Jump to content

Leaderboard

Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/02/2022 in all areas

  1. I'm on Quantum now, and the only difference from Ovation that I can tell is the signs are bilingual. I'm not sure if the Northstar is running at all right now, but there are complimentary and fee reservations. The ship is clean, the service is fantastic. I'd pick the itinerary I like best.
    9 points
  2. In a thread in here somewhere I promised that I would save the "Cruise Compass" from my May 13th cruise on Ovation of the Seas from Seattle to Alaska, 7 night cruise, round trip. Well, they got thrown away on the last full day of the cruise by SOMEONE in my party. So, I'm sorry for promising and not delivering. I'll do better next time .
    7 points
  3. 7 points
  4. We got our Covid test test done this morning Bermuda here we come. First cruise since 2018 I am ready to go. Cost 60.00 at the local Pharmacy in and out in around 30 minutes.
    6 points
  5. Yes! But one bit of warning on using Print screen or web capture, it will also capture the tabs of all of the internet pages that are active. So, close out porn sites so the tabs don't show.
    6 points
  6. @10-42 and @smokeybandit Thanks for making me laugh tonight. I really needed this!
    6 points
  7. The following is from my teenage daughter who is doing this as both a summer project and a bit just for fun Pre-Cruise PostTomorrow my family and I will be leaving Florida to go on Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas Alaska cruise! I’ve never been on a Royal Caribbean cruise or an Alaska cruise before, but I have been on quite a few Disney cruises in the Bahamas, Caribbean, and even the Panama Canal. This cruise was originally planned for 2020 but with COVID, it got pushed back a year, then another year. I’m just glad that it wasn’t canceled again, yet (I’m hoping I didn’t just jinx it), and I’m very excited to be cruising again!A little bit about myself: my name is Caitlyn and I’m 13 years old. Now you’re probably wondering why a teenager is taking the time to write a blog while cruising. There’s two reasons really. One, I love writing more than almost anything else. I even go to an arts school to major in creative writing. Two, I had started researching what there was to do on the ship. Thing is, all the information I could find was from an adult’s perspective. I could find advice on what club to go to once the kids were asleep, but couldn't find almost any information about activities for teenagers or specifics about the teen club Optix, other than it exists. So I said to myself: "Self, why don’t you help all the other teenagers going on this kind of cruise and write the info yourself?" And so that’s what I’m doing.I’ll be going on this cruise with my mom, dad, and my 15 year old brother, Jonathan. In my posts, most of the pictures will come from Jonathan. Sadly we can’t take our dog Coco, so we had to find people to take care of him. Luckily, we have good friends who offered to let him stay at their house so he isn’t lonely. I will miss him from the moment we leave till when we get back again.The toughest part about this cruise was probably the planning. Seven days to fill with excursions and the endless possibilities of what we could do. Needless to say it took a lot of planning, but I’m happy with the way it turned out. We’ll be doing a fun excursion at almost every port. There’s also a little bit of an adventure after the cruise before we go home too, but more on that later.Nope, I was wrong before, the toughest part was packing! Since I live in Florida, we have to fly to Vancouver to board the ship. We can only have four carry-ons (one per person) and we’re only checking two bags so we don’t have any space to spare. One way to save space was using these wonderful packing cubes that make everything seem to take less space… although, it can’t do anything to make these clunky hiking boots any smallerWe are nearly done packing already and somehow all of our clothes and shoes and cameras and everything fit into our suitcases. Now it’s just a matter of waking up tomorrow before the sun is up and fitting everything in the car… Wish us luck!Only one more day till we fly out and I think I might explode with excitement! I’m going to try my best to post every day, but we didn’t get the internet package, so I can only post at ports. If I miss a day, I’ll catch up later. I just can’t wait for seven days on the seas to the last frontier to see the beautiful scenery and run away from the Florida heat.Stay tuned in for my Alaska Adventure!
