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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/23/2023 in all areas

  1. Whether you celebrate Christmas/Yule or something/nothing else. I wish you and yours the very best. Here in Norway we celebrate on 24th (in the evening) with dinner and gifts, but many other European countries celebrate on the 25th. 23rd (tonight) is often marked with family/friends, tv and porridge + drinks. Since I am a 50% parent I get my kids tomorrow so today I am enjoying nuts, fruits and Harry Potter Movies. I am really happy to be a psrt of this community, you all (and especially @Matt ) have been a huge help already. 2024 marks my (2) first cruise(s) ever and I can not wait. Hope the next days are good for all of you, and as I have said before If you need any help/info about Norway (or UK, having a dad from Wales I am pretty well versed in UK too..) message me whenever. Being on a different timezone than most of you I am able to help at times others might be sleeping. Now to round this off before my Adhd mind makes me go all over the place again: Positive holiday vibes and energy from Kristiansand,Norway to all of you! -Chris-
    6 points
  2. Breakfast in La Terrazza this morning. The Silver Wind has been retrofitted with these all in one hand washing stations. They go through four stages first dispensing soap. a brief pause to lather, a clean water rinse followed by dispensing a paper towel to dry your hands, all in one compact station. Meal with a view. While La Terrazza advertises a buffet they also accept orders such as an omelette to your specifications. New expedition information posted. Our next destination. Enrichment lecture with Jess O. exploring the concept of survival bias using the Shackleton expedition and the Endurance as a case study. Very well done. In one hours time at 11:15 we have a mandatory biosecurity briefing for our next stop.
    6 points
  3. After some shopping at various gift stores in town I was ready to head back to the ship. Back on the ship for a late lunch at The Grill. Inbound returning guests: The postcard we were given. Stanley tourist information. Museum guide: The route of our bus tour and zodiac ride home.
    6 points
  4. I inquired if I could take pictures and they agreed so here are some pictures from inside the museum but I'm hardly capturing a fraction of the detail.
    6 points
  5. Biosecurity briefing. First we watch a video narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The South Georgia Islands take biosecurity very seriously and we will have another session this afternoon where we present all of our outerwear for the crew to go over to ensure it is clean. As far as the Avian Flu... The South Georgia Islands have mostly closed to visitors on land due to the Avian Flu. The goal is for us to have zodiac and kayak tours but without a landing. Weather conditions, sea state and an advanced scouting will dictate how our day progresses once we get to Cooper Bay, our first stop.
    5 points
  6. Daily briefing and recap. Tomorrow by noon we are expecting 3m seas. The next day, 4.7m seas. A history lesson of The Protector III HMS 251. She was a British mine sweeping ship that played a part in the Normandy landings. She later retired from military service and found herself in the Antarctic. Recognize her? We encountered her yesterday. Another crew member read an adaptation of the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. It's all about the Albatross. A wonderful dinner in The Restaurant. Time change tonight.
    5 points
  7. The walk back to town was easy. When we boarded the bus we were given a postcard with a stamp already on it that we could mail home. Here is the post office. A Catholic Church. The Anglican Church. Our guide had pointed out this house due to the brick construction. There is no brickyard in the Falkland Islands. The bricks would have had to have been shipped in back in the day, no small task.
