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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/07/2022 in all areas

  1. Adriana

    The Key? Yesss!!

    Hi all! I just got off Anthem today. The absolute worst cruise ever, but that was my own experience. Anthem and Royal are wonderful, I am a new Diamond level and one day, will go back. Having said that, the best part of the cruise was The Key!! For one, if you plan on getting the Surf and Stream package, most def get The Key. Keep checking prices, for me, it was only a few dollars more to get The Key than just the internet package. Now, as I said, I had a challenging cruise, but had things gone differently, The Key would have rocked even more. Upon arrival, you have a nice, short line to check in/board. It so happened that 90% of those on line were Key and in wheelchairs and did not have their documents out, so it took muuuch longer. If you see the short Key line, first take a gander to see who is on line. If you see many wheelchairs and walkers, go to the regular lines. They went so quickly. Once inside, go to the designated dining room and they will take your carryon luggage and you have lunch from the Chops menu. They took a bit of time to take my luggage, so I took it myself so I could begin to unpack. If you are not as unpacking anxious as me, you get it brought right up. Once I got to my cabin, there was a family there, so my carry on and I spent the day until 9pm at Guest Services. Most people do get their carry on quickly and you do not have to lug anything around. Big plus! You also get priority seating. All my issues stopped me from getting to the shows, but if you get there early, you get a cool seat! I did get to make it to Spectra Cabernet, awesome seat, but after stopping it three times due to tech issues, they cancelled it. But, great seat if you have The Key! Now, my absolute fave part was today. There is nothing better than knowing you can get off whether you want during the de-embarkation process! You get a great breakfast just for you from about 7-8am. I had to miss it since I got food poisoning yesterday, but a great benefit. When I was ready to leave, I just walked down to Boleros and a gentleman escorted me right to the gangway, bypassed that line that wraps around the ship and was able to show my Sea Pass card and get off the ship. My luggage was happily waiting for me in a little Key area right by the exit door. The benefits for today alone made it worth the price! I am def going to go for it again. If you are on the fence, check prices and see when it goes down, especially if you are getting internet. So worth it when you bypass that long line!!
    6 points
  2. PPPJJ-GCVAB

    The Key? Yesss!!

    Hi @Adriana I followed your recent blog and feel so sorry for all you had to endure during the entire cruise! Your attitude and demeanor throughout the week totally impressed me! I hope you feel rejuvenated after your few days visiting the Shrine.
    6 points
  3. easy, it means David Hasselhoff is performing in the main theater.
    5 points
  4. EnSeven

    The Key? Yesss!!

    Can i say, reading your posts over the last couple of days, you're my travel hero, you're who i want to channel when faced with travel difficulties
    5 points
  5. Day 0......Cruise day. I just want to say I had been going to the nail salon for as long as I have lived in this neighborhood. Last year they got new management. I had a bad experience so I stopped going but I figured since they were literally in walking distance I would give them another try. Next time I will read the Yelp reviews. They have gone through "new" management twice in the past year. Any how it is about 3am in Chicago. The temp was a very windy 60 degrees just yesterday. It's about a windy 40 now, which is basically below zero for Floridians. I am waiting on my Lyft to the airport. I do have TSA precheck but I am checking a bag. All my RoyalUps are still pending, maybe I will be upgraded after check in. I did receive an email telling me to stick to my arrival time. But it's at 11am so I'm good.
    5 points
  6. I'd say that's a solid alternative seeing as the storm you're avoiding may have 25'+ waves
    5 points
  7. Adriana

