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Old 03-12-2010, 03:16 PM   #61
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You know - that just really stinks! (about having your relative cancel the day before after you accommodated them)

Audrey
Agree. But justice was served-They had passport problems and could not enter the US. This was unexpected but they should have checked. Lost they entire cruise cost.-Anyway in desperation they booked a cheapo week in the Dominican Republic. Supposed to be 41/2 stars-was not. Furthermore it rained the whole week. Was worse for them than us.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:36 PM   #62
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Actually we booked on this upcoming Carnival cruise a few weeks back when the prices were substantially lower.

Yep, we are looking forward to this bottom-of-the-cruise-line-food-chain trip and joining in with acres of other flabby people stampeding to the next feeding time. It will be a nice break from from sitting around outside our RV looking sad. Not only that, the stampeding will be good exercise!

Whaddya DO all day my @ss....

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Old 03-12-2010, 03:58 PM   #63
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Actually we booked on this upcoming Carnival cruise a few weeks back when the prices were substantially lower.

Yep, we are looking forward to this bottom-of-the-cruise-line-food-chain trip and joining in with acres of other flabby people stampeding to the next feeding time. It will be a nice break from from sitting around outside our RV looking sad. Not only that, the stampeding will be good exercise!

Whaddya DO all day my @ss....
Wow - can't wait for the trip report!

Now if only you could drive your RV on deck and hooking it at a site instead of having to move into a cabin.....

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Old 03-12-2010, 05:08 PM   #64
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ReWahoo,

We did that same cruise in January. Hope you have better weather. Our entire week was very cold. I thought the food and entertainment were great on the Conqest. The service lacking.... You gets what you pay for..... You know it isn't spring break or the prices would have been higher.

Some ships are better than others, but I always hate to leave them. That last day is always a bummer to me.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:42 PM   #65
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next week is spring break for some of the Houston Schools. DD is a teacher and headed for Disney World
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:03 PM   #66
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We do the all inclusive thing in Jamaica every year. One thing we read when researching the first year was a response to someones fears of donning a bikini among all the hot, young model types in the brochure. The response was go the grocery store and imagine all the people you see in bikinis and speedos, that is who will be there. Those model types in the brochure ARE models.

We are planning our first cruise in October. 4 night Mexico thing out of LA on Carnival. We have read tones of reviews and know what were are in for. Sounds like fun. We will do what we want, when we want. The only bad vacation is the one you decide is bad. If you are with someone you enjoy, you can have fun doing just about anything.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:00 PM   #67
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Yep, we are looking forward to this bottom-of-the-cruise-line-food-chain trip and joining in with acres of other flabby people stampeding to the next feeding time. It will be a nice break from from sitting around outside our RV looking sad. Not only that, the stampeding will be good exercise!

Whaddya DO all day my @ss....

Not only will we be at the food stampede but we will also attend the Art auction for free champagne and people watching !
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:56 AM   #68
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There's not been one mention of noroviruses in this thread. Does the media exaggerate this?

We had friends who were on a cruise where some kind of virus broke out. At that point, some kind of martial law was enacted, and anyone who sneezed was confined to their cabin at gunpoint. I'm exaggerating of course, but it was definitely a problem, and I don't think they had a good time. What are the chances of that?
It's been our experience over the years that the cruise lines are taking more pro-active actions, such as the "ball dispenser" at every public area to disburse hand disinfectant. Also, we see more attendants spray/disinfect handrails in public areas - much more so than in the past.

Maybe we've just been lucky, but it has not been a problem on our cruises over the years.

Since we've been fortunate to travel by ship/riverboat in other parts of the world (i.e. Med cruise, Danube River cruise, Baltic this June) we've found this practice wherever we go. Too bad the airlines don't pick up on this simple preventive measure.

As far as the OP's comment on the Carribean? We would agree. We did it once but would never again. We're not the kind of folks that sit at the pool/bar all day and are more interested in ports of call. However the Carribean lacks in that area, IMHO. Different strokes...
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:24 AM   #69
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For a beginner, it may also be good to look for 3-5 day cruises to make sure you like it. If it turns out you don't like it and/or you're constantly seasick, 7-10 days is an awful long time and an awful lot of money to be miserable...
That's what my daughter and I did for our first cruise. A 3 day from San Francisco to Vancouver. A very good length for the first one. Found out my daughter gets sea sick and I don't. We both had a wonderful time though.

