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Everything posted by EllieinNJ

  1. We were on the Enchanted repo from NY to FL in Nov. 2022 and again booked it this year in Nov. We usually like to travel on ships we hadn't been on before so wasn't so excited but after seeing your pics of the delicious looking food am starting to look forward to it. We have recently been doing mostly Carnival because when they had their big anniversary we were able to book four cruises at half price. And last year we did one MSC. The food on Carnival was just okay and the food on MSC was barely edible.
  2. Hi. Following along again. We met last year on the Pride.
  3. I just had one applied by my TA. Had to send her a copy of the AARP gift card voucher and in turn she sent it to RCI. Took exactly two weeks to be credited to my cruise. I do not think I will purchase any more because of the stress in getting it applied. Carnival and Princess are so easy.
  4. On another note, I had an NCL credit card that expired back in 2017. Would I be eligible to apply again, pay the $1000 toward my booked cruise, get the 20,000 credits and then use it either as statement credit toward final payment on the same cruise? Never knew you can use it to upgrade. I'm booked with a TA so does she have to contact NCL to upgrade?
  5. Because we got such great group rates with our travel agent and didn't want to fly anywhere, we wound up booking the Odyssey in Feb. 2025 and the Symphony in Sept. 2025 with the same itinerary as you. We also did this same itinerary on the Oasis in 2021 and took Royal excursions which were pretty lame. Now we are looking for different things to do in Pt. Canaveral and Nassau. We did love the stop in Cocoa Cay.
  6. I could not find any detailed bus route map. We would like to do Crystal Caves and Tom Moore's jungle which you can get to from Hamilton on either bus routes 1,3, 10 or 11. Then we would like to do the Admiralty House Park on bus route #4. It looks like there may be a stop where you can transfer from #4 to #11 but there is no information which stop. Does anyone know if this is possible and which stop or do you have to go back to the bus terminal in Hamilton to switch buses?
  7. Just got notice from my TA that the AARP gift card finally went through and was accepted by RCI. It took two weeks exactly. Now I can breathe easier and pay my final payment that is due the end of this week. I doubt I will purchase any more gift cards for Royal.
  8. I looked at the prohibited items and did not see sand or beach chairs on the list. If yes, will the porters take them for delivery to your room or do you have to walk around with them until room is ready? Also, will the shuttle buses going to the beach allow them on? I heard that many beach chair rentals throughout the caribbean have raised prices and if you have a cruise that goes to several public beaches the cost can add up. BTW driving to port, no flying.
  9. I only purchased one $500 gift card from AARP and my travel agent sent it in on May 17th. Called my TA yesterday and they say Royal is still processing it. Should hear back by the end if this week. Sitting on pins and needles because final payment is June 9th. I don't know if I'll purchase them again for my other two cruises that are booked. Too stressful.
  10. Will the cruise ship (RCI) actually allow you to bring small sand beach chairs on board?
  11. We are going in September. Would you suggest the st george line going and hamilton returning to dockyard? Can you elaborate on the Tom Moore jungle experience? How long to do?
  12. We will be in Bermuda on Royal Caribbean Monday/Tuesday Sept 7/8 2024 from 10am. Which ferry is best to get to the Crystal Caves, Hamilton or St. George? I see on the schedule the only orange ferry for us is either 11:15am on Monday or 9:30am on Tuesday. If we just do the ferry and one bus to the caves, does it pay to buy the one day pass or just pay the $5pp each? Do you need to reserve the caves reservation in advance? Not sure of exact time we will get there. And what is Tom Moore's Jungle? is it near the caves or do you have to take another bus.
  13. We were on the first cruise of Pride out of drydock in Barcelona and everything was perfect.
  14. I think someone mentioned that on NCL the staff were instructed to throw them away if they find any.
  15. I have a cruise booked through a travel agent and final payment is due 5/29/24. My TA was told by RCI that I can use gift cards from AARP for payment but has to be sent in at least two weeks before final payment due with a copy of the gift card. So I purchased just one $500 gift card from AARP and sent it by fax to my TA to see if it actually goes through. If there is no problem I will purchase more for future cruises I have booked.
  16. We loved all the cream type soups in the MDR. Just be sure to ask for it HOT! Loved the frogs legs. I enjoyed the duck rolls but DH didn't. We loved the beef wellington and the filet. We also really liked the seafood over the penne pasta with vodka sauce. Just ask for DOUBLE seafood because they are a little stingy with it. We also loved the chocolate panacotta but not crazy about the blueberry panacotta. The tirimisu was great on several ships and really mediocre on others. I finally ordered a banana split and loved it.
