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  1. 7 points
    Jason

    DAILY DOCK FOR SEPTEMBER, 2018

    @ExpatCruise and All, Regardless of political views, this IS NOT the place for politics. Let me repeat that - We are not here for politics .. but cruising. That is it. Anyone who has a concern on this policy (see sections 1, 8, 12, 14 in our Guidelines, link is below) can contact me directly. https://www.cruisecrazies.com/cruisecrazies-community-guidelines/ Consider this the first and FINAL warning regarding politically divisive content (such as what was posted above which will be dealt with).
  2. 6 points
    Jason

    A Welcome Message From Jason, Founder

    Welcome New Members! Hello and thanks for joining our tight-knit cruising family. We encourage you to post your questions, advice, experiences or anything at all about cruising. If you're new to cruising, don't hesitate to ask the questions you may have - All questions are good ones! If you're an experienced cruiser, perhaps you'd like to help answer questions on the forums, post comments to articles, create and manage your own Cruise Blog or Group, offer advice to others, or exchange cruising stories; There is something here for everyone. Again, welcome to CruiseCrazies and we hope to see you posting often.
  3. 5 points
    Jan115

    DAILY DOCK FOR APRIL, 2018

    As promised, my review is up in the Cruise Review section: CruiseCrazies Panama Cruise It's a long one, so grab a Bahama Mama, a comfy seat, and enjoy the ride. I've also uploaded photos to my computer, and will be posting some in the Photo Albums section here on Crazies. In the meantime, here is a photo of our CruiseCrazies from our Bon Voyage dinner together.
  4. 5 points
    Those who have cruised before know what a popular place the ship's buffet is on embarkation day. It's as though 3,000 cruisers arrive on board and haven't eaten in days. Eager, hungry vacationers line up at the door, squirt the required antibacterial lotion into the palms of their hands, fill their plates, and search for the grand prize: a seat at which to enjoy their lunch - all while carefully and steadily balancing plates and cups along the way. Depending on the ship and venue, it can be a very organized affair in a spacious area, or it can be a crowded and confusing place, overrun with fellow diners in search of food and table. Instead of beginning your cruise flustered from the crowds bumping to and fro, why not head to the dining room for a leisurely lunch . Most ships have at least one dining room or other alternative dining area open for those who would like a more relaxed meal. For instance, when cruising on the larger Princess ships, my husband and I like to grab a bite to eat at the International Cafe after boarding and eat in the nearby Piazza, while listening to the string quartet or jazz ensemble that might be performing. We're not really interested in filling ourselves with a lot of food at the moment we board. After all, there will be plenty more where that came from in the days ahead!
  5. 5 points
    We have said this many times, but we really, really mean it. We love to cruise! Jerry and I took a long, overdue vacation to visit my family on the east coast. All said and done, we spent more money on this vacation than we have ever spent on a cruise. Between the hotels, car rental, food, and gasoline (not counting airfare because we would have to fly to cruise), ... you get the picture. AND the food was terrible. Okay, maybe not terrible, but for the amount of money that we paid ... shame on the restaurants. $3.50 for a cup of coffee (plain) and it was TERRIBLE coffee. I'm glad we got to see my mom and my siblings I'm glad that the weather was beautiful and we got some magnificent pictures of cherry trees and green yards (brown is the color in Tucson). I'm glad that we got to go to Atlantic City (Lost, Lost, Lost so we won't elaborate). And, I am super glad that we are going on a cruise in September!!! Great to be a fan of cruising.
  6. 5 points
    Eph60

    You think your stateroom is small

    I know none of the staterooms on a cruise ship are gigantic. Even a suite is smaller then say a suite in a hotel. The storage is actually pretty good and the rooms can be comfortable. Now think about the crew rooms. The smallest passenger room is much larger then a crew cabin. The number of people in a crew cabin depends on your rank. Of course the captain would have the biggest room. The majority of crew members are 4 or 5 to a room. Lower ranked officers have 2 to a room. The general crew will have a couple bunk beds in their room and they will have a stand up locker for their clothes and personal items. There may be a small desk or a table that they all can sit at. There will be a small TV. If all crew members are in the room at the same time the room is totally filled up. There is one small bathroom that they all share and the shower is basicaly about half the size of the shower in the passenger cabins. I was an officer that shared a room There was a bunk bed in the room and I could literally spread my arms and reach both walls side to side in the room. The room was about 10 feet long. The extra space past the bed was taken up by our locker and the bathroom. Now you know why a crew member would rather be working or in the rec room on a ship then spend time in their room.Their room is to sleep in, clean up and change clothes and that is it.
  7. 5 points
    Two minor, yet fun updates to the settings available to all members: 1. A new profile field titled "Cruising Since." As the name implies, it shows the year you took your first cruise. If you had previously entered a full date (year, month, day) of your first cruise within your profile, it has been converted to show the year only. Your "cruising since" date will now be visible next to all of your forum posts along with other helpful, fun information. Update this field and the rest of your profile here. Example: 2. "Like This" daily limits increased. Previously there was a low limit to the number of times you could click the "Like This" button in a day. It didn't make sense to have this limit since clicking the button is a way to help identify helpful, valuable, or fun content and helping identify such content shouldn't be limited. Now each member can hit the "Like This" button many more times per day, helping highlight the best content on the site more than before. Here's what the button looks like, I encourage you to all click it whenever you come across something that deserves it!
  8. 5 points
    StaRed

    May 14, 2012

    Cruising the Inside Passage. Serenade of the Seas.

