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Iluv4n6

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Everything posted by Iluv4n6

  1. Wow -- great to know, @cruiselife! I thought I heard somewhere that Leo Brown upgraded his wheels. My wife and I visited St Maarten last February and were able to hire Leo also -- fun tour around the island! For this cruise, we have a larger family group of 8 -- wife and me, plus some extended family including 11, 16, 21 year-olds and three other adults. My guess is this might be more than you would bargain for to join you and your wife! On our first visit, while we got a great tour of the island, but I think we spent too much time at the first overlook (the one that looks back over Phillipsburg and the cruise dock) and Maho Beach before heading to the French side. This visit we would really like to splash around on Grand Case Beach and Le Galion Beach with the younger kids--both on the Franch side--in addition to also having a great lunch on the French side. We did not get to experience either of these awesome beaches on our first trip -- and I have heard them recommended on multiple RC Blog podcasts. After visiting the French side we would be up for a shorter visit to Maho to see a plane or two then a a final stop at Phillipsburg (or maybe fit in a shorter Maho stop on the way to the French side). But we will message you compare notes on what our group and preferences and see how it matches up with your plans. Hope to bump into you onboard in any event--keep meeting great folks on RC cruises! I have dawdled a bit with making final arrangements for this vacation with one of the last items being transportation on St Maarten for the day. So your comment was definitely timely!
  2. As an FYI from an upcoming Harmony cruiser (2/3), all but one of my reservations is showing up in the app, and those that do show up look correct.
  3. Guess we will be on the same gangway @cruiselife, just boarding a bit later than you! @Scott Johns, have a great cruise!
  4. Thanks @Chalker for your post! We may look into Bernards Tours when we visit St. Maarten next month. Based on my one prior trip to this fantastic island a year ago, taxis were abundant for easy access around the island. We hired @Matt friend Leroy Brown for the day--he transported my wife and I and we had a great time. Our next visit will be with a larger family group, so hiring a van for the day would be the way to go and we may give Bernards tours a shot. I don't recall vans at the taxi stand from my last trip, but I wasn't looking out for them. Anyone know if a vans are easy to secure at the taxi stand or whether reserving ahead would be the way to go? Also I though I heard somewhere that Leroy may have upgraded his vehicle (to a larger van?), but not sure about that. Thanks again!
  5. Thanks, @Matt for your reply. I had some more time this evening to try initiating the CP order process for different types of purchases. For the Dragon's Breath zip line at Labadee, I do get the "Add Guests From Another Reservation" link underneath the names of the persons on the lowest-numbered reservation for our group consisting of four rooms/reservations. But when I initiated an order for a 4 Vroom package or the soda package, for example, I only could see the two persons on the lowest-numbered reservation. The webpage did not include a link for adding guests from another reservation. I also did not see a link to add other reservations when I proceeded through the Payment Information, Personal Information, and Review Order screens. On the plus side, Sharla at MEI was able to order the 4 Vroom package and link it to the reservation for my room (not sure how she did this yet). So maybe this is a temporary glitch with CP, or perhaps I am just not real savvy with the CP interface not having used it for some time or for any purchases other than for just a single reservation on prior cruises. Will update with anything that may be helpful for others...even if I have to queue the Homer Simpson "Doh!" track...
  6. We have a family cruise coming up on Harmony in February and I have linked the four room reservations for convenience in making reservations. But I have noticed that the CP order process--such as for the multi-Vroom package--pulls up the reservation with the lowest number for our group first, which is not mine. And CP appears to force me to make a purchase under this reservation before I can (presumably) advance to other reservations/family members. It looks like I may need call RC about this or possibly to de-link the reservations to be able to make a purchase just under my reservation number, but I don't want to loose any other reservations (e.g., shows) in the process. On the on hand, I suppose I can just order the multi-Vroom package for another adult in our family group and pick up the sheet of Vroom codes RC leaves in their stateroom, but I'd rather receive the Vroom code sheet directly. When I looked into this, it was also after hours for me to call RC customer service, but maybe this is the way to go to sort this out. Appreciate any insight! Thanks!
