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About NCTribeFan

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    Durham, NC

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  1. Like I said, I don't gamble a lot. I do spend quite a bit of time in the casino (that's usually my evening entertainment), but if I'm lucky, I can spend a few hours at the Roulette wheel and not lose it all in 30 minutes, like I sometimes do on the slots. But I'm not throwing down $100 bills all night and betting $25 chips all over the board every spin! I've sailed a few "Premier" casino sailings on Carnival. Those are special sailings where those invited get free drinks in the casino while gambling and they have special games throughout the cruise. So, that may be why, once I sailed with HAL once and didn't book again for a couple of years, I suddenly got one of these offers, which I used for my Zuiderdam sailing. It's been over 2 years since I sailed on K'dam, and probably know I'm sailing on other lines and want me back. At least, that's what I think is happening. I asked my PCC why they couldn't send me these offers via email (I'm signed up to receive special offers) rather than snail mail so that maybe they wouldn't all be sold out by the time I get the mailing, but no one seemed to know. Anyway, if I remember, I'll come back and let you know what the response is when I submit my share info.
  2. Hope you're feeling better! Haven't been to Roatan in years. Was there before they even developed Mahogany Bay! I really need to get back there. Beautiful beaches. Oh, and I absolutely refuse to call them Water Shuttles. Sheesh. Talk about 'dumbing down.' People have the internet. If they don't know what a "tender" is, they can just Google it!!
  3. Kazu - I've never received a "free" cruise on Carnival from the casino. But I know that people on the Carnival board have stated that they received the s/h OBC even though they paid only taxes & fees for the cabin. My casino offers are through the cruiselines (I don't have any land casinos around so no comps from them). I occasionally get a mailing from HAL for free/$99/pp; $199/pp, etc. starting with inside cabins cruises on very limited sailings. Usually, by the time I get the mailing and go to the website to look for a free cabin, there are none available. Surprised I get them at all as I'm not a high roller by any means. On Carnival, I don't even play enough to get the free drinks card. But I only sail HAL every few years so luring me back with these offers works!! Anyway, I was able to book my upcoming cruise ($199/pp + taxes & fees for an inside) under one of these offers. I'll submit my shareholder request at the beginning of the month, but I'm not expecting it to be granted. As for when to request the credit, I typically wait until I'm within 60 days of sailing. On rare occasions, I've also read on the Carnival board that people who submit their request way far in advance have been denied and told to resubmit closer to the sail date. The thought is that you're supposed to own the shares when you sail, not just when you book. And, of course, there's the renewal thing mentioned above. So they typically don't apply it until they've renewed the benefit (which they always do but there's no obligation for them to do so!).
  4. The only time I've ever been denied my CCL s/h credit was on my Zuiderdam sailing, which a significantly-reduced (not free) casino fare. My upcoming Zaandam is also a casino fare and I'm guessing I'll be denied again. it's rather frustrating because Carnival gives them to anyone who owns 100 shares - even people sailing in comped cabins. Oh well. I bought low and have received lots of OBC over the past 9 years or so, so I'm not going to complain too much. It's just a little frustrating when the various lines under the CCL umbrella don't handle it in the same manner.
  5. I just checked rates for Saturday, 5/2, 1 night, 1 adult - Springhill Suites and Intercontinental are both right around 350 CAD. I could save a about US$50 with a non-refundable, pre-paid rate at the IC. Not sure I really want to pay that much for either, since I have a major trip a week after this one. Too bad. Really wanted to do some exploring (although I suspect I'll be excursioned-out by then. But will see if I can get a late flight home so I can do some wandering around for a few hours at least!
