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-   -   Carnival Corona Cruising--in January, out of Baltimore (https://www.fodors.com/community/cruises/carnival-corona-cruising-in-january-out-of-baltimore-1704189/)

persimmondeb Jan 11th, 2022 11:54 AM

Carnival Corona Cruising--in January, out of Baltimore
 
Back at the very end of October, when cruising was freshly opened up, and things looked like they were getting better, I spied an absolutely awesome fare on a vaccinated cruise to the Bahamas on the Carnival Legend out of Baltimore on January 23.

So I checked the protocols, talked it over with the fam, checked that we could get that week off, and booked the three of us--myself (55), DH (56), and DS (26)--in an obstructed balcony for about $1500 for all three of us. For a week.

We are vaccinated, we are boosted, and DS and I work with the public anyway, so we weren't that concerned.

Enter Omicron.

We are still going. Carnival says they are still cruising, and they have tightened both the testing and masking requirements. We're all crossing our fingers than no-one pops an asymptomatic positive, or worse, actually gets the Rona between now and then. We have our tests booked, and since we're driving to the port, we figure our worst case is either a)we can't go, or b) one of us comes down with it and we spend our trip staring at the ocean from our balcony and eating room service, which is preferable to shoveling snow in Pennsylvania anyway.

We have decided to park at the port, but haven't yet decided if we're driving down the night before or that morning. That decision may be weather dependent, but I am scheduled until 6pm the night before we leave.

We're crossing our fingers that all will go well, but there's not much else we can do at this point. I suspect this isn't going to be a very crowded ship, but presumably it's still worth Carnival's while to run this cruise. I did join the Facebook group, and obviously some folks who posted had to cancel, but looks like most are still going.

mlgb Jan 11th, 2022 02:29 PM

Good luck.

I'm probably also going on my 5-day NCL Bliss cruise although still have a few days left to cancel. My issue is, I do not want to be stuck with FCC to use by the end of 2022 with everyone else. Good news is that the ship is currently only at 1400 passengers out of a capacity of 4000 (probably everyone that asked has been upgraded to a balcony or better.)

If I was booked on a cruise that offered a refund, I'd likely take it and bail.

persimmondeb Jan 11th, 2022 03:42 PM


Originally Posted by mlgb (Post 17321516)
Good luck.

I'm probably also going on my 5-day NCL Bliss cruise although still have a few days left to cancel. My issue is, I do not want to be stuck with FCC to use by the end of 2022 with everyone else. Good news is that the ship is currently only at 1400 passengers out of a capacity of 4000 (probably everyone that asked has been upgraded to a balcony or better.)

If I was booked on a cruise that offered a refund, I'd likely take it and bail.

They seem to be pretty resigned to cancellations for dates up to the end of January, but as far as I know it's FCC. We'd rather go anyway, and we figure it's probably no riskier than going to work for me and DS. Maybe a little more so for DH (he's in person, but he's not in front of the public).

Good luck with your cruise!

Sassafrass Jan 12th, 2022 09:54 PM

Considering the surge now, and positivity rates, you are probably as safe on the cruise as on land. I am looking forward to hearing about it afterwards and hope you have a super great time!

persimmondeb Jan 13th, 2022 10:57 AM


Originally Posted by Sassafrass (Post 17321948)
Considering the surge now, and positivity rates, you are probably as safe on the cruise as on land. I am looking forward to hearing about it afterwards and hope you have a super great time!

That's how we figure it, particularly since if I wasn't cruising, I'd be at work, literally putting my hands on unmasked strangers. We've got a lot more control over our interactions with the masked, vaxxed, and tested strangers on the cruise.
Thanks!
I'll update in a day or two, but we're starting to get packed.

persimmondeb Jan 21st, 2022 11:09 AM

This is probably the last update before we go, since I don't feel like paying for Carnival's internet, but we are packed, decided that we are driving down early Sunday morning, and about to go get our tests.

Wish us luck.

We're really looking forward to this. I'll post lots when we get back.

Sassafrass Jan 21st, 2022 11:22 AM


Originally Posted by persimmondeb (Post 17324957)
This is probably the last update before we go, since I don't feel like paying for Carnival's internet, but we are packed, decided that we are driving down early Sunday morning, and about to go get our tests.

Wish us luck.

We're really looking forward to this. I'll post lots when we get back.

Oh, I wish you the most good luck and lots of fun.

mlgb Jan 21st, 2022 11:50 AM

Good luck!!
I also drove myself to the port and got home this morning (5 day cruise).

Our cruise was 100% vaccinated and tested at the dock at boarding. We had only 1100 passengers on our cruise and 1700 staff. Staff was good at wearing masks, and were constantly cleaning.
Social distancing was only a problem at embarkation. "Our system is down". Result was several hundred people, not all of them wearing masks, crowding together waiting for their test results to upload. Then we crammed onto buses to be transferred from the tesing center to the ship, which was only a few hundred yards away. A few days into the cruise I overheard a conversation that a passenger had tested positive for COVID and was confined to her cabin, and her spouse was waiting for his results.

I brought a "COVID kit"..cough drops, Advil, thermometer, as well as masks.

Chances are you will not be the one in 1000 who comes down with the "rona.

Enjoy having someone else clean your room and do all the cooking!

Sassafrass Jan 21st, 2022 11:55 AM


Originally Posted by persimmondeb (Post 17324957)
This is probably the last update before we go, since I don't feel like paying for Carnival's internet, but we are packed, decided that we are driving down early Sunday morning, and about to go get our tests.