    Just venting

    Back on dry land!! I never thought I would be relieved to be done with a cruise! Just when I thought I got through the worst of it, I got food poisoning. Ugh! I spent most of the day in my cabin yesterday and had a really nasty night. At one point, the cabin steward came in, saw I was in bed and left. His cologne got me all the sicker. At around 9pm, I took out my luggage, he saw me and told me I have been sleeping. Yes, thank you, I know. He said I told him to make up my room but I was sleeping (I don’t recall that, but all good). “Yes, I have been in bed, I feel very sick after lunch.” His response? You gotta laugh! “Oh, okay, but you like me service?” Yes, it is fine. “Then, you are fine? Have a great night.” No, I am really sick, but thank you, you have a peaceful night. The door then closed and locked me out of my cabin. Siiigh. @asquared17, nope, no tasty breakfast. I don’t think I ever want to eat again. Still feeling the food poisoning effects, so being a bit dramatic now. After the cruise, I drove up to MA to visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy. A couple days here should heal that cruise! At least ask for forgiveness for whatever I did to deserve that comedy of errors!!
    5 points
  8. If you have your heart set on a Oceanview balcony I would just book it. There is no guarantee that you will be upgraded with Royal Up.
    5 points
  9. I have a rollator which is a walker with wheels complete with a built in chair. I used my rollator for the embarkation on our recent cruise. I also used it often during the cruise. . I didn't expect preferred treatment but the staff at Royal Caribbean were very cognizant that I might need some assistance. I would say the cruise guests were very respectful too. I had to decline elevators when offered because it was just as easy for me to wait for the next one. It was my first experience with taking a rollator on a cruise. The rollator got in the way sometimes because I didn't need it all the time. The last time I was on a cruise, I didn't have a rollator. A man came up to me when he saw me walking on the running track. He somehow knew I was having back pain and said I wouldn't be able to walk that off. He said that he had something for me that might help. He went back to his stateroom and brought me some of the chemically activated heat packs. I didn't mind too much that he put a hand on my shoulder and said a prayer. It made me realize that I needed the help and a rollator was an excellent solution. People were generally too kind and considerate but there is nothing wrong with that.
    4 points
  10. CruisinMikeD

    The Key? Yesss!!

    If I were in Adriana's shoes, then the best thing about The Key would be to get off that cursed ship before everyone else.
    4 points
  11. Sorry for being really far behind with the blog but my laptop and Voom don't really like each other so uploading the pictures is a gamble. Day 4 brings us to Cartagena, a nice little town situated in a hilly bay. As the cruise port is next to the city center, we had intended to get off the ship and explore. Unfortunately I was feeling a bit under the weather (either due to dehydration, too much sun, too much alcohol or a drastic change in diet, who knows) so we abandoned that plan. We still started the day with the Sudoku challenge – try that one with a headache, it’s sooo much fun… If you ask me, Michael won this round because of my headache, if you ask him he won because of his superior skills – choose what you want to believe Today’s prize were two Wonder-branded Mobile Pockets. Sudoku was followed by a trip to Cafe Promenade and light breakfast at Park Cafe. I LOVE Central Park and it’s lucky that our GTY put us just one deck down from it. The cabin is a bit far aft, but thanks to the door to the Rock Climbing Wall at the end of our corridor, you get a nice shortcut to Playmaker’s that we use often. We tried a round of mini golf this morning and I predictably lost. I tried to rehydrate with virgin drinks while ship watching (Celebrity Reflection was again with us, Wind Star was a new one) but gave up around noon. We took a detour to El Loco Fresh for some Mexican fare and then retreated to the cabin for a long nap. Initial plans for the evening were the headliner show with Peter Grant followed by 150 CP and trying to sneak into inTENse. We skipped the headliner show for sail away because Schlager isn’t really our kind of music (not even close ) and Cartagena is a nice port for sail away. Reflection went first and we followed closely after. Due to Cartagena being a rarely used cruise port there was quite a crowd gathered to see the ships leave port. The Vue bar is a nice spot for sail away. When it got too dark to see much, we relocated to Giovanni’s Wine Bar to try out some wines. We’re not wine snobs, we either like it or we don’t. Michael found a nice red wine for him, I’ll stick to Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. It might be cheap but I really like it – so much that I even got a few bottles for my birthday after the TA on Symphony. After a few drinks we went to 150 CP and were again blown away by the incredible food. Good thing we booked it twice for this cruise. Our menu choices were Seared Honey Glazed Scallops, Crispy Berkshire Pork Belly, Sunchoke Veloute, Lobster Thermidor, Roastbeef Tenderloin and Fried Cheesecake. The lobster was amazing but no competition for the Tenderloin – this really is to die for! Having an extensive dinner made us nearly late for inTENse but we lucked out on getting the last two chairs. I have no idea if this is only on Wonder and maybe only on our side (portside), but if you follow the hallway on deck 7 aft to the very end, you go through a door onto the balcony for the Rock Climbing Wall. They even have a few chairs for people to use. In this spot you can see the Aqua Theater shows just as well as from the Aqua Theater Suites – ok one deck lower but who cares? It’s a nice perspective and over 2 devices we made more than a thousand photos – but I’ll sort through them once we’re home. We finished the evening with a few drinks.
    4 points
  12. smokeybandit

