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About pghsteelerfan

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    Travel/cruising, photography
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  1. Prince William County is exactly where we're at! Small world. 🙂 We're technically in the City of Manassas Park but less than a mile from PWC (we're very close to Signal Hill & Signal View Roads). I love the Nokesville area, not built up as much and hope it can stay that way. We have friends out that way - Gainesville, Bristow, Haymarket, and Warrenton. I'm glad my experience of Pearl Harbor was also helpful to you, it's definitely a must see.
  2. Kim, I am so sorry for your loss. Keeping all of you in thoughts and prayers.
  3. Hi Deladane! I have not been on CC for a few months but logged in today just to see if there was anything interesting going on over here. I'll definitely have to check out your review of Paris. Last time we "talked", you hadn't gone yet but were thinking of posting somewhere here on CC when you got back. Good, I'll have another good read. 🙂 We were actually supposed to cruise again this past May, on Carnival Magic, going from Miami to HMC, GT; sea day, Aruba, Curacao; 2 sea days and back to Miami. Friends we'd gotten to know here though our Valor reviews and who we got to sail with on Liberty out of San Juan were also to be on that cruise that wasn't. Back in January, I took advantage of a Carnival $50 deposit special and booked Fascination out of San Juan for 10/31/2021, which was an alternate itinerary (STT; Antigua; Dominica; Grenada; Barbados; sea day). Our same friends were booked and one of the other couples we met on Liberty was also going to book. The 3rd couple were also considering it, so it would have been a "reunion cruise". That was also cancelled. We received notification from Carnival last month that it was cancelled, but same benefits apply. It appears they are pulling Fascination out of San Juan and have her "on hold", and there has been a lot of speculation that she will eventually be scrapped. I think Inspiration is the other on the "on hold" list. There is also speculation that Carnival is going to stop sailing out of San Juan, but I hope that is just temporary. We think we're going to take the full refund for the Magic cruise since we'd have to book by end of Dec. and take the cruise by end of 2021 and even if cruising resumes, it may not be what we would want. I've seen MSC's restrictions - Yikes! With the Fascination, we have till the end of next May and we'd have to take the cruise by the end of 2022, I think, which definitely gives us some time to think about it. We're thinking Mexican Riviera on Panorama. Did you have any cruises/other vacations that were cancelled? I will say I can't complain about a cancelled cruise. Definitely a bummer but things could be so much worse for us. If a cancelled cruise this year and next year are the worst that happens, I'm definitely good. 🙂 Hope all is well with you and happy to see some CC friends again! Holly
  4. Hey Kim! Yeaaa!!! So glad I just happened to hop on Cruise Critic today and see you post that you're doing a review of your trip to St. Thomas! I haven't started it yet, but I'm definitely going to start some of it as soon as I finish commenting. As expected, our Magic cruise scheduled for this past May was cancelled as were all the others. We received and email from Carnival about a month ago that our Fascination cruise, which was scheduled for 10/31/2021 has now also been cancelled. Seems Carnival is pulling Fascination and putting her and another ship (Inspiration, I believe) "on hold", with many now believing they will be scrapped. We were really looking forward to that one and were hoping they'd get Covid under control so cruising would resume by then. The itinerary was one of the alternate ones, going to St. Thomas; Antigua; Dominica; Grenada; Barbados; and the sea day at the end. Oh well, not much we can do. Two other couples we'd gotten to know on our last cruise (now 5 years ago) were going to be on it and the third were also thinking of booking. This year we're just going to go to the beach in NC for a few days just so we can get our toes in the water and arses in the sand. It's only about 5 hours from here, so easy peasy and looking forward to it. Been thinking of you and your ankle and hope to be reading that you're well on your way to being 100% again. A friend of mine also broke her ankle (both bones) and dislocated it as well. Forget when it happened (May, June???), but a few weeks ago she was given the green light to put weight on it again. Luckily for her, she did not have the complications you had and I didn't even tell her. So...on to read about your trip to St. Thomas! Thank you, as always! Holly
  5. The itinerary out of San Juan was my all time favorite. Our first cruise, our honeymoon, was out of San Juan on Festivale and we sailed out of San Juan on Valor (2013) and again on Liberty (2015, our last cruise). We were booked on Fascination for October 31, 2021, on the itinerary that went to SST; Antigua; Dominica; Grenada; and Barbados and were really looking forward to it. Two new islands (Antigua/Grenada) and one that would be like new (Dominica) since it's been so long. I have seen other threads comment about an end of cruising out of San Juan and just hoping this is temporary until Carnival gets their feet back on the ground after all of this. It was suggested to go for the smaller cruise ships (Windstar and another was mentioned) but they are way over our budget. I'm glad we got to cruise this itinerary when we did.
