JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ
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AxelWolfJoemancamaplsmoothgrhMichaelBluejay
September 12th, 2022 at 8:07:23 PM permalink
23 Day Carnival Casino Cruise

This has been a great year for deep discount cruise offers. So I have been taking some and right now I am currently on a 23 Day Cruise from Seattle to Sydney Australia on Carnival. The cost was really low.

I will try and post some pix from time to time. But since Carnival apparently blocks WoV, I am using my phone hotspot right now and I am not sure how quickly it can upload pix.

Day 1: Boarding Process

Carnival makes some superficial efforts to streamline the boarding process by having everyone select an arrival time in half hour time slots. On paper, thatís a great idea. In practice, though, it simply doesnít work because everyone just shows up when they want to and the reserved time slots arenít used.

So, getting onto the ship was a tedious, frustrating, 2.5 hour cluster*%$#. Stand in a long line to have someone check your Covid vax and testing status (everyone had to have a Negative test result within the previous 3 days - which is a good thing imho), then move on to the next line to go through security and carry-on X-Ray (this was probably the shortest time), and then stand in the last line to have your other documents checked.

But of course there was no communication on what documentation you would need at this last stop, and it appeared to take a lot of this older demographic a lot of time to dig up certain things, like proof of having obtained an Australian tourist visa. Or proof that you had purchased Trip Insurance. We got our Trip Insurance THROUGH Carnival, and I am guessing that a lot of others did too, but at this check-in desk they did not have a list of who was even covered through the plan that THEY sold. Stooopid.

GRADE: D-

CASINO

The casino on this ship is fairly big, at least for a cruise ship. It is about what you would expect, LOTS of SLOTS, 12 VP machines but only 2 slightly decent ones, 6/5 BJ and some other games, Craps, and ONE 3/2 BJ table at $ 25 min. I have done OK there.

A bonus is that I am in the ďPREMIERĒ category and there are drawings for only invited Premier members every night. Havenít won yet but stay tuned.

GRADE: B+ for a Cruise Ship

Day 3: Covid Testing

Everyone is required to take a rapid Covid test. But it isnít monitored. So anyone who doesnít want to bother can just not put the swab into their nostril, run the test, and get a Negative result. I donít know for sure if anyone did that ( my brother and I both took the test correctly and were both Negative ), but I wouldnít be surprised if a handful of people handed in a fake result.

Masks are required in the indoor areas of the ship, except your stateroom or when actively eating or drinking. This was all clearly communicated in all the pre-cruise communication. Most people comply with this rule, but a handful of people donít, which I find super annoying. Oh well. God grant me the courage to change the things I can change, and the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot.

Day 5: Saturday

I was looking forward to watching College Football in the sports bar. BUT NOPE, NO College football on their TV's. If you liked Rugby or a Sailing Regatta, you were in luck. Stoooopid.

GRADE: D-

Shows

Carnival generally does big, high energy, production song and dance shows in the big theater. I will post a picture when I can.





GRADE: B

Day 6: Self-Administered Covid Test

Negative.

Day 7 - Honolulu

LAND HO !

We arrived in Hawaii today so we Uberíd to Pearl Harbor to see what we could see. Unfortunately, all the tickets to get to the Arizona Memorial get snapped up in a flash, so we didnít get to go there. So Iíll do that another time.

This is my first visit to Hawaii ( fun fact: my Mom was born in Honolulu ).
Last edited by: JohnnyQ on Sep 12, 2022
Like the castle in its corner In a medieval game; I foresee terrible trouble And I stay here just the same
JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ
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BleedingChipsSlowlyJoemancamapl
September 12th, 2022 at 10:22:37 PM permalink
MORE PIX

Rest in Peace:





Well, as previously mentioned, the price was right:



This is never very busy and it takes up a lot of floor space, so if I was the casino bean-counter, I would replace it with some more Slot machines:

Like the castle in its corner In a medieval game; I foresee terrible trouble And I stay here just the same
Joeman
Joeman
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smoothgrh
September 13th, 2022 at 5:24:14 AM permalink
This sounds like quite the adventure. Thanks for taking us along!

