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spiralqueen

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Everything posted by spiralqueen

  1. I would absolutely cruise before there is a vaccine, but I could also see this making me more likely to spend more time on my balcony for now vs the pool deck.
  2. I came on the blog to talk about the importance of TAs and saw this thread that ties into my point. So my sailing that we had is a 3 person sailing and we paid around $3,400 total for our JS (excluding taxes and port fees). I got an email from Royal today telling us we got our FCC issued! Very exciting! Except it’s for 2 of 3 passengers and only for $420 each which is NOWHERE near the realm of what we should have gotten, not even taking the 125% aspect into account. All I had to do was forward that to @michelle basically going “what in the world???” And she replies back within hours (emphasis mine) “yes all the ones they just did this week are all wrong We will get it all straightened out – so frustrating. I will take care of it so no worries” The amount of relief I felt when I found out I wouldn’t have to wait on hold to argue with Royal is legit invaluable. I can’t believe this level of service is free to me. @Matt is SO right when he says that you think you don’t need a travel agent until you really, really do.
  3. 8 is my absolute favorite. Can’t beat walking through Central Park to get to your cabin. What a treat! Also super close to Park Cafe and Trellis Bar. And a quick dash down to deck 6 to grab a fresh fruit smoothie from Vitality Cafe.
  4. “Offer” is what shows up when a travel agent puts a hold on the room. From what I understand, it takes the room out of inventory. Previously there were a couple of days padding that they allowed a TA to put a hold on a room before a deposit was needed to hold it, but because of all the craziness happening now and the delay in FCC issuance, they are letting TAs put a very extended hold on the room. If I’m remembering correctly, it’s now a 5/31 deadline for deposits to hold sailings.
  5. Yeah finding out it’s use it or lose it has me being a bit more loosey goosey with what I’m considering getting. Like a beach club cabana doesn’t look AS crazy when Royal is giving me a free extra $500.
  6. I asked my TA @michelle that very question and here is the answer she got from Royal "Yes, they attach the cruise planner to the FCC then when you rebook a cruise or apply the FCC to a cruise, the apply the cruise planner credit also and you can use it for before you get on the ship and while on the ship YOU HAVE to use it all on that sailing – it will be non-refundable and will not carry over"
  7. So I think this is different from the last round of cancellations. If you bought something in the cruise planner you can either have it refunded or apply for 125% OBC for a future sailing. I’m curious if this would be able to be used online ahead of time or if it’s only able to be used on board. Makes a huge difference.
  8. This isn't an absolute, but as a recent example of a cancelled cruise planner purchase. On March 15th I cancelled some dining packages in the cruise planner. The refunds hit my credit card on March 20th.
  9. Exact reason I'm holding out on my May 10th sailing. I got so many good deals stalking the cruise planner so I'll be really disappointed to lose them if it comes down to it. I'll understand, of course, but that doesn't erase the disappointment.
  10. I have no idea when it will resume, but I fall around the Labor Day camp. While we currently have a May 2020 cruise booked, I’m 80% sure that will be cancelled so we booked 2 diff refundable options to lock in prices before FCCs drive up prices more. We have Aug 30th and Nov 29th booked. Nov was my idea and August my parents. Holding both to see who (if anyone) is right.
  11. I’ve technically been on 5 cruises in my life, but 2 of them are from when I was younger than 14 so they are hazes of kids club talent shows and trying escargot and ox tail soup. From my cruises as an adult, I’d have to say my sailing on Allure. I learned how much I LOVE hanging out and reading on the balcony and that the juices/smoothies at the vitality spa cafe are as tasty as a margarita or other frozen drink but don’t make you feel as sluggish thanks to WAY less sugar. I also adored the shows and couldn’t believe how much entertainment was included in our cruise fare. Also it was our first time in Coastal Kitchen and living that suite life. There was a point while sitting in the solarium with my kindle and a frozen drink under a “palm tree” in front of the hot tub/pool that I felt for the first time “pure cruise bliss”. There was a nice slight breeze blowing some of the water spray against my neck while I laid there reading and sipping my drink. Heaven.
  12. Keep an eye out for sales. It definitely goes cheaper than that. I’ve seen the Internet for 4 around 28-30 per day before.
  13. I’m going to make sure to follow the 20 second rule with hand washing because I didn’t realize you had to wash for that long for it to be effective. I’ll also be more religious about taking zinc 2 weeks before and through the trip to help my immune system fight cruise crud.