  17. Sorry for the long delay for my final thoughts but I still haven't gotten back to feeling better yet after the cruise. I cannot seem to kick this lingering cough and feeling tired all the time. I only work part time, 2-3 days a week from 7am to 3:30pm and can barely get through the day. I have read that others on that other social media group also were sick with colds and some even Covid. We tested for Covid when we got home and it was negative. Perhaps it is another kind of virus. Getting back to the cruises, we loved the L shaped cabin #642 on the Radiance.. Hubby especially liked only having steps away from the bathroom (he sleeps on the left side of the bed). We were a little worried about noise from the Havana Bar one flight down but but heard nothing. I liked the ship, the food and the one production show we had. Instead of the second production show they had crew coming down the aisles holding flags from their countries. It was very moving. The casino showed me no love so I stopped playing after a few hours. I don't think I will book a four day cruise again. First, it went too fast and second we did not fit in with the ethnic hip hop party crowd on this sailing. We do not drink and given the sparcity of entertainment with most being game shows and comics not to our liking, we would rather cruise 7 days or longer. That is why we liked the Panorama better. This was a little more sedate with many families cruising. Even though there were so many kids on board both ships, the ones on the Panorama seemed to be controlled better by their parents. I was disappointed with the entertainment as the cast was not as talented as those on the Radiance. Game shows are not a substitute for quality performances but it seems all cruise lines are going this way. The sky ride was not available for the entire cruise. They said they had to replace parts that were only available in Long Beach. We have five more cruises booked into Sept. 2025 and none of them are on Carnival. Three are on Royal Caribbean, one on Princess and one on NCL. Carnival's prices were higher for the same itineraries. Maybe now that we have nothing booked with them they might offer us a better price on future cruises. We do enjoy Carnival and hope to travel with them again. Ellie.
  18. My final payment is coming up and I wanted to use the AARP gift cards. As I was reading the T&C it says not for groups. I called my TA and she's finding out if I could use them for the group rates she got us. Would be very disappointed if not. We have 3 RCI cruises booked and the total we would save is significant.
  19. We had an 11am check in time for the Panorama. Got there around 10:45 and was directed to enter the dome. This is where the embarkation process goes bananas. We inch along a very long line for about an hour until they process our papers. Then we are placed in a holding area along with the other 5000 guests. Boarding has not yet started. They are still disembarking people from the previous cruise. It seems like taking forever but finally boarding starts around 12:30. We are only gold so had a B8 boarding. After all the handicap, diamond, platinum and two wedding parties boarded we were finally allowed to board. Made Guys around 2pm. This cruise we had a regular balcony 6452, right above the Havana area. We could see right down into their lounge areas and the walkway leading to their pool area. No privacy for them. But to tell the truth it seems most didn't use this area. We only saw a few people out there taking pictures when we entered a port and departed a port. The demographics of people on this cruise was very different from the hip hop generation of the previous one on the Radiance. It was basically a young family cruise. I was very surprised at the amount of school aged kids that the parents took out of school for the week. There were no holidays at this time but the kids took over all the pools and hot tubs. We were finally able to get into a hot tub when we got back early on Cabo day. Everyone seemed to really love the CD Deon but we felt he was too into himself. The daily MDR food was repeated as the previous cruise except with three extra nights they gave us lobster, beef wellington and filet. We still enjoyed the food but due to our bad colds could not eat much. I had to skip four different slot pulls that were arranged because I did not want to get anyone sick. As before we went to the early theater but skipped the Punchliner shows because we went to bed early. This production cast was not as good as the previous one and only enjoyed the 60's rock show which we also saw on the Radiance. We also skipped most of the game shows. This is sad because we like entertainment and it was not entertainment for us. We did see one Family Feud show because there was nothing else to do that evening. In Puerta Vallarta we took a Carnival excursion of city highlights and tequilla tasting. It was mostly tequilla tasting which we did not take part of. They went to two tequilla places and the people were drinking all the different flavors of tequilla like it was water. This was a mistake on our part, In Mazatlan we took a private excursion through Viator. It was a really good tour in an air conditioned mini bus. We stopped at many places and was able to go to the beach too. In Cabo we did the Carnival excursion to the arch by boat only because we heard that if you didn't go with Carnival excursions you might not get off the boat until very late and we had to be back on the ship by 1:30pm. We had to