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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/25/2019 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    There's a "Soak Up Adventure Sale" going on. Whenever a promo or a sales event is announced by Royal, I do mock "incognito" bookings of cruises I have already reserved and those I've been planning to book. I've been doing this for about two years now and I have yet to see a real and substantial reduction in the price. I am the type of consumer who finds this an insult to my (limited) intelligence. It's like stores who jack up prices to create the illusion of a sale. As an aside, I hate that Bed, Bath, & Beyond (my budget) prices their items 20% more than other stores so you can feel you're getting a discount when you use their never expiring coupons. Don't get me wrong, I love Royal and I'm "loyal to Royal", but this approach to marketing is not one of my favorites.
  2. 4 points
    As with last year, we made our second and final day in Bermuda all about Horseshoe Bay. You already saw the posts I made from there on my phone, so I'm not going to repeat those comments about timing and such. This post is all about the amazing pics I caught with the DSC-RX100. First up, the beach itself looking towards the end with the little grotto.The pink wasn't as visible today as it was the last time, might be due to the earlier hour. This bird was there all day. Perched there when the beach opened up, never moved even once during our whole time there. The water started off reasonably calm... ... but the tide was definitely coming in. Before long, we were getting some nice spray off the rocks. This rock looked interesting. I wondered what the waves must have been like to undercut it that way. I found out a couple of minutes later. As crowded as the beach was getting by noon time, no one was going all that far out into the water; just about everyone stayed close to where they'd set up their umbrellas and/or loungers. They'd have had a much less crowded time in the water if they'd just walked over where I was standing. Although I'm sure this snorkeler appreciated having all the space to themselves. The other thing that was different about this day was the number of birds I saw. There were sandpipers... ...sparrows... ...and as you can see in that shot, a variety of bird I haven't seen before. At first I thought it was some kind of Grackle, but then I realized it wasn't solid black; it was actually black with numerous white dots on its body and white edging on its wing feathers. Got some much closer and better shots of it here. I think it's a European starling based on some Wikipedia searching today. This is going to be my last post to this blog for today; I still have to edit the photos I took during sail-away and our final sunset, plus arrival back in Bayonne, so that should be coming tomorrow or maybe not until Sunday.
  3. 4 points
    twangster

    Radiance Dry Dock/Refurb schedule

    She is getting one after the Alaska season next year. Radiance has a revenue cruise from Alaska to Tokyo Sept. 4, 2020 and then she enters a multi-million dollar refreshment. From there she sails from Singapore to Brisbane in November 2020 to launch the new homeport of Brisbane for the 2020 Australia season. Once that wraps up she heads North through Hawaii to Alaska for the 2021 Alaska season. No word yet on what the "multi-million dollar refreshment" will include.
  4. 3 points
    CGTLH

    LIVEish, Back to Back to Back on Mariner!

    It is finally my turn for a return trip on Mariner! Last time on Mariner was for the Double Dip to CocoCay Royal Caribbean Blog cruise. Hard to believe that was over 7 months ago!
  5. 3 points
    mk-ultra

    Guide to Chair Hogs

    I'm merciless with chogs. On my last cruise, there were 4 sorta suite "cabanas" in the suites-only area that folks staked out at 8AM, clipping towels to chairs. They'd literally be empty 90% of the time I walked by... hour-after-hour. After seeing one empty for over an hour I just un-clipped their crap, folded it up on a table and made myself at home. After reading a book for ~2 hours, I had an indignant couple ask me to leave "their" cabana. Nope. Take your stuff and find an empty one (if you can dislodge one of the other chogs). If you really want to, complain to a crew member that I "took" the cabana and see how far that gets you.
  6. 3 points
    Matt

    Do Travel Agencies Matter?

    That's a great question, and the answer is helping you when you want to have things re-priced, change rooms or when there is a problem. Anyone can book a cruise these days. The true value in a good travel agent is the time they save you when things need be changed, fixed or altered.
  7. 3 points
    Grenadyr

    Peanut allergy question

    I contacted special needs due to a allergy I have. Here is the response they sent me...
  8. 2 points
    Love the non Agent Blair drill. From 7 short - 1 long blast it was 12 minutes to dismissal.
  9. 2 points
    Baked Alaska

    Bermuda Triangle SMH....

