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Everything posted by KWong

  1. We've also traditionally tipped over and above (and I build it into our travel budget), but to reiterate everyone else it's not necessary to do so. As for how much over and above... I don't know that there's a "correct" way to do this. For the stateroom attendant, it ends up being slightly more than what I would tip housekeeping at a hotel. For the servers, it's a few dollars, per person, per day, and rounding to the nearest 10. For us, a family of four, it works out to a decent amount.
  2. I've brought beach toys onboard in the past. Actually we went to the dollar store after we landed in FLL and got beach toys there.
  3. I always use the dodgy-looking-yet-legit valuetrips site for Fort Lauderdale. Haven't really found any other site that can provide that value for FLL area. This is like searching for Vancouver and getting Montreal hotels.
  4. I think the rule of thumb is, when in doubt, assume the stricter protocol (in this case the 1 day requirement) takes precedence.
  5. It's hard to mitigate everything that could happen at self serve stations. Not sure if there is a best practice here. But I wouldn't mind if they kept some of the pods as crew-service.
  6. Ran into this same issue when the kids were smaller. I was overly paranoid and rented a car for us because I really didn't trust the other options. I also didn't trust the baggage folk to treat the car seat with any sense of care so I carried that thing around with me during embarkation day and debarkation day, where we took a taxi to the airport and the driver was NOT happy with me setting that thing up in his car. Understandable, since time = money for them but you gotta keep the kids safe.
  7. I actually prefer the location north of the airport. And there are a bunch of other hotels in the area as well - Matt I think you've reviewed at least 1 or 2 of them? I really like the fact that the rooms are BIG. Even if you're only there for a night, it's nice for four people to be able to spread out and not feel like you're walking over each other - plenty of time for that when you're onboard and in the staterooms! Plus the area has a lot of food and amenities in case you've forgotten anything, or need to buy wine.
  8. Would agree that Shoppers is most convenient due to the way-in-advance booking. We've used it for business trips and it's as simple as you'd expect. To be honest the toughest part is remembering to put a reminder in your calendar to go.
  9. I believe that Red means that you shouldn't go out on away missions with the captain.
  10. Oddly enough, this was also the nickname for the late night bus in Toronto that people took after the subway closed for the night. For a budget option, there are bars with beaches in Costa Maya.
  11. We were supposed to be on this cruise, but canceled back in Sept because we weren't sure about Canada/US travel and when the 5-11 group would start getting vaccines in Canada. Then to top things off we found out on Wednesday that my daughter was a close contact of a positive case, meaning that she was housebound until this morning. So technically speaking, I would've had to cancel regardless. (everyone ended up with negative PCR tests) At the end of the day, I wish I could be there, but I'm glad to hear you're enjoying things though!
  12. Cigar lounge is actually not the worst revenue generating idea. But I'm certain that the cigar smokers would also not want cigarettes disrupting the cigar aroma.
  13. Very true. The ventilation on the newer ships do an admirable job of trying to contain the smoke smell, but it doesn't eliminate it - you'll still smell of smoke if you're in there for a while. The thing about this smoking ban is that we've seen this play out before in restaurants, on planes and even in casinos (in Ontario at least). There will be noise about it for a month or two, and once people get used to the new normal, it dies down. Smokers complain, but they are, by and large, an adaptable bunch, and they'll adjust accordingly.
  14. I think the best way to describe the comedy show is this: Watch a clip of Jimmy Carr. If that offends you, don't go to the adult show.
  15. Is it bad that one of my first takeaways was that I got annoyed that the author typed "my mom and me"? With that said, I felt the article was fair. Maybe a bit biased towards the cruising side, but we got what was probably as neutral a first-hand account as one is going to get. It's probably not going to change how people feel about cruising, but it's also nice to see a story that isn't completely doom and gloom.
  16. Interesting. They mention a northwest location, so I wonder if this will be close to the airport?
  17. I wear a polo/short sleeve button up and slacks/jeans to dinner. I don't mind wearing a tie on formal nights (I'll do it for our generational cruises) but my preference is to not wear one. I'm probably about average in terms of dress on board, but the main thing you should takeaway is that I wore what was comfortable for me.
  18. Hate that ferry ride. Never say never but I certainly don't plan to leave the island anymore when we port in Cozumel.
  19. Might be able to find better prices at the airport duty free tbh.
  20. Personally I like Samba but you can certainly find better Brazilian steakhouses on land. Same with Chops.
  21. In Toronto, my colleagues and I were headed down to Clearwater Beach for a corporate retreat. I spent about 10 minutes in the Global Entry/NEXUS lanes (including pre-clearing customs) and it felt long. My colleagues took over an hour to get through and only had about 10-15 minutes before general boarding was called. I'd known that the KTN was worth the cost before. But after that incident I KNEW that it was the best money I could ever spend on something travel-related.
  22. Used to be even more liberal. There were stories of people basically bringing a wet bar on board with them before the policy changed (right before the one time I went on a Disney cruise, naturally).
  23. I loved Johnny Rockets breakfast on the Oasis class ships. Less so on Harmony because the stupid purple slides block the view of the stern. And it's really the view and al fresco dining that you're there for - you can get eggs and bacon anywhere else. You should also be able to get breakfast at Mini-Bites for another outdoor location. Aqua show is not to be missed. My lukewarm take here is that Chops is skippable if you've been to a mid-level steakhouse (like The Keg here in Canada) before. The steaks at Chops are fine, but not as good as a high-end restaurant, and roughly equivalent to that mid-level steakhouse. Not sure what the steakhouse landscape is like in the UK though. Jamie's... well you have Jamie's in the UK. We had a couple in Canada (before they went into receivership) and because of that, I didn't need to go to the one one board. I'm sure it's fine though.
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