  7. We enjoyed the Mystery Dinner on Adventure OTS on the the Aug 31 NE and Eastern Canada cruise. While the Mystery Dinner menu is limited compared to the regular Giovanni's menu, the food was great. The filet was our favorite dish on this cruise. They rearranged the dinning room into seating at six long tables to maximize the number of patrons for the event, while maintaining an aisle in the middle of the dinning room for the actors. So I can understand that a limited menu would facilitate efficient food preparation and serving for a densely-packed room--and provide a few breaks for between courses for the show. Giovanni's Mystery Dinner Menu.pdf
  8. Thanks for the thread. We have booked the Mystery Dinner Theater on Adventure, which is also at Gionvanni's...sounds like the regular venue for this event across the fleet (i.e., for those ships hosting this event). Can report back in a few weeks on the menu. Probably still pretty good even if a limited. We enjoyed the Prohibition event on Oasis and are looking forward to MDT on AOS.
  9. Will have to check out some curated cruise "stations" sometime...but when we arrive in our cabin and start the unpacking our playlist begins with: Day Tripper -- best guitar riff of all time, IMHO. We'll follow up with some some Stones, Boz Scags, Eagles, more Beatles, and Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns (really cool jazz/funk/rock outfit in Vegas made up of musicians who play in shows on the strip and take Mondays off to play the music they like...oh, yeah, and some awesome LA musicians often join in).
  10. It was in my packed luggage, so I had to go down to the naughty room on Deck 2 to retrieve my suitcase on Day 1...This was on Oasis in February. Basically the same cord as Twangster's got nabbed. They set aside confiscated items for you to pick up at guest services during disembarkation, but we did self-assist and I didn't bother to wait in another line for a $5 item.
  11. Yes -- we had a short (3 ft) extension cord confiscated on Oasis earlier this year.
  12. Thanks for sending the link, @hmills96. CP is still giving me trouble this evening to see whether he Hop on Hops excursion is an option for our Aug-31 cruise. In the meantime, I came across a useful link to breweries/brewpubs in a map of the Halifax port area: https://www.ratebeer.com/beermap?p=0&z=15&lt=4464182&ln=-6357389 As suggested by @monctonguy and visible on the brewery map, there are quite a few beer-infused establishments near the port. So I think we'll do fine with a stroll around downtown. We'll check on timing to for a side trip down to Peggy's Cove. May depend on how early a start we get. Cheers!
  13. @hmills96, thanks for the suggestions about beer-cruising the Northeast! We may check out the Portland brew bus on 9/2. I don't recall seeing a Halifax beer-centric excursion through Royal for our cruise, but will have to double-checked this...CP has been a bit finicky for me tonight, so I will try again later to be sure one didn't pop up and I missed it. With all the excellent beer options on this itinerary we are skipping the drink package this time...but if the drink card shows up half-way through our cruise we may have to mix in a few more onboard beverages.
  14. Thanks, @fonemanbob, @karl_nj, and @KathyC aka KathLuvsGH. We may revert back to carrying our own...no big deal with that...unless we are feeling especially leisurely.
  15. Sounds great -- we may try the "normal" luggage pick-up option for our disembarkation and enjoy breakfast onboard for a change on the last morning. We don't have to rush to catch a flight. Thanks for confirming speedy customs at Port Liberty -- went fast for us at Port Canaveral earlier this year, but we left the ship early with self-disembarkation.
  16. Great to hear Cape Liberty is an easy disembarkation port when you carry your own as we will soon take our first cruise on AOS out of this port. And it also sounds like you don't necessarily need to line up early to get off the ship and make it through customs quickly .
  17. Like many on this thread, we also view medical evac as the largest travel risk to protect against while cruising. We have used Allianz insurance to cover this base and--knock on the metal walls of our cabin --we have thus far not needed to file a claim. We will also take a look into annual insurance plan options.
  18. With summer events winding down up our way, we can focus back in on the AOS Aug 31 sailing. So far we have reserved a 2-hr trolley bus tour of Acadia for the visit to Bar Harbor, but have not booked any formal excursions for St John or Halifax. We will likely Lyft/taxi around some...or possibly rent a car to visit Peggy's Cove outside of Halifax. Plus there are plenty of interesting-looking brewpubs in these ports, which will deserve thorough investigation Which is one reason we opted out of the drink package on this cruise...the other being that we booked the Mystery Dinner.... Can't wait for this itinerary and our first cruise on Voyager Class!
  19. We are on Adventure (8/31) and have booked a non-RC excursion (trolley-bus tour) that leaves Bar Harbor at 10:00 a.m. (9/3). Will look for any tender tickets onboard, but plan to get down to the tenders early anyway (arrival 7:00 a.m. in Bar Harbor). Not sure what to expect for wait time as we have not had to use a tender for quite some time. Nonetheless, I would anticipate we would get onshore with reasonable time to spare before our excursion. Just hope that the wait time to get onshore is less than our two-hour trolley-bus tour!
