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samrothstein

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Everything posted by samrothstein

  1. This is much more in line with what I meant. She can sleep in late and just *do nothing* a morning or two while I go out early and explore.
  2. Thanks for insight guys, it helps. just to clarify, I never intended to compare a carnival cruise with a river cruise - I know they are worlds apart.
  3. We are in the very early stages of planning our next big trip in 2022, and are considering between a land tour of Italy (Venice/Florence/Rome/?) and a river cruise. For the river cruise, the Amsterdam to Basel itinerary looks good for us, but we're open to suggestion! We've done Caribbean cruises with Carnival, and have been to London and Paris and enjoy both styles of vacationing. One gripe with land vacations is that my wife likes to have plenty of time to relax and do nothing, which will be hard to do when running from city to city and site to site in Italy, whereas I prefer the excitement of getting out into new places and seeing as many sites as possible. I'm thinking the river option can offer both of us a chance for a great vacation, where I can run around to my hearts content and she can relax on deck whenever she pleases. To that end, I know that pools are rare on river boats, but what about spas and relaxing deck areas - will she be able take advantage of such amenities? Thanks for any advice!
  4. Revenue move or not, plastic straws will be gone fleet wide in the next few days according to Mr. Heald. I does seem like they’ve capitalized on the idea by selling their own branded straws though. From what I can tell, they don’t seem to be too out of line with retail prices of similar sets, and I couldn’t expect any business to provide such items at no cost. Some will complain and suffer a minor inconvenience, but they’ll manage to adapt to these harsh new conditions (or bring their own straws) and life will go on.
  5. You’re very welcome. hope I can provide as much help to others as I’ve received.
  6. Finally got around to scanning these guys. Embarkation day is sadly missing funtimes.pdf
  7. This is from the November 2-7 sailing. Sadly Embarkation day got lost in the shuffle. funtimes.pdf
  8. I got passports for my kids, but I won’t get one for yours lol. You may want to get them for your kids in the future, but a birth certificate will suffice. (Sorry, couldn’t help it) Are planing on taking excursions with dicey operators or getting tanked at senior frogs/margaritaville? If not, then you should have little to worry about as far as missing the ship I’d think. what’s the cost of expediting the passports vs booking excursions through carnival?
  9. Being that there was ample available seating whenever we were in there, I don’t think anyone would complain if you grabbed a table and didn’t order any pasta, but if there’s limited seating I’d go elsewhere.
  10. Yes, lunch is free and there was always an abundance of seating available. We had no issue getting seats in Cucina at lunch and bringing food from the burger, bbq or buffet lines. Also note they have omelette station and even some sides such as pancakes and waffles in the mornings - no lines.
  11. We also rented at the port and returned to FLL airport
  12. I just rented a car from Alamo on the 7th. They have a shuttle that picks up at the terminal. The rental office is a large size with plenty of cars. I did self debark (carnival) and carried my own luggage off and was at the rental desk by 8am - beat the rush! We only have 2 ships in port that day, so light port load overall. Overall good experience. We arrived at Terminal 4, and I would not try to walk that, especially with luggage.
  13. Just wrote my review for the Homewood and other things in FLL. I can confirm they run a shuttle to a strip mall, but didn’t go so can’t speak to which one they went to.
  14. glad you both enjoyed it, and hope Kel enjoys their upcoming voyage as much as we did
  15. I wrote a review about my great experience a few weeks ago. I’d opt for something near the elevators as the rooms are closed off from the elevator lobbies. There’s several websites, including carnivals own that allow you to see the deck plans and determine what’s above, below and next to your cabin.