    5 points
  8. First, regardless of whether its 2022 and everyone has a smart phone, it is a good idea to have paper back ups. Case in point, we were at a baseball game last week and there were signs everywhere indicating "cashless" venue. I took cash. The Stadium was PACKED for the first time in a long time due to a special event. The Wi-Fi went down. No food, beverage, or goods vendor could make a transaction. Technology is NOT FOOL PROOF. I already ordered food and could not pay. They held my food. I offered cash. My family was the only family eating in our row. Here is your tip of the day: When printing your Set Sail Pass, if you print in portrait mode, it is three pages and cuts off your actual pass into two pages. Put the printing preference in landscape mode and print only the third page. Bingo.
    4 points
  9. On iPhones they simply appear in your wallet!
    4 points
  10. Insider recently crapped on CocoCay as "not being for them" because it wasn't authentic enough. I guess she should have tried a pretend pew pew space ship https://www.insider.com/perfect-day-cococay-private-bahamian-island-tour-photos-2022-5
    4 points
  11. I think nearly everyone prepares for a cruise right? Have you ever noticed how many new pairs of shoes shoes you see on fellow passengers on Day 1? In my case going on a cruise also means putting at least $100 into a cash register at Kohls. If Kohls does not have the shoes or dress pants or flip flops or polo I am looking for....I go to a different store. I think it is entirely fair for Royal to prepare for an upcoming cruise in the same way. If they forecast a reasonable need based on upcoming passenger volume for more labor, potato flour, or Jack Daniels and they can't obtain this items from their normal vendors....then they too need to go to a different store. We all can accept some shortcomings. You can blame it on COVID, supply chain issues, or unexpected demand. But the OP is bringing up a different situation. The OP (and lots of chatter I hear from other places online) is that for the high price that is being paid for todays cruise fares and onboard spending; there are too many shortcomings. So many shortcomings that they can no longer be overlooked and people are getting upset. This needs to stop, pronto.
    4 points
  12. 4 points
  13. 4 points
  14. Level 1: It's T-minus 45. Got checked in and got my preferred time slot! I'll unnecessarily fret about how long it's taking to validate my vax card, but oh well Level 2: T-minus 30. Holy cow my luggage tags are ready. My luggage has dust on it in the garage and I'm not touching them for another 4 weeks but gosh darnit I'm printing these luggage tag right now! Level 2 isn't much more exciting than Level 1 but those luggage tags are some physical artifact that the cruise is near. Level 3: T-minus 2. My armpits are soaked from that 15 minutes of anticipatory hell constantly squinting and wondering "is that a second line or just an eyelash?", but the covid tests are negative. Level 3 is a Richter scale tier difference from Level 2. Level 4: Liftoff. On board the ship. My flights made it, I got a great absolutely terrible night's sleep at the hotel like a kid on Christmas Eve, and I got through check-in with no issues. Let the fun begin. Obviously Level 4 might as well be light years from Level 3.
    3 points
  15. I print all documents and have them sorted by passenger. When checking in I hand the agent the passport with the documents and the next thing you know we're on board having a drink and enjoying VACA! Bill
    3 points
  16. When doing a B2B whether solo or otherwise, I always plan to hit a drugstore, liquor store, and maybe even a bank while in port in between both cruises. Chances are strong I'll need to pick up something from a Walgreens/CVS and if they sell wine--bonus! For me this is a planned event it is not "shopping". I will do research where the the closest stores are that have wine, toothpaste, and safety pins I need. I have that address written down and maybe the address of the bank branch that's closest. Once I get the new sea pass for cruise #2 I go outside a grab a cab or an Uber and give them the address I need. Important: I make them wait for me to return; their meter is running. I can tell you a good story how I got "stuck" in Miami last November getting my eyeglasses repaired and buying wine for the next voyage. Total honesty: I have never needed to go to a Chase Bank in-between cruises, it is only a fantasy that I would have won so much cash in the casino the week prior that I need to make a deposit. But I like having lots of options... A way someone who wants to save money on a drink package when doing a B2B might try this. I have never done it, but I'm pretty sure it works just fine. On your first leg go and buy some yourself some bottle(s) of booze. Something you like to drink straight up or w/ water, nothing fancy pants. Be it at a port stop or in Royals little liquor store onboard. Allow them to confiscate it and on the last night of cruise one Royal will send someone around to personally deliver your hooch; the hooch you'll being enjoying during cruise #2.
