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  1. I am happy to announce that I will be joining the brand new Odyssey Of The Seas this week. I look forward for the opportunity to go back to work, and once again help create vacation memories for Royal Caribbean passengers (you guys)! Watch out for my upcoming videos on YouTube. Chris Wong
    48 points
  2. Hi guys. I’m here to share my recent experience with RoyalUp, a program that allows people with existing reservations to bid for an upgrade to a higher room category. The reason why I’m sharing my experience is because prior to and after the upgrade, I had a ton of questions that I’ve been trying to look for answers all over the internet but couldn’t find any. Hence, I’d like to share my experience with everyone and hopefully it can give some answers to my fellow cruisers! A brief introduction: (or skip to the end for the answers to the “FAQs”) I’ve booked a last minute 4-night sailing onboard Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, also known as Cruise to Nowhere. It is basically a hospitality restarting program by the Singapore government with no ports of call. Strict restrictions are also put in place for the safety of the guests. I’ve booked a Junior Suite (J4) for me and my wife. The price displayed on the RC’s booking website was SGD 1399pp for 4-nights before pre-paid gratuities and port taxes. There wasn’t any other suite options left for booking, which I presumed was fully booked. Almost immediately after completing the reservation transaction, I received the RoyalUP email, and invited me to place a bid to a higher room category. Even though I could clearly see that none of the higher suite categories were available for booking, I still decided to give it a try at bidding for RoyalUp. Long story short, I placed bids on all categories, ranging from Grand Suite to Royal Loft Suite and kind of forgot about the whole RoyalUp thing. Until around 24 hours before the sailing, I received an email saying that my bid for a Grand Loft Suite was successful. My bid amount was SGD 1210 per person hence SGD 2420 was charged to my credit card on file immediately. In general, I paid about $2710 per person ($1399 (JS) +$1210 (RoyalUp) +$100 taxes and pre-paid gratuities) I’ve checked the price of a Grand Loft Suite on a different sailing date, and it cost around SGD 5400 per person and before taxes. Which means, I’ve gotten nearly a 50% off the original price. From Junior Suite to Grand Loft Suite is a big jump. In terms of Royal Suite class, it was upgraded from Sea Class to Star Class. At this point, I was very excited! But at the same time, I have a lot questions that needs answers to. To be honest, even with a “huge discount”, SGD 2710 (SGD 5k+ for 2 people) is almost double the original budget hence to me, it is still a lot of money to fork out for a 4-day vacation. As we know, Grand Loft Suite is a Star Class suite and it is practically All-Inclusive such as free specialty dining, deluxe beverage package, internet package etc and it comes with a Royal Genie. So naturally, some questions flashes through my mind, and since it was an upgrade through RoyalUP: “Am I going to get a Royal Genie as well?” “Will I be treated differently in terms of services than those guests who paid the original price?” “How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages?” I’ve tried searching for answers on the internet but I couldn’t find any. However, after I’ve completed my sailing, I kind of gotten all the answers I needed. So now, I’m going share them with you guys. My very own set of FAQs: Q: Am I going to get Royal Genie as well? A: Yes! Even though I gotten the upgrade 1 day before the sailing, the Royal Genie got in touch with me via WhatsApp on the morning of the sailing and she already took the liberty to arrange all the activities for us! She already pre-booked all the shows, specialty dinning and some activities such as iFly and Flow Rider. And she was extremely flexible and accommodating on all our requests to change meal timings, shows timings. All you need to do is just let her know your preference and leave everything to her. Q: Will I be treated differently in terms of services compared to those guests who paid the original price? A: Not at all. From my observations, only 2 groups of service crews knew you are an “upgrader”. They are the Royal Genie, and the cruise terminal staff. Usually, Genie will contact you 1 month before your sailing to get to know you better. However, she does know that you are an upgrader since she contacted you just 1 day before the sailing, not the usual 1 month. As for the cruise terminal staff, our information was given to them by the cruise line at the very last minute hence our information was “hand-written” on their paper. They did “congratulate” us on the successful upgrade by the Cruise Line which is why I knew they knew we were an upgrader. Nevertheless, they escorted from the moment we reached the terminal until being handed over to the Royal Genie. Very good service rendered. Q: How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages A: They will be refunded to you and the Royal Genie made sure of that. It will be under “refundable” onboard credit and you can requested to get them in cash on the last night of the cruise. Otherwise, it will be refunded to your credit card. Q: How about my SeaPass card? Will I be recognized as a Star-Class guest? A: You will be identified as a Star Class guest on your SeaPass card, not the original room category that you were booked on. Q: Do I get the same perks and benefit listed under Star-Class suite even though I’m an upgrader? A: Yes! Complementary Dining Package, Beverage package, internet package, complementary mini-bar for the whole cruise with replenishment daily, complementary room-service, complementary laundry (I don’t think they set a limit on the quantity of clothes). For Izumi, there is no limit in terms of the amount you can order. If you have a Ultimate Dining Package, I believe per meal you will get USD35 credit per person for Izumi as it is based on A-la-carte pricing. But for Star-Class, there is no limit on that. The wait staff made it known to you before you order. Q: How about those chargeable activities? A: For our sailing, the chargeable activities are iFly (~$40) and Northstar (~$20) and strictly by reservation only. However, with the help of our Genie, reservation was done before hand. There is no charges