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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/11/2019 in all areas

  1. 7 points
  2. 5 points

    Smaller Ships

    I'd share that I have zero desire to cruise on any of the ships that are like amusement parks on water. I don't want or need water slides or zip lines or any of that. I am probably in the minority but there has to be more than one of me that is okay with just sitting quietly and reading a book while I sip a drink. There has to be more than one of me out there but probably not many so they leave the smaller ships to us folks who actually avoid slides and zip lines and all that. I have nothing against them personally but it's just not what I want when I cruise. I'd like to think they realize there are still a few of us left around. Let me have that illusion.
  3. 5 points

    Mike's Pastry - Boston

    @Matt I think the Brilliance Group Cruise might have to have a bakery taste test meet up so that we can determine which of these places are better than the other!
  4. 4 points
    My comments made it into the video. I feel like such a celebrity! (No autographs or paparazzi, please!)
  5. 4 points
    So ... @StephanieH ... about my booking ... I wanted to ask you ... about ... uhmm... Just playing! You're an awesome TA!
  6. 4 points

    Has anyone had a cabin here?

    If I booked GTY and got an aft balcony I'd be buying lottery tickets! So jealous!
  7. 3 points

    Perfect Day - Lelepa

    Leave the political discussions out of this news, please.
  8. 3 points

    Day 1 What to expect, please?