    5 points
  8. Next stop... Government House. Originally built when Stanley and the Falklands officially became British in the 1800s. The newly appointed Governor needed a residence and so Government House was built. WWI War Memorial
    5 points
  9. Yesterday was a good day. The lyft picked us up at the hotel at 10:30 am. It was $15 from the hotel to the port. This was cheaper than the hotel shuttle which was $15 per person. We got to the port around 10:50. There were 7 ships in port so there was a lot of traffic in the port area. We went through security and check in pretty quickly. Noone paid attention to our 12pm boarding time. They did not allow anyone to actually board the ship until around 11:20 so we had to wait about 20 minutes in the terminal area. Upon boarding, we dropped our bags in our room, and headed to our muster station which was by the Blu restaurant. We then went and changed the time on our dining reservations at Eden on night 1 to 6pm. We ate lunch at the Mast grill to avoid the crowd. My husband and I both got cheeseburger.. I got mushrooms on mine and a few fries on the side. The burger was really good and I liked the location of the Mast grill on this ship that was more enclosed and protected from wind and weather, esp. in comparison to Solstice test. We ordered our first drinks. I got a frozen mojito. Hubby got a margarita. Next stop was the sunset bar which is a great upgrade on Beyond in comparison to Apex! The bartender told us she really liked it because the actual bar itself is more protected from sun and weather than other ships she has worked on! Next we headed to our cabin to relax and unpack our backpacks and relax. A little bit later, I found our luggage in the hall and we unpacked and decorated our cabin and door with some lights we brought. Pre-dinner drinks were at the Martini bar. As I mentioned before, we always upgrade to the premium drink package pre-cruise. From experience we know this better fits our style and preferences. Apparently there were a lot of recent changes to the celebrity drink menus. We heard a lot of people complaining that the could no longer get some of the liquers in the classic package.. Many people upgraded on the ship which is more expensive to do. Another tip if you are Elite is to make sure you call Royal Caribbean to do the upgrade so you can get 15% up the upgrade. Lately, they have also offered flash sales for premium drinks and wifi in the app, but the drink package flash sale was not widely offered for this holiday sailing! We did notice a significant change in drinks and the menu at the Martini bar. I attemped to order some of my old favorites and found out quickly they were not available. We ended up sticking with a tried and true favorite the lemon drop Martini. We found out a later from one of the bartenders that they changed the whole menu because of the Royal Caribbean Company's new relationship with Ketel 1. They also now have the machine for the expresso martini's that I have also seen in Schooner bar on RCL ships. ' Dinner was at Eden which is tied with 150 Central Park as our favorite specialty restaurants. We each ordered the crab cake sinc we loved it so much on Apex, but we also got the beef tandori and the shrimp appetizers for the table. Both were fun to try. In hindsight, I wish we had ordered 1 crab cake to share. For our main course, I ordered the lobster casserole which did not dissapoint. Hubby got the filet and short rib wellington. We both got the Creme Brule for dessert which was amazing paired with coffee! This morning made it to my 7:30 time in the gym and then we got coffee and Caffe elBacio. My husband also got the banana bread. At 9:00 we had registered for the Elite backstage tour in the theatre where we got to tour the stage and behind the scenes of the production area. At 10:30 this morning the Captain's club celebration took place in Eden where we got Mimosa's, Kir Royale, Champagne, or non-alcoholic options. There were also musicians and a special performance by 2 members from the Eden Cast. We found out from Captain Leo that this will be the first sailing of the Beyond through the Panama canal so it is a very special cruise! See you all tomorrow! Enjoy some of the pics!
    4 points
  10. Captain deemed the New Years Eve Sangria supply insufficient. Nearest Costco was Algeciras. Very few stores West of the Azores.
    4 points
  11. I don't get the connection, but Carnival is now sponsoring/partnering with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the Jubilee includes a huge star of Texas,i believe at her bow? Maybe Royal will don a Giant Jersey Tomato decal for ships ported in NJ someday ....
    4 points
  12. From the second floor: A sample of the rocks from the area. The Curiosity Corner was a great way to feel the fur and feathers of the animals we have or may see. A gift store. Stanley will be our last contact with civilization in the form of a town so this was our last chance for last minute shopping.
    4 points
  13. The final stop was at the Historic Dockyard Museum. We were given the option to leave the tour at this point and visit the museum or stay on the bus to return to the town dock. The museum is a ten minute walk to the dock so I decided to visit the museum. Admission is included for cruise ship guests. A propellor from the Protector.
    4 points
  14. The next stop was at the home of a resident who has become vocal against the whaling industry. They have several skeletons on display left over from whalers.
    4 points
  15. The next stop was a peat bog. Peat was the primary source of heating and cooking fuel back in the day. Despite looking like dried mud, there is actually a lot of energy in these "bricks". Our guide recalled memories of her childhood managing the peat to heat the house like some folks manage woodpiles to do the same. Absent of trees, peat it is, or was. Most homes now use home heating oil and they have tanks for this purpose at each residence. Stanley isn't a large town at around 3,500 people in the area. The primary place to grocery shop: My HOA won't let me park an RV on my lawn. I could only imagine if I parked a tank.