Wish us luck.

We're really looking forward to this. I'll post lots when we get back.

Oh, I wish you the most good luck and lots of fun.

persimmondeb Jan 30th, 2022 01:53 PM

And we're back!

Had a great time, didn't get Covid, and if there was any on the ship we didn't hear about it. Some other minor excitement, but we definitely felt this was worth doing.

I'll post in detail tomorrow.

deladeb Feb 9th, 2022 06:17 AM

We need details Deb.

Sassafrass Feb 9th, 2022 07:46 AM


Originally Posted by deladeb (Post 17331559)
We need details Deb.

Yes, please. We are seriously considering Legend out of Baltimore in April, so interested in any and all opinions and comments.

persimmondeb Feb 21st, 2022 06:56 PM

Okay, I've been distracted, but I'll do my best.

We decided to leave Sunday morning, rather than Saturday night, and it was a wise decision, since I got out of work late and was exhausted. We got on the road around seven, stopped at Elkton to have breakfast at a Cracker Barrel, and were at the cruise port RIDICULOUSLY early for our 2 pm boarding appointment.

It was fine. We hung out in the car, chatted with some other people who were kind of early, and presented ourselves around 1 pm, when they did let us board. I will also say they had the best ever port a potty in the parking lot. Clean, flush toilet, real water to wash with in a real sink...

Once on board, we discovered that our luggage had beaten us to the stateroom, left our carry-ons, and went to find some lunch in the Lido. We did pretty much try to avoid eating inside on the Lido for the duration of the trip, since that kind of cafeteria set up involves a lot more moving around and variables than a restaurant does, and we ate that lunch outside on Serenity. It was chilly, but bearable, and since the bar was open, we got ourselves a beverage from the thoroughly bundled up bartender.

We did self muster, watched the safety video, and went back to the cabin and ate some of the canapes I had pre-ordered.

persimmondeb Feb 21st, 2022 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by Sassafrass (Post 17331594)
Yes, please. We are seriously considering Legend out of Baltimore in April, so interested in any and all opinions and comments.

I would definitely recommend it. We felt safe, had a good time, and thought they did a very good job overall. Most things were up to at least the usual standards, but if I were Carnival I might have a word with my butcher about some of the beef they had been supplied with. Most things seemed to be open but reasonably cautious in the Bahamas as well. Fewer shore excursions available than normal, but we often don't bother anyway.

persimmondeb Feb 22nd, 2022 10:27 AM

I would not order the canapes again. They were fine, but we never ate all of them, and we barely touched the anniversary cake I had ordered. The balcony was worth it (more on that later), but we really didn't spend much time in the cabin unless someone wanted a nap.

We freshened up a little, wandered around, and eventually checked in for dinner. We had "My Time" dining, which I prefer. Once at dinner, we ordered the "cruising the vineyards" package, so that we had a bottle of wine for the table for most nights. The food was very good, as usual, although we forgot that they don't put the cocktail sauce on the side, and didn't tell them to omit the sauce from DH's. He was sad, but DS and I split it, and insisted on ordering another (naked) one for DH, which made things better. After dinner we did various ship things and spent some time in the casino (more on that later).

Sassafrass Feb 22nd, 2022 12:04 PM

Enjoying this very much. Thank you for taking time to post it.

persimmondeb Feb 25th, 2022 04:21 AM

The next morning we were up far earlier than we had any need to be, and got ourselves assembled. I had filled out a continental breakfast card the night before, and figured we'd have a little coffee and pastry while we got dressed, and we could then go to brunch. My Dh was a little confused about how brunch (in the MDR) worked as opposed to breakfast (in the Lido restaurant) but we sorted it out, and went to brunch. There were a couple of things on the menu he will eat, but they don't have regular pancakes on Sea Day Brunch and he won't eat the fancy ones with ricotta. So he ended up with bacon and bagels, I had eggs benedict, and DS had a bagel with salmon and an omelet.

After that, we embarked on a long day of doing mostly nothing. Wandering around the ship, playing in a couple of trivia quizzes, playing in the casino, sitting on deck when it warmed up in the afternoon, eating lunch, chatting with fellow passengers, etc. When we were on deck, my husband spied enormous souvenir fish cups, and decided that we had to have one (which meant that I should have a "rum jumper", really a rumrunner, which was the standard cocktail. DS and I went to tea time in the afternoon, and then it was pretty much time to start getting dressed, since it was formal night.

persimmondeb Feb 27th, 2022 06:28 PM

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...88877d4a1a.jpg
I have an overdeveloped sense of the dramatic, and this is what I wore for formal night. We got some nice photos of all of us too.

Sassafrass Feb 27th, 2022 07:16 PM

Love that dress, especially the color and the sparkle. I like seeing people dress up. It shows some respect to your companions and for the occasion and is fun.

persimmondeb Feb 28th, 2022 02:46 PM

Formal night dinner was very good. DH had two prime ribs, I had a lobster tail, and DS had prime rib, a lobster tail, and the fish (he was hungry). I had crème brulee and some cheese (which I shared with DH). After dinner I changed my dress (it's not that obvious in the photo, but the red one has a slight train and I sort of felt like I'd been trying to keep it out from underfoot long enough) and we saw the show (Motor City) and spent a little more time in the casino.


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