for Star-Class guest for these activities. However, you are only entitled to 1 free session for each of these 2 activities. If you would like to go for a second-time, you will have to pay the charges. All other FAQs regarding Star-Class: Q: Can Royal Genie fulfill all your requests? A: Yes and No. I’d emphasize that your request must be reasonable. If you would like to change your dinner venue to another restaurant at the very last minute, you can kindly check with her. Most of the times it can be fulfilled. However, if the restaurant is full, she might suggest to change to an earlier or a later time for you. I’m not sure what kind of magic they have, but I’m definitely against them pulling out other guests from their original dining timing just to slot you in. Firstly, you are putting Genie in a difficult position, secondly, you are causing unhappiness to the affected guests. So I’d suggest to give the Genie some leeway. Do not force you request onto them. If it can be done in a gentle way, go ahead. If not, please do not force or blame them. Q: Do I need to tip the Royal Genie? A: Absolutely. They are not a receiver of the automatically gratuity system on board. Hence, the tips relies solely on you. Royal Genie is not just a regular butler, they are there to learn about you and make arrangements for you which you didn’t even think of. My wife somehow mentioned to the Genie that this is our 2nd anniversary trip when we were casually chatting. (but did not mention in details). The Genie caught it and arranged for a surprise decoration and cake in the room for us. My wife and I were surprised as initially, we really can’t figure out how she knew about our anniversary. It is only when we tried to recall every single thing we said to the Genie, and realized that it must have slipped out of our mouth at certain point. Their attention to details are just simply unbelievable. Hope this post is useful for whoever is looking for the same answers as I did. Happy cruising!
    38 points
  3. Good luck to all my fellow crew members who are currently on Quantum Of The Seas. Lets prove to the world that cruising can be done in a healthy and safe way! Hopefully it won't be too much longer before I get asked to rejoin a cruise ship, and head back to work. I'm amazed at how much love for the cruising there still is, and it's people like you that will keep this industry alive!
    38 points
  4. Look man, it's not an addiction. I can quit whenever I want to.
    33 points
  5. People talking out loud to their phones held at arm's length.
    30 points
  6. twangster

    Test Cruise Invite

    Invitation Received Choice of Allure or Ovation.
    28 points
  7. She tested positive. End of story. The mix up that resulted in her getting a bracelet did not cause her to become infected. She knows her vaccination status. She chose to play like she was vaccinated using the bracelet to go into areas she knows she didn't belong. The signs don't say "purple bracelets only", the signs read "Vaccinated Guest Area". She knew she was breaking the rules. Got a free ride home in a private jet. Hard to complain about that. Mixups are going to happen. No system will ever be perfect. She needs to take accountability for her actions rather than trying to cast shade on the cruise industry.
    28 points
  8. I hope not to stir up any trouble here but… I will NEVER take the daily gratuity charge off. The employees (both in front of and behind the scenes) deserve every penny of that and more!
    28 points
  9. @Matt 's "perfect" MDR menu:
    28 points
  10. Don't tell anyone please....I have been stalking my "possible sailing" scheduled for Thanksgiving this November because I lost my August VP cabin this past August and I really needed this cabin. (only 1854 or 1804) and both were previously booked so unavailable for this sailing. Of course we have no assurance this sailing will go, BUT it appeared available Friday night, OMG can I switch ?? Enter Sharla our MEI guru, I called her and shot off an email, understanding fully it was after hours so I did all I could do. Within minutes of my email I received a response simply saying " I'm on it" I was flabbergasted, this amazing lady interrupted her personal evening and secured my preferred cabin, shhh don't tell anyone SHE.IS.AMAZING. I am so thankful for the day I reached out on this blog and was put in contact with Sharla, I feel like she is more then a TA, she is a friend. Thanks @Matt for being the conduit for our amazing advocate all things Royal, @Sharla. [email protected] LISTEN CDC, we are more then ready to sail, let's go!
    27 points
  11. I got an email invite for a test cruise on the Nigerian Prince. All I have to do is give them my bank account number and ssn
    26 points
  12. Last week I received an email from revenue management letting me know that my March bookings involved a pricing error but they would honor the bookings. I had two suite cabins booked, one for me and another for a family member. To give you an idea of the error involved my suite would normally go for 234% more while the other suite would normally be 255% more each on a solo basis given our unique qualifiers (CAS status, age, state, etc). Both suites have the capacity for 6 guests. I had booked both suites with a single guest in each cabin. I offered to let the bookings go. An email exchange followed that turned into a game of phone tag as we both worked around busy schedules but we eventually talked on the phone. Revenue management was very clear I could keep the bookings and they would honor the pricing. They requested the phone call to make sure I understood they would honor them. I told her to cancel them. I didn't feel right taking advantage of what was clearly a pricing error. I knew it was a error when I booked it and give Royal a lot of credit for offering to honor the bookings despite the thousands of dollars they would lose by doing so. A family of four booked in one of these suites would have gone for 500% more than I was booked for. Between the two suites it amounted to an error that would cost Royal over $10k in revenue if both suites were booked at capacity not to mention losses in gratuity and onboard spending. Simply stated it didn't sit right with me to take advantage of the company especially during these dark times with so much lost due to the pandemic. Call me a fool but I slept better knowing I did the right thing. BTW - nice people in revenue management.
