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Organized Chaos

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About Organized Chaos

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About Me

  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    We loved the cable car and tour of Mt. Isabel at Amber Cove.

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  1. Indeed. Ours was in Miami. By the time people made it to the temperature checker, someone who actually had it could've already exposed many others.
  2. When they upped the monthly limit to 3/month, that helped. And since my wife & I each have an account, that makes 6/month if we really wanted to. The e-cards have their uses. For example, when Carnival ran that 20% off Cruise Cash sale back in April, it was for a limited time, so buying the e-cards and getting them right away came in handy. 20% off the Cruise Cash combined with buying it using 10% off gift cards = more money left in our pockets. 🙂 Back in the day, when Allstate & AARP were both ran by Deluxe Rewards, they often sold nothing but e-cards. We do like to take the physical cards onboard the ship with us, but I don't mind the e-cards when buying things online or paying down the balance. No shipping fees in nice, too. Before their big change, I was using nothing but AARP for cards and hoarding my Allstate points. Our cruise back in March was the first time I ever touched our Allstate points. Since we only cruise once/year (if that), I have enough Allstate to cover us for the next 15-20 years.
  3. I'm right there with you when it comes to the term "new normal." As far as I'm concerned, that's just something some politicians came up with to try to make it sound good when they hold on to the additional regulatory powers that they gave themselves thanks to the pandemic. Someone mentioned the idea of using onboard facial recognition scanners that would work in conjunction with thermal scanners to make sure people get scanned once a day. Whoa! Hold your horses. Let's take a deep breath before going too far down the big brother road.
  4. In March, they were checking temps. after we checked in and went through security, on the way to the waiting area.
  5. I don't want them jumping to conclusions. I wouldn't say it's a clear indication. Like I mentioned on page 1, I'm one of those people who often "runs hot." For example, if I'm outside working in the heat or physically exerting myself in some way, my core temp. rises pretty quickly and it takes me a bit to cool down. I described the scenario that happened to me at embarkation back in March. I know my temp. was above normal because that's just how I am. No illness involved, I was just exerting myself and got hot. Those little infrared thermometers read surface temperature, not body temp., so I'd expect them to dig a little deeper before denying someone for that.
  6. Well...you don't actually watch the chair hogs because they're never in the chairs that they're holding. LOL 🤪 But seriously, the "terraced" deck levels overlooking the pool are our favorite feature on Conquest class ships. It really does make for a great place to hang out and watch people, deck parties, activities, etc.
  7. It is ridiculous to say that gifts are only for friends & family, people you know, not for crew members. I know for a fact that many crew members enjoy getting gifts, other than just cash. Why? Because they are kind people who are appreciative when a practical stranger would think highly enough of them to give them a gift. Many people who do it are bringing gifts with them long before ever meeting their cabin steward (or anyone else they might give a gift to). Boy, they must be terrible people to bring a gift along on their vacation with the intent of giving it to a person they've never met. Of course crew members love cash. Cash is king, as they say, and they often send it back home to their families. That doesn't mean they don't enjoy and appreciate getting other kinds of gifts as well. It's pathetic to put someone down for doing it. To skridge, you're all fired up because you believe too many people pull their tips. You call them names and put them down in defense of the hard working crew. You're right about one thing...those crew members bust their butts. But the fact of the matter is, if pulling tips was so rampant, as you and others claim, they wouldn't be making the money that they do. Yes, they could be making more in tips, but the fact that they make what they do tells me that it isn't as big of a problem as you think it is. Just because cruising is suspended doesn't mean we can't still talk about it. There are plenty of people who have cruises booked a long time from now. Long after the shutdown ends. Many of them have questions or want to talk about their future cruise. Besides, we're here because we all share a common interest and we should still be able talk about cruising in general, regardless of the current situation. Personally, I was sick of all the COVID-19 talk, all the doom & gloom, all the drastic speculations that didn't mean anything. I thoroughly enjoy coming to CC, but it just wasn't fun. I'm glad to see some typical cruise talk finally bubble up to the surface after 2 1/2 months. On a side note, you referred to this thread as a "reminder" about tipping. No one should be reminding others to tip because it's none of their business. Unfortunately, it's just an example of how some people pay way too much attention to how others cruise.
  8. Me when I look at that picture: All those shoes look pretty much the same and serve the same purpose. My wife if she looked at that picture: No, those are for this type of outfit, those are for that type of outfit, those are for the beach, those are just comfy walking shoes, etc. etc.
