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Traveler last won the day on October 9

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  1. For sure it will be a good weather , I have a connection from EWR so it must be a good weather 🙂 Have a wonderful cruise,
  2. Same for me , I got 3.5 years Visa my spouse got 1.5 years , but as I understood its many time pending on your expiration date of your passport.
  3. Correct : In China the issue is more complicate as they have transit Visa for 24 hours (which I can use) 72 and 144 hours to the European and US countries but it is not working the same from all ports. Also you need to consider this is is a transit Visa , so telling you are planning to visit China with this visa might create some issues as it is for transit ... Another issue is people that write on the landing card the exist point as there flight back from the cruise , this is a huge mistake as they should write the ship as their exit point, The huge advantage using a Visa or applying for online visa is that the checks are being done before you start your travel and not in the airport, it also force you to collect the right information before. You should also take into consideration that temp visas might be effected by the number of Visas/entries you country gave to people from the country you try to enter.
  4. That is correct , but I found it that 99.99% of the times when you have Visa and know what to say, fill correctly the landing form you will be OK , when traveling to such places I always take with me a copy of the flight back so I can show it if asked.
  5. Hi , I had a Visa with multi entries , the 144 hours will not work for me but the 24 hours could have work but just did not want to take the risk , to do the Visa took me 30 minutes and cost me around 40 $ so it was OK. We did got an email from Royal 10 days before the cruise that we should better have a Visa since the lines to get the 144/72/24 hours in the airport visa might take long time. Same I have done with Vietnam.
  6. Guess I need to do the summary , The ship Spectrum of the seas is a wonderful ship with many of the things people love about the Q class (270 , music hall) + some extras as laser Tag and the new coffee shops. The ship as a feeling of a big ship , not crowded at all (beside the WJ) Entertainment: Royal did a good job here , although due to the language difference the shows are more on the physical side (Dancing , acrobats) and singing still they are very nice , Show girls was very good , the home production was nice , the headliner shows were funny, we liked less the Silk Road. We loved the "let it be AC/DC" Activities You will find all the activities you have on other ships , maybe less trivia (although it exist) but all the rest are more and less there , including the quest , lover and marriage and other game shows , the only thing that I did not so was the Bingo , but I Am not really missing it. Just take into consideration that games can take longer as every thing is being translated to Mandarin, But I Guess its the same when you take a ship from ports like Porto Rico or even Barcelona. Parties : There was the balloons dropping party , the 70 party , the silent party (which was very funny) and wild west party. Bars and bar services There were many bars , but almost no one was seating in the bars , service was OK but you never so roaming bar waiters , apparently most of the people that board in Shanghai do not drink or they drink beer and Sodas. The good think is the cost of the drinking package on board , 49$ for the first person and 50% for the second , also drinking card came on day 4 for 12 drinks at the cost of 68$ !. I did not seen any alcohol missing on board but did not try everything. The issue is that most of the bars a closed early (Schonner bar close at midnight for example) beside the Casino Bar and the Music hall . Port of calls Shanghai - Loved the city , very clean very modern in most of the places, very cheep and also interesting , most of the street names and signs in the main area are also in English , transportation is easy and even if you went into a line without English sign its easy to remember the symbol of your last station/direction. I wish I added few more days there. Port is around 40 minutes from the city center. Osaka - Maybe since we had a problem with our shore excursion or for some other reason we thought its not the best port , you have few places to visit unless you want to drive extra time. The plus is that you got a mall and many restaurants just adjust to the port Kobe - nice port with easy transportation , a good port to go and roam a typical Japanese city , test local foods and markets. Tokyo (Yokohama)- port is 20-30 minutes drive, Tokyo is amazing and we felt we could have spent more time there , i would skip any excursion which brings you to the imperial palace as you can not even get near the palace so its quite a waste of time, Go to the center were the big temple is and just walk around. amazing city. Embarkation / disembarkation This was super easy, you come to the port , drop your luggage and go to the international passenger line (which also shared with Platinum + line) , quick security like any other port , quick check in , immigration which can take 10 -15 minutes and that is it , all the signs are also in English , very easy to find things. Disembarkation was the same , you go out of the ship , pass immigration , collect your suitcases and pass via custom , the only thing you should now is the distance to the taxi lines , its quite far 8-10 minutes walk. Food You will find all of the regular menus in the MDR (maybe they change it after people complain) you get the regular menu and the Chinese menu which you can choose from. in the WJ you can find some Western food , Chinese food and many time lots of Indian food , always there is something. Silver dining room - this is exactly like Solarium bistro at night , we did not eat there too many dinners as the main dish are always the same, Service in the MDR was very very good , the best we ever had so far , the waiters did not let our wine glasses to get empty and food came very fast. Pleas mind , in general in all the restaurants they try to bring you the food very very fast , some will say too fast , I guess this is the request of most of the passenger. No issue to find Western food , but I must agree with most of the comments that I read , the Chinese food is not what we know as Chinese food but more I will say , simple , or in other words , real Chinese food. Internet This was very problematic, it worked only 75% of the time and when it worked it was very slow and blocked access to the site. Atmosphere I did not encounter any strange behavior or cutting in lines , yes , on rush time you might wait for the elevators and they will be crowded , more than other ships , not sure. People in general were nice and try to have fun. take into consideration the ship going to sleep quite early. I must say , it was a good idea to add many vacation days after the cruise , it did not felt as real last day as we knew we had lots of more interesting things to do so we loved Singapore after and also Thailand , although I had to cut few days since been asked to fly to a business meeting in the country that serves french fries with gravy and cheese and proud of it. So will not have time to fix my clock , as just after this business trip will need to go to Italy again , and not for cruise. Next cruise for know is April 11 days Med , Jewel of the seas .