As far as getting sick on a cruise, it's never happened to me yet. I don't know why, maybe reading too much in Cruise Critic, but, I was a little more cautious this time. I took some Clorox wipes with me, but, didn't even open the package the entire trip. I always used the hand sanitizers before eating and used the stairs and not the elevators, not touching elevator buttons or stair railings. I never used the public restrooms in the commons areas and always washed my hands when returning to my cabin.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:32 AM   #70
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We have cruised on several cruise lines including Carnival. Carnival seems to be at the lower end of the cost spectrum (i.e., you get what you pay for). But I have never had a bad experience on a Carnival Cruise.

But we tend to not do cruises much anymore. Too many other travel options. If we go to the Carribean, we tend to go to a resort, sometimes all-inclusive resorts.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:45 AM   #71
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Sometimes a cruise (like we took southbound from Alaska) has more than just a "boat" ...
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:46 AM   #72
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Oh, I'd love to do that!!! I see another cruise to Alaska for me in the future!
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:56 AM   #73
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[QUOTE= The only bad vacation is the one you decide is bad. If you are with someone you enjoy, you can have fun doing just about anything.[/QUOTE]
Couldn't agree more. But still some vacations are better than others.
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:02 AM   #74
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If you are with someone you enjoy, you can have fun doing just about anything.
Heck, that means that I could just stay at home (assuming I'm with the one I "enjoy" ...)
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:37 PM   #75
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There's not been one mention of noroviruses in this thread. Does the media exaggerate this?
Yup. It happens, but not as often/widespread as the media impression. The cruise ships have followed though with aggressive cleaning/sanitizing campaigns. (Who knows what measures they have to take with the swinger's cruises.) Use the hand sanitizers, don't let the other passengers sneeze or spit on you, and don't get throwing-up drunk.

Several years ago my spouse and her brother were beginning to make plans to take their parents on a cruise for their 50th anniversary. Then he (and his spouse) took a Caribbean cruise, and he got sick. No idea whether it was a cold, the flu, or norovirus, but he declared that he'd never cruise again. So we had to come up with other plans.

We're taking a look at NCL's last-minute interisland fares for when we're empty-nesters. I'm hoping that with a day or two of notice we'll get a substantial discount...
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:44 AM   #76
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We just got back from a cruise 5 days ago. No one I knew got sick during the 7 days (except for motion sickness on bumpy roads, but that's another story). There were hand sanitizers everywhere, and like other posters noted, the cleaning staff were wiping the handrails 24/7. I used the public bathrooms on board and they seemed clean.

There is a special joy in exploring a new place with that special someone. It's the shared experience of adventure. Definitely not the same as staying home together!
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:09 AM   #77
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Nords,
I have heard that the last minute deals have vanished due to federal regulations requiring the cruise lines to have their passenger list in well before cruise date. I don't know if this is valid, or if it applies to Hawaii.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:29 AM   #78
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Nords,
I have heard that the last minute deals have vanished due to federal regulations requiring the cruise lines to have their passenger list in well before cruise date. I don't know if this is valid, or if it applies to Hawaii.
Funny, how the world works. Arthur Frommer had an article a couple days ago (in anticipation of your asking) in which he spoke of this:

A Considerable Surplus of Passenger Ships Has Brought Back the Last-Minute Cruise Deal on Arthur Frommer Online

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There was once a time when you could walk up and down the docks of Miami on a weekend morning, suitcase and travelers' checks in hand, and pick up a last- minute sailing (say, an hour or two before departure) at a substantial discount. You simply applied to the Purser of each ship, and bought your passage on the spot.


Security considerations put an end to that practice. But there are indications that the "last minute deal" is returning in this season of cruiseship glut.

Of course, this issue is why the Cruise Consolidators (like CruisesOnly) insist on ask for your zip code. Those people who live in Port cities get quite a discount.
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:32 PM   #79
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Nords,
I have heard that the last minute deals have vanished due to federal regulations requiring the cruise lines to have their passenger list in well before cruise date. I don't know if this is valid, or if it applies to Hawaii.
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Funny, how the world works. Arthur Frommer had an article a couple days ago (in anticipation of your asking) in which he spoke of this:
NCL has a "frequent cruiser" database where you're registered and pre-screened. It's similar to TSA's "frequent flyer" screening program. I don't know how NCL convinces Homeland Security that you're OK but since you're just driving circles around Hawaii it's possible that no one cares. I don't think you can do a Saturday-morning "pierhead jump" anymore but by Wednesday they have a pretty good idea of who's not going to be showing up. 99% of their cruise customers are flying in with a hotel package.

We haven't yet convinced NCL to start a "call me if you're willing to take less than $400/stateroom" program, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. If we couldn't get a friend to drop us at Pier 9 then the taxi or the car parking would be the second-biggest expense of the cruise...
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:33 PM   #80
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That's pretty much how we are out of Galveston. It's about an hour and a half to the port. I think that is also why most cruises out of Galveston give a 'Texas residence' discount.
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