    25 points
  13. I'd never enter the belly flop contest.
    24 points
  14. AndrewPunch

    Stupid Chair Hogs

    I bet they were sharing the drink package as well. Just attempting to have a normal cruise board
    23 points
  15. Hi everyone, I know we get heated debating which dessert is the best one to order, or if a balcony room is worth it, but let's keep these basic rules in mind when chatting here. No profanity No personal insults No political discussion This includes tropes about politicians and generalizations about political parties No debating religion Keep your posts relevant and accurate to each specific thread. We can all have our little fun within each thread but please make sure the information you're putting out there is correct and current. Topics not related to Royal Caribbean may be removed. Posts or comments encouraging cruisers to break any Royal Caribbean policy is not allowed and will be removed.
    23 points
  16. For those of you who are on the fence about using a Travel Agency, PLEASE READ. This past weekend we decided to book a 7 day cruise on the Anthem out of Cape Liberty, NJ and bring our daughter and her family along with us over Easter week departing on April 22, 2022. I spent a couple of days searching the Anthem for a JS for my wife and I and two balcony adjoining rooms for our daughter and her family. I did find some of what I was looking for on different decks, near the elevators or on deck 13 (below the WJ) and they all were not acceptable. So, I contacted Michelle, MEI Travel (they also sponsor this blog) told her what I wanted and VIOLA! Today I booked a JS on deck 10 and two adjoining cabins also on deck 10. None of those cabins were available when I searched. Moral of the story here is don't waste your time, get ahold of Michelle at MEI and let her know what you want. She can make miracles happen!
    22 points
  17. Not all media sites are the same, and some have no issues reporting on rumors without any confirmation or research. What I post on RoyalCaribbeanBlog reflects on me and my reputation, and I wont post rumors until there is strong evidence behind it. The rumors of Empress may end up being right at some point, but I need more to run on than "unnamed sources" by the same website that said Cunard and Seabourn were sold last month when they were not.
    22 points
  18. Wishing you the best through this weekend and beginning of next week. Stay safe, stay dry and enjoy that UHDP (unlimited home drink package)!
    22 points
  19. Status Update: Thank you for registering for the Allure of the Seas® simulation voyage. We've reserved your stateroom and reservation numbers will be provided to you once manifested. A system generated invoice will automatically be sent to the email address on record. Please proceed with making your travel arrangements*. For more information, please reference your event info document. We also ask that you acknowledge the informed consent form that will be sent to each guest, as it is required prior to confirming your reservation. We can't wait to welcome you onboard Allure of the Seas!
    21 points
  20. I did it folks. Just like I said I would. I went to a bar, drank a beer and ate a grilled mahi sandwich. In retrospect reading CDC guidance I realize my life is now over. I didn't wear a mask for the entire meal. I ate bite after bite, drinking swig after swig of glorious food and beverage indoors at a bar. Even though I'm fully vaccinated and even though I left a nice tip my life is over per CDC guidance. Apparently I vaccinated for no reason. In case I am whisked off tomorrow and placed on a ventilator you'll know why I haven't stopped by the message boards. At least I'll go knowing the CDC saved me from a cruise ship given their guidance didn't save me from myself.
    21 points
  21. As you all know, Dan and I are in FL doing some house biz. We have finished all of that for now and are flying home tomorrow morning. We are staying at the Miami Airport Marriott tonite for a very early morning flight. While walking over to the bar at the Courtyard (so weird that everything at the Marriott is closed but the restaurant and bar at the adjacent Courtyard are open !) we happened upon a “registration” table for Royal Caribbean. Being the naturally curious (not to mention, nosy) person that I am, I stopped and chatted with the guy manning the table. He said that he was registering new staff that were signing on with NAV. He said they are just part of rotating maintenance crew and said he has no insight regarding cruise re-start, but it was still exciting to learn that new staff is allowed to come in and most notably, they are flying in. I tried not to stare at the paperwork but I could see that the list of names looked to be fairly lengthy. Can’t say that there is any smoking gun or intel that provides any real information but at least I did find out that they were headed to NAV. On the way back, the table was unmanned so I snapped a quick pic of the table and sign. Maybe ? Maybe ?
    21 points
  22. Matt

    Test Cruise Invite

    Looks like I'll be onboard as well for this test sailing.