  14. Annette - can you confirm if you are referring to an accepted Royal Up bid (like when they charge your card) or even just by bidding on it?
  15. I've heard great things about Leo! Does he normally charge per person? For the day? I keep seeing people talk about how the drivers in St Martin are reasonably priced, but I've never seen a range of what that means.
  16. I've been wondering - what is the rough cost to hire a private driver there? I know exact prices will need to be hammered out with the driver, but I'm just looking for an orders of magnitude idea.
  17. Thank you so much for reporting on your experience! Do you remember if the SB cabanas had ceiling fans in them like the chill island ones? I can’t tell from the pictures I have seen.
  18. Oh hey! I’ll be on this sailing too! I’m doing a “girls trip” sailing with my mom and it’s over my birthday which is San Juan day. I admit I haven’t planned a ton for it yet, but I had done some rough research about the ports and potential excursions. If you have never been to St Kitts before, I can’t recommend Thenford Grey’s tour enough. Great deal, super knowledgeable and professional tour guide, and nice comfortable transport. It helps you get a really good feel for the whole island and you can end it with either a couple of hours at the beach or going back to the ship a little early. You can find my recap of the main island tour when I went last May. It starts around halfway down this page. I have no idea what we are doing in St Maarten or Antigua (likely a beach of some sort???), but St Lucia my mom and I are going to do the land and sea tour with Spencer Ambrose because it has great reviews and looks like a ton of bang for your buck. Since I figure it’s unlikely I’ll be back to St Lucia, I want to make sure to see the Pitons and do the volcanic mud baths. It just seems so unique to the island! San Juan will be strolling around sightseeing/shopping/having dinner since it’s a later port of call. Probably going to one of the forts for the sunset because that sounds wonderful. Love San Juan because I can use my data for free (TY, US territory) to use google maps and find places to go so it’s very easy to DIY. Look forward to sailing with you and I hope your anniversary is super memorable! The best part of a vacation is spending time with loved ones.
  19. When I had a chill island cabana in Nov it was a dedicated attendant all day. From what I could tell, each attendant had a set number of cabanas to take care of and they seemed to be in blocks. Very similar to state room attendants.
  20. Not on Grandeur! Some of the other ships have converted that space into a suite lounge or other restricted access space, but Grandeur has it open to all passengers.
  21. Well clearly THAT is the worst one on here!!! 😆 Lol I’m sure there’s been someone that hasn’t been a dream for too!
  22. I also use Travelpro, but I have the 21" expandable crew spinner one because the 4 wheels make it WAY easier to navigate with. Also this one has magnetic wheels that helps the bag roll straight without any effort from you to keep on it on track. I bought it back in 2016 and while I don't travel a ton, I've been on at least 10 flights since then and checked it half those times. It's still going strong.
  23. So I should now know better than to fall asleep relistening to podcasts about cruising. I just had an “awful” nightmare where I somehow slept through pretty much all of the first 2 days of my cruise and only woke up at 4 am when nothing was going on. I started to panic when I realized that I missed both my Grease and Aquashow reservation as well as my Coco Cay cabana and that’s around when my alarm started blaring. So I know I can’t be alone here. Who else has had literal panic nightmares about cruising? Bonus points if they are low stakes but seemed like the worst thing in the world in the dream realm.
  24. The best way to tell the difference is if the location is listed as “Starbucks” on the deck plans and cruise planner then it is considered a stand alone one and not included in the drink package. If it’s something like Cafe Lattitudes or some other coffee shop on the smaller ships and they happen to have a sign posted saying “we proudly serve Starbucks coffee” (or similar) then it IS included.
  25. @JennyJenny Wow, I am in awe of your strength and bravery to save yourself and your daughter from what sounds like a nightmare of a situation in the past. I’m really happy that you guys are thriving and that you have decided to give cruising another try! This can be like your phoenix cruise (rising from the ashes)! I was on Grandeur this past Thanksgiving and loved it. What a great little ship with such an attentive crew. When I was on, the Solarium bar staff were particularly great. They always remembered what I liked to drink and had some great suggestions for me. And I absolutely know what you mean about a vacation for relaxing. Grandeur is great for that. I also recommend checking out the Viking Crown lounge because it has some great views and comfy chairs! Also there are very few left in the fleet so it’s nice to see it while you can.
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