meet up by 6:30am and nothing was opened yet except for light snacks in the buffet. After the excursion we walked around the pier for a bit. The vendors were the most aggressive that any of the other ports. This time we tried all the other free lunch venues. We really enjoyed the Asian wok and the Cucina pasta and meat dishes. We did not care for Guys Pig and Anchor. Debarkation was also a mess. We weren't sure what time we would dock as per reading many posts here so we had a 2:45pm flight out of LAX back to Newark. We could have done a 1pm flight but wasn't sure there would be enough time. We self debarked with our luggage and was off the ship around 10 am. Tried to get an Uber or Lyft but they kept cancelling us. Finally one told us to walk over to the Queen Mary and he would pick us up. We did not get to the airport until around noon. I would be very stressed if we had the 1pm flight. Told that it was all booked up anyway, standby only. Our 2:45 left on time and we finally got home around midnight NJ time. Slept and rested for the day on Sunday and had to go back to work Monday. Final thoughts coming up. Any questions please ask. Ellie
  20. No food porn or excursion pics, just a few facts from our trip that may be of interest to some. We arrived in LAX two days before the first cruise and stayed at the Marriott Fairfield Inn in El Segundo. Very nice hotel with a great breakfast. There was a Ralph's grocery across the road where we were able to pick up soda. The second day we took a tour of LA with LAVIP tours. They picked us up at our hotel which was very convenient. We did have to stop at several other hotels but we didn't mind. The tour was great but exhausting. Weather was a little chilly so glad we brought our windbreakers, especially for Venice Beach which was freezing. Took Lyft to Long Beach terminal. $38. Not bad. We had 11:30am embarkation time for the Radiance and was eating at the Deli by 12:30pm. We had balcony room 6424 which was an L shaped room with a double balcony. We really enjoyed the different arrangement but only could use the lounge on the balcony a few times. Weather was too cool. We mostly went to the 7:30pm production shows and the late comedy shows in the Limelight Lounge after dinner. It was confusing finding the lounge. There is a staircase in back of the casino bar. The first time the line was up through the casino then down the stairs and through several doors. All seats were taken but someone had just removed the "reserved" signs from two seats so we got them. The second time we went we knew to come earlier so no problem. We enjoyed the cast for the production shows but the comedians not so much. We did MTD around 8:15 each night. I'm very picky about where I sit so if I don't like our table I just ask for another one. I will not sit at a table 3 inches from another one or a table where one of us has to face a blank wall. We wait a few minutes but they always are able to find us a table we like. The food was very good. We also ate at Guys, Pizza and Big Chicken and enjoyed all. I have to say this was definitely a party crowd with lots of kids so couldn't get near the hot tubs even in Serenity. The CD Mike did a decent job and we had fun. Planned on renting golf carts in Catalina but the lines were so long so we just walked around for a while. In Ensenada we took the bus to town for $4pp r/t. My husband was on a mission to get some Albuterol inhalers. We must have stopped in 10 pharmacies but he said they were too expensive. He finally found a pharmacy which had a good price at $3 each so he bought several. When you get off the bus walk through the tunnel and turn left. Debarkation was also good. We were off the ship by 10am and walked over to the Queen Mary where we were staying for the night. It was too early to check in so we left our bags with the bellhop and walked to the free Passport bus stop. We rode to Shoreline Village and walked around. Then continued on to downtown First Ave. & Long Beach Ave. and walked a few blocks to a Von's grocery to pick up some things. Took the bus back to the hotel and checked in. I was feeling tired so took a nap while my husband went exploring. He crashed several tour groups and enjoyed seeing how the ship was. Our stateroom was very stark. No fridge, no coffee. Two porthole windows. White subway tiled bathroom. Then there is the air conditioning. There is no way to control it from the room so we were freezing the whole night. Went to the front desk to complain so they took a few dollars off our bill. But that was the start of bad colds for the two of us. Next morning we walked back over to the cruise terminal to board the Panorama and we couldn't believe how different the experience was. More to come.
  21. We are on the Panorama now in Cabo. We have eaten breakfast every day in the MDR and liked the service. Today we had an excursion at 6 30am and the only thing opened before was light fare at the buffet. You would have assumed that the would open dining earlier but no.
  22. We took United from Newark to LA. Can't sleep on a plane so was expecting to watch a few movies. We flew to Europe with them last May and it was good but now we find out they took away the backseat movies and you have to use your cellphone. I'm a little hard of hearing and can't get the volume up enough so it was 6 hours of just doing nothing. Make it 8 because there was maintenance problems and we sat in the plane for two hours before we even left. Ugh!!!
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