  20. Thanks for the suggestion to ask the room attendant for an extension cord -- we will use that on our next cruise!
  21. I second having magnetic hooks and also suggest bringing a magnetic clip or two. These are great for hanging my fold-out dopp kit, hats, sunglasses, etc...and we like to use the clip for hanging cruise compasses and any messages for our room steward. We made the mistake of bringing a short (3 ft) extension cord -- not a power strip -- on our last cruise (Oasis). I figured it would be OK to bring because it does not generate heat and appears similar, at least conceptually, to a USB hub with a built-in extension cord that also splits power from one outlet into several USB ports. But I learned the hard way, through a trip to the naughty room on deck 2 to access my luggage, that any extension cord is prohibited. Probably because it would enable you to draw a potentially unacceptable/unsafe(?) amount of power from one stateroom outlet. Great question -- we tapped into the brain trust of these boards ahead of our last cruise which greatly enhanced our cruising experience.
  22. @Matt - Thanks for suggesting on your last podcast that we reproduce this cruise review email in the discussion boards. Yeah, it's lengthy, but we hope some newbies, or others who have not tried Oasis-class ships, will find some helpful suggestions from our first cruise on this wonderful, ginormous vessel... My wife and I have greatly enjoyed your podcast and the awesome website as we got back into cruising earlier this year. Your advice and advice from others on the message boards greatly enhanced our cruise experience. We provide our key takeaways at the end. Prior to our eastern Caribbean cruise on Oasis this February-March, we had only experienced Monarch of the Seas as chaperones for a local high school group trip in early 2010. We were quite impressed with that ship--the biggest/best from 1990--when we sailed her almost a decade ago. But we could not fully anticipate the staggering hugeness of Oasis when we first walked up to and boarded her. You can view all the videos and see all the photos you want, but that can't replicate the visceral impact seeing this beautiful behemoth in person. We flew to Orlando the day before embarkation at Port Canaveral and took a van from a travel company from the airport to our hotel in Cocoa Beach--cost was equivalent to Uber and we were the only riders. Yes, heed the advice of many and arrive in town the day before if you can't drive to the port. Peace of mind for making your cruise on time without a panic-filled dash is worth much more than a night's hotel stay! Although Royal notified us to arrive at the terminal for boarding between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m., we took your advice and arrived early at the terminal, by 10:00 a.m., and were quickly processed and received our Sea Pass cards. RC staff want to get passengers processed efficiently and did not ask about our scheduled time-slot for boarding as we thought they might. We received a Gold C&A member boarding card (labelled "Gold-3" to be exact) and did not have to wait long in the main room for the boarding process to begin, starting with Suite guests and working down the C&A ladder from Pinnacle to Gold. It took maybe 30 minutes at most to get to gold member boarding. Being pretty geeked out by now, we got our photo taken while boarding and were on the ship by about 11:15 a.m. Entering the ship on the Deck 5 Royal Promenade--a cool, glitzy three-deck-high space running up the middle of about half of the ship--we noticed the Globe and Atlas Pub, which called to us to baptize our pre-purchased ultimate drink package. Based on RC blog advice, we headed first to a specialty restaurant in Central Park on Deck 8 to make dining reservations for the cruise--this was much quicker than waiting in line at one of the restaurant reservation desks temporarily set up in the Royal Promenade. We pre-purchased the 3-night specialty dining package and had already scheduled 150 Central Park for dinner on day 2. We had no line at the desk at Giovanni's and booked a dinner there and at Chop's for times later in the cruise that would work well with our show reservations. From there we strolled across Central Park and had lunch at Park Cafe with only a 10 minute wait -- yes, those roast beef sandwiches at Park Cafe are fabulous! We then went up top and regaled in the views from the solarium, and areas for the main pools and wave runners on Decks 15 & 16. Our stateroom was open around 1:15 p.m. We had reserved a balcony room (14204) at the start of the bump in the middle of the port side on Deck 14. On our previous cruise, we stayed on Deck 3 in a small stateroom with a small window. A balcony 14 decks up provides an awesome vantage point—almost vertigo-inducing! My wife's luggage had arrived by then -- not at our stateroom door, but a ways down the corridor with a group of other luggage. Mine was not yet available. We met our room steward who told us it might take until 6:00 p.m. for all luggage to be delivered, which seemed odd as our luggage was on the same cart to begin with and I had intentionally avoided bringing in any items I knew were forbidden by RC (more on that later). After we checked out our stateroom, we