    3 points
  17. BINGO. What use is the App, website, or any other source of cruiser information if they do not communicate that they cannot deliver the goods nd services? People say its bad business to state things like being understaffed. No. It is bad business to not communicate. You don't need to say "we are under staffed." You can say "we are experiencing difficulties as all other businesses but are striving to ensure a pleasurable voyage; as such, the Solarium Bistro will be closed for lunch in order to provide full service at Windjammer." Something like that. Take the Northstar offering off of the App or at least indicate in advance that it may be down. People say that I am not grounded in reality. LOL If I go to BestBuy and plop down $2,000 for a 4k Ultra HD TV, you better damn bet that I want everything advertised in that TV. If not, I return it right? Once on board a ship, I don't get my money back. I'm not saying that I cannot be sympathetic. I certainly can. Why else would I be bringing a ton of additional cash for tipping and such? I know these people work hard and have missed out on one year of tips and salary. I can endure a 90 dinner. No big deal. But the bosses need to step up the game and be upfront. I can easily shape my expectations once I get information straight from the source. No one but RCCL knows for 100% what shortages they have. No one but RCCL knows for 100% sure what RCCL's monetary restrictions are. That is all speculation. BTW, plenty of big businesses out there let consumers know in advance that there might be issues in delay or shortage of products. I am still going to try and enjoy my upcoming cruise. Just looking at whether I will be cruising again anytime soon thereafter.
    3 points
  18. Never cruised from Boston, but I do recommend the Courtyad Downtown/North Station (link below). If you’re staying in the North End (or anywhere :)) then I recommend the following which are all on Salem street and close to the hotel I recommend. Italian — Al Dente (http://www.aldenteboston.com) Bakery — Bova’s (http://bovabakeryboston.net) Sandwich — Pauli’s North End (https://paulisnorthend.com) hotel - https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/bosne-courtyard-boston-downtown-north-station/overview/ my wife and I were just Portland Maine and ended up driving to Boston to eat dinner at Al Dente since it was only about 92 miles from Kennebunkport which we were doing a side trip for
    3 points
  19. If only there was a way for Royal Caribbean to know how many guests were going to be aboard in advance....let's say... a month out. <shakes head disapprovingly>
    3 points
  20. I am often a solo female cruiser, and my advice is to live your best life. I am a cautious woman, so I still do all the safety things I should, but mostly I am just free. I have done Europe as a solo woman and would often do special tours and group day excursion.............where more often than not, I am invited to join couples and friends. It will be your choice as to who you want to be around when invited and what you want to participate in. The amount of freedom that comes with doing anything solo is amazing but if you aren't used to doing things alone, and even when you are, there will be small periods of loneliness but that can be easily remedied especially on a cruise. Most people who cruise are wonderful and friendly, so you won't ever have to be alone unless you want to be.
    2 points
  21. I thought I used all mine too but my TA found about $168 and change. She said reason being is that you can choose to apply the whole amount but sometimes they don’t use it for the taxes and port fees and that becomes part of your cruise balance. So a small amount may have kicked back later but customer and TA not always notified.
    2 points
  22. iPhones and Apple products are for beatniks and hippies.
    2 points
  23. LizzyBee23

    Staffing Issues Query

    @10-42, I think you've found the core of the strategy for RCL: if they advertise a venue is closed or unavailable, then a ship full of people will feel like they're missing out (and personally I think it's the right thing to do). If they don't advertise it and let it come out only once people go looking for it, only a subset of the full ship of people will feel like they're missing out. Maybe RCL is making the decision that it's essentially cheaper to buy off unhappy customers with FCC's or OBC's while hoping the majority of them remain ignorant of the scale of the problem. Foolish, in my mind, but I value honesty and transparency and am not a customer with malleable expectations.
    2 points
  24. Most everything will wait. I go directly to a specialty restaurant and get all my dinner times set before they fill up. While the staff is setting my dinner times I am on the phone setting my show reservations. After I have that done then I do the muster station.
    2 points
  25. We decided to take over the counter covid tests today just to ensure we aren't flying to Seattle for no reason. Tests negative and kids all on the mend from the flu. Looks like we are a go for tomorrow!
