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Everything posted by spiralqueen

  1. It is amazing how much realizing it’s cruise day when you wake up immediately jolts you to alertness without the possibility of going back to sleep. My (first) alarm was set at 6:30. I first woke up at 5:30am having to go to the bathroom. I was a goner after that. Lol oh well, I shall just use the extra time to double check that everything is packed and do a bit more straightening up before I leave in an hour and a half. To be fair, this little angel dropping her stick toy on my face because she wanted to play ALSO didn’t help my possibility of going back to sleep....
  2. I saw that topic on CC and it’s def one of the things I plan on checking out both on the signage and in the cruise planner when I board Grandeur tomorrow.
  3. Yes! I'm really looking forward to unwinding after some stressful months at work. Thank you for following along! I'm really excited to get to know her as I know so many people are in love with this ship. Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed your Majesty getaway. Nice long weekend on a cruise, what is better??? Thanks for following! I really love how centrally located Baltimore is to so many different areas. I'm so used to having to fly to a port that I'm really looking forward to this change of pace.
  4. I always have my tip for them ready and folded in my pocket so it’s super quick to slip to them. The way I have done it is wait until they are either done or on the last bag and normally there is a moment when they pause and ask if there’s any other bags you have or wish you a good cruise and that’s the best time to slip them the tip IMO. I also say “thank you so much!” While holding out the folded bill(s). Since tips are so widely expected for this service, they will normally hover around to give you the opportunity to tip. I wouldn’t stress about it too much! Worst case scenario you can always run after them or call them back if they start to walk off without tip. They won’t be mad you interrupted them to shove money at them lol
  5. Thank you! One of the things I forgot to mention in my first post is that we sailed on Enchantment right after Thanksgiving last year so I like that we will have a little bit of a head start in knowing the layout of the ship. I'm very much looking forward to the Viking Crown lounge again. Those views! And yes, I will be making amble use of Park Cafe there since the Solarium is basically my home base on sea days.
  6. Since I really enjoyed doing a liveblog this past May when I was on Allure, I thought I would give it another go on Grandeur. It will be as live as Grandeur's internet will allow so fingers crossed! Pre-cruise report: Sailing: November 23-30, 2019, Grandeur of the Seas, 7 Night Bahamas Perfect Day cruise Sailing with: Me (32), and my parents (not my age to tell) Flying from: NOWHERE! Baltimore means that we get to drive to the ship for once and don't have to worry about liquids or carry on sizes, or luggage weight. Happy day! Pre-cruise hotel: NONE! Again, Baltimore means a 2 hour drive thus eliminating the need for a hotel. We plan to leave around 8:30 am so even if we run into traffic issues, we should be able to get there with plenty of time. (knock on wood) The itinerary is as follows: Day 1 – Baltimore Day 2 – At Sea Day 3 – Port Canaveral, FL Day 4 – Coco Cay Day 5 – Nassau Day 6 and 7 – At Sea Day 8 – Baltimore Not the most exciting itinerary in the world, but we were just looking for a nice easy get away for not much money. Cabin: Interior for this trip. Since it's the second one this year, it's our cheap quick and dirty cruise. No need to get fancy for this get away! Pre-purchases: We got a really great price on an internet package at around $8/day and my mom and I will have the refreshment package. I also managed to snag a Chill Island cabana before prices ballooned so I'm really looking forward to that since I am a ghost of a human being and burn just looking at a cartoon of the sun. Since Grandeur is a tiny ship and will be the only one docking at Coco Cay, tickets to the waterpark were only $32 so I figured it would be fiscally irresponsible to not at least check it out on this sailing.You know, for research. The last thing we pre-purchased are day passes to the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau so I am quite curious to see what it's like. I've heard mixed things, so we shall see. Random Pre-cruise thoughts: Please let me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to check out or take pictures of for you. I am open to requests. I'm very curious to see what the crew is like for this sailing since Grandeur has long been celebrated for the family like atmosphere. I have tempered my expectations though as I've heard that some of the crew are already leaving due to the pending sale. Forewarning that my idea of cruise fun is lounging and reading when on board so you won't catch a review of the rockwall from me! I do fully expect to burn through 5-8 books on my kindle though. So excited to make a dent in my "to read" list. I promise future posts will have more pictures!
  7. I will just pipe in with the fact that you can ensure that you force a log off of a device by going to logoff.com while connected to royal wifi. It will kick off whatever device you are on to allow another to login. Sometimes just logging in on another device will kick the first one off, but in case it gives you an error, use the logoff.com method.
  8. Don’t just look at the cruise planner during advertised sales. I feel like a ton of the lowest prices I’ve found (esp for excursions) are at a random midweek time outside of a sale. I tend to make it part of my morning routine to spend 3 mins checking the prices on the CP of the things I’m interested in. More broadly than that, BOOK THINGS IN ADVANCE VIA THE CRUISE PLANNER. Sounds so simple, but even things like booking MTD times. You can always change it on board and at least you lock something in.
