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  1. It's so incredibly hot and humid at those aft pools with the roof shut, though! Of course, when the weather doesn't cooperate, without the dome, it forces everyone inside which makes an already-crowded ship pretty unbearable. Oh, and I like the looks of the cobb salad. Didn't know they were offering these at the deli. Must say, the thing I missed most about Carnival while on these past 3 cruises on MSC was the deli. Looking forward to reading about the next leg!
  2. Thanks for the tips. Wouldn't mind seeing some iguanas!
  3. It will be interesting to see how I feel about the ship after next week. I sailed her shortly after she was remodeled and was surprised that I liked her as much as I did because there were lots of complaints about the changes (much like we're reading from a lot of people about Sunrise and expect we'll read about Radiance). Adding more cabins can only make things more crowded. I did like the layout and after I sailed Vista, I felt that Sunshine was just a smaller version. Nothing in Carnival's fleet can compare to the Spirit class ships. They have a MUCH better space ratio (because they were never intended for Carnival and have a very different layout; HAL's ships are very similar). So looking forward to that B2B Med/TA on Legend sailing 1 year from today!!
  4. Sometimes I can search (only ever have any success once I'm on the board I want to search) and get a good list; other times I try various search strings and get nothing useful even when I know I've seen threads about the subject! It isn't the most user-friendly search on the web, for sure!
  5. My experience with Brunch, on several different ships, is that it is very irregular. I've had really good service and food; I've had really poor service and food; I've had a combination (either good service but poor food or poor service but good food). And there doesn't seem to be any consistency even on the same sailing. Our last sea day on the Horizon TA, our group of about 11 went to brunch. The assistant waiter was so awful it was entertaining. He was so happy and having such a great time but it was a total mess! One thing, though, is that it always seems like service is excrutiatingly slow, even when they don't seem to be that busy. But I found that back when it was "regular" breakfast and lunch in the MDR. I just am not inclined to spend so much time on my sea days sitting around waiting for food when there are so many instant options available. But I'll give it a try next week, at least once, just to get my drink and see if I find anything on the new menu I like. I was a big fan of the huevos rancheros at brunch (and the cheese grits) so we'll see. Sorry you had such an awful experience. And don't feel bad about leaving. Nothing ever improves if no one complains when it's warranted!
  6. Thanks. I'll try to remember to pack one just in case (but will probably forget it in the hotel room; I seem to have left a dozen around the world by now!). I'm not a buffet person. Even for breakfast, it's either an omelette or a breakfast burrito or huevos rancheros. Lunch is deli, burger, burrito, or, for this cruise, I'll probably have the pasta bar. I also enjoyed sitting back in the Havana bar area. I don't think I had breakfast at Ocean Plaza on Sunshine but did several mornings on the Horizon TA. Did you do brunch? I'm looking forward to trying the new brunch menu. That's about the only time I eat in the MDR outside of dinner.
  7. Oh. I don't think that's where we've docked on my past three cruises which were on MSC. Just booked a quickie on Paradise in December and just figured we'd be at the same place. Only plan was to get off the ship and have a large blue margarita with some chips & salsa at Tacos y Tequila. Guess I'll have to try somewhere else. Too bad. Those margaritas were really good. 😁
  8. Pretty sure there have been several threads about this because I know I've chimed in on a few. Not that I'm opinionated or anything!πŸ˜‹ IMO, there's really no comparison. HMC all the way. But, Princess Cays is still a nice beach day but, yes, you should bring water shoes. I'm not a swimmer so just stay out of the water there (I'll be there for my 3rd time a week from Monday on Sunshine). Same food. More shopping spread out along the area rather than just around the tender port. No idea about what sort of excursions they offer at PC. I've done the stingrays at HMC twice (it's in a small enclosed area with a little bit of reef so very easy to interact with the rays) and the horseback riding (not as good as at Grand Turk). PC is just a beach day for me. Also my opinion but not thrilled that Carnival Corp is "enhancing" HMC with plans to build a pier. I've been there several times. Only time we couldn't make the port call was because of damage from Hurricane Sandy although I know there are times the port is missed, as happens with all tender ports. I already like it there less since they built the big, ugly pirate bar and the large Villas. It's paradise.. Leave it alone! I wouldn't pick an itinerary based solely between the two, but if I was contemplating similar itineraries and cost, I'd choose HMC. Just another reason to sail HAL. Virtually every Caribbean sailing calls at HMC.
  9. I very rarely go to the comedy shows but I do sometimes enjoy the Playlist shows. I've seen some that I thought were very good, some not so much. But that's been the case on all my cruises on all lines. Do the cabin bathrooms have magnifying mirrors? I can't remember. I'll have to bring one if not and I have a feeling that they do not.