  16. I just posted a review a few days ago: I also second the jamman54 review: there’s lots of other great reviews out there as well
  17. We are a family of 4 who sailed on the Carnival Sunrise out of Port Everglades on November 2nd and returned November 7th. I’ll copy from my trip review the bits relevant to our Fort Lauderdale experience. We departed Chicago Midway on Friday the 1st, after taking the kids out of school early. Flight on Southwest was good as expected - line at Midway was a little longer than usual but moved quickly. They are doing some major renovations and things are a little wonky at the moment - no big deal. Once in FLL, we took our hotels free shuttle and made it to Homewood Suites in Dania Beach by around 9pm. I’d recommend the hotel for anyone looking for an inexpensive hotel for an overnight stay before cruising. The hotel was very nice - clean, friendly staff, free shuttle to/from airport, quiet rooms, good breakfast, and the shuttle to the port in the morning was efficient. We would have taken uber/lyft to the port, but the two little ones require child seats, so we opted for the easy solution and paid $10pp for the shuttle. No complaints. We didn’t swim in the pool, but the boys couldn’t resist getting their feet wet. We had a late dinner at Wendy’s, which is in the parking lot of the hotel. Despite the proximity to the airport and planes landing right overhead, the rooms remained silent. We had 12-12:30 boarding time, and took the 11:45 shuttle (time options were 10/1145/1 I think). We got there at about 12:15 and found a long line, apparently due to a communication issue with their boarding system. It got resolved and the lines started zooming, we were on board by about 1:05. Day 6: Fort Lauderdale We got up at 6am! for our final breakfast in the MDR, which was again, lovely. After breakfast we grudgingly made our way back to the room to await the dreaded announcement. We chose self debarkation, and being that we were on deck two, were off the ship at the Alamo rental desk by 8am. Seriously, self debarkation was a breeze. I don’t know about other higher number decks, but for us it was a breeze. I believe the order was 3,1,2,4, etc so we were the 3rd deck off. Customs and Immigration were minutes long, and then we were off to the shuttle area to get on the free Alamo shuttle. After a short wait with no one else getting on, we were off to the facility. The service here at Alamo was great, we were in, out and on the road in about 5 minutes. We requested a booster and child seat which they seemed to have a stack of. We headed to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, where we had about an hour to kill before the Museum of Discovery and opened, which is where we planned to spend our day before going to the airport. The beach was lovely here, very quiet this early, and it was hard not to just jump in the sand and relax all day. After our time was up, we took the short drive to MODS, paid $6 flat rate for parking and got there a few minutes early. We chose to visit MODS this day due to its membership in the ASTC program which we were able to use our membership at a local Chicago museum to get free entry into MODS. This museum is pretty fun, was a great way to keep the boys entertained and busy for a few hours, and educational. The free entry made it even better, as it would have been close to $100 for the four of us to enter without it, and that’s a bit steep to kill a few hours. When we were done, we found a Burger King around the corner and walked over - the BK was fine, but there must have been a clinic or shelter nearby, because there were more than a few people who seemed to be down and out, and one incident were a guy came in yelling and cursing. We ate quickly and got out fast! The trip to the airport, rental drop off, bag check and security check all probably took 30 minutes from museum lot to gate. We arrived at FLL right around 2pm for a 4pm flight and finally crossed the threshold of home around 7:30pm. ———————— I would definitely stay at the Homewood Suites again for a pre-cruise, overall it was great for our purposes. The airport shuttle is a large passenger van with a trailer for luggage - efficient and friendly driver, call the front desk when you land to let them know you’ve arrived and they’ll tell you where the shuttle is. The cruise port shuttle was large coach busses, and there seemed to be at least two - again efficient and friendly drivers. Sign up at the front desk at check-in, pay (cash only) in the morning. I believe the three scheduled times are 10/1145/2. The experience with Alamo was also greasy. Shuttle was quick and friendly, front counter staff were the same. The location is the biggest rental car facility I’ve ever been in - loads of cars and staff, and we were the only customers there that early. They said on heavy port traffic days (we were 1 of 2 ships this day), they can get swamped as the morning progresses. If I needed a car pre or post cruise, this would definitely be my go to - there wasn’t even a drop charge to return to the airport. The beach at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park looked beautiful - sadly we chose not to get in the sand or water. If we were to stay in FLL longer, I’d like to get a hotel nearer to here as the area seemed nice and the beach is very pretty. The entire family enjoyed MODS. It might not be a good value for just a few hours, but for a full day experience it would be totally worth it. The exhibits are all educational and fun, with an indoor and outdoor play area as well.
  18. Wet Money was great. Prepaid online and was driving the cart about 5 minutes after getting off the ship.
  19. We picked up the cart and headed straight to the lighthouse - about a 30 minute drive. Spent a few minutes there before heading to Pillory Beach at Bohio dive resort. $10 per chair, $15 drinks. Worth it for the view! After a few hours here we headed to Governor's Beach, but only stayed about 30-45 minutes before heading back to ship. In Cockburn Town there is the Turks And Caicos National Museum, Prison Museum, and Columbus Landing site. Near the port is the John Glenn Splashdown Memorial. We rented and prepaid with Wet Money and had a great experience.
