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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/14/2019 in all areas

  1. 9 points

    New Odyssey Capt?

    I saw a listing on monster.com. "Odyssey Captain Required, salary TBD" Just kidding. With four Quantum class ships they have eight Captains now since all Captains work on a rotational basis. Typically the same two Captains will stay with a ship for several years taking turns while the other is on vacation. I've heard they rotate every few months, two on, two off sort of thing. The Captains stay in touch by email letting each other know of note worthy events and/or maintenance conditions. At the same time there are Staff Captains that do something similar. They may move more between ships so they are exposed to different Captains and expand their knowledge in this fashion. They are fully capable of being Captain, but each ship has only one Master of the vessel at any given moment. Every ship in the fleet works on this basis. At some point a Staff Captain may be ready to become a Master. They likely would not take a Staff Captain who has never served on a Quantum class ship to be the first Odyssey captain. They'll likely take an experienced Quantum class Captain for Odyssey and backfill the vacancy on their old Quantum class ship. It doesn't have to be this way, they could take any of their Captains and move them to Odyssey. A Voyager Captain could be picked, an Oasis Captain could be picked. If that Captain has worked through a build process on another ship that experience works in their favor. The Captain and a Staff Captain will join the ship long before it is handed over to Royal however their position isn't official. The ship yard has it's own Captains who will be on board for sea trials and fulfil the role of Master until the ship is handed over because until it's handed over, the ship doesn't belong to Royal. Royal's own Captains will be on board but in an observation role. Despite that they all tend to get along and be included in meetings and operations. Looking beyond the bridge as the ship becomes an actual ship and is ready for crew to live on board Royal will begin to assemble the "float out crew" for Odyssey. They tend to pick experienced crew for all positions, from chef's to bar managers to waiters to hotel directors the entire crew will need to be selected. Several of the Symphony crew I talked to on the transatlantic have been chosen to be the float out crew for several Oasis class ships. They knew the drill, they've done it before, this is how a ship can launch and be so ready on the very first cruise. At some point as the ship is nearing completion the float out crew or many of them will start living on the ship. The bridge crew may have been for months now. They have had cabin attendants and meals served on board for a while. In this manner the ship itself is tested albeit not for the thousands it will eventually serve. At the moment of handover the crew is in place and ready to go, all experienced and hand picked from across the fleet. In conclusion they don't crew the ship with newbies off the street. They tend to staff positions from across the fleet drawing on more senior or repeat contract employees who already know their jobs and the Royal way of doing things. The vacancy they create on their old ship will see people move up within the ranks based on individual merit to do so. It works this way for bridge crews as it does for the customer facing hotel positions.
  2. 7 points
    Today I went to collect our passports from the Chines visa agents , finally we found few days were we are both at home and can leave the passport for few days (it takes up to four days to get the visa if you are not paying for expedite process) so I guess it’s a good opportunity to start this “I do not know how live it will be” blog. It’s a different cruise for sure , many first times for us , first time going to China , first time on Quantum class , first time cruise to Japan and firs time on a cruise that English is not the first language. I am sure we will have much more first times , but that’s what make us so excited. Why we choose this cruise ? well , apparently it was a childhood dream of my spouse to visit Japan and it will be her first time there , for me it will be the second time but the other time was quite a long time ago and was a business trip, also it’s a new ship , and a new class , do we really need other reasons ? So what is the plan : Two days in Shanghai – Some tour in the city , still did not choose one although I so a nice bicycle day trip which we might take. I already booked a nice hotel near one of the main square , the location is important as we wanted to be at the center to reduce traveling , as we are landing very early in the morning I guess we will store our suitcase in the hotel and start to tour the area. I thought to book the hotel a day earlier so we will get the room once we will arrive but as I know both of us , we will get to the room and go to sleep and miss important hours in the city 😊. On 1-October we will do our way to the port . Our itinerary : 01 OCT - SHANGHAI (BAOSHAN), CHINA 02 OCT - Cruising 03 OCT – OSAKA, Japan 04 OCT- OSAKA , Japan 04 OCT – Kobe Japan 05 OCT – Tokyo (Yokohama) , Japan 06 OCT – Cruising 07 OCT – Cruising 08 OCT - SHANGHAI (BAOSHAN), CHINA After we booked the tour I found out that 1-October is also what they call in China the Golden week , this is a mandatory vacation week in all China so we expecting to have many local families and not many foreigners on board. We might experience some traffic as many are traveling this week but I do not think its going to be showstopper. We choose this period as we also have some holidays and many bridge days between. Post the cruise we will go to the airport and fly to Singapore , we considered to stay some extra days in Chania but was not sure if we will have multi entrance visa or a single entry which mean that we will have to use transfer visa on the way back, at the end we got the multi until as long as the passport is not expired. We will be in Singapore for three nights at our favorite hotel in the world (or should I say our favorite swimming pool in the world), it will be good for some rest time although I might need to have a face to face meeting with one of our customers for few hours. From Singapore we will fly to Thailand to chill out , currently only Bangkok but we might fly to one of the islands , depends what the weather will be. So almost three week vacation before going back home. There are many difference is cruise out of China : 1. Activities cost money (north star ,Ifly , skypad, laser tag) I will give the prices later. 2. Food in the MDR is different – the menu is a picture menu with many Chinese flavor. 3. Instead of sea class , sky class and start class there is golden class and silver class. 4. In the golden glass there are not just suites but also balconies cabins with suite services. 5. No coastal kitchen but golden dinning room and maybe silver dining room (not sure yet). 6. The solarium is only for Golden and Silver class. 7. Golden class have access to some other dedicated places (again not sure about silver) , there are also elevators just for suites class. 8. Wonderland with Chinese menu. 9. Dining package is not offer before the cruise. 10. No Diamond lounge – only the 3 free drinks during happy hour. 11. Many first timer. 12. MDR late seating is 7 PM. I am sure I will find more differences , but difference are many time a good thing , it will push us from the comfort zone to experience new things. More to come.
  3. 7 points

