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twangster

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  1. Like
    twangster got a reaction from Pattycruise in cruise temp   
    The A/C units are individual but the coolant is centralized and distributed.  The chillers that provide the coolant are the highest source of energy draw for the hotel side of the ship operations. 
     When ships are in port including turn around days more and more governments are demanding they reduce emissions so it's common for the ship to reduce the chiller so they can operate the ship in port with the least amount of engines running.  It's common on boarding day for cabins to feel warm especially if your cabin is on the sunny side of the ship that day.  Once the ship leaves port and reaches international water they can crank on the chiller to its normal operating level and cabins can be cooled better.
  2. Thanks
    twangster got a reaction from billdauterive in Diamonds on Celebrity question...........   
  3. Thanks
    twangster got a reaction from Pattycruise in FL Resident Last Minute Deals   
    Probably hasn't been updated yet.  Try late afternoon, or maybe the flyer person is busy today.  
  4. Love
    twangster got a reaction from forests_lover in UDP: eating Maine lobsters & steaks without surcharges   
    That is one of my issues with the UDP - it's not exactly clear what is covered and what is not.   
  5. Like
    twangster got a reaction from USCG Teacher in UDP: eating Maine lobsters & steaks without surcharges   
    That is one of my issues with the UDP - it's not exactly clear what is covered and what is not.   
  6. Like
    twangster reacted to Pattycruise in Health Declaration?   
    For anyone else reading this.
    Royal has not updated their automated emails that go out pre-cruise.  There is no longer a health questionnaire that needs to be done within 24 hours of sailing.  It’s a thing of the past.  There are 3 questions in the app that are available prior to cruising  even weeks before your cruise that should be completed.  If you forget, you can do them at the port check in. 
  7. Thanks
    twangster got a reaction from Zurc in Hurricane Questions   
    You can also follow the Port of Miami and the USCG.
    https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/miami
    Ultimately port closures are at the discretion of the USCG.  They have set condition Whiskey for most ports in Florida as of yesterday or today.  As a storm begins to present more risk they will evelvate through a series of port conditions that could ultimately lead to closing a port and that generally requires that most ships leave the port.  If USCG closes a port cruise lines have no say in the matter, they must move their ships out of the port and that could impact the ability to embark or debark a ship on schedule.
  8. Like
    twangster got a reaction from forests_lover in UDP: eating Maine lobsters & steaks without surcharges   
    You ask the wait staff.  
    50% of UDP varies by ship.  No one here can say with absolute what is and isn't included with the UDP beyond the basic cover for specialty dining.  It depends on the phase of the moon. 
    Generally speaking if a venue like Chops has an additional charge for someone paying to eat at Chops then getting access to Chops VIA the UDP isn't a silver bullet that carries special powers that avoids being charged extra for what others paying per visit without a UDP do or don't get.  The UDP gets you in the door instead of paying for that visit on a one meal at a time basis.  Beyond getting in the door the UDP had no special power at cover charge venues.    
  9. Confused
    twangster got a reaction from Toby in Hurricane Questions   
    You can also follow the Port of Miami and the USCG.
    https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/miami
    Ultimately port closures are at the discretion of the USCG.  They have set condition Whiskey for most ports in Florida as of yesterday or today.  As a storm begins to present more risk they will evelvate through a series of port conditions that could ultimately lead to closing a port and that generally requires that most ships leave the port.  If USCG closes a port cruise lines have no say in the matter, they must move their ships out of the port and that could impact the ability to embark or debark a ship on schedule.
  10. Like
    twangster got a reaction from Al. in Loyal to Royal.   
    I think Royal has found a good balance that brings value for the vacation dollars spent.  A luxury cruise experience sounds great but they costs luxurious dollars.  A budget cruise sounds easy on the wallet but are often too budget oriented - you get what you pay for, or not.  
    Certain companies I gel with.  I have tried other lines, several of them as I sought to check out the grass to see if it was greener over there.  This has helped me validate my feelings about Royal.  In the end Royal feels like home, if there is such a concept, for a cruise line.  
    I like that Royal doesn't include everything as that would drive the price up and I'd pay for things I don't want or need.  
    I like that Royal offers activities for a wide variety of ages.  I may not have young kids anymore but the kids areas and activities keeps them occupied so they aren't all swamping my space because they are bored with nothing to do.  When I travel with family or friends that have younger kids the kids programming allows me and my friends to spend some time together while their kids are occupied.  
    Sometimes I want to jump in a bumper car or lace on a set of skates and sometimes not.  On Royal there are those things for me if and when I feel like it.  Even when I don't sometimes it's fun watching other people have fun.  
