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About indygirl76

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  1. Confirmed, but they can and sometimes do decline a charge if it's outside your normal spending pattern.* They send an email for you to approve, and once you do, the merchant can immediately re-run the charge and it will go through. But if you don't have a WiFi plan on board, that won't do you much good. * Source: I used my Venture card for a week's worth of vacation spend in December, no problem, but when I tried to buy a $$$ leather jacket in the Cancun airport on the way home, it bounced.
  2. I (vastly) prefer the smaller ships - all but one of my cruises has been on a Fantasy class, and I plan to keep it that way as long as I can. But I do wish they had some of the pay food venues. I know it's a space-allocation issue, but I would happily pay a few bucks for the Seafood Shack for lunch, Steakhouse for dinner, etc. As much as I loved the Taste Bar, the tiny sushi bar is great with an Alchemy drink for cocktail hour!
  3. There's nothing wrong with being the best dressed man in the room. (And a whole lot right!)
  4. Carnival doesn't make exceptions on this, including for doctors' notes. I think I have heard of ONE exception, total, being made in the last several years. As opposed to dozens of anecdotes of being declined.
  5. You should definitely use the spreadsheet and do the math before you decide you don't want Cheers. I typically drink nicer cocktails (Alchemy / other non-frozen-specials) and wine. At that pricepoint, the break even per person is ~5/day or slightly less. 10/day isn't a ton if you're a "swear by the drink package" person, imo. Not to mention, your mom doesn't drink alcohol, but does she like coffee? soda? bottled vs tap water? All of her non-alcoholic beverages will be included with Cheers, vs having to budget for them separately.
  6. Unless you're already planning ahead to increase your spending/drinking, DO NOT go this route. 🙂 Cruise Cash is non-refundable, and tied to the booking you purchase it for.
  7. This. I also kick my favorites an extra $10-20 on the last night (dropping off at Guest Services if they're off when I go to the bar). I am a very good tipper at home, and usually get service on the ship that's on par with my favorite spots on land. So the extra cash in addition to the 18%* is well deserved. * I get Cheers, where the breakeven is ~5 drinks. I typically hit around 10 per day, so that 18% just dropped to 9%, without even counting bottled waters and such.
  8. Sorry for the confusion - I haven't tried it (I'm VERY much a night owl), just quoting the policy and referencing others' anecdotes.
  9. Nope (unless you eat VERY early). My guess is that they don't have enough staff to run orders while they're hot, once the Lido and MDR open for breakfast. But that's just speculation on my part.
  10. This happened on my last cruise as well; I thought it was a mistake so I went to Guest Services, with a polite "Whoopsy daisy, can you please fix this?" The GS supervisor (I didn't ask for a higher-up, she was working the desk) told me the official procedure was: * Spa charges full amount (with tip) at time of treatment. * Accounting pushes credit for the prepaid amount, on the last day of the cruise. ... but then she immediately offered - without me even asking - to go ahead and issue the credit. She called Accounting while I was standing there, and I had confirmation on my account within two minutes. No idea if it was "Accounting" at Carnival or Steiner - she didn't specify and I didn't ask. So as per usual, I think it's the luck of the draw with who you talk to, and what they're willing to do for you to fix the problem.
  11. Re the bold, there isn't an advantage but there really should be, given the restrictions! So yes, if you're going to do "cash" vs Cheers, I would just go the AARP route.
  12. Eh. I mean I agree that calling is effective, but it shouldn't be required. Nice hotels generally manage this pretty well; there's no reason cruiseships can't do the same. No reason, except of course, that they choose not to devote enough staff to get it done.
  13. If you've never had a massage, I would go with Swedish vs one of the more specialized (and pricier) options. Be prepared to speak up if the pressure is too hard or not hard enough; everyone likes something different and any good therapist will be happy to adjust as needed.
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