    © Larry Reno

  9. 4 points
    We were on the NCL Dawn out of New Orleans and visited the port and new covered dock on Jan, 02, 2017. We were very impressed with this private port of call. Had a great beach, pool, zip lines, bars, restaurants, etc. A host of activities are available. We were told the port will eventually be used by other cruise lines.
  10. 4 points
    Shari2

    DAILY DOCK FOR APRIL 2019

    Hi! I want to thank you for the cards. I can`t talk. Just want to tell you I,m alright . Just want to I`m staying with husband who has been wonderful through this whole thing.
  11. 4 points
    Hi Everyone, Excited to announce the immediate release of several new features - All designed to increase activity throughout our community and recognize those adding the most value. Details: 1. Member Referrals - Get credit for referring new members! Share and send your unique signup link to others via email, social media. Receive credit when they use the link to join Access your custom referrer link from the new "Referrer" tab on your profile or Account Settings Don't have the url handy? Give others your Member name and they can enter it on the signup form View all your referred Members on the new "Referrer" tab on your profile 2. Top Content Posters - View who's posting the most! View the ranking of our Members who have posted the most The Top 8 Members are visible by Week/Month/Year The ranking is visible from the right side column of the Forum Index Page 3. Member of the Month - Recognizing our most active Members! To recognize our most active & helpful Members, someone will be selected monthly as the "Member of the Month" The Member of the Month will be promoted across our website, social media, our eNewsletter and more To be eligible: Post/share/comment and refer new Members using your referral url explained above To kick start this new feature, submit your nomination for October. The winner will be announced next month! Thanks for your continuous support in doing your part to keep the conversation going and in promoting our growing community. Any questions, just shout!
  12. 4 points
    With all the new members we've been getting , maybe some of you would like to introduce yourselves. We are a very friendly group and love new members. We have many members who are very experienced cruisers and are glad to answer any and all questions. So, just introduce yourselves and feel free to ask away. I'm Cheryl and I live in So. Florida, about 20 minutes from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale. We 've been on many cruises, all of them either with Carnival or Royal Caribbean. We are baby boomers and have recently become empty nesters, very happily. We've done a lot of 7 day cruises in the past but now we do the 3 or 4 day cruises. Hoping that some of our new members will become regulars around here. The more the merrier.
  13. 4 points
    Hmmm - July in Greece. Yeah the deck is going to be steamy. OK, am I the only one who thinks that these lawsuits have gotten out of hand? I'll throw him a bone, though. Maybe it was his first cruise and didn't know how hot pool decks can actually get. Either way, I would think that someone who can't feel anything on the bottom of his feet would keep his feet protected no matter what the case. He says he didn't want to go to the hospital so he wouldn't ruin the vacation for his family. If that were my husband with roasted skin dangling off his feet, I would have insisted they get him off the ship ASAP!
  14. 4 points
    Not money but convenience...... Pack some wire (dry cleaner) coat hangers, as there are never enough in the closets. Bring a small night light or, most bathroom doors are not tight at the bottom so leave the light on and it works. If you have a stateroom with a card slot at the door to allow lights to be turned on, use a business card instead of the room key and just leave it in.
  15. 4 points
    dentru

