From: Charles on
In article <7t353tFjf5U1(a)>, Sue Mullen
<kjmullen(a)> wrote:

> We enjoy the lounges, listening to music, but
> can't do that on Carnival because of the smoke which makes my asthma act
> up.

My smokey cruise on Carnival was in 2005. The other cruise lines I have
been on have shrunk their smoking areas in the last five years.
Hopefully Carnival has done the same.

From: Charles on
In article <VY0bn.6623$5n.3320(a)newsfe23.iad>, Nonny <somebody(a)>

> Speaking of eggs, Becca, the Carnival Legend had two omelet/fried
> egg stations each breakfast, and each station had 3 skillets for a
> total of 6. On the Ryndam, there was precisely one station and it
> had one skillet. OTOH, the Ryndam offered a waffle station where
> you could get small, fresh, waffles topped with cream and many
> fruits. The best part was the Ryndam's Eggs Benedict station.
> There, a fellow would toast muffins, top them with poached eggs
> and any number of meats or veggies, complete with a great
> Hollandaise sauce. They were of restaurant quality, the selection
> was terrific and of course, they were fresh.

On the Celebrity Constellation that I was on recently they had at least
two omelet and fried eggs stations with multiple skillets, a waffle and
pancake station, a Frittata station, and a poached egg station where
they did Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine etc. The Celebrity setup was
better than the HAL setup on Westerdam.

From: Sue Mullen on

Charles wrote:
> In article <7t353tFjf5U1(a)>, Sue Mullen
> <kjmullen(a)> wrote:
>> We enjoy the lounges, listening to music, but
>> can't do that on Carnival because of the smoke which makes my asthma act
>> up.
> My smokey cruise on Carnival was in 2005. The other cruise lines I have
> been on have shrunk their smoking areas in the last five years.
> Hopefully Carnival has done the same.

Our last Carnival cruise was Oct. 2008. A lot of the Carnival lounges
are very small and even making smaller smoking areas would not help.
Because of the size and type of ventalation system, the lounges would
have to be non-smoking. Other cruise lines have larger lounges where a
non-smoking section works.

