I agree. The only alcoholic drinks I EVER drink on a cruise and I might get 2-3 the whole cruise...so the UBP doesn't make sense for me...I get the refreshment package so I can still get the "tropical" pretty drinks and specialty coffees.
I think Carnival can't figure out what to do with Holland America. It's garnered a reputation as the cruise line for old people, as much as they want to dispel that. If they position it as premium, well, then what's Princess for?
Is it now "luxury" for people who enjoy being nickel-and-dimed if they want to try a second entree? Are there any actual humans that might appeal to?
I disagree......eventually bad press, rumors, pictures, videos, horror stories etc will have some kinda negative impact. I can tell you that for people that HAVENT cruised before, these types of things are reasons and excuses not to ever try it. And there has been quite a bit lately....and its not all fake news.
Do I think this is going to hurt Royal much...nah.........but to say it will have zero impact, I disagree emphatically. There will be ripple effects from all of this. And for Royal, they have the most to lose out of all the players with the $$ and inventory of massive ships they have and continue to build.
While for people who are rich or cruise often, this may not affect ur future cruise plans..but for someone who has saved for years and planned this and something like this happens, there is a good chance they don't try again anytime soon or ever to book a cruise. A cruise vacation isn't like booking/taking an AI vacation or other land vacation when it comes to being cancelled or trying to rebook and make something happen when these things are canceled a few short weeks before peoples expected vacation dates.
As a Diamond Member & a cruiser “Loyal to Royal”, I find it extremely disappointing that Royal keeps sending most of their Quantum Class Ships to the Chinese market. I live in Florida where it is so easy to drive to the Port & hop on a ship. We’ve done all the Oasis Class ships. They are beautiful but we’re tired off the subpar itineraries & each ship is amazing but basically the same. It’s gotten old. Now the Spectrum is coming out & it’s going to China. I don’t understand why Royal doesn’t send the Allure or Oasis over to China? Give us a Quantum Class ship here in Florida? After all we are only the Cruising Capital of the World.
We have been back from the cruise for a week and I realize that I failed at a "live" blog but I didn't have the internet package so here it goes!
The Trip Down
We loaded up the SUV and headed out of Panama City before 9 A.M to head to Ft. Lauderdale. We were making excellent time and then right before we arrived things changed. Towards the end of the turnpike the vehicle in front us swerved at the last minute and revealed a rather large tire which made contact with our vehicle. Our vehicle was damaged but safe to drive. This is an example of why you should arrive in your port area the night before your cruise. If we were driving in on the day of our cruise we may have missed our cruise.
We stayed at the Hyatt Place (17th Street Convention Center). The hotel was clean and at 8,000 Hyatt points per night was an excellent value. Parking is $7 per night unless you're a Globalist member. The hotel offers cruise parking for $7 per night. The Hyatt also operates a shuttle service that charges $7 per person each way you use the service. We decided that since our cruise was returning on Sunday we would park in the Port Everglades Midport Parking Garage to save time. Parking is $15 per day but you don't have to use a shuttle which ended up saving my family money.
Royal Caribbean had emailed us and told us that boarding would not start until 12:30 due to a USCG inspection. Thanks to Matt's recommendation and my good friend Brandon (who sailed with us) we arrived at the port and were on board at 11:10. The total curb to ship time including dropping off luggage, parking in the garage, and getting checked in was less than 20 minutes.
Once we got on the cruise all the stress faded away. Adventure is in great shape. Our stateroom was 6665 and I feel like it had been updated which was nice. During the cruise our main hangout spot was the Blue Moon lounge on deck 14. The lounge offered excellent views and fun dance parties at night. Cafe Promenade was also a frequently visited spot. The dining experience was excellent on Adventure. We ate dinner in the MDR 6 of the 8 nights on our cruise. Our waiter Raj was excellent and the meals were top notch. There was only one appetizer during the cruise that I didn't care for. It was the Asian Pork Tacos. All the steaks I ordered were cooked perfectly, the prime rib was excellent, and lobster on night 7 was the best dinner. The Windjammer was excellent but I wish it was open past 9 P.M. The bar service was always fast in the 'Jammer as we would call it. The entertainment was excellent. We enjoyed the theater productions and the ice skating show. The Farewell Show was top notch. We really enjoyed the activities from cruising on a mid-sized ship. We used the slides (which are fast but a bit rough), Flowrider, played basketball, and went ice skating.
LaBadee was excellent and the weather was great. We had much more fun here than at CocoCay in 2015. We enjoyed the Dragon's Breath Flight Line. I highly recommend that excursion. Its super smooth and you always feel safe. The view of the ship from the launch is amazing. We walked a few trails around LaBadee and settled at Adrenaline Beach. The beach is indeed rocky but we had a good time. We then got our LaBadoozie in souvenir cup and chilled in the hammocks. I fell getting into the hammock and that generated a lot of laughs at my expense which was actually quite funny.
We arrived into Puerto Rico around 12:30 P.M so we enjoyed the sail into port. Sailing past El Morro during the daytime and taking in the majesty of the fort and Old San Juan was one of the best moments of the cruise. We toured Old San Juan with my friend Brandon's aunt who lives in Puerto Rico and showed us all the spots. We walked a lot that day and were very tired when we made it back the ship in the evening.
We had the SeaTrek helmet diving excursion booked and it was the most anticipated part of our cruise. However, early in the morning our stateroom telephone rang and we were informed that the excursion was cancelled even though the weather was fine. It was quite disappointing. In the afternoon we decided to take the water taxi to downtown Philipsburg. It was a great ride for $3. The water is beautiful in St. Maarten. We then took a 3 hour driving tour for $25 per person to tour the island. We asked to be dropped off at Maho Beach and we ate lunch at the Sunset Bar and Grill and saw a lot of small planes and one large plane land. The food is excellent at the Sunset Bar and Grill and you should go there! The bathrooms aren't free to use though. After visiting Maho Beach we toured the French side of the island. I wasn't impressed with St. Maarten/St Martin as a whole. The island wasn't very clean and reminded me to much of hurricane damage.
ST KITTS AND NEVIS
St. Kitts and Nevis was the best stop on our cruise and we are dying to go back! We enjoyed the St. Kitts Open Air Adventure tour and its great to see the island as a whole on your first visit. The Romney Manor is beautiful and the Timothy Hill overlook is breathtaking. I think that the next time we visit St. Kitts and Nevis we will rent an ATV and do things at our own pace. The shopping in Port Zante was excellent. We got tons of souvenirs and clothing at the Caribelle Batik and surrounding shops.
This was the best cruise that we have ever been on.
RCL needs to step up their soda game. There were only 2 reliable locations to get a sufficiently carbonated soda. The Windjammer Bar and the Freestyle machines on the Royal Promenade. The freestyle machines in the Windjammer were always malfunctioning and the bars always had flat sodas. It was very weird.
4 port days in a row will make you tired.
We don't like 2 sea days in a row to end the cruise. The cruise starts to feel over when you leave your last port stop. That feeling lingered through day 7 and 8. One sea day to end the cruise is just about right.
So this is my blog. If you have any questions about Adventure of the Seas ask away!