    Getting a Travel Agent

    Update #4 I just electronically signed the documents sent to me by @StephanieH of MEI Travel. She got me a total discount of $258 for my B2B cruises from the original price I signed up for with Royal. She also got me $50 onboard credit from Special Groups rate and $25 from Agent (her) FOR EACH sailing. That's a total of $150 for onboard credit - almost covers the VOOM package for the trip. I am loving this! Thanks Stephanie!
  4. 6 points

    Apps on Ovation of the Seas

    When I read this thread title, I thought someone was husband-hunting. LOL
  5. 5 points
    First ever cruise for me was just last these, on Freedom of the Seas for an 8-night Eastern Caribbean sailing. It was a celebration of many milestones: our 20th anniversary, our older daughter graduating high school, and our middle one graduating middle school. I think my happiest memory was the four of us getting to swim with the dolphins in St. Kitts. It was a bucket list item for my wife, and it was the happiest I remember seeing her. Paid a real premium for that full photo disc, but worth every penny for that memory. Apart from that, my favorite personal experiences were sitting on my balcony and watching that incredible cobalt blue of the deep ocean going by, and going to the helipad at night to see the stars. That in particular was just stunning!
  6. 5 points
    2 yrs at this exact same time we were on Anthem that was suppose to go to Bermuda. 48 hrs prior they emailed us and said you are going to NE. They gave us back 50% pp for the cruise plus 250 OBC if we still sailed. We did. The funniest thing was there was aa group that had professional t-shirts. they had it say sailing to Bermuda, and than a line through the word Bermuda replaced with Nova Scotia. The funny part for every one on the cruise, was the temps in Bermuda was high 70s, but every stop on our cruise was 90 degrees. The last night the storm was making it's way up to NE. Although the captain did his best trying to skirt the storm, it was very rocky. Everybody was walking like they were drunk and the ship had placed the blue bags out at the bottom of every staircase. We had dinner in the MDR (our table was by the windows). The waves were so high that they came up 50% of the window and you could easily see the white caps in the dark of the night. None of us slept well that night, not because of the ocean being rough, but because at least every 30 mins you were hearing the horn blast. I had known that going under bridges they would sound the horn, and knew we were skirting the storm. I remember saying to my group that a.m. how many dang bridges did we go under last night. Our wait staff said, oh no that wasn't because of bridges it was due to the weather. OBTW we still say to this day it was probably our best cruise ever. It sailed 100% occupancy. Everyone was happy and nice, and so polite on the cruise. I am talking passengers. IE people at the pool bar weren't saying I was here 1st. Going up or down stairs, they would move over to one side single file so people could pass them, would move down a seat in the shows so there were no empty spaces. Pretty sure that the 50% refund and 250 OBC had a lot to do with people feeling like they won the lottery. For us, we had a balcony. I recall my husband saying that in the end the cruise cost us @750 in total for 6 nights when you add back in our OBC, how can you do any all inclusive vacay for 125 per night for 2? My husband up to that point kept saying he wanted to do a land all inclusive. I looked at him, and said, had we booked an all inclusive Bermuda, they may have refunded us the cost, but we would have not had a vacation. Here we had a vacation at rock bottom barrel price with perfect weather.
  7. 5 points

    When is your next cruise?