  6. First time I sailed Fantasy I thought the decor looked like it was designed while someone was having a bad-acid flashback! 🤣 After a few more times on her, I decided I really liked how she looked! Nothing beats Miracle's MDR, though. It's just hideous. I much prefer the more muted colors on the new ships. I just also prefer smaller ships. Loved the decor on HAL's Koningsdam - all cream and pale aqua. Have seen Epic Rock a couple of times and thought it was pretty good. Not a fan of JH. Really not a fan of "high energy" CDs. They just wear me out! Probably why I tend to avoid the activities where they're featured. And, NO, it's not just because I'm old, thank you very much! 😜 OK, maybe age has something to do with it. But I'll take Matt Mitchum as CD any day. 😁
  7. I believe it to be much more likely for me to pick up the flu from some inconsiderate coworker who brings it to the office (when we can all work from home) & have it develop into pneumonia and kill me than it is that I would contract this coronavirus. I used to ALWAYS be sick by the time I disembarked. That hasn't happened in several years (hope I didn't just jinx myself!). I'm not a germaphobe, but I'm very diligent about handwashing when I travel. I use hand sanitizer as well but know that it is to be used as a supplement NOT a substitute for proper handwashing.
  8. Yay! Another Pirate review! I sailed Conquest twice (I think) and really liked the ship. I love the Impressionist art theme. I'll have to check out that hotel. I usually fly into FLL and shuttle to Miami since I fly Southwest, but it looks fabulous! Looking forward to reading more. Oh, and btw, I swear that once FTTF started, I always got my "priority" bags LATER. Priority tags don't seem to matter even one tiny bit. Oh well. As long as I can unpack before dinner, I'm fine. I just never feel like my cruise has started until I'm unpacked!
  9. As I say in every thread where people are complaining about Fantasy-class ships, I probably have about 75 nights on the various ships (5 out of 8, I think) and it's been my personal feelings that the food and service are actually better on these ships. I just think that you get more personalized service, which is why I prefer smaller ships. I recently sailed 3 consecutive MSC cruises - Divina, then Armonia and Armonia a 2nd time. Divina is a large, beautiful ship, but i actually preferred Armonia (old and small). I love when you see the same people (well, usually love it!), and the same crew members. My last HAL sailing was on Koningsdam when she first came to the Caribbean. Again, a beautiful ship and large by HAL's standards. But I'm sailing again in April on Zaandam (again, old and small), which was my first on HAL (14 nights round-trip to Hawaii). I loved the ship and the service was fantastic. There are plenty of cruisers who don't feel they need the biggest, newest, most-bells-and-whistles ships. I don't need to pay extra for specialty restaurants. I've certainly never gone hungry on a Fantasy-class ship! And, again, with port-intensive cruises, you don't have the time (or energy) do spend running around a large ship trying to do it all, imho. Anyway, to those wanting tours in Dominica, I can highly recommend Levi Baron. Go to the Dominica port-of-call board and read about the tours. You most definitely don't need ship tours in any of the ports.
  10. I'm on a Med/TA B2B in October, sailing with a group of cruise buddies I've made who are Carnival loyalists. And then again for 8 nights next January for one of their 70th b'days. After that, I swear I'm done with Carnival unless I get an offer I can't refuse, which is unlikely. In fact, the offers I get from HAL as a solo/casino player are better than anything Carnival offers me now. The cruise/ship itself isn't why I sail. I still mainly cruise for the itinerary. I don't need to be pampered and don't want to spend more than I need to just to have a slightly-better onboard experience. I don't want to spend more for fewer nights. 5 nights just doesn't cut it any more. Test pricing - VV 5-night 4/30/21 in an inside "solo" cabin that's 105 sq ft is $1280. Carnival Sensation (yes, it's an older ship but I happen to like that ship class) 5 night 4/24 solo in a 1A (upper/lower 160 sq ft) cabin is $899 (casino offer). So, yeah, by the time you pay the service charge on Carnival, it wouldn't be THAT much more on VV. But, if I wanted a "regular" inside cabin on VV (that's still only 177 sq ft), the price would jump to $2,030. I'm not paying those prices. I don't spend money just because I have it. ANYWAY, I shouldn't need to justify my personal choices, so I'll just butt out! Just wanted to chime in to say that I'm looking forward to hearing why my friend has to say about working on the ship. I won't bother the fine folks here with what she has to say.