headed to the main dining room on Deck 4 to see if we could switch from My Time dining to traditional dining at the earlier seating (5:30 PM), because this would work better with the shows we had reserved, and from our perception through some podcasts that My Time dining could take a bit longer than traditional. We spoke to a head waiter at the desk near the entrance to the dining room and he had no problem assigning us to fill out an eight-person table for traditional dining, which worked well for us and gave us a good opportunity to meet some other cruisers. After a bit more exploring and checking for my luggage – still had not arrived yet – we attended the muster drill and caught some of the sail-away festivities from the Deck 14 forward wing viewing area (another Oasis tip we learned from the RC Blog website). One last check for my luggage before we headed down to traditional dining. After a nice meal, we headed back to the room before we were to go to our first show of the cruise, Cats in the Opal Theater at 8:30 PM. When we arrived at our stateroom door, I saw the dreaded notice that I had to go down to the security baggage checking area on Deck 2 before 8 PM to get my luggage and it was already 7:45 PM by this time. I dashed down to Deck 2 and was instructed to open my bag and learned, to my surprise, that a short three-outlet extension cord was the contraband item. I was well aware that any liquor (besides two bottles of wine) or any appliance that created heat or a power strip were forbidden. RC staff calmly put up with my dumbfounded protestations and showed me the fine print where it did indeed state that extension cords are not allowed. Mental note made and not soon to be forgotten. Back to the fun stuff! My wife and I were both intrigued by the entertainment offerings described in Cruise Planner and the large number and types of entertainment venues provided on such a huge ship-- traditional Broadway-type theater, various nightclubs, ice-skating rink, Aqua theater, jazz club, and casino, along with many interesting watering holes. Being theater buffs, we made reservations for all of the shows available in Cruise Planner. The first show we saw, Cats, did not disappoint, even though the length of this unabridged show and perhaps its lack of a single main storyline caused quite a few folks to leave the theater at intermission. We were greatly impressed by the high caliber of the performers at this show, and most other shows on board. It was rather refreshing to see the show again after about 20 years. We enjoyed opportunities to talk with actors from Cats after their performances at other venues during the cruise (Dazzles and Jazz on 4). We enjoyed all of the shows, and none of them were, in our view, mediocre or worse. The ice-skating show portrayed the story of Hans Christian Anderson and many of his fictional characters. Although the ice-skating rink was not large by any means, the skaters still reached high speed and did several spinning leaps (sorry – can't tell my sow-kow from a toe loop). The divers in the aqua show were great. We spent a few enjoyable evenings in Jazz on 4 and got to know the performers, including at the Prohibition Event, which was fun but a bit blurry in my recollection. Good turnout for this event with a full venue and everyone decked-out in crazy 20s fashions. This was my wife's favorite night of the cruise and the photos taken by RC photographers around the Royal Promenade from that evening are the nicest keepsakes from the cruise. Based on recommendations from the podcast, we sampled specialty restaurants by pre-purchasing the 3-night package. We ate at 150 Central Park, Giovanni’s, and Chops – all very good and worth the upcharge. But we ended up re-jiggering our dining schedule due to a fortuitous encounter with our main dining room waiter when he was working at Johnny Rockets over lunch the second day of our cruise. He spotted us as we looking around the Boardwalk and called us over to ask about our dining choices for the cruise – we had mentioned to him at dinner on the first night of the cruise we had purchased a 3-night specialty dining package. As it turns out, the nights we picked for specialty dining coincided with the two formal nights and the last night of the cruise – in other words, all the dinners when they have the best meal options in the main dining room including lobster night. At his urging, we went back up to Giovanni’s and were able to reschedule our specialty dining for other nights so we could experience the best the main dining room has to offer on the two formal nights and the last night of the cruise. Couple notes on our ports: St Maarten For our excursion on St Maarten we also heeded the advice of many and took a cab tour around the island. Matt, thanks for the tip about your friend Leroy Brown. We were able to reserve his cab for our tour and enjoyed his island banter and stories about different areas and beaches. He did focus quite a bit on the devastation from the hurricanes last year, including taking us by some damaged resorts and boats/harbors. Although Maho Beach at the end of the runway and the bar restaurant next to it were back up and running, the north side of the island was hit pretty bad. Nevertheless, we stopped at a lolo in Grand