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Kmom NEEDS LOTS OF HELP PLEASE - Pre-Planning Pre-Review Preview Mardi Gras August 7, 2021 - Join me if you dare


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15 minutes ago, Tom-n-Cheryl said:

 

How did you eventually get the Steakhouse reservations issue resolved?

 

Tom

 

Haven't yet. I will try to remember to call tomorrow. I'm not too worried about it as the amount shown paid is obviously for 5.

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HELP NEEDED! Since I am neither a heavy drinker nor a teetotaler (I may go months without a drop and then have a few over a course of a weekend), I am making a bit of a commitment to trying all these interesting bars onboard Mardi Gras. I am inexperienced here.

 

What's your favorite drink at Alchemy?

What's your favorite drink of the day special?

What's your favorite drink at the Havana bar?

Red Frog Tiki bar replaces the rum bar and tequila bar but I assume similar drinks, so favorites there?

Beers at the brewhouse? Watering Hole pool bar?

Fortune Teller and Brass Magnolia are new. Heroes is only on Panorama so mostly new. 

 

I like my drinks sweet and yummy. Sorry but no classic dry gin martinis.  I'm okay with sweetened straight liqueurs or cordials like Amaretto, Kahlua, creme de menthe, Midori, etc. Fruity beach punch type options are always okay as are basic sweet and sours like margaritas. 

 

Help! I have a maximum allocation of 14 adult beverages on this cruise and want to use them wisely - plus take notes to report back later. 

 

 

 

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Ting Mojito. Ting is a delicious Jamaican grapefruit pop. As long as you're cool with mint you'll love it. No opinion on the Alchemy menu because I always just asked for something weird with gin. Don't overlook the coffee selections at the Havana bar. Cafecito or a cortadito in an empty bar is always nice. I think most people don't realize it's open in the morning because it was only ever me and the bartender while Java Blue was slammed.

 

I'm with you on the dry gin martini. Everyone I know who drinks them seems to be trying to out-dry each other. At this rate just put a straw in a bottle of Botanist and call it a day....

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Finally, hit on a topic that I know a thing about.

 

Everybody has different taste, but my favorite pool drink has always been Sex on the Beach.  I stay away from frozen and coconut drinks, myself.

 

Love Alchemy.  Tell them what tastes you like and they generally can make it right.  Whether they have flavored vodkas that they soak the fruit themselves will have to be seen with new Covid rules.  They can be pretty tasty.  Particularly pineapple soaked vodka with a hint of Habanero.  They can also make a pretty good Margarita with fresh juice not mix.  

 

And then Martinis.  Why I go to Alchemy.  The straw angle might work, but (IMHO) their are two ways to make a proper Martini.  First, you show the bottle of Vermouth to the drink.  No pouring, just show the bottle.  Second is filthy dirty with olive juice replacing the Vermouth.  Then you can be heavy handed.  Olives and Gin just go well together.  Although I go back and forth between the Sapphire and Belvedere (Vodka).

 

Lastly, if you are on Cheers, try some Belvedere and not just Grey Goose.  I much prefer Belvedere.

 

 

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For better or worse, I like them all. 😁  Following your guidelines of sweet and yummy, I have a couple of suggestions.

 

Tiramisu Martini.  It is fantastic!!!!  I drink them in the evening after dinner. Not like a milkshake, so not too heavy.  Smooth and yummy.    

 

The Cruiser.  It is a fruit punch type drink.  Perfect for a hot afternoon.

 

Bushwacker.  A frozen chocolate/mint concoction.  Carnival doesn't due the St. Thomas original, but ask for a floater of 151 on top and that should help it taste less like a milkshake. 

 

Baileys on the rocks.  A classic after dinner sipping drink.

 

I can't stress enough that you should try the tiramisu martini at least once on your cruise!

 

Dawn 

 

 

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23 hours ago, Tom-n-Cheryl said:

 

How did you eventually get the Steakhouse reservations issue resolved?

 

Tom

I called the customer line today and they told me on their end they can see it's five "tickets" as the representative called them. And they can see I paid $190 which I can also see. He has no idea why the planner is showing 1 because their system says 5.  

