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Everything posted by shipgeeks

  1. Maybe I'm missing something, as I don't use the app. The itinerary I have from before I even booked my cruise, and confirmed on my booking, shows all the arrival and departure times. (I know things can change if there is a medical emergency or something, but I can make my plans around the fact that I see 9am to 6pm on my itinerary.)
  2. I will throw in the idea of sailing from Baltimore, on a small (2000 passenger) ship, Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas. BWI would be the airport, and Trinity Reservations is a good source of hotel info, including those that provide shuttles to the port. Are you primarily interested in cruising to the Caribbean? Vision does a rotation of itineraries, including Caribbean (12 nights), and South Coast and Bahamas (9 nights). She is a classic ship without the amusement park vibe that larger ships might have, and passengers are mainly adults.
  3. But if sailing to Portland prior to Canadian ports, there is no Customs process. We regularly sail from Baltimore to Boston, Portland, and then to Canada. After Halifax we return by sea to Baltimore. No formalities that affect us at any point.
  4. Have any of these cruises taken place yet? I see two coming up, and two in 2025. Any feedback or thoughts?
  5. 9 nights on Vision is always Thursday through Saturday.
  6. There is a discussion of this question on Royal Caribbean, re the future "Discovery Class" ships. ("Is RC building any more small ships?") Economy of scale is certainly a factor. (And apparently, some people just love that crush of thousands of passengers.) In favor of smaller ships is the fact that some popular homeports have bridge height limits, and some cruise ports appear to be limiting the size of ships, or will do so in the future.
  7. We've done C/NE cruises in September a number of times. I don't recall the seas ever being rough. And weather-wise, we had fairly hard rain once in Halifax; all the other days and ports had great weather. Temperatures ranged from shirtsleeves to sweater and light jacket. By far our favorite itinerary!
  8. When we did TAs, we always used the cruiseline air booking option. We saved a lot. One time I priced it through the airline, and it would be $4,400 each. We got it through the cruiseline for around $700 each. Those were always on major airlines, not budget lines. And we accumulated enough miles to fly first-class to the west coast the following year.
  9. I'm wondering if the need to have a long flight, either before or after a transatlantic cruise, would be too much. We find the flights so exhausting and uncomfortable that we gave up that type of cruise, even though it was one of our favorites. Would a crossing on Cunard, and a return crossing, be worth considering? With the right planning, perhaps a few days in the UK or nearby, and then a return crossing on a different Cunard ship, could be a possibility. Similarly, in the spring a number of the mainstream lines do an eastbound crossing, and it might be possible to link up with a Cunard return.
  10. We have done eight cruises since the restart; all 9 or 12 nights. We have not gotten sick on any of them, nor have we had covid or other malady at any point or in any location. We will not be giving up cruising, and we have no interest in any other form of travel. Fortunately, we do not have to fly to get to our cruises; I'm sure that removes a lot of the risk of exposure. One of the things I like about our choice of smaller ships (2,000 pax) is that we can always go back to our own cabin to use the bathroom. I don't think we've used a public bathroom for 15 years or so. Apart from that, we practice standard hygiene habits, but don't get fanatical about it. We don't clean or sterilize our cabin, as some report doing; we don't wear rubber gloves to the dining room; we mask only when requested to do so. So far so good!
  11. OP, Your use of the words "talked into" makes me wonder if taking your friends on a cruise is a good idea. We love just about all aspects of cruising, anywhere in the world, but there are people who are just not a good fit, especially as you mention that they have a fear of open water. That is our favorite kind of sailing.....but if our best friends tried to talk us into going on an RV trip with them, because they love it so much....we would be a definite No. Just wondering.....
  12. I was just reminded of one of the things we liked best about MSC, and don't like on RC: private island. Ocean Cay is my idea of paradise: just sand, some palm trees and low vegetation, views of the beautiful water all around, little or no piped music. We keep trying Coco Cay, and we never enjoy it. Too loud, too closed in, too filled with structures, too hard to see the sea.
