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BENHANDEL

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  • Content Count

    510
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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. Thank you so much for that thorough compare an contrast! You really hit all the things we have liked about carnival! We have officially booked on carnival for spring break, on a ship I know and and known port stops. And the price for 2 balconies was still about $800 less than The norwegian pearl with one balcony and an interior. I still want to try norwegian someday but will wait until we can splurge on a flagship offering and/or haven. Thank you!
  2. Thanks for that. I loved everything about horizon (especially how well they contained the smoke from the casino!), but we knew to get to the theater early for good seats. The comedy club was lame compared to their other ships.
  3. Thanks, all. We are looking back at a carnival ship for spring break (dream, we have been on a sister ship so know it well). The price point made me think it was a good time to try out norwegian, but I should start with a top ship the way I did with carnival horizon to get the fairest comparison. Going from a new/big carnival ship to an older/small ncl ship would not be a fair comparison. I just need to wait for one of my kids to move on with their own lives to fit into one room ncl. Haha!
  4. Super helpful. Thank you. We did one "small ship" on ccl and we said "never again," but we already had the "top MN of the line" ship at a comparison. Sounds like we would not be getting a fair sense of NCL if that is where we started.
  5. I apologize, but I do not have time to thoroughly scan the board to get all my questions answered...I am not a new cruiser, first cruised disney and then 4 on carnival, all with hubby and kids over last 6 years. I am a researcher, but have limited time do invest before my current "deal" expires (and I assume its like CCL and the next "deal" will be just as good, but still.) Looking at the Pearl March 2021. Our kids would be 19, 16, 13, balcony and interior, 9073 and 9074. Would get all 5 "freebies." And OBC. 2:1 deposits. Compared to carnival (Horizon, breeze, imagination/top, medium, poor), what will surprise us? What will we/the kids love, what will we miss? What should we know before deciding? What do we need to know about the "freebies?" Thanks in advance for any info (and avoiding the "you should read everything here before asking" lectures. 🙂
  6. Please! I save lots of moneys o. Cruises by avoiding smoke. This would be a great excuse to go smoke-free!
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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,
  12. 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....)
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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