 

When we get aboard I'll find someone to confirm but I feel pretty comfortable it will be okay.

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On 7/25/2021 at 8:11 AM, KmomChicago said:

HELP NEEDED! Since I am neither a heavy drinker nor a teetotaler (I may go months without a drop and then have a few over a course of a weekend), I am making a bit of a commitment to trying all these interesting bars onboard Mardi Gras. I am inexperienced here.

 

What's your favorite drink at Alchemy?

What's your favorite drink of the day special?

What's your favorite drink at the Havana bar?

Red Frog Tiki bar replaces the rum bar and tequila bar but I assume similar drinks, so favorites there?

Beers at the brewhouse? Watering Hole pool bar?

Fortune Teller and Brass Magnolia are new. Heroes is only on Panorama so mostly new. 

 

I like my drinks sweet and yummy. Sorry but no classic dry gin martinis.  I'm okay with sweetened straight liqueurs or cordials like Amaretto, Kahlua, creme de menthe, Midori, etc. Fruity beach punch type options are always okay as are basic sweet and sours like margaritas. 

 

Help! I have a maximum allocation of 14 adult beverages on this cruise and want to use them wisely - plus take notes to report back later. 

 

 

 

If you are only allotting yourself 14 drinks over 7 days, that's obviously 2 per day.  I would only drink at 3 bars.  Alchemy,  Fortune Teller and Brass Magnolia.  During the heat of the day forego the sugary nonsense and enjoy your 2 drinks at nighttime at the three bars I mentioned. 

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Okay friends. Need some more help!  I am considering Bottomless Bubbles. It says it is "available for purchase" at the lobby, casino and pool bars.  Does this mean the soda and juice is provided only at those bars, or that you can buy the whole program there, and once you have bottomless bubbles, you get the actual sodas or juices at any bar?  Because Mardi Gras has a LOT of bars! I guess it doesn't include any coffee drinks at Java Blue or this new Bella Rosa place. 😞

 

As I type this I realize people are prolly rolling some eyes like, "do a search for bottomless bubbles, Kmom, dude, mmkay? and find someone who's already posted all about it. . . . (but not on Mardi Gras because it wasn't there yet so maybe nobody knows)" so anyway I will go ahead and do that too right now. Thanks though for any insight you can give to a poor old senior citizen, formerly a classic cheapo who is getting just a little bit splurgy this time around. 

 

Sorry for the rambly post, even for me. Getting so close now to the trip and trynna dive deep into these last few deets. Ready to sail like, TODAYYYYYYYYYYY. Right nowwwwwwwww.  This ship is gonna be the best. one. evaaaaaaa. 

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2 hours ago, SNJCruisers said:

If you are only allotting yourself 14 drinks over 7 days, that's obviously 2 per day.  I would only drink at 3 bars.  Alchemy,  Fortune Teller and Brass Magnolia.  During the heat of the day forego the sugary nonsense and enjoy your 2 drinks at nighttime at the three bars I mentioned. 

 

Hi Southern New Jersey Near Philly type friend. (We once spent the night in Mt. Laurel after a day in downtown Philly seeing the historic sites so I get the location). 

 

All 3 of those are on the must do list for at least one drink each. My question back is, why exclude a few other cool options like the Havana Bar, the Heroes Lounge, Bar Della Rosa, Grand View Bar in the new atrium, perhaps some refreshment while in the Piano Bar or Punchliner, RedFrog Tiki Bar, and maybe the Serenity Deck. I mean, if your answer is simply, none of those are any good / are special / have decent drinks / are an atmosphere you would enjoy, that's cool. Just askin'.

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1 hour ago, KmomChicago said:

 

Hi Southern New Jersey Near Philly type friend. (We once spent the night in Mt. Laurel after a day in downtown Philly seeing the historic sites so I get the location). 

 

All 3 of those are on the must do list for at least one drink each. My question back is, why exclude a few other cool options like the Havana Bar, the Heroes Lounge, Bar Della Rosa, Grand View Bar in the new atrium, perhaps some refreshment while in the Piano Bar or Punchliner, RedFrog Tiki Bar, and maybe the Serenity Deck. I mean, if your answer is simply, none of those are any good / are special / have decent drinks / are an atmosphere you would enjoy, that's cool. Just askin'.