    20 points
  23. Whew! Good point to not automatically freak out! Just read this in a Facebook group: Thought of the day, DO NOT PANIC! We are beginning to wind down our amazing cruise on Adventure of the Seas with Royal Caribbean. We departed from Nassau Bahamas on Saturday and have enjoyed a very relaxing time. One requirement of re-entry to the United States is a negative Covid test. Royal Caribbean International is currently offering this service to all passengers departing from the Bahamas. We took our tests this morning and went on about our day at sea heading to Freeport as our last port of call. The testing process was very simple by signing up via an email. We were in and out in under 8 minutes. Woohoo. Cocktail time with our favorite bartender in Schooner Lounge with some 90’s Trivia. A few minutes into trivia, some ship’s officers showed up and spoke to Tim for a moment and he said he was going to the cabin. I was a bit puzzled until another officer approached me. He said Tim’s Covid test was positive and he needed to go back to our quarters. I was simply blown the $&@) away! I dashed right up to the cabin. Tim confirmed what they said and we both were in shock. Here we are on a full day at sea, hundreds of miles from home, and totally freaking. 15 minutes later a guy from medical shows up to perform a PCR test, the one that takes a sample of your brain according to Tim. The phone rang while we were waiting. I answered and the voice on the other end said he was chief of security. I put Tim on and he walked him through some things on his phone to set up contract tracing. I’m still freaking that we are going to be confined to our cabin, or confined to medical. F$&@!!! OMG we are going to be on the news! I finally checked my email and my results were negative. Woohoo! I can make a mad dash to the bar for a cocktail before they can catch me. I wasn’t even told to stay in the room. I get to the bar and order drinks. A few minutes later Tim shows up. Omg, he broke out of jail. I just knew they would find him and make him walk the plank. Luckily the results of his PCR test came back NEGATIVE! What a sigh of relief. Moral of the story, stay calm and DO NOT PANIC! We can’t thank Royal Caribbean International for taking amazing care of us during an extremely emotional time. Loyal to Royal!
    20 points
  24. Okay number 2. Having to re-enter my details over and over again when searching for a cruise. CAS #, age, state of residence, etc. I should be able to enter that once per session or login and it already knows my state, my age, my CAS#, etc.
    20 points
  25. You've thought about it, you've dreamt about it, you've researched it - Are you going to do something about it? Lets have a look and see what I did. Many Many Many years ago, my parents took the whole family on cruises around the south pacific. I still have a hand carved fisherman's sail boat model from Fiji with 1977 carved into the side. (Hmmm 43 years ago) Back then you could throw coins over the side of the ship when in port and the local would swim down and pick them up, how times have changed. We are addict's, all it took for me then was a taste 43 years ago and even to this day I love cruising !!!! I had wanted to cruise for a VERY long time and based on my professional responsibilities it just wasn't possible. My best friend and I had talked about taking a cruise for a very long time. And it took a long time for both of our schedules to be in line with each other so that we could take time off work to go on a cruise together. In August of 2019 on the celebrity reflection, my best friend and I (Including Families) took a 12 NIGHT SCANDINAVIA & RUSSIA CRUISE. Well like a junkie that has been clean for decades, my cruise addiction got what it needed and like a fresh blood transfusion "CRUISING" was back in my blood. Within a month of returning from Russia, I had booked a cruise for my family. The problem I had, was that it was going to be a surprise, a VERY BIG surprise and I could not tell them. Every chance I got, I was watching Royal Caribbean Blog, The Klaykowski's (AKA The ship show), Cruise tips TV, Tips for Travelers and on and on. "I LOVED IT". Some of it as silly as it sounds was over my head and not until now do I understand what and why they were saying things. If it was mentioned, I bought it. Magnetic Hooks, Highlighters, collapsible laundry hampers, first aid kits, dental kits, sunglasses, sunhats and the list goes on. If you recommended it I got it. My mother had died in January and I thought that it would be a great surprise for my father to go on a cruise with us. In short my father has become a home body and getting him to the cruise terminal in Sydney, let alone out of the house was a bigger task than I thought it was going to be. After three subtle attempts to see if I could get him to Sydney (Australia) to go to sea world, I accepted that he was simply content at home and that was OK. So how do you purchase all of these cruise must haves and not have anyone catch on to the fact that that's exactly what you are planning. EASY - You invent a cruise !!!! What I mean is, you let them know that you are planning a cruise sometime in the distant future but not when they expect it. At the time, we were in Hong Kong and I had told them that I have arranged a vacation at Sea World on the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia). Everyone was happy we were going on a vacation. Problem was that the cruise I had planned was departing out of Sydney and Sea World is in another state, Queensland. Kind of like saying we were going to Orlando but needed to go via New York. When going to Australia we always flew into Sydney, so telling them that we would fly into Sydney spending a couple of days there and then flying to Brisbane did not draw any undue attention. The reason I used Sea World, was because they had already been there before and they knew what to expect. Because it is a resort it was easy to explain why they needed swimming paraphernalia, hats, sunglasses and so on. So how do you explain why they need cocktail dresses, evening wear, high heeled shoes and so on? I know - tell them that I have prepared a professional photo shoot. We need everyone looking their best so the family can have some lovely photo's to look back on. I had planned everything down to the most minuscule detail. I went to a photo store to laminate their boarding passes, I had their bag tags printed in color, I had personal lanyards made. I even bought them Samsung tablets (Not iPads) as a ruse to give them gifts that included their boarding passes in a bag. Being the genius that I am, I forgot where I hid the damn things before we left. Using some Sherlock Homes logic I worked out - now where would you hide those things if I were you. I FOUND THEM. Afterwards thinking what kind of an idiot would hide them there. Just think about planning a cruise months in advance and 1.) You cannot tell anyone and 2.) Getting them to pack for it. It's crazy !!! My wife though I was nut's, because I was watching her pack. I've never done this before, but she is a genius at packing. (Yes I got the