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Djptcp

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About Djptcp

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Florida
  • Interests
    Cruising, reading, swimming
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Carnival, Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Western Caribbean

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  1. We have an Authentic Cuba cruise booked on the Veendam on Oct. 30, 2019 and I just read this: "MIAMI - The Trump administration is tightening restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba, reversing the engagement policies of the Obama era while increasing pressure on the island's government in response to its support of the Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela. The changes will be announced during a speech by national security adviser John Bolton at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables Wednesday afternoon. Travel to Cuba will now be limited to family visits, restricting those deemed as "veiled tourism," said a high-ranking official who spoke on condition of anonymity. That could signal the end of cruises, which started to operate during the Obama years because of an expansion of the categories of travel allowed." Glad we went there last year on Carnival and at least got spend an overnight in Havana. Wonder what will happen with our Veendam cruise with 2 scheduled stops in Cuba (Havana and Cienfuegos). Only reason we booked it was because of the two Cuban ports - hope we can just cancel the whole cruise as we don't want two other ports substituted. We already have another W. Caribbean cruise that leaves this Sunday.
  2. Never could stomach Budweiser or Bud Light beers and only drank Mexican or European beers - much more flavor. Favorite now is Spotted Cow, but it's only available in Wisconsin. We go there for the month of September and rent a lake cabin and get our fill of Spotted Cow and bring it back to Florida with us.
  3. Don't have a smart phone and don't want one. DH works part-time for the cruise lines at one of the ports and while doing debarkation a couple of weeks ago, a woman came crying to him that she left her phone in her cabin and it had all her banking information on it. Who would do that? He told her she couldn't get back on the ship and he would contact someone to try to retrieve it for her. She demanded to get back on the ship to get it so no one would steal it. Sorry, lady, but that wasn't going to happen. Once you are off the ship, you can't get back on. He contacted someone who would send a crew member to look for it and bring it to the debarkation area, but it could take a couple of hours. On debarkation morning, hunting down the result of someone's careless action is not a priority for the ship's crew. Two hours later she had her phone and didn't even thank DH or the crew member who brought it. You'd be surprised how often this happens.
  4. DH and I go to our local Bulk Nation and purchase cashews, jelly beans, chocolate covered nuts, etc. I put them all in separate zip lock bags and put in our carry on suitcase with cans of soda. Never a problem. The Jelly Belly jelly beans they sell in the ship's Cherry on Top are outrageously expensive compared to Bulk Nation for the same stuff.
  5. I also bring 3 plug adapter to use my electric hot air curling brush at the desk because my appliance has a large plug thing at its plug. If I plug it in without the adapter the large plug thing (don't know what to call it) doesn't fit between the plug and the desk. The adapter helps. I use the hair dryer in the drawer but I need my appliance to curl my hair after it's dry. I haven't seen anything in writing that prevents us from bringing a hair dryer or my hot air curling brush.
  6. Great review and loved the many photos! Glad you had a great time. We sail on the Paradise often as we live close to Tampa and enjoy the Paradise cruises. Sorry you had low expectations before the cruise, but glad you enjoyed the cruise after all.
  7. 1000 points for 3-5 day cruises and 1500 for 7+ day cruises. Don't take 3 day cruises, but on the 4-day+ cruises I reach the 1000 points on day 2.
  8. Karaoke - 99% of the people I've heard on 48 cruises are horrible! I don't stop to listen, but sometimes the venue is close to where I am doing something. They must really drink a lot to get up there and embarrass themselves like that. Bingo - really, really slow and boring. I spend most of the time the casino is open in the casino and receive lots of free and very discounted offers from them. Photographers - if I want our picture taken, I'll go to one of the set venues and get it done. Stop bothering me at dinner.
  9. We sail on the Paradise quite often and like her a lot. The crew is very attentive, the food good, and we like the enhancements after dry dock last year. We are not cruise newbies by any means and have our 49th cruise coming up in a week, 35th on Carnival and it's on the Miracle. We stopped cruising on NCL a long time ago and have only sailed on Royal Caribbean once, also a long time ago. Holland America is our next favorite cruise line and love their elegant ships and excellent crew and food. Sailed on HAL in Feb. and have another one booked for the Fall. We live 45 minutes from the Port of Tampa and prefer to sail out of there because of the convenience. Having said that, if we didn't like the Paradise we wouldn't sail on her regardless of the convenience. The OP should stick with Royal or NCL, they just aren't for us.....to each his own.
  10. We are Platinums and always check two luggage pieces and the one carry-on we take on board ourselves is full of soda and wine. Would never try to carry on the two big suitcases.....definitely worth the few bucks to tip the luggage handlers at the terminal. At the end of the cruise we always get a porter to schlep all the luggage and he takes it right out to valet parking for us. Again, well worth the few bucks to tip him.
  11. Sunonfire, I asked DH about the FTTF tags and he said only the baggage handlers outside the terminal have luggage tags, they do not have any inside. He didn't know why the handlers didn't have any. Sorry. I know that when we drop our luggage off there we tell the luggage guy in case he doesn't notice Priority on our tags we are Platinum and Priority and he puts on a special tag. We are cruising on the Miracle on the 21st and if I think of it, I'll ask him about the FTTF tags.
  12. I read from my Kindle Fire every day and it doesn't work unless I have access to WiFi. If I bring it in the car it works for just a short time and then stops I didn't know about airplane mode. I get my books from Overdrive from the local public library. Thanks for all your suggestions and I'm going to try it this cruise.
  13. Thanks for your review. As we live 45 minutes from Tampa, we are very sorry to see Holland America leave Tampa and now we have to go to Ft. Lauderdale all the time. Hoping HAL returns to Tampa someday soon. Congrats on becoming 5* Mariners!
  14. I always haul a lot of paperbacks to read on our cruises and would like to just bring my Kindle Fire to read books. Won't bring laptop or need to use a cell phone, just Kindle. Which of the service plans would I need to pay for in order to do this? Sailing on the Miracle on April 21st.
  15. Thanks for the review. We sailed on the Miracle last year and loved it and will be sailing on her again in 15 days. I particularly appreciated the two A+ marks for embarkation and debarkation at the Port of Tampa because my DH works there part time for the cruise lines and I'll pass along your excellent grades to him. I have often read on CC that Tampa does a great job with these two important parts of the cruises. Thanks!
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