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  #61 (permalink)  
Old July 15th, 2010, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Beers View Post
Yeah, cruise elegant night when we leave port at 5pm. What's up with that?
Now Dave, you know 7 night cruises have 2.

It is an odd format, but these are special 7 night sailings. Can't wait to hear about your dinner, and hope it is remarkable. I also hope your TA noted Jacob's B'day. If in doubt check with the Maitre'D before dinner. Then again, he may be embarrassed to have them sing "Happy Bird day, Two shoes" to him.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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That's to bad about dinner. We had the same thing on the Splendor my hubby called it leftover night. Because the biased short rib and filet mignon were served on a previous night. I won't order filet mignon on Carnival anymore. This is a steak with very little fat so it has to be cooked perfect. I think will all the people on board they can't cook that steak right. My filet mignon was overcooked dry and tough on both the Splendor and the Freedom. I put on my comment call they should switch to a Top Sirloin or a ribeye. There is higher fat on these steak so less room for error (drying out).

I saw Marcus Anthony on the Carnival Freedom in 2008, he puts on a great show. That cruise was 14 nights so he performed twice. Once was under the stars on the Lido deck it was the best show I have seen on a Carnvial Ship. Fiesta Latina on Splendor is my second favorite, I love latin dancing. If you have a chance get a Calzone from the pizza station. You have to wait from it, but it's worth the wait. It's fresh and warm with melting cheese. Okay now I'm hungry.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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We sure know our ships. Well you more than me, but I'm a close runner up.
I have to admit, the ONLY reason I knew about the suite, is because we are sailing on her next month!!!!

The Trivia thing was luck both times.....because the questions also included stuff about the CD, Captain and how many people were currently on our cruise. (I guessed the closest)
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Old July 15th, 2010, 11:14 AM
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That's to bad about dinner. We had the same thing on the Splendor my hubby called it leftover night. Because the biased short rib and filet mignon were served on a previous night. I won't order filet mignon on Carnival anymore. This is a steak with very little fat so it has to be cooked perfect. I think will all the people on board they can't cook that steak right. My filet mignon was overcooked dry and tough on both the Splendor and the Freedom. I put on my comment call they should switch to a Top Sirloin or a ribeye. There is higher fat on these steak so less room for error (drying out).

I saw Marcus Anthony on the Carnival Freedom in 2008, he puts on a great show. That cruise was 14 nights so he performed twice. Once was under the stars on the Lido deck it was the best show I have seen on a Carnvial Ship. Fiesta Latina on Splendor is my second favorite, I love latin dancing. If you have a chance get a Calzone from the pizza station. You have to wait from it, but it's worth the wait. It's fresh and warm with melting cheese. Okay now I'm hungry.

I am with you. (which is why I prefer to grill our own steaks at home)
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Old July 15th, 2010, 11:17 AM
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Happy Birthday

Jacob!!!!
I wish I knew how to do all the ballons and stuff...but with my limited computer skills....this is all I got!!!

:???:
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Old July 15th, 2010, 11:21 AM
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Dave:

GOOD MORNING.......

There is always one night that hubby and I have started skipping the past couple of years. Sounds like last night was it.

And no...you are not whining....you are telling it like it is...big difference!!

We had U70 (GS) on the Fantasy last January and loved it.

We did a B2B (and since hubby would not spring for a suite for both sailings)....we booked U68 for the first cruise. It is has a connecting door to U70...it made moving to our "new cabin" VERY easy....



While you are enjoying Cozumel...I will be getting my 3 mile walk out of the way for the day in preparation for some afternoon karaoke!!!!

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Old July 15th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Thursday July 15. In port at Cozumel. It is raining hard.



It was lightning and rain as we arrived at the Puerta Maya pier. A big hub-bub quickly consumed many passengers as we neared the pier. The Oasis Of The Seas is immediately to our port and completely filled all port side windows. The Inspiration is now mooring across from us on our starboard.


More on the suite...as I said last night the cabin seems almost new. Carpets, furnishings, drapes, etc., all show no signs of wear and tear. Lots of mirrors both above the master bed, at the vanity, in the walk-in closet. Two colorful paintings on the walls, both with bare-breasted Greek statues as themes. Marble table tops, and lots of the Marantz console wood paneling – dark and fake wood grain lines. But it is a very spacious and comfortable cabin. Paul, you are correct about the standard cabins. Very bland but functional, and much more roomy than standard cabins on probably any other cruise ship in the world at 185 square feet. Style in a cabin isn't as important to me as is space and usability. Oh, I do think the mattress is too firm. I also hate the safes which require a credit card to open and close.