    Anticipation

    I do think you need two cruises to know if you really like cruising. After the first one you now replace googled expectations with experience. Then for the next one you can do this/don't do that from lessons learned on the first one.
    4 points
  13. 4 points
  14. twangster

    Clear CPB in Juneau?

    You will be processed by CBP in Vancouver as you board the ship. CBP likes to weed out the riff-raff before they step on US soil.
    4 points
  15. CruisinMikeD

    Just venting

    @Adriana You are way too kind. If I am interpreting your experience correctly, then heads need to roll for the treatment you experienced. Every manager who failed to help you needs to be named on your survey, and your experience described on the survey, just as you described it here. It's additionally shocking that you're receiving such bad treatment as a Diamond member. Even the bottom tier passengers should not experience such apathetic customer service.
    4 points
  16. “Washy washy” means clean your hands!
    4 points
  17. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it. I guess there are still caring and compassionate people out there. I hope God blessed him as he asked for God’s blessing for you.
    3 points
  18. They could have communicated it as soon as they know for a major space like that. Not saying they should accept cancellations beyond final payment date without penalty, but that they should try to communicate it. It becomes a softer blow by cruise time if it has had a chance to settle and isn't a slap in the face when onboard. No need for them to go to the extreme, but they could have at least taken 1 step. That would have been better IMHO.
    3 points
  19. For bucket list cruises, we book as soon as the itinerary is released. We’ve found the price to be the absolute lowest when we book this early (ie. no matter how many times we check up until final payment, it’s never cheaper). For example, we booked our October 2023 Italy cruise the first week of January 2022. Our March 2024 cruise was booked in March 2022. We are waiting for the 2024/2025 itineraries to be released to book our next one…hopefully this month.
    3 points
  20. WAAAYTOOO

    Stateroom move possible?

    I totally agree with @twangster. The rooms close to the elevators are prime real estate. NO WAY would I move from there !
    3 points
  21. TessOR

    Anticipation

    Our first cruise was in the form of a gift from a family member. They gave us the $$ and said to do something fun. We booked a cruise because we had very busy work lives and not a lot of time to plan destinations. It was that or an all inclusive resort and we liked the idea of seeing multiple nw places but unpacking once. We tried to do everything on that first cruise! Carried the compass around with us, studied and planned each day the night before. Even with all that, we loved cruising and booked our next one while onboard. That was in 2004. We do it a lot different these days, but that’s the joy of cruising for us. Every sailing is different and we get to choose what kind of vacation it will be each time. There are some perks for booking onboard so relax, enjoy this one, and if you love it- book another, and another, and another!
    3 points
  22. twangster

    Anticipation

    Don't book any more until you know if cruising works for you. Too much research ahead of time can lead to unrealistic expectations that can be hard to achieve in real life. Just go and see if it's your thing without spending endless time over analyzing and researching endlessly. Too many you-tubers and bloggers over hype the experience and often they don't cover the mundane stuff like packed elevators or waiting in queues to board and for entertainment or dining. Cruising isn't for everyone and there is nothing wrong with that. You've booked one, now see for yourself if it floats your boat (ship).
    3 points
  23. Wife and I were just on Oasis of the Seas. I'd read about cruising ducks a couple of months ago and was like "Hey, when I'm on the cruise, I'll look around for some." Then I totally forgot about it. I saw one on top of one of the elevators (the frame above it, obviously) and said "Oh, I'd forgotten about those. I found a duck!" I realize we're not the "target audience" for these, but we looked around the ship (in between trips to the bar and casino, of course) and managed to find 5 total. We're going on Mariner of the Seas to celebrate my 50th birthday and we're bringing 50 of them with us to hide there. It's fun and people seem to like it. Here's our haul (my personal favorite is the giraffe).
    3 points
  24. smokeybandit

    Anticipation

    When my son was 2, nearing 3 we decided it was time for a family vacation. We looked at all inclusive resorts, but thought we'd give cruising a try since it was all inclusive, but you also went somewhere. TL;DR version, it was just the onboard relaxation and "do what you want when you want" that sold us. Our son could have his time in AO, we could have our time at a show. The crew really helped, too. As stressful and weary as that job can be, all the crew always put on their best face and went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed. After sampling other cruise lines in the same market as RC, we found this to be unique to RC.
    3 points
  25. ellcee

    Masks???