    4 points
  16. The town dock we landed at: We were offered several excursions for Port Stanley going back several weeks. Upon boarding they had added a couple we could switch to. I stuck with the Exploring the Highlights of Stanley tour. This was included in the cruise fare. This was a bus tour which I have a love-hate relationship with. Despite that I appreciate the value of seeing and learning a lot about an area. Our resident tour guide grew up in Stanley and was well acquainted with the town and its history. The bus was comfortable and featured vinyl seats. Apparently they have hosted wet cruise ship guests before. Typical housing. Our first stop took us through to the end of town, past the airport and to Whalebone Cove which features the wreck of the Lady Elizabeth. The Lady Elizabeth. In the day of wooden ships the Lady Elizabeth was a state of the art iron ship. Unfortunately she became damaged as she transited Cape Horn. Upon seeking shelter and repair in Stanley she struck a submerged rock. Being a remote small community Stanley didn't have the facilities to deal with an iron ship back in the day so there was little they could do for her. While waiting out a solution she broke free of her mooring and ended up in Whalebone Cove. Our tour bus. Our next stop was a sign post that was established by some military that were stationed here in the wake of the 1982 conflict. It has since become a popular attraction.
    4 points
  17. The zodiac ride today was 1.65 miles or 2.6km. At the briefing yesterday they warned us it could be splashy. Despite being in a harbor the Falklands get a lot of wind. Wind makes surface waves and a zodiac with surface waves makes splashes. This was the wettest zodiac ride so far. It was fine at first but once we entered the harbor and made that turn the waves were hitting the zodiac at the perfect angle to spend the next 10 minutes in a car wash. I set my watch to record an "outdoor walk". You can see where we anchored and the ride we took to town.
    4 points
  18. Day 4 continued... I'm starting this after dinner on day 4. We left Port Stanley several hours ago and we have two sea days ahead so I may finish the day 4 topic tomorrow, during day 5 at sea. Land was approaching closer so I knew we were near. In the distance you could see signs of civilization. Too big to enter the harbor, the Silver Wind will anchor outside the harbor and we'll zodiac to town. Not a bad view while waiting in my suite for my group to be called. Soon enough the call over the PA came and I was off.
    4 points
  19. As we’ve aged our C&A status is one the main reasons we sail on Royal as much as we do. RCL has the best loyalty program at sea. Back in the day RCL used to give you 1 cruise point per sailing. They shifted to 1 (or 2) per day at sea to differentiate types of cruises. Tweaks might happen but there should never be any thought of following mis-managed Disney into any area of change. I wonder in RCL ever thinks about mirroring the matching benefits on Celebrity (yes, I’m aware of the current match program - not good enough). I’m a D+ who will never make Pinnacle. If I got my 5 drink coupons per day I might make a permanant shift to Celebrity freeing up cabins on RCL for families with kids.
    4 points
  20. You know cruise day is close when …… Berty sends you his what’s app number and says to start messaging him. He has arranged a sailaway get together in our suite where we will celebrate Reyd and Michael’s upcoming graduation. I am praying that the rain holds off. All remaining celebrations will be finalized once onboard.
    3 points
  21. CFO folks never will fund IT based on a better potential experience. Their position is… We are making billions, why put money into IT? That won’t help us make more money. Until the system crashes and it costs them money, IT will be minimally funded. Look at Southwest. Same philosophy.
    3 points
  22. I don't think the program is broken, it is doing exactly what it is intended to do, motivate repeat bookings. When a program is successful isn't a sign that it must change. It's a sign that is has been designed properly. If it isn't broken, it doesn't need to be fixed.
    3 points
  23. Day Five - Sea Day enroute to the South Georgia Islands Position report: Balcony observations: Quite pleasant.
    3 points
  24. I had no idea how close The Tremont House is to Carnivals terminal until Reyd told me. Picture taken from our room.
    3 points
  25. I know. Who doesn’t like to walk along a pier with carnival music, lights, rides, games and food.
    3 points
  26. After supper we headed over to Pleasure Pier for a walk around. It was a nice walk, but definitely not worth the cost of admission. Lindsay was so annoyed he said he wasn’t giving them another cent and drove out of the parking lot through the entrance with a “do not enter”. I am sure the people exiting properly through the exit thought it was a moment from planes trains and automobiles.
    3 points
  27. That has been our experience with the chat feature via the Bonvoy app as well since covid. Many on HM since November have reported seeing that. I have not seen that yet with our OY sailing.
    2 points
  28. Biosecurity inspection at 14:00. We were called by our zodiac group number to the deck 5 lobby for an inspection of our outerwear, With that complete it's free time once again. The ship has a slight roll side to side which made my afternoon workout rather spirited. Great view though.