All of the bars on Carnival have bartenders.   The exception is the Alchemy Bar, where mixologists work.  They don't have to stick to menus with sugary mixes and premade their drinks like they do at times at the two bars adjacent to the main Lido pool.

I have a feeling that the two new bars I mentioned,  Brass Magnolia and Forrune Teller are going to be upscale and unique.  If you're going to limit yourself to 2 drinks per day, I were would take the first 3 days of your cruise and go to each of the 3 bars I mentioned before dinner and enjoy your two drinks.   During the heat of the day, enjoy the bottomless bubbles.   Don't waste one of your 2 drinks on a Miami Vice or a Kiss On The Lips.  The other 3 bars will do you better.

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On bottomless bubbles, once purchased, you can get soft drinks from any bar.  Some people complain that under the program, they don't give you the can, they just give you a full glass.  Some people get upset, but to me ....

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12 hours ago, ddavis5us said:

On bottomless bubbles, once purchased, you can get soft drinks from any bar.  Some people complain that under the program, they don't give you the can, they just give you a full glass.  Some people get upset, but to me ....

 

Thank you ddavis.  I can tell you getting upset while on a cruise is a very, very low priority for us. Who cares? I wonder if you hand the bartender a dollar will they give you the whole can anyway?

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1 hour ago, KmomChicago said:

 

Thank you ddavis.  I can tell you getting upset while on a cruise is a very, very low priority for us. Who cares? I wonder if you hand the bartender a dollar will they give you the whole can anyway?

 

Speaking of "the whole can" - that gives me a flashback to our first/only cruise on Princess. It still kind of sticks in my craw, and I share the experience whenever I can. This was not a one off/single server issue - but at 2-3 other bars. I ordered a Grey Goose and Diet Sprite. Well, they don't have Diet Sprite in their soda guns so, guess what? They'll charge you the (est) $9.50 for the drink and then add on $1.50 for the can of soda they had to open to complete the "mixed" drink.

 

Perhaps I'm just not worldly enough with my drinks (I am kind of a lightweight), but when one pays for a mixed drink, it seems it should come "mixed", and include the mixer.  OK, off my portable soapbox again!

 

 

i-GwVGrS4-M.jpg

 

Tom

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31 minutes ago, Tom-n-Cheryl said:

 

Speaking of "the whole can" - that gives me a flashback to our first/only cruise on Princess. It still kind of sticks in my craw, and I share the experience whenever I can. This was not a one off/single server issue - but at 2-3 other bars. I ordered a Grey Goose and Diet Sprite. Well, they don't have Diet Sprite in their soda guns so, guess what? They'll charge you the (est) $9.50 for the drink and then add on $1.50 for the can of soda they had to open to complete the "mixed" drink.

 

Perhaps I'm just not worldly enough with my drinks (I am kind of a lightweight), but when one pays for a mixed drink, it seems it should come "mixed", and include the mixer.  OK, off my portable soapbox again!

 

 

i-GwVGrS4-M.jpg

 

Tom

 

I totally get this Tom.  For the psychologists out there, perhaps it's an interesting exercise to understand which of the thousands of details a person faces daily is the trigger that pushes your personal mental wellness into "irritation." I believe for the venue, that canned soda is significantly more expensive than fountain, but as you note, it is very rare that anyone has diet Sprite (or any non-calorie, non-caffeine) soda available in the guns. I guess to stay sane I would tell myself that your request turns the drink from a well to a call. Most of us don't mind when this is due to the liquor being a premium ingredient, but it doesn't feel right for the soft component somehow. And yet. . . 


So to ramble and segue yet again, on a recent (pandemic) visit to a nice Hyatt in Chicago, my husband ambled down to the bar where the very nice bartender suggested some lovely artisan bourbon that he accepted.  And was quite shocked when the ticket was laid before him: $65 for the one glass.  He later said he had to really make an effort to keep his cool and sign the ticket like he thought nothing of it, then came up to the room and immediately confessed, expecting his frugal wife would blow a cog. 