    I think that the Bermuda Triangle was Bigfoot's demise.
  10. 2 points
    RBRSKI

    Odyssey on sale

    Booked the Odyssey 8 Night for Christmas 2020 today!!!!!!!
  11. 2 points
    We wanted to get in a little exploration of downtown Hamilton before we boarded a bus for... wherever we decided to go next. We just turned right on Front Street after leaving the ferry terminal and started walking. We quickly came across a little park area, with a nice view of the homes on the other side of the channel. Hamilton is a busy place. Lots of cars and scooters. They even rent out tiny little electric cars for the tourists that only hold two people (barely) and only have enough charge for two or maybe three hours of driving around. We came across another park area with picnic tables, checker/chess boards mounted on posts, and some trees for shade. In the channel, we saw the ferry already heading back to Hamilton with its next load of passengers. We turned back as it was looking like the main downtown was ending. Since we knew we'd have to head inland to get to the bus terminal, we crossed to the other side of Front Street before heading back. We got another look at just how many people get around by motor scooter, as the entire length of the street for as far as I could see was lined with them. It's good to look around while you're walking. You never know when you'll find a surprisingly pretty view from what first looks like a service alley. Done with our exploration (which is to say, my foot was telling me to take a break already), we made our way up Burnaby Hill road, then turned left on Washington street and walked the roughly one block to the central terminal. We decided we'd visit the botanical gardens since they were closest to the terminal. As luck would have it, a bus from the main Hamilton line to the Dockyard (number 7 line) was right there and ready for us to board.
  12. 2 points
    WAAAYTOOO

    Thanksgiving 2019

    Me too !
  13. 2 points
    Day 5 / Day 1 Today was turnaround day and since this was our first B2B it was a new experience. We purchased The Key for our first leg at a sale price since it included VOOM usage, priority lines for FlowRider, as well as embarkation lunch and special disembarkation meal. We knew all along that the priority disembarkation wouldn't be used. Breakfast was served in the main dining room on deck 5 and this was also the staging area for the disembarkation. The menu was a slightly modified MDR breakfast menu and included Salmon Benedict. This was a very enjoyable meal in a much more relaxed atmosphere than the usual Windjammer breakfast on disembarkation day. The directions for consecutive cruisers had been delivered to us and as we had the same cabin it really couldn't have been easier. We left all our belongings exactly where we had unpacked them and that was that. Our cabin steward for the first leg had informed us that he would not be with us for the second leg as his contract was ending and he was returning home to his family until his next contract. We made sure to leave him his gratuity on night 4. From the MDR in the back of deck 5 we headed to the Star Lounge at the bow of deck 5 which was the designated location for consecutive cruisers. There we were joined by about 15-20 others who were returning aboard. After a short wait, the Loyalty Ambassador and another crew member came around to give us our new seapass cards and explain the process. Once the ship was near 0, we would be escorted to deck 4 to exit the ship and be scanned out with our old seapass cards. We would them visit with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and wait in a lounge area for the ship to reach 0 passengers. Once that was completed we would be escorted back onto the ship where we would be required to scan in with our new cards. Everything went exactly as described and was even easier due to the Facial Recognition system in Port Canaveral cruise port. After a short wait in the lounge we returned and headed directly to the Solarium to enjoy the quiet ship to ourselves. We were back on board the ship by approximately 10:15. After an hour, we started to notice people walking through the Solarium and surmised that general boarding had begun. One item to note is that the letter we received indicated that we would have access to our stateroom before the general call. We found that the doors to the corridors were closed but I was able to open them and we could return to our cabin where I wanted to change to swimwear to get some time on the FlowRider. This come back to one of @Matt's pieces of advice that the best time to use some of those features is on embarkation day when people are still getting their bearings and possibly not dressed for the activity. This hits most of the highlights of the day. Not a day that I took photos but as with any day on a cruise it was very enjoyable.
  14. 2 points
  15. 2 points
    Matt

    Guide to Chair Hogs

    Look for chairs closer to the kids pools. Evidently their kryptonite is children
  16. 1 point
    This just happened to me and I lost my 150.00 OBC BUT I saved an extra $500.00 so at the end of the day I was up. My TA keeps an eye for me and when there are more savings to be had well she gets it done. I am sure before February 2021 you will see additional flash sales but I do think every sale is inclusive of themselves and can't be combined, I believe. I am sure some wonderful other cruisers will chime in shortly. Good Luck and happy sailing!!
  17. 1 point
    rtread

    Bermuda Triangle SMH....

    You could always not accept the risk and just stay at home....but a meteor might crash through your roof and there ya go.....πŸ˜‰
  18. 1 point
    Please note that WAAATOOO, who is a sweet and lovely person judging by her posts, cruises primarily if not exclusively in suites. I have cruised in both regular cabins and suites. I am not very picky but I would not use the basic β€œall in one” in the regular cabins. On the other hand, the products in the suite were wonderful
  19. 1 point
    Not to worry πŸ‘ Fantastic pictures!
  20. 1 point
    USCG Teacher

    Bermuda Triangle SMH....

