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purplephenom

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  1. I think the difference is, the spa isn't really crowded because the majority of people with access don't hang out there all day long. Laying in a lounger is something you could do all day long if you wished- and some people with Havana access do. I don't think having it open after 7 to everyone was a huge deal, because by that point (especially this time of year) the sun is gone, and people are off to dinner/show/bars. But if it were open to more people in the middle of the day, it loses the appeal to me.
  2. If they did this they may lose out on people booking the actual Havana rooms. We just got off an 8 day/4 port cruise- the first sea day was fine, but the 2 on the way back, there was a decent chunk of the day all of the loungers were full. I guess Grand Turk and La Romana were the 2 less popular ports on this particular cruise- after we got back on and wandered out there, the area was mostly full. Obviously no where near Lido deck full, but enough that more people would've meant more scurrying for loungers
  3. The first day leaving Miami wasn't bad, but then yes they're packed. Also, they're really deep. I think 1 topped out at 6' and the other at 5' something. This meant tons of people hanging on to the edges which made them appear even more crowded. But if you wanted to use the pool before like 9 or after 4, there was a lot more space
  4. I think it depends on the ship. If the show times are 7:30/9:30, then late dining gets the early show. If the show times are 8:15/10:15 then late dining gets the late show. We really enjoy late dining. It doesn't take us that long to get ready, so we could enjoy the fairly empty ship for awhile, go get ready, go to a show, and then dinner. And on port days, we had enough time to stay in port until mid afternoon, reboard and eat, and have some time to chill by the pool before getting ready for dinner.
  5. Khaki shorts would have been a definite step up from what I was wearing. I'm female but I tend to dress like a middle school boy unless I make the effort to get dressy. We did see people in jeans. And it was just weird, we've done the 8 day Southern route before, and we've never seen people as dressy as this cruise. On casual nights I usually wore pants like khakis but in different colors and a blouse, and that seemed to be middle of the road.
  6. And..that's all I got. If you have questions, I'll do my best to answer, but we dont have the fun times. We liked the Horizon enough that we booked it again for 2022- we're hoping to get to Bonaire this time.
  7. Activities on this ship I really didn't like that karaoke was in the afternoon. I like it in the evenings to change up what we do at night, but i think there were only 2 days it was at night. There were a lot of activities overlapping. This was a point of pride for Mike Pack, but it really forced us to choose what we wanted to do. Too many activities is better than too few, but when 2 or 3 things you want to do are at the same time, it kind of stinks. The parachute drop was something different on this ship. I was hoping for a full on egg drop competition, since I'd seen this ship had it before, but the parachute man drop was what we got. It's an easy family activity, doesn't take that long- you're dropping a parachute man from 2 decks up and hoping to have it land in a cornhole board hole. 2 people from your group are frantically waving things to guide him to the hole.
  8. Apparently I'm really bad at this review writing thing, so I'll try to wrap this up. Havana Cabin: We booked a Havana Interior- there is a definite lack of storage space. The usual 3 closets was down to 2, and there were some shelves outside of the closet. We don't really pack that much stuff, so we were able to put everything away, but if you normally fill up all 3 closets, just be aware. We were on deck 7- we didn't hear any noise from the Havana Bar. Our 2022 cruise, we're on deck 5 and I'm looking forward to being able to just walk out to Havana instead of taking stairs. Elevators. I know some people here are worried about these- they're really not that bad. First off, there are directions on a TV screen on how to use them. On embarkation day, there were staff manually operating a few of the elevators which really sped things up. Also, there's a wheelchair button, so you don't need to figure out how many times you should push the button to make room for your wheelchair. It seemed like on the first couple days, people would randomly jump in and hope for the best, but we saw less of that as the cruise went on. My personal rule became, 3 flights or less, take the stairs, any more than that take the elevator. I will say we saw a LOT of bickering between couples and families- do we take the stairs or the elevators. I don't think these elevators are really any slower than on other ships- the trouble is, you can't see which floor they're on and if they're coming to you...so a watched pot never boils and all that...and it feels like they're taking forever. Couple more notes on Havana They are really diligent about checking to see if you belong there. On embarkation day, we walked out just to look. We didn't sit down and we were still immediately asked if we had our wristbands. We explained our cabins weren't ready, and they told us to just go to our cabins anyways and get our sail and signs. We didn't really feel comfortable doing this, but then we went to guest services for an unrelated question and they told us to do the same thing. So we ultimately did and our room was ready so it was fine, and we were able to drop our things off and go back to Havana. On one of the last sea days, someone came and sat down on one of the deck chairs without a bracelet- she didn't even get to put her feet up on the chair before someone was over asking if she had a Havana wristband. They didn't walk away until she had picked up her stuff and was leaving the area.
  9. I just booked a Havana interior for 2022, and it was the last one available on that sailing. If you're willing to upgrade to the Havana Cabanas, they seem to sell a bit slower- but it is quite a bit more expensive. On the date I was looking at, I think it was 50% more. But, keep checking. In early January, the cruise I had booked for 2021 changed the itinerary, and there had to have been a lot of date changing going on- several Havana rooms opened up.
  10. A jacket and tie are not necessary. Some people will wear them, but I wouldn't say it is the majority. You wouldn't feel out of place in a dress shirt and slacks- you could add the tie but not the jacket if you want to get a little fancy. I will say I just got off the horizon, and it was the most dressed up cruise I've ever seen. One day I really wasn't feeling it and went to dinner in shorts (tsk tsk I know I know) and I was the only person in shorts on that whole side of the dining room. I didn't do it again.
  11. Vegans don't eat dairy, so dairy free cheese would be appropriate. As would a pizza without cheese.
  12. Hey we're on that cruise too. I've done the other route, but this one has 3 new ports for us. it's going to be awesome
  13. Another thing to consider is Miami has a lot of ships, and very likely a lot of people who fly in and head straight to the ship (because there are a lot of ships). So whatever your plan is, make sure you leave plenty of time to get to the port. We were in an Uber from a hotel in the Brickell area, and it probably took 40ish minutes, when it should've taken maybe 10.
  14. So...in spite of my questioning if Havana is worth it, we just booked an ABC cruise in Havana for 2022.
  15. Having 5 people to travel with definitely changes things, that makes sense. I did notice this itinerary had fewer onboard activities scheduled- but I can't help but wonder if that's intentional due to the ports. You don't need a bigger ship to have more trivia, or dance classes, or whatever. In my experinece, even the bars were quieter earlier at night- I think people just conk out after island hopping. If onboard activities are important to your group (both planned and just being social), I'd hesitate to do this itinerary. I thought that stuff was important to me (and it usually is), but it ended up not mattering on this particular cruise. And I agree about airfare to San Juan- its crazy. I'm trying to do the credit card points game to try to fly for free, but doing that for 5 people would be a lot harder. I've been eying up the Freedom of the Seas ABC cruise out of Puerto Rico, but we just booked an ABC cruise out of Miami for 2022. But after that it's back to cheaper cruises for me.
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