    2 points
  26. Flew to every cruise on the way to making Pinnacle then moved to Florida. I think I got it backwards. That was a lot of flying and a lot of hotel stays to cruise. Some flights were direct but many involved layovers and 8 hour days. While I only had a two hour time change the clock wasn't working with me flying to the cruise. Have also flown to Europe and Australia to cruise and from Hawaii to the mainland after a cruise. The flying to cruise made B2B cruises more appealing and short cruises unappealing. After moving to Florida I had to rethink the way I cruise. Short cruises opened back up as a possibility although I still prefer longer cruises.
    2 points
  27. Another option that works is to do a web capture of just the Set Sail Pass and past it into either Word or PowerPoint for printing. This has the added advantage of easy access if you find that you need to print again at the last minute (assuming you save the file).
    2 points
  28. And it isn't like you know what is or is not working at normal capacity or at all. There are many many things that you may not get to trying until you have been on the ship for several days. I didn't know the Bistro wasn't open until I decided to go and have lunch in it on about the 3rd or 4th day. I DO NOT REMEMBER, any written announcement saying that it was not open, at all. The only thing I kinda remember is that the Bistro was not mentioned at all in the Compass. But, on the first day of the cruise, I didn't put much thought into it. sOn the first day, we were told that the Northstar was not going to be available during the cruise because it had a mechanical issue and that they were expecting repair parts being delivered to the dock in Juneau. Well after about 3 or 4 days we were told that it was fixed but not operating because of staffing issues and will not be open for the remainder of the cruise. Off topic thought: I try to keep informed about what going on on ships that I plan on cruising on in the future, this includes Quantum Class ships. It seems that the Northstar is down a health percentage of the time/cruises. Which I don't really understand, it is nothing more than a very basic crane, a very basic hydraulic crane. Hydraulic cranes have been working almost issue free for many many decades now. The Northstar seems to be disproportionately down and out. Makes me wonder if it is an attraction of convenience for Royal. If they have the crew, it works, if they don't have the crew, it's broken. And if you listen to the actual words of people telling you what is going on with the Northstar, it will tell you the real story. For example: We were told, by our Genie, that it was down, not available for the cruise and parts order to be delivered in Juneau. Keep in mind that we were told, the first thing out of our Genie's mouth about the Northstar, that it wasn't going to be available for the cruise. But, parts were on the way. A psychological trick to make you thing that there is a chance of it working, eventually, but if it wasn't, they told you that it was down for the entire cruise . This is not to say that my cruise was ruined because of the Northstar, not at all, just my opinion of how they (Corp., tells crew how to explain things because of their shortfalls) parse their words and try to cover-up things.
    2 points
  29. ....and you don't have to get it. If it makes people happy and they can afford it, that's awesome. You can say that about cruising as well for people who book Star Class instead of regular rooms and going on more cruises or just about anything.
    2 points
  30. 2 points
  31. And we're back at it with yet another update! I’m going to break this one up into two parts. I’ll start with Versailles, and the next post will cover our dining at Le Jules Verne. We began the day with breakfast once again in the hotel - the express breakfast this time, which is basically just pastries and coffee. It wasn’t enough, and I should have gone for the larger breakfast, but I somehow managed to survive and I am here to tell the tale. It was a brief walk to the train station, and thus began my journey of learning that, while public transportation is incredibly convenient, it’s also, really, really complex. First off, we boarded the wrong train. The directions said to take the ‘C line,’ so imagine my surprise when I learned that there was not 1, but three separate C line trains. By the time we realized our mistake, the damage had been done in terms of time. We ended up getting to Versailles about an hour late. And then we discovered how many different types of tickets there are for the train system in Paris. It turns out, we bought the wrong one, and the penalty for buying the wrong ticket is a painful 35€ each! So, here’s my caution to anyone visiting Paris! It absolutely does not hurt to ask the information desk for help to ensure you get the right tickets. After our little bit of drama, we walked over to the Chateau de Versailles. It takes about 5-7 minutes from the train station, and it’s impossible to miss. There are signs everywhere, and once you round the corner, you will immediately begin to understand the meaning of the word ‘opulence.’ The complex is vast. Unbelievably vast. Certainly in the last 100 years or so, we have built larger buildings, but modern architecture tends to build up rather than across. There is no mistaking Versailles for anything but what it is: a massive, massive palace. We entered the gates after a very cursory bag check (Ashley only brought a small wristlet) and made our way to the entrance. It’s incredible to envision what this place must have looked like in all its splendor - with the entrance courtyard filled with people, but even as we approached the entrance, the one thing that stuck out to me was how empty it all is. Versailles is beautiful from every angle, but it is just as obviously an empty shell of a home where once there was life and energy. Inside the chateau itself, we went through the main wing and the hall of Louis XIV. Every room seemed to feature artwork that was somehow more massive than the room before. At one point, Ashley said, ‘that’s the largest painting I’ve ever seen’ - a sentiment that was repeated over and over until we entered what I can only describe as ‘the Napoleon room’ with massive corner to corner illustrations of the Emperor of France himself. It took almost an hour and a half to wind through that first wing, and we were starting to feel a bit peckish (see earlier note about my mistake of not eating enough breakfast). We decided to get a ‘quick’ lunch in the tea room, Angelina. The pace of dining in France is hard to get used to. It’s not just leisurely - from my perspective, it’s downright glacial. The food was wonderful, of course, but it was hard to not feel a bit impatient when it takes 90 minutes to be served and eat a sandwich and a pastry. For lunch, I had a club sandwich, which was honestly more like a chicken salad mille-feuille than what I expect from an American club sandwich. But it had bacon, so all was right with the world. Following lunch, we took our time to meander down to the gardens. For as large as the interior of Versailles is, with its enormous rooms and corridors, it pales in comparison to the expansiveness of the rest of the grounds. Around every corner, it seemed we found another direction where the garden just seems to go on forever. On another trip, we might have spent a bit more time walking the grounds themselves, but it’s been a lot of walking already this week, so we took it easy, made sure to get some good pictures of the various fountains, ponds, trees and hedges, and decided to call it a day. The one silver lining with our ticket buying snafu was that the attendant who processed our penalty suggested that we buy our tickets back to Paris right then, to avoid the lines later in the afternoon. That piece of advice probably saved us over an hour. The lines looked to be 20-30 minutes long, but the trains back to Paris only run once an hour, and I think if we had been forced to wait to buy tickets we would have missed the next train out. Fortunately, there is only one way back to Paris from Versailles, so 45 minutes later we arrived back at the train station and made our way back to the hotel to rest and take a brief nap (this turned out to be an excellent decision).
    2 points
  32. Well at the very least the pool at CocoBeachCLUB is heated now! I do believe I have read about it somewhere on this forum
    2 points
  33. We just got off Symphony. One thing that was really nice was they had a trouble shooter at the entry to guest services. Usually there is a long line. But the person up front was able to take care of all the easy stuff and keep the line short.
    2 points
  34. When I stay/buy a hotel room, I'm paying for a clean bed, clean bathroom, hot water, and a few other amenities. When I stay in a hotel, I pay anywhere between a +/- hundred to +/- three hundred dollars a night. When I have a booking in a hotel and upon check-in I find things to be substandard, I can go to the front desk and refuse the room, cancel and get a credit back on my C.C., believe me, I know this to be true. When I buy a cabin on a cruise ship for X amount of days, which is a CLOSED/CAPTURED society after it starts to cruise, includes much much more than just a clean bed, clean bathroom, hot water, and a few other amenities, but for thousands of dollars more. A cabin on a cruise ship includes, which is advertised heavily, several different kinds of shows, several different restaurants, several different kinds of adventures and excursions. What I expect from a cruise line is to be honest and upfront. If the Northstar isn't going to be operating throughout the cruise, so state in advance. If a particular eating venue isn't going to be open throughout the entire cruise, say so in advance, if a show isn't going to be offered, say so in advance. If the cruise is short handed to the point that many/all venues and activities are impacted in one way or another, so state in advance. If most or all mentioned is true/happening, don't continue to hide it, don't require full price as if nothing is missing, and be up front with it. There is one quick way to lose loyal customers, which is the backbone of almost every business, and that is to be dishonest with them. And BTW, once the cruise ship leaves the pier/dock, you can't just say you unsatisfied and check out.