    I've been doing this for years on flights. I seem to catch something every time I fly so I deal with the smirks and stares. I'll offer a wipe to those who make a comment. most people will take one. I've had a few people yell at their spouses for saying it's silly. Nothing sucks more than being on day 2 or 3 of a trip and coming down with a cold or sinus infection.
    3 points
  26. Yea, that's the way we are 'interpreting' the way RCI words all this. We ARE stopping in Columbia in December on the VIsion..and it's more than a 9 day cruise. It just says 'unvaccinated' passengers need to test 3 days prior to boarding [ie for a stop in Columbia]. It does not state directly [positive affirmation] that since we ARE vaccinated, we DON"T have to test. We have only to ASSUME this. There is no statement about number of days anymore, thusly, again we must ASSUME that means we do not have to test if more than 9 days [on that point, no one has to test [unless stopping in Haiti, Honduras, or Columbia AND unvaccinated]]. It remains confusing because one has to ASSUME by what is NOT being said, rather than specific wording that AFFIRMS each condition [that nullifies previous protocols]. Wording has been kind of atrocious on the protocols from the getgo, ha, especially when everybody and their brother [every nation had something different] had a protocol when travel started back up JULY 2021 that changed almost weekly. This is how we are INTERPRETING our 11 night cruise [again, more than 9 days, and stopping in COlumbia]: Only 'unvaccinated' passengers need to test before boarding, for reason that COLUMBIA requires it. The former 9 day maximum before people had to test no longer applies [no limitation on length of cruise since nothing is so stated anymore?]. Therefore, since we are vaccinated, we will NOT have to pre cruise test for our upcoming 11 night cruise on the Vision OS [neither issue applies to us by assumption]. We only go into detail here because we are having to INTERPRET [assume] most of this and could be wrong in some way.
    3 points
  27. FireFishII

    The Key? Yesss!!

    I am glad that at least 1 thing went well on your trip - your debarkation! Sorry you were unable to enjoy a breakfast. Food poisoning is no joke. Get well soon!
    3 points
  28. asquared17

    Just venting

    @Adriana i am hoping your disembarkation goes smoothly. i know the bar is set high at this point -- not because we're asking for the impossible (although.... are we?? ) -- but because every time i think your experience can't get worse, it seemingly... does. hope your key breakfast was tasty, and that service was speedy. also sending positive thoughts bc the marathon is today and there's no telling what that will do from a logistics standpoint. in any case, i hope this cruise becomes the new 'low' benchmark for you. not that we want you to have that, but that every cruise from here on out simply gets better and far surpasses your frustrating and terrible experience aboard this time around. you are always a sunny personality here and have navigated this with much grace and kindness; even when you are frustrated, it is always warranted and yet you still did not unravel and treat the people around you badly -- which is impressive, given just HOW insane this trip got. i am choosing to hope and believe that your (admirable) self control and outstanding ability to keep perspective will be rewarded. if not on this cruise, definitely on the next one!
    3 points
  29. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! used to be used when they had monster truck races on board
    3 points
  30. Hey guys, little bit of a vent post. I went on my first cruise last year from the 30th of december to the 8th on allure, and it was the best time of my life, it was also me and my wifes first vacation in 10 years. it might sound strange but our first stop was coco cay and when i was floating around in the sea i literally felt stress leave my body, after an incredibly stressful year. Well we decided to spend our savings on a jumbo trip this november, for my wifes 50th birthday. We were leaving on the 6th of November and back to backing it with a second trip leaving from the 13th. Unfortunately, life decided to kick us in the teeth a bit, first i had a hospital trip in march for 5 days with norovirus and cdiff, then our dog had an emergency surgery, then our fridge died, then our dryer died, then in september i needed emergency shoulder surgery, resulting in me needing to recover for the next 6 months. We managed to get refunded with the NRD getting given back to us in cruise credit, but all our savings got eaten up by the non stop issues. So here i am, feeling bad for the wife, obsessing about where our ship is in the ocean on https://www.cruisemapper.com/?imo=9383936 feeling all kinds of guilty and down. Anyone have any suggestions on which cruise we should spend our 800 FCC on? Anyone experienced similar? We arent sure we are gonna be able to afford a cruise even with the cruise credit next year. Sorry for the depressing post just figured this might be a good place to vent.
    2 points
  31. @AshleyDilloI totally plan to sail again with you as it was a favorite if mine. Being on Harmony, makes me nostalgic. Oh it's raining so hard so I don't think Fine Line is happening. Also it's after 6 and casino hasn't opened yet. Lady next to me keeps hitting machine as if it will make it start......
    2 points
  32. I assume you are referring to Allianz ? We have the Allianz AllTrips Premier plan. Since we are both on Medicare, which is not good outside of the US, we have this plan primarily for its medical and medical evacuation coverage. Below is the information regarding our coverage.
    2 points
  33. I would suggest not relying on Royal Up and just pay for the upgrade to secure it. If you roll the dice with Royal Up, you most likely (90% chance) will be disappointed with the outcome.
    2 points
  34. CruisinMikeD