  13. Also, we loved the multi-national passenger makeup. (Americans were definitely a minority on our Miami cruises.) Re the announcements, on our cruises they were in multiple languages, but were only used for important information, such as ship being cleared. No announcements at all about things like bingo, jewelry sales, art auctions.
  14. We loved our Seaside cruises, in a Bella (cheapest category) cabin. The food, overall, was fine; we enjoyed the shows much more than those on RC. Reading people's comments over the past couple of years, it seems that the people who post negative comments are those who, although they might come from a big city, are very narrow-minded re some of the differences around the world. "I ordered bread, and they didn't give me butter." (In Italy, bread is eaten by itself; butter is not common.) "The cheese on the pizza wasn't even orange like it's supposed to be!" "The crew members didn't even hug me or call me Mr. Whiskers!" (European service is more reserved.) In other words, if the cruise experience wasn't just like RoyalNorwegianCarnival, it was wrong or bad. For us, the differences were what made it much more interesting and fun; it felt more like being "away" instead of at the hometown bar or restaurant. OP, if you have a loyalty status with RC, getting a status match with MSC can lead to some very nice rewards if/when you do cruise. And I do recommend studying the four "experiences". As well as "better" cabins/locations, there are differences such as fixed dining/anytime dining that were important to us.
  15. Royal Caribbean Vision Class ships have outer promenade decks, although the very forward part is frequently closed off. Nice, though, and one of our cruise ship requirements.
  16. Please note, there is a difference between being denied boarding, at the port, and being "bumped", which some here seem to be confusing. Many years ago, we were called three or four days before our cruise, and asked if we would be willing to cancel and reschedule, with certain benefits. Initially we were not, but when we called back, we accepted, and everything was done, generously and efficiently. I believe we were singled out because we were one couple, and we had booked air and transfer through the cruise line. They took care of everything. No regrets on our part.
  17. Interesting observation, and I don't see any on the TA website we use, either. There are a number of smallish un-named spaces on public decks, but they could be any sort of supply space or other. I am again reminded that one of the things I like about cruising on a smaller ship is the ability to easily return to my own cabin at any time. I don't think either of us has used a public one for 15 years or more.
  18. Well, I'm disappointed for you that you did not get what you wanted. I think we would have been more adamant about it. The photo above sort of shows what our cabins look like, except that we always have more walking space at the bottom corners of the bed; this looks like the sofa and cabinets almost touch it. It's worth it to us to have the narrow walkway at both sides, and the king bed that we want. It doesn't feel crowded to us! Before our recent cruises, we've received an email asking for any special needs, such as two beds, sharps containers, etc. Thinking I had clicked Bed Setup for King, I submitted, then realized there was no such choice. King is the default. I worried that we would have twins, but as it turned out, we got our King. Did you get that email? Any chance it registered you as twins when you submitted any other request (if you did)? But even so, the steward should have honored your onboard request. One other time, we arrived to find two singles, mentioned it when we met our cabin steward, and it was fixed within an hour. I do give those 100-pound stewards credit for hefting big furniture around....but they are there to honor our requests, and yours should have been done.
  19. I am bumping this post up for the cruisers in the next couple of months. Lots of good info.
  20. It appears that Portland is cutting back on cruise ship visits in 2025, too. It is not on our itinerary next year, though it has been for years. Personally, we'd take Portland over Bar Harbor any time.
  21. I assume it is still credit card only?
  22. My post-cruise thoughts/observations re accepting/asking for assistance. I imagine most of us have spent our lives in one- or two-generation households. Hubby and I had grandparents only until our teens, and we never lived with them. Most ship crew members, though, grew up in multi-generation families, and are very used to helping the older ones, the one who has trouble walking, etc. So while working on the ships, noticing, and assisting passengers who could use a strong arm or other service comes naturally. While it might be uncomfortable to ask for help in the grocery store at home, I think it is very normal, with no agenda, on a cruise ship, and the crew are skillful in providing that service.
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