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  1. Same here. They are the right fit for us. I don't need a ton of different things to do or places to eat. I don't want to arrive at a show an hour early just to get a good seat. I have done enough water slides and amusement park rides to last a lifetime while my kids were growing up. I want to be able to have good food, good entertainment, and a nice place to relax while not visiting the ports. That being said, we have booked the Panorama out of Long Beach. LOL. My husband wants to experience new ports. At least going into it I will be prepared to line up for shows extremely early to get decent seats like our Vista cruise. I've never had a bad cruise and I know this one will be a good one too. My preference is Dream class though.
  2. My husband and I stayed at the Homewood Suites at 9000 Astronaut Blvd in Cape Canaveral in September. The total cost for the room, including taxes, was $209.40. We paid an additional $10 total for the shuttle to the port for both of us. The hotel was clean, had wifi, and a nice free breakfast. There is also an outdoor pool, but we didn't use it. There is also a small gym and self-service laundry machines. If you sign up for the free Hilton Honors points program, you should be able to choose your room out of the available rooms. We are always able to check in online the day before our hotel stay and choose our room. There is a Burger King close by, along with a gas station store, a large souvenir store, and an Italian restaurant within walking distance. We went to the restaurant, Zarella's, for lunch and it was excellent. We were able to eat the leftovers for dinner. It was very good. I am sure there is a lot more around that area, but we didn't venture out. We have also stayed at the Country Inn and Suites just across the street and our stay there was good. At that time, we were travelling with our son and two of his friends. We were able to get a nice room that was large enough for everyone and had the kids' beds in a separated area. That was nice. They also provided a shuttle to the port.
  3. The last time I cruised out of Miami with a flight out of FLL, I arrived at the airport at around 8:15 am. We carried our bags off of the ship ourselves and used Uber. We used the Uber app as soon as we exited the terminal and the driver was there within 5 minutes. We did not book an early flight, but wish we had because we ended up waiting several hours. There was an earlier flight to our city and we watched other people on our cruise board it.
  4. Often my husband and I are not hungry for dessert after eating dinner, so we choose a dessert at the buffet and put it in the refrigerator in our cabin to save for later.
  5. I did not experience any of those things when I cruised on the Magic in June of this year.
  6. Assuming that the ship arrives in port on time and there are no unexpected delays, yes it is possible if you carry off your own luggage. It is also helpful to have TSA pre-check so you can go through the express security line at the airport. It's a bonus if you travel with carry-on only, but I found the lines for checking luggage to be extremely short when I arrived at MCO at the end of my last cruise. I would definitely recommend going to guest services before the last day and getting an early-flight letter. There is a special place to wait for people who have early flights and it's the fastest way to get off of the ship if you aren't platinum, diamond, or FTTF. I cruised on the Breeze in September. I went to the theater to wait with the early flight passengers. The people who stayed in suites and had FTTF also waited in the theater. The diamonds and platinums waited in one of the restaurants. Carnival did an excellent job with this. As people arrived, they had them sit down with their luggage in the order they arrived. As people exited, the first to arrive were the first to exit. For my cruise, they let the FTTF exit (I am assuming after the platinums and diamonds exited from the dining room), then the suite passengers, and then the early flight people. We were off of the ship around 7:10 and in a shuttle heading to the airport at 7:30. We arrived at 8:15 and were waiting in front of our gate at 8:30. Had we experienced unanticipated delays, things could have been different. I would feel comfortable booking a 10:50 flight, but many people would not want the stress. It's a personal choice, just like flying in a day early for the cruise (which I ALWAYS do). We used Cortrans shuttle and it was $20 per person, plus tip.
  7. I cruised on Carnival's Breeze ship. If you have an early flight, you can go to guest services and get a letter printed that will show you where to meet the morning you leave. We also chose to carry off our own luggage. For people carrying off their own luggage, Carnival let the platinums and diamonds go first, then the FTTF passengers, the suite passengers, and then the early flight people. We were off of the ship by 7:10 am. The shuttle filled up and left the port at 7:30. We also have TSA pre-check, so we never have to spend much time in the airport security line. Carnival really had their act together. As people entered the theater to wait, they had people sit in the order they came in. When it was time to leave, they had people exit so that the first people to arrive were the first people to leave. That was unlike my cruise on the Magic in FLL. That was a madhouse and a mess. I am not sure if other cruise lines have a place for people with early flights to meet, but it's worth asking.
  8. You can book an early shuttle with Cortans. They charged us $20 per person. We caught their 7:30 am shuttle and were at the airport at 8:15 am. I know when we booked the shuttle, we did not choose such an early time. I think we may have booked the 8:30 shuttle, but they let people on as they show up and run shuttles at several times.
  9. We stayed at the Homewood Suites by the port and used Cocoa Beach Shuttle to get us from the airport to the hotel. It was $58 plus tip for two people. The driver called us while we were waiting for our luggage and told us where to go. There was one other couple on the shuttle and we were dropped off first. We used the hotel's shuttle to get from the hotel to the port the day of the cruise. We used Cortrans shuttle to get from the cruise port back to the airport. It was $20 per person, plus tip. We got off of the ship early and were on their shuttle that left at 7:30 am and arrived at the airport at 8:15 am. You can schedule an estimated time off of the ship since they run several shuttles to the airport.
  10. We stayed on deck 10 and thankfully didn't experience any weird smells. Deck 11 is a great location. Our favorite place to lounge is on the padded chairs on deck 11. The cabins on decks 10 and 11 make is so easy to get to the buffet, coffee machines, Guy's, Blue Iguana, pool, and loungers. I really like using my cabin bathroom instead of the public ones, so a cabin on deck 11 is very convenient. Anyway, I think you will really like the location.
  11. I cruised on the Magic in June and had a great cruise. However, some people pay a lot more attention to certain things, so if your wife is very picky then she might not think everything is in excellent condition. You may want to sail on one of the newer ships. While I was fine with everything, I have read trip reports where people have listed a lot of things that bothered them that didn't even cross our minds when we were on the cruise. My cabin was very clean every day. I was able to relax in a nice lounger while not at the ports. The comedy shows were great. Food was good. I liked that they had a wide variety of music playing in different parts of the ship. If I was travelling with an extremely picky person, I would probably pick one of the newer ships. My cruise was great though.
  12. I'm thinking of cruising out of San Juan this December on the Fascination. The itinerary looks great. My only hesitations are the size of the ship and flying into San Juan, which appears expensive to do. I think the ports can make up for a any disappointment I find in the ship. I wish there was a larger ship with this same itinerary.
  13. I think the majority of people who purchase FTTF do so with the intention of boarding early and having access to their cabin immediately. If they insisted that FTTF people wait until their appointment time to arrive, it would defeat the purpose of the perk of boarding early and also of having access to their cabin early. My point was that it didn't make sense that Carnival would require those who purchased FTTF to wait until their appointment time to arrive. The appointment time is only applicable to the regular line, not the priority line or the early/late line.
  14. Right, but the OP can still carry off their luggage if they wait to get off of the ship with their friends, who can hopefully get an early luggage zone tag.
  15. This. If everyone wants to get off of the ship as early as possible, but your friends need to check their luggage, then I recommend finding out the exact time that the luggage tags are available and having them be one of the first in line. We have done that and gotten the earliest possible luggage zone for our checked luggage (after priority). In my experience, they will put something in the cabin that will let people know when and where the luggage tags are available. It should also be possible to get the information from guest services. This way you can carry off your own luggage, your friends can check theirs, and all of you can exit the ship at the same time and get off to an early start for your drive home.
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