    I cruise Royal not because of the Crown and Anchor Society but those benefits certainly don't hurt and it is one of the best loyalty programs in the industry.  For me I just enjoy many different aspects of a Royal cruise.  I haven't had bad experiences on other lines but it just doesn't feel like home like it does when I first board a Royal ship at the start of any cruise.  
  11. Thanks
    twangster got a reaction from FloatyBoaty in Hurricane Questions   
    You can also follow the Port of Miami and the USCG.
    https://homeport.uscg.mil/port-directory/miami
    Ultimately port closures are at the discretion of the USCG.  They have set condition Whiskey for most ports in Florida as of yesterday or today.  As a storm begins to present more risk they will evelvate through a series of port conditions that could ultimately lead to closing a port and that generally requires that most ships leave the port.  If USCG closes a port cruise lines have no say in the matter, they must move their ships out of the port and that could impact the ability to embark or debark a ship on schedule.
  12. Haha
    twangster reacted to smokeybandit in Hurricane Questions   
    Funny, that's my condition on every cruise I sail on.
  13. Like
    twangster got a reaction from Galveston Steve in Statlink Internet confirmed!   
    It may seem counterintuitive but capping wifi speeds has been proven to cause more problems than it solves.  
    WiFi is a shared medium much like the old days of ethernet hubs.  When you cap or throttle users you prolong their session.  If you are downloading a 10MB email attachment you will download all of that 10MB regardless how long it takes.  For as long as you are downloading that 10MB you are consuming time on the radios of the access point you are attached to.  Basically your activity is congesting the spectrum for as long as it takes to complete your download. 
    The best solution that has been proven time and again is to get your download done as quickly as possible which then frees up the spectrum for other users. 
    When users are capped the problem becomes more prevalent as the number of connected users grows.  The spectrum becomes more saturated because all stations are consuming time slots for longer periods.      
    The same logic applies to streaming.  Some people assume that when streaming TV you have a constant stream of bits coming in but in reality you receive a series of data spikes that are buffered in your device.  Each of those spikes is just like downloading something like a 10MB file.  The best solution is to allow your device access to all the bandwidth that is available at that moment in time so that your spike of data is completed as quickly as possible.  The worst case scenario is capping your throughput so that your spikes are smoothed out into one long constant download.  That ties up the radio spectrum making it less available for other users.  
    Shared medium always works best when users jump on and off rather than constantly consuming the resource.  Think of a party line telephone.  If one user is constantly using it no one else can.  It only works if all users jump on and off as quickly as possible and for data that requires allowing them access to the whole pipe.
    Ask any WiFi pro and you'll hear this time and again.  Twenty years ago it was thought to be a solution but since that time the WiFi professional community has come to the conclusion that user data caps don't work and make the problem worse.  Royal is so outdated in their approach to technology.  
  14. Like
    twangster got a reaction from Bazza in What Happened to Icon of the Seas?   
    I imagine a project the size of a ship has got to be dealing with supply chain issues.  I know my work projects are all kinds of screwed up with lead times growing from 60 days to 18 months for some major systems.  It could be as simple as they need 10,000 lifejackets but can only source 1,000 right now.  Stuff that was taken for granted as being readily available just isn't right now.  Need 4,000 TVs? Sorry, the best we can do is ship 500.   
    The point is it has to be very hard to nail down a commitment for finishing the ship.  They almost didn't meet Wonder's inaugural date so they have to have learned to be more conservative setting an inaugural date.  
    The big party whenever that may be will need to know the inaugural date to make the big splash and open it for sales.  They can't open it without showing deck plans so they need the big media event first which needs the inaugural date to be pretty firm.
    It very conceivable it's not going to finish on time.  
  15. Like
    twangster got a reaction from Carlos A. in Statlink Internet confirmed!   
    It may seem counterintuitive but capping wifi speeds has been proven to cause more problems than it solves.  
    WiFi is a shared medium much like the old days of ethernet hubs.  When you cap or throttle users you prolong their session.  If you are downloading a 10MB email attachment you will download all of that 10MB regardless how long it takes.  For as long as you are downloading that 10MB you are consuming time on the radios of the access point you are attached to.  Basically your activity is congesting the spectrum for as long as it takes to complete your download. 
    The best solution that has been proven time and again is to get your download done as quickly as possible which then frees up the spectrum for other users. 
    When users are capped the problem becomes more prevalent as the number of connected users grows.  The spectrum becomes more saturated because all stations are consuming time slots for longer periods.      