CUBES) This was to ensure that she didn't forget anything (She did - no magnetic hooks or collapsible clothes hamper.) Who needs that stuff at sea world right. A small side note. We had a mini brake in Japan earlier in the year. We were staying at Universal Studios (Osaka) Japan and on one of our day trips went to Osaka Aquarium for the day. To get there you take a short ferry trip from universal to the aquarium. After the day at the aquarium, on the way back to our hotel. While we were on the return trip on the ferry, guess what ? We passed Spectrum of the Seas. I just wanted to explode, I just wanted to shout out and say "LOOK THATS WHAT YOU WILL BE ON AT XMAS" It took so much strength to keep my mouth shut, but I did and the surprise was still safe - so the story continues. We arrived in Sydney two days before the cruise, so we were in no rush. Qantas for the most part are very reliable, so I was not expecting any flight delays. I was able to upgrade of flight tickets so the surprise was just getting better and better. They didn't know about the business class seats either. When I mentioned that I had planned this down to the most minuscule detail I was not kidding. I had booked a hotel in Sydney that would require us to take a ferry into Circular Quay. Circular Quay is where the cruise ships dock in-between the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor bridge. This would have us pass the Ovation of the Seas before reaching the wharf. I had made sure that I had the current time table for the ferry, so that we would pass the ship just at the right time and subsequently we could board the ship at our predetermined boarding time. I don't know what time we went to bed the night before the BIG SURPRISE cruise, I was so paranoid about sleeping in and missing the ferry. Remember my wife and two daughters thought that we were going to Sydney airport from the hotel to fly to Brisbane. I'm so close at pulling this off. so so close. We had stayed at this hotel before and my wife new that we could get a reliable airport shuttle service. From the hotel to the wharf, where the ferry was to depart was about a 5 minute work downhill (A very steep downward hill) We had five large suitcases, backpacks, camera bags and nick knacks hanging off us. We looked like Sherpas taking guests belongings to the top of Everest. I'm so close, we were all struggling going down the hill with all of this luggage. My wife looks at me like you cheap bastard you could not even cough up enough money to get the airport shuttle. We are half an hour away from the greatest surprise ever and do I have to take this #$%@ from her. YES YOU DO! She doesn't know and I probably would have thought the same thing. We get to the wharf everything is on track, we are early for the ferry and we are almost there. One thing I have not mentioned is that this ferry is designed for commuters carrying either a hand bag or a brief case, not a family of four going away for two weeks on a cruise. In Australia everyone is quite nice and patient so like a worker bee I grab one bag put it on the ferry and run back and get another till we have everything onboard the ferry. Now I have to get the timing just right, as I had envisaged such a long time ago I was going to get this on film. How do I get them outside while I get their xmas gift bags ready? We will be passing the Sydney Opera house which is on the left hand side of the ferry and the Ovation of the Seas will be on the right hand side as we pull into the wharf. I ask my wife to take the girls out and get some shots with the Sydney opera house in the background, OK - no problem out they go. Every second counts now I have to get it just right. I get everything organized, all of the bags are in order and ready to be given out. I go out the back and ask them to stand on the opposite side of the ferry and this is what happened. When booking the cruise I figured this will be a one off and if I am going to do it I should go all out and give them a cruise that they will never forget. Hence the cost of the surprise, you only live once and life is here to be enjoyed and experienced to the fullest. Also when I booked it I planned for my father to be in our room as well so we needed a large room. We got a suite and every extra possible, the only thing I regret now is that I didn't know about STAR class. (SKY class sucks, it's like being a brides maid.) To follow up their surprise about finding out about the cruise, the next surprise was going to be seeing their room. The next video is of the family seeing their room for the first time. If you cannot smile while ,during or after this room (I cannot really call it a room tour) surprise you need to go take some happy pills. I hope that you have enjoyed this little adventure and trust that you can have as much fun in the future cruising as we had in the past. Just so that I could link these videos to this BLOG, I had to create a YouTube channel about half an hour ago. Nothing sexy to see, just life in the raw. Maybe I will be as creative as Matt and learn how to edit one day. Best Regards Rick I was also wrong about this cruise. I thought that it was going to be a one off - NO - I have four more cruises booked with more surprises to come.
    20 points
  26. WAAAYTOOO

    News About NAV Staff

    So I was frustrated that you could not read the sign so I snuck back over there to take a couple more pix.
    20 points
  27. I just wanted to make a quick post regarding comments/messages. As a Royal Caribbean crew member, I have strict rules to follow when it comes to social media. There are certain things I can and cannot talk about. This is why I don't respond to 95% of my comments, just in case I say something I'm not supposed to. I could potentially jeopardise my employment with the company by slipping up. I hope this makes sense. Please know that I read all of your comments and messages. Thank you for continuing to support me, and engaging with my content.
    19 points
  28. I come at this from a different angle, every penny I have I earn from painstakingly hard work and then careful decision making. I never consider having my finances in check/order as a privilege; I carefully choose how I spend what I have, for example I never cruised until in my 50's because I had other commitments at the time. When I see Star Class people I look at them with admiration, knowing one day I will either Royal Up win or book a Star Class when that experience is the most important thing to make me part with my monies. I look at their joy and I am so happy for that family and strive to be in that place someday. For example right now I have contracted an in ground pool Oasis in my backyard and the price tag is north of 100,000. No Star Class for me until that bill is firmly behind me, when I was young I saw what others had achieved and worked like crazy to get there, nowadays it seems this type of thinking has given way to a bit of the opposite. So when you are in Star Class & I am not but I smile & wave at you...I'm not being creepy I just think you are so cool & want that for myself in the future. Signed, @WAAAYTOOOfan club president!