    I am taking YOLO up a notch
  8. 4 points

    Embarkation Day chaos, this is normal?

    I haven't experienced this in the past either at Port Everglades, actually disembarkation has usually been way more hectic for me than boarding at that particular port! ... though I hope they get it together because I board Allure in just under two weeks! Why yes, yes I am ridiculously excited.
  9. 4 points

    Odyssey - Inaugural - YOLO

    We just booked as well. It will be our second RCCL Cruise. So excited!
  10. 4 points
    Good Moring Everyone!! Today Marks Just One Day Until I Board The Lovely Harmony Of The Seas!! Also Royal IT Department Messed Up One Of Our Ports Of Call On The App!!
  11. 3 points

    A Memory from your first Royal Cruise

    Fortunately this is first ROYAL cruise so it was our honeymoon on "Viking Serenade" in September of '90 (car ferry conversion came later for her). Alaska was great and 29 years later still married....BUT she hates cruising and many folks refer to her as the "phantom wife" since I do cruise solo-not single ;>)
  12. 3 points

    Boarding in foreign country

    English is a very widely taught language throughout Europe. I learned of this while stationed in there during my military years. More than anything, local citizens appreciate when you at least attempt to speak the local language, so maybe look into learning a few phrases. The effort is appreciated and seen as a sign of respect that makes people that do speak English more willing to assist you.
  13. 3 points

    Onboard Credit Matching?

    As an agent, I do my best to match OBC's. It all depends on the cruise itself. Some agencies offer very large on-board credits others offer none. I appreciate when clients give me the chance to match the other offers to see what I can do.
  14. 3 points
    Rhason B.

    RCCL Mattresses

    Thanks man, I'm just nervous about everything going good for me and my partner. It's our first cruise and my first time to the bahamas. I apologize if my response was curt. I have become cruise obsessed..lol...so I'm tryna detox myself🤣😂🤣😂
  15. 3 points

    When is your next cruise?

    @spiralqueen, this one
  16. 3 points

    Spring Break Cruises

    No, you will not regret it. Even a bad cruise (I've heard there are such things...I've never personally experienced one) is better than no cruise. I know you will have a great time. I really enjoy sailing out of Tampa. We are sailing on Brilliance in November. Off topic but....I have family in Rock Hill. LOVE it there.
  17. 3 points

    Coastal Kitchen Gratuity Question

    When we had dinner at CK on the Anthem each night, we were lucky enough to have the same waiter covering us each night. I hadn't even considered beforehand that the auto-gratuities might not be transferred to him, but on the last night I added a sizable tip to the final receipt as a thank-you for all his great service and for keeping us entertained each meal with his puzzles and riddles. It was the same as I'd have given to our waiter and assistant waiter at the end if we'd been eating the MDR every night, since we feel an extra cash tip at the end is deserved unless the staff has seriously dropped the ball.
  18. 3 points

    Odyssey - Inaugural - YOLO

    I looked too..of course I don't want the drama of being an admin ever and I am lazy so I didn't create one lol. I know some genpop folks were asking about one so they might stumble upon it and be initiated into our little community!
  19. 2 points
    You know you are in south beach when people do their Target runs in their Ferrari 488
  20. 2 points
    In this information age, I have little sympathy for people who don't research their ships/sailings prior to booking. There are so many ways to see different category of rooms prior to booking, whether it's the cruise line's website, YouTube videos, multiple cruise related forums, etc. Personally I've always thought it's pretty clear that they are balconies that face the interior of the ship.
  21. 2 points
    Way to turn it around. Well done RCL
  22. 2 points

