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Everything posted by 4ensic

  1. A memento of last nights' crew talent show. I like being able to do public service posts.
  2. 25 days until a B2B on the Wonder. Haven't started to pack yet, but laid out some things so I won't forget them. Looking forward to all those sea days on the T/A leg of the cruise and having mask optional onboard. Had a solo 10 day Mexican Riveria cruise last month and befriended a couple headliner performers with production photos, hope the cast on Wonder will enjoy their images. Working while cruising is the best, but cruising with friends this time is a big plus.
  3. April 15, 2022 on the Wonder - only 5 days. But then....stay in the cabin for the T/A to Barcelona.
  4. US Passport arrived in 25 days from mailing to receipt (Expedited service, but not expedited mailing), including a holiday. Kind of impressive considering the mammoth backlogs a couple months ago.
  5. I'm a big fan of Solomon Jaye. As a beginning stage photographer, Solomon was the first performer to publish my photos of his act (singer, dancer, guitar player) and gave me a start.
  6. Thankfully, no. I pay the "RCI Tax" and book directly from Royal. Our group used to take some independent tours (and saved quite a bit of cash), but after a couple had a perfect storm of problems (Last stop before a T/A leg, coach had a severe oil leak that caused accidents on the main road on St. Maarten blocking its way back to port) the ship spent about 2 1/2 hours extra in port waiting for about 30 folks on that tour. Thankfully the couple booked through Royal. Now I guess if they'd have been OK if they'd have booked a different indie tour since the RCI tour held up the ship for everyone, but that's a pretty big gamble for a couple of dollars. A factor to consider is how far away the independent tour travels from the ship. Something close in would benefit more from an RCI tour further out being delayed more by traffic while a "Ring Road Tour of X Island" has more of a risk of being on the bad side of a traffic jam with a better chance for RCI coaches being closer in traffic.
  7. A couple of years back our waiter said that there are actually two Indian menus (meat and meatless) nightly on all ships. This was in response to the rise of middle class Indians cruising on Royal and requesting local dishes in the MDR.
  8. They'd chase the Jellicle Ball and bring it to their friend, not try to attend it.
  9. I fully expect the cruise from Tampa to Cozumel to be cancelled also, unfortunately. I wonder if they will have a non-revenue cruise just to reposition her for the Winter season. That would seem like a big missed opportunity at a time you'd expect Royal to try to maximize revenue. Oh well, their ship, their rules.
  10. Just notified yesterday morning this cruise was cancelled - but not the one afterward (Tampa - Cozumel). More to come on Monday.
  11. Hi BillyBob and welcome, If you prepay gratuities you are not expected to tip further, everyone including the behind-the-scenes staff are compensated by your payment. That said, if you give the bartenders a cash tip you may want to watch how strong they make the drinks. Some will pour you doubles or triples without asking if you tip them. You can certainly give extra tips to anyone who goes out of their way, but it isn't expected. Have a great time on your cruise, Brad
  12. It's too bad the Carnival Triumph was remembered for the geysers of feces. The same cruise also featured a total loss of power, so besides being stranded there was no power and therefore no cooking. For days.
  13. Off on a tangent here. The show with the most legs would be kind of a cool (and really inexpensive) choice for a small ship - The Fantasticks! (The only way there'd be a Can-Can is if they rewrote "Plant a Radish" to "Plant a 'Shroom".) 40 years continuous Off Broadway. And I'd bet some of the current performers were in a high school production. Stage build out: Raised diamond with two columns. That's all. The rights have to be inexpensive. Maybe RCI could negotiate with the rightsholders to have a CGI Jerry Orbach as El Gallo. Let's face it, an expensive set piece is the star of Flight, so RCI has relied on outside tech to impress an audience. Plus the show is guaranteed a 7 year run and including a virtual character that doesn't interact with the live cast is easier than trying to move around a ghost.
  14. There is a Broadway revival of Cole Porter's musical Can-Can http://cancanbroadway.com/, so maybe that signalled enough interest for RCI to purchase rights. Granted that's a bit of a stretch, more of a summer stock show than a current hit. It's so old I remember seeing it at the Muny in St. Louis when I was in grade school.
  15. Just picked this one up as a B2B with the T/A from Barcelona. It looks like a good way to add some extra 4X points (in a Jr. Suite) without paying for more airfare. See you onboard, Brad
  16. Agreed. After retirement I'm almost a hermit. On the cruise I talk to the theatre Production Manager, members of the RC Singers and Dancers, and every Headline act, giving my elevator pitch of free stills for their books or websites. Hector Ruiz (Hector Is Magic), Solomon Jaye, and ratpack singer Gary Williams are as friendly and outgoing in real life as they are in their acts. Hector's assistant even tried to set me up with her mother in Barcelona (we'll see how that goes). Without a couple of cameras, I'd never think about speaking to a performer or member of the production staff. The good and bad thing about a cruise is that almost nobody knows who you are.
  17. Really challenging to photograph. People skating quickly on a small patch of ice. Kind of like photographing squirrels who found a large Frappucino.
  18. From personal experience - I tore my ACL on the flight to friends' house the day before going to Barcelona for a T/A. They had crutches and an appointment at the Doc-in-the-box waiting for me. The cost of renting a manual wheelchair from one of the usual scooter rental companies for the cruise was about $175. There was a lot of walking in Barcelona and the crutches were tiring to use, so I bought a good wheelchair for about $250 and used it around the city and on the ship. United (and I'm sure all other carriers) flew the chair for free. To me, it was well worth the money spent. Note that if you plan ahead, there can be quite a bit of durable medical equipment at second hand stores for almost nothing. Or you can get a standard wheelchair on Amazon for about $110. The cab drivers in Barcelona were top notch. 5 of us were at a cab stand and a driver stopped, got out, and called the dispatcher for a van that could take all of us and the wheelchair. I've noticed that a lot of places have transport chairs (4 small wheels) for use instead of standard wheelchairs. They require a second person to push you. Best wishes on your cruise, Brad
  19. Interesting routing. Bypassing Malaga and Tenerife, but 3 stops at other Canary Island ports.
  20. Rhapsody T/A 11-30-21 Barcelona to Tampa.
  21. "Everybody you watch Got his brains in his crotch.... Ain't nobody got class?" Chicago!!
  22. Odyssey OTS 10-31-22 from Civitavecchia to Ft. Lauderdale. 13 instead of 14 days for the crossing, but still couple of stops in Spain.
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