I think we are looking at a mostly cloudy, passing shower kind of day in Cozumel. I probably spoke too soon in my previous praises for the fine weather we had.


I saw a head waiter working in the buffet this morning who recognized some nearby passengers. He went over and chatted with them for several minutes. It is nice to see that. I also bring this up for those who don't ever use the main dining room and think they should remove those tips from the auto-gratuities. The staff from the main dining rooms rotate through the buffet restaurant so you ARE being served by people who deserve the gratuities.


Speaking of cheapskates, the people in the adjacent suite showed their boorishness last evening. They had ordered room service and as we walked by the room service waiter was at the door staring in as the louts discussed whether they should tip him with an apple from their fruit basket. Some people really ought to rethink their lives. I guess I should say they were also sloppy drunk, which is something that has actually been quite rare to see on this cruise. And to put that legend to bed yet again, let me be clear in saying I've never seen a drunken mess on any Carnival cruise in the past decade. People need to leave twenty or thirty year old conceptions at the gangway when they board their next Carnival cruise.


The bad thing about today is we have such a short port call. It is 10:15am and Mexican officials still haven't cleared us although we've been here for 45 minutes. We have to be back aboard by 4:30pm so this is looking like a 6 hours and X minutes day.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 01:53 PM
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Happy Birthday

Jacob!!!!

I wish I knew how to do all the ballons and stuff...but with my limited computer skills....this is all I got!!!


:???:
Here you go.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 07:04 PM
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Believe me, I don't complain easily and understand things happen. However my patience was tested this morning...

Power of the press moment...


Elation did not demonstrate proper attention to those with handicaps today at debarkation in Cozumel. As you know, my wife broke her ankle a month ago and requires the use of a walker and elevators. So on a ship with 12 elevators which go to Deck 3 where the gangways are located, this morning all but the forward elevators were locked out of access to Deck 3. But then when we got on one when we reached the 3rd deck the elevator was blocked with a rope and sign saying the ship had not been cleared – but it had and people were clearly leaving. So we went back to deck 4 and got on another elevator on the opposite side. Same story. The sign and rope blocking exit. Meanwhile several people in wheelchairs had accumulated in the elevator lobby on deck 4 with nobody from the ship's staff to facilitate things. Suitably steamed, I went down the steps to find someone and ask exactly how handicapped people were supposed to get to deck 3. I approached a security officer and asked and before I could finish he talked into his radio and walked off. Meanwhile my wife had hobbled down the steps because she was tired of the runaround. I then saw one of the wheelchair passengers who had gotten on an elevator and squeezed under the rope at the elevator door. This is totally unacceptable and if it happened in a U.S. Port would probably be actionable under the Americans With Disabilities law. It is both amazing and disappointing to me that this would be allowed to happen. Listen to me Carnival: you need one elevator at each gangway which is dedicated to handicapped passengers and staffed at all times by a crew member.


Now on to the day....


We went ashore eventually and wandered around mostly. Our son managed to get an epic sunburn yesterday and now is walking like he is in a body cast. We warned him but now that he is 16, well, I guess he knows best. I returned to the ship after a couple of hours and had more stir fry. The rains finally relented and it was a pleasant afternoon with temperatures in the mid-80's.


So tonight is indeed an elegant dress night and I have suit #2 on. I have no idea what is on the menu. I am about to leave the cabin and head to my pre-dinner watering hole at the Drama Bar for a cocktail and the wonderful voice of Dayna. She is really marvelous. Beautiful voice.


More later.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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Here you go.

I hate smart people........

Seriously...thanks!!! I am doing good to turn this computer on every day.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 08:18 PM
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I can't wait to hear Danya!!!!


Everyone knows how much I love Carnival. (and how much I have appreciated the care they have demonstrated towards DJ)....


but there are times when I just have to stand and scratch my head...

The debark in Cozumel is such an example.

It isn't rocket science....it is "get off your fanny and handle it properly" science.