    The Bermuda Triangle is one of the busiest travel corridors on the planet. The only mystery there is how people don't understand basic statistics.
  21. 1 point
    Agreed , great photos. Looking forward to visiting Coco Cay very soon
  22. 1 point
    FionaMG

    Serenade of the Seas

    If I remember right I sailed on Serenade just a couple of cruises after she returned from refurbishments; that was early December 2017.
  23. 1 point
    WAAAYTOOO

    Star Loft Suite Harmony of the Seas

    The Star Loft suites on Harmony are 1722 and 1724. We've stayed in 1722 (rather, its equivalent on Allure) and we had friends who stayed in 1724. Whether the upgrade cost is "worth it" really depends on a couple of things. (1) When you are cruising. A "couple of weeks" seems to indicate some time in November. If it is NOT Thanksgiving week then I would not consider that a "high value" week. (2) How much you are already "in" for the OS. (3) What kind of additional $$ are you planning on spending on the cruise (the OS). If you are already in, say, $7500 for the OS and now you're wanting to put in another $2600, that is going to bring you to ~$10K. The full price of the SLS I stayed in, in April 2018 was ~ 10K (we did not pay full price...we had a casino discount...but that's what it would have cost someone who did not have the casino price). So I wouldn't consider that a particularly good deal for an "off week" - even for Star Class. If, however, you are already planning on purchasing an Unlimited Beverage Package and an Unlimited Dining Package, then you are coming closer to a good deal. It's all up to how much you already have in the cruise and how much you are willing to pay for an all-inclusive (pretty much). If you got a good price on the OS and can manage to get "all in" for under $10K I would say it's a good deal...not great, but good.
  24. 1 point
    Love your review!.. your pictures are great..
  25. 1 point
    sk8erguy1978

    Hello! I Am A Crew Member!

    Early 2000's a friend was trying to get me to sign up with him for jobs. I never did, he never did, wish I did. Back then I had nothing to lose and could have used the opportunities presented. Oh well πŸ™‚
  26. 1 point
    12thman

    Star Loft Suite Harmony of the Seas

    For me it would depend on the itinerary. Are there a lot of sea days? Would that extra cost fit your budget?
  27. 1 point
    I think he was referring to this: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2019/10/01/royal-caribbean-releases-2021-2022-opening-schedule
  28. 1 point
    WAAAYTOOO

    Thanks for the Tip- unread dot

    It took me forEVER to figure that one out, too !
  29. 1 point
    RickinSTL

    Harmony OTS Cruise Videos

    We were on that cruise with you.. Man those last two days were the roughest I can ever remember.. I enjoyed reliving that time with you.. Thanks Ty! Whoop Whoop!
  30. 1 point
    You must have driven a DeLorean to the port. You cruise is supposed to start tomorrow... according to the post title. 🀣
  31. 1 point
    Jacquie

    Odyssey of the Seas sailing from Rome

    Royal's website said 7 & 9 night cruises from Rome & the 9 nighters are the Greek Isles! Can't wait!! I've been planning on doing the 9 night Greek Isles in 2021 for 2 years. I can't believe we get to sail on the Odyssey. I'm excited but also it;s going to be overwhelming on such a port intensive cruise. One thing that concerned me was looking at the deck plans last night it shows the Ocean view rooms and the majority of Ocean View balcony rooms being only 119 sq ft. I really hope this is a typo, cause no way is that size big enough, it;s like the Majesty size cabins
  32. 1 point
    ChessE4

    Do Travel Agencies Matter?

    I believe in using an agent you can meet face-to-face. I want to establish a relationship as discussed in the other posts. I do use e-mail and phone conversations to augment face-to-face, but I simply find the face-to-face process more rewarding. Others have grown up in an e-world and don't miss actual agency visits. I am thinking there must be a reliable travel agent where you live, but you can also explore electronic relationships as many members here do. Just a thought....I can't say anything bad about any travel agents I've used. Some charge for airline reservations, which you will make yourself.
  33. 1 point
    Thank you for the beautiful pictures and blog.
  34. 1 point
    Thanks for the continuation of this great live blog, @twangster!
  35. 1 point
    Travel alert on credit cards? Mail / newspaper stop? Light timers ready to set up? Fresh perspective? Packed in airtight storage containers, of course. 😁
  36. 1 point
    aubtfan

    Thanksgiving 2019

    Sorry to hear about the rough year, I hope this cruise is relaxing for you. Me and my family are on this same cruise also. We chose it since our 14 year old son will be out of school that week. This is our first RC Thanksgiving cruise, but we have been on 2 Thanksgiving cruises with DCL and there were loads of kids, of course. With Thanksgiving week being a school holiday, I would expect there to be more kids on this Harmony cruise than other weeks in November. But the ship is so huge, I am sure you will have a great time. Enjoy your cruise.
  37. 1 point
    Dan Curtis

