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About SarahQ

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
  1. Hi all! Travelling to GC with some friends, and we are looking to just find a place close to the port to have some drinks and grub - want to avoid the crazy prices of Margaritaville, Senor Frogs and the like. Anyone have any good recommendations? Thanks!
  2. Weird question, but someone I'm travelling with wanted to know and I can't seem to find confirmation anywhere - does the Latte-tudes Cafe on Brilliance serve Starbucks brand coffee?
  3. I had the sleeve done 10 months ago (and have lost 215 lbs total), and I'll be on Breeze in a few weeks - I'd be happy to report back how things went! :)
  4. Tristan, you've had lots of advice, and at this point I'm not sure my $0.02 would be that helpful. I was morbidly obese (my goal is to lose 270 lbs from my highest weight) and I had the vertical sleeve gastrectomy in Nov 2012 and have lost 215 lbs. What I've learned in talking to people with all sorts of surgeries and in my own journey is that while losing the weight is a result of the physical restrictions etc., keeping it off will be almost 100% mental. If you feel you are mentally ready, you can absolutely do this. I would suggest checking out the Obesity Help website and forums for lots of info, and also if you like videos, You Tube is great, with a big and very active WLS community (including me!). Best of luck :)
  5. not impressed.... comment was technically incorrect and both uncalled for and obnoxious.... don't quit your day job.
  6. So looking forward to the rest of your review! We leave on Ecstasy on Sep. 20th and also have porthole cabins, and also are going to the RIU Palace in the Bahamas and also are getting a cabana on HMC, so I'm particularly interested in hearing all the details :)
  7. The thing is that as long as the basics are still free and it keeps fares lower for everyone, why not have surcharges for some things? If you feel you need a table by the window, or a table for two, or a chair right by the pool - you'll pay the premium. As long as I have somewhere to sit for dinner and can find a chair in deck somewhere, I'm cool - so those charges wouldn't affect me. In fact, those particular examples would actually alleviate some issues - it would certainly make the line to see the Maitre D' much sorter, and there were be far fewer fights over prime chairs. Not sure why do many people see the option of paying for something 'premium' to keep standard fares lower is such a bad thing...
  8. And simply not noticing it on your part doesn't it make it untrue either. Consider the new loyalty program and how it was launched and implemented - I wouldn't call it a success (talk to some "milestone" cruisers and see how well they thought it went). Consider things like priority tendering, which if you read CC regularly, you'll see a number of people complaining about how it is handled differently on every ship and sometimes not at all. Like every company, no matter how much they make in profit, some ideas are great in principle but fall flat on their face in practice. While I don't have an issue with this new program, there is a lot if opportunity for it to be completely screwed up in it's implementation.
  9. IF (and I realize this is a big "IF") Carnival does what they are claiming, then it won't really matter, as Platinum/Diamond will be at the front of the line, and F2TF cruisers *after*, then the common folks like me. So the lines may be "longer", but that shouldn't actually affect you. I agree with those who have said Carnival isn't always the best at implementing things or following policies, but we will soon find out...
  10. Just to illustrate further - the article in question states the following: "Carnival and Royal Caribbean in the U.S. pay cleaners from Jamaica as little as $545 a month." Now - let's be clear that we're talking wages (in other words that amount does not include tips), and room and board is included. Here is some info about salaries in Jamaica: http://www.payscale.com/research/JM/Country=Jamaica/Salary You can see that a customer service rep's median wage is less than $9000. So they are making less than $750 a month, and they also need to pay for housing, food etc. etc. Clearly, in most cases someone who is a cleaner is going to make less than a customer service rep, so it's not even a fair comparison in that sense, although one could argue that increased hours may even things out. Still...you can see from the above that without having any sort of comparison, the article is just sensationalism (written by a personal injury lawyer, of course!). --- Just for fun, since the article also mentions Indian workers. Based on info from the same website (as above), the median hourly wage for an Indian software developer is around $3.75 USD. Imagine what cleaners make there. http://www.payscale.com/research/IN/Country=India/Hourly_Rate
  11. First and foremost, this is an article about P&O, not Carnival (yes, P&O is part of Carnival Corporation, but that is not the same thing as Carnival Cruiseline - all of the Carnival Corp cruise lines are run pretty much autonomously). I would take what is said (as with any article appearing online) with a grain of salt. There is much sensationalism these days in journalism, with everyone trying to get the juiciest "story" out there. Even if we take what is said in the article as truth, consider that all of the crew's needs are taken care of onboard - housing, food etc., and many extras are subsidised (alcohol, internet access etc.). $400 a month doesn't suddenly seem quite so bad, especially for those who come from countries where $1-$1.50 USD per hour would be a very good wage, and where working conditions can be much worse than what they experience on a ship. And that does NOT include tips, but simply basic salary - as we know, tips are a large portion of an employees wages. Again, mistreatment etc. is a different subject, but when it comes to dollars, we are looking at the situation through our North American prejudice instead of the reality of the workers in question.
  12. I think it would be a nice "perk" for solos if they did this, but they won't. The issue is that the program is based on days sailed, not on how much money you've spent. Saying you're paying double is all well and good, but what about those in balconies or suites who may be paying three or four time what you're paying - should they get extra as well? Unless Carnival goes to a system based on how much your fare costs (which would be interesting actually), it ain't gonna happen.
  13. I hate seeing posts like this, because it's just not true. Is working on a cruise ship difficult? I'm sure it is. Are the conditions substandard? No, I really don't believe they are. And they especially aren't in comparison to the jobs most of the workers could get in their home country. That doesn't mean that they are somehow "worth less" - it simply means that while you can't understand how someone can work in that type of job, for them it may be a fantastic opportunity - it's a matter of viewpoint. The issue is that we tend to look at everything from our North American viewpoint and experience - but that isn't how most of the world lives. I had the pleasure of visiting Bali, Indonesia about 8 years ago (many, many cruise ship workers are Indonesian), and it truly opened my eyes. These people live so very differently to what you or I may be used to, and it appears that they are living in poverty; however, they are the happiest people you could ever wish to meet. They don't feel that they are "missing" anything - it's simply a judgement that we make based on our own lifestyle. I speak to many workers on board (often if they are Indonesian I ask them where they are from etc.) and they are always happy to discuss their job, their home, their families. Do they have a tough job? You bet. Are they being taken advantage of? I don't believe they are. They are living the "American Dream" in their own way - working hard to provide for their families (and in most cases their cruise ship job allows them to provide handsomely for them). There are many, many Americans struggling making less than minimum wage, living below the poverty line and being taken advantage of by employers - you may want to start looking at them before you look at the cruiselines.
  14. Are you on a Mac? I know it never works for me on my Mac on any browser (and I've tried them all). Always have to resort to using my husband's PC. As well, there was another browser-based issue that I know was discussed at some point - if you do a search for "FCC" on the boards, you'll probably find it!
  15. Finally, some common sense - you very eloquently stated what I was trying to get at earlier. You are getting something for free that others have to pay for - it's still a perk. All of this "I paid $100,000 to get to Diamond etc." that keeps getting posted is nonsense. You paid that money for a vacation and that's what you got - Carnival doesn't "owe" you anything. If you got caught in the trap of booking more cruises to get a higher status,my apologies, but it's called "buyer beware".
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