OK...time for karaoke!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old July 16th, 2010, 12:17 AM
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I can't wait to hear Danya!!!!


Everyone knows how much I love Carnival. (and how much I have appreciated the care they have demonstrated towards DJ)....


but there are times when I just have to stand and scratch my head...

The debark in Cozumel is such an example.

It isn't rocket science....it is "get off your fanny and handle it properly" science.

OK...time for karaoke!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm scratching my head with that one too. I wonder why they didn't print in the FunTimes which elevator bank to use. Definitively an opportunity for improvement.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 10:45 AM
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The thing with the elevators and assistance....in the Fun Times for Grand Cayman they did say to meet on deck 4 if you needed help getting to deck 3. That was the only time. Sure it was the only tender port but why should that matter?

Anyway....

Friday July 16. At sea heading home to Mobile, Alabama.


It's a beautiful early morning at sea with sun and calm seas. I'm poolside and here it is 8am and the place is filling up and the breakfast buffet is getting busy. Most southerners are morning people and you can tell how many are aboard by the morning traffic.


It was a pleasant evening yesterday. We left Cozumel on time and headed north to Mobile. Our traveling companions Lisa P and her family had earlier told us they smelled cigarette smoke in their suite from an adjacent cabin. Last night we did too and it had to have come from the ventilation system since we'd not gone out on the balcony.


As it was a cruise elegant night I donned one of my suits (you see, even we shorts wearers know how to dress up for the nights which are elegant) and headed up to have drinks and listen to Dayna sing. I learned that Edwardo from the Philippines (bartender at Drama Bar) is working this ship with his father who works in the Tiffany buffet this week.


Dinner was great again. Escargots. Cream of Broccoli soup, Chateaubriand. The baked Alaska. If ever there was a classic cruise ship dinner this is it. Before we could ask him our waiter had apparently rousted the bar waiter because he showed up about 20 minutes into dinner with my son's soda. After the bar waiter left our waiter just shook his head and mumbled something.


After dinner it was the Romeo & Juliet lounge and time for more Music Degree. They did some 70's music in the first set and then settled in to some Beatles, Wings, Skynyrd, and Foreigner.


Looking around this ship all week I've seen nothing but happy people. Despite a couple things this has been a truly great and fun cruise. I am really relaxed and content. Carnival has done what it does best – delivered a fun ship cruise that has offered remarkably good food, nice entertainment, and great value. That Carnival can do this day in, day out, year after year on so many ships is nothing less than remarkable.


The last day of a cruise is always bittersweet to me. On one hand I really do need to go home and get back to the usual, but I really hate to leave the ship.


More later!
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Old July 16th, 2010, 11:21 AM
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Dave:

GOOD MORNING!!!!!!

I hope you and Lisa will list the smoke issue on your comment card. It is time for Carnival do stop this archaic practice of smoking in the cabins.

I always carry Ozium with me (get it at Walmart in the auto section) and it is a good thing. On the Fantasy in May, we walked into a cabin that reeked of smoke from the previous occupant.

Although the cabin steward did his best....it took two days (my bottle of Ozium and a bottle of Febreeze that I brought)...him removing all the duvets, pillows, mattress covers and running the little machine... etc etc etc to get 95% of that stench gone. (there was just about 5% there)

Also, sometimes the smoke is coming through the bathroom vent (if it is shared vent) so "some people" have been known to block that with a wash cloth if needed.

If there was ever one thing that would get me to switch to RCCL, the fact that they don't allow smoking in the cabins would be it.

Sorry I did not spell Dayna's name correctly in the past post. (note to self to call her by the right name when we meet)

It has been my experience that Carnival does not have a lot of female Promenade entertainers. I wonder why that is???

It is my last night to shine....so I had better go warm up those vocal chords.

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Old July 16th, 2010, 01:34 PM
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Dinner was great again. Escargots. Cream of Broccoli soup, Chateaubriand. The baked Alaska. If ever there was a classic cruise ship dinner this is it.
I thought the Chateaubriand was on night six. I hope they redeemed themselves with that menu.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 01:46 PM
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It should be on the last formal night - whatever night that is.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 03:46 PM
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It should be on the last formal night - whatever night that is.
"When you can quote the menu for any particular night".....

