my balcony was just lined up. That's why I hate to give it up for $884 total.

 

I'm paying about the same $$$ for nothing special on vista in sept 2011. The free drinks on rcl and double the double pts I hate to give up, as if it goes instead of 2 loyalty pts a day, I'd get 4 loyalty pts. This is what rcl calls a hump balcony, which sticks out further on the outside of the ship. Better sight lines. I'll hate having it canc.

20200928_125502.jpg

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10 minutes ago, Saint Greg said:


Driving through the night sounds like a rough embarkation day. I’d make that a $900 savings and grab a room somewhere in between.

 

 

We are both night owls and split the driving. It was more about the kids sleeping instead of whining!  Plus we aren’t big parties even on the cruise so being in the cabin for a nap before muster then in bed by midnight the first day worked for us. Others people not so much!

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2 hours ago, lennythenose said:

We drive from near Dallas so Galveston is a little closer for us. I’ve never cared for the beach in Galveston and usually have travelled with kids so the nightlife in New Orleans isn’t a factor either. Since we were traveling with school aged kids we were limited when we could sail. Having said all of that our personal preference has been to drive overnight to New Orleans. Kids slept most of the way, no hotel expense and we got beignets before boarding! Also for the times we could sail it was always much cheaper for same class, same itinerary.  I specifically remember one spring break we saved over $1000 by sailing from NOLA. 
 

Everyone has different experiences and priorities. I love choices!!

That's the only reason I've sailed out of NOLA instead of Galveston, it was cheaper. It's about a 10 hour boring as heck drive to NOLA. Country and swamp, not much else to see. I'd only pick NOLA to save money. Probably why rcl pulled out. You and I arent the only ones who only go out of nola if it's a big savings. 

 

I like to walk along seawall blvd and see and smell the ocean and go out for dinner the night before. 

 

I'm also just north of dallas but often get a hotel the night before just because I like to. So I'm driving just as far as you to either port.

 

But I'm to the pt no matter the price I will only do Galveston.  All 9 of my current bookings are out of Galveston.  

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On 12/27/2020 at 8:48 PM, firefly333 said:

That's the only reason I've sailed out of NOLA instead of Galveston, it was cheaper. It's about a 10 hour boring as heck drive to NOLA. Country and swamp, not much else to see. I'd only pick NOLA to save money. Probably why rcl pulled out. You and I arent the only ones who only go out of nola if it's a big savings. 

 

I like to walk along seawall blvd and see and smell the ocean and go out for dinner the night before. 

 

I'm also just north of dallas but often get a hotel the night before just because I like to. So I'm driving just as far as you to either port.

 

But I'm to the pt no matter the price I will only do Galveston.  All 9 of my current bookings are out of Galveston.  

Our youngest graduates from high school this year so obviously kids sleeping isn’t an issue for us anymore. We are just cheap...although I prefer frugal😂!

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16 minutes ago, lennythenose said:

Our youngest graduates from high school this year so obviously kids sleeping isn’t an issue for us anymore. We are just cheap...although I prefer frugal😂!

Me too. Why spend money you dont have to, though I just got to where I prefer Galveston and dont compare costs. ...though now rcl pulled out of NOLA could make other cruiseline prices go up. I love staying on Seawall and walking along the night before in Galveston so I just am booking Galveston for right now, though by 2023 I will maybe drive to florida or do alaska again. 

 

I just cant stay awake during that drive through Louisiana anymore. There is a place with free coffee I always stop at. Seems I'm not the only one needing coffee on that drive from dallas. I'm to the point you seen one swamp you seen them all. 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, firefly333 said:

 

I just cant stay awake during that drive through Louisiana anymore. There is a place with free coffee I always stop at. Seems I'm not the only one needing coffee on that drive from dallas. I'm to the point you seen one swamp you seen them all. 


The only way you’d see any swamp driving from Dallas to New Orleans would be if you went down to Lafayette which wouldn’t be the quickest way. And that would be 20 minutes. 

 

 

Edited by Saint Greg
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25 minutes ago, Saint Greg said:


The only way you’d see any swamp driving from Dallas to New Orleans would be if you went down to Lafayette which wouldn’t be the quickest way. And that would be 20 minutes. 

 

 

As a matter of fact I do drive that way. At Shreveport take 49 to almost Lafayette then head east. Most of the time I cut off at Opeloussa and take the back roads from there. 49 is pretty boring. 190 from opeloussa seems like swamp to me. Gotta stop for boiled peanuts along there.