  9. That's a good idea. I like seeing people's reactions when they see things for the first time. We took our son's friend on his first cruise a couple years ago and I made a point to watch his reaction when we got off the gangway and walked through the door into the Lobby. 17 years old, a big smile crossed his face, and the only thing that came out was, "Wow!" He ended up loving the cruise and said he can't wait to take his own family some day. Oftentimes we forget how great something is after we've seen it many times. Watching people's reactions seeing something for the first time helps me get that feeling back. Add me to your count. I love my Hawaiian shirts. They're comfortable, lightweight, and help me keep cool. Perfect for a cruise. I even have a couple really nice ones that are great for the MDR.
  10. Sometimes I just people watch without even looking for or thinking about anything. Just looking around at all the different people. I don't participate in the deck parties, but I do like to watch them. They always do those choreographed dances, whatever's popular, and I can't do those, so I just watch and enjoy the music. Usually, before the party gets in full swing, the DJ will come out early and play music. The deck is still fairly empty, but there's always a handful of people who go out there to dance before the crowd builds. Those are some of the most fun people to watch. I like seeing the little kids get out there and dance. I'm talking around 5 yrs. old, give or take. It's fun to watch them because they don't have a care in the world and are having the time of their lives dancing around on a ship. Not to mention I'm jealous because they're so much better dancers than I am. 😊 I also enjoy watching the older folks dance. No disrespect, I'm always impressed by older folks who can really cut a rug and enjoy life like that.
  11. I think there's only one real solution to the gratuities issue. I think everyone should mind their own business. Stop worrying about what others are tipping and stop trying to tell other people what to tip.
  12. Porters are employed by the cruise terminal, not the cruise line. They don't get a share of Carnival's gratuities. I just wanted to clarify that the daily gratuities go to more people than just the stewards and wait staff. There's also people behind the scenes that get a share. Who gets a share has been listed on here many times, but I forget exactly who. They certainly make more than that now. Much more. And as I said in another post, it isn't fair to compare their wages to the U.S. Their home economies are much more different that the U.S. Even without tips, they make a good wage compared to what they could back home. Is it a "fair" wage? That's not for any of us to decide.
  13. I cringe when someone tells me I need to tip good, even if the service is bad. In the case of cruises, we pre-pay our gratuities and leave them be because they're divided among so many different crew members. But I have no problem reducing a server's tip in a restaurant if their service is bad. A tip is meant to be a reward for good service. Somewhere along the line, it got twisted into practically a mandatory thing. Yes, there are jerks out there who pull their tips on a cruise just to be cheap or mean spirited, but I believe people like that are in the minority. Let's set the record straight. Those crew members are paid a wage, and a very good one at that relative to their home countries. Sure, it's low compared to many American wages, but that's not a fair comparison because the economies in their home countries are different. In a majority of cases, they'll make more on a cruise ship than they ever could back home, and that's with just their base wages, not including gratuities. That's why many of them are willing to spend several months at sea, away from home, family & friends. Because, for them, the money is very good. I don't know where you got the idea that tips are their only source of income, but you're wrong and you shouldn't spread misinformation like that. Like several others have said, you were fed a load of baloney. I don't believe for one second that everyone on that cruise pulled their tips. And if they're the one who told you they made zero pay without tips, they're lying. It's inappropriate and completely unprofessional.
  14. You're getting the Australia emails too? I've gotten two in less than a week. And they say, "Recommended by your Personal Vacation Planner, [name]" at the top, with his contact info. at the bottom. I don't know if he's actually sending them or if it's automated. He should know that we're not cruising out of Australia. Expensive or not, we love using the gift cards. We're not going to turn down saving hundreds of dollars on a cruise. Right now, we're sitting on a couple cards that will just about pay off our Jan. cruise. We're holding onto them, though, and not applying them yet. Not because we're worried about the state of cruises, because we aren't at all, but there's a slight chance we might have to cancel it ourselves and just need to see how some things play out. I don't believe at all that Carnival's going to go bankrupt. Donald had already said back in April that Carnival Corp. as a whole was prepared just in case the shutdown happened to last the rest of the year. I don't believe it will, though. August is still 2 months away and I'm optimistic that we'll be in a much better place by then. To be blunt, we're finally starting to see more upbeat threads on the forum and I think it's unfortunate that some people can't help but 💩 all over them with the continued negative speculations.
  15. You made me wait a month and a half for that answer. The suspense was killing me, man. 🤣 The good news is, I think CC has turned a corner. From what I'm seeing, people who have a more positive outlook are starting to drown out the doom & gloom folks. There haven't been very many codes for you to catch up on, but a few of the ones we did get were doozies.
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