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Everything posted by CanWeGoYet?

  1. I love the touring the Queen Mary and appreciate the historic aspect of the ship. That said, I would not want to book this as a hotel to stay in. Pre-cruise I have zero expectation for a luxury hotel experience, but the rooms make a best western or la quinta look like a 4 star hotel.
  2. I use a butter bell for my butter at home. It's fine unless the house or kitchen hits 90 degrees, at that point the butter falls into the water in the butter bell. Most of the time though it works fine.
  3. For those still looking, I've used Quality Town Car for transport to / from airport. It's a very good service. They used to be called Seattle Town Car and Airport Shuttle, changed the name due to too many companies with nearly identical business name & mix ups.
  4. I may be the sole discenting voice, I would exercise some caution. DR does have issues with crime, and if you are leaving the port area on your own I would be careful. I went with my big strapping adult son, and we took a carnival excursion. Have friends who have stayed in AI's in the Dominican Republic who did not research and were surprised at how the nice resorts had armed guards patrolling outside the walls of the resorts. The roads themselves can be hazardous, was surprised to see people riding 3 on motorcycles, passing cars on the highway in heavy traffic.
  5. Can't help on the walking tour, but be sure to stop by Le Guerrerense for tostadas. It is a street food cart, although they have a sit down restaurant as well now I hear. It has the BEST fresh seafood, it's busy and delicious. Some ideas on what to order, https://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffreymorrison/2018/03/16/la-guerrerense-the-best-food-in-ensenada/#afd33f65c115 Here is a site that has walking tour / Ensenada info as well as a map. http://www.cruiseportinsider.com/ensenadaonyourown.html You can see from this map of La Guerrerense it should be close to where your ship is docking. https://www.google.com/maps/place/La+Guerrerense/@31.8614761,-116.6231467,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xb733b3dee44c57c7!8m2!3d31.8614761!4d-116.6231467
  6. I think the shorter & less expensive the cruise, the more the atmosphere can suffer. My 3 or 4 day Nassau cruise on the Imagination was so bad, had it been my first on Carnival likely it would have been my last.
  7. I was able to cancel and rebook using the promo code, even though it's after midnight eastern time - which I had been told was the deadline. The site was down for excursions yesterday, so I was afraid I'd miss the chance to use the discount. It helped a little, but I did notice they had increased the price of the excursion from what I had booked a couple months back. Still saved a little, but that is a bit sneaky to raise prices and then advertise the sale.
  8. The ships are fantasy class, which aren't my favorite either. But the ports have decent activities if you do your research. As in don't book bufadora and expect anything more interesting than a blowhole. Activities / excursion choices on my last cruise that ported at Amber Cove DR had little of interest to me & seemed far less hospitable to walking around unless I stayed right in the cruise area off the ship. Nassau even worse imho.
  9. This is the reality. Institutions do prepare for inspections, and it would be wonderful if operations before the audit were identical to the week after, when JCAHO was done, gone & the audit complete. In a perfect world.
  10. Have been to Massage and Facial Care several times, really good spa owned by an ex Pat. http://bestbajamassage.com/ Easy walking distance from the cruise port. On the way back to the ship, I've stopped at La Guerrerense. Has been called the worlds best street food by chefs like Bourdain, featured in travel & food articles. Amazing food. https://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffreymorrison/2018/03/16/la-guerrerense-the-best-food-in-ensenada/#4f3b536c5c11
  11. True, but only if the people stuck can deal with it in a sane manner. I was stuck on an elevator in the BOA tower, between floors 30 floors up or so, with my (ex to be) and his best friend. Friend started losing it, screaming, kicking, clawing at the walls & then started talking about taking out the ceiling square & shimmying up the cable up to get out. Like he thinks he's James Bond / whatever. Hubby sitting on the floor tuned out, in total denial. I'm on the phone trying to get someone there before someone gets hurt. Fun times.
  12. Don't know if you are cruising close to home, or across the pond. Maybe things are different in Europe. But if you are going to be sightseeing in the caribbean or Mexico, be sure to bring some good closed toe shoes. I've walked along sidewalks in Mexico that had raw sewage flowing in the gutters. Sadly even the streets & sidewalks in my home town of Seattle have sanitary issues. On board the ship I wouldn't hesitate to wear sandals or flip flops but not in the ports.
  13. It might not be that far fetched for an employee to take the chance on charging someone elses folio for drinks who has cheers, especially if there are so many who will shrug if off and say "what does it matter, didn't cost me anything" "wouldn't waste a moment worrying about it, didn't affect me personally" etc etc etc. And as for the employee having worked for Carnival for 15 years - I don't know what year Cheers started but I don't think it's been around 15 years. Maybe not even 10. If this is some sort of deliberate practice instead of a sloppy mistake, it probably took crew some time to realize how they could work the system to comp drinks to passengers. And I've never bought Cheers, but my son gets the bottomless bubbles package every cruise. And it has been standard for the wait staff to take his card every single time he orders a soda at dinner. Sometimes half way through the cruise they go by memory or whatever on the folio number, but have never seen this right off the bat. Also not always, some cruises they take the card every single day of the cruise.
