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  1. Hi, The dining options and arrangements on the itinerary prepared by the Royal Genie (see attachment above), weren't not chosen by us. As the upgrade happened just 1 day away from the sailing, there wasn't enough time for the Royal Genie and for us to interaction with each other and to pre-plan the itinerary at all. When she first contacted us and introduced us as our Royal Genie, it was 9am in the morning and our boarding starts from 2pm on the same day. Hence, I think she did a very very good job by planning the itinerary for us in advance before she contacted us via WhatsApp. I'd imagine if we had enough time (i heard the Royal Genie will contact you 1 month before the sailing), the planning of itinerary will be a much detailed and personalised one. However, (here comes the main point), the Royal Genie was extremely flexible with our requests. Even though the itinerary was pre-planned by her, she told us that it was just a formality and if we want to amend anything, simply inform her via message and she will do her best to make it happen for us. A summary of the things that I've requested to change (when we are onboard, as well as days into our sailing): - On the first day, we requested for a late dinner seating for all nights. She helped us update all dinner reservations to 8pm seating. - We requested to change the lunch venue on the 4th day from JI to Izumi. I remember I made the request at the very last minute, but the request was fulfilled and the wait staff at Izumi greeted us by name when we arrived at the restaurant. From this, you can tell how well the communications went behind the scene. - We requested to take the North Star Ride on Day 1 instead of Day 3, and it happened. - On the first day, the Royal Genie asked if we have any preferred beverages that we would like to have in our minibar. After informing her, she sent someone over to stock up the drinks in our mini bar (Evian Water, Diet Soda and Bottled Stout), and also serves us freshly squeezed orange juiceby the glass every morning. - There was an activity at the SeaPlex that does not take reservation in advance. The reservation list opens for signing up 15 mins before the start of the activity. The Royal Genie knows that we are interested to take part in the activity. She told us that she will go over to SeaPlex 15 minutes earlier to help us write our names down on the reservation list. Basically, if you have any last minute requests, just let your Royal Genie knows. She will do her best to work it out for you. Things like last minute changes of restaurant (for example from Chop's to JI) should not be any problem unless the restaurant is fully booked. However, even if that's the case, you will be assured that you are at the top of the waiting list.
  2. Hi guys. I’m here to share my recent experience with RoyalUp, a program that allows people with existing reservations to bid for an upgrade to a higher room category. The reason why I’m sharing my experience is because prior to and after the upgrade, I had a ton of questions that I’ve been trying to look for answers all over the internet but couldn’t find any. Hence, I’d like to share my experience with everyone and hopefully it can give some answers to my fellow cruisers! A brief introduction: (or skip to the end for the answers to the “FAQs”) I’ve booked a last minute 4-night sailing onboard Quantum of the Seas in Singapore, also known as Cruise to Nowhere. It is basically a hospitality restarting program by the Singapore government with no ports of call. Strict restrictions are also put in place for the safety of the guests. I’ve booked a Junior Suite (J4) for me and my wife. The price displayed on the RC’s booking website was SGD 1399pp for 4-nights before pre-paid gratuities and port taxes. There wasn’t any other suite options left for booking, which I presumed was fully booked. Almost immediately after completing the reservation transaction, I received the RoyalUP email, and invited me to place a bid to a higher room category. Even though I could clearly see that none of the higher suite categories were available for booking, I still decided to give it a try at bidding for RoyalUp. Long story short, I placed bids on all categories, ranging from Grand Suite to Royal Loft Suite and kind of forgot about the whole RoyalUp thing. Until around 24 hours before the sailing, I received an email saying that my bid for a Grand Loft Suite was successful. My bid amount was SGD 1210 per person hence SGD 2420 was charged to my credit card on file immediately. In general, I paid about $2710 per person ($1399 (JS) +$1210 (RoyalUp) +$100 taxes and pre-paid gratuities) I’ve checked the price of a Grand Loft Suite on a different sailing date, and it cost around SGD 5400 per person and before taxes. Which means, I’ve gotten nearly a 50% off the original price. From Junior Suite to Grand Loft Suite is a big jump. In terms of Royal Suite class, it was upgraded from Sea Class to Star Class. At this point, I was very excited! But at the same time, I have a lot questions that needs answers to. To be honest, even with a “huge discount”, SGD 2710 (SGD 5k+ for 2 people) is almost double the original budget hence to me, it is still a lot of money to fork out for a 4-day vacation. As we know, Grand Loft Suite is a Star Class suite and it is practically All-Inclusive such as free specialty dining, deluxe beverage package, internet package etc and it comes with a Royal Genie. So naturally, some questions flashes through my mind, and since it was an upgrade through RoyalUP: “Am I going to get a Royal Genie as well?” “Will I be treated differently in terms of services than those guests who