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itchintocruise

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Everything posted by itchintocruise

  1. Following! Thanks for sharing. Unfortunately we are flying through O'Hare today heading to Tucson. Our initial flight through Dallas was cancelled this morning due to weather. Let's hope the weather holds up in Chicago.
  2. I was just searching for any videos of post refurbished Navigator yesterday. Thanks for sharing!
  3. What a disorganized discombobulated circus of corporate incompetency and lack of communication. We have family on this cruise and have been actively following this thread. We have only cruised NCL once and seeing how they are handling this crisis, I am in no hurry to book a cruise with them.
  4. Thanks for letting us tag along on your cruise. I hope Marriott does the right thing?
  5. We sailed over Christmas and would pick our favorite as the Steakhouse, however with younger children I would recommend the Italian restaurant. Either way you can't go wrong.
  6. Thanks for reading the review. Makes you think twice about playing Bingo. I'm going to withhold the name of the shore excursion company for now as we are trying to negotiate a refund. I do want to stress that the guides did a great job and were super friendly, I just think that the excursion as a whole and what was advertised was misleading.
  7. Thanks for reading along. I'm sure with the number of cruises you have been on, you have seen a noticeable change over the years. Enjoy #21.
  8. The Wrap Up Show. In no particular order or reason, I am just going to post some pros and cons about our experience. First of all, I want to thank all of those that have followed along or viewed our posts. I have always enjoyed reading other LIVE reviews and I thought I would give it a crack. MUCHAS GRACIAS. Being that the ship is less than 1 year old there is nothing to complain about. The staff with no exceptions were friendly and accommodating. Each time you passed a crew member they smiled or said hello, even in the crew area on the Behind The Fun tour. The main dining room and buffet food has gradually changed over the years we have cruised. Less selection and lower food quality is evident. I understand that all the cruise lines are attempting to push people into the pay for eateries. We either have to accept that or budget for it in the future. The refinement of the service is also declining. We ate at the Steakhouse and the Italian restaurant and were very satisfied with the experience. The staff was very accommodating for the members of our group that had food allergies, primarily gluten free. Guys Burgers, Pig and Anchor for sea day lunch and the Blue Iguana for lunch also did not disappoint. Bar service was also friendly and efficient with Annamaria at the Alchemy Bar being at the top of the list. The rooms were good. We typically book basic interior rooms (steerage class) in order to save money and cruise more often. We think, but not sure that they omitted one of the larger storage/ hanging closets on this ship compared to Vista last year. I may be wrong. BINGO: We attended the Bingo session on the first sea day that was advertised as a 750.- Holiday Jackpot session. We estimated a crowd size of between 200-250 people in attendance. The first game's payout was a measly 100.-. Three people won and Carnival ended giving them 50 bucks a piece. The seconds game's payout jumped to a whopping 250.- which was won by one person. The misleading 750 final jackpot luckily only had one winner who then had to pick among five boxes to find out her payout. Each box contained different amounts ranging from 250.- to 750.-. Thankfully she picked the right box. After doing some mental math, Carnival potentially walked away with over 6000 dollars for 30 minutes of work. 225 people at average ticket price of 30.- (card prices were 20, 30 and 40) = 6750.- additional revenue from pull tab sales (1 for 5.- and 5 for 20.-) estimate 500.- minus jackpot payouts of 1150.- Seeing that Carnival was not willing to split the pots as is done in traditional Bingo, we chose to throw some money over the side of the ship for fun and avoided playing any more sessions. Thanks again for following along and may a cruise be in your future. We are currently looking at going on the PANORAMA next New Years.
  9. Yesterday was a nice relaxing sea day with the morning spent doing the Behind the Fun tour of the ship. It was our Christmas gift from our children. Thanks. Very interesting to see what happens behind the pretty ship walls. There is a corridor that runs from the front of the ship to the back that is referred to as I-95, complete with traffic jams on turn around day. In the laundry room they have a machine that drys and folds sheets in less than 60 seconds. Of course the view from the bridge is tough to beat. Maybe an activity to put on your bucket list. The afternoon was spent trying to absorb a few last minute sun rays before we had to head back north. This morning we were in no hurry to get off the ship as our flight didn’t leave MIA until 3:30. After a leisurely breakfast in the main dining we waited for our number to be called. 30 minutes later, Mike the cruise director announced that we had done such a good job disembarking this morning that all the numbers could get off now since the terminal had only six people inside and all the luggage was off ship. Guess what, we got bamboozled again. This time, Mike the cruise director scammed us. As we came down the escalator into the luggage area, the area was a sea of people still waiting for their luggage. After finding our designated carousel we waited close to an hour before our luggage came through the door. Luckily customs was a breeze and we had a very expeditious cab ride to the airport. Just be aware of your time management when planning your disembarkation and flights. I’m pretty sure that the cruise director flat out lied in order to get everybody off the ship. Oh well. Overall we had a great time and made some nice memories. I will try and do a recap of the pros and cons tomorrow and wrap up this review.