    The same logic applies to streaming.  Some people assume that when streaming TV you have a constant stream of bits coming in but in reality you receive a series of data spikes that are buffered in your device.  Each of those spikes is just like downloading something like a 10MB file.  The best solution is to allow your device access to all the bandwidth that is available at that moment in time so that your spike of data is completed as quickly as possible.  The worst case scenario is capping your throughput so that your spikes are smoothed out into one long constant download.  That ties up the radio spectrum making it less available for other users.  
    Shared medium always works best when users jump on and off rather than constantly consuming the resource.  Think of a party line telephone.  If one user is constantly using it no one else can.  It only works if all users jump on and off as quickly as possible and for data that requires allowing them access to the whole pipe.
    Ask any WiFi pro and you'll hear this time and again.  Twenty years ago it was thought to be a solution but since that time the WiFi professional community has come to the conclusion that user data caps don't work and make the problem worse.  Royal is so outdated in their approach to technology.  
  16. Like
    twangster got a reaction from Bob Burd in Statlink Internet confirmed!   
    It may seem counterintuitive but capping wifi speeds has been proven to cause more problems than it solves.  
    WiFi is a shared medium much like the old days of ethernet hubs.  When you cap or throttle users you prolong their session.  If you are downloading a 10MB email attachment you will download all of that 10MB regardless how long it takes.  For as long as you are downloading that 10MB you are consuming time on the radios of the access point you are attached to.  Basically your activity is congesting the spectrum for as long as it takes to complete your download. 
    The best solution that has been proven time and again is to get your download done as quickly as possible which then frees up the spectrum for other users. 
    When users are capped the problem becomes more prevalent as the number of connected users grows.  The spectrum becomes more saturated because all stations are consuming time slots for longer periods.      
    The same logic applies to streaming.  Some people assume that when streaming TV you have a constant stream of bits coming in but in reality you receive a series of data spikes that are buffered in your device.  Each of those spikes is just like downloading something like a 10MB file.  The best solution is to allow your device access to all the bandwidth that is available at that moment in time so that your spike of data is completed as quickly as possible.  The worst case scenario is capping your throughput so that your spikes are smoothed out into one long constant download.  That ties up the radio spectrum making it less available for other users.  
    Shared medium always works best when users jump on and off rather than constantly consuming the resource.  Think of a party line telephone.  If one user is constantly using it no one else can.  It only works if all users jump on and off as quickly as possible and for data that requires allowing them access to the whole pipe.
    Ask any WiFi pro and you'll hear this time and again.  Twenty years ago it was thought to be a solution but since that time the WiFi professional community has come to the conclusion that user data caps don't work and make the problem worse.  Royal is so outdated in their approach to technology.  
  17. Like
    twangster got a reaction from Jailman in Statlink Internet confirmed!   
    Royal has long proven it doesn't consider technical merits but is more likely to do what will generate the most revenue.
    Speeding things up by lifting per users caps solves a technical problem but it doesn't generate any new revenue and for Royal that is why they won't do it.  
    They could turn the existing 3.5 Mbps "Surf and Stream" into the lowest plan offered while likely retaining something close to the former rates for Surf and Stream (despite their costs dropping 70 to 90%) and then offer a premium level at $20 or $30 per day that offers faster speeds.  Maybe add a "you're an idiot" rate at $50 per day unlimited to capture the folks that have money to waste.  
    The reason I am hesitant to predict what Royal will do is because it's not about doing the right thing or doing a popular thing, it's only about doing the money thing.  If it lowers revenue Royal won't consider it.  It's going to be all about pricing strategies. 
    Like the $4,000 Cococay cabana it's not going to be anything most of us will like.  
  18. Thanks
    twangster got a reaction from Jailman in Statlink Internet confirmed!   
    It may seem counterintuitive but capping wifi speeds has been proven to cause more problems than it solves.  
    WiFi is a shared medium much like the old days of ethernet hubs.  When you cap or throttle users you prolong their session.  If you are downloading a 10MB email attachment you will download all of that 10MB regardless how long it takes.  For as long as you are downloading that 10MB you are consuming time on the radios of the access point you are attached to.  Basically your activity is congesting the spectrum for as long as it takes to complete your download. 
    The best solution that has been proven time and again is to get your download done as quickly as possible which then frees up the spectrum for other users. 
    When users are capped the problem becomes more prevalent as the number of connected users grows.  The spectrum becomes more saturated because all stations are consuming time slots for longer periods.      
    The same logic applies to streaming.  Some people assume that when streaming TV you have a constant stream of bits coming in but in reality you receive a series of data spikes that are buffered in your device.  Each of those spikes is just like downloading something like a 10MB file.  The best solution is to allow your device access to all the bandwidth that is available at that moment in time so that your spike of data is completed as quickly as possible.  The worst case scenario is capping your throughput so that your spikes are smoothed out into one long constant download.  That ties up the radio spectrum making it less available for other users.  