paid the original price?” “How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages?” I’ve tried searching for answers on the internet but I couldn’t find any. However, after I’ve completed my sailing, I kind of gotten all the answers I needed. So now, I’m going share them with you guys. My very own set of FAQs: Q: Am I going to get Royal Genie as well? A: Yes! Even though I gotten the upgrade 1 day before the sailing, the Royal Genie got in touch with me via WhatsApp on the morning of the sailing and she already took the liberty to arrange all the activities for us! She already pre-booked all the shows, specialty dinning and some activities such as iFly and Flow Rider. And she was extremely flexible and accommodating on all our requests to change meal timings, shows timings. All you need to do is just let her know your preference and leave everything to her. Q: Will I be treated differently in terms of services compared to those guests who paid the original price? A: Not at all. From my observations, only 2 groups of service crews knew you are an “upgrader”. They are the Royal Genie, and the cruise terminal staff. Usually, Genie will contact you 1 month before your sailing to get to know you better. However, she does know that you are an upgrader since she contacted you just 1 day before the sailing, not the usual 1 month. As for the cruise terminal staff, our information was given to them by the cruise line at the very last minute hence our information was “hand-written” on their paper. They did “congratulate” us on the successful upgrade by the Cruise Line which is why I knew they knew we were an upgrader. Nevertheless, they escorted from the moment we reached the terminal until being handed over to the Royal Genie. Very good service rendered. Q: How about the things I’ve pre-paid on Cruise Planner such as beverage package and internet package since my suite already includes all those packages A: They will be refunded to you and the Royal Genie made sure of that. It will be under “refundable” onboard credit and you can requested to get them in cash on the last night of the cruise. Otherwise, it will be refunded to your credit card. Q: How about my SeaPass card? Will I be recognized as a Star-Class guest? A: You will be identified as a Star Class guest on your SeaPass card, not the original room category that you were booked on. Q: Do I get the same perks and benefit listed under Star-Class suite even though I’m an upgrader? A: Yes! Complementary Dining Package, Beverage package, internet package, complementary mini-bar for the whole cruise with replenishment daily, complementary room-service, complementary laundry (I don’t think they set a limit on the quantity of clothes). For Izumi, there is no limit in terms of the amount you can order. If you have a Ultimate Dining Package, I believe per meal you will get USD35 credit per person for Izumi as it is based on A-la-carte pricing. But for Star-Class, there is no limit on that. The wait staff made it known to you before you order. Q: How about those chargeable activities? A: For our sailing, the chargeable activities are iFly (~$40) and Northstar (~$20) and strictly by reservation only. However, with the help of our Genie, reservation was done before hand. There is no charges for Star-Class guest for these activities. However, you are only entitled to 1 free session for each of these 2 activities. If you would like to go for a second-time, you will have to pay the charges. All other FAQs regarding Star-Class: Q: Can Royal Genie fulfill all your requests? A: Yes and No. I’d emphasize that your request must be reasonable. If you would like to change your dinner venue to another restaurant at the very last minute, you can kindly check with her. Most of the times it can be fulfilled. However, if the restaurant is full, she might suggest to change to an earlier or a later time for you. I’m not sure what kind of magic they have, but I’m definitely against them pulling out other guests from their original dining timing just to slot you in. Firstly, you are putting Genie in a difficult position, secondly, you are causing unhappiness to the affected guests. So I’d suggest to give the Genie some leeway. Do not force you request onto them. If it can be done in a gentle way, go ahead. If not, please do not force or blame them. Q: Do I need to tip the Royal Genie? A: Absolutely. They are not a receiver of the automatically gratuity system on board. Hence, the tips relies solely on you. Royal Genie is not just a regular butler, they are there to learn about you and make arrangements for you which you didn’t even think of. My wife somehow mentioned to the Genie that this is our 2nd anniversary trip when we were casually chatting. (but did not mention in details). The Genie caught it and arranged for a surprise decoration and cake in the room for us. My wife and I were surprised as initially, we really can’t figure out how she knew about our anniversary. It is only when we tried to recall every single thing we said to the Genie, and realized that it must have slipped out of our mouth at certain point. Their attention to details are just simply unbelievable. Hope this post is useful for whoever is looking for the same answers as I did. Happy cruising!
  3. Should be able to leave the luggage outside the stateroom the night before. Luggage for key members will be grouped together with other key members in port. Non-key members will have the luggages grouped in departure tag number in port.
  4. Lanyard! Look for those with a clip type. Have the guest service punch a hole on your seapass card and you can clip it to your lanyard. Great way to carry it around without having to worry able losing your card!