 

Which I didn't. He obviously was in way over his head and it was an innocent mistake and lesson learned. Wasting money irresponsibly is not a sustainable practice, but if you can afford it and you want diet Sprite in your drink on your cruise, we both know an upcharge of less than 2 bucks is nothing to sweat over. And yet. . . .

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6 minutes ago, KmomChicago said:

 

I totally get this Tom.  For the psychologists out there, perhaps it's an interesting exercise to understand which of the thousands of details a person faces daily is the trigger that pushes your personal mental wellness into "irritation." I believe for the venue, that canned soda is significantly more expensive than fountain, but as you note, it is very rare that anyone has diet Sprite (or any non-calorie, non-caffeine) soda available in the guns. I guess to stay sane I would tell myself that your request turns the drink from a well to a call. Most of us don't mind when this is due to the liquor being a premium ingredient, but it doesn't feel right for the soft component somehow. And yet. . . 


So to ramble and segue yet again, on a recent (pandemic) visit to a nice Hyatt in Chicago, my husband ambled down to the bar where the very nice bartender suggested some lovely artisan bourbon that he accepted.  And was quite shocked when the ticket was laid before him: $65 for the one glass.  He later said he had to really make an effort to keep his cool and sign the ticket like he thought nothing of it, then came up to the room and immediately confessed, expecting his frugal wife would blow a cog. 

 

Which I didn't. He obviously was in way over his head and it was an innocent mistake and lesson learned. Wasting money irresponsibly is not a sustainable practice, but if you can afford it and you want diet Sprite in your drink on your cruise, we both know an upcharge of less than 2 bucks is nothing to sweat over. And yet. . . .

 

I've since (several years now) given up on all artificial sweeteners. No, this wasn't the kicker, lol. 😁

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One week out, the maiden voyage leaves today (although the cruise line had crew "guests" sailing around last week, testing stuff I presume).

 

I just purchased Bottomless Bubbles for the 3 of us in our cabin. We don't really love visiting hot places during the hottest time of the year, so I decided to do what I could to encourage hydration for all of us. This may impact my plan to enjoy 2 cocktails per day - perhaps I become my own amateur mixologist and just pay for various shots to add to my juices.

 

Here are a couple I found online with butterscotch schnapps.  I have no idea what they would charge me for a shot, neat, or a double of such a liqueur.

 

Caramel Coke recipe


Seduction on the Rocks recipe

 

My husband said this morning, "are we 100% sure the cruise will not be cancelled? When will we know?"  I replied, I don't think we can ever be 100% sure, and I guess we will know when we step on the ship. 

 

Considering I live in a county with only 36% fully vaccinated population, I hope we can sail so I can be safer than at home. 

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Like a lot of board surfers, I am watching the posts the last couple of days with a mix of anticipation and concern. I have 3 work days this week, and then we have a hotel overnight Thursday with a park/stay/fly package five minutes away from O'Hare, early morning flight to Orlando International and then Friday night at my dad's. 

 

Will our cruise sail August 7 as scheduled? Will embarkation requirements change before then? Will the process be smooth and fluid and on time? 

 

And assuming all goes well there . . . 

 

Will our Fahrenheit 555 Steak House dinner on embark afternoon go well? Will it be worth the charge? Will it take 2 hours to get our appetizers? Will they burn my Wagyu? Will the free house wine be swill?

 

As for the rest of the food and drink. . . 

 

Will I deem Bottomless Bubbles as a good buy (we never bought it before and this time I am getting it for myself, husband and teen)?  Will we remember to bring our Yeti cups so we can fix our morning coffee in the buffet before bed and chug it when we wake in the wee hours?  Will Emeril's have adequate seating to accommodate demand?

 

And then family matters. . .

 

Will my grumpy, gender neutral, LGBTQ+ teen enjoy this cruise as much as cruises past, as younger, more innocent versions of same human have done? Will peer friends be located and bonded with in O2?

 

The fretful mind cannot rest.

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22 minutes ago, KmomChicago said:

...

 

And then family matters. . .

 

Will my grumpy, gender neutral, LGBTQ+ teen enjoy this cruise as much as cruises past, as younger, more innocent versions of same human have done? Will peer friends be located and bonded with in O2?