    Duck, Duck, Cruise

    This is awesome. Since I'm not a fan of Facebook, I'm going to do this my way. I'm planning on spending a weekend to get a website up and running to track the ongoing adventures of 50 ducks scheduled to depart on the Allure of the Seas on December 11th! Stay tuned!
    2 points
  35. @WAAAYTOOO this is a first for me. I plan to visit the MTD area after I finish lunch. The waiter just brought a lunch portion of the Carbonara. I didn't ask for it but I tried a bite and it's too rich. The burger is really good, nice and juicy with a good flavor. Jamie's is starting to fill up more but they are really spacing out the courses.
    2 points
  36. GatorCruiser

    Anticipation

    Cruising is life!
    2 points
  37. teddy

    Anticipation

    We went on our first cruise blind….meaning we did no research ahead of time. We woke up early one morning before work and started talking about where to go on our first vacation without kids in 20 years. My wife asked if I’d ever consider a cruise, and when I said yes, we started looking at Royal Caribbean’s website. We chose Royal because her brother and family had sailed with them and were happy. Before we went to work we had a cruise booked for January 2019. It was a 5-night on Mariner and we had such a great time that we booked another for Jan 2020 at Next Cruise…then we booked another short one after we got home for Oct 2019 because we wanted to go on a ship again. Fast Forward to yesterday, and our Crown and Anchor points for our last cruise were awarded and we are now Diamond. To say we enjoy cruising is an understatement. I say go on your first cruise and see how you like it. Have no preconceived notions and go with the flow….just be aware that you will not have time to experience everything the ship has to offer without running yourselves ragged. Frequent cruisers seem to be very outgoing and love to talk to fellow guests. We’ve learned an incredible amount by talking to other guests while on the ships and have made some very good friends in the process.
    2 points
  38. ZBrady

    Anticipation

    I think your first cruise experience will be a little overwhelming - even though I tried to prepare by watching videos and looking at past Cruise Compasses, it was definitely difficult to be able to know what the experience will be like the first time; there is a lot to take in! For instance, it will take you a few days to feel completely comfortable navigating the ship. Luckily, this gets easier over time as ships share a lot of the same design elements. Every day you'll get a better feel for how things operate and you'll learn what does/doesn't work through trial and error. By the end of the week you'll have a pretty good idea if cruising is the type of vacation you want - for me, I felt like I was just getting the hang of things and definitely wanted to do it again now that I had my first experience under my belt! Doing your first cruise will also give you an idea of what you did/didn't like about your ship and itinerary, so that will better inform you if you choose to book another one.
    2 points
  39. I have never experienced decent mac and cheese on a Royal ship. They each have had different interpretations of the dish but mostly it's a very bland dish of slightly creamy noodles in all of the venues. Not surprising as the orange cheese they have on the buffet and cheese plates is very flavorless. Even the generic version of the blue box stuff you make at home is better than the ship!
    2 points
  40. totally agree! 3 cruises in 2022 (Indy x 2) and Mariner and the food was not good in the Windjammer and MDR. On mariner my niece ordered Mac n Cheese on the kids menu and was served noodles with a half melted piece of kraft singles on top. Royal has taken a turn for the worse coming out of the pandemic.
    2 points
  41. Mike n Ky