    Favorites at Windjammer

    Give me the French Onion soup and escargot and the Prime Rib on the rare side with baked potato as my favorite dishes, as for,desert I am not,sure of the name of it, but it is,the warm chocolate cake.
  38. 1 point
    I know I'm just restating what others have said, but there are several factors here: Cruising is not for everyone just as all-inclusives are not for everyone, adventure trips are not for everyone, "staycations" are not for everyone, etc, etc. The unfortunate part of that is you have to try it to find out. Even if you didn't like this one, RC has many different classes of ships, each offering different experiences. Some prefer the smaller ships, some the largest, some find their happy zone in-between. Use this community if you ever go back to RC. The feedback will be overwhelming. If you decide to cruise again, even if it's not on RC, research the offerings before booking. There's so much information to be found which can mitigate a bad experience. For that matter, no matter what you decide for a vacation in the future, research until your eyes go blurry. I hope you find something in the future that suits you.
  39. 1 point
    WAAAYTOOO

    Odyssey on sale

    Interesting that they will have an Izumi and a teppanyaki in separate locations. I am very surprised to see that they will continue with the Concierge Lounge and have not switched over to the Suites Lounge. I also notice that they did NOT adopt the ship-within-a-ship concept for the suites. Very happy to see that the downgraded the aft suites on deck 10 from Star Class. They were not SC caliber AT ALL.
  40. 1 point
    twangster

    Odyssey on sale

    Odyssey details revealed https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2019/10/24/royal-caribbean-announces-activities-dining-and-more-odyssey-of-the-seas Deck plans on Royal website https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-ships/odyssey-of-the-seas/deck-plans/2033/03
  41. 1 point
    IMO all holidays/vacations are subject to your expectations, it seems like they did not meet your expectations, so sorry to hear that. I have been cruising for 20 years on 3 different companies and 8 different ships I would say cruising is the best holiday, but not for everyone. Each company I cruised with offered different things and different types of cruises, so I dont have a favourite.
  42. 1 point
    Jmccaffrey

    Hello! I Am A Crew Member!

    Can't wait to see your Vlogs of Oasis Of The Seas and her new upgrades.
  43. 1 point
    Your Coco Cay photos are amazing! (even the overexposed! haha) Thanks so much for the island reconnaissance. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Pearl Island as it's at the top of my Nassau excursion options list.
  44. 1 point
    They provide bar soap and a pump on the wall that is a "conditioning shampoo". There will also be a hair dryer in the room in a vanity drawer (not in the bathroom). The hair dryers are a bit weak and you have to continually hold down the button to operate it, so you may want to consider taking your own if anyone in your traveling party has long hair to be dried.
  45. 1 point
    rjac

    RC Rewards credit card

    My wife and I have separate RC card accounts (based on SSAN not physical address). I use mine for all RC transactions and high dollar purchases for our house. Over the past few years new appliances, hardwood flooring, landscaping, etc. My wife uses hers also for high dollar purchases.... hair maintenance, finger and toe nail stuff and of course shoes!
  46. 1 point
    Day 14 Evening Last night on the ship Eek! Need to pack Schooner Bar sunset after leaving Nassau. Best Schooner Bar views in the fleet!
  47. 1 point
    I have said this several different threads on this board, but I would say give one a try with 1 cruise to see what you think. BUT I always recommend that you treat this like you would finding a contractor to work on your house. Get on the phone and ask the agent what they do for their clients, what else they mat be able to provide, etc. This is hopefully the start of a relationship with a person that can handle all your vacation needs so you can relax and just vacation. Make sure to ask about price reductions are they done automatically or do you have to let them know. Ask if there are fees with the agency as some do charge a fee just to quote and book for you. Make sure you feel comfortable with the agent you are working with.
  48. 1 point
  49. 1 point
    Time to leave Key West. As we started to drop lines and get ready to sail away it seemed this one wouldn't be as majestic as the last Key West sail away sunset. The crowds gathered in Mallory Square to see me off. Okay, may the sunset had something to do with it. Yeah not as spectacular as last cruise. But wait, what's that? An opening between cloud layers? Maybe tonight would be a decent sunset after all. Like that it was over.
  50. 1 point
    ellcee

    RC Rewards credit card

    I have it. I'm told there are better cards out there for rewards. It serves it's purpose for me so it's fine but maybe do a little research on a card that gives you better rewards to use. I use it as a side card to collect points for future OBC.
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