  11. Been to Barbados a couple of times. Too expensive and too touristy for me. I sailed on Splendor on a 1-way in 2014 San Juan-Miami. It was very interesting to visit somewhere not on the usual Carnival itineraries. It was St Croix, Martinique (one of my favorite ports), Grenada, Dominica, Grand Turk (ugh). Dominica is my very favorite Caribbean port (so far - there are still a few I haven't visited). Some people don't like it because it isn't full of chain bars/restaurants, so they think there's "nothing to do" at the port. I don't cruise to spend money in over-priced fake-island-experience places. Unless I've been to a port several times, I always find something new to see and do instead of hanging around the pier looking at cheap, tacky, tourist junk shops. Dominica is stunning. I've toured there with Levi Baron (Bumpiing Tours - Levi is great!) 3 times and once with a different vendor and everywhere I've been has been interesting and beautiful. And, personally, I love the Fantasy-class ships. The itineraries are port-intensive so the ship doesn't matter much when all you do is get back from a tour, shower, have dinner, see a show and go to bed. Repeat, repeat, repeat! I really want to sail from San Juan again. I love it there.
  12. I haven't sailed X yet (my cruise isn't until March 2021!). But I visit here just to see what's going on. 😁 My DD's BFF is currently working on Scarlet Lady. She did a couple of stints a few years ago on NCL Epic (she's in the theatre department as a costumer). Of course, she wants DD, my SIL, and even me (in my late 60s now) to come on a sailing. But the prices!! No way! While I'm trying to get away from Carnival (so tired of the same old, same old yet I have another 34 nights booked within the year), I still have to strongly consider pricing. I'm doing my 4th on HAL at the end of April, under a great casino fare. I personally prefer to pay-as-you-go rather than have prices built in for things included that I don't want or need. I don't consider it "nickel and dime" to pay for what I use! Anyway, it will be interesting to hear what she thinks about working on VV. She's in her early 30s and recently married, so she's not there to hook up! Well, at least I don't think so!! 😇
  13. I sailed her in November 2017 as a solo and really liked the ship. Met some wonderful people on that sailing (11 nights). I typically sail in inside cabins due to the cost of sailing solo but was able to upgrade myself to a balcony due to price drops. I never hang around the main pool area but loved the loungers on the deck above. Thought the food was very good. Loved the burger and pizza places. I did think the layout with Musicwalk just under the casino was a bit unfortunate. I think they've shifted the locations around (or maybe that's on the NS). The string quintet would be playing something lovely and there was whooping and shrieking coming from the casino just above. Or people across the walkway sitting at the bar (where the piano bar is located) that were loud and totally oblivious to the music (even with "quiet please" signs put out around the Lincoln Center Stage area. Anyway, I'd love to sail her again. Instead, I'm booked on Zaandam for the end-of-April repo. She was my first HAL ship (circle Hawaii) and I'm really looking forward to sailing her again. I typically prefer smaller ships, but I did really like K'dam. I thought she was lovely. She's about as large a ship as I want. Big enough to have lots of venues but not so big that you stay lost the entire cruise! 😄 Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
  14. I'm still a bit confused. I have a bunch (for me) of OBC for my March 2021 Infinity sailing. I figured I'd use some to pre-purchase both slot and table credits. If I win at Roulette, do I not just get back "regular" chips? I can see how the slots may be able to track things, but how does that work at a table? On Carnival and HAL, I can just upload funds to my card on a slot machine (doesn't matter if I have OBC or if it's being charged to my onboard account, there's no fee), use it to play or cash it out. I then take the cash and use it at the tables because they want 3% if you charge to you account there. NCL charged 3% at both tables and slots if not using cash, which was a bit of a bummer (my first on NCL and it was a 14-night TA). I don't like to carry a wad of cash when I travel, so I didn't play in the casino as much as I might normally. Are you folks saying that if I use my refundable OBC at the slots, they'll charge a fee?
  15. The itinerary was there on Friday when I found out about the change but it vanished (along with my booked sailing) by Saturday a.m. I'll keep checking back. I was OK with the cabin I had originally (8119) but would prefer something that doesn't have a big white space next to it! I've had noise issues on ships with those "mystery" blank areas on the deck plans!
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