    19 points
  29. Well, a lot has happened since I last posted. My wife and I checked out Le Petit Chef to celebrate our anniversary. Very interesting place. For those that don't know what it is, search youtube. It's definitely a place that is easier to see in video than explain. Also, I found some pieces on display from the RMS Olympic. Very cool! Given the history of Olympic's two sisters, a superstiscious person might be uncomfortable. We arrived in Barbados this morning. This was supposed to be our last stop, but was moved forward without explanation. Rumor has it that Barbados required a test within 5 days and they moved it forward to reduce the number of tests everyone had to get. Anyway, the only way off the ship is with a ship based excursion. We took a snorkeling trip and saw a bunch of endangered turtles and a couple ship wrecks. I recommend this excursion if anyone is coming on a later cruise. Well, time to get back to the fun! I hope everyone is looking forward to their next cruise!
    19 points
  30. FCC reinstatement and the fact that there is no central place to look up FCCs based on C&A numbers or your name.
    19 points
  31. I believe Jill to be right. They are having a tantrum they can't control the whole world. Today the Congress added a bill to the Senate one trying to bring this to an end. It doesn't bod well to have multiple states suing then bills from both house and senate looking to clip their wings. Bahama numbers very low. Their peak came in October with five times as many active cases as they have now (2500 vs 450). Most days have no deaths. About 40 new cases a day nation wide... CDC are behaving like spoiled children who's toys are being taken away...
    19 points
  32. There is a trick to planning all dining including My Time for the duration of the cruise. Click on the Dining button, choose All Dining Next click Plan All Cruise Dining at the bottom This will open a screen where you can plan every night and checkout only once. With the new My Royal Cruise planner coming this will likely change but I suspect there will be something similar.
    19 points
  33. Matt

    Removed from RCG

    This is no different than the lunatics who go nuts in airports when their flight is cancelled. Let's not give them any more attention.
    18 points
  34. Attend an art auction or buy a watch
    18 points
  35. Who doesn't love a balcony cabin? It seems a lot of people do because balcony cabins are one of the most popular types of cabins offered to cruisers. What could be better than reading a book, eating breakfast or enjoying a favorite beverage on your very own balcony overlooking the ocean? Budget minded cruisers can't always afford the extra cost associated with a cabin that includes a dedicated balcony exclusively for that guest. Enter the obstructed balcony. Cabins with obstructed views are nothing new to the cruise industry. For decades cruise ships have had oceanview and balcony cabins in places where ship equipment or superstructure ends up blocking the view. The obstruction could be a lifeboat, window washing equipment or structural pieces that are required in various places around a ship. Quantum class ships feature a design where the lifeboats are stored near the level of deck 5 for quick access in the event of an emergency. Their location while optimal for quick and easy access in an emergency it does mean they obstruct some views for select balcony cabins on deck 6. The good news is these deck six cabins are offered as obstructed balconies at a discount perfect for budget minded cruise guests who are willing to accept an obstruction in the name of saving money. It's pretty clear when selecting these cabins they are obstructed so no one should be surprised the first time they walk into their cabin. What isn't clear when selecting a particular obstructed balcony cabin is how obstructed one cabin may be compared to another in the same category. Not all obstructed balcony cabins are equally obstructed. Lifeboats are supported and lowered into the water by davits. Davits are very strong structural towers that can raise or lower a fully loaded lifeboat. The davits that support lifeboats themselves are an obstruction that also block the views for some deck 6 balcony cabins on Quantum class ships. Davits can block more view compared to a lifeboat since davits are taller than the lifeboats they support. Consider this picture of Ovation of the Seas. The deck 6 obstructed ocean view cabins within the green area in the picture merely have to look over the lifeboat which sits close to or just below the height of the balcony railing. A few cabins in either direction the lifeboat davits impose a much greater obstruction. The cabins highlighted in yellow may be partially blocked by a davit towards one end of the balcony. For someone picking a cabin on a deck plan it isn't immediately evident which obstructed balconies have less obstruction versus cabins that have greater obstruction. Now we get to the whole point of this post. Here is a preliminary guide to which cabins have davits in front of them and are therefore more obstructed. Using various videos and photos from Odyssey of the Seas during her construction and conveyance I've estimated which balconies are more likely to have a greater obstruction. Since no guest has actually sailed on Odyssey when this post was written this is a preliminary version until guests can begin boarding and provide feedback with respect to these obstructed balcony cabins. Since this is a preliminary guestimate follow through with your own research to make sure you pick the best obstructed deck 6 cabin for your needs. Note that each ship within this class has slightly different variations of lifeboats and where davits are placed. In addition there are at least four different types of lifeboats used on each ship. Consequently you need to be careful drawing conclusions based on guest feedback from other ships within this class. The image above may be a little blurry from web page compression so I am also including a PDF version that should be easier to read. Odyssey Deck 6 Obstructed Balcony Guide.pdf Obstructed ocean view cabins are a great way to enjoy all the benefits of having your own balcony while saving money if you don't mind an obstructed view. If you book early you can often enjoy your pick of cabins within this category all at the same price. By selecting carefully you can enjoy a much less obstructed view while saving hundreds of dollars that can be put into beverage packages or shore excursions.
