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Everything posted by LinRon3

  1. Crown Lounge sounds great! We've done a few Celebrity cruises of late, and Celebrity allows one to take their carryon's to the cabin and drop them off. The Adventure OS [in Dec] didn't allow this and had cabins 'closed off'. Would be nice if Voyager allowed a drop off of carry ons...backpacks and that sort of thing. Without the backpacks etc, embarkation day can be a day of exploration of the ship, something we love to do. But if not, we do love the Crown Lounge, one of our favorite places. Of course, due to this thread, we imagine it too will be crowded, LOL. They make great martini's there [on other Voyager class ships anyway]. Just sayin'. Have a great cruise everyone. This one should be 'exceptional'!!
  2. Ok, throwing my 2cents in here...we love cruising, end of story really. We were on the second cruise out of the USA after the Pandemic [Celeb Edge], and have cruised 14 times since...12 on RCL or Celebrity [mostly RCL]. Yes, the food is a bit 'not as good'...but we see nothing else that's changed all that much [to us]. Service is still 'great' [to us]. And Wife and I have commented to ourselves how much we LIKE one cleaning of the staterooms a day. It's always a pain having to 'vacate' the cabin...when perhaps one wants to lounge or sleep or sit on the balcony or whatever. So, that one is a change for the BETTER! In short, we are NOT picky people and as far as VALUE, we really wonder where ANYONE can get the same VALUE for the money on land vacations? So we are in disbelief at all the angst on this thread about how 'cruising has declined'...some even saying they'll forego cruising for 'land trips' or whatever? I guess it all has to do with one's bank account of course; and if one can afford...well, tens of thousands of bucks on a 'few days' at a resort somewhere, more power to them of course. But as far as VALUE [that word keeps coming up it seems]...ie bang for that buck...I'm pretty sure it would be hard to find 'better value' than cruising. And Royal does it as good as any company out there [from our experience anyway]. It's Why we keep coming back for more. Anyway...my 2 cents that's not worth a plug nickel as they say. I detect a bit of...hmmm...jadedness on this thread? No. Spoiled-ness? Nah. I know...Suite passengers having to slum in steerage. Ha; just kidding. I just hope the cruise lines stay 'afloat' after all that debt they took on during the government holocaust...uh...I mean pandemic.
  3. Just as a follow up to our own post about Mahogany Bay snorkel questions...YES that pier is still there and readily accessible, though now you have to venture 'around' behind the cabanas to get to that portion of the beach. The cabanas were new [from our 2017 visit] and we found Mahagony a really nice beach with plenty of lounges. I think the docks there can only handle two ships at a time [not sure on that]...but we didn't feel crowded at all with 2 ships in. They even post a life guard on the pier and there's ladders at the end. Yes, those coral heads were still there, straight out from that pier and following the channel where it drops off. Unfortunately, we had stormy weather that week, so the water was not as clear we'd have liked with maybe 10' or less visibility in places. The coral heads are impressive in places, almost like canyons as you glide between them. We didn't see as many tropicals that one might expect with such large coral beds, but plenty of schooling, parrots, tangs, and damsel fish. Not a bad snorkel really even with a bit of murky water. Our next visit to Roatan, we plan to visit that Tabyana beach we've read several raves about. In the meantime, Mahagony was quite nice for us and now one of our favorite port beaches, especially for snorkeling. Hope this helps someone [posted 3/1/2024].
  4. Just a comment...I used to argue to wife why don't the cruise lines [here Carnival] offer partial cruise drink packages in some way. We've always thought the premium drink packages were totally overpriced given one has to buy for 'all' passengers all cruise. Seems to me, this 'cash' up front program acts similar to some sort of 'partial' drink package. I like they are doing this but as some of the arguments this thread, we still can't see any real reason to not just let one's tab ride on the credit card to pay later? Convenience I see is one argument I guess. We just did two Celebrity cruises end of 2023, and they weren't even checking in alcohol we bought for family back home when re-embarking at ports. Some MSC cruises we've done have been relaxed like that too? Royal Caribbean still did the check in's however on a December cruise. Not sure what it all means, but seems some relaxation with rigid alcohol polices of the past taking place? I see one can even purchase bottles of liquor for stateroom use pre-cruise, albeit for pretty hefty prices [I don't think we ever saw these options pre pandemic]?
  5. Quite right. A simple google search brought up a lot of info. I usually come to cruise critic first if any questions and commented in haste. I'd post a link but not sure if CC likes that, but menus are easily available. Thanks.
  6. Really? We haven't done carnival for several years, but usually do Royal or Celebrity...and we have no problem getting unopened beer on those ships to take back to our balcony [any bar too]. Enjoying a beer from our balcony is surely a joy while watching the seabirds fly along and flying fish scoot by [sometimes]. Don't understand the reasoning if Carnival doesn't allow this. For us, we'd buy MORE beer...not less. Oh well.