    DAILY DOCK FOR MAY, 2018

    Let me tell you the story of how my wife and I met MaryLou and Jim. About 15 years ago, I was online and MaryLou posted - anyone else from PA going on this cruise - it was the old Celebrity Galaxy out of Baltimore. We corresponded back and forth and decided to meet on embarkation day. It was near the 4th of July - she said she would be wearing a sparking red, white, and blue top. I found her in the terminal - Judy and I spent lots of time with them on that cruise and have cruised with them often since. Our favorite was to Bermuda on Summit (same ship she was on when she passed away) for their 50th wedding anniversary. We spent time onshore with them as well, visiting them at their home often where she always cooked up a storm and treated us royally - and in the summer Jim would barbecue for us. We would meet for lunches and they would visit us as well. Another great cruise with them was on Celebrity Eclipse for 14 days where we took turns taking care of the Crazie Bear - making sure she was dressed to the nines for formal nights. MaryLou always had great advice for tour operators for shore excursions NOT via the cruise line, but private companies. She was the expert - she will be missed - but there are memories we will have for a lifetime.
  16. 4 points
    When it comes to cruising, many of you know I have no issues just letting it all hang out. Well, I do put my belt on to suck some of it in, but when it comes to deck parties and night-life on the high seas you can bet your bottom dollar that yours truly, his whistle and party crew will be in the house ready to BAA-RING DA NOISE! A conversation I had with a fan inspired this post and I hope the words I shared with her would also encourage you to jump out of your comfort zone and live life to the fullest! YOLO! So there I was a few months ago sitting in the karaoke lounge sailing on Carnival Glory. A fan of the blog approached and struck up a conversation with me. She was saying how she couldn't understand how I could get up in front of so many people and not seem to care what they thought of me; if they were laughing at me and even wanted to know how I "showed my face" around the ship the next morning. I simply told her this, "I stopped caring what people had to say about me when I realized no matter if I pleased 1 or 1 million, everyone was not going to like everything I did - which is fine by me. I also realize that I will never see most of the people on this cruise ever again in my life... so why not give them a show?" She began to nod and laugh. I said, "You only get one shot to live this life here on earth, so why not spend your days laughing hard, cuttin' a rug and showing others they too don't have to just sit there but can join in!" She soon grabbed her teenage daughter, brought her to the karaoke lounge and together they took the stage singing Coldplay's smash hit, "Viva la Viva!" I gave them both a standing ovation and the mother told me, "I did it because I took what you said to heart!" I have walked into many nightclubs on cruises where people aren't dancing and the mood needs to be that of a club and not a community music sitting center. So with all the dance floor space I see, I round up my crew, we jet for the floor and GET IT INNNN! Then before I know it, others are joining us asking if they can hang with us while we're in the club. That's when I realized that when cruising people can get so caught up into what everyone else is thinking of them, they allow strangers to hinder themselves from having a great time. Is that you? Stop that right now if it is! Yes, now I do know that not everyone is an extrovert and/or is comfortable with displaying goofy moments in poolside games, vocal abilities at karaoke or even their gaming skills in the casino, but I do know that we all have a chance to use a cruise to help us step outside of our comfort zone, wouldn't you agree? I mean come on, you eat all that food when everyone is looking (you may not even know it sometimes, but people are watching), so why not put on a show for 'em?! Next time you hit the high seas, don't let your shy and bashful side get the best of you - shine like the brightest star in galaxies and let the ship know YOU know how to bring the noise! As always, you're cruisetacular for reading and I have nothing but love for ya! Keep cruising and grooving--Shon!
  17. 4 points
    I may be all smiles in this pic, but there is a side of me that comes out from time to time that includes arms-folded, inverted eyebrows and an attitude ready to usher you into the ocean . I wear a smile with every out-fit I put on - especially when a cruise ship is involved (who wouldn't?)! But there is a point when not even a cruise ship can keep a smile on my face and it has to do with people. After 30 cruises, I still am amazed that I am blessed to enjoy a traveling luxury - such as a cruise ship - as often as I do. You know I thank God every time I board a ship because I could have easily been the unfortunate man on the sidewalk asking for money or a meal. I just stand amazed! I went from not having a lot to now being able to be spoiled like a prince. I remembered my first cruise like it was yesterday. I just about couldn't hold myself together. The food, the cool people and most importantly the beautiful, sacred connection I was able to find with The Lord. I soon hit this weird phase in my cruising history. You start talking about the paint job the ship needs, the color of the carpet and even how slow the cabin stewards are at getting you a fresh towel. You begin reaching a point where you become a ship snob and boy did I used to be one! You complain out this... and that. Then you start comparing this ship to another ship and wish it was bigger, or not as many people or pray for more activities to do. Well if you were like me, a few years ago, I have two words for you: SHUT UP! Your negative attitude is poisoning the fun that's supposed to be experienced onboard! Take it from a guy who used to RUN HIS TRAP about everything wrong... it doesn't help anything. Honestly, you're traveling in style complaining about some food when there's a kid in Haiti who is wondering the streets right now trying to find food, shelter and protection from predators. Like really? But that hamburger could be less burnt though? Right... If it could, go get another one. Gosh, you act like you haven't paid for the food. You have world class crew members working for YOUR amusement. They leave their family and friends behind for months at a time to hear you complain because they didn't turn down your bed twice in a day? They do not get paid enough to feel both a Caribbean breeze and your hot breath. One is enough and it ain't the latter. Do you even turn down your own bed down at home twice a day? Oh and you must use like a million towels at home too right, because the cabin stewards needs to change them everyday? Put yourself in the shoes of those who are less fortunate than you. The people work non-stop around the clock, for YOU. It would be nice to give them a break every now and then you know? I started meeting with my cabin steward the day I get on and tell them straight up - I don't need turn down service, in fact, I don't need day time service. Just give me the daily activities agenda and and high-five every time I see ya! I am tired of hearing about the things YOU hate about a ship. What is there to hate? You have literally 5 star everything compared to the girl who was just captured and forced into female prostitution. The mouths of complaining and nit-picky cruisers is THE thing I hate about cruising! Please, if you're going to complain, just run back to your cabin and tell someone who will actually care (they'll be looking at you in the mirror). Now I'm not saying you should not rightfully speak up when something like theft of your belongings or something fatal happens and the cruise line is at fault. By all means, please speak up when necessary, but know that you not getting chocolate on your pillow at night is no excuse to just hear yourself bark. Save your breath for all the screaming you'll do at the sailaway deck party! Give it a go. Be a global citizen who understands and tries to help those who've been working for 14 hours straight feeling exhausted and still wears that smile like nothing's even wrong. Stop complaining. Shut up because nobody gives a cup... of coffee! Until we talk ship again, keep cruising and grooving. You know you're cruisetacular for reading and I have nothing but love for ya!
  18. 4 points
    Huntm

