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About jaullram

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  1. I enjoyed your blog very much twangster! You have me excited for our 7 night Best of Bermuda cruise next summer on Empress! Can't wait!
  2. I would be interested in hearing people's opinion of Empress of the Seas. We are looking at the 7 Night Best of Bermuda cruise in an aft junior suite. I know the ship is older and smaller but are we going to be really disappointed or will the itinerary make up for it? We love Grandeur (and other ships in the fleet) so hoping it is somewhat similar to Grandeur. All we really care about is a casino, seeing some comedians, having good food and having a nice balcony. We have been enjoying twangster's blog and the ship seems nice and uncrowded (yeah) but would appreciate other's thoughts. Also, regarding aft Jr suites, are all of the balconies on Deck 7 the same size - the pictures make the middle ones seem bigger?
  3. It really depends what you want - do you want to hang out at the pool or be at a beach - two totally different experiences. We did Chill Island Cabana and loved it! There was an upgraded buffet lunch that I am not sure comes with Oasis Lagoon cabanas. Yes, there were 2 mats and 2 sets of snorkel gear. There was also a cooler full of water.
  4. As for the Cabana attendant, we didn't see one but things may have changed now that the island is fully opened. There was someone there when we first got there that gave us our towels so maybe she could get you things. As I said, I didn't see a private locker and USB outlet but it does say it in the description so my guess it is likely in one of the wicker tables? There was a cooler full of waters and when we wanted more we went to the bar.
  5. SweetPea - we have read some reviews that Star Class suites can have the drink cart come around at a certain time of day in the afternoon. Was this an option for you on Anthem? We are planning on having our room stocked with beer but would love it if they came around and made us a mixed drink or a glass of wine. Sounds like you had an amazing time - we can't wait for ours in March!
  6. I received the same survey today and mentioned our displeasure with the new pricing. I mentioned that if there were too many prime members that perhaps they should offer discounts of varying percentages off depending on points. My husband had 10,000+ last year and I was at 8,000 so that should account for more of a discount than someone who just gets 2,500. I also mentioned that I can go to MSC or NCL and get 30% off without even stepping foot in their casino. I know you have been a member much longer than me (didn't know it existed when we first cruised with RCL in 2013) so I am sure you are feeling the disappointment more!
  7. Maybe you will have better luck because you have a "Michelle"! Our Star Class on Anthem next March at full price was $8,400 and I got a quote to upgrade using Prime certificate and it was $5,500. Still a great price but I was expecting it to be $2,000 less than that (at $3,500). We are still going to do it but not enthusiastic about their new pricing!!! I only have the deposit down as I am hoping once the craziness goes away maybe the pricing will be better because at 30% I can go to any of the other major lines and get the same discount before having step foot in their casinos!
  8. I will be interested in what you find for pricing. I called this morning and used to getting around a 60% discount off the total price to upgrade rooms. When I called this morning to upgrade my prime certificate to a Grand Loft Suite, the discount was only 30%....needless to say, I am going to wait to see if pricing is better in a month or so. It seems like the upgrade pricing is not as good as last year so I would love to see if you find the same.
  9. So, I just called to book my free annual prime cruise and then upgrade to a balcony or suite. In the past, we have always paid around 40% of the total cruise fare for the cabin we want to go to. So, for example, we booked a Grand Suite with last year's prime offer and paid $1,800 which was 40% of the current rate for that room. This year however, the prices to upgrade have increased significantly and we are now paying 70% of the going rate. I asked about it and she said that is the pricing they have and she couldn't tell me anything more. When I received the price, the "math" doesn't work either. If I get a free interior and only have to pay for taxes and fees, I am getting a discount of $1,220 (Total interior (cheapest) for the cruise we are looking at is 1,678 less taxes and fees of $398). When she priced out the upgrade to a balcony, the discount I received was less than the $1,220 which doesn't seem right! Currently annoyed because apparently they are taking away more perks from us again!!!! Has anyone else experienced this yet?
  10. RTripp the “amenities “ included with the Chill Island Cabana was a cooler of water (yes, only water), upgraded lunch buffet (see my post above), private roped off beach and bar for just Cabana area. As for the private speaker and safe - never actually knew it existed!!! There was a cocktail table in the cabana so maybe that is where the speaker and locker was! Next time we will have to look harder because it wasn't obvious. Also, the description says cabin attendant but we never had anyone come ask us for drinks like they do in Labadee.
  11. FYI - the ones in the back actually had a ramp and not two steps up so those may be better. They had beach wheelchairs at the end of the dock too which will help get you there.
  12. Yes, right next to the chairs is why I wouldn't include #8. It was a lot louder there with people talking and we wanted a nice quiet day. I honestly wouldn't even mind the back row either as the cabanas were staggered. Overall, it is a wonderful experience no matter which one anyone ends up with.
  13. The Chill Island Cabanas are a pretty short walk. Basically you leave the cabana area, cross a little sand road (where the shuttles drive), walk past the bathroom and down a path to the pool. It wasn't far at all. I didn't walk to the pool from the bungalow area but those did seem further away from the pool. We enjoyed the cabana immensely but it really isn't a necessity since there are so many lounge chairs near the water and also at the pool. If you plan to split your day between pool and ocean then the $500 for the cabana may not be worth it. Enjoy either way!
  14. The beach beds are further down the island and have been there for a few years now. The one real downside to those is the water is so shallow there that there really isn't any good swimming areas. When we walked down that way the water was only up to peoples knees 30 feet out. We prefer the cabana area as the snorkeling was amazing and the water was deeper
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