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Pima1988

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Everything posted by Pima1988

  1. We always dress up. It has become a tradition that we love, we call it our date night. We always book a balcony or above. We stop at WJ to pick up some food to pick on, like bread, cheese, meats, etc. Than get a drink from the closest bar and take it back to our cabin. He gets ready while I hang out. When he is done he will go on the balcony. I close the curtains so when I open it again I am ready. To us its part off what makes it feel like a formal night. I take 2 different dresses, but same shoes. 1 is the dress I wore to my daughters wedding...a high low....cut at the knee in the front down to the ankle in back. The other is my go to for every wedding. My hubby takes 1 dark suit and 2 shirts with 2 different ties. Luggage to me is no biggie. If I am driving it doesn't matter if I have 1 or 2 suitcases. If I am flying the fact is we have spent so much money on the vacation we are not going to quibble about paying 25 to 50 bucks for checking luggage.
  2. Just did a JS on the hum balcony on Symphony. No way could I see it take 4 people, let alone 5. Even 3 would be hard for more than 5 days. I would suggest getting 2 connecting balcony cabins. This will allow you more room, plus now you will have 2 bathrooms. Depending on the ship the balcony dividers can come down and you can use that way as access to the other cabin instead of the hallway. IE on anthem or Symphony it will break down. On Adventure or Enchantment it will not.
  3. You would never want to do both of them. 1. Thrill is on the opposite side of Coco Beach...about a 10 min walk. Thrill is the closest to the ship. 2. Unless you have an 18 yr old child than an adult has to be there with them....that means you have to purchase ticket. 3. Beach club here s out the door amazin, everything from beach chairs to pool to lunch menu. However this is not for young kids because they will be bored unless you get the water cabana. Personally if there are at least 5 of you look into the cabanas. Thrills cabana includes the water park pass. You also didn't say which ship. Honestly look at the ship and the cruise....Symphony has a lot of water amenities so you might say no to Thrill. Just like you might say no to the Beach dlub.
  4. We did a JS with a unlimited dining on Symphony and loved it, but our next one on Anthem will be a GS. When we did the $$$ th GS was really not much more. No need to do Voom or Key. We like Coastal so need for a specialty dining package. Just saying do all the numbers....25 pp per day would be about 350 for 2 for 7 days. Specialty about the same foe 2. The perks of a GS is a suite sun deck....no worry about pool chair hogs. Coastal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Voom, priority seating for shows, happy hour with free cocktails and food too.
  5. We did a JS on Symphony last month so we purchased the unlimited knowing that we were it guaranteed CK. The food, ambiance and service was beyond compare, except for CP 150 impo. We ate at Hooked for lunch 1 day with reservations for dinner 2 nights later. Ate at CK the night before. As soon as lunch was over we went to CK and cancelled our Hook dinner replacing it for CK. There is always the conversation which restaurant does the steak better....chops or CK. Purposefully we ordered the steak at CK the night before our Chops reservation. CK won hands down Ate at Jamies too. If I decide on our next cruise to eat at a specialty it would only be there over the CK. Their hand made pasta is excellent. However, I do like the atmosphere better in the CK. Atmosphere is just as important to me as the food. We avoid the mdr because the tables are so close that sometimes you feel like you could ask them to pass their salt shaker and they wouldn't even have to extend their ar!m completely. Now imagine a large group next to you and the volume of voices while you are trying to enjoy your dinner. In the CK it was never packed and we ate at 6:30 I also agree everyday we saw something on the menu that was definitely from a specialty restaurant with a variance of the side dish. Ie burrata cheese appetizer is from Jamies. Branzino is from Chops. Duck was CP 150. I think we also had the scallop cerviche which is also a 150 item. So for us, it eliminated the need to do specialty. Finally, by going every night you get to build a relationship with your waiter. Our waiter knew when we came in what drink we would have with dinner and our after dinner drink. Hubby and I drink different things. He even paid attention to the fact we didn't ever eat 1 particular type of bread so he always removed it and gave us the ones we thoroughly enjoyed. When I told him i am too full to eat dessert he came back with 2 desserts with a dome covered plate and said take it back to your cabin. He did that every night for me.
  6. We were a JS. outside balcony 9th deck on SoS around the corner from the elevator banks, near the staircase and heard nothing. Dazzles was around the corner and heard nothing either. Its really not as close as you may think
  7. Have you looked in your spam/junk mail. You should have received them about a month ago....you are talking about luggage tags, downloading your pic for the sea pass card, etc?