    Please @Love2Cruise2002 & @WAAATOOO and anyone else who would like to chime in, we are sailing in 36 days and are told the sailing is pretty much full. Never heard anything from Royal Up yet so we will be in an OS deck 11. Our embarkation lunch we plan to go to the CK on 17, is this super crowded on embarkation day? With the SL open 11-11 can we get a glass of wine with lunch as the amenity? We have the refreshment package as when I did the math even with our max of possibly 4 glasses a day, and even that is a stretch, it would not make sense cost wise to purchase the DBP At what time should we expect to be allowed into our stateroom? I am a 50 something mom and I am excited like a little kid, I just can't wait. Any additional advice for this first time family? Thanks so much!!
  9. 3 points
    Hello Everyone. It That Time Again. It Cruise Time. Anyway I Am Going To Keep This Story Quick. So Here Is Are Ports Of Call. -Day One- Port Miami -Day Two- Coco Cay -Day Three- Nassau -Day Four- Coco Cay So With That Said Let The Blog Begin!!!
  10. 3 points
    The cruise at the end of the day was NOT a cultural immersion. The boat is mostly full of British then some Americans and Germans, and the balance are made up of Australian and other parts. There are more Chinese waiters than any other nationality, but they can generally speak some basic English to understand what you want. Some speak some really good English. A serious word of warning. We were told by our agent that we did not need a visa in China as we would fall under the 144 hour transient visa. We did our research and confirmed that that was correct. When we arrived at Tianjin we were detained at the passport control area for 1.5 hours because we did not have the 144 hour visa to be transient in China. They took our passports off us, left us just before the immigration point on our own in an empty hall for about 30 min. Numerous people came and questioned us a few times. Eventually a lady took us somewhere and written on the wall was '144 Visa Application'. The person who was obviously in charge and holding our passports did not recognize or accept the documents we had for the cruise ship because he wanted a ticket out of China. We showed him all the stuff we had printed off, our agents itinerary, plus all the accommodation etc, but still he was not convinced. Eventually we had 9 people involved all looking at our paperwork passing it around, talking through translators to us. Someone in a high viz vest arrived who understood the cruise documents and then they took our photos and we filled out some forms. We were then taken to another area, more forms. Then through immigration. The lady behind that was not happy with one of the forms. Luckily the high viz man was standing on the other side and then a bit of discussion and pointing. When we boarded the ship, we had heard that about 300 people, who were booked on the cruise, were turned away at Xian and Beijing airports because they didn't have visas and were relying on the 72 or 144 hour transient Visa. Some went back home while others changed their flights to Japan and joined the cruise in Japan. We thought it was an elaborate story until we actually ended up at a shared dinner table with 2 couples who were affected. My agent has also confirmed this as true becuase it was on the news in Australia and New Zealand. The one couple were rejected for no reason at Xian and the other couple were split up. They let the wife in and not the husband. When asked why they were refused entry, they were told they didn't have to give a reason and that the computer says no entry. They told us that 2 entire plane loads of people where turned around at Beijing airport. Apparently the one was Emirates and the other a Turkish airline. We also met a couple who went through what we did at Beijing, except they were not alone. Just about everyone on their plane who was on the cruise didn't have visas, and they were all ushered around a corner to apply for visas. Some of the people who were in the visa que were also refused visas and had to make other plans. They would not allow people to buy tickets on planes leaving from a different terminal - they could only book flights departing from that terminal. The only flights leaving from that terminal were to Seoul. Some had already booked tickets departing from other terminals, and had to book another flight via Seoul to end up in Japan. Some went back home. Passengers were not allowed to leave the area were everyone was been detained until they could produce boarding passes on their phones. There was one Scottish man whose phone would not connect with the Wifi and he could not book his ticket. Another couple paid for his ticket just so that he could leave. He was very stressed out by it all and was not well at the end of it. Apparently the cruise is short of about 120 passengers who decided to go back home. From what I gather, they were from various places around the world, not just one country. The food has been all Western food. I must admit i am a little dissapointed because Asian food would have been wondeful. A strong recommendation - you have to eat at Wonderland on the boat. Go hungry. It is something like Hestons style food. It was the most incredible evening and allow for 2 hours to eat. All the activities are free, the Solarium was open to all, Northstar and Ripcord just needed booking at Guest Services, but free. You could not book Northstar or Ripcord through the app because it was still set for the short Asian cruises and was going to charge you. Apparently on the short Asian tours, which is for the Asian market, they have to pay for a lot of things. As we dont drink a lot of alcohol, we did not get an alcohol package. But a word of warning, alcohol is very very expensive. The only drinks that you dont have to pay for are water, tea, coffee out of a urn (not barrister coffee), juice cordial mixed with water. He rest costs money. If you want fresh juice or barrister coffee, then that costs. We drink tea, so we did not see the need to purchase a package either. They have a hot dog and ice cream stand by the pool, which is free. The one thing that is open from early till 3am is a place that makes really nice pizza. There are always the best cookies around as well. Our room had a kettle, cups, tea, cofee, milk etc in the room. With regards to shore excursions, we tend to always do our own thing as we are not into looking at old buildings and museums, and all big cities look the same. For us it is about finding the nearest food court or street food and eat local, having lived in Thailand and China before. The good thing about doing the 'On Your Own' shore excursions that the cruise offers, was that they wait for you if the bus is late. I found this to be important especially if you are traveling at peak traffic hours. Our shore excursion was cancelled in Hong Kong due to safety issues with the demonstrations which i fully understand and appreciated, so we got off the boat and were told by the local tourism people who were answering questions at the port, that we could catch bus 22 outside the door and get off at the end of the route at a shopping mall, then later catch the same bus back. It only cost us Hong Kong $5 each. Much cheaper than a shore excursion. In Taipei we went into town with cruise 'On Your Own' excursion and were dropped off at Taipei 101 - tallest building (peak traffic time). Did not get off at Japan. Da Nang - had not planned to get off plus it was bucketing down, so between the downpours we walked around the wharf as there were some hawkers selling stuff. We would have liked to have walked to the village which was about 25min walk away, but did not want to get that wet. Am planning on doing the 'On Your Own' in Saigon. We bought the basic Vroom package for internet. It was worth it. Easy and quick internet. Could live stream to family, watch Netflix. I did not see the need the buy the one where you can make calls because we use Whatsapp. The weather is hot and muggy. I struggle to understand how people can lie in the sun all day in this weather. My insides would cook. So we spent a lot of time in our cabin which was cool - resting on our balcony. The shows and entertainment were wonderful. A different one every night. For those that like to party and drink, it is all go. We booked the cruise for some rest and relaxation, and it has been good. 12 days is just enough - put on far too much weight with all the food. I would recommend the longer cruises if you dont want a cultural immersion. We have been told by the crew, that the short cruises around Asia are the cultural immersion ones. Wow, that was a long reply
  11. 3 points
    Continuing on, I realize that I didn't discuss itinerary. Both sailings are going to Nassau and Coco Cay. The 4nt (first leg) has us embarking on Monday, a Sea day Tuesday, Nassau Wednesday, Coco Cay Thursday and back to Port Canaveral on Friday. Our second leg omits the sea day an visits Nassau and Coco Cay in that order. For the first visit to Nassau, we have scheduled a sunset cruise. We figure this will give us a nice opportunity to see Nassau from a different perspective since we have been there so many times. In Coco Cay we managed to snag a great deal on an Oasis Lagoon Cabana. We have never had a cabana so that will be a nice experience.
  12. 3 points
    I guess maybe I will be next “up”. We are in the Grand Panoramic Suite on Oasis Dec 1. We have already received our [useless] questionnaire but have not yet heard from our Genie. I am a terrible live blogger b/c I don’t take pictures and I only have an iPad so I try and minimize the narratives (to everyone’s relief, I’m sure). Since it seems that we will be the first to experience the newly amped Oasis is SC, I will make more of an effort than I have in the past. So excited for you, Pookie (I love both your names !). The first SC is so amazing. Just wait until you do your first B2B SC. Then you will really understand decadence ! 😂😂😇
  13. 3 points
    Random observation but it's because all of the other letters in Manitoba besides "b" are used in US state abbreviations!
  14. 3 points