  10. Part 4: The day we got bamboozled in Cozumel. Unfortunately the cenote turned out be a big bust. The water was not clear and crisp, more like murky and cloudy. More like the perfect place to brew brain eating amoeba. We were assured that the “health department “ takes water samples every 2 weeks to make it sure it is safe to swim in. Several people were brave enough to take a swim and several even jumped in from the top of the sinkhole, maybe 15 feet up. Kudos to them. After spending 30 minutes here, the next stop was the beach and snorkeling for some and hopefully the end of the tour for us. We reached their “buddy’s bar” around 3:30 thinking that was a good time to get us back to the pier by 4:00. We were gently persuaded by the tour guides to come inside and check it out. Wrong. We told them it was time to go. They said to hold on and they needed us to fill out some paperwork because we were leaving the excursion early. Clearly another way to get us to walk into their establishment and spend some more money. Luckily their was a cab waiting at the entrance to the bar, so we just hopped in and off we went back to the pier. Fortunately we made it back to ship in time for Happy Hour and to watch the pier runners. It turned out to be worth it as the runners were entertaining in their own way. In looking back, even though our day didn’t turn as planned we will talk about the memories from this misadventure for a long time.
  11. Part 3: The day we got bamboozled in Cozumel. We finally got underway to head to the cenote, or so I thought. After getting off the main road and down the trail for some “off roading”, more like a partially paved road with many potholes, we stopped at the village. Here we encountered a few locals peddling the usual trinkets. We also had a small history lesson of the area from our guide. In their defense, our guides did a great job and were very pleasant. Then, we were herded to the Tequila tasting area. After a brief explanation of the making of organic Tequila we were offered many samples of the different varieties - 6 in all including one that contained Vitamin B17 for additional health benefits. Yes that is not a typo. B17. Now hold on folks. After some serious eye rolling and thinking I missed that day in Chiropractic school and consulting with my oldest who is working on her PhD in Physiology, there is no Vitamin B17. The sham continues... Now we were back on the trail heading for the cenote, keep in mind there are now several drivers who sampled all six shots. After several more miles of playing dodge the potholes we arrived at the main reason we signed up for this tour.
  12. Part 2: The day we got bamboozled in Cozumel. After enjoying the crazy spectacle, I hope their workers compensation insurance is paid up, we checked in with tour rep. We started to ask some questions about our tour and soon found out that it lasted a full 5.5 hours and would include a beach stop along with snorkeling for an additional expense (food and drink not included). After brief family pow wow we told the rep we were more interested in watching pier runners than being a captured audience at their “Beach Stop”. After a little back and forth we agreed that they would have us back to the pier by 4. Quick side note. We as a family tend not to be sheeple. We don’t like being herded around and waste our vacation time on stuff that is of no interest to us. We also don’t like being conned into spending pesos on junk. We then headed to the vehicle junk yard along with the other minions in our tour to board our jeeps. Mass confusion ensued as the guides were trying to figure out how many jeeps we needed and who went with who. Keep in mind we had paid extra for Automatic Jeeps. After the dust settled our group was left standing in front of 2 Jeep Wranglers from the 90’s. Both with manual transmissions, ragged soft tops and questionable tires. Unfortunately, and we do feel bad, the reps kicked a group out their newer automatic. We ended up just squeezing our group into one Jeep to keep from causing more of a ruckus.
  13. Part1: The day we got bamboolzed in Cozumel. We had booked a shore excursion through a third party vendor that shall remain anonymous for now that was to include the following: 2 Automatic Jeep Rentals, a visit to a cenote (large natural occurring sinkhole with pristine crystal clear water to swim in), and a village tour with Tequila tasting. The advertised time was approximately 3.5 hours. With a noon departure that would have given us plenty of time to return to the ship for a favorite activity of watching for pier runners. We met at our designated spot at 11:30 and were treated to an unexpected surprise. In the shopping/ tourist trap plaza there was a group of locals performing what we could only describe as a death spiral aerial act.
  14. It’s Shhhhooooowtime. Next up is the Celestrial Strings production in the Liquid Lounge.
  15. FREE. Not really, it is included with your base cruise fare. No upcharge. I would definitely try it.
  16. We tried the main dining room for breakfast this morning. A nice change over the buffet.
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