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Everything posted by sparks1093

  1. Why the bump? Your question has been answered. šŸ™‚
  2. There's a lot to this. It seems that some people are always seeking perfection in everything and they are looking for the perfect vacation. They try to plan everything meticulously so that everything is "just so". But when it comes to cruising how often does that happen? We all know that ship happens, so being flexible is a good thing. One of the lessons that we learned early on in life was to make plans loosely and be adaptable to a changing environment and that has served us well in the cruising world.
  3. It's for each person with red status or above, so if you are cruising with someone on their first cruise you would receive it and they wouldn't.
  4. Sure, it can be overwhelming, but at the same time the amount of control one has over the cruise have increased as well. Granted, there are some for whom it's best if everything is done for them so they don't have to decide, but for those of us who don't need that having so many options is a good thing. And now we have places like Cruise Critic where people can turn for help if they need it. Yes, sometimes the "old timers" on here forget what it was like when they started cruising and can be somewhat gruff in their responses, but overall CC is a wealth of information (and one can learn a lot just by browsing existing threads with no real need to post).
  5. Sounds like red, but you can sign into your Carnival account, go to your profile and click on "my benefits". That will show you what your VIFP level is.
  6. Your Sail and Sign card is color coded to reflect your status. As long as it is not blue you are entitled to this perk. When they scan your card it will show them this also and whether or not you have already claimed it.
  7. We were on Legend to Montego Bay. Since I was ill and confined to my cabin that day I can't give any direct thoughts of the port, but those I was cruising with had a great time ashore (they toured a haunted plantation). Legend is an older ship but is in good repair and is easy enough to navigate. My signature has a link to my review of a previous trip on Legend.
  8. I was actually confusing Amber Cove with Half Moon Cay. Our first trip to Amber Cove is coming up. But it does raise a good point that Amber Cove is simply a private area within a country versus being an actual private island, so it would also make sense that Sail and Signs wouldn't work at all.
  9. That is correct. You might have to go to a bar to obtain it (something that might be left over from COVID days). I'll know in 10 days if that has changed šŸ™‚.
  10. The main reason (as I understand it, anyway) is the 15 day limit. The POS used on Amber Cove does get uploaded to the ship's system, but that takes time. If they had the connectivity so the system on the island communicated directly to the ship instantly then that wouldn't be an issue. I know that changing the 15 day limit would be no cost, I have no idea how much it would cost to upgrade the systems, but I don't think it would be little. That said, this isn't a problem to CCL and while some customers may take exception to it most have found a way to adapt.
  11. The reason Cheers doesn't work is a connectivity issue between the island and the ship, it isn't instant. So, it might change at some point when they upgrade the system. I am not holding my breath, though.
  12. Plenty of free water onboard and it tastes just fine. We only use bottled water for shore excursions and stopped buying the cases when we started buying Cheers.
  13. Around here they add chlorine and in some places fluoride as well to tap water.
  14. Don't drink much bottled water but most bottled spring water is minimally processed whereas almost all municipal water is treated. My municipal water comes from the river that runs through our village and I'm glad it's treated (and there are fresh water springs in the area where we can fill all the jugs we want and it tastes way better than tap water).
  15. And also don't forget to average things out, one will probably have more to drink on a sea day and less on a port day, but 8 drinks on a sea day and 4 drinks on a port day averages out to 6.
  16. The folks we are traveling with got their passports in about 3 weeks.
  17. Seems to me that there is little difference between gathering it from the spring at the surface or drilling down and getting it, and this is permissible according to the FDA: The name of water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth may be "spring water." Spring water shall be collected only at the spring or through a bore hole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring.
  18. If if is labeled "spring water" it has to be spring water. And yes, spring water does taste different than tap water if you've never had it. I used to get 25 cents per jug to fetch spring water from our village spring for an elderly couple when I was a kid (should have bought the spring and become a spring water mogul, but then, I was just a kid).
  19. And if you don't have Cheers you are saving quite a bit over what they charge by the bottle. Price gouging is what NCL sells their water for. (And even though it sounds like it, I am not a cheerleader. I am a realist, though.)
  20. It is an emergency as in an unforeseen circumstance. My source is here Federal Register :: Documents Required for Travelers Departing From or Arriving in the United States at Sea and Land Ports-of-Entry From Within the Western Hemisphere subparagraphs (9) and (10) and they absolutely do provide waivers to individual travelers. The US isn't going to give someone the ability to travel outside of the country without a passport without also providing a means for getting them home if the need arises. As I understand the process as it is related by those who have experienced it the cruise line/port agent communicates with CBP and CBP issues a waiver for the passenger to board a plane directly back to the US and then the cruise line/port agent notifies the airline of the waiver. The passenger is sent to secondary inspection upon arrival in the US and then is allowed to go on their way. It does take time for all of this to happen and the passenger has nothing to do but wait. And your first point of contact is the port agent, who has dealt with all of this before and knows exactly what to do and what calls to make. And this is the definition of emergency (Merriam Webster) 1 : an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action : an urgent need for assistance or relief
  21. But you said that a person had to go in person to a consulate, not just call them. We are talking about US citizens on a closed loop cruise traveling with something other than a passport and needing to go home. The point is once the cruise ship leave you no longer have legal presence in that country, so you going anywhere is problematic. And I already gave you the answer why that person wasn't given a waiver- they had to catch up with the ship, they weren't returning home and yes, in order to do that they needed to get a passport. Had this happened on an island without an Embassy/Consulate than their only option would be to fly back to the US. Again, the regulations that give us the closed loop exception also give the authorities the ability to issue a waiver to the passport requirement to return to the US.
  22. We're talking about someone who doesn't have a passport who has to return home. The previous poster is saying they will need to go to a consulate even if it happens to be on another island and I pointed out that if a person has to go to another island they wouldn't be able to because they don't have a passport and it is therefore easier for the authorities to issue a waiver to allow said passenger to fly back to the US.
  23. Fingers crossed and prayers in the wind!
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