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Anita Latte

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  1. I seriously wonder if MSC understands the Titanium level...after hearing that Hilton Gold has been matched to Gold. DH is a Titanium and I thought that was one of the highest levels for Marriott.
  2. We have had designated places in the room for clothes that have been what I think of as gently worn...good to go for another round. I even have over the door clothing hooks to be able to hang up some things. I put one in DS's room...telling him that for jeans especially, you can usually wear pants multiple times before needing to wash them...he would hang his pants by a belt loop.
  3. No charge for regular water in the dining rooms on Divina.
  4. Yes, my understanding is that if you don't contribute to your points at least every three years, your points account will zero out, points will expire, points will die. However you want to put it. And they say that you can only do the status match once, so it's not like you can lose your points and then match up again and start over. It's like a once shot deal. I think it's a wonderful program and I'm very happy to have been given what I was.
  5. Our "home base" was near the spa. So we just crossed over to the snorkel beach side closest to the end of the island where we had landed, which was the far end away from the lighthouse. The spa beach side was much nicer sand...much much nicer. The snorkel beach sand up there was very full of shells and even the sand near the water's edge was a bit rough. One friend had "socks" with her fins...the other had a pair of travel fins. I had no fins. Worthwhile will depend on your POV. There's not a ton to see...and you have to search around and really take it slow...but you can find stuff to see. And it will be easier to see if you have your snorkel gear LOL. I saw things that I wouldn't have been able to see if my friends weren't able to stay "under" for as long as they could. I spent 90 minutes holding my breath as long as I could and then cranking my neck up to get air! I could see though with my goggles, but challenging for me for sure. I would have loved to have a mask/snorkel so I could be more productive in the hunt to see fun stuff. If you enjoy being in the water and hunting and take pleasures in finding the small outcroppings and seeing the life there, then you would be happy to have your stuff. If you aren't so much interested in the hunt, seeing a bunch of sand with sporadic greenery and even more limited coral groupings on random boulders, etc., then you might be frustrated with the lack of things to look at.
  6. Exactly. My match level was given the lowest level of points for that level. 4300 for gold.
  7. The beds were fine. My concern is usually that the beds may be too soft, especially a spring bed. I sleep on memory foam at home and so I generally have disappointments with travel beds. The bed seemed to be supportive enough without being too stiff so I was happy. The pillows...meh. There are two...one is flat and hard, the other has more volume and more give. I'm seriously pillow challenged and have yet to find what I think of as a great pillow for my home bed...but I appreciated the two pillows and found that each night I might prefer one over the other and switched it up. I didn't experience some of the pillow horror stories I've seen here or elsewhere. All in all, I'd say the whole bedding situation was decent. I would book the stateroom I had again.
  8. I think I'm going to try the dress with the ties first. The great thing about making the dress is that I can change my mind! LOL. I don't want the fabric to add volume to my frame. I don't want to tie the ties tight, but I do like the thought that they could add a bit of definition to the fullness of the ease in the pattern. We'll see how it all turns out.
  9. I agree with the fabric situation, some of today's fabrics don't hold up as well but I think this has a lot to do with the fiber content of the fabrics and the way that we care for the fabrics. I read a long time ago that the hardest thing we do to our clothing is wash it. It depends on the body and friction points (like I have a friction point at the widest part of my thighs where they rub past each other as I walk), and if you have more friction points, then you can wear through fabrics faster because of that, but generally, it's in the washing machine that fabrics REALLY rub against each other and develop potential wear. Same in the dryer. One way to extend the life of your fabric is to wash like with like. Like with like doesn't produce as much friction. So less wear and tear on the fabric fibers. So separate your natural fibers from your synthetics, for example. Progress in using different fibers in our clothing as well as introducing more and more synthetics and stretchy fibers seems to contribute to fabrics that aren't made to last as long as the fabrics of the past. And if you are a person that doesn't tend to have multiple wearings between washings...well, you can decrease the life of your clothing. So if you can develop ways to refresh your clothing beyond a full washing to get it "clean", then you can also theoretically increase the life of your clothing. Spot clean the spots. Use a clothing brush to gently remove surface dirt. Air out your clothing. Etc. This is all speculation on my part.
  10. Do you mean St Maarten in the Caribbean? This is the Alaska forum...so maybe post your question in the Caribbean ports forum?
  11. Alaska is not as cut and dry in which is better. Many of the tour operators in Alaska have relationships with the cruise lines and rely on the cruise line relationships to get their bookings. Pricing may not be so different booking independently. So sometimes, depending on your particular situation, you may be better off using OBC or a flash sale or some such method and booking through your cruise line. In other cases, there are some tour operators with which you don't have the option to book through the cruise line. I think Adventure Bound's day cruise out of Juneau may be an example of that; maybe some other whale watching outfits out of Juneau. It really depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it. Booking an independent whale watching in Juneau would enable you to get on a 6-passenger boat...while the cruise tour would be a larger boat with more people (but that may work better for you?). Most of the reputable cruise tour operators in Alaska are well aware of port schedules. The tourist season is limited in Alaska and they are well aware that their continued ability to operate and earn a living is first and foremost related to getting passengers back to the ship. So generally, I wouldn't worry too hard about whether or not you will get back to the ship. The ports in Alaska are pretty much right there and there's no port security or any other worry like that about getting back to the ship; You don't have to show ID at a port entrance just to get back to the docks like you might on a Caribbean, for instance. In Juneau, the ships dock along a street that is just off downtown...each ship has "street front" and all the taxis and tour buses can be right there at EACH ship. That said, if you are venturing far afield, the glacier hike whistle stop outside Skagway for instance...you may be better off booking that through the cruise line, just incase something happens. However, I had read a review where there were cruise ship passengers on a cruise sponsored tour on the same train as the independently booked hiking couple, so they had that benefit when there were issues with the train. I know that whatever train it was when I went to Skagway also ran late and our sailaway was delayed while the ship waited for the train passengers to come back. Being repetitive...there's no one right answer to a question like this.
  12. The Sports Bar is still there. I went in there a couple of times trying to see if I could get any info on some games...but there was no mention of food available in the Sports Bar in the daily program and I didn't notice food when I was there. I was curious about your question. I did find the FAQ which mentions the prepaid card (you do understand that any money still on the card at the end of the cruise is non-refundable?) but there are no other specifics mentioned regarding underage travelers...but the way that they talk about it, even on the website, it would seem that an underage's normal sea pass card doesn't have charging privileges and that they would need to have a prepaid card in order to be able to buy anything themselves on the ship. If that is actually the case, then I would say that you don't even have the option to link a credit card to an underage traveler. This would be worth a phone call IMO, if you really wanted to know. I had a great experience calling in...my call picked up within 5 minutes.
  13. According to the daily: SNOW PARTY. Enhance your MSC experience with a refreshing cocktail and join us at our snow party! Try a special Frozen Cocktails on your choice with a 20% discount! 4:00pm - 6:00pm, Aqua Park, deck 14 (mid) *direct quote...grammatical errors and all. lol
  14. I had the same experience calling in. Short wait time and an extremely helpful person. She dealt with my issues for getting the status match documentation to work. Got my name and my Mom's name updated to match our passport as well as our booking names. Also requested the 5% refund on the booking for the status match going through. I also got off the phone very happy.
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