Regarding Carnival's boarding process, pre-pandemic, they had this down pat. The last few Carnival cruises I went on before the shutdown, we basically walked right onto the boat. However, since they started cruising again, I have sailed five times from three different ports, and the boarding process for all have been a cluster_, to varying degrees. I think the problem is two-fold. First, I think they are still short-staffed, and second, they have to devote a good chunk of their port personnel and resources to testing, instead of boarding.

BTW, which ship are you on? I've never seen a Not Sigma Derby game in a cruise ship casino. I hope those tiny horses don't get seasick! :)

Dirty Work by Steely Dan ;)
"Dealer has 'rock'... Pay 'paper!'"
AxelWolf
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Joeman
September 13th, 2022 at 5:27:29 AM permalink
Quote: Joeman

I hope those tiny horses don't get seasick! :)
]

Hold on now, there could be a good advantage situation there.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
DRich
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RogerKintUP84smoothgrh
September 13th, 2022 at 5:43:06 AM permalink
I don't know if I said this publicly before, but about three years ago before the pandemic I was offered the position to be in charge of the casino loyalty program for all Carnival and affiliated ships (104 ships at that time I believe). I would be moving to the Miami area where Carnival is headquartered and taking approximately 10 cruises per year while monitoring the new casino computer systems being installed.

We had a contract signed but then they asked if they could change it to include about 50% travel time mostly in Italy, Germany, and Singapore where the ships would be dry docked for retrofits and then the computer systems would be upgraded there. If I was a younger single guy I would have accepted this but as a married man that would be moving his wife to Miami where we didn't know anyone I did not feel right for abandoning her. If I could have stayed based in Las Vegas for this position I may have taken it because we have family and friends there that would make the wife more comfortable.

We did not come to an agreement and I decided to stay in Vegas at that time. It probably worked out for the best because when Covid hit I may have lost that job because all cruising stopped.
Order from chaos
JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ
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camapl
September 13th, 2022 at 1:01:41 PM permalink
The ship casino is usually pretty busy, and I assume that is because there are many many many other people with excellent casino promotions here besides myself (in fact, for the first couple of days, there was a long line at the cashier cage and I was told that was for certain invited guests to pick up free slot play or whatever perk they got).

I think that is a good approach on Carnival's part to fill up this unusual itinerary (1 way Seattle to Sydney) with only 6 days of port calls on a 23 day trip. So the casino is a go-to place for folks on all the sea days.

My perks for this cruise are the super cheap price and free drinks while playing in the casino (well the casino has also provided us with a couple of free bottles of wine with dinner so far). I'm happy with the perks (I am not a high roller at all, some $ 25 3/2 BJ and Video Poker) but of course who wouldn't mind even better offers in the future ?

BUT as we get into a post-covid environment, I suspect my offers may not be as frequent or as good. Time will tell.
Like the castle in its corner In a medieval game; I foresee terrible trouble And I stay here just the same
Joeman
Joeman
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September 13th, 2022 at 1:14:30 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

BUT as we get into a post-covid environment, I suspect my offers may not be as frequent or as good. Time will tell.
link to original post

Personally, my Carnival offers kept getting better and better; that is until the end of August. My offers for this month have dropped off a bit... 1/2 the casino cash, and Oceanviews instead of Balconies.
"Dealer has 'rock'... Pay 'paper!'"
JohnnyQ
JohnnyQ
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camapl
September 13th, 2022 at 1:36:27 PM permalink




Like the castle in its corner In a medieval game; I foresee terrible trouble And I stay here just the same
Joeman
Joeman
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September 13th, 2022 at 2:16:27 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ




link to original post

And those are the good paytables! There should also be 6/5 BP on that machine which is the best return at 96.87%.
"Dealer has 'rock'... Pay 'paper!'"
Gundy
Gundy
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September 13th, 2022 at 3:02:02 PM permalink
I'd jump overboard before I'd wear a mask for 23 days.

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