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About KmomChicago

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    South Chicago Area
  • Interests
    travel, family, gardening
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Premier, remember them?
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Labadee, Haiti

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  1. Here is a recent post for the 4 day on Elation. Should be pretty similar but either an extra sea day or port day in addition to what's mentioned here.
  2. Depending on the week, there may be quite a few kids on board, which might make the camp more fun for him. Usually around President's day spring break starts to ramp up. If your signature is accurate and this is your first time on Carnival, you will find it's somewhat different than Celebrity but not, in my opinion, terribly different from Royal Caribbean. I do like the self-serve laundry on Carnival, which could come in handy with a grubby kiddo. According to Carnival's website Hasbro the Game Show is on board. I think all of Elation's itineraries are 5 nights or 4 nights so the schedule should be pretty consistent from sailing to sailing. There should be a sailaway party on deck and usually at least one other deck party. Carnival's menus in the main dining room are consistent across the fleet but with a little kid you may find the lido buffet to be more convenient most nights. Also 5 nights may not feel like a short cruise to him! Towel Animal theatre is good daytime activity along with all of the Seuss stuff as you mention - parade and storytime, and maybe the character brunch on sea day.
  3. I agree that the ships are likely not all that different. Fantasy class is kept afloat but they are not the latest shiny objects. Which drive is easiest? I feel convenience is a factor and presume you are driving from GA to the port, so take into account the distance, standard local traffic flows, tolls, parking garage costs. If you're in Atlanta, Mobile is two hours closer. Thinking of hours in the car after the cruise. . . hmm. Home in less than 5 hours, vs. 7 or 8. If that doesn't matter, then as others have mentioned, the other two seem to have had a little more thorough attention in drydocks and those upgrades may be important for you.
  4. Port upgrades and increased passenger amenities are obvious benefits. Currently I believe this is one of the resorts Bahamas Paradise partners with for longer vacations - cruise to the island, check into a beach resort for 2 or 4 nights, then cruise back. I think I was wondering if Royal will create their own cruise/land package and make the resort rooms exclusive to their own clientele. BP works with three other resorts so if for some reason the Grand Lucayan ends their partnership, there will still be other options.
  5. Agree. We are in the rugrat category so Carnival is still a good fit for us, but our one and only is now a teen and we may feel differently soon. And that very aspect is exactly why many people avoid Carnival entirely. You would have to think they heard feedback for years from their loyal but aging, empty nest clientele that they would like options to stick with the line but not necessarily spend their whole week right in the middle of the family/kiddie market. And that they are becoming more comfortable financially and now willing to pay more for upgrades. And yes, Carnival's job as a business is to generate revenue and the way to do that is to provide value that customers are willing to pay for. The suites, spa cabins, and other upgrades like deluxe cabins with the extra washroom, panoramic outsides, extended balconies, etc. must have been selling well enough to show demand for upgrades was exceeding existing supply. I don't agree though that Carnival was never innovative. The idea of affordable cruising in a casual atmosphere for the masses was not only innovative, it likely saved what was a dying industry that had previously mostly appealed to a mature and well-heeled customer. I clearly remember my mom telling me during the first seasons of The Love Boat, that cruising was on its last legs. But the show, silly as it was, helped revive interest and then Carnival offered something we blue collar folks could afford and not feel out of place among the nobility. They are not turning their backs on this core market, just providing options for certain customers who would not otherwise consider them or who would otherwise consider moving up to a higher tier brand. But this is jmho and I'm not loyal anyway. We all vote with our dollar as we should. Vacations are rare and expensive and carry stresses of their own and we should all choose carefully. Luckily the world offers countless options to appeal to all.
  6. This is so frustrating about the bad theater views. I've only been on Fantasy class once and I thought the crummy sight lines in the theatre was one of the biggest drawbacks. We didn't have the same problem on Triumph, which has of course now removed a whole level. I would think they would have learned how to design and build functional theaters by now! We haven't considered splurging for Havana yet but it's something to consider. Some people don't like the idea of separating Carnival into different "classes" of areas but really suites have always served a somewhat different customer base and spa cabins were early tests of this kind of concept. I like the option to still enjoy Carnival, its overall value and its vibe but get something a little upgraded and special with the Havana area or, for those who are the right fit and demographic, Family Harbor. Clearly it's smart of Carnival to offer these; even at the upgraded price they seem to sell just fine for most sailings.
  7. We were in E96 on Sensation, same class, same layout. It was a convenient location, short walk to either the forward or midship elevators, but bring foam earplugs if you go to bed early; on some nights when music events are going on in the nearby atrium, you can hear it. I did not smell any smoke or anything else in that area. Fantasy class ships are not the newest brightest shiny object, but they are a really solid vacation value for your dollar. Have a great time!
  8. They could have just kept on going with "ation" names almost forever with various themes: In the Ovulation class we might also have the Consummation, the Gratification, and there is another one that starts with E that fits this group but. . . I just can't do it. Would some of us enjoy the Intoxication class with her sisters the Libation, Fermentation and Obliteration? This could be a fun game. I can't imagine this discussion has never happened before on Cruise Critic.
  9. Interesting choice! Cunard is, as you must know, more mature and highbrow than Royal Caribbean. A rather different choice than the track you were originally going down. While on Oasis of the Seas we met a Sr. Citizen mother and daughter pair, say mid-60s and mid-80s on their first RC cruise. They were not enjoying it so much. They said it was very "loud" compared to what they were used to. Which was Cunard, which they had sailed many times over several decades. As a child I could only dream of ever sailing the iconic and pricey QE2; that hasn't really changed, but again I hope you'll share your experience with us afterward.
  10. So are they eliminating the teen O2 club or merging it with Circle C?
  11. What cool new Sunrise'd feature was your favorite? Is there anything left aboard to remind us of her former life as the poor old Carnival Triumph?
  12. Sounds overall pretty darn miserable. Hope your next cruise is worth bothering with.
  13. Sounds like a great option! I would do the same; if we do hit Alaska it's not likely we'll use Carnival. We are not loyal to any brand and the bottom line is always a factor. Enjoy your wonderful journey on the Joy! I wish I lived at a port so we could do last minute deals without the logistics of getting there.
  14. Princess and HAL often have last minute deals to Alaska that seem like a much better value than Carnival. Ironic since in many other areas Carnival is the lowest price option. Many have said Carnival only does this round trip run due to demand of loyalty club members who want to see Alaska but only on the whale tail. The parent corporation owns Princess and Holland America so they really have the market under control either way.
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