Monthly Archives: May 2017

W – Wifi

I am sorry for the delay on this week’s blog post but quite honestly yesterday just got away from me.  It’s not a very good excuse but it’s the truth.  Our home is whole again as Scott is back from traveling for a bit.

Back in the day when a family went on vacation there was no way to reach them unless you left a message with a hotel clerk.  Today’s not that way at all.  People carry cell phones and computers with them and there is always a way of communicating.  Carnival makes it so you can have the vacation you want….connected or disconnected.

Carnival offers three packages for wifi.  You can only have one device connected at a time to the plan that you choose. Scott and I like to upload pictures to Facebook so we can make all of our friends and family jealous, I mean a part of, our vacation.  We purchase the Social plan at $5 per day.  Scott usually does the uploading onto his but if there is something I want to post he simply logs out of our internet account and I log in.  So for $5 a day it’s not a bad deal.  Here are the three packages:

  • Social – $5 per day gives you access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and popular airline sites.  This plan does not allow access to any other sites including Snapchat, Facetime, Skype, etc.
  • Value – $16 per day does  not allow Skype calling or music streaming but does allow everything the Social plan does.  It also allows you to check email, sports, news, weather, banking, and more.
  • Premium – $25 per day gets you the fastest possible internet available and includes access to most internet sites, apps, and streaming.

We have not purchased the Value or Premium packages so I cannot give you an opinion on them.  I have read on several message boards that the speeds are slow on the Premium package.

If you are interested in purchasing one of the plans you can do so before you cruise thru the Fun Shops on the Carnival website or Manage My Booking.  You can also purchase once on board. If you purchase prior to cruising you must pay for the whole cruise duration.  If you purchase on the ship you can choose just a daily option.

Please note that you need to put your phone on airplane mode.  This makes it so you are not charged by your phone service carrier.  There are other restrictions such as Hulu and Netflix, connection to private VPN, and sites that are mature or violent content are blocked.  If you do not want to carry your phone or laptop with you on your vacation then please note that there are computer areas on board that you can use.  You still get charged 🙂

So you decide, will your vacation be plugged or unplugged.

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V – Vacation Protection

It’s another Monday and another installment of Gina’s vacation talk.  Yes, right here every Monday for your reading pleasure….you are welcome.  It was a quick weekend for together time with Scott.  He is off again but this time on the other side of the country than last week.  He’s a traveling man.

This week is all about protection, vacation protection that is.  As with health, car, life, and house you can purchase vacation insurance.  Some people find vacation insurance brings them peace of mind while others find it a waste of money.  I will give you a few benefits of Carnival vacation insurance and you can make the decision for yourself.

  • Trip Cancellation Coverage – this covers you in case of bad weather or illness with 100% of your cash back.  If you have another reason to cancel then you receive 75% back in future cruise credit.
  • Travel Insurance – if you have a delay in your trip you get up to $500 towards meals and transportation. Up to $500 if your baggage is lost, stolen or damaged.  And up to $500 if you have to buy necessities if your bags are delayed over 24 hours.
  • Medical Coverage – This gets you up to $1000 if you get sick or hurt.  It also gets you up to $30,000 if you need emergency medical evacuation.
  • 24/7 Worldwide Travel Assistance.

In a previous blog post titled fog I wrote about weather delays and issues. I actually know a guy named Adam that was part of a day and a half fog delay in January while trying to board the Breeze.  Him and his fiance were to head out of Galveston but the fog prevented the Breeze from making it into port.  Adam did not have travel insurance and was EXTREMELY upset that Carnival did not give him a place to stay in Galveston and pay for all of their meals for that extra day while they waited to board.  To “show” Carnival how unhappy he was not to get to board the ship when they were scheduled, he chose not to get on board at all.  He went home and vowed to never go on a carnival cruise, ever.

Now I have very strong opinions on what Adam believes he was entitled to and how he thinks Carnival somehow was responsible for the weather but that’s not what this blog post is about.  This is quite simply about the option of getting vacation protection.  There are several companies that offer vacation insurance and you can find them easily with a Google search.  I cannot tell you what company is the best because we have only purchased from Carnival.  Scott and I like having the peace of mind that vacation protection brings.

If you do decide to purchase vacation protection it is something that must be paid in full at the time.  Unlike the cruise where you have been able to make payments.  If you would like more information and costs I suggest contacting George our friendly PVP.

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U – Underage

It’s Monday again.  I hope all of the Mom’s out there had an amazing Mother’s day.  I had an awesome day. With my partner in crime off to travel the country for the next couple of weeks I will be prepping the house for a family full of goodness come June.

I can’t believe how quickly this year is going by.  The blog is already up to the letter “u”.  So for “u” let’s talk about being underage.  Even though Carnival Cruise is all about the family atmosphere and all of the loads of fun families can have together, there are age restrictions on certain things.

First, you must be 21 years old to drink alcoholic beverages unless you have a sister named Samantha that fudges on the rule.  Just kidding…you really have to be 21 years old.  Now it is true that in Mexico the legal drinking age is 18 years old.  So by all means you 18 to 20 year olds have your legal drinking fun in Mexico but remember on the ship you have to be 21.