  7. Just to be clear, then there is no way to see MDR menus 'before' one's cruise [much less specialty dining]? If so, we're a little disappointed as we can readily find these on Royal and Celebrity weeks before a cruise. Makes planning a bit easier to know when Lobster is served for instance [in MDR]...and other things. Oh well. We'll just have to learn Carnival again we guess.
  8. Thanks. This is the info we needed [we assumed something like that]. Annual approval we haven't heard of before for RCI and Celebrity or NCLH [just on going]. Ha, with all the 'value' we've lost on Carnival since the Pandemic, I'd think they'd want to keep the motives for ownership 'alive'. Hoping they can pay off all that debt and get back to pre pandemic. I'm not selling...yet; mainly because of that shareholder benefit [just sayin']. Yes Carnival...it's big incentive to own [well, at least 100 shares ha].
  9. so after July 2024 one can't get the shareholder benefit? Does that mean just too early...or is Carnival discontinuing the benefit? We're on the Mardi Gras in October. I "THINK' we got the benefit for our Jan. 2024 Pride cruise...I say think, cause it's like pulling teeth finding out exactly if we got it or not. Nothing directly says...but we do see we have extra OBC overall. Not impressed Carnival. So far anyway.
  10. We second that vote on Deck 8. The cafe in central park [ie deck 8] sold specialty coffee which was a short walk to enjoy on our balcony. We did not find specialty coffee on Symphony or Harmony in central park...just Allure. But central park one our favorite places, tranquil, and a great first catch in the mornings; thusly deck 8 always what we shoot for on the mega ships [haven't been on Wonder or Oasis yet]. Nothing better than waking up with 'good' coffee on one's balcony watching flying fish skirt through the air or sea birds gliding along your bow. The serenity is what cruisin' is all about IOO.
  11. Been trying to find information on Mahogany Beach as we're on Carnival Pride in January for a western Caribbean cruise. We visited Mahogany beach in 2017 and we did a great snorkel right off the beach, but we had to walk down to a wooden pier that was past all the lounges and clamshells. We'd love to do this again off the Pride, but we see no one mentioning snorkeling in the Mahogany Beach reviews except some say there is not much to see?? Yes, right off the where the lounges are, it's just sand and not a whole lot; but off that pier was some pretty good size coral heads leading off into a channel and great snorkeling as mentioned. So, the question here, is that pier still there, and is it still accessible to the general cruise public? Maybe because it was a pretty good walk, a lot of snorkelers fail to find it? But it's been some time since we've been there, and perhaps people are no longer allowed out there or something? It's material to us, as if it's no longer accessible [the pier], we might just decide to head to tabyiana beach instead. Thanks in advance for any information on that pier and if it's still accessible. Good sailing to all.
  12. Just a FYI on the $99.75 'hold' charge Celebrity put on our credit card. Yes, it finally went away as others had suggested it would. It's a weird figure though and took 5 days after we got home from our cruise to disappear. We had never seen this 'hold' charge before on past Celebrity cruises [or any other cruise]. Wish Celebrity could put a note on this somehow as we spent a few hours when we got back trying to figure out what it was.
  13. Thanks Hank. I think this one sentence speaks volumes...and perhaps what I was getting at about 'tomatoes sprawling/rotting on the ground' [ie personal pride being a motivator for personal improvement, however it expresses itself]. When young, I questioned why military stresses things like hospital corners on beds and perfectly aligned lockers or trunks and spit shined shoes etc [in basic training], but yes, structure and self discipline goes hand in hand and perhaps it takes some training as we grow [me Mum pushing me to keep straight etc, ha]. Self esteem, pride, self worth...who wudda thunk things like that could be tied up in one's expression in how they 'appear' to others at dinner [or elsewhere on a ship...or walmart for that matter, LOL]. I'm probably referring more to the 'sloppy' guy with a humongous beer belly, golf hat and flip flops at dinner [not the buffet]...extremes; but I would argue that 'sloppiness' does express a deeper psyche based in that 'lack of pride' [and other psychological...uh...traits?]. Of course, might be a narrow margin between self pride and narcissism. "Clean and Neat' I agree is a pretty safe starting point most of us can get behind.
  14. Interesting discussion; used to have it with my father [now deceased]. Rules and standards, how can we justify them? Are they based in deeper notions of morality and mores? I mean, even if no suit and tie requirement, does it give way to some people perhaps going naked at some point? My father always made the analogy that people are like tomato plants, where structure and anchor is needed, or else they sprawl on the ground eventually to rot in the noon day sun? One wonders about an 'anything goes' society, where things like obesity, sexual confusion, political polarization, and a general sense of chaos seems to be growing [ha, not sure how this relates to dress codes at cruise ship dinners]. But know one thing, the biggest reason I [we, my wife and I] DO cruise a lot is to 'escape' what seems like insanity going down in that general society. Microcosms perhaps mirror the macrocosm. Probably not the place for heavier discussion, but I thought this thread was interesting. Me? I 'like' standards; they 'anchor' us...alleviate a lot of confusion [perhaps]; reinforce that there ARE consequences to behavior [no, not always as a matter of lack of enforcement, but perhaps more like tomato plants rotting in the noon day sun]. Besides, I would look horrible naked [lol].