From: Brian K on
Nonny consulted a Magic 8 Ball and declared On 2/1/2010 1:40 PM:
> After Christmas and New Year's holidays, we enjoy taking a cruise, and
> that's enhanced when the cruise is with family members. During the
> fall, we knew that our daughter couldn't join us because she was
> expecting her first child, but our son and his two girls were happy to
> join us. Then, in conversation with a former grade school classmate,
> we invited her to join us as well. George Leppla handled the
> reservations, and it was done perfectly, as always. The plan
> initially had been to go to Tampa for a few days at Busch Gardens
> before the cruise, with our son and the girls joining us the evening
> before embarkation. As luck would have it, on the 4th, I had a fall
> down our stairs and broke my collar bone in a few places. The
> resulting X-rays, tests, consultations etc. wasted the better part of
> the rest of the week, so we dropped the Busch Gardens part, traveling
> straight to the Embassy Suites Downtown in Tampa for the night before
> embarkation.
> Our plans were enhanced a bit by the fact that when we returned, we
> planned to disembark the Legend and embark HAL's Ryndam for another
> 2-weeks of cruising. There were two BIG surprises on that segment of
> the plans, but I'll save that for the Ryndam report.
> The Embassy Suites Downtown is a $25 cab ride from TIA, but well worth
> the price compared to the hassles of a shuttle. In addition, with one
> arm in a sling, tied to my waist, I needed all the help we could
> muster. The hotel itself was pleasant and as expected. We always try
> to stay at Embassy Suites, and this was a good way to begin our trip.
> Our son, Chris, had arrived earlier with the girls, so we met him in
> the coffee shop for a sandwich that evening. Our last arrival didn't
> get to Tampa until 10:30p, so she just headed for the room and we saw
> her in the morning.
> Embarkation for the Legend was smooth. The only hassle was the home
> printed luggage tags. This was the first experience with them and
> while I'd brought tape, we found that a stapler is now a needed
> addition to the luggage. The porter had one, thank goodness, and when
> the bags arrived in the cabin, all still had the tags on them. Our
> friend was at the Purser's Desk, however, that evening and said she
> spotted over 25 "untagged" suitcases waiting to be identified and
> claimed.
> Our cabin consisted of two typical beds, separated by a night stand, a
> couch with mattress on it for a third person and a fold-down bunk for
> the 4th. While there were 4 adults in our cabin, it was not crowded
> and nobody got in anyone's way. Our son's cabin was also
> comfortable. Both were very clean, tidy and well maintained. TOWEL
> ANIMALS were in evidence every night, which we enjoyed.
> The overall cleanliness, maintenance and appearance of the Legend was
> terrific. It felt like a new ship. All the elevators were working,
> there was virtually no wait to get one and our rear quarter cabin was
> perfect to go right up to the Lido deck or down to the dining room.
> All decks were accessible without having to go "up and over" some
> feature like we had on the old Westerdam and now on the Ryndam.
> Our cabin steward was invisible, but the cabin was always made up
> perfectly while we were at breakfast and freshened up again in the
> afternoon and turned down at bedtime. There were plenty of toiletries
> in the bath and plenty of towels. The shower was always cleaned and
> wiped down each day.
> One of the important things, to us, is the food on a cruise. After the
> Legend, I worry that other cruises will be able to live up to the
> wonderful food we had. Despite what we ordered from the menu, it was
> always perfectly prepared, sauces were appropriate and flavorful,
> service was rapid and accurate, desserts were great, portions were
> perfect for us, food was available for the grandkids and served
> promptly while the adult dining was more leisurely and there was
> entertainment almost every night. Everything was tastefully done, fun
> and the dining room folk seemed to actually enjoy the songs or dances,
> compared to the horrible "God blezz Amelica" cigarette lighter
> routines from the past. At the risk of overstating our satisfaction
> with the dining room, it was undoubtedly the best food, service and
> entertainment we'd encountered in our cruising history, and perhaps
> the opposite of what was to come on the Ryndam.
> An annoyance on most cruises is the photographers forcing people to
> wait in line to be admitted to a function , embarking or going
> ashore. On the Legend, photographers were everywhere, but we were
> never forced into a line to get our "welcome aboard," "welcome to
> Tampa" or similar photos taken. During the formal nights in
> particular, there were perhaps a dozen different photographers and
> backdrops, but they were peripheral to the flow of the people and were
> not obtrusive.
> Something I've commented upon in the past is the sincerity and
> attitude of the crew on a cruise line. There are happy ships,
> indifferent ships and unhappy, mismanaged, ships. The Legend was a
> Happy Ship in the fullest implication of the term. From the young
> person wiping the railings of salt spray to the head waiter, to the
> bus boy to the cabin steward, the people seemed to be genuinely happy
> and appreciative of our business. The ship arrived in ports on time,
> access for handicapped people to tenders or gangways was terrific and
> there was never a sense of being rushed. Everything worked as it should.
> Our Legend cruise ended back in Tampa on schedule, but since we
> planned to just transfer to the Ryndam, we disembarked very late to
> give other passengers more time and knowing that we'd just be waiting
> for the Ryndam to begin embarkation. We asked our porter if he'd take
> the luggage to the other terminal: just around the other side of the
> Aquarium, which he did. It sure saved having to drag the cases
> ourselves, and particularly since I had the broken, strapped-down
> shoulder. As it was, the transfer was just a short, enjoyable walk
> and we soon were in the other terminal. I'll continue with a separate
> Ryndam post later on.
Thanks for your cruise report. Sorry to hear of your injury. We stayed
at one of those Extended Stay hotels in what's called the Airport area.
It was a nice hotel. Our embarkation was on a Sunday. Most of Tampa is
like a ghost town on a Sunday. We opted to take a cab to the port,
since there wasn't any traffic to speak of, we were at the port in under
20 minutes. As opposed to a stay downtown, the savings was
considerable. For any embarkation on a Sunday, a stay in this part of
town doesn't take away from travel time to port.

To email me, Edit "blog" from my email address.
Brian M. Kochera
"The poor dog is the firmest of friends, the first to welcome the foremost to defend" - Lord Byron

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From: *muz* on

"Becca" <becca(a)> wrote in message
: Stu wrote:
: > Well since you asked Ray, I live in a large block with a great deal of
: > seniors. About 90% cruise, they mostly use Cunard, Holland, Oceania ,
: > Norwegian, and quite a few take Princess because they cater to the
: > older population. I'm apprised weekly of how great they treat seniors,
: > I mention Carnival and they say it's for family's with kids. Like you
: > said, it's our preference after all we pay the bill.
: >
: The average age on Princess is probably younger than you think. IMO,
: the cruise line for people with children of all ages is Royal
: Caribbean. They have more activities for young folks.
: Becca

If I liked the climate of Florida year-round, we'd probably make the Space
Coast our retirement home. As it is, I LOVE snow... a northern clime's
typical winter. Hubby despises it... Even throughout the ordeal of driving
upon treacherous roadways, we still drive the 2M mile round-trip trek to
Floridian ports for some of our favorite cruises. Not disregarding any
other line, Royal Caribbean happens to have a product we both relish. Why
drive? For the best company, my husband wins, hands down.

Regarding Royal Caribbean, the children, toddler-to-teen, on RCCL sailings
have a total immersion of the cruising experience with Adventure Ocean, from
both fantasy and a nature habitat point of view. They become Royal
Promenade entertainers and guardians, swashbuckling pirates and mermaids,
interested in sea adventure and a fresh perspective toward safeguarding
natural resources. By their curiosity of how a ship operates, they can
become aware of their own personal impact of a ship's decorum.

I gleaned much more from a 12-yr-old at our dining table than from any
steward on the ship. Their eyes and ears seemed to reflect the capabilities
of a cruise line's
responsibility to its youngest and future adult travelers.