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About Gumbo4Life

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Drones, photography, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Cozumel (our fav), Grand Cayman, Key West (best so far)

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  1. We were last on the Jan 5, 2020 sailing of the Freedom out of Galvestion, had a fantastic time. Thanks for the reminder I need to do a short review of the trip. Our next is in February 2021 out of Ft. Lauderdale on the Breeze (our favorite ship so far). Pic is not of the Freedom but I took the pic from our balcony. 🙂
  2. On our Jan 5 cruise we got to the port about 20 minutes before our 12:00 check in time. Instead of waiting outside we got in the early/late line and sailed right through, never stopped until we were on the ship, at 12:05. So yes, you can try, but as others here have said YMMV. Enjoy your cruise!!
  3. Just got back from Jan 5, 2020 cruise on the Carnival Freedom. Ship - Carnival Freedom Deck - 7 Stateroom # - 7334 Stateroom Category – Balcony Starboard or Port Side - Port Quiet Stateroom? (With comments on problems) – Yes Was stateroom a connecting stateroom? - No Balcony View - Unobstructed view Balcony Size? Normal or oversized for class? - Normal, standard balcony Was wind a problem? - only on certain days! If an aft cabin, was soot a problem? - n/a Any specific problems with this cabin? - One of the lights over the sofa didn't work Any other comments? - Very good location, two floors up to Guy's burgers and two floors down to the Red Frog pub, what else could you need! Room steward was fantastic, shower excellent. Would select this cabin again.
  4. Wow, a different question for sure but not odd, lots of people have this situation, probably more common than most would admit. I'll tell you what I do, perhaps it helps, perhaps not... I sleep on my side with an earplug in the top ear, right ear in my case (CVS green, works great) and a memory foam pillow on the left ear, quite dense that acts as an earplug. If I get to sleep earlier it helps but not necessary, just get them pointed in the other direction. If really bad I'll use 2 earplugs but I don't really like doing that as I don't hear anything except my heartbeat which is kinda weird... I'm not sure about the Horizon but during the day I've found that the shaded area on the deck away from the pool area typically has loungers that are available anytime, could get a few hours of shut eye without too much of an issue - middle of the night, then I don't know, never tried it!! Good luck, enjoy your cruise. I've found that cruises have brought us closer together, overall 🙂
  5. We sail out of Galveston and the last few times we basically went from check in to on the boat. Cruises a few years ago had us waiting in the terminal for our zone to be called for quite a while but nowadays they seem to have that better timed to minimize the time waiting in the terminal. Be on time and you will be on the boat before it leaves 🙂
  6. Love superbowl cruises (see my trip reports in signature) but NO commercials. We would watch the superbowl from a few locations but probably liked the main theater the best. Lots of people cheering on and service comes by frequently to get your drink orders, etc. Have fun with it 🙂
  7. Not sure I'm going to help you with your decision, we have been on both shlps and enjoyed both but our favorite ship so far is the Breeze. As a matter of fact our first cruise ever was on the Breeze and the itinerary that the Vista is going on in your case! In 2021 we are heading to Ft. Lauderdale (from Texas) to sail on the Breeze and go to 4 ports we have never been to (St Martin, and a few others...). We did like the Vista though and while we read several reviews that didn't like the theater setup, etc. that didn't keep us from enjoying the shows and having a great time on the cruse. Short answer is I think you will enjoy either ship, but would recommend looking at the ports, what you will do and experience at each, travel to and from the port, etc. and determine what will work best overall for your family. Any cruise with the family can be a great time and I'm a firm believer that the ship won't be the most important choice when it comes to a family vacation! Let us know what you decide! 🙂
  8. Hey there, welcome back. We used Victor Bodden for a private tour in Roatan and got to see everything we wanted as well as hired a private boat/snorkeling tour for the 2 of us, great time. They also do many different tours, certainly something your DW will enjoy. We enjoyed it very much. We've also parked at the Galveston Port parking however there is a mini bus that takes you to the ship. I don't think walking would be that pleasant, but your boots are probably more comfortable than mine! We sailed on the Vista last year and enjoyed it as well, liked the Breeze better but no real complaints with the Vista. We just booked a cruise on the Freedom for early January 2020. Y'all are going to have a great time, sailing in February is very nice. You will go to sleep on night and it will be chilly and wake up with it much warmer, good times!! Looking forward to hearing how you enjoy your cruise. 🙂
  9. When we were there we hired a guide right there at the tender area for the day, I'm thinking $80 for the day. So basically had a private car and driver for the day. We hit all of the local tourist spots on our own schedule and didn't have to wait for a gaggle of others waiting to get on the bus. We also got to see a few local beaches that are typically not on the tourist route, stayed as long as we wanted in Hell (sounds funny doesn't it) and the driver gave us a tour of some new areas they were building as well as some information on local news and culture we wouldn't have received on a normal tour bus. We didn't arrange in advance, just hired on arrival. I don't think I would put my trust in hoping to get local buses (not sure they even have them) but taxi's would probably be ok. You could just ask the taxi driver how much to drive you around for a few hours. I've done that in many areas, not just Grand Cayman, with good results.