  10. I've been known to read 4 novels on a 7-night cruise (and didn't stay on board on port days). I need a book exchange and am disappointed that Carnival thinks everyone on their ships is so into have FUN FUN FUN with all the activities that some books aren't needed. Luckily, since I'm driving to port next week, I can pack several books. But what am I going to do for 25 days on the Legend Med/TA next year? Sure, I can download books to the Kindle on my phone, but I like to read books with paper pages. I stayed at the Andrew Pinckney Inn a couple of years ago. Got a fantastic rate but haven't had any good offers from them since. I'm not going to pay close to $300 for a small room and then also pay to park at the pier. But loved the ambiance and their wine & cheese happy hour on the veranda. Staying at the Sleep Inn on West Ashley next week. Not quite the same level of accommodations. πŸ˜‰ Hmmm. May have to get a Mason's lobster roll instead of searching for Shrimp & Grits!
  11. The daiquiris I had in Havana (the city, not the bar on Carnival ships) in May were so incredibly delicious and nothing like the things made with drink mixes. I so want to go back! Anyway - pumpkin ale. My favorite, which I haven't been able to find for a couple of years, was from Cottonwood Brewery. Started in Boone, NC, where I lived for many years. It was delicious when on tap there at the brewpub. They moved or were bought out by Foothills Brewery in Asheville. Haven't checked the bottle shops but it used to show up in the grocery stores at this time of year. No longer. πŸ˜₯
  12. I first visited HMC in 2006, I believe, on Carnival. I'm not a "beach person" but I fell in love with the island. Got home and convinced my DD and a friend that we needed to book the same cruise for 6 months later (and I never did repeat cruises back then). First thing they did that I disliked was build that big, ugly pirate-ship bar. Next came the big villas with people bringing their music and blasting it all day. IIRC, Carnival only called at CoCo Cay for a very few sailings. Now, they visit Princess Cays (will be there again in about 2 weeks on Carnival Sunshine). It can't compare to HMC. I'm not a fan of having to tender, but that certainly doesn't stop me from going ashore.
  13. Charleston is one of my favorite places. In fact, I'll be there next Friday for my Saturday sailing on Sunshine! I always try to go down the day before sailing even though I could make the drive easily enough the day of. I like to check in to my hotel, then drive over to the waterfront, park the car, wander the streets, and have some dinner. Sadly, dinner at Fleet Landing last time was a disappointment. Not nearly as good as previous visits so I'll be looking for somewhere else to have my Shrimps & Grits! When I sailed on Ecstasy a couple of years ago with some friends, they wanted to do a carriage ride. "Oh, so touristy" I thought, but agreed to go. It was actually quite fun. It was early evening. They do different routes and we were lucky enough to get a route that went down to the battery. I highly recommend sailing from Charleston and giving yourself at least a day or two to explore this beautiful place. I loved sailing on Fantasy when she was there (didn't like Ecstasy as much) but I know many people sneer at the Fantasy-class ships (not me; I love them!). Will be interesting to see what it's like on Sunshine. I did sail her shortly after she was (re)launched and liked her more than I expected to given all the negative reviews early on. I'm just used to sailing from Charleston on a smaller ship with fewer pax.
  14. My most recent HAL sailing was on Koningsdam almost 2 years ago (loved the ship). There was smoking in the casino at that time. Sailed Zuiderdam almost 3 years ago (really liked her too - had one of the J class interior cabins that are quite large, centrally-located, and a great cabin, especially for a solo). Both had the BB King's Blues club which had great bands. Open until about midnight, I believe. I had no idea that HAL had further restricted their smoking policy since I sailed. Makes me very happy since I just received a casino offer for a free interior and am currently trying to get in touch with my PCC. I haven't yet sailed X (am booked on Infinity for March 2021). One of the main reasons I've wanted to try X was because the casinos are non-smoking. I do wish HAL was more transparent with their pricing structure. I search for a sailing that looks interesting, see the price, then log on and almost every time the price drops about 30%. I have no idea why. Is it because I put in my Mariner number? Is it because I get casino offers? Is it that they aren't charging 200% as a solo? I'll take the discount. Just wish I knew why I was receiving it! Anyway, thanks to OP for posting.
  15. Another female solo cruiser here. I've even chosen to eat solo at 2-top tables and been hounded by neighbors insisting that I join them. If I'd wanted to eat with others (and I often opt to do just that), I'd have told the Maitre D that I wanted to be seated with others! One of the things I enjoy most about sailing solo is that I get to people watch. When you're sailing with family/friends, you spend most of the time chatting with them. When you're solo, you have all that time to watch the crew/staff do their amazing jobs. There have also been too many instances where I've been seated and then ignored. Once I finally get someone's attention, the remarks are always "oh, I thought you were waiting for someone!" Really? And it didn't occur to you to even come and pour some water and ASK ME? And just because I'm alone doesn't mean I'm lonely! It is frustrating.
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