    How It All Started

    Hey everyone! This is my first blog here and I am super excited!! I stumbled across this site by chance and loved it! I hope my blogs will offer you some valuable tips as well as some fun entertainment. I have never been a writer… nor thought I ever would be. I am a small town Texas girl who fell in love with cruising. The first time I saw the ocean, a magical calm came over me -- and it has been calling my name ever since. I can’t break that spell. Going to the ocean is my escape. I am by no means an expert, but researching cruises and information when I am on land fuels my passion and allows me to keep sane (somewhat) until my next cruise rolls around. So this is how it all got started…. Our son was not quite 3. My husband and I never took a “real” honeymoon and were approaching our 5 year anniversary. To put it mildly… we were broke, but desperately needed to get away. Thankfully, a good ‘ole Texas spring storm came through and took down what was left of our sad, pitiful fence in the backyard. When we received the money from the insurance company to replace the fence, I got the bright idea that if we cooked some hamburgers and bought some beer, my husband and his friends could replace the fence themselves and save us a TON of money. (You’re welcome honey!) We could use what we saved to go on vacation! Brilliant… I know! My husband wanted to go to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. However, I was doing the research. Everything was so expensive… and all we had was leftover fence money! It looked like we could go to an all-inclusive resort, but we would have no money left over to actually DO anything. The extent of our vacation would be to drink ourselves silly on watered down drinks on a beach somewhere. Let’s be honest here… after a day or two…that would suck OR we could take a cruise. We would have enough money left over to still drink ourselves silly AND go on excursions in all 3 ports. Neither of us are ones to be bored so I thought this was the best deal! So I booked it. Non-refundable, of course. I casually brought up the idea of a cruise to Mark (that’s my husband), thinking he would love the idea! This cruise thing sounded so like us! His response…no way on this earth was he ever getting on a boat for 7 days. Period. Hmmm… what to do? What to do? … I couldn’t tell him I already spent all our money and I had no way of getting it back. I knew what was best for him… I just needed to figure out a way for him to know it too! I’m not one to lie, so I thought it best to say we couldn’t afford to do the Mexico thing so we were going to go to Galveston instead. I packed his bags (formal night clothes and all… cause that’s how awesome I am) and we set off. Somewhere down the lonely stretch of road to Galveston from Fort Worth, I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer and let it slip that we were going on a cruise. Oh my Gracious! It got ugly in that car! By the time we reached Galveston we weren’t speaking. He finally agreed to get on the boat (thankfully because otherwise, I wouldn’t have had a ride home in a week!), but we were getting a divorce when we got off! True story. Then something magical happened. We had the time of our lives!! The cruise ship was more than we could have ever imagined. We were upgraded from an inside cabin… to one with a porthole! We thought we had hit the lottery. Not even the waves crashing against the boat and threatening to come through the wall at any moment or the ridiculous vibration from the thrusters could spoil our fun! There was stuff to do everywhere! (Food, shows, shopping, casino, nightclubs, pools.) We fell in love with each other all over again!! Sappy… I know! We were already looking for the next cruise to book as soon as we got home. See…. I knew I was right! That cruise in fact, probably saved our marriage. And so it began. Years later, we are still setting off together for our adventures at sea (only now he is a willing participant… minus the time I tried to move us all to St. Thomas, but that’s another blog… and now we can afford them!) I look forward to sharing our cruising adventures with all of you!
  19. 4 points
    y An engine fire ... a cruise ship dead in the sea without the power to provide the basic of needs. A pleasant ocean escape to the Caribbean becomes a bad cruise to nowhere. Such was the picture on board the Carnival Triumph on its 4-day sailing last week. The unpleasant details of life on board that cruise need not be repeated here. We've all seen the video footage and heard the news reports. When the disabled ship finally reached the dock in Mobile, Alabama, greeted by 200 Carnival personnel who would assist in getting the tired passengers home, TV cameras were on hand to fill us in with more images and interviews of anyone willing to talk, providing sensationalized news coverage at its best - playing off other people's misery. The sorry thing is that the general public sitting at home on their couch eats this stuff up, only encouraging more of this. Such is journalism, I guess. Who do I feel sorry for the most? The first-time cruiser. Imagine you're embarking on your first cruise. You've been on the fence for a long time about cruise travel, but you decide to make the leap, choosing a nice, short 4-day Caribbean cruise to get your feet wet, so to speak. You're all relaxed, you've found your way around the ship, having a great time, thinking - yeah- this is pretty nice. Suddenly, you learn that a small fire has broken out in the ship's engine room. Although it has been quickly contained, the fire has knocked out most of the electrical power to the ship. The vessel has crawled to a halt, aimlessly adrift, and you soon discover that there is no air conditioning, no running water, no working toilets, and no hot food. The ship is slowly being towed to dock in Mobile. It's an agonizingly slow process, with wind, sea currents and a busted tow line impeding the way. You are told it will take days to reach land. Gone is your dream cruise vacation. Instead, you find yourself on a floating sewage barge. Some first cruise. You tell yourself you should have trusted your instincts and picked that all-inclusive resort. Here, on this ship, there's no escape. Despite what some passengers have said to the contrary, Carnival seems to have fairly and adequately compensated its passengers. Each passenger was given a full refund, paid transportation home, and a future cruise credit. I don't know what else they could have done to satisfy their passengers, short of giving them a fully-paid cruise - on Carnival or any other line the customer chooses. The real shining stars of this cruise are the crew of Triumph. Stories abound of crew members who never ceased to smile, offered words of comfort, remained professional, and otherwise made the best of a bad situation. They are to be commended and, I hope, appropriately compensated for their efforts. The same cannot be said for Carnival. Assuring the safety and comfort of its paying customers is, or should be, the cruise line's #1 priority. Regrettably, Carnival dropped the ball on this one. It was unnecessary and inexcusable for cruise passengers to be exposed to the foul conditions caused by the power failure. It was reported at one point that there were five working toilets for 4,000 souls on board - far from comfortable. What could Carnival have done to better assist its passengers during this unfortunate journey, and what steps could the line take to prevent another incident like this in the future? Dare I say that some of the following suggestions may seem elementary and overly simplistic, but I can't help myself. Perhaps the cruise line should have reconsidered evacuation of passengers, even if some risk was involved. Surely, somewhere a ship could be found to make the transfer, at least giving passengers the option of getting away. Portable toilets. It sounds like a ridiculous idea onboard a mega ship, but I have to ask. Why don't cruise ships have a supply of porta potties stored