    Cabin crawl and Parties for SC

    My favorite topic !! Very often, if you want a cabin crawl, you have to be the one to set up the cabin crawl. This has been the case for almost every one that I have done. You still have plenty of time to do this but you will need to get started pretty soon. I always organized my CC through the CC Roll Call (sorry for all the CC's). I know that many people are doing this through Facebook these days but I do not have or use FB so I cannot help you there. I can't imagine that it would be any different through FB than it would be through CC. If you create and organize the CC yourself, you will need to start tracking who is coming and whether or not they are going to be just gawkers...I mean, viewers, if they are also going to be show-ers and a basic head count. A simple spreadsheet has always worked for me. I will usually ask the people who want to participate if they will provide their stateroom category and, if they are willing, their stateroom number. Some people are concerned about advertising their particular room number (which I think it paranoia, but that's just me). The most successful CC are those that offer the opportunity to view the largest variety of cabin categories. Things like accessible cabins, suites with no balconies (a rather new category for Royal) and the virtual balcony rooms are all ones that attract a lot of attention, not just the big suites. It has been my experience that once people realize that someone in a SC suite is participating in the CC, the interest usually picks up. People like to visit the high end suites. It's just normal human nature and curiosity. I normally do not disclose the details of the "party" but simply allude to the fact that there will be a surprise when they arrive. That helps sell the event. Something that I have failed to mention in any of my recent CC party descriptions is that I usually (but not always) bring a "parting gift" for those who visit during the CC. Refrigerator magnets is something super easy to buy and give away. It doesn't have to be fancy. What the Genie can do: - Order all of the party stuff - food, beer, water, anything to drink except for wine and liquor. The food will be from 1 or perhaps 2 (at most) specialty restaurants. Choose one and go with it. - Coordinate with housekeeping to have all of the dishes, glasses, etc. delivered and picked up - Both of these first 2 can be done with $-0- expense. - Arrange for a server and/or bartender - Order wine and liquor - These last 2 will cost you. If you want any of these $$ items the Genie can let you know how much it will cost. We got 4 bottles of champagne (certainly NOT champagne....sparkling wine, at best) and the total bill was ~ $80. It's very reasonable unless you start ordering Dom Perignon or something. I never EVER order liquor. That IS expensive. Here's what the Genie can NOT do: - Order food from lots of different specialty restaurants. It's simply a question of logistics. If you want your food ready and delivered at the same time, choosing 3 or 4 different venues is going to complicate that request immeasurably. They will not do it. Don't even ask. - Be at your party to help entertain your guests ! No way. The Genie is an assistant, not a manservant (no sexism or racism implied there....). The Genie will help coordinate everything and will come by at some point to make sure everything is going smoothly, but they do not stay, and they do not participate. I'm going to skip a lot of details as I just went through this on another thread. If you have specific questions, I will do my best to answer. - The Genie will handle food - Room Service will handle dishes, glasses, silverware and napkins (but the Genie will coordinate with room service for all of this) - Your room attendant will get you ice. It is advisable to let your room attendant know ASAP that you are going to need an ice chest full of ice EARLY the day of the party. You will need to allow the beer and whatever else you are serving cold, to cool down. Nothing worse than serving your guests warm beer but that takes time. Don't wait until the last minute on this one. One last piece of advice. Don't forget that there are others who are showing their rooms as well. Try not to steal ALL of the attention. That's why it's really so important that the other cabins go first and you are at the end. Once people get to your room and start looking around, eating, drinking, they are pretty much done. It's VERY hard to get that crowd moving again once the party starts. The Genie should reach out to you at around 60 days prior to sail date. It's generally a good idea to let them know right away that you are planning to have a party...but be sure that they understand that this is going to be a NO COST party. I have done 4 or 5 of these and I have never had the Genie ever offer to arrange anything that would cost extra but I have read recently that some of the Genies have offered $$ services. That's not what you want...I don't think.
  23. 2 points
    "Retail Therapy" Wouldn't that be stuff to get me away from the retail stores instead of into them?? 😂
  24. 2 points
    Jolly Ogre

    Barf Bags .....

    For me the more wavy the better. It's the small rollers that get me sick.
  25. 2 points
    My cruise on Serenade (out of Boston) is 7 days with 3 days in Bermuda (Wed - Fri).
  26. 2 points

    Labadee Stalls

    Yes, it is exactly like that. If you are not comfortable with very aggressive vendors, just stay away from that area. They are restricted from leaving their market area so if you stay away from there, they will not bother you. If you are going to Columbus Cove, take the tram. It goes through there but does not stop.
  27. 2 points
    I simply reserved one item under my daughter.
  28. 2 points

    Refreshment Package

    They don’t even scan/swipe your SeaPass card for water. They just check to see if you have the package and hand you a bottle (or two) of water.
  29. 2 points
    Next year we will be on our Greece cruise during our 30th. My wife will be 54 and I'll be 55 then. Who knows? Enough years, but not old enough? We'll see.
  30. 2 points