    Shared medium always works best when users jump on and off rather than constantly consuming the resource.  Think of a party line telephone.  If one user is constantly using it no one else can.  It only works if all users jump on and off as quickly as possible and for data that requires allowing them access to the whole pipe.
    Ask any WiFi pro and you'll hear this time and again.  Twenty years ago it was thought to be a solution but since that time the WiFi professional community has come to the conclusion that user data caps don't work and make the problem worse.  Royal is so outdated in their approach to technology.  
  19. Like
    twangster got a reaction from Neesa in what are WOW bands?   
    Only Star Class has been getting Wow bands since the restart of cruising during the pandemic and I'm not even sure that is consistent across the fleet.  
    I tried to bring a Wow band I have on a Quantum class ship to re-use it and they wouldn't let me bring my own stating they are discontinued.  
    In the past, prior to the shutdown, Sky Class would have received a Wow band in the cabin on day one.  For non-suite guests they used to be available for purchase at guest services.  On day one some ships would host a wow band event in Boleros to shift the day one load away from guest services.
    I suspect since the Royal app has become their focus they are shifting away from wow bands and the pandemic was the final straw that did away with wow bands.  Some ships have digital keys in the Royal app that can unlock the cabin door.  Ovation wasn't one of the digital key ships in the past.  
  20. Thanks
    twangster got a reaction from SewerUrchin43 in Pending Charge on card while aboard   
    Yes but it's more like a test charge to make sure an actual charge that will be authorized.  Some credit card companies may not release it right away so it effectively becomes a hold or pending charge and banks can be particularly overly cautious with debit cards in case your intention was to charge something and immediately withdraw the money from the account while the actual charge was being processed. 
    A lot of the behaviour you see with these types of account transactions are more a function how the credit card company or bank handles it and that can be influenced by the company or bank, type of account, your credit history and credit score. It's not always on the merchant (Royal in this case).  Credit card companies profile card holders and may or may not be more conservative in the way they handle one cardholder vs. another.  
    Royal typically tries to post a $99 charge on night one and then they will post smaller amounts during the cruise if that $99 initial post to your seapass account is exceeded.  Once the cruise is over they'll post a final sum of the other charges as a single transaction.  Depending on your credit card company or bank and how quickly they release the original test or pending transactions it can tie up some of your available credit until the bank or credit card company drops the pending transactions.   
    Gas stations can sometimes work the same way, less so in the US but certainly in other countries like Canada.  As soon as I swipe my card in a gas pump in Canada my Apple watch displays something like a $200 charge even though I haven't started pumping gas yet.   Once I'm done I'll see a transaction for the actual amount of gas that I pumped and the $200 test charge eventually falls off.  In the US I rarely see that initial test charge, I usually see something pop up on my watch as I am driving away.  
  21. Like
    twangster got a reaction from FireFishII in Medical Evacuation on Oasis of the Seas   
    Once USCG agrees to perform a helicopter evac it's all in the hands of the USCG.  They dictate where on the ship, speed and heading.  It is possible given the winds or other factors that USCG decides to evac from a high deck instead of the the helipad.  I've seen two evacs on other lines that didn't use the bow but chose high aft.   I've seen helicopters land on helipads and I've seen helicopter hover over helipads and use the winch.   It's all whatever they feel is best on that day.  
  22. Like
    twangster got a reaction from Mike n Ky in Next Cruise   
    Is there a refundable rate available for your cruise and how much is the difference to book refundable?
    One option is to make a refundable booking now to secure space and then shop NextCruise while onboard.  If NextCruise is lower than your held refundable booking you can book at NextCruise and later cancel the refundable booking. 
  23. Thanks
    twangster got a reaction from Neesa in Royal Caribbean Logo Identification Luggage Tags   
    I never received D+ luggage tags back in 2018.  
  24. Like
    twangster got a reaction from billdauterive in Statlink Internet confirmed!   
    Oh wow!  It's back to 2019 prices!
    a.k.a. - if we jack up the rates for a year then lower them no one will notice it's the same price as before.  
    SMH
  25. Like
    twangster got a reaction from MarcBerger in Freestyle Drink Dispenser Menus   
    From time to time I see people asking about what drinks are included in the Coca-Cola Freestyle drink dispensers. 
    @Matt has written blogs on the Freestyle machines.  Here is one from 2015:
    https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2015/07/20/coca-cola-freestyle-machines-royal-caribbean
    While I am on Anthem I have some free time so I grabbed some pictures of all the Freestyle drink menus.  
    Let's start with the main menu:
     