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, firefly333 said:

As a matter of fact I do drive that way. At Shreveport take 49 to almost Lafayette then head east. Most of the time I cut off at Opeloussa and take the back roads from there. 49 is pretty boring. 190 from opeloussa seems like swamp to me. Gotta stop for boiled peanuts along there.


Opelousas is the way to go. If you go down to Lafayette you’re going to drive an extra half hour. If you went the Lafayette way the 20 min bridge is the closest to swamp you would see the entire trip. Three’s no water in Opelousas so I don’t know how you call it a swamp. 
 

If it’s me I’d stop in Longview on Estes parkway at Jucy taco and get a Jucys best taco and spicy beef burrito. 
 

Once in Louisiana if you continue east to Shreveport they have a bunch of casinos if you’re into that.  Once you head south if you were a fan of the TV show “Bayou Billionaires,” this is where they live. There’s a huge mailbox on the side of I-49 representing their “mailbox money.” 
 

Next up Natchitoches (nah-codish), the oldest city in the state of Louisiana. Meat pies are big there. An easy stop is The French Market right off of the interstate. They have meat pies, spicy meat pies, crawfish pies, and really good desserts.

 

If you continue into town a lot of the restaurants do meat pies as well. You can see plantations there. This is where steel magnolias was filmed. That house is a bed and breakfast now.


Next up Alexandria. If you were a fan of the TV show “Cajun Pawn Stars,” this is where that pawn shop is. 
 

In between Alexandria and Opelousas you’ll see cotton fields.

 

In Opelousas you get off I-49 and I hwy 190. Stop at Billy’s in Krotz Springs for pepper jack  boudin balls. 
 

As you get closer to Baton Rouge you will see a lot of sugar cane. And you’ll be able to see the state capital in the distance.

 

Exit to 415 and take it a couple miles to I-10.
 

Cross over the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge, left side USS Kidd ship/museum. Named after an admiral killed on the Arizona at Pearl Harbor. The only us destroyer still in the WWII configuration. Still on the left side the Louisiana State Capital. Right side Tiger Stadium. A couple miles down the road right side Mall of Louisiana. 
 

You’re less than an hour from New Orleans. 
 

That’s my description of the drive. There are no swamps. That is all further south.

 

I’d be interested to hear what you think is exciting about the drive from Dallas to Houston...besides the Houston traffic.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Saint Greg
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I would love more options on Ports to drive to sigh...I would love to be able to drive to NOLA. Only close option for me is Vancouver which is a 12 hour drive and only has one option which is Alaska and they aint open all year lol.  Next i suppose is Seattle which is a day and a half drive straight through which usually is Alaska or 3-4-5 day cruises.  Then i could drive to LA but thats a 3 day trip at best.  The rest is all fly to ports and my airfare is most times = to the price of the cruise.  I have been looking very closely at rcl for solo cruises due to the perks as well but i just cant tear myself away from Carnival yet.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Saint Greg said:


This is where steel magnolias was filmed. That house is a bed and breakfast now.

 

 

Thank you for the detailed trip through Louisiana. It sounds like a beautiful drive. We shot the exteriors for Magnolias at the Taylor House. It was the summer of '88 and hotter than blazes. The meat pies were delicious, but I never understood the boiled peanuts. 

Edited by Moviela
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7 hours ago, Saint Greg said:


Opelousas is the way to go. If you go down to Lafayette you’re going to drive an extra half hour. If you went the Lafayette way the 20 min bridge is the closest to swamp you would see the entire trip. Three’s no water in Opelousas so I don’t know how you call it a swamp. 
 

If it’s me I’d stop in Longview on Estes parkway at Jucy taco and get a Jucys best taco and spicy beef burrito. 
 

Once in Louisiana if you continue east to Shreveport they have a bunch of casinos if you’re into that.  Once you head south if you were a fan of the TV show “Bayou Billionaires,” this is where they live. There’s a huge mailbox on the side of I-49 representing their “mailbox money.” 
 

Next up Natchitoches (nah-codish), the oldest city in the state of Louisiana. Meat pies are big there. An easy stop is The French Market right off of the interstate. They have meat pies, spicy meat pies, crawfish pies, and really good desserts.

