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Tootie last won the day on November 9 2023

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  1. The issue was that the chocolate I brought onboard was freshly made - chocolate "bars," peanut clusters, etc. I also bring candied fruit slices and maybe some taffy. None of the items come in any sort of packaging but rather loose in a bag or box for each individual group of items. The King Confectionery on the Strand in Galveston carries wonderful products made in-house and they're only a few blocks from the cruise terminal.
  2. I am a chocoholic! Besides the melting chocolate cake in the dining roomI eat a bit every night before falling asleep. It is difficult to do that with the chocolate offered at Cherry On Top. The chocolate they offer is made up of huge chunks that you can't break down to smaller bite size pieces. Because of the size, they are essentially inedible. I try to bring chocolate on board fro, m shops near the port but every time that I do, I am confronted by staff saying it is unacceptable to bring it onto the ship. Perhaps Carnival can find another source that lends itself to being more readily consumable!
  3. I agree Kendall. It is a pain but still practically not available. You bring your luggage onboard but you can't usually take it to your cabin. Thus, you have to lug it around until you can get to your cabin. My only embarkation point is at Galveston and because we aren't able to know the status of cabin availability, we hand it over to the "red caps" and it's loaded onboard. Usually it is several hours before it's delivered. Early delivery is rare and both the boss and I have needs specific needs that aren't met.
  4. Unfortunately, this benefit is not regularly available. More often than not, we are directed to have a "red cap" or luggage handler take our luggage. I have aked how we go about taking our own bags to the room to drop it off and the red caps/luggage handlers know nothing about it. The end result is we don't get our luggage for up to 4 hours after boarding.
  5. I can't say when we began using STEP but it was long ago. The State Department is the only place I know of to layout our trip plans and it has served us well. We have seen quite a few Level 4 reports but none to any place we go. I'm not sure about Jamaica right now but it was Level 3 in our last 2 or 3 trips. Based on many recent reports, Jamaica may be Level 4 or about to become that rank. That will surely have an effect on cruising both for cruise lines and the cruisers. Some of the reports are a bit scary in describing serious crimes and that might force Carnival and other lines to reconsider travel there much like Red Sea routes have been suspended. While crime is a far cry from war, its prevalence in ports is something we follow closely with STEP. While there is likely no way to disguise ourselves as locals rather than cruisers, you try to play down any affluence - rings, watches and other "flashy" jewelry, it is equally important to maintain awareness of your surroundings. Always take a wide view and be ready to respond immediately.
  6. When we first began cruising, we always carried our passports when we left the ship. Now, things are different. All we need is our sail and sign card and a government issued photo ID. At our age, health issues may crop up at any time so we do carry a photo copy of our passport. It's just so much easier to leave the passport in the cabin safe - no worries about losing it. We also go into a port with a minimum of cash and one credit card. We have photo copies of all of our cards and the appropriate phone numbers in case of any emergency. We've never had any problems off the ship but being prepared, to the extent we can, is the way to go.
  7. We typically do buy the package but the new increase won't be an issue for us at this time as we're always on longer cruises. Having said that, these increases likely presage that happening fleet-wide in the not too distant future. We've never approached the 15 drink limit - I've done, perhaps as many as 8. But one of my favorite pours is the Cadillac Margarita - simply a pour of Grand Marnier over a spoon into an otherwise normal margarita. It counts as 2 drinks, something I'm not too crazy about as I have to wait 15 minutes to get the Grand Marnier after ordering the margarita. In essence,my 8 drinks would count as 16 - not good. Still, if you have 5 or 6 drinks a day, you'll save some $$$ with the package! BTW - coffee, sodas, and, I would guess water, do not count against the 15 drink limit. Unless something has changed, the limit only applies to alcoholic beverages.
  8. Sadly, no, I haven't had that experience yet. I eagerly await that opportunity and I hope you'll be aboard in your new position. We always enjoy your presence, You're the premiere host across the Carnival fleet!
  9. When will Galveston get a Fun Italian Style ship? It seems unfair to have them available on the east and west coasts but not the gulf coast. Dateci una nave, per favore
  10. That's almost a 25% increase in about 15 months. While I agree staff works, the gratuities are out of whack in my book. How long does it take to "clean" a cabin - we already pay 18% on all alcoholic drinks and that is ridiculously high. We hear that the tips are shared but to what extent? When we tip our room steward - on top of the assessed fee - is that shared or does the cabin team keep that among themselves? Same for the dining room staff and the bar. I'm pretty generous with gratuities but by the time you add up all of the tips you give to staff individually and kick in the 18%, your vacation is approaching 25% to 30% in tips. Way too much!
  11. How strange that everything is rosy according to Carnival's CEO. So what is wrong wth the stock? Reported today in Cruise Hive News that records have been recorded in every facet of the Carnival operation. While the CEO and other officers are going to rake in huge performance bonuses,we stockholders are taking a bath. A little help please!
  12. We lack about 80 days to make Diamond. It's possible but we are thinking about going back to driving vacations. In 2 weeks, except for Journeys, we can see more of the U.S. that we haven't seen before. There's much to see worldwide and time is becoming more and more precious with grandkids being a huge focus for us.
  13. On our cruise on the Dream this year, my wife and I both had a $25 casino credit. When we went to play the slots, we discovered there aren't really any penny machines anymore. Oh, they call them penny machines but the minimum bet is $ .75. Needless to say, our credits disappeared in less than 5 minutes. That pretty much tells me that where I enjoyed the casino on more than a dozen previous cruises, I won't be going back unless I choose a table game. Frankly, I consider the issue to be trying to "take the last nickel out of my pocket" - in this case at the rate of 15 at a time. This was in the smoke free casino.
  14. While I agree that safety comes first re tendering to the 2 Greenland ports, the refund is puny. Too many days at sea now, and with all of the Canadian stops - no offense, eh - $200 per person, assuming 2 people in a cabin - just seems more than a little meager. Carnival should re-think their compensation offer. You can put lipstick on a pig but in the end, it s still a pig!
  15. He does the entire job once we decide on a specific cruise. And that is how he makes his $$$. We don't use him for menial things that we can do ourselves but he would do anything we request. The important thing to us and him is once you establish a relationship and let him handle the details, keep going back because he is the best and you are his priority. Reach him at bbell@carnival.com
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