  9. The lowest I’ve seen for a 1 device package is $11.99. The real savings come if you want more than one person to have internet and can get the multi-device one. I’ve semi regularly seen the 3 and 4 device surf and stream package go down to $8 and $6.75 pp per day, respectively.
  10. Do you still need to sign up ahead of time for the pop up complimentary escape rooms?
  11. I'm at 26 days for my Grandeur cruise and still no assignment. The barcode trick also just reveals the reservation number and 1-1 for me as well so no luck I guess! It's not like it even matters because it's an interior GTY but I think it's just that knowing the room number will make it all seem more real. I very much agree with @PRebecca saying she feels like a 7 y/o on Christmas!
  12. I had the Key in a JS on Allure this past May. Junior Suites can board with the suites and go through suite security/wait in the lounge, but there is no priority disembarkation without the Key. For boarding, suite boarding is before Key. The order called when I was there was (unannounced) Back to back cruisers, Star Class, Suites & Pinnacles, Key, then Diamond Plus etc for C&AS.
  13. Oh I agree 100%. My personal rule of thumb is it’s not worth it for anything below Quantum/Oasis class. That price made me slightly pause for Grandeur until I remembered that I had a locked in 3 device Internet package for $24 per day.
  14. If this is something you are interested in/have purchased, check out your cruise planners because the price may have come down. My Grandeur sailing has had the price at $16.99 for a bit now, but my May Harmony sailing just had the Key come down to $26.99. Saved me $80.
  15. I wonder where her staff will end up? From all the talk I've heard about Grandeur, the employees are what really makes it shine.
  16. Where would you recommend for quiet on board Grandeur? Also how busy has the solarium been? No pressure, but I would love a recap of your trip when you are done!
  17. One other thing to keep in mind about a paper backup is that it’s great if you are on a ship where you get your sea pass card in your room when they are open. No need to hand your phone over to a bar tender who is around many, many liquids. Much less stressful to hand over a piece of paper vs a phone worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
  18. As others have said I really recommend having a paper backup as well, though that’s optional. I remember when I was checking into Fort Lauderdale once and the person checking me in using my phone said that they had to print paper copies for me because their scanners to get onto the ship weren’t cooperating with phones that day. When I told them I had paper backups, he lit up and said I was all good to go then. I probably only saved myself a minute or 2 at most but you never know.
  19. While you are up there I highly recommend also getting some from Modern Pastry. From what I remember when I lived there years ago, Modern was more of a local favorite vs tourists liking Mike's. And really, in a cannoli taste off, I think you are the real winner.
  20. Yes, if you call in they can override the calendar conflicts. I had to call to book my day pass since I currently have a South Beach cabana booked. I likely won't keep both, but I want to keep my options open for now!
  21. Especially for a Nov 2019 cruise I would keep your chill island ones to be safe. South Beach isn’t technically scheduled for remodel completion until January 2020. If they are selling beach beds for that area it’s possible it will be open in time, but I wouldn’t want to chance it being cancelled last minute.
  22. I’d like to clarify that by tipping early and often I don’t feel ENTITLED to faster service. I have no problem waiting my turn. But I think there is no issue showing financial gratitude to someone who I know I will be seeing a lot and if they want to throw some waters my way while also helping someone else, then it’s appreciated. I don’t consider a tip wasted if I don’t get faster service because of it. I consider tips thank yous, not bribes. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.
  23. People have already covered the room stewards, porters, waitstaff, etc very well but I wanted to chime in a bit on the bar tipping. I don’t drink, but I always get the refreshment package because I like mocktails and bottled water. I know that I already paid my 18% gratuity on that one so I don’t automatically feel obligated to tip additionally on every drink I get. My rule of thumb is that if I’m brought a drink by someone wandering around the solarium or pool deck, they definitely get a tip. 1. They definitely earn it because the drink comes to me 2. Tipping also ensures you will get follow up check ins on your hydration levels. I also will tip early and often at the bars that I know I will frequent (Solarium mostly for me) and that tends to result in faster service when they are really slammed. Esp if all I need is water, they will see me, ask if I need water, and toss me some bottles while making someone else’s drink and not need my card. I don’t necessarily carry small bills around with me so I will tip on the receipt they bring. As for restaurant timing, the only one I tipped at time of service was at specialty. That one I only really tipped above and beyond the included because they brought my mom a dessert from another restaurant for her birthday. At CK and MDR, I made notes in my phone of everyone’s name/notes about them and handed out gratuity envelopes at the end of the cruise. This also doubled for being helpful for recognizing great service on the end of cruise survey.
  24. Your set sail pass will generally also say RR somewhere on it. This is what my mobile set sail pass looks like on the bottom
  25. Depending on the cruise length I normally bring $3-400 in cash with about $50 of that being in smaller bills. I definitely don't spend that amount and I use that as basically my cash supply until the next cruise. I like to stop by a physical bank branch to get the smaller bills so it's not a bunch of trying to break big bills by buying small items beforehand. This way I can also get a paper envelope from them as well to keep most of the cash in which is kept in the safe.
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