  6. That's really a shame. The first time we saw Monarch was in 1992 in San Juan when she was docked next to the ship we were sailing on, Carnival Festivale. We were on the itinerary out of San Juan but they had the cruise ships docked across the bay at the industrial area due to the replicas of the Columbus ships for the 500th Anniversary Celebration. We got great views of Monarch, at the time one of the largest cruise ships. Had a chance to see her again while in the Bahamas in September 2010. Attached pic is the scanned film print from our 1992 cruise out of San Juan. Compared to Festivale, she was HUGE.
  7. Had Magic booked for the May 9 sailing out of Miami, which was an 8 day that went to HMC, GT, Aruba, and Curacao. Friends that we met on our last cruise (2015 - it's been a while), and also CC members we're also booked, and we were all really looking forward to it. Not complaining, if that's the worst thing that happens to us/our families this year, we're good. We normally book cruises about 3 months out but there are a few that were booked 2 months or less out. But this one was booked in July 2019. Never would have guessed. We booked Fascination out of San Juan for October 2021 (same friends are also booked on that one) toward the end of January this year. We heard of corona virus/covid at that point but never knew how bad it would end up at the time we booked. At this point I'm not getting my hopes up just yet but I'm just hoping that cruising will be back by then.
  8. Hey Stinger-pr! Just got on CC for a little while and came across this review that I somehow missed when you originally posted it...what a pleasant surprise! I am definitely going to read and looking forward to it especially with the dry spell in reviews due to cruise cancellations due to covid. We actually had our first cruise booked since we took our last one on Liberty in 2015 out of San Juan. That was supposed to be in May, on Magic and out of Miami to HMC, GT, Aruba & Curacao. We all know what happened there. We actually have Fascination booked for Oct. 31, 2021 out of San Juan to STT, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, & Barbados, so keeping fingers crossed that cruising will resume by then. And if the Fascination cruise is a go, we plan on booking our favorite "go to" hotel again. 🙂 The past two years we've done milestone "destination" birthday's for two good friends - NOLA in 2018 (so much fun) and FL last October. So we've had a cruising dry spell and I'm going through serious withdrawals right now, so reading this, even though almost 2 years late, will help. Always enjoy your reviews and the great pictures you get. So glad I found it!!!
  9. We were supposed to board Magic on May 9, they day you'd have been getting off. We were scheduled to fly down a day earlier and were really looking forward to our cruise. It's been 5 years since we cruised last too. Last October we were in Hollywood Beach, FL (just below where the ships sail in/out of Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale) for a couple days and I got up early on Oct. 20 to watch Magic sail back in thinking we'd be on her soon. This was a great itinerary too. Miami to HMC, Grand Turk, sea day; Aruba (8:00 - 10:30pm), Curacao, 2 sea days at the end. Love HMC and GT and Aruba and Curacao would have been new islands for us. This has already started hitting - I'd have been mostly packed by now with excitement building like a little kid before Christmas. Attached pic is of Carnival Magic. Got this one from the balcony of the hotel we stayed in (Marriott) when in Hollywood Beach for a few days last October. The largest ships we've been on so far are Carnival's Conquest class, so we were really looking forward to Magic.
  10. St. Lucia is so far south in the Caribbean that the water should be fine in both March and April, probably warmer in April. In 2013, we were there at the beginning of May and after we snorkeled, it was just getting so hot that there was a large group of us just hanging out in the water while on our tour to Jalousie Beach (beach between the Pitons). Great snorkeling there too, if any in your group are interested.
  11. I was thinking the same thing and it would have been nice to have those 8 days from our canceled cruise count.
  12. Next time we get back to St. Thomas I would love to get back over to St. John and go to Trunk Bay or one of the other beaches there, but do it on our own to allow time to really enjoy it. We've been to St. Thomas 4 times, first was in 1992 when we went to Magen's Bay. In 2010 we did Carnival's snorkeling excursion to Trunk Bay, St. John. I loved it but it was too rushed, only 90 minutes to enjoy at Trunk Bay and I'd like at least 2 - 3 hours. In 2013, we went to Sapphire Beach, loved it (beautiful views). In 2015 we did the Skyride to Paradise Point first thing and then took a cab to Sapphire Beach. So glad that the guy in the "Security" T-shirt was not there blowing a whistle non-stop - that would have driven me nuts.
  13. That's part of the reason why I started this. Hoping many others will contribute pictures, "Carnival Capers", etc. as well. Once I find some time, I do have the "Capers" that I have from our Festivale cruise (missing 3 days), fliers that were passed out along with the Capers, etc. that I can scan and upload to my photo sharing site. I already have the Capers scanned, so must need to get them uploaded.
  14. You're not kidding! When I saw what my husband's parents paid for the cruise, I was shocked. It was expensive then. The cabin we had was an outside with a queen on the upper deck.
  15. On our past several cruises on the first sea day we'll get loungers (hopefully on the deck above lido were we can see the action), then go and get lunch after a few hours and after lunch, we'll get a drink and our cameras and take a tour of the inside of the ship to get pics of the inside spaces since most people are outside. After that, it's back out to the outside decks for pool time, lounging, and some drinks.
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