(you might be a cruiseaholic)
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Old July 16th, 2010, 06:15 PM
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Although it was warm and sunny this morning the clouds and rain have come in and the seas are white capped and 3 to 5 feet. The Elation is riding well although there is a very noticeable shaking...more like a vibration. It isn't a rolling or pitch sensation though, so even the most prone shouldn't be sea sick. I haven't seen anyone with “issues”.


We have pretty much completed packing. Earlier our wonderful cabin attendant delivered our priority luggage tags,. Comment card, and Customs declaration. Having priority debarkation is a nice thing when you are driving for 6 hours since I can get on the road early and perhaps be home by 3pm.


I forgot to mention that I didn't hook up with the Cozumel Red Cross person. It was a logistics and scheduling thing. But fear not. When I get home tomorrow I am going to transfer the money via Pay Pal. I think they prefer it that way anyway.


Tonight looks to be leftover dinner night. Prime rib again. Chicken breast with pasta. Salmon. Barbecue spare ribs from the lunch menu. Whole barbecued game hen. I'm sure it will all be fine. I am going with the prime rib. It was great the first time so it should be good tonight. I had a superb pastrami and swiss on rye from the deli for lunch. The pastrami was melt in your mouth tender and tasty. Later I had a final slab of hot from the oven pizza. I am going to miss the food on this ship! When I get home it is back to bran flakes for breakfast, a bologna sandwich and chips for lunch, and whatever for dinner. And nobody to serve it to me!


Other notes: although I wear shorts in the dining room on cruise casual nights, I abide by the rules of the cruise line. So I have to note that the rule about wearing shoes and a cover-up over bathing suits when not on the pool deck is completely ignored. Passengers freely roam the Tiffany restaurant barefoot and in bikinis or swim trunks, as well as in other public areas. It is a two-way street. Passengers have an obligation to abide by the rules. Carnival needs to remind those who don't understand or do not wish to comply verbally and not by some note in small print in the daily Fun Times.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 06:18 PM
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How did that down thumb appear in my previous message? Actually I had to repost it since I got some sort of odd error. The internet on the ship has been acting squirrlly the past couple of days.

I'll likely have just one more post from the ship - after dinner tonight. I'll clean things up and have more time when I get home tomorrow afternoon.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 09:15 PM
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Well, I am pleased to announce that I have lost 7 pounds so far (since June 1st) ... so this was indeed a virtual cruise....because no way would I lose weight on a cruise!!!

7 down....20 more to go....

Dave: I agree that Carnival needs to "nicely, but verbally" remind folks about "covering up".

However, it is probably a corporate conspiracy to allow them to walk around like that.....

Far to many folks that I see walking around in a swimsuit make me lose my appetite, perhaps Carnival is using it to save money on food costs.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 12:02 AM
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I hate to say this, but I'd wager the amount of food used on a typical cruise from Mobile and the other northern Gulf ports is probably higher than on cruises from northern or western ports, or those in other continents. Simple fact that the deep south has the highest obesity rates in the nation. We certainly had more than a few people on this cruise that could lose 100 pounds or more. Sadly, many were children. I saw a couple boys that couldn't have been over 15 and they were easily 250 to 300 pounds. And I say this as a man who needs to lose weight. But not nearly that much.

Now that I've given a sermon on obesity I'll talk about dinner. I was happy with a plate of nice and bloody prime rib, a baked potato, and creamed spinach. What more could a man want? Finished it off with a lovely piece of cappuccino pie and coffee. Then a final drink listening to Dayna and then Music Degree and I am back in the cabin burning up my last few internet minutes.

I'll have 3G in the morning so I'll use my iPad if anything interesting develops which requires posting.

GREAT CRUISE!!!!!
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Old July 17th, 2010, 06:01 AM
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"When you can quote the menu for any particular night".....