 

The fretful mind cannot rest.

 

Most younger people seem to be more accepting of they/them/etc  🙂

 

Tom

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Posted (edited)
On 6/24/2021 at 10:20 AM, TravelBluebird said:

 

I would love information on vegan dining options.

 

I will be traveling with a vegan friend on a 5 day Carnival cruise in November, and if she like it and doesn’t starve, she may join my group for the Mardi Gras in February. 

 

After watching several vlogs about service time issues on dinner, I am rethinking my whole strategy. Stumbled on this article: seems you do get a lot more options by ordering things custom made.

 

https://www.carnival.com/awaywego/cruising-fun/how-to-plan/how-to-eat-vegan-on-a-cruise

 

And shamelessly borrowed from ParoDeeJay, onboard now = this is in the JavaBlue cafe. Note pesto vegetable sandwich and buffalo cauliflower wrap. I cannot guarantee no egg or cheese ingredients, but Carnival mentions breads as being vegan in the link above.  I am not sure if your friend is willing to take a chance on not being certain about every ingredient. 

 

image.png.b181e67d77b668facc5eef69d01d1b3c.png

Edited by KmomChicago
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Posted (edited)

On the subject of drinks, I second the Carnival Cruiser.  I developed a love for it when you got a casino match play with it!

Edited by JaniceB
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KMOM, I lost this chain.  Sorry to be slow to respond.  I have mellowed in my old age.  I used to could pitch a fit that would best just about anyone.  Once, with good cause, I got Disney to refund a full 4 days off their "Gold Plan" which included all parks and food.  I was almost a "professional".  I mellowed however.   I learned that getting upset might get you "even" but that it never truly resolved the problem.  

 

However, back to your question.  Yes, my experience is that if you give them $1, they will give you the can!.  I have gotten where I will tip a $1 on a bottle of water if they give me a the check to sign as I don't carry singles like a lot of people do.  I sign the tip to the check.  However, if you are on Cheers (which I typically am), they don't give you the check for a coke or a bottle of water.  They just aren't used to a tip on those.  I'm bumping the $1 to either $1.50 or $2.00 per drink on this trip, as they (the servers) have missed a lot of paychecks over the last year.  

 

Don

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7 hours ago, JaniceB said:

On the subject of drinks, I second the Carnival Cruiser.  I developed a love for it when you got a casino match play with it!

 

I am up for one of those. Where do I get it? Is it a drink of the day?

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2 hours ago, ddavis5us said:

KMOM, I lost this chain.  Sorry to be slow to respond.  I have mellowed in my old age.  I used to could pitch a fit that would best just about anyone.  Once, with good cause, I got Disney to refund a full 4 days off their "Gold Plan" which included all parks and food.  I was almost a "professional".  I mellowed however.   I learned that getting upset might get you "even" but that it never truly resolved the problem.  

 

However, back to your question.  Yes, my experience is that if you give them $1, they will give you the can!.  I have gotten where I will tip a $1 on a bottle of water if they give me a the check to sign as I don't carry singles like a lot of people do.  I sign the tip to the check.  However, if you are on Cheers (which I typically am), they don't give you the check for a coke or a bottle of water.  They just aren't used to a tip on those.  I'm bumping the $1 to either $1.50 or $2.00 per drink on this trip, as they (the servers) have missed a lot of paychecks over the last year.  

 

Don

 

Thanks Don. I have never been a fit pitcher. "You git what you git and you don't throw a fit." I eat what I am served in main dining rooms on cruises, even if the fish is overcooked or the carrots are crunchy and flavorless. I literally do not remember that I have ever sent back food in a restaurant in 55 years of my life. Okay I won't be 55 until next week. 54 years and 357 days. If a restaurant experience is truly horrid I will stiff a server which I have done perhaps 3 or 4 times EVER.

 

Somebody has to be bullying someone for me to get involved and start fit pitching. And I do understand handing people like bartenders extra dollar bills often causes pleasant and magical things to happen. Now that we have bottomless bubbles, I guess I should be able to get all the diet Sprite I want anyway, amirite? Grats are included on those but I am not opposed to a dolla here or a dolla there and will of course have a wallet full available.

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