away on board for emergencies such as this? Not possible? Drop 'em in by helicopter. Portable generators - huge ones. I don't pretend to know the inner workings of getting electrical power to all areas of the ship. I only know that when average Joe Homeowner has a power outage, he powers up his portable generator. There must be a large-scale way to do the same on a super-sized cruise ship. Lifeboats. Why are they there, if not for evacuation of cruise ship passengers. Bobbing at sea in a lifeboat at sea might be preferable to conditions on the ship - at least to some folks - no matter how risky it might be. Above all, an emergency back-up plan. With each new ship comes bigger sights, bigger sounds, bigger everything - requiring big power. It would seem that cruise lines would have in place adequate back-up power relative to the size of the ship it is selling to its customers. In the meantime, while the potential for litigation brews, investigation of Triumph's engines are under way. Reports of past engine problems have prompted discussions of whether or not the ship should have sailed in the first place. Time will tell. Just as the Costa Concordia forced changes to safety and security all throughout the cruise industry, so may Carnival re-examine its response to shipboard emergencies as relates to passenger safety and comfort. At least I would hope so. What about that first-time cruiser? Will he choose to cruise again, or has this hellish five-day cruise to nowhere turned him off to cruise vacations forever? If you were to pole the veteran cruisers on board that cruise, asking if they would continue to cruise, I would bet the majority would say "hell, yeah!" Hundreds of ships sail every year without a single major incident. Nevertheless, just like any other form of travel, incidents and accidents sometimes occur. Some of them may be simple annoyances, some may be terrible ordeals, and every now and then one may even result in fatality. Each one can be a learning experience for all involved. For the cruise line, it is a way to change, improve and correct that which is faulty. Just as the old hippy expression says: ***t happens. There is an abundance of seaworthy ships, and there are fascinating places to explore. Opportunities for new discoveries are as endless as the sea. So get back out there, trump the Triumph travesty, and choose to cruise! To read more of my personal cruise and travel stories, visit my blog: Seven Sea Journeys at CruiseCrazies.com
  20. 4 points
    The Carnival Triumph safely returned to port after an ordeal at sea. I’m happy to say that, during the intense media coverage on CNN and other networks—which I was corralled into—passengers unanimously praised the tireless hard work and positive attitude of the crew. There were many horror stories about poor sanitation on the crippled ship. Alas, these are not always relegated to disaster. Allow me to share a particularly gross ship I worked on for months. We crew endure this for you, dear passenger. Gross things are common on cruise ships. No, not the gastronomic atrocities occurring nonstop at the buffets—horrifying as that may be to quantify—but what lies below the waterline. Not the slimy, oil-tainted waters of the bilge, either. I’m talking about what life is like on the crew decks. Carnival Triumph recently made the news when a fire left it without propulsion, little running water, less electricity, and utterly bereft of sanitation. One passenger reported “sewage running down the walls and floors” and said travelers were being asked to defecate in bags and urinate in showers because toilets weren’t functioning. Understandably shocking, considering how rarely passengers endure such privations. The crew deal with it every day. It should be noted they bring it on themselves. Crew are generally denied food in their cabins because it invariably ends up in the toilets in a most nonbiological manner. Hiding evidence of a smuggled, late night snack is always the same: flush it. After all, there are no portholes twenty feet below the sea. But ship toilets are very, very sensitive. The crew? Not so much. When working on RCI’s Majesty of the Seas, fish bones backed up the sewage system so often that the entire aft crew deck smelled like feces. Literally. And this was where the crew kitchen and dining room were located! Oddly enough, this disposing of contraband was the only time many flushed the toilets at all. This can be partly explained by the wide variety of nationalities that compose the crew. Hygiene standards vary radically from nation to nation, but are all but absent in some developing nations. Such is the resource pool from which the cruise industry hires its labor. When first indoctrinated into crew, on day one, everyone is educated on what is required for first-world hygienic standards. They are ordered to wash daily and to use deodorant, whether they ‘need’ it or not. Many even comply. But when working a minimum of eighty hours a week without a day off for ten months straight, focus flags. On Majesty of the Seas, these men—for they were invariably so—lived in tiny, shared cabins along the main corridor leading to the crew mess. Tucked between were communal showers and toilets. Everything was crowded, everything stank. And it was stiflingly hot. Because the cooling system was also spotty, all doors were always open. Three times a day, on the way to every meal, I passed dozens of overworked zombies brushing their teeth beside toilets filled to the brim, lids wide open. A perfect appetizer for a enjoying a meal in a latrine. I learned about such things in dramatic fashion upon signing onto Majesty as a junior officer. After returning to my cabin, I discovered a man wearing officers’ whites bent over my desk, examining the contents. While there was no pretext of privacy on a cruise ship, having my own cabin had given me delusions of it. Upon hearing me enter, the man shoved the drawer shut and irritably snapped, “Cabin inspection. I have reports that you routinely order room service. This is highly improper and will not continue. We have a cockroach problem in the stern deck, and I will not have it spread into this section of the ship.” I didn’t have time to explain that I had just arrived because he brushed me aside to search my shower. Because cabin inspections were conducted by each department head and, since I was a department head, I suddenly realized the man searching my toilet was the most powerful officer beside the captain himself! He dropped the toilet lid with a slam, trying to hide his disdain behind a professional countenance. His grimace worked through. “No fish bones,” I said cheerily. He glared at me and replied, “I am seeking a shoe.” “Um… shoes?” I asked, confused. He corrected me sharply, “A shoe! The entire sewage system is backed up ship-wide because a crewman flushed a shoe down the toilet this morning.” Brian David Bruns is the best-selling author of Cruise Confidential and Ship for Brains, the latter from which the above story is taken.
  21. 4 points
    Welcome Aboard! As a CruiseCrazies Member it's very easy to exchange cruise information and meet other cruisers. We've got plenty for new and veteran cruisers alike, and lots to enjoy before your cruise, after your cruise and even if you don't have any upcoming cruises. Here are some ways you can get started.... Your Account: Customize your profile, cover photo, settings and notifications: Update Create your Forum signature Cruising: Start a cruise discussion in our most popular forum: Let's Talk Cruise Stay up to date: Cruise News, Articles, and Blogs Access our free Packing List and Tips Submit a cruise review Save Money: Preferred Agents Upload your cruise Photos Connect with Others: Start a Roll Call for your upcoming cruise Create and manage a Group Host your own Blog Introduce yourself: New Member Introductions Join us in Welcoming our Newest Members Questions? Cruise questions, planning, information: Let's Talk Cruise Website questions, issues, feedback: Contact Us
  22. 4 points
    Jason