    Just venting

    A number of responses have mentioned using the survey. I do believe that positives on the survey serve those who you point out or areas you praise. But, they totally ignore negatives especially where it deals with your experience on the cruise. They will appease you on a call, but it still generates nada in response. Just under ten weeks to Odyssey and excited to experience her as well as our first visits to Labadee, Aruba and Curacao.
    2 points
  42. Thanks..think I'll look on the site and get a few room numbers and price them with the reps to see if it's something I want to do. Looking at deck 8 to be near central park..14 to be near adventure ocean or maybe 6 for easy boardwalk access.
    2 points
  43. I think it is the other way around, they have to have a non-US port. That is why the Alaskan cruise always stop in Victoria. But I could be wrong.
    2 points
  44. I bought the set for my 9 year old who loves stuffed animals. She will be quite excited to see them in our stateroom next month. I am glad this showed up.
    2 points
  45. Ensenada! We arrived early in Ensenada for a short stop -- all aboard at 2:30 pm. Given that we have a sea day tomorrow and LA is not far away, I'm not sure why we stay such a short time in port. We would have enjoyed more time. In any event, we left the ship after breakfasting at Windjammer. We were relatively early to WJ, so it was not too crowded. We met our tour guide Emilio from ATVEnsenada a short walk from the ship. Emilio then drove us a short distance to his shop where we quickly filled out paperwork and got geared up to take ATVs. Our guide took four of us to a "mountain hot spring." We drove the ATVs down a busy highway for about 20 minutes. We then turned onto dirt roads, and we drove another 30 minutes to a hot spring area. I will try to add photos that convey the beauty of the place. We arrived after about 50 minutes to an oasis consisting of several pools where they pipe in water from the mountains -- one hot pool, one cold, and a couple mixed hot/cold. We enjoyed the pools for about an hour before driving back. It was a dusty trip, and we arrived back to the ship hungry and dirty, but happy with the excursion. If you have more time in port, the trip ends with a lunch stop. We, however, did not want to miss the ship (and I get anxious about such things), so we walked back from Emilio's shop and boarded the ship at about 1:30. We had worked up an appetite, so we settled on lunch at Playmakers. Hunger did not survive the experience. We had burgers, nachos, and shared a sundae. It was enough for the remainder of the day and night. I was still full upon arrival at Jamie's for dinner! By then, it had warmed enough to enjoy the outdoors. We watched the kids do their thing on the flowrider, played mini-golf with GD, and otherwise enjoyed the afternoon. As mentioned above, we had dinner at Jamie's, but I remained full from lunch so did not have too much. I did think the tiramisu was the best dessert I have experienced on the ship!! After dinner, we went to the iSkate show. We all found it entertaining. By then, we listened to music a bit at the countryish bar on the Royal Promenade that I cannot name, and called it a night. Another great day!
    2 points
  46. asquared17

    Masks???

    love this and fully agree. also we are those people clorox wiping down the seats on the plane
    2 points
  47. Ryan79

    Masks???

    I was speaking to a business owner about 6 months ago with some idle chit chat. He said the greatest gift that COVID ever gave us is that it seems to have completely eliminated the flu. In 2 years not one employee called out sick for they day with the flu, they all called out with COVID for the week!
    2 points
  48. ...this nail salon experience doesn't seem real. my jaw was literally open as i read what happened -- and time issues aside, i... am simply at a loss with the tiktok catfight. just when you think you've seen it all... glad to hear you have a good boarding slot for flying. actually, you're probably in the air right now!! JUST KIDDING I CAN'T KEEP TRACK OF SPACE AND TIME. i am hoping your flight will be smooth and hassle free. can't wait to hear that you've made it aboard the ship WITH luggage/carryon, and have your margy in hand. also winning your RU bid would be a real cherry on top of the sundae
    2 points
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