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BENHANDEL

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  • Content Count

    504
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About BENHANDEL

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Minneapolis, mn
  • Interests
    Family, travel, education
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Disney (2017) and carnival (2018)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Few...love warmth and sunshine

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  1. The "bad" reviews for that company are way more than the "bad" reviews for butts up. I generally read the highs and lows, and the lows are scary!
  2. I know this is not necessarily carnival-specific, but we will be on the Breeze and this forum gets so much more activity than the port boards! Has anyone done the private transportation and tour through buttsup? We will have a group of 9 and the price for our own tour is about what carnival would charge per person. I have communicated with the company, but I wonder if people felt like they got a "good" tour guide and if it was worth the extra money. Thanks in advance!
  3. Carnival does a great job with food allergies. I would even go so far as to say they did better than Disney (which I know was not the contrast in this post, but seen as the "gold standard"). The reason was my 9-year old ordered chicken nuggets, fries, and plain pasta nightly on disney. On carnival, they didnt even present her the "kids menu," encouraged her to try a number of dishes and adapted them to her dairy allergy. She was more adventurous with food than ever at home. Many of the "dairy free" adaptations were far from the original, but they tried, and she had a whole new world open to her outside of chicken nuggets and fries. We loved horizon following Disney and are booked on the Breeze at Christmas. My kids (16,14, 12) all preferred carnival over disney.
  4. I am so thankful for your review! We will be on the Breeze at Christmas..in adjoining cove balconies forward of you. How was the temperature after that initial cool down? Did it stay cool? What was your perception of the ship's movement? We had a cove on Horizon so I would assume it is similar, but posts on the FB group keep referencing lots of movement. We saw DJ Cooch on Imagination in March. He was hilarious! We are also planning to go to paradise beach! I loved your pictures and was unsure from your snarky writing (which I love!) if you would continue to recommend it? Or just be clear on the pricing? What did you think of the food there? I am so hoping your Roatan day is going to monkeys and sloths! I just love getting a preview of our trip!
  5. Greetings. We are going on our 3rd CCL voyage at Christmas (Breeze, following Horizon last Christmas). We booked ES with the $50/person deposits, 5 people across 2 cabins. We actually paid $500/cabin to get the amex rebate. We got insurance, this time through "insuremytrip" and "tripAssure." My FIL was diagnosed with a chronic lung condition (IPF) this year, with a prognosis of 2-7 years. It has been progressing very fast. This weekend he will start on palliative cares, new life expectancy 6-12 months, but the last estimate was optimistically inaccurate...and 6 months brings us to the December cruise... I am certainly not going to cancel at this time: if he is stable by then, or has passed and life has settled by then, we will still go. BUT....I want to better understand logistics and options with my trip I surance so we can make the best decision when the time arrives. I scanned my insurance document, but the legalistic language leaves some of my specific questions unclear: At what point in his care/passing could we trigger the insurance? The plan has coverage for "family" "death" or "significant illness." If he is in "hospice" by then, but still with us, would that count? What about if he passes in Nov or December, but we do not feel ready to leave for a celebratory trip by Christmas? If we decide to cancel before final payment due in October, would insurance cover anything? The pre-paid flights? And if it covers the deposit, is that including the early saver fee? What else should I think about in this process (other than the obvious-my husband, my family and FIL)? Note- I have been through this with both of my parents, but this will be the first parent-loss for my husband. And with both of my parents, their illness was severe but we thought we had more time (cancer and a stroke). In both of those cases, we had a trip planned in the near future, talked about cancelling it, but decided to wait until "the last minute." With both of their passings, the family trip a month or two later was an important getaway and restoration point with our own kids. So in this case, I also want to wait as long as possible to make the decision, but will not be willing to travel when he transitions to hospice care. Any guidance appreciated,
  6. I am as sensitive as they come and I was fine on horizon. So easy to avoid the casino area and I could not smell it in common areas outside of the mid-ship stairwell on the same floor. If I were an elevator user u would not have even encountered that area. And the smoke was not overwhelming to my lungs-could simply "smell" it. I was very pleased! (And nervous about the breeze at Christmas with the open casino area....)
  7. When we had Cheers on horizon, they automatically put 2 big bottles of water on the table. I think it was for us to use instead of the tap water? Our servers kept the drinks/water bottles flowing. They did this without us asking. They even used our drink plan to get slushy drinks for the kids. It did not even occur to me to ask (I am a rule follower!) But when they did it I was not going to object! Next cruise will be on breeze, with kids in a different room and one drink package. (Hubby's beer makes it tough to justify the cost). I have wondered if we would have servers as generous with the non-alcoholic drinks with one Cheers guest?
  8. Horizon casino is glassed in. Completely different than the older ships. Also, the activities (like trivia) on Horizon are not close to the casino. I did not realize what a plus that was until I went on Imagination and realized we could not participate in any of the activities.
  9. On the Horizon last Christmas, it was about an hour every night. In the Imagination MDR at spring break, 90 minutes was a quick night. I could not figure out the difference?!? I really value a nightly sit down meal, but about an hour is perfect. Hoping Breeze next Christmas is another efficient meal, as my teens were getting pretty antsy by 90 minutes.
  10. Thanks for the port Canaveral restaurant reviews! This helps me decide!
  11. Cozumel and GC were warm and beautiful last Christmas. Next year's cruise takes us to that area hoping for similar weather.
  12. I am so sensitive to smoke. I am allergic to it, have asthma and reactive airway disease. Although I would love to visit a smoke-free casino, I knew going on carnival cruise the casino would not be a option, but I was worried about smoke leaking into to the common areas. I was pleased with that. The only place I could even smell it was when I took the stairs and rounded the landing by the casino entrances. Overall, I really enjoyed my time on horizon, enough to try another carnival ship.
  13. Hmmm. We were on horizon at Christmas. We had 5 in a room. I dont remember the exact Mount, but me and hubby were a high price and the 3 kids were cheap in comparison I no longer have the price breakdown....but on my upcoming 2 sailings (imagination this mo th and breeze next christmas) passengers 3 and 4 in the rooms are a significant savings.
  14. My breeze cruise for next December opened at about the 11 month mark. For my horizon cruise last Christmas, I got fttf in August, but it had shown as sold out prior to that.
  15. Not regret, per se. We can justify that we got our moneys with. We can justify that it was nice to try new things without having to worry about it. BUT we would have been just as happy with a couple bottles of wine brought on board and drinking beer. And we were so focused on "getting our moneys worth" that we stood in lines and made trips back to our room that we otherwise would not have. I think we had many hours wasted on the extra lines and trips back to our room. When we left, we had 6 untouched bottles of beer to share with the steward. First 2 days were great. But light-home drinkers and moderate-vacay drinkers could not keep up the pace. Next family trip is a 7 day and we do not plan on getting cheers.
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