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About mpcaruth

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Virginia is for Lovers!

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  1. We are planning a multi-generational family cruise out of Seattle next year. In particular, we are looking at the last week of May to accommodate everyone's schedules. I have it narrowed down to the following cruises: 1) Carnival Spirit: Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Victoria 2) Norwegian Bliss: Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, and Victoria 3) Holland Oosterdam: Puget Sound, Stephens Passage, Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria Things that are important to us: · Seeing glaciers and breath-taking views · Wildlife (both in port and from the ship) · Wildlife and nature excursions in port (not really interested in shopping and dining in port) · Good public viewing spaces on ship, as not all of us will have balcony cabins · The highest priority is itinerary, followed by price, and the ship last I would love to hear your recommendations. Thanks!
  2. This cruise has been sold out four about 4 months. It's a "new" ship and a Journey's cruise during the summer (families can go).
  3. EXACTLY what i was thinking. Or... Jimbo, can you get me an invite to the event?
  4. Our ship next month will be in port from 8-5. Final boarding should be 4:30. Is taking the 3:30 Speedy ferry back from Virgin Gorda doable? Or is it pushing the clock too dangerously? From what I have read, the ferry takes 30-35 minutes to get from VG to Tortola. Then it's a 10 minute walk to the cruise terminal. Is this accurate? If we decide to not chance the 3:30 ferry back, we will have to take the 1:45 Sensation ferry and lose 1 hr and 45 minutes at the Baths.
  5. Glad to hear everything was up and running for your cruise! Which dining room is any time dining? Thanks in advance.
  6. We often make fresh "brewed" tea on the ship. Since the tea in the dispensers is marginally acceptable and real sugar does not dissolve well in cold tea, we make a few cups of hot tea (with the provide tea bags and sugar). Once steeped, we pour it in an insulated cup with ice for some good ole southern iced tea.
  7. Do it! It will be fun like a slumber party (assuming you like everyone in your cabin). We've had four in an interior cabin a couple of times for shorter cruises. It's a little challenging, and requires everyone to be neat, organized shower scheduling, and use of public restrooms. The cost difference between 2 cabins and 1 can be high. Take that savings and splurge on excursions on shore and rather than sleeping quarters. Here's a post with a photo of an OV on the Elation, which is the same size cabin as the IS.
  8. We did this previously on a cruise, but I am not sure if this is still available? We are going on a Journey cruise, and I do not want/need internet the entire cruise, but would be interested in getting it for 1 or 2 days.
  9. Interesting... I have never seen the 3rd & 4th guest rate higher than the first two. I have been pricing quad cabins for 10 years plus. Carnival seems to offer the best rates for 3rd & 4th overall. The exception is the off season when NCL often has kids sail free. Royals rates are squirrelly (2nd guest 1/2 off) which just yells marketing gimmick. BTW, for our upcoming June cruise, the first and second rate is $864 and the 3rd and 4th is $269. We booked a year in advanced. Perhaps the cruise you are looking at is a last minute booking and they have very few triple cabins left and many double cabins (supply & demand).
  10. In 16 cruises we have never purchased insurance. I typically book the cruise a year in advance, and am able to cancel the cruise before final payment if there are scheduling conflicts. Assuming insurance had averaged $125 per cruise, then I would have expended $2000 alone on insurance in the last 10 years. Now, If something were to happen and I missed the ship, were ill, or had a death in the family, forfeiting my cruise payment would not hurt me financially. (I am not wealthy, I just live within my means). Insurance is a game of odds, and odds are you will not need it and the insurance company profits. BTW, I never buy extended warranties on things either. I hope I did not just jinx my upcoming cruise! On the flip side: if I had been saving money for years for the cruise, and it was to be a once in a lifetime experience that I could not replace, then I would probably buy the insurance. (I'm thinking perhaps a Galapagos Cruise)
  11. I remember a few ships having a smoking area outside on one of the lower exterior decks on the port side. The Sunshine had this on deck 3, Lobby. So, you may want to research this to see if this is the case for your cruise ship and plan accordingly. We chose the starboard side to avoid the potential of drifting smoke.
  12. My family prefers the dinner to be 1 hour. We are very close nit and spend amazing quality time at home (yes, even in today's time, we eat together at the dinner table 3-4 nights per week with our active teenagers). For us, the cruise is an adventure, and we want to take in all the things offered on the ship that we cannot do at home: shows, comedy, casino, teen club, live music, etc. On rare occasion, we have had long dinners... and ended up missing shows, which threw the whole night off. If everyone liked the same things, what a boring world it would be.
  13. I had my Triumph cruise disappear from the website for a few days... only to reappear as the new Carnival Sunrise. Frustrating scare, but then pleasantly surprised to have a "new" ship. I also had this same cruise disappear for a day or two in the last month when the ship seemed to be nearly booked out. When it became available again on the website, there were only a handful of cabins available.
  14. Here a link to my NCL Getway review that includes lots of port of call excursion photos: Ocho Rios, Jamaica – took a private tour to the Blue Hole, relaxed on uncrowded beach, and lunch at Scotchies Grand Cayman – took public bus to Turtle Farm and then beach time at Calico Jacks Cozumel – headed to the north side of the island and spent the day at Playa Azul (next door to Buccanos). We snorkeled and rented Jet Skis I also have additional Cozumel reviews from other cruises we have taken in the links in my signature. One of the best resources I have found for port of call reviews are the Mitsugirly reviews. She has links in her signature to individual ports. So, if you have signature displays turned off, you should turn them back on.
  15. We have done the Altun Ha and River Wallace tour (one of the few times we booked an excursion through the cruiseline) and I recommend this tour. The cave tubing tours present a really unique experience and I recommend it as well (cruiseline or private). Our favorite tour in Belize was the Shark Alley and Caulker Caye tour: AWESOME! Love the little island of Caulker Caye. Here are links to my picture-heavy reviews with Belize port of call: Shark Ray Alley and Caulker Caye begins at post #98 Cave tubing begins at post #28
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