    Gifting A Cruise

    If the cabin is not a solo cabin could PhantomWolf just add is Mum as a second passenger and become a no show for the actual cruise?
  31. 2 points

    Dining Pet Peeve

    And thats different from today? Isn't improving this by even 25% better than nothing? I am like the original poster, i carry NOTHING with me and my GF and I always have to take turns going up to get food / drinks for this specific reason.
  32. 2 points
    Hmm.......is there an undertone to this? Should this maybe be in a meet and greet section?
  33. 2 points

    First Time Cruiser

    Thank you all for all of your suggestions and tips!! To answer a few people, the closest airports to me are either Charlottesville (CHO) or Richmond (RIC) in Virginia, and Richmond is the only one with a direct flight. I don't mind layovers, but I would prefer not to go through Atlanta, which is where I would have to go through for Southwest if they have the cheapest flights. Again, thank you for all of your help so far, I feel very welcomed and I can't wait to begin this journey!
  34. 2 points
    I have never been through that before..and I am in cattle class, never Sky or Suite...I am sure it was just a one off day...sorry it happened like that. Never been like that on my 12 cruises so far!
  35. 2 points

    COCOCAY after huricane

    There's a global helium shortage, so it may take that much time to procure that much, lol
  36. 2 points

    Crowded Windjammer?

    Like @JLMoran mentioned look for outside areas too. The windjammer can also get very crowed on embarkation day so make sure you bring a lot of patience that day. On our Anthem cruise I know I got a lot of inappropriate things yelled at me as I went ahead of the enormous line to go into Coastal Kitchen, which has its entrance just outside the entrance to the Windjammer. Other prime times it can get a little crowded. We used the strategy of sending one person to secure a table while the other got some food, then swapped.
  37. 2 points
    We started that 2 cruises ago. 😁 🥂 🍾
  38. 2 points
    Oh well it was really chaos. Thanks @twangster but it shouldn't be that disorganized. They were more confused me!! Lol!! Anyway it's all good just curious if it is always that way. Coastal kitchen ROCKS!!
  39. 2 points

    Odyssey - Inaugural - YOLO

    Mine was just as easy
  40. 2 points
    LEAVING FROM:Barcelona, Spain onboard Allure of the Seas VISITING:| Palma de Mallorca | Provence (Marseilles) | Florence/Pisa (La Spezia) | Rome (Civitavecchia) | Naples (Capri) |
  41. 1 point
    The storm is supposed to hit Tuesday night and be gone by Wednesday morning.
  42. 1 point

    Cruise Compass Free Prizes/Gifts?

    @Matt maybe you might know, bringing in the big guns for these questions haha Thanks ahead of time!
  43. 1 point
    That was our exact same room on Indy! Loved the space and the kids really enjoyed that separate room. The motion was more noticeable though and it was loud when the ship docked. Enjoy the weekend! Looking forward to some great scopes from everyone.
  44. 1 point
    Thanks, I'm pretty resigned to the fact that our Anthem cruise starting tomorrow is not gonna go to Bermuda. Just bad luck, it's the chance you take for a great fares this time a season. We still get to enjoy the gorgeous Anthem of the seas and I love Canada so it's not a huge thing. Thanks again for the latest track.
  45. 1 point

    RCCL Mattresses

    this was uncalled for. i read your thread as i am interested in how people felt about the mattresses, but am aware everyones preferences are different. for instance, didnt know you could get a quilted topper.
  46. 1 point

    Anyone been on Mariner lately?

    Looking forward to trying Mariner next year for Halloween. 🙂
  47. 1 point

    COCOCAY after huricane

    I believe so, I think it opened just a few days after it passed.
  48. 1 point
    Your posts are making me nostalgic about Ovation. I love them. If you happen to bump into a waiter named "Jonard", please tell him "Pastor" says Hi!
  49. 1 point
    We used the “stay a while” yesterday, it’s was a great addition we made our way to the solarium at around 9am made ourselves comfortable and at around 10am we were asked to go to deck 17 forward for about 30 mins so they could do whatever they do, after that we stayed in the solarium eat at the solarium cafe and then made our way to deck 5 cafe for a quick bite and drink before we disembarked at 3pm our cases were waiting in the baggage terminal.. we were given a wristband to wear which was in the cabin night before we left.
  50. 1 point
    I wish that same person would bring back the $18 drink package!😁
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