 

If you continue into town a lot of the restaurants do meat pies as well. You can see plantations there. This is where steel magnolias was filmed. That house is a bed and breakfast now.


Next up Alexandria. If you were a fan of the TV show “Cajun Pawn Stars,” this is where that pawn shop is. 
 

In between Alexandria and Opelousas you’ll see cotton fields.

 

In Opelousas you get off I-49 and I hwy 190. Stop at Billy’s in Krotz Springs for pepper jack  boudin balls. 
 

As you get closer to Baton Rouge you will see a lot of sugar cane. And you’ll be able to see the state capital in the distance.

 

Exit to 415 and take it a couple miles to I-10.
 

Cross over the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge, left side USS Kidd ship/museum. Named after an admiral killed on the Arizona at Pearl Harbor. The only us destroyer still in the WWII configuration. Still on the left side the Louisiana State Capital. Right side Tiger Stadium. A couple miles down the road right side Mall of Louisiana. 
 

You’re less than an hour from New Orleans. 
 

That’s my description of the drive. There are no swamps. That is all further south.

 

I’d be interested to hear what you think is exciting about the drive from Dallas to Houston...besides the Houston traffic.

 

 

 

 

Seems a long way between towns and you dont see much of them as you go through. Are the meat pies like the ones we buy everywhere in florida? Even at work for fundraisers. I thought they were local to florida and some island, jamaica? Cuba?  Colored dots on them to mark which kind they are. I did like those in florida.

 

Not a gambler just would stay thru there at a casino to watch. I'll try and remember to look for meat pies. Not a crawfish fan. They seem so small to get meat out of them, but I'd take them peeled. I like the spicy meat pies probably. 

 

About a mile before opeloussa is where the rest stop is with free community coffee and friendly women with maps and info and rocking chairs I like to stop at. Haven't been thru since covid so not sure they still doing coffee and such. It's a little off the road, on the west side of 49. 

 

I guess I'm a city girl and 49 seems a lot of nothing, if you say its not bayous and trees ok. Hawaii is the only place I've lived in the country and it's quite different. I do like the boiled peanuts, especially the spicy but either, though kinda hard to open and eat in the car while I'm driving but I do. Believe it or not I first got addicted to them in hawaii. 

 

On the other hand I belonged to a group and the dallas chapter used to rent 2 or 3 houses on stilts spring and fall in Galveston and we would go down and go into town and buy shrimp along the strand and come back and cook. I think the local places are all tourist traps now, but I have a lot of fond memories of Galveston. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, firefly333 said:

Seems a long way between towns and you dont see much of them as you go through. Are the meat pies like the ones we buy everywhere in florida? Even at work for fundraisers. I thought they were local to florida and some island, jamaica? Cuba?  Colored dots on them to mark which kind they are. I did like those in florida.

 

Not a gambler just would stay thru there at a casino to watch. I'll try and remember to look for meat pies. Not a crawfish fan. They seem so small to get meat out of them, but I'd take them peeled. I like the spicy meat pies probably. 

 

About a mile before opeloussa is where the rest stop is with free community coffee and friendly women with maps and info and rocking chairs I like to stop at. Haven't been thru since covid so not sure they still doing coffee and such. It's a little off the road, on the west side of 49. 

 

I guess I'm a city girl and 49 seems a lot of nothing, if you say its not bayous and trees ok. Hawaii is the only place I've lived in the country and it's quite different. I do like the boiled peanuts, especially the spicy but either, though kinda hard to open and eat in the car while I'm driving but I do. Believe it or not I first got addicted to them in hawaii. 

 

On the other hand I belonged to a group and the dallas chapter used to rent 2 or 3 houses on stilts spring and fall in Galveston and we would go down and go into town and buy shrimp along the strand and come back and cook. I think the local places are all tourist traps now, but I have a lot of fond memories of Galveston. 

 

Yeah I had the meat pies in Jamaica. They called them Patis. I didn't like them. The filling was black. I don't know what they have in Florida. 

 

https://www.frenchmarketexpress.com/home-2.html

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g40335-d4147171-Reviews-French_Market_Express-Natchitoches_Louisiana.html

 

 

 

If you go into town they serve up meat pies at restaurants.

 

http://lasyones.com/

 

 

The rest area you're talking about is nice. It's fairly new. It's maybe been there five years. They were working on it for a couple years.

 

 

 

 

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