There is a section on the ship that is for adults only.  Yes, you may think that 18 is an adult and how it’s completely unfair to be looked at as still a child but it is what it is.  The Serenity area is for 21 year old or older to go.  No, you may not be over 21 and think it’s ok to bring your child up to the Serenity area because after all “they are well behaved children.”  Even with a parent or guardian no one under the age of 21 is allowed.

It’s all fun and games in Las Vegas if you are 21 years old but on the ship you only have to be 18!  That’s right, gambling in international waters is legal for any person 18 or over.  If you are going to gamble at any legal age please gamble responsibly.  You lose all your money that’s on you and age is no excuse. Parents you may not have your children in the casino.  It’s the rule at all casinos so don’t make a big deal about it on the cruise ship.

Dance club for anyone under the age of 18 is a no go after 10:00 p.m.  Sorry 17 year old you will have to put your dancing shoes away.  You also cannot attend the late comedy shows if you are under the age of 18.  Please be aware of the age groups for the Carnival kids clubs. Club O2 is for kids ages 15-17 years old.  Circle C is for ages 12-14.  Camp Ocean is for ages 2 to 11.

The Breeze has a ton of fun activities for kids of all ages.  Find the things that are right for you and are age appropriate.  Sorry not all of you are as old as me so you can’t do it all.  I guess if I’m going to be way old it comes with some privileges.

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T – Taste Bar

Well hello there.  Happy day to you and an early Happy Mother’s Day.  The month of May is turning out to be quite busy and extremely productive.  Along with my trusty partner in crime Scott we will be crushing it this month.

Let’s take a moment to talk about food. I know a ton of information has been about food.  But I say what’s a little more.

Located in the center of the Ocean Plaza located on deck 5 Promenade you will find the Taste Bar. What is the Taste Bar you might be asking yourself? Let’s find out.  Every morning the Taste Bar has a small continental breakfast for people that don’t want the food in the dining room, lido, or room service.  Last December the hours for the Taste Bar continental breakfast were 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on sea days and varied on times for port days.  Of course the easiest way to find out the time is to look at your Fun Times under the food section.

On embarkation and sea days the Taste Bar also offers “tastes” of restaurants found on board.  These are appetizer sized portions of food from Red Frog Pub, Cucina del Capitano, Bonsai Sushi, and Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse. There is a menu posted at the Taste Bar so you can read what they have before grabbing a plate.

One of the best parts of the continental breakfast is that you can step right outside, sit under an umbrella, and watch the sea while you eat.  Oh did I mention that this is at no additional cost?  That’s right all of the food from the continental breakfast to the restaurant samplings is free.

Until next week my people……

 

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S – Seuss

Happy Monday!  We have had a busy filled week but managed to find time to play some Batman Lego 3 on Xbox.  Yep, we call that quality time.  Any game harder than Lego and this girl is not so good or I guess you could say super bad.

We are all the way up to the letter “S”.  I don’t want anyone to panic I have plenty of ideas for the remaining weeks before the cruise. If we are going to talk the letter “s” then we have to talk about Dr. Seuss.  Carnival Cruise Line has joined with the Dr. Seuss brand to bring passengers Seuss at Sea.

Even though it is geared toward the kids Scott and I have found it to be a lot of fun for adults or adult aged people.  Scott doesn’t like being called an adult.  During the week of the cruise there are different events that are held for the Seuss lover in all of us.

There is the Seuss-A-Palooza Parade where the kids march around the ship with the Seuss characters playing instruments.  We like to sit at the Ocean Plaza on deck 5 and watch the little ones with their bells and triangles.

Dr. Seuss Bookville is a library filled with fun furniture, bright colors, and of course books.  It’s a happy place for all those young readers.  As a matter of fact I think i would love Bookville to be in our home.

Located at the Fun Shop online you can purchase Dr. Seuss items and also room decorations.  How fun would it be to have the kids walk into their cabin the first day with Seuss decorations welcoming them.  There are quite a few options available so make some time and go online to check it out.

There is one event that happens on the ships that Scott and I enjoy so much.  For the low price of $5 a person you can go to the character breakfast.  When on the ship there is usually a table setup by the Lido entrance where you can sign up for the breakfast.  We do it the first day right after we board. It is so much freaking fun!  The menu is different then anything you have eaten all week and simply delicious.  There is a big Cat in the Hat ice sculpture and fun decorations everywhere you look.  The Seuss characters go table to table taking pictures with everyone and Thing 1 & Thing 2 like to stir up a little trouble.  It’s all in good fun.  Each guest gets a passport that the characters stamp as a souvenir.  I highly recommend going to the breakfast.  As a matter of fact, we will be attending this event again in December.

Just when you thought a cruise sounded like so much fun and no vacation could get any better, here comes Dr. Seuss.  If you have kids then you definitely don’t want them to miss a moment of the fun.

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