    2 points
  35. Stage 3 is coming up for us, 3 weeks from tomorrow. We're getting ready to go into full blown anti Covid mode, masks everywhere, no unnecessary visitors or visiting, take out instead of dine-in, etc. There is a stage between 3&4, will our flight get cancelled or rescheduled. We're flying down to Miami the day before and we've already been rescheduled from morning to afternoon. The way the airline industry has been going, it's definitely a stress point.
    2 points
  36. If you are looking for a classic historic hotel I recommend the Omni Parker House (home of Boston Cream Pie and Parker House Rolls)(also where JFK proposed to Jackie). Classic panelled dining room, beautiful lobby, etc. Near everything. In my opinion it is the best in Boston. A bit pricey but worth it!
    2 points
  37. Awesome post! My June 25th cruise is coming quickly. I will add 1 last stress: Quickly booking show and specialty dining reservations as soon as I walk on the ship. No time to ooh and ahh about how big and beautiful the Symphony is. Book those damn reservations!!!
    2 points
  38. Matt

    Staffing Issues Query

    There's a major difference between Vegas and Royal Caribbean: Only one was shutdown for a year and had to take out loans to survive. If cruises could have operated with impunity like Vegas, then I would agree with you completely. But cruise lines have to get to 90%+ capacity to be profitable. Breaking even is no longer good enough.
    2 points
  39. Spot on! I recommend that RC adds a bar to hand out the refreshment of choice immediately at the end of the boarding gangway to award those with a who have passed the Indiana Jones-level feats of planning, waiting, reserving, testing, uploading, printing, packing, flying, driving, uber-ing, masking, swabbing, hand sanitizing, worrying, cough-squelching, checking, double checking, waiting again, until FINALLY.... you can board now.
    2 points
  40. I'm on the Oddessy of the Seas for 10 nights in September. I got the drinks package for €43 per day, however, I called them to book the cruise and pretended like I was questioning whether I could afford the cruise along with all the drinks etc. and then the person offered to include the drinks package half price. If you want to book it online now it's around $90. A friend of mine told me that's how he always does it. Might be worth giving it a go next time.
    2 points
  41. Was on Explorer May 8 for 6 nights. Experienced delayed boarding....but learned that was actually due to reduced staffing at the port, not the ship's fault. Having read the reviews, we did not elect MTD, and experienced absolutely no issues with respect to late night seating in the main dining room. Most crowded night was, of course, lobster night, but that was it. Also spent a lot of time in the bar/lounge areas (no judgment please) and became friendly with the bar staff (no surprise - - I'm a bartender myself). Yes, they were out of a lot of liquor, but the dedicated staff would go "borrow" from other bars as they could. Supply chain problem for sure (just look at the dining menu). My restaurant suffers from it too. As far as staffing, well I can't comment on the underlying issue, but I did see virtually every staff member work exceedingly hard and most definitely dedicating themselves to the guests - night & day. There were several times I just wanted to jump in and help. Happy to see the guest count up, but if you're living in the real world, the expectation needs to drop a notch or two, or the patience level needs to increase a notch or two. We'll get there again...just takes time.
    2 points
  42. If our cruise in two weeks is like this, I think we'll explore dining options other than the MDR. Since our My Time reservations are so late (8ish) I am hoping we'll fare better. My advice is to look at what you can control, and don't get overwhelmed by what you can''t...
    2 points
  43. When we sailed out of Port Canaveral last month, there were not specific lines that I could see and no one asked or directed us based on boarding times to enter the building. When we went to board the ship, it was announced that you shouldn’t board until your time had been announced but they had 5 people scanning barcodes and hundreds of people trying to board. I also didn’t see anyone turned away for having a later boarding time. To me, it didn’t seem like they cared about it. The suites, pinnacle, and the key guests boarded first and that was the only time I saw people turned away if they tried to board before their time. We had a 10:30am check in and an 11am board time. We got on the ship by no later than 11:30am.
    1 point
  44. For us too. I’m sooo excited. My sister and I keep thinking…what will we talk about after the cruise. We just need to book another one.
    1 point
×
×
  • Create New...