(you might be a cruiseaholic)
Or a Carnival Funologist. Most likely both.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 06:21 AM
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I forgot to mention that I didn't hook up with the Cozumel Red Cross person. It was a logistics and scheduling thing. But fear not. When I get home tomorrow I am going to transfer the money via Pay Pal. I think they prefer it that way anyway.
Thanks. No fear here. I trust you with our money. Wish I could say that about more people. That will work just as well.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 06:50 AM
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I learned that Edwardo from the Philippines (bartender at Drama Bar) is working this ship with his father who works in the Tiffany buffet this week.
That is nice to hear. He used to work at the Lido bar. He is one of my favorite bartenders, of course I have a list. I wish he would transfer to the Fantasy along with the rest of them.:-D

Y'all have a safe trip home today.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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I hate to say this, but I'd wager the amount of food used on a typical cruise from Mobile and the other northern Gulf ports is probably higher than on cruises from northern or western ports, or those in other continents. Simple fact that the deep south has the highest obesity rates in the nation. We certainly had more than a few people on this cruise that could lose 100 pounds or more. Sadly, many were children. I saw a couple boys that couldn't have been over 15 and they were easily 250 to 300 pounds. And I say this as a man who needs to lose weight. But not nearly that much.

Now that I've given a sermon on obesity I'll talk about dinner. I was happy with a plate of nice and bloody prime rib, a baked potato, and creamed spinach. What more could a man want? Finished it off with a lovely piece of cappuccino pie and coffee. Then a final drink listening to Dayna and then Music Degree and I am back in the cabin burning up my last few internet minutes.

I'll have 3G in the morning so I'll use my iPad if anything interesting develops which requires posting.

GREAT CRUISE!!!!!

You and me both...hence the walking 3 miles a day (without fail)......
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Old July 17th, 2010, 06:18 PM
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....and we are home again.

Debarkation was again strangled by the self-debarkation option. They started promptly at 7am and by 8:30am they still hadn't called all decks for self-debarkation. Those of us with VIP debarkation were told we'd be the first ones to leave "after" the self-debarkation ended but with it still about half-way done at 8:30 they finally just took us to the front of the line. I blame this on Carnival and not the port since it is #1 Carnival's idea, and #2 the CD even urged people to do it instead of checking their luggage for pier retrieval. And as you can expect I saw hundreds of people leaving with large suitcases, plus their carryons, plus their liquor boxes, and so forth. Can we say bottleneck? Why yes, we can.

Anyhow, we got a artful porter who played on my wife's leg injury and managed to get us around the hordes and out of the terminal by 8:45am. We then had to wait another 20 minutes for the hotel shuttle back to the parking garage. But we were on the road at 9:45 and home at 3:45 including a 30 minute pit stop.

On the bright side the Elation crew was as cheery and helpful as on day 1 this morning. As we always do on debarkation morning, we had breakfast in the dining room and it was good. People were finding their waiters and giving them hugs. This is how things are done in the south.

I'll be writing a review of this cruise next week. I can tell you it was really pleasant overall and we all had a great time. The Elation has a new home in Mobile and I am glad it is there.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 06:36 PM
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I actually tend to forget how "southern" many of these cruises are (that leave from Mobile, Galveston, NO, etc), but they are. Especially with the drive market.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 07:08 PM
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When we were on the Fantasy's last run out of Mobile....

we did the self assist. They actually did a correct VIP Self Assist and I was literally the first person off of the ship.

Of course, Carnival wants people to do self assist....this means less work for their employees.

I am always surprised that so many people use it on a 7 day cruise.

A 4 day (like we are about to go on ) is understandable....
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If it is Carnival and it floats....we have sailed it!

Hubby ... DIAMOND (every ship except the Carnivale)
Me ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale)
20 year old son ... DIAMOND (every ship starting with the Tropicale...he is the only DOUBLE Milestone under the age of 21)
24 year old son ... DIAMOND
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Old July 17th, 2010, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhp View Post
I am always surprised that so many people use it on a 7 day cruise. A 4 day (like we are about to go on ) is understandable....
Exactly. It is more doable for a 4 night. For me, I can put everything in my favorite carry-on bag (and it is airline legal) plus a small camera bag and I am set for a 3 or 4 night cruise. Today there were people lined up with the huge roller bags (you know, 40 inches tall, 12 inches deep and 24 inches wide), plus their carry-on bags and other debris hanging off of them.

I heard that Danni was filling in as karaoke host and I couldn't get the name of the permanent one. I am not sure this is accurate but a travel companion said it was and I trust him without question.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 09:31 PM
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Hi Dave, I just wanted to tell you that I've enjoyed your post's.

We'll probably NEVER do the self-assist off of Carnival (or any other ship :o). We book our flight's out in the early afternoon and have a "take it easy" morning of debarkation.

I hope you'll post again, telling us what you're doing
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