    Post-Cruise Blues

    As someone in the medical field, I can highly recommend that you rapidly book two more cruises and post in the morning!!! That is exactly what helps my post cruise blues!!!🤣
  15. 2 points

    Goodbye Grandeur

    I am on the last sailing. I Love Grandeur. Lady G was my first cruise ship. I am going to miss her. I have two more sailings with her.
  16. 2 points
    Can't wait to sail with you guys! We will start to have some plans like pre stay and such once we get into 2020. But as @Matt stated. We have learned over the years that its really hard to plan some events in advance because the number of guest can change drastically right at final payment. Also, please know that I have to work with the events team on board the ship for many items and they will not even talk about most plans until a couple months before the cruise.
  17. 2 points
    Phew, that was a close one. I know you guys are party animals 😜😂
  18. 2 points

    Texting between two phones on board?

    I used the WhatsApp app to text with my daughter on Independence in April. It worked really well and we didn't have any issues with the WiFi on board.
  19. 2 points

    Group booking question.

    I have had lots of experience organizing group cruises. It’s a PITA. Everyone enthusiastically says “YES !” When you first talk about it and then when it comes time to pony up money, everyone scrambles and disappears. Even family. I totally agree that it’s best to let a TA handle this. Just make sure that your TA understands that you expect all “bonuses” associated with the book grouping are going to be credited back to the group. When a booking is a group booking the Agent receives all of the discounts and bonuses and if you have an unscrupulous Agent they can hold some of the benefits for themselves. Just make sure it’s someone you trust.
  20. 2 points
    dr martini

    Room Upgrade

    Correct. I think royalup has worked very well to fix sorting demand for stateroom by category. Royal often has more "guaranteed balcony" staterooms fares sold than actual balcony staterooms available (or pick another category, I'm just using this for an illustration). Thus, the royalup emails get sent out a few weeks before your sailing and then depending on bids and status they reward the folks who were in balconies the chance to bid up the most to get into the junior suites, which are kind of an in between category that on many ships doesn't offer the whole high end experience. (You can also see that they've added a lot of these in the corners for front of the ships in each Amplified dry dock) Also lets high status customers or people already in the junior suites slide up to any unsold high end suites, etc etc. Just a good all around tool for Royal to sort everyone into a cabin they are happy with. Maybe they don't get the initial big up charge they wanted for some suites or other categories in the first place, but they do get a lot of valuable data on pricing demand, category breakdown, and customer trends moving forward. Hence, you almost never see last minute deals on suites or ocean view, they simply royal up and get more money from existing customers booked on that cruise, then blow out the cheap inside rooms in the bottom of the ship. It's obviously working very well for them. Anymore it's all about that big data and we are just the guinea pigs haha
  21. 2 points