  20. Forgot to mention that we prepaid for the social internet plan, and it worked more than we’ll enough for some quick Facebook checks and iMessages in the evenings before bed or wind down time. Facebook and FB messenger worked well for text, photo and video sharing. I was even able to post here on CC in the middle of the ocean. Yahoo mail did NOT work, photos and videos in iMessage did NOT work, Reddit did NOT work, video chat either in iMessage or messenger did NOT work. I did see advertisements for the top tier plan working with Netflix and youtube, but that was of no interest. I also scored a Groove for St Jude shirt, as they had moved the event from the Lido deck to the main lobby on deck 3 due to some liquid sunshine when departing GT.
  21. Day 6: Fort Lauderdale We got up at 6am! for our final breakfast in the MDR, which was again, lovely. Each morning my wife and I both had an omelette with hash browns, and some mornings I got the French Toast as well - it’s fantastic! After breakfast we grudgingly made our way back to the room to await the dreaded announcement. We chose self debarkation, and being that we were on deck two, were off the ship at the Alamo rental desk by 8am. Seriously, self debarkation was a breeze. I don’t know about other higher number decks, but for us it was a breeze. I believe the order was 3,1,2,4, etc so we were the 3rd deck off. Customs and Immigration were minutes long, and then we were off to the shuttle area to get on the free Alamo shuttle. After a short wait with no one else getting on, we were off to the facility. The service here at Alamo was great, we were in, out and on the road in about 5 minutes. We requested a booster and child seat which they seemed to have a stack of. We headed to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, where we had about an hour to kill before the Museum of Discovery and opened, which is where we planned to spend our day before going to the airport. The beach was lovely here, very quiet this early, and it was hard not to just jump in the sand and relax all day. After our time was up, we took the short drive to MODS, paid $6 flat rate for parking and got there a few minutes early. We chose to visit MODS this day due to its membership in the ASTC program which we were able to use our membership at a local Chicago museum to get free entry into MODS. This museum is pretty fun, was a great way to keep the boys entertained and busy for a few hours, and educational. The free entry made it even better, as it would have been close to $100 for the four of us to enter without it, and that’s a bit steep to kill a few hours. When we were done, we found a Burger King around the corner and walked over - the BK was fine, but there must have been a clinic or shelter nearby, because there were more than a few people who seemed to be down and out, and one incident were a guy came in yelling and cursing. We ate quickly and got out fast! The trip to the airport, rental drop off, bag check and security check all probably took 30 minutes from museum lot to gate. We arrived at FLL right around 2pm for a 4pm flight and finally crossed the threshold of home around 7:30pm. In summary, we thoroughly enjoyed this trip. The Sunrise was beautiful, the service was spot on (barring the first night), the food was fantastic at every turn, the entertainment was great and Camp Ocean was a huge hit with the kids. Was if crowded at times and in certain places? Sure, but it was no worse than walking in a busy restaurant and such a minor inconvenience I’m at a loss to think of anytime we were put out by crowds or excessive lines. We chose to avoid the buffet, and therefore most of the congestion, and did plenty of research ahead of time to help avoid problems - it worked out well! The layout of the ship wasn’t very confusing at all, I guess I just pay attention to where I’m going, and used the maps in each elevator lobby. The only hiccup we had was getting from the liquid lounge to the limelight lounge, but again, a quick glance at the map showed the way! We were there to enjoy ourselves and we did! We used the Hub App heavily - made dinner reservations for YTD, ordered pizza, checked and scheduled fun times activities and even paid $5 each to chat with each other. On our first night, despite no problems with anything, the wife and I said to each other that we weren’t sure cruising was for us as a family - we just didn’t feel great about it. Since being home I’ve been scouring carnivals website and the school calendars for time we can breakaway and set sail! I fully intended this to be quickfire review, and it’s morphed into a 7 page document, so I’m done. I’ll be happy to answer any questions I have, and I plan on scanning these fun times and camp ocean sheets ASAP.
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