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  1. Very interesting topic... I'm an ex-smoker (about 8 years now), however people smoking around me has never been an issue. On our last Voyager cruise out of Singapore, I visited the casino quite a few times. My partner ( another ex-smoker, but she now hates smoke) did not visit anywhere as much as I did. The smoke didn't put me off, however, by about day four, I had developed a cough. Didn't think much of it until my partner suggested it may be due to all the smoke in the casino. Didn't visit the casino for the next two days and the cough disappeared. Our next cruise is Radiance out of Sydney, so there is no smoking in the casino, and I'm actually very happy about that idea. All land based casinos in Australia have been non smoking for many years, and none of them have gone out of business.
  2. Just a couple of comments for this thread.... I'll start by clarifying that I have never worked for RCI, but I did work in the casino game for twenty years, with some of that time on another cruise line. Your buy in will make zero difference to your rating. Your win/loss will make zero difference to your rating. On table games, the only thing that counts is average bet and time played. Depending on how they actually work out the average bet, you should increase when you see the inspector or pit boss watching... that's if the figures are entered manually by the staff. In some cases, casinos base the rating on the table minimum you are playing, so playing $25 per hand on a $10 table will not earn you the same points as playing $25 per hand on a $25 table. I don't know if RC is one of those or not.
  3. Stay away from Northbridge on a Saturday night.
  4. I don't keep a tally of drinks (and I'm normally a spreadsheet guy!) as I'm sure we get more than our money's worth. As noted, a fresh juice and a decent coffee with breakfast, a couple of bottles of water to take ashore, a pre dinner cocktail, a wine or two with dinner, an evening cocktail and finally, two bottles of water to take back to your room will probably at least break even with the package cost. That's a day in port. If you have a sea day, add in a wine or beer with lunch and a couple of cocktails or beers in the afternoon, and you're well in front. So on a sea day, my example has 6 alcoholic beverages over a 10 hour period, so you certainly wouldn't be falling down drunk like some people suggest you need to be if you want value, and a port day has only four alcoholic drinks. If the idea of four alcoholic drinks in a day has you aghast, then the beverage package isn't for you, and you should just pay as you go. At the end of the day, if you only just break even, you also take into account the intangibles... no worrying about your drinks bill at the end of the cruise, and being able to try different drinks without worrying about whether you'll like them or not. BTW, those examples were rather conservative 😁 πŸ―β˜•πŸΊπŸ·πŸΈ
  5. Interesting how your Rolex changes colour... is it the light, or do you have two?
  6. If he were Australian, at 18, he can do anything a 30 year old can do... but he can't buy a gun without a license. If he was on a cruise from anywhere in the world except the US, he could do anything a 30 year old can do on the ship.
  7. Interesting.... I've never actually booked a cruise on Royal's website. I have, however, made many, many mock bookings, and every time I've selected "You pick your room" as I simply don't like the idea of a guarantee room. In every case, after selecting this, I was given the option to look at deck plans and select the room of my choice. I can therefore understand that if this didn't happen for the OP, he is now rather frustrated. I don't buy the concept of "maybe there was only one room left" as when it gets to that stage, Royal will generally remove the option to pick your own room and all you can book is a guarantee (in my experience anyway). From this, I think a few people here have been very harsh on the OP.
  8. Not sure if it is the same on sailings from various countries, however a friend did exactly that on the first day of our cruise from Singapore recently. She had the refreshment package, and one of the crew approached her on the first day (while we were still in port) and offered her a deal to upgrade, which she accepted. Apologies, but I can't recall the pricing.
  9. Just a question to people doing this research.... Have you checked the "gratuities" on UK vs US pricing? I looked at US pricing and thought I was getting ripped off on the Australian site... until I realised the Aussie price included the gratuities and the US one did not. I'm not sure how it works with the UK pricing.
  10. Just did 8 nights on Voyager. MTD and ate in MDR 5 nights. Had same two waiters 4 of those nights. Gave them US 5 each three nights and US 10 each last night. Not based on what we "should" give, more on the fact that they provided very good service. Note that we are Australian, so therefore not inclined to tip unless the service warrants it.
  11. I actually like the NCL idea.... "Here are 5 things that other lines charge you extra for. We charge a bit more, but you get to pick three of them.". As everyone has different priorities, everyone gets to pick the ones that they want. Personally, things like overprices photos that will go home and sit in a drawer are a waste for me. Shore excursion credits are a waste if you use third party tours anyway. Beverage packages on the other hand are always welcomed πŸ˜‹ along with dining and internet. A cruise line could take the whole concept further and add in options like arcade or casino credit, ship tours or programs like "The Key".
  12. Well that's another possibility I suppose. I didn't factor that in as I've never worked in a casino where dealers could accept tips, let alone just take them without asking.
  13. There is absolutely Zero benefit to the dealer in "ripping you off". It's not like the dealer can pocket the difference, so if you were given an incorrect payout, it would have been a straight out mistake. For a winning $25 bet as you describe, you should have received winnings of $425 + your $25 bet. I'm not sure about RC procedures, but in some casinos, the original bet will be left on the table for the next spin, and in other casinos the original bet is handed off to the player with the winnings. I'm also not sure how you could possibly have received $297. If you did accidentally place the bet where spiralqueen suggested, the payout would have been $275 + your $25 bet. There is no possible payout for a $25 bet on a roulette table that would result in a $297 payout. The only thing I can think of is that the dealer paid you out as a bet on 0/00/2, but had a $2 chip mixed in with some $5 chips (called a "dirty stack" in the casino game.
  14. Nope... nothing there. Maybe it's just not available for our sailing?
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