Case-Cynthia's Talk of the Town--and had a great lunch of chicken and ribs...more food than we bargained for, but we got to sample the grilling style on the French side of the island. San Juan We honestly were not expecting much for our short stop in San Juan (8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) and were originally thinking we might stay on board. But we were glad we ventured out -- the old town was a short walk from the pier and we strolled through the old Spanish colonial-style narrow streets with their brightly-painted buildings. Electrical power was spotty as the power cut out occasionally while we were in some shops, but was on a few doors down on the same block. We sampled mufungo at Cafe Manolin, a Puerto Rican fried plantain dish that was hearty and tasty. Labadee As first-timers at Labadee, we threw caution to the wind and road the Dragon's Breath, the huge zip line over Adrenaline Beach. Some have commented on the uneasy feeling on truck the ride up the hill and while waiting on the platform for the zipline. We did not have a bad experience in the truck ride up or while waiting on the platform. The ride itself was very smooth and the spring-cushioned stop at the end was not as jolting as we thought it might be. Our zip-line ride was scheduled at the beginning of the cook-out lunch buffet, and that was perhaps not ideal. By the time we returned from the ride, the lines were pretty long at the buffet, so we waited until near the end of lunchtime to go through the buffet line. Some Key Takeaways: Arrive in or near your departure port the day before you cruise. Reserve entertainment before the cruise—no cost for this! Check RC’s current policy on forbidden items--no more innocuous-looking extension cords for us!. Try specialty dining, but check out the main dining room on formal nights to sample some of the best food included in your cruise fare. Take a few minutes to get to know your main dining room waiter and room steward on the first day of your cruise. They helped us optimize our dining and entertainment schedules to get more out of our cruise. Get your picture taken at least a couple times by the RC photographers. Consider buying a drink package on a cruise that has several sea days plus a day at an RC resort. If we had had a more port-intensive itinerary with no stop at an RC resort where the drink package is included, we probably would not have bought the full package. But it was fun to sample a broad range of drinks, including several tasty dessert martinis at the Champagne Bar (just not all on the same night!). Use self-disembarkation for a couple or small group. Although we had to line up early in the morning, once the line started moving we were off the ship in a few minutes and to the rental car counter before the big crowds. Keep up the great work on the podcast and thanks to all members who contribute to the informative message boards at the RC Blog website! Roger & Carol Finally Thawed (And Now Baking) Tundra, WI
  23. Thanks, All--the refurbished ship sounds great! This cruise looks like a fantastic opportunity to experience a part of the US and the Canadian maritime provinces my wife and I have never seen before ( I visited Maine many moons ago...). We are encouraged that this cruising in the northeast ranks highly with @DocLC and perhaps also some other vets. Thanks, @JLMoran, will read the @KLAconQueso's blog on her recent Adventure cruise. Some priorities for us will likely include: Touring Acadia -- @DocLC suggested a private trolley tour operator for this visit in the parallel thread in the Excursions board. Witnessing tidal changes in the Bay of Fundy (St. John), if parctical. Touring Halifax including Peggy's Cove and possibly also the cemetery holding some who perished on the Titanic. Sampling awesome lobster and craft/local brews. Enjoying the entertainment offered onboard Adventure, especially the shows and musicians/singing groups. Although the majority of NA cruisers are drawn to the Caribbean for obvious reasons, it is great to hear from others who have enjoyed cruising the northeast as a change-up.
  24. @Pooch and @DocLC, thanks for the suggestions! Have read a little on Peggy's Cove and it sounds like it is well worth a visit. We also will want to tour some in Acadia, and will research private tour companies for this. And, of course, we will have to sample the best lobster on the planet!
  25. Hi All! My wife and I would love to hear from any members on what they enjoyed most about sailing on Adventure of the Seas and/or taking in a Maine and eastern Canada itinerary. We have not cruised on Voyager Class before, but our excitement is mounting for a cruise on Adventure over Labor Day weekend this year, including the sail-away from Bayonne around Manhattan and near the Statue of Liberty--fingers will be crossed for good weather to view NYC during sail-away. Adventure also looks big enough to offer a great range of onboard entertainment and dining, which we both enjoy, but will give us a nice change in experience from our last cruise, which was on Oasis. We also posted a more port-specific inquiry on the excursions board. Thanks for any comments on what stood out for you about the ship or cruising the northeast!
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