  15. It amazes me how people transform. On sea days, most people I think dress comfortable, with flip flops and sandals, beachwear, shorts, t shirts...that kind of thing. My wife and I enjoy watching people...like the speedo's perhaps on the wrong bodies, LOL [sic, we're those [ie wrong bodies], ha...but no speedos' for us]. I dunno; nothing impressive when people stripped down to pure comfort [oh, yea the occasional hard body passes, and sure, it's a joy to look [don't tell my wife, ha again]. But on 'dress to impress' night...I dunno...especially the gals...they transform, many into goddesses and high stature celeb look alikes. Guys in ties...hate to say, we all look like clones, ha. But the gals...yea, they become all sparkly, with napes and backs and all sorts of things and one [me] can't help but 'notice'. What was once dumpy, bulging, chunky, out of shape...well, the clothes DO in fact...make a difference. In behavior? Goes without saying; but how much, hard to say. I know I 'straighten' up [as my Mom used to spur me]...on my best behavior [though a lot of that is the tight neck button to get the darn tie on]. I hate to admit though...even with a suit and tie, I'm the same twit I was in jeans...so, perhaps the world is just trying to quit the 'put ons' to be more, well, 'one's real self'? I dunno though, hoodies in congress and holed jeans in the MDR...just doesn't seem to 'suit'. I just sense disrespect.
  16. Yea, thought I'd add to messy charges dilemma. Just got off Equinox today [Sat Oct. 14], and we checked our account nightly during cruise [on the TV] and all seemed well. We were disappointed we didn't get an invoice of all our charges our last night [usually slipped under cabin door or outside slot]. But we had no reason to think there were any problems. First thing when home, I usually get a printout of all charges from my bank for our trip...and Celebrity had posted a $99.75 charge the first night of the cruise we never saw on our TV account?? We have no idea what this might be for. Spent several hours reconciling all our precruise purchases [for several cruises...thinking this might be for our upcoming Silhouette cruise or something]...but nada? It dawned on me that this could be a 'hold charge' of some sort...like they do in many hotels; except I'd think that would be an even number and not $99.75. I'll get my TA on this first thing Monday [next business day]...but if nothing else, this has cost us several hours of trying to reconcile and the disturbing sense of being cheated or something? We have no idea what this could be for. An invoice that last night might have alleviated us from this stress if we only knew what this charge was for? So, yea, as OP suggested, check that account often, and maybe suffer the line at customer service last night or day to get that final invoice?
  17. Yea, my point exactly. It's not that one might not appreciate a thing, but more, an observation of existing that we always seek out new things...even if our experiences are sublime [as in cruising]. Older we get, or the more experienced [as in 65 cruises; congrats BTW]...well, I think we have to guard against being jaded you one might say [ahem, ha]...and remind one's self just how good we got it [anyone able to cruise anywhere, anyhow]. Again, we feel...well, blessed. Thanks.
  18. Yea, I'm with you. We are budget cruisers on fixed income and it's been amazing how we've stretched our resources to travel so much. People call it 'nickel and diming', but I see it as choices. If one doesn't drink a lot, or eat a lot, or buy a lot, well I prefer [in a big way] the discounted OPTION up front of lower fares...so we get to go. I can make the 'choices' later on what to indulge or not...with my nickels and dimes, ha. we are not walmart bunnies, but frugal. Ha, it's fun in fact, trying to strech the, ahem...pennies [not dollars ha]. By my spreadsheet, we can do maybe two cruises for just one of the 'all inclusive' or 'upper crust' ships [maybe even three]. We do wish we were millionaires, and all power to those who have the mulla...but 'nickel and diming' probably provides the cruise industry with a much larger customer base [uh...like us]. So...think CHOICES...not 'nickels and dimes'. Just sayin'. OTOH, we do understand the luxury of exclusivity. Depends I guess on how one 'values' things. Sure, we'd love exclusivity...but first we gotta 'just be there'. Just a reality I guess.