    2 points
  29. Whatever gift giving opportunity makes your December, may at least one of those gifts be a free cruise.
    2 points
  30. JohnK6404

    Happy holidays!

    Thank you and Happy Holidays to you as well!
    2 points
  31. I booked a Norway sailing for June 21, 2024. This booking was made when itineraries released in November 2022 and surprisingly had kids sale free.
    2 points
  32. I agree it doesn't make much sense. Buy gasoline and the posted price includes tax. Buy a roast beef sandwich and you pay tax.
    2 points
  33. The C&A program is excellent and so is the suite program. Both are arguably the best in the industry. The casino program is broken and needs so be fixed and that’s something I think most players would agree with. I would also like to add the IT department and customer service are a dumpster fire that needs to be extinguished.
    2 points
  34. Courtesy hold placed on Radiance Northbound May 16th. Eeeeek. Deck 2 (for motion) and Inside to put more $ towards experiences.
    2 points
  35. In other news, we watched Carnival Jubilee’s arrival. Lots of people were watching and cheering. There seems to be some local excitement about its arrival. I don’t blame them knowing that 6000 passengers will be boosting local tourism. It looks like Carnival’s terminal needs some upgrading.
    2 points
  36. Sure it might happen on a cruise that has very low demand, but don’t count on it. This is a sale to prop up demand for less popular dates and itineraries. They aren’t going to discount their most in demand season
    2 points
  37. This makes perfect sense. If RC is rewarding you for your loyalty, you have to maintain your loyalty.
    2 points
  38. Do you mean how tall you have to be? Because those are two different things I'm tall enough to do the zip line on Oasis, but I don't know if I could get high enough to try.
    2 points
  39. I hope they don't make it into a revenue model. I like it just the way it is
    2 points
  40. The moon of the summer solstice. With a guest appearance from Jupiter - the small dot on the right.
    2 points
  41. These are just some random thoughts on the loyalty program. Do you ever feel Royal will move to more of a revenue-based system from points (nights) status today? Most if not all other reward programs I know of have moved to that including all the airlines. But then again, the reward program on the airlines is more of a bank and almost a larger business than flying people. I am not sure how it would work or if you would get multipliers depending on your status and then X amount of points after each sailing that would move you to the next level. It would be interesting if you could earn points that could be redeemed for cash value onboard or free cruises. Almost like the casino program $5/10 spent equals 1 point and you could redeem 1000 points for $100 onboard credit or 2500 points is a free drink package for a cruise up to 10 nights etc. Not saying that has to be the exact value but it would be an interesting thing to start trying to get people to spend more money onboard/generate revenue. What are everyone else's thoughts on the CROWN & ANCHOR® SOCIETY? Do you think there will be revenue-based changes?
    1 point
  42. Slacker. You couldn't carve out one Vision ship? Do better in 2024!
    1 point
  43. Based on Algeciras being one of Spain’s largest ports for the bunkering of LNG, I think they stopped for gas…and maybe a snack for the trip. Maybe some Buc-ees beaver nuggets…
    1 point
  44. Yes, they offered it in 2020: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2020/09/29/royal-caribbean-will-offer-kids-sail-free-during-summer-first-time
    1 point
  45. Keep in mind that diamond, diamond plus and Pinnacle all status match as elite. Therefore, if you are diamond and want to sail celebrity, you might as well just do that. There isn't any advantage in waiting for diamond plus.
    1 point
  46. There are loads of things to do both places. I would check Tripadvisor/Viator. When it comes to Barcelona some of my favourites are: Park Guell Tibidabo mountain The Beach The zoo and citadel park
    1 point
  47. I personally think 2-3 cruises are the way to go. If I can get two 7n then I am a happy camper. Plus, as people who have to fly, there are savings involved
    1 point
  48. This is a random post about nothing….We saw a man wearing a t shirt that read “Sick of people, they are EVERYWHERE”. For some reason the phrase was made even funnier by the man that was wearing the t shirt. IYKYK I wanted to take a picture of the man but the guys wouldn’t let me.
    1 point
  49. Chili

    Australia/NZ Cruising News

    I was in Texas for thanksgiving and the subject come up . You Australians don’t tip ,such cheap Charlie’s. And I went through it and why . At the end of the day they were shaking their heads and saying ,how did we get this system. They said it’s out of control even the self serve check out wants a donation.
    1 point
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