  5. I'd say for 3 to 5 nights cruise, you are more likely to break-even. Anything more than 5 nights, not worth it, financial-wise and health-wise. You really have to consume a ton of alcohol to break even. Even if we don't consider the alcohol, if you just consume soda, that's a lot of sugary beverage to feed our body. Worse if you order cocktails everytime.... It's both alcohol AND sugary stuff. It is bad for your health if you are going to drink that much every day for 7 days. After maybe 4 nights, you will find yourself drinking and ordering for the sake of drinking because you have to break the package even, otherwise you will waste your money. My advice is: For sailings less than 5 nights: Yes, get the Deluxe Beverage Package. It is convenient (you don't have to sign the check every time you order your drink) and you most probably can break even or even make package worth-while. For sailings more than 5 nights: Just pay for each drink. You will realize paying for each drink makes more financial sense after 4 or 5 nights because after 5 nights, you will lessen your drink intake due to fatigue. You won't be able to drink that much every single day. Just pay for each drink and your body will thank you after that.
  6. I'd say everything is pretty much the same while in port or during sea days. Except: 1. The specialty restaurants are not open for lunch during port days. 2. You may also find some activities or shops (shows, sales) not available while in port. 3. Casino is not operational while in port. However, you are still able to enjoy pretty much the same during port days. Depending on what you planning to do, you will find that cruise during port days are significantly less crowded than seas days. Usually, the ship will dock in the morning (around 8am?) until around 4:30pm (last boarding). But this may vary from port to port so check your cruise compass! Port visiting is almost hassle-free. Usually, you just need to scan your seapass card at the gangway and you are good to go.
  7. 9 - Chris_Wallace (Ovation of the Seas)
  8. @ABFrenchie @Matt @WAAAYTOOO That's sad to hear that they do not allow drinks package to work on wine dispenser. The drinks package should work for any drinks (under $12.00 of course) in all their proprietary bars and restaurants..... Even if it is the wine dispenser.... Or else it is not truly a "unlimited" drinks package.... I mean, it works for Bionic Bar too..... I was still thinking if i should take up the wine tasting class onboard... But i guess with my drink package, i could research and teach myself more about wines with all the "materials" i need and do not need to go for the actual class
  9. I have recently found out (maybe i'm tooo slow) that there are vending machine-like dispensers for wine in Vintages! Simply tap or swipe your SeaPass card on the dispensers and they will dispense the wine accordingly and in various volume like 2 oz or 5 oz. 2 oz is usually for wine tasting and 5 oz is usually for a full glass. The prices are usually like $6.00 for 2oz and $13.00 for 5oz, something like that. As we know Deluxe Beverage Package (DBP) covers drinks up to $12.00, are we allowed to utilize our package and dispense the same wine twice ($6.00 x 2) to get somewhat a full glass of wine instead of choosing the 5oz option and pay for that extra $1.00? Or they will not even allow you dispense the 2oz option and force you to get the 5oz option since you have the DBP and they know it is a way for you to get around and avoid paying the extra $1.00 for the $13.00 wine. I've seen 5oz wine selling for $15.00 to $20++ but the 2oz options are usually still within the $12.00 limit. Anyone has experience on this? Thanks!
  10. You wouldn't want to be on diet before cruise for 2 reasons: 1. Dieting shrinks your appetite. 2. Dieting for a period of time will make you feel full after eating just a small amount of food. On cruise, you really wouldn't want the 2 above to happen
  11. So does that mean I can bring the food from other places like Sorrento' or Windjammer and eat them in the pub while fully-utilizing my beverage package? Will I be told that "No food and drinks from outside is allowed"?
  12. They will most likely give you drinks voucher to enjoy drinks in any bars or lounge onboard.
  13. I have booked a sailing with Expedia (Travel Agent) but I think I'm much better off booking with RC directly! I mean if I were to choose Expedia or RC... Expedia provides virtually no help or benefits as a Travel Agent. They don't reply to your emails. Even if they did, the replies are those auto-generated ones. And when you turn to RC, they claimed they can't do anything or update anything for my booking because I have booked the sailing with Travel Agent. So basically none of them will (or can) answer my inquiries. I guess my best alternative for help and answers come on RoyalCaribbean blog, @Matt's podcast (EXTREMELY informative, LOVE IT) and the helpful contributors on this forum
  14. So I paid at these prices for the following for my upcoming trip on Ovations of the Seas this coming Apr 2018: 1. Deluxe Beverage Package: USD41.00 pp pn (purchased during sale, most current price is USD42.00) 2. Wonderland: USD49.00 pp (It was down from USD69.00!!!!!!!!) 3. Voom (2 devices): USD22.58 (On sale with 25% off) 4. Ripcord by iFly: USD29.00 pp (heard this is free for Quantum of the seas??) 5. All Access Ship Tour: USD109.00 (used to be USD99.00 if i'm not wrong...) Other observations: Chops is up from USD39 to USD 42! I observed that shore excursion prices are up by a small margin compared to last year
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