  14. Yet would the OP have been charged for the drinks if he did not notice, to challenge the bill? If this was a deliberate practice by the waiter to make nice with some folks at the next seating, he should be called out on it.
  15. Understandable issue to be concerned over. Are you cruising an itinerary that is far from US ports? Up to you whether you contact Carnival, the phone reps won't know but it is possible to contact medical directors for the different cruise lines. As has been said, this might result in you being denied passage - but weighing that is something only you can do. https://www.acep.org/how-we-serve/sections/cruise-ship-medicine/cruise-ship-medicine-section---cruise-line-directory/ Something I'd recommend for anyone cruising is to have trip insurance, with pre-existing condition covered, primary coverage & substantial coverage for medevac. Squaremouth.com has a search filter / box to tick for cruise ship passengers. It selects policies that have adequate coverage for medevac and emergency medical coverage. https://www.squaremouth.com/cruise-center/articles-press-releases/read-check-yes-cruise-lines-travel-insurance/
  16. I've purchased the classic non alcohol package on Celebrity. It was absolutely worth it to me. Premium coffees, soda, bottled water, and back then the standard package included freshly squeezed juices, any of the frozen drinks without alcohol, and smoothies. I also got smoothies on the room service menu included booking a concierge cabin. Not sure if the classic non alcohol package still includes the fresh squeezed juices & frozen drinks, but in any case the premium non alcohol is only $22 a night. To me that's worth it to just walk up and get a good coffee from the bistro any time I want. The alcohol packages on celebrity are not as expensive as carnival - the standard is $49 a night. They must make money on these drink packages, doubt they would offer it if they didn't.
  17. Yet I booked a vista suite that slept 3, and absolutely was not able to keep it with one of us canceling.
  18. I am less than happy with my PVP, he started out great and now aside from dropping everything to make a booking he is under the radar. I ran into it when I tried to pin him down on the booking price & getting a price drop - I got the story about how there's no way to know since there are no more cabins in this class left unbooked that sleep 3. He doesn't return emails, and at this point I don't really trust what he comes up with verbally without a paper trail. I'm leaning towards other cruise lines in general now, but if / when I book another carnival it won't be through him.
  19. I had this happen a few weeks ago. Had booked a suite that sleeps 3, my PVP told me if one person cancelled than they might move me to a similar suite that only held 2. But I was told the per person rate would not change - DS and I would be paying the rate for the first 2, and they would simply take off the smaller amount for the 3rd passenger. Well unfortunately when I called in to cancel the person who backed out, they did indeed move me to a 2 person cabin (thank goodness one was still available) but then told me I had to pay the higher rate for a whole new booking - saying it would cost more. I told the service agent that the booking was already crazy expensive, and if it went higher I would have to either cancel or move to a cheaper cabin. She heard that and said she needed to call her supervisor, I was on hold quite a while but I got to keep my booking at the same price per person I originally had. If I had someone else to take the spot of the friend who cancelled, I am sure there would have been no cost since I had not booked early saver. The one thing they did not do was refund the deposit of the 3rd person. I was told it rolled into the whole cruise fare and I will just owe that much less when I need to make final payment. I'm going to double check this now as it seems you get 5 different answers at Carnival if you speak to 5 different people.
  20. I disagree. I live in Seattle and have lived here my entire life, aside from college. I go downtown frequently, as do my friends & the people I worked with. I worked near downtown in the first hill area for decades. There are issues with homeless in the downtown area, and there is the same in the other areas of town like queen anne, ballard, northgate, it's everywhere. Along with Sea Tac and the suburbs.
  21. I haven't been in a long time, but back when my son was pre-school to school age we had a membership to the Pacific Science Center at Seattle Center. Lots of interactive exhibits Typically had a weekly outing there, lots of child friendly exhibits. We were there so often I'd pack us a lunch, but there are lots of food options in the food court. Not sure what part of town is convenient to you, but if you are in the area of the Seattle Center - Citizen Coffee Creperie has a good assortment of savory & sweet crepes all day, also sandwiches, soup, salad etc & they are reasonable. Was half kicking around the idea of Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, sort of a kitschy tourist trap on the waterfront, but it might be better for school age kids. Lots of interesting & random things to look at, but Sylvester could be too scary for a toddler & all the tempting souvenirs at hand level could spell a stressful outing for parents. Self play (coin op) pianos, fake mermaids hanging from the ceiling, fortune telling machine etc. Nearby there is also the Aquarium, with some hands on petting exhibits. Some more ideas: https://santorinidave.com/seattle-with-kids
  22. I missed what was wrong about the tiger shrimp dish, if you had commented on it earlier. Shrimp not fresh, bad prep, just curious.
  23. As hotels in Seattle run expensive, I am not sure how decent a hotel you can find for less than airport area prices. Maybe an airBNB would offer a lower price than the SeaTac hotels. It's common for hotels to charge extra for parking here, so factor that into your decision. The airport hotels might be your best bet at free parking, but then that might not be the best plan if it also offers a free shuttle pickup from the airport. There are some motels on Aurora / highway 99 in Seattle that offer free parking, can't recommend this location if you are looking for decent.
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