    From here you can see the types of drinks available in each category.  First are two pages for the "All Drinks" category:
     
     
    Here are the types of drinks available within each option:
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    And of course plain water:
     
    The same drinks are sorted by "Low/No Calories" options:
     
    The same drinks sorted by "Caffeine Free" options:
     
    Finally the same drinks are sorted by flavor:
     
    Here are the Cherry drinks:
     
     
    Orange drinks:
     
     
    Raspberry drinks:
     
     
    Grape drinks:
     
    Lemon drinks:
     
     
    Peach drinks:
     
     
    Strawberry drinks:
     
     
    Lime drinks:
     
     
    Fruit Punch drinks:
     
    Vanilla drinks:
     
    Cherry Vanilla drinks:
     
    Mixed Berry drinks:
     
    For those that are asking what is a Freestyle drink dispenser?  
    Certain Royal Caribbean ships have these Freestyle drink dispensers.  See the blog above for a list of ships that have them.
     
    Freestyle dispensers work only with special cups provided with beverage packages.  The souvenir cups have a chip embedded in the base that is read by the machine when you place the cup into the machine.  There are various designs that are provided.
     
    When a cup is first used it is registered in the system and an expiry date is assigned.  The expiry date is usually a few days longer than your cruise.
     
    The machines also function as ice dispensers.
    Lastly, these menus were captured in January 2018.   It's possible that menus will vary over time and by ship.   
     
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