    Forum and Navigation Updates

    Greetings All, hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Just wanted to update you on some changes that have been made to help streamline all of our forum activities. These changes have also been made to our site navigation. This is round one of some enhancements coming to CruiseCrazies in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more and if you have any questions please contact me directly so I can assist as quickly as possible. Thanks for all of your continued support everyone!! Forums whose topics have been merged into the "Lets Talk Cruise" forum - - Welcome Back! Post Cruise Discussion - Special Interest Cruising (Single Cruisers, Solo Cruisers, Cruising with Children) - Port of Call - Hotels, Resorts, and Flights Forums relocated into the "Cruise Discussion" Forums Category - - Roll Calls - Bon Voyages Forums Removed - - Testing Forum to be Removed - - Recipes will be removed by end of year so please view/print your favorites by Dec 31 Forums relocated into the "Non-Cruising" Forum Category - - Thank you Site Sponsors --> Non-Cruising
  23. 4 points
    DavidZaiser

    I love Carnival

    On March 25, I had some serious health issuess while on a sailboat off the Miami coast. There are numerous articles about it - just google - Carnival Breeze Rescue. The articles have a few errors. One, It was my friend Charlie and I on the boat. I was in pretty serious trouble and he was exhausted from trying to help me and single hand the vessel. It all ended ok and I am now safelly ensconced in in my new home in Samana, Dominican Republic. If you take a cruise that stops in our beautiful bay, let me know! The most important thing I want to correct about the articles is that I know, from listenting to the radio chat, while waiting for help, that the Captain of Breeze upon hearing the distress calls, called the coast Guard and OFFERED his assistance. Breeze was soon on the scene and we where transferred to the ship by the Coast Guard. We received the finest care and tended to a if as if we were royalty. I had two doctors and I think about five nurses. Soon after being evaluated by the doctors I was airlifted by the Coast Guard helicopter. The plucked me from the top of the ship in a basket on a cable (whew)/ They took me to Jackson Memorial where I was cared for and released a few days later. Yes I love Carnival Cruises. My first was from Tampa to the Caribbean for 7 days. The second was 5 hours on the Breeze. I will be back and enter through the front door! Thank you Captain and crew. Dave
  24. 4 points
    As seen on the Forum Index page, jacketwatch has been selected as Member of the Month for January. Larry, congratulations and thanks for all of your engagement throughout the community! Screenshot from Forum Index:
  25. 4 points
    cruzngene51

    Allure of the Seas

    Hello all my fellow cruisers, My friend Bill and I just returned from a cruise on the Allure. I just wanted to experience that large ship. It is a mammoth ship, twice as large as most of the mega ships on the sea. My favorite feature was Central Park, such a nice place to go sit and relax and people watch or just hang out. It seemed like there was less people there than anywhere else on the ship. The Boardwalk and the Promnade was also awesome. This ship truly has some unique features you don't see on all the other ships. We found the food to be great, we ate most all our meals either in the Dining room or at the Windjammer on Lido Deck. We choose not to eat at the other optional venues as they were so expensive. All of the entertainment was great except the broadway musical "Chicago" we found it to be disgusting because of all the foul language. Our favorite was the water show "Ocean Aria", next was "Blue Planet and then the Ice Games. All the shore excursions were nice but average. My one bad experience was pre-purchasing the "photo book" I ended up with a book with multiple repeats of pictures. You are suppose to be able to go to the kiosk and choose your pictures for each page but thaey only give you limited pictures to choose from. As a result I ended up replacing half of the pictures when I got home. Embarkation and Debarkation was very organized and went smooth, especially for such a large ship. After returning to Ft.Laudredale we took a shore excursion to see all the Million dollar mansions on the sea channels...that was amazing and I never knew such exisited. I would recommend you try it if you like big ships..it truly was amazing.
  26. 4 points
    Just returned this morning from a 3 day cruise on Majesty of the Seas. It was a very relaxing cruise and a very enjoyable weekend. We were lucky- the weather was absolutely perfect. We were thrilled that for a 3 day cruise, there were 2 port days- Cococay and Nassau. What thrilled us about the port days was that , since we don't get off the ship, we had a nice big little yacht to ourselves. Some of you might think we're crazy, but for us, the ship is the destination. The reason for this weekend cruise was just to relax and that we did plenty of. The food was great, as always. The shows were so- so, entertaining, but they don't , in any way, compare to the glitz and glamor of the Carnival shows. The band that played in Boleros was dynamite. Not only did they do the usual Latin music, but also a mix of 50's, 60's and 70's music. The service in the Windjammer, where we ate all our meals, was outstanding. Whenever our favorite ship, the Liberty of the Seas , is doing the Mediterranean, we sail the Majesty . It was very enjoyable and we'll probably sail her again during the summer, before the Liberty returns. Since I've already done reviews on the Majesty , I won't be doing another review right now, but if anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to post them here.
  27. 4 points
    "Dr. Cass actually took his entire office on a paid vacation, including some of their spouses." If the doctor can afford this, he can afford to lose a few days of the office being closed. He's an eye doctor, not a heart surgeon!! Just sayin'!! Get over it doc........
  28. 4 points
    timetravler

