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About KmomChicago

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    South Chicago Area
  • Interests
    travel, family, gardening
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Premier, remember them?
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Labadee, Haiti

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  1. You can't go wrong with this decision so it's a fun one. Since you have sailed both lines and have an idea which you prefer, I would say go ahead and jump aboard the Edge. Brand new ship with lots of novel design elements and public spaces. Calmer atmosphere, more aligned with, shall we say, a mature customer. Then you can get on to the even more fun part of exploring your destinations, planning your excursions, booking any desired onboard activities. You might be a bit surprised that there could be a proportionally high number of children on almost any mainstream cruise during the summer, even Celebrity. They all market to families to some extent, all have very good little kiddie and older kid clubs with scheduled activities, all have good pool and sport areas for them. The economy has been pretty good of late here in the US and others might be just as interested as yourself in this opportunity to introduce their brood to Europe. What easier way than aboard a ship? Unpack once, sleep in luxury, awake in a new country.
  2. What kind of price difference are you looking at? I am guessing that Edge well, edges out Oasis for cost. As others have noted, Celebrity is well known for having superior food quality and a more refined level of service as well as overall demographic. I've only sailed them once and it was all very, very nice, but a bit on the sleepy side for my taste and certainly not worth a higher fare. I have a teen so kids are intrinsically part of my existence and no bother to me, but yes indeed, they will be all over Oasis during the summer. Regardless the ship is so immense and so beautiful as to be hard to fully describe or appreciate without experiencing it. My family mostly refuses to eat in the MDR; however were entirely satisfied with several meals in the Windjammer buffet, though of course it is a bit of a madhouse at peak times. My kiddo and I preferred the much smaller Solarium Bistro - also a buffet for breakfast and lunch, which was directly up a few flights from our room with seating in the Solarium itself, a truly lovely space, rather underused and under appreciated by many passengers, and therefore rarely busy or chaotic. To me it felt like an upgraded and exclusive venue without any upcharge. My husband adored the Central Park area including Park Cafe which was often surprisingly quiet onboard a ship with 6,000 of your closest friends. I am unable to find fault with Oasis and though typically we look to try new things each vacation, we would all very gladly sail her again.
  3. I can’t even begin to compare any other ship with Oasis of the Seas. For us the promise of the ultimate mega ship was completely fulfilled. However even then we missed a couple little things from our voyages on old banged up Carnival ships (Hub App for texting, self service laundry and Guy’s Burger Joint, more fun attitude of the activities crew). My favorite itineraries include private islands. Many years ago on Big Red Boat they contracted with what is now Blue Lagoon Island near Nassau as a private port day and it was idyllic and largely unspoiled but even then featured the standard beach BBQ and water toy rentals. It is probably my most perfect cruise destination memory ever. Disney’s Castaway Cay was wonderful and RC’s Labadee just last year exceeded my expectations and reminded me of the others. The best ship is the one I’m on, really!
  4. We did the bag of clothes on RC and the white t shirts and socks came back a bit gray, linty and heavily dried as if it had all been done on high heat. To be fair they recommend only underwear and small items and I included larger colored shirts and shorts and really crammed a lot into the little bag. No precious fine items that we care about but I probably won’t do it again. I prefer Carnival self service. I can do one big load on cold, dry or fluff as I want for each item and hang rather than fold as applicable, for less than half the cost. When flying this benefit is multiplied as luggage is such a massive hassle. We can get by with small bags plus then we can easily walk everything on and off.
  5. Plus OP is a very experienced cruiser and parent as well as a resident of NY with knowledge of their school schedule. But I’m sure it was intended as helpful information. Thankfully this thread isn’t full of naysayers warning OP to burn that voucher and stick with her usual choices of RC and Celebrity if she values her time, safety and life in general. I hope she’ll come back to tell the tale afterward.
  6. Agree that if all goes per expectation it is doable. But things can go wrong and then it’s a bad gamble. Several factors could potentially derail their original itinerary: Delay in arrival which includes finding luggage or dealing with customs, delay in securing their ride, delay due to traffic, and delays checking in or going through security at the airport. They’ve now gone from a low risk of missing their flight to a virtually zero risk. Perhaps more important, zero fretting about it all week while aboard and probably a great last night’s sleep knowing they don’t need to rush one bit. It’s a form of insurance but this time the cost of the policy is time and it seems a reasonable price to pay.
  7. I'll probably never retire. BOO HOO, poor me, not that anyone would care or sympathize as it's my own fault. I travelled / spent too much on the early end and started saving too late. On our China land tour (mid '30's) we were by far the youngest couple and the only one with the stamina to meet the requirements. I so clearly remember thinking how grateful I was to be checking off the bucket list early rather than later, tired and in pain. That was just one of several trips I took before becoming a late in life parent at 39. Now at 52 with a teen kiddo I'm a little behind on the 401K and expect to work until I can't. But I get 5 weeks paid time off, so we do manage to get away. I see other people my age who are already retired or close due to having jobs with generous pension packages. Oh well. I made this bed, I understood what I was doing at the time and so far I don't really regret it. Maybe at 70 I will either have enough to make the jump or if not, will kick myself for my poor planning.