    18 points
  36. Royal is doing what it needs to do to survive. It's obvious the CDC has no intention of letting them sail soon in America. Numerous ports have agreed to allow Royal ships to visit on the premise that everyone will be tested and everyone will be vaccinated. Virgin Cruises is doing the same. There is no way any Caribbean nation can tell it's people they are opening their ports to thousands while those countries haven't been vaccinated unless everyone arriving is vaccinated and tested. That is the only way to better ensure the safety of the Caribbean nations being visited before those residents can get the vaccine. I realize many will not choose the vaccine and some can't get the vaccine for medical reasons. The problem facing Royal is the very real possibility of collapse if they wait any longer. Boycott if you must, spend your money elsewhere if you choose. However understand the company has to do this to survive.
    18 points
  37. Let’s all stick to the topic of this thread, which I am assuming is the interest level of sailing out of the Bahamas this summer. Let’s not turn this into a thread where we are criticizing or judging other countries for their vaccine rollout or question why their government did what they did. The way I see it, the bottom line is that we are all frustrated on some level regardless of what country we are from. We all want to get back to cruising. But no amount of criticism, or playing the would have, should have, could have game is going to change any of the decisions that our governments have already made, nor will it speed up the rollout of vaccines in different parts of the world. Nor will it get us back to cruising sooner so the discussion is quite pointless. Stick to the thread topic, are you interested in sailing out of the Bahamas or not? All other discussions belong on some other forum. Not here.
    18 points
  38. Good to see politicians trying to move the needle, but thus far it is clear the CDC does not really care about what any politician says (except perhaps the President, as evidenced last fall with that alleged tug of war with extending the no sail order). The fact technical instructions haven't been delivered and it is now March (from when they were supposed to be given in October) is absolutely ridiculous. Talk about not being an honest broker. The fear that the Conditional Sail Order is the No Sail Order with a different name is accurate, and it is absolutely absurd this has gone on this long. I'm not saying cruises should have been able to restart 6 months ago. Just that clearly the cruise lines have demonstrated a lot of self restraint, and they know more than anyone, the importance of operating safely given their very public and media-unfriendly coverage. If the CDC is willing to say vaccinated people can all hang out and be merry together, explain to me why, at VERY least, those same people can't be hanging out, on a ship, with these multiple layers of precautions that have already been defined. It really defies logic at this point.
    18 points
  39. Their lawyer is rumoured to be considering a case against the virus since it diminished his potential income from this and the many other cases he claims to have against Royal.
    18 points
  40. It was our 7th wedding anniversary and we decided to take the 2019 holiday cruise on Mariner since we never had a honeymoon. We had so much fun but one of our favorite things is the unlimited dining package! We are foodies so we tried every restaurant. We went to Izumi Hibachi twice because the food was soooo good!
    18 points
  41. Well, we did it ! Put down a down payment to get started. Picked out a house and lot. Should be ready in just a bit more than a year. Meanwhile, we must return to VA and sell our house. We will move into something temp locally and move to FL when our new house is ready. We will be in a brand new phase of the development so right now, there is nothing but dirt and sand there. So, flying back early tomorrow. Upgraded to FC so happy about that. What a whirlwind ! It might sound like an impulse buy to some, but truthfully, this is our fourth trip to FL house-hunting. We tried the west coast. Nope...the drive from Tampa to the Port of Miami was horrific. Tried central Florida but only Port Canaveral was really convenient. I knew that we would not be able to afford the Miami area, so after just 1 perusal in south Florida, we moved on. Not only was it expensive, but they didn’t really have the type of “Active 55+ community” that we were looking for. We finally tried the south-central east coast (Port St Lucie) and it was Juuuust right. Almost exactly half way between Port Canaveral and Miami. Dan kept saying that when we found the right place, we’d “know it”. I guess he was right. I have bought and sold many homes in my life but this will be the first brand new/build home for me. Very excited !
    18 points
  42. WAAAYTOOO

    Lift and shift help

    So this thread is as close as I can find to my L&S news. I'm hijackin' it. Last week @michelle booked the Royal Suite for me on Empress (11-22-20, 6 night Western Caribbean) with the express intent of L&S'ing it to next year. According to the website, the appropriate cruise to which to shift this would have been a 6 night Western Caribbean cruise on Odyssey. YIPPEE ! That sounds great. Since the appropriate shift from a RS on Empress to another ship is an Owner's Suite, I was happy with that idea. So she called and they stone cold refused to make the shift to Odyssey even though the website showed that sailing as an appropriate "match" AND there was an Owner's Suite still available (Odyssey only has 2 OS so it was a surprise that one was still available...but it was). Nope. Nope. Nope. She tried doing the online L&S. Nope. They outright refused. I was so disappointed. I have read of so many people moving their Empress suites to Odyssey and simply could not understand why I was being denied. If I had been there in person, they would have labeled me a "Karen" for sure. LOL @michelle got a call this morning from the L&S team with the bad news for a second time. Not only would they not shift me to Odyssey, NOW they wouldn't even shift me to an Oasis cruise that had been their offer last week (this offer never made any sense. It was a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise which violated all of their "rules" - different number of nights, different itinerary). Now I was steamin'. Poor Michelle. She is so patient. She texted me to let me know that they were "evaluating our options". I was resigned that this was just not going to work out. I asked Michelle to please just CWC and get an FCC for my deposit. She said "okay". Maybe 10 minutes later she texted me that they were offering to shift my Empress RS to an Allure Star Loft Suite during Thanksgiving week (6 night 11-21-21) !! I almost dropped the phone ! So they were willing to give me a $12.5K SLS on Allure but they couldn't see their way to giving me a $9K OS on Odyssey ? Whatever. I'll take Star Class every time !!! So.... @michelle is the queen of L&S negotiations. I don't know how she does it....but she is awesome. I'm soooo happy !!!!!!!