  7. Greece and Italy using Euro , do not wait to change money in Europe and for sure not in Italy as money exchanger will give you very bad rates. Change or while you still in the US or check you ATM/CC rate for using it abroad. In Italy most of the places accept CC (Visa and Master card are widely accepted AE less) in Greece the big resturants and shops will accept CC. For a 7 week cruise in Europe I bring around 300-400 Euros mainly for taxi from to the airports and for street food rest CC. On the worse case scenario there is one ATM on the ship that dispense Euros bit with 6.5 $ fees
  8. Ohhh , you plan your activities based on RCL IT ? You are a very brave man 🙂
  9. Yom Kippur was last week , I guess maybe they are trying to promote some Jewel of the seas cruises to the holy land or the security officer got a punishment from the captain 🙂
  10. I think the discount was due to the fact that the locals almost fo not drink anything beside beers and Sodas. That's why they also came out with the 12 drinking card for 68$ at day 4. There was also discount on the refreshment package , do not remember how much but I think it was less dramatic. As always no guarantee they will offer it again. Take into account you will need to go to the bars for drinks , not many bar waitress are roaming around. My JS was with one bathroom , but it called J1 Silver JS with big balcony (13722) , SPA was not part of the name.
  11. I went several times to the Botanic garden , love them but it was too hot this time so we just went to the gardens by the bay. Love the chili crab and the rice chicken which I usually eat at China town.
  12. I had hopes wonder will do as Harmony and Symphony Europe first for few month but it seems it will not happen , so or I will try to book one of its first cruise , but that will depends on the routes as I am not sure we will allow to do some of the ports on the way. Or to fly again to Shanghai 🙂 , I wonder when they will open wonder for booking.
  13. Day 9 Singapore. I have been many time in this small city state, most the on business trip and I learned to like this crazy combination that exist here. It's a very orgnized country very clean and most of the time . There any attractions which are very close by , the only problem is the weather which is always warm and can be very expensive. We checked in to night before to the Marina Bay sands which is attraction by itself we got a wonderful room with excellent view on the gardens and the bay which I shared yesterday but here some more pics. Another member to the family It's not trees what you see in the window but some plants in the balcony. We eat branch in one of the resturants and went to visit the garden by the bay. It's a very large gardens which are free to enter , there three things that requires admission : the skyway between the the trees , the cloud dome and the flower dome The path from the hotel to the gardens. The tree structures and the , the yellow line is the skyway which you can walk between the trees The skyway We visit the gardens and went to the flower dome , the best thing is that they have a good air conditioning inside , it contains flower from around the world. Our next stop was the second dome ( we bought combined ticket) which is just near the first one , this is the cloud dome which contains a rain forest , not all the plants there are real but many are , very impressive , it contains also a small museum and a theater. If you choose to go to only one dome go to this one After the visit we went back to the hotel for some pool time and took the subway to one of the center to buy some fruits in the supermarket , ear very late lunch in the food court and visit the lucky fountain. We went back to the hotel , it was already dark so we returned to the gardens which are illuminated and looks total different. Evey hour they also have a light show with music , very recommended. We took the elevator to the skyway which you need to secure time slot for. It's very beautiful view from up there but not recommend for people that fear from heights. We have one more day here before going to Thailand to continue our vacation .
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