  8. I am not specifically pro or con for Cuba as a destination for Americans. In other words, if someone wants to go, now that we can, I am not offended. I am always trying to figure out our next cruise and price out LOTS of potential options well into the future, mostly through online travel agencies because this includes most or all cruise lines - and I'm not brand loyal. I agree with the comments above that there seem to be more, not fewer, scheduled cruises to Cuba. Not tons and tons, like say, Cozumel or Nassau. Not even lots, like so many Caribbean areas that have been developed to serve the cruise industry in the past several years. But plenty enough to meet whatever demand is there. There is a bit of a "forbidden fruit" aspect to visiting Cuba as it was not simply a recommendation that we avoid it due to danger of war or such. It was flat out illegal for the typical citizen as a leisure destination. Now it's not and of course there could be curiosity about finally checking it out. People have bucket lists. The baby boomers don't have forever to check off that elusive last Caribbean destination. If there is a business case for it, then it will happen. If demand drops off, or if it turns out not to be a port people want to visit, scheduled sailings will decrease. Particularly I notice Carnival Sensation from Miami has recently added a bunch of Cuba itineraries. From a purely business standpoint I think this is a smart move. The ship itself is old and shows it (we still enjoyed it a lot) and runs short, cheapo cruises from the busiest cruise port in the world where it has tons of competition. Adding some Cuba's gives it something to differentiate and perhaps increase demand for what otherwise might be soft, tough to fill dates.
  9. I agree with many others. No 4 adults in a stateroom. I would say, I'm getting an interior. Who wants in with me? Ms. Daylight can do whatever she wants. Who wants in with her? If she can't get up in the morning, what does she do in the winter time? Skip work? Call in because the sun didn't come up by 6 am? And, I'd tell her, you're on vacation, sleep all day if you want. If you manage to wake up by noon, or by supper time, come find us. Will you truly sleep continuously around the clock while your cabin mate crashes around using the bathroom, turning on lights, getting dressed, etc? Frankly she sounds like no fun to travel with, high maintenance, gets her way over everyone else. Because, wait. WHO is turning 50 here? Is it you? I thought it was you. There are electric lights in the room. Her roommate can turn them on. What a ridiculous argument about nothing to the detriment of everyone else.
  10. I suggest taking your Bonine or non-drowsy Dramamine at bedtime each night. I sleep well and most of the drowsy factor has worn off by morning, but it's still keeping you from being seasick all day. It's an antihistamine and if you are not used to them they knock a lot of people right out.
  11. Indeed. "The Train they call the City of New Orleans." Yes, the train route is still called that. I have taken it for its last few miles on the northbound journey, and mentally humming the song for the 90ish minute ride. The train pulls out of Kan - ka - kee. It surely does, at about 7:13 am, joining a bunch of sleepy, rather sweaty people who've been in their coach seats all night from points far to the south. Have not seriously considered taking it all the way to its namesake destination. The fact is, you can drive a LOT faster, and as others have mentioned, cheaper. I did look into it for our Triumph cruise but didn't like the terms. We left the house in the morning for that cruise and easily made it to Jackson MS. We certainly could have gone all the way but I am too cheap to pay for 2 nights in an expensive downtown area. We rolled in to NOLA the next morning around 10am and spent a day and night in the Big Easy before boarding. On the other end we were off the ship and out of the city not long after 7am and made it home same day.
  12. I wish we were within an easier driving distance to New York or any port, really. We are out of Port Liberty to Canada in August because we are travelling with my mom who won't fly. I really hate flying myself but my husband prefers it to the long drives. I don't like the prices, the overall hassle and inconvenience, luggage restrictions, etc.
  13. I think Horizon is definitely a possibility. I will check it out for the same timeframe. We sailed out of Miami on Sensation and found it to be an easy port and I know it's not far from the airport.
  14. This is great info so far! We are an hour south of Chicago so Baltimore and New Orleans are closest for driving. Hubby thinks he wants the Vista / Vista class, all things being equal, which of course they never really are. So I am trying to figure out if we can make that work. It’s a bit pricey by Carnival standards but we might be able to do next January after the holidays. I know a lot of people like Dream class as much or better than Vista, that they are not much smaller or older and that they have a lot of great features. Definitely possible and worth considering. We would probably fly to Houston if we choose Vista. I found fairly reasonable prices to Hobby, though the transfer situation doesn’t sound like any picnic. I don’t think anyone raves about what an easy port Galveston is.
  15. WOWSA. If you're still cruising after all that, not much that's going to stop you. You are a more intrepid and experienced traveler than many on the boards. Shifting to Carnival from other lines will obviously be pretty seamless for you. Is there anything else you wanted to know that we've missed?
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