    cruising always makes us happy

    We are Eric and Bernadette. We live in the Napa Valley and love to cruise. We have done 14 cruises, all with Princess. our next cruise will be in the fall on the new Royal Princess. We can't wait We are new to cruisecrazies.
  29. 4 points
    This is a video interview (uploaded to YouTube) I did with Memo (one of the managers of Paradise Beach) on the day I hosted the Live Chat from Cozumel for the Crazies on 5/4/2013. I am still learning the editing of my new camera and software so in the future I will be uploading a better and more lengthy version.
  30. 4 points
    I can't believe you're going back in November, I'm totally jealous!! I don't get to be back there until February... but I'm counting the days. And just to add to what you said above, with your $2 wristband you also get access to their *amazing* pool! I know it sounds weird to go to a beautiful beach and lie by a pool, but I can't get enough of those lounge chairs half-submerged on that wide deck around the inside edge of the pool. SO relaxing. Oh man, I can't wait to be back there... -gina-
  31. 4 points
    I didn't want to clutter up Eph60's great thread about the views of a storm from a cruise ship he was on, so I thought I'd start a new one. Have some great pics of views from your cruise? Specifically, pictures you have taken from a cruise ship, like the view of a port from the ship, or a storm in the distance, or another ship, or whatever. I know there are some great pics out there! Here's one I took from my balcony on the Disney Magic several years ago, overlooking Charlotte Amalie harbor in St. Thomas. I had gotten up early to enjoy some coffee on the balcony, because this is one of my favorite harbors to just gaze upon. A small shower passed over the harbor, and left the most beautiful rainbow in its wake... Pictures don't do it justice -- it was a breathtaking moment. Your turn! :-) -gina-
  32. 4 points
    The cruise lines get many rediculous complaints and questions. In many cases complaints are made by people who hope they will get something free just because they complained. When complaints are made directly on the ship, if they are obvious complaints to get something free the word travels like wildfire and the service for these people will go downhill fast in hopes that they never return.
  33. 4 points
    Well said! Well done, Jason! Your comments help to lower the level of hysteria that seems to pervade the media every time there is an engineering problem or a few cases of Norovirus on a cruise ship. It's as if the media is drooling to destroy the big, evil cruise companies You are a welcome voice of cool, calm reason!
  34. 4 points
    Earlier this month I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Fran Silverman, host of "Ship to Shore Cruise Radio" talk show. It was a great 30 minute discussion which discusses the history of CruiseCrazies, why we are so unique, what we are known for, and a few blurbs on what's in the future plans for CruiseCrazies. This is just one of several media pieces dedicated to CruiseCrazies. As we continue to grow by the day, you can expect to see more coverage in the future. Listen (and view all other media coverage) here: About CruiseCrazies (Scroll towards the bottom) PRESS - CruiseCrazies Founder, Jason Taub, is available for interviews: Contact Form
  35. 4 points
    Announcing the debut of our newest blog..."The Accidental Cruiser." Written by our very own member Stacey Redish (StaRed), this fun blog will kick off with a series of recollections from Stacey's first cruise experience which was totally unplanned and the reason why she has dubbed herself "The Accidental Cruiser." Like many of us, Stacey's first cruise is what ignited her intense passion for cruising and her craving for more cruising knowledge. When she says she's hooked, she truly means it. Once Stacey finishes her blog series detailing her first cruise, she'll then begin blogging about other fun cruise experiences and memories we'll all enjoy reading. A bit more about Stacey: Stacey and her husband are both passionate about traveling and have visited over half of the fifty states including Alaska and Hawaii, along with Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Honduras, and Belize - through both traditional travel and cruising. They have stayed in several luxury resorts in and out of the country, but their preferred method of travel is cruising. Stacey will be blogging at least once a week, so be sure to check back often for updates. And after you read each blog update, she'd love to see your comments below it. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to our very own resident blogger Stacey Redish, aka "The Accidental Cruiser!" Access Stacey's blog here or from the navigation menu at the top of the page by selecting "More" and then "Blogs."
  36. 4 points
    Jason

    New: Reputation system

    One of the new features to our community is the Reputation system. A user's reputation is displayed on their profile, next to forum posts, and within member search results - It is based on the number of points a user has, which are awarded by other members. The idea is simple - Find a forum post helpful for your next cruise? "Rep It!" A user receives points when others vote on the content they have submitted to the community. Forum posts and photos all have a button that everyone can use to vote on that particular content. The purpose of the Reputation system, is to identify and distinguish helpful and informative content, as well as the authors of the content, as valuable, trusted, and reliable sources of information. Because we are a cruising community focused on cruise information, this new feature will be very helpful to our members and guests! Here are a just a few examples of content which you may find worthy of 'repping,' or awarding points: A useful tip for preparing for an upcoming cruise A recommendation for a particular hotel or shore excursion A helpful piece of advice on travel arrangements A photo that you enjoy Good to Know: Daily Reputation Limit - Each user can give 5 points in a 24 hour period Self Reps - Users cannot vote on their own content Highlighted Content - If a post or photo receives more than 5 "reps" or points, it becomes highlighted Viewing Content Points - The number of points awarded for specific content can always be seen directly below or next to the content Can View Who Gave Reputation * - This is a new benefit to CruiseCrazies Site Sponsors. Complete list of Site Sponsor benefits currently in process of being revised, will be available shortly Coming Soon: In the near future, I'll be releasing the Member Reputation Levels, along with a tool which will allow users to view those with the most reputation points. I look forward to bringing these updates to you soon. Until then, enjoy!!!
  37. 4 points
    cruisingcats

    Daily Dock for November 2010

    Ok, I just went gave several of you some reputation points by using the green plus sign on bottom right. Now you all have some reputation to talk about.
  38. 3 points
    Miranda

