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About Momof4crazytocruise

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    Sweltering in Texas

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  1. I get to wear funny t-shirts 7 days a week instead of 2. Also, I think my job will be more open to flexibility with telework - they already were pretty flexible, but i think if I asked to work part time from home in the future, they wouldn't blink. We got 2 puppies right at the beginning of this, and I'd like to be able to keep up with their potty training by being here more.
  2. You have to look at from a standpoint of risk. We use third party insurers and find a rate that covers what we find to be most important. For example, we typically cruise from Galveston, about a 40 minute drive. So I don't need insurance that covers flights, hotels, rental cars, etc... But when I travel with 4 mini crazy people I live with, accidents and injuries are a possibility. So I focus on a policy that covers heavy on the medical, less on the cost recuperation or lost baggage. This would change if we were to travel to another port, we would look at a different level of coverage. Booking 3rd party lets me pick and choose better what coverage I want with all the variables attached. And it's cheaper the than the version the cruiselines typically offer.
  3. There is a big difference between an actual agent that you have developed a relationship with than the so-called online travel agency sites. They are booking sites, not travel agents in any way, shape or form. I personally wouldn't consider using any of the online "agency" sites for booking a cruise. A hotel booking here and there, yes, but a whole vacation no. I've learned the hard way that they just care about the booking, not the client (like letting me fly to my connection in Miami before letting me know my second flight had been cancelled 3 months ago and they neglected to tell me that I needed to call them to rebook on another airline and left me stranded). This was years ago, obviously, but it has always left a bad taste in my mouth. In my opinion, those sites are good for price comparison and information finding. More often than not, I find a hotel or whatever in the price range I want on those site, then check the actual hotel page to compare the rate. More often than not, I am not getting a deal on Expedia, Orbitz, etc... When it comes to cruises, I research my on my own, then let my TA do the dirty work of booking it for me (another vote for MEI). That's pretty much all I use a TA for - all other travel I book myself, unless I am taking a very complicated trip (like a trip to Africa and trek up Kilimanjaro, complete with 2 week safari afterwards) when I know I am past my pay-grade for making those kind of arrangements. Travel within this hemisphere than includes basics like flights, rental cars and hotels, or travel to Europe where I am not doing any sort of organized tours, I can do that myself. But I will never NOT use a TA to manage my cruise reservations again.
  4. I would be more concerned about the touch pad and the drink selection. Put a washy-washy right next to it, good to go.
  5. The cruise planner prices you see now aren't really that much lower than what you'll see on board. Especially with the daily Cruise Compass specials you'll see advertised. There's not a huge advantage to booking spa stuff in advance. I would say to visit the spa, find out what the specials are, and use your coupon on something once you see what they have.
  6. 2 3M hooks on either side high up, and a rubber band bought us enough time to react.
  7. If we get one (unclear as I am too lazy to the do the math) - we may book something to replace our Galveston Allure cruise that just moved at least a year out. I am curious what the ship shuffle is going to look like after all of this. Allure was supposed to replace Liberty out of Galveston. If Allure isn't coming because the terminal can't accomodate her, will they keep Liberty here? Give us another Freedom Class? We wait and see. But I will need something between our Odyssey cruise in November and Allure at LEAST 2 years from then. Or, I could put a down payment on the new roof we need. Priorities and all.
  8. Include a Purell wipe packet in the silverware napkin roll at the Windjammer so you can wipe your hands after handling all the serving utensils.
  9. Interestingly enough, I just bought our travel insurance policy on our cruise planned this fall, figuring rates may skyrocket soon. There was an add-on option for coverage in case of insolvency. I opted to add it on.
  10. Mine's because I have 4 kids and you have to be freaking crazy to cruise with 4 kids.
  11. We were just there a few weeks ago. We stayed in the port and had a lot of fun. We went over the aviary and saw the tropical birds. You take suspension bridges over the port area to the different bird exhibits and can feed them. The bridges take you over the dolphins area, and you can watch from above. We then hung by the little sand/beach pool area and the kids played in the pool and we played pool volleyball. You can use their loungers with the purchase of 1 big cocktail or 3 beers. We had a short day there, Enchantment doesn't get in until 12-1pm or so, and leave by 5-6, so we felt we didn't really have enough time to go much further. If we didn't have the kids with us, we probably would have ventured out of the port, but the kids complicate the logistics.
  12. We've been on Enchantment twice in the last 6 months. We loved it! It's so easy to get around, the service is impeccable, and we thought the food, especially on our last cruise 2 weeks ago was outstanding! Don't miss the Parade of Flags on the last night. We've cruised her once with out kids and once with. The kids loved it too. With the kids, we also participated in the egg drop challenge, which was a lot of fun. On boarding day, the Windjammer is packed - so if you don't want the crowds, head to the cafe in the solarium to get a bite to eat. They also had a snacks buffet set up as you came back on after visiting the ports. Great ship!
  13. Continental breakfast appetizers are the best part of a balcony room! leisurely enjoying a cup of coffee still in my PJs on the balcony - the very definition of vacation!
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