    Tipping...cash vs sea pass card

    Petty sure the majority here gives cash and if the wait staff really takes good care of you be sure to write them up (by name) in you end of cruise survey.
  22. 2 points


    Cheapest rates are almost always to be had from withdrawing euros directly from an ATM once in the EU. Use euros in the ports; on board you can use dollars, for instance the casino is dollars only and I wouldn’t hesitate to tip in dollars if more convenient for you. Fyi if you need to break euros on board you can do so at guest services
  23. 2 points

    Shopping in San Juan and St Maarten

    St. Maarten has the "port village" just off of the dock, but that is your typical collection of overpriced and kind of schlocky merchandise (e.g., Diamonds International). If you want some decent shopping you'll be better off going into Philipsburg proper on the Dutch side of the island, or Marigot on the French side. Going to Marigot in the morning also means you can get some great authentic French breakfast pastries. 😋 In San Juan there is an area close to the port that has a nice collection of shops, dining places / coffee shops, and buskers; along with the pigeon park that is a big attraction. IF I'm remembering right, you'll walk to the end of the dock where it meets the main road, cross the street, then turn left and walk a short distance to your first right, which will go uphill to the pigeon park and shopping area.
  24. 2 points
    The biggest advantage with booking thru RCL, no matter the price difference, is that if something happens and the RCL excursion arrives back late, the ship will wait for the RCL excursion people ........ if something happens and your 3rd party excursion is late, the ship WILL leave without you.
  25. 2 points

    Kids Passports

    It also has very limited use. Cannot use passport card for air travel, for example.
  26. 2 points

    Unlimited Dining Package + Playmakers

    No reservations at Playmakers. Back in May didn't have any issues on Symphony ordering. Plus no issues if asking for a to-go order. Just make sure you tell them you have the dining package prior to ordering.
  27. 2 points

    Mike's Pastry - Boston

    We went here.. and to the place across the street - wish I remembered the name - but they filled the pastries while you were there so they were not soggy when we got them. BUT.. the plan was to bring them to the ship - hmmm...... they didnt make it! 🙂 I ate the last ones in the Lyft on the way back to the ship. So my add to this - buy more than you think you need if taking back to the ship!
  28. 1 point

    Cabana Question - Swapping Guests

    I have not rented a cabana in many years - certainly not since they started Perfect Day so I really do not know what the Genies can and cannot do for you regarding cabanas. While I have read that Star Class no longer have "first dibs" on cabanas at Coco Cay, I suspect they still have some ability to influence activities....but who knows ? Here's my guess. I think that they would give you 8 wrist bans to be distributed in any way that you wish. Then the other 3 people will have to purchase the day pass for South Beach. Since I have never even SEEN a South Beach cabana (as no one else has either) I can only guess that once you have the wrist bands, they probably really do not care who comes and goes from the cabanas themselves. This is all just a SWAG at this point but I do NOT believe that they will allow all 11 of you into South Beach for the purchase of the cabana. I believe that 3 will have to pay. For my upcoming Anthem cruise in Feb., day passes to SB are $64.99 each.
  29. 1 point
    Might be better to listen to @AnnetteJackson --Strike this-- If it follows the ones on Voyager class, Sky. -END-
  30. 1 point
    If you don't play much, your best strategy is to uninstall the app and set a reminder to re-install after 90-ish days. I recently received 500k LP from Konami Slots "welcome back" bonus as a result. I would choose Pop Slots as the first app to uninstall as that app requires player interaction to earn LP.
  31. 1 point

