Carnival Vista sailings cancelled

With three Carnival Vista sailings cancelled, passengers need to make alternate vacation plans. Carnival offered significant compensation. Galveston is still a great vacation destination for those with tickets booked.

The Carnival Vista has struggled with propulsion issues for the last several cruises. The June 15 sailing experienced minor disruptions, and the June 22 and June 29 sailings were significantly altered. While the ship has always functioned safely, it could not cruise at maximum speed. It now appears that the ship will need to dry dock to repair the problem. There are three Carnival Vista sailings cancelled. Passengers scheduled to depart July 6, 13, and 20 are being offered significant compensation by Carnival for their lost cruise.

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Royal Caribbean IT Strikes Again

I love sailing Royal Caribbean from Galveston. Their ships are amazing, and the on board customer service is very good. Before you board, however, their customer service is significantly more problematic. I wrote previously about problems with my online account showing the correct balance before a previous cruise, and on this cruise different agents said different things about whether my fare was refundable. Today, Royal Caribbean IT struck again. Here’s the tale.

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Bags VIP Baggage Delivery Service

Bags VIP baggage delivery service allows you to check in your luggage and not pick it up again until you reach your hotel.
Bags VIP baggage delivery service allows you to check in your luggage and not pick it up again until you reach your hotel.

I don’t do a great job of packing my luggage. Usually, I am gone for 3-4 nights. That means that I usually have a little bit too much stuff for a carry on. However, I *hate* waiting at the baggage carousel for my stuff to come out. American and United offer baggage delivery service with Bags VIP. I tried it recently on two flights– one with each airline. The service is good, but not great. Whether I use it again will depend a lot on the circumstances. It certainly wouldn’t be worth it if you already have a shuttle waiting to take you to your pre-cruise hotel.

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Is free really free? NCL free casino cruise offer.

Norwegian Sky casino. The environment was great, but the table rules and electronic blackjack rules were awful.
Norwegian Sky casino. The environment was great, but the table rules and electronic blackjack rules were awful. A free casino cruise, however, makes it a much better proposition.

There is, of course, no such thing as a free lunch. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some exceptionally good deals out there. Last year I cruised on the Norwegian Sky. I did not particularly enjoy my time in their casino. My perception changed when Norwegian sent me an offer for a free casino cruise. Your experience will certainly be different based on your situation. However, I thought it might be useful to let you know precisely what my offer was.

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Great Stirrup Cay review

One of the beaches at Great Stirrup Cay, NCL's private island in the Bahamas.
One of the beaches at Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s private island in the Bahamas.

One of the things I like about cruises is a beach day. Every time I cruise, I take at least one day where I sit on the beach, swim a little, and just relax. On my cruise to Cuba last month, I got to do that at Great Stirrup Cay (GSC). GSC (link provides video of the island) is Norwegian Cruise Line‘s (NCL) private island in the Bahamas, and it is amazing. While it doesn’t offer the relaxed vibe of a place like Maya Chan, it still presents plenty of great options. The opportunities range from the relaxing to the (middle-aged fat man version of) high adventure. In this Great Stirrup Cay review, I walk you through the flaws of GSC, what there is to do, what there is to eat, and what bar service is like. Continue reading “Great Stirrup Cay review”