  19. I remember my first cruise...just in 2016. How magical it was...walking up that gangplank onto this giant floating machine they called a cruise ship. The excitement, the discovery, the newness of it all...I remember that first cruise like it was yesterday. I remember sailing into Nassau...the first 'out of USA' country I'd been since service days in the 70's. It was so exotic, so thrilling. It was all new...just being in the Bahamas...like another planet [at the time]. I was traveling the universe. Ha, Nassau now, after the umpteenth time is sort of 'meh'. We've been to just about every Caribbean island out there and South and Central American ports to boot. Each new port, there still is that 'newness' of sorts...but not like that 'first blush'...that first 'cut' as the song goes. We still love cruising of course, and as we've enjoyed, it's become more and more about the ships and less and less about the ports. Even Europe is getting sort of...well...passe'...have done the Rhine, Med, UK, and Baltic [I think we were lucky on the Balic cruise with the Ukraine thing going on]. Without being too philosophic here, as one grows old, and the experiences accumulate...well, there is always that soft pine for newness...and a continual search, even unto our old age...for it. But unfortunately, there is more to getting old than one's body, and to find new experience becomes ever more exasperating as time goes [given one's ability and resources]. My father always told me there are three stages to life...to plan, to do, and then, to remember. Ah...those memories; sometimes I think they are best. But we still love cruising, and we look forward to returning, once again, to Nassau next year, for the n+1 time. And we'll probably be on a ship that looks and feels like so many we've now been on. And we'll love every minute and consider ourselves profoundly lucky, even blessed, to do so.
  20. Found this thread as closest to NCL Epic...sooo... We were looking to book the Epic for next spring, but then were 'warned' about their staterooms. Sure enough, our 'research' shows us they have showers 'out in the stateroom' [with no privacy we can see] and a washsink in the cabin area too...no closed off bathroom except a toilet. WOW, were we ever glad to have found this out BEFORE we booked! Was looking for other's commentary on the EPIC and this very strange configuration that defies logic [our logic anyway]. Needless to say, we'll not touch the EPIC with Grinches 19 and half foot pole [or some such, ha]. Anyone else experience these weird cabins on the EPIC...and is the EPIC the ONLY ship in NCL's flee that has such a setup [hopefully]? We're still scratching our heads trying to figure out the logic of the designer of such...well...such...craziness? Who wants to prance around naked for the others in one's stateroom to googlyeye? How about wet stateroom cabin floors? I know my stateroom partner would just love seeing me shave in the morning, or gargling my teeth! Just had to say something somewhere [might help the OP to investigate before booking the EPIC themselves]. 'Nuff said. Probably an EPIC thread somewhere about this, but our search didn't find it. We hear NCL, otherwise, is a pretty good Cruise line.
  21. I did a search, but didn't find anywhere else to ask this question...and it seemed at least ballpark. I see a new category offered in the packages, where a 'stateroom setup' is offered [about $135]. Has anyone purchased this, and what does it entail? Do 'both' [all adults] in a stateroom have to purchase this if obtained? It looks to me like a 'bottle' of liquor will be placed in one's stateroom...even with mixers [like diet coke or whatever]? But how does this apply to the traditional 'both adults' must purchase...and exactly what does this buy? Is it one bottle of liquor...ie a single payment of the $135 approx, or multiplied across the entire cruise [7x or however many days one cruises; and each adult?]? I've wondered how the regular booze packages could ever be 'justified' except for convenience for those who have money to burn [who could drink that much each day over an entire cruise]...but a bottle in one's stateroom, that might at least be 'enticing'? But...well...has anyone done this and what are the details? thanks so much for any info on this.
  22. Probably a dumb question, but looking at 'soda package' on celebrity tonight, and wife wondered if we BOTH have to purchase it, if we so choose [like the alcohol packages]? I didn't know the answer but just assumed that would not be required for SODA? But who knows? BTW, it's priced at $9.99 ppd just now [regular price crossed out on pre cruise planner at $15.99].
  23. It's July '23 and we've booked 2 upcoming Celebrity cruises later fhis year and were looking for this information about soda being brought onboard at embarkation. A lot of personal experiences this thread, but no links to the actual policy as declared by Celebrity in 2023 [latest]? We've looked everywhere in Q&A, various Celebrity website links, but nothing found on 'soda' [or for that matter, is the NEW allowing 2 bottles of wine 'per person' [and not stateroom] also for Celebrity? we still see only 1 bottle per person in the website? Maybe that was just for RCL earlier this year?]. If anyone knows that 'official' link for this info, would be appreciated. Thanks.
  24. Yea, I'd like to know how they knew also? The shareholder OBC experience seems to us to be all over the place; some get it quick, others several applications [US usually], some by email, others by form, snail mail, you name it...receipt within 30 minutes to never getting it at all (we didn't get it for a Jewel OS cruise last year even with multiple applications, online and mail]; email confirmations [we've never seen this though we've received this bene several sailings now]. Not griping here as we appreciate the benefit if we get it; Just that receiving it is all over the place [it seems]. But 'automatically applied'? Yea, how would RCI know you own their stock? Sounds fishy...or even 'scary'?
  25. Thank you for the info. This really helps us decide how we want to purchase the wifi.
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