  10. We are looking at a Dec 1 cruise this year and are wondering if the ships will be decorated for Christmas by then? When are the ships decorated for Christmas typically? Thanks! :)
  11. No, flying on the ship is not permitted. I was many, many miles away from the ship when we flew and in an area where is it permissible to fly safely. I have been flying R/C aircraft as well as drones for a long time and wouldn't risk my drone or the safety of other people just to get a picture. Thanks for your comment as I'm sure others may be thinking the same thing - and hopefully won't try to fly off of the ship. I have noticed most of the ports have "no drone" signs. 🙂
  12. We were pleasantly surprised by the Vista. We have sailed on the Breeze twice and the Valor once and absolutely loved the Breeze and reviews we had read before the cruise had us expecting a ship that was crowded, long lines for everything, smoke coming out of the casino all the time and not so great food, etc. You get the idea. I am happy to report sailing on the Vista was a very nice experience and we would definitely sail on her again in the future. The good: + A big shout out to Matt M. who was born to be a Cruise Director, he really is a natural and contributed to our cruise experience. Funny, funny, funny... + Music - I finally have been on a cruise that I liked (most of) the music. From the band Farmer to the Piano player (Josh) and the other musicians, "the horns" etc, we really enjoyed the music. + Music #2 – The Vista actually had live music for one of the shows, not too many cruise ships are doing that nowadays and it was a pleasant surprise! + The food - we did not have one single bad experience related to food. From the MDR, Steakhouse, Iguana burritos, Guys burgers as well as the buffet, salad on the Serenity deck, etc. the food exceeded our expectations (this is one area we were really concerned about, again, based on some of those reviews). There were several areas that we did not eat though, will have to try them out on the next cruise. 😊 + Big TV - we had an Ocean suite and while we didn't watch TV that often it was nice to have a full size TV in the room! (I’m not a fan of the TV remote though). + Embarkation. Getting on the ship was great, I don’t think we ever stopped walking (well, maybe a time or two) but never had to sit down, just walked onto the ship! ++ A big "thank you" to the medical crew that took care of my better half, very professional, friendly, understanding and efficient - really exceeded my expectations! I understand that there were quite a few folks that came down with some type of 24 hour bug. When we got to the medical center we were the only patient but when we left there were 3-4 waiting. Opportunities: - If you have read any review on the Vista you will no doubt have read about the theater. The design of the Liquid Theater is OK but could have been better. At two floors it seems smaller than the theater in the Breeze, I could be wrong though, it may have the same number of seats. The floors are flat so back rows don't have a good view, additionally, the posts block many views as well. - When we first walked into our cabin (7333) it had a pretty strong what seemed like a mildew smell but thankfully keeping the bathroom door closed kept the smell isolated and it was completely gone in a few days. Never figured out what it was... - Balcony had 3 chairs and one table, would have preferred one chair, table and lounger. It was not that big of a deal and I didn’t ask if any loungers were available. - Disembarkation - They parked us in the Reflections restaurant while we waited but we couldn't hear any announcements and subsequently were delayed getting off the ship. This can be improved on, someone should be in these areas making announcements (I heard that other areas had the same problem). - We did miss being able to walk completely around the ship on deck 5 like you can on the Breeze as on the Vista you run into the “Havana” area which by the looks of it is very nice. - Overall the crew were ok, they were polite, professional and did their jobs. Our cabin steward was efficient, we barely saw her, but she did keep the room clean and the ice bucket full! Other: When we were boarding in Galveston we definitely could smell smoke in the stairways near the casino but interestingly it was not an issue again for the rest of the cruise (did not smell smoke). Probably something about the ventilation when docked. This was our 3rd Superbowl cruise in a row and the New England Patriots have been in everyone. While the game proved only so interesting, I was looking forward to the commercials but alas, the commercials are not shown on the boat (I should have known that) but we did hang in for the whole game this time. It is amazing that looking back on it, we spent an entire week on this ship and there are so many things we didn’t see or do. We never got to a comedy show for example. How does that happen? In Cozumel we did what we always do, rented a car, drove around the island and flew my drone in a quite but scenic location. We ate at the highest restaurant on the island “Coconuts” and rented the car from Alamo. Easy and not very expensive. Always a good day in Cozumel. In Belize we just took the tender to the port area and did some shopping, went back to the ship and enjoyed a quiet afternoon. In Roatan in Honduras we did the “Best of Roatan” tour with Bodden tours. http://www.boddentours.com/bestofroatan.htm With this tour you get a private driver for the day and basically set your own schedule. They will suggest things to do or see but it is up to you. Your driver is a local and knowledgeable about the area and will tell you as much or as little as you want to hear. We ended up seeing the Monkeys and Sloths and took a boat for 1 hour or so for snorkeling. Also had lunch on the water, a very nice day overall and I would do it again if back in Roatan. Now that we are back I stopped by the cafeteria at work and came home and said I ate at “the buffet” which got a good laugh. Thanks for reading… Any questions? Now, to select the next ports! 🙂 If you know Galveston, we had the typical fog on the first day but it didn't delay departure. The Vista! The atrium Salad bar on Serenity deck Cozumel as seen from the drone One of many very nice sunsets!
  13. Great, thanks for the informative and concise review!
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