    18 points
  43. Just stumbled onto this website. 1200 ports listed worldwide. Tons of info! https://www.whatsinport.com/?fbclid=IwAR1GE6QBofWu5rKCjall1AZP9u8MUlDvBUKKnDCexN_6KcToQgdhgwHzm9I
    17 points
  44. I am bored and tired of not having any live blogs to read, so I’m going to create a live blog about coming to Florida on a house-hunting recon. While no one is interested in my house-hunting per se, I will devote this blog to discussions on travel and public discourse.... I mean, being out and about ...during the plague. We left Virginia on Thursday morning. Uber to the airport - Uneventful. This was the first time we had gone north (in, towards DC) since the lockdown, so we had no idea what rush hour traffic would be like. We gave ourselves plenty of time, but it was unnecessary. Traffic was a breeze (for NoVa). Part of that could have been b/c it is a holiday weekend, but primarily I just think people are still working mostly from home. Airport - This is the first time I have EVER seen zero-zilch-nobody in line at TSA. There was not a soul waiting to go through security. It’s the first time I have not needed Cleared to breeze though. The bad news...since I now have a fake knee, I can no longer go through the Pre Check scanner. I have to go through the regular line, therefore negating my TSAPre Check advantage. Not happy about this. Had to take off my shoes and everything. Major bummer. The good news is, the AA Admirals Club in Terminal C was open. The bad news is, it’s pretty meager. No more buffet breakfast (we got a breakfast “box” with some stale crackers and nasty cheese). No avocado toast ! What is this world coming to ?! It was still better than waiting at the gate but not like the good ol’ days. Flight - so much for social distancing ! Completely sold out flight. Uneventful...had to wear a mask the entire time but nothing untoward happened. One of the smoothest flights I’ve ever taken. DCA-PBI. First time flying into West Palm. Very nice airport. Must be b/c Trump moved to FL. Just kiddin’ Hotel - Residence Inn in Port St. Lucie. Very nice. Must wear a mask in the lobby and when in the elevator. No food service at all. They also subscribe to the box meal philosophy. No idea what’s in their box. We declined. No housekeeping service unless you give them 24 hours notice and you must vacate the room at least 3 hours prior to service (not sure how you’re supposed to know when they’re coming...). I can get replacement towels at any time. This works for us, just fine. I don’t care for housekeeping bustin’ in on us anyway. I can make my own bed ! Restaurants and other public spaces - Honestly, if it weren’t for the masks, you would not even know there was a plague. It’s pretty much business as usual, as far as I can tell. The restaurants seem to be blocking off every-other table, but basically, that’s it. People are extremely compliant with the whole mask thing. I’ve been very pleasantly surprised that I have seen NO one out in public without a mask. As far as I can tell, everything is open....except for the cruise terminals. More on the first day of house hunting later. It was a long day. It’s hot in Florida. Why am I moving here again ?
    17 points
  45. It's one thing for the CDC to ban ships sailing longer itineraries due to public health concerns. It's another matter altogether for the CDC to become involved with how cruise lines market cruises. Someone needs to challenge this in court. It's a government overreach and potentially violates freedom of speech. "If you talk about cruises longer than 7 days we are going to shut you down". #DefundTheCDC.
    17 points
  46. I cant list all my drinks in a day.....it would clog up this thread...its a long long list.......... But it averages around 20-25 per day, more on the first few days, less on the last few days...a couple of those are water or poweraede though.....lol........
    17 points
  47. This will probably sound pedestrian compared to the cool adventures already posted, but the first thing that popped into my head was, on our last cruise on Lady O in 11/18, after dinner my wife and I would just go straight into Central Park, enjoy a beverage, and listen to the fantastic piano/violin duo play classical music. Now, I like classical, but am nowhere near an aficionado, but it was so serene and relaxing with the warm breeze blowing and very few people walking around. Hoping to have repeat performances when we sail on Harmony in Nov.
    17 points
  48. My (then) 19 y/o son did the second leg of my back to back with me back in Jan-Feb. I encouraged him to go Quest even though I was too tired to go. He went and ended up being a team captain. The next day we kept running into people he knew from the night before....he was very chatty with everyone, high fives and fist bumps all around....and this is a kid who struggled with anxiety through his teen years. Ever since that week on Adventure, he has been able to deal with his anxiety in a much more positive way.
    17 points
  49. That story is pure clickbait. "The Carnival Cruise Ship That Spread Coronavirus Around the World" Give me a break. Let's conveniently forget that the virus spread across the world on airplanes, which were never stopped at all and given a free pass for being the primary means of transmission from one country or continent to another.
    17 points
  50. @MattJust a short post to say the Boards look FANTASTIC on Chrome! Love what you've done with the place!!
    17 points
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