    Mexican Currency

    I never used anything but USD in Cozumel.
  32. 1 point

    CocoCay Questions

    Also, if you have the deluxe beverage package, you can scan your sea pass card or wow band at beer machines in the buffet area on CocoCay and pour your own draft beer.
  33. 1 point
    Essentially, she won't be back in Baltimore until tomorrow afternoon, thereby delaying departure for the 5-nighter to Bermuda. Now she will arrive in Bermuda at 8:30 am on Tuesday and leave that same day at 5:00 (instead of arriving on Monday around lunch time and staying over night. Footage of her trip back from New England shows incredibly high surf as she makes her way back south.
  34. 1 point

    Tipping...cash vs sea pass card

    When giving an extra tip at specialty restaurants, do people leave cash or add to their sea pass account?
  35. 1 point

    Room Service Coffee

    Thank you, Joe! This is our first time on RC (embarkation on Sunday...yay!) so I thought I better find out 🙂
  36. 1 point
    Take the Conundrum! I am not a big fan of wine but I love Conundrum, White and Red.
  37. 1 point
    I would only pre-book two things: Cabana on Coco Cay and Shore Excursions. All else, let the Genie do it. The sushi making and cupcake classes are included. Same with the Escape room and the behind the scenes tour and the bridge tour. Wait for your Genie. The money is better in your account than Royal's. Does not make sense to book it first. And @Pookie, I think we have the same cabin!
  38. 1 point

    CocoCay floating mat

    Okay thanks! I'm Jersey shore-trained to never leave anything behind EVER. (seriously, EVER) But I like the idea of establishing a base for the 2 of us.
  39. 1 point

    Allure Star Class Take Two

    Thanks. Glad to have you following along.
  40. 1 point

    Packing Cubes

    We had a really lengthy discussion about them in this thread:
  41. 1 point

    Allure Star Class Take Two

    lol Thanks for any and all updates! We're cruising in a month and DEFINITELY not cruising Star Class 😭. For now I'll live through you!
  42. 1 point

    Departure day time irregularity

    I have never seen a ship that didn't match the local time of the port it was in. That being said, I would arrive before noon your time. The earlier you can get to the port the faster you can start your cruise. They usually start letting passengers on about 10:30-11 am. Enjoy your cruise!
  43. 1 point

    First Time Star Class!!!

    Had black both times I was in Star in this year. Never used them though....card was easier for the way I roll. 😉
  44. 1 point

    Oasis Class Ship to Australia?

    Aall Australians do is moan :L
  45. 1 point

    Set sail - app or paper?

    Nope, can all be done with the app Though I do still like to have the paper ones in my carry on just in case my phone lets me down
  46. 1 point
    Back to the ship to change and get my good camera. I tested Voom on CocoCay and once again the speeds were very good for satellite internet. Always good to avoid scaring the mermaids away. Back to the Snack Shack for a Shack Crispy Chicken Sandwich, a Greek salad and fries. The mango fruit drink is surprisingly additive. Yum. The floating bar remains popular. The pool was hopping again. Having been several times to the new CocoCay I couldn't imagine it now without the pool. One last trip back to the ship. Someone's not going to have a Perfect Day when they get charged for leaving a pool towel behind...
  47. 1 point

    Windjammer Themed Dinners on Harmony

    My hubby says all days 😆 I don't know how he expects me to eat in the MDR, then visit the Windjammer 🤔 I don't have the same appetite as our last cruise, when we were a lot younger 🤣
  48. 1 point

    Miami Hotel

    We stayed 3 nights last November at the Hampton Inn Brickell, which is a Hilton brand hotel. We were very satisfied with it and would definitely consider staying there again.
  49. 1 point
    My family likes to play L-R-C (Left, Right, Center). It is small, fast play, and easy even for the youngest to join in. Not sure if we will even play it with so much to do on the Oasis; however, I keep it in my travel bag so I will be taking it.
  50. 1 point
    Because if you do both, then you can have a drinking board game! "Dad, why are you gulping your margarita every time we play a tavern tile in Carc?"
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