  8. I would think that means 11k. We were there last month on Symphony. Mariner was there the same day. I talked to some Mariner passengers they said they had 3800 on their ship. We had 5822. You did not feel congested at all. There were empty loungers everywhere. Typically they have the ships arrive and depart at different times. For example Mariner docked at 8 a.m., but departed at 3. We rocked at 9 and departed at 4:30. Most people will leave to get back to the ship about 1 HR prior. For us that meant by 2:30 it was only Symphony passengers. I am 57 too. I will caveat my post by saying we booked the day pass to the beach club on this cruise so I can't say anything about the grill area for food. If you don't want congestion and a feel of a private beach, splurge on the day pass. Its not a 10 out of 10 its a 20 out of 10....you read that correctly. Once you go there you will always buy it. Everything there is amazing from the bathrooms where you get true hand towels to the loungers and lunch. We got there and a front row lounger next to the beach. The tanning ledge pool loungers were always available, only the beds at the pool were taken. The lunch is as close as you get to a specialty restaurant....you can order surf and turf. You van order everything off their menu. Its too much food....they even gave us cookies to go bc i said i am too full. The infinity pool was never packed. The solarium on the ship had more people. The beach was empty...again, 9k were on the island that day. They have attendants to take your drink orders from your lounger just like beach beds and cabanas, however, if you do go to the bar you will get your drink in 2 minutes. No lines there at all. The negative of the beach club is the snorkeling is bad. You need to go over to Chill to snorkel.
  9. I book our cruise and at the exact same moment I book travel insurance. My feeling is if you can pay thousands for a cruise ( airfare or parking at the port, Voom UDP, DBP and excursions plus casino $$ if you gamble) the cost of travel insurance is a drop in the bucket.
  10. Curiosity question why not take along with you the Bose Bluetooth speaker or is it you want the look of the piano? I just ask bc your post made it read that you don't play piano, but like the tranquil sound of the music. I can tell you from owning it, it delivers an amazing sound quality. We took our speaker with us and played our downloaded list in our cabin everyday when we were having breakfast on the balcony or getting ready for dinner. Off topic, but yes, the morning we arrived at Coco Cay we played....LOVELY DAY....everybody sing along now! Funny thing as we were debarking a couple behind us had never been there and said, oh its the song from their commercial. Ourselves and the couple in front of us both laughed and said at the exact same time get ready to hear that all day long. I will say if you do take one, please be mindful of taking it on your beach days. It can be very disconcerting when you are hearing different music all around you. Found that true the past 2 cruises. First time when we were in a cabana. There maybe only 10-20 cabanas, but they are very close. The next time was at the Beach club. Even though the Beach club has limited day passes and cabanas that are much further apart than the other cabanas I could hear multiple blue tooth playing regardless of where I was at....i.e. even in the water or at the pool. IOW keep it low you might love your tunes, but it doesn't mean I want to hear it
  11. The bar will rise on the hour and half hour. From Schooners you can see it and I can say without a doubt they will not force you off, but its a pretty boring bar. First day or so people are packing it, but by the end of the week its pretty empty. I compare it to the Bionic bar which is next to it. Its the check it off my checklist experience. We did go on it a couple of times....for example if you have a reservation at a specialty on Central Park at 6:30 you can have your pre dinner cocktail arou d 6:00 and ride it up to the restaurant for your 6:30 reservation The fun bar impo is Schooner or Dazzles. Schooner overlooks the Promenade and you can people watch. It also has the piano player. When they do tribute nights you need to be there at least 15 mins to get a night. Our cruise they did Billy Joel, Elton John and Neil Diamond. People on the promenade would scream the song from below....sweet Caroline had everyone sing.... Got you singing it now I never saw someone with a scooter on it, but there is enough room around the tables to fit it.
  12. Side note. We were on Symphony and they had 42 passengers quarantined. I remember the sea day after St. Thomas prior to Coco Cay hearing about 6 names being called while I was lounging in the Solaium....so and so deck 6, so and so deck 9, etc please report to the medical. I turned to my hubby and said omg, they are calling them bc they have a medical emergency....pre-covid sailings. Never did I think they were doing contact tracing until after we left and people were showing them leaving....hazmat suits. They were segregated to deck 3
  13. I would think Royal Up will become extremely competitive. Our cruise 3 weeks ago sailed close to 90%. We bid from a JS for a CLS and GS1 BDRM.... Our bid was considered medium. Found out at 8 pm on the day we sailed via text we didn't win. They had said on our sailing that RCCL expected for SoS the 5/28 sailing would be at 100%.
  14. Have done the Key and would say unless you got it at a great price its not worth it at all. Did it last week on Symphony only because it was 5 bucks more than VOOM. Per day. Figured the Chops Embarkation lunch and rebar nation breakfast was worth it.
  15. Deck 3 is where they were Quarantined . 42 passengers in essence it was 1%. My husband tested positive on Saturday. I have been negative all week. We are both triple.boosted. the only think it was the casino or gym.that
  16. Thing. I was on Symphony 4/30-5/7. A couple of things. 1. We were told by Jordan in CK that the Solarium Bistro is suppose to open on the 5/21 sailing. 2. They said we had 5280 passengers Approx 2300 passengers were 2 separate groups. 1600 with a Philippine finance group. 1100 with a Canadian insurance company. 3. 