    DAILY DOCK FOR MAY, 2018

    Will this do Ray?
  39. 3 points
    I choose the healthy options that they offer. I drink lots of water, and have a Virgin Pina Colada or two during the whole cruise. I don't eat fried or salty foods, but I must eat chocolate desserts on a cruise with every meal. If I eat whole wheat bread for breakfast or at dinner, I don't put any butter on it. When I eat pasta, I eat the ones made with red sauce. I don't like creamy sauces. I also bring my chocolate protein bars with me because I'm up at 5am every morning and breakfast doesn't open up until 7am. I eat what they have available that's healthier, but will not make special requests to the chefs, I think that's going a little too far. I also exercise at the gym everyday, and always use the stairs, never the elevator.
  40. 3 points
    Jan115

    Panama & Caribbean, Coral Princess

    Excellent
  41. 3 points
    KeithnRita

    Bon Voyage, KeithnRita

    Thanks all for the well wishes! After our cruise we head to Siesta Key for 3 weeks on the beach!
  42. 3 points
    You need to know two things to understand the norovirus issue that plagues us every year (pardon the pun). Surprisingly, neither covers how to avoid getting it, though the second point is absolutely the single most important overlooked fact in understanding the issue. First: norovirus is not just a ship problem. In fact, it’s barely on ships at all, compared to how many land-based institutions are struck every year right in your own city. Norovirus is common throughout all of North America and Europe, being most prevalent in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and children’s day care facilities. It strikes every year. It’s so regular, in fact, it no longer incites headlines. Those are now reserved for the unusual, the exotic, such as “PLAGUE SHIP!” An illness transmitted from your children isn’t nearly as alarming as “RATS SPREAD DISEASE!”. But you get a cold or flu from your kids all the time. That headline wouldn’t sell many newspapers. Yet the land numbers are far, far greater than the sea numbers. There have been 2,630 confirmed reports of norovirus so far this season in the UK, for example (as of several weeks ago, no less!), but for every reported case there are likely to be a further 288 unreported sufferers. That’s according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA). Recent figures from the HPA show that more than 750,000 people could be affected by the 2012 outbreak of norovirus that has swept the UK. It’s so bad, in fact, that they’re closing hospital wards and denying visitors access to the buildings. Take Birmingham City Hospital, for instance, which closed three wards due to norovirus infection, or Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, which actually tweeted, “Please don’t visit hospital until at least two days after last symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea. Stay home, rest, and take fluids.” But nobody thinks about infected hospitals down the street. They think of cruise ships. They think of sensational headlines. Take the media frenzy surrounding the P&O liner Oriana, dubbed ‘a plague ship.’ “It’s a living nightmare.” “Scores of passengers laid low by virus.” “People were falling like flies, yet the crew were trying to insist everything was fine.” Oh, the drama! The sick have vomiting and diarrhea a few days, tops, and possibly stomach cramps. If that’s your definition of ‘a living nightmare’, you suffer from a serious lack of real life. You’ll note the hospital referred to above even told sufferers to stay home and they'd be fine. Subjective perceptions of severity aside, let’s look at real numbers. More importantly, what’s behind them. It’s not what you think at all. An outbreak, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, is 3% or higher of reported passengers or crew being sick. Please note the inclusion of ‘crew’. When one crew member is sick, ALL of his/her cabin mates are automatically quarantined and counted as sick. Thus, the number of infected is artificially inflated by double or more from the very beginning. This directly affects passengers, however, because things snowball rapidly as remaining crew shoulder the additional workload (with no increase in pay, of course). As a rule, all crew members are already overworked and nearly all live in a state of near-exhaustion. It is not surprising, then, that many crew members jump on the bandwagon and call in sick just to get a glorious eight hours of sleep—something which they probably haven’t had in ten months (yes, really). So what does this mean? It means that an official outbreak on a cruise ship could potentially involve a mere 1% of people or even less! I don’t know about you, but I don’t think 1% of the population being sick during cold and flu season to be the definition of ‘a living nightmare.’ By Brian David Bruns, author of national best-seller Cruise Confidential. Pics of the people and places I blog about are on my website and FB pages, join me! www.BrianDavidBruns.com https://www.facebook.com/BrianDavidBruns
  43. 3 points
    KeithnRita

    Daily Dock for FEBRUARY 2014

    In Key West<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Sent from my eyePhone using Tapatalk<br />
  44. 3 points
    AussieJeff

    Best things to buy on cruise ships

    I collect model ships, so that is always my first purchase :)
  45. 3 points
    Sorry, I couldn't resist!
  46. 3 points
    We also did red-eyes in our younger days, when we were more alert and didn't require much sleep. Now if I were to try that, I would look like one of those zombies from Walking Dead. :0 "We want our sail-away drink and we want it now!"
  47. 3 points
    cruisetarp

    Daily Dock for MAY 2013

    Jim got a clean bill of health. No sign of recurring cancer. Let the celebration begin.
  48. 3 points
    Yes. We're sailing the Caribbean out of Fort Lauderdale on the Celebrity Eclipse (2 weeks) at the end of this month. St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba. Looking forward to seeing Bonaire. Neither my hubby or I have ever been there.
  49. 3 points
    Jason - I just listened to your interview. It's nice to put a voice with the face behind those Foster-Grants! Great job explaining the site and our friendly community. By the way, the suspense is killing me - what are these great new features coming in January? (or were they already announced and I missed it?)
  50. 3 points
    cruisingcats

    Daily Dock for November 2010

    Good evening all. Deb-Stuart and Gizzy are good. Stuart has turned into a bully but protects us all. He follows Jack our dog and does everything he does. The reputation is based on information that you have for others and if they like it, there is a green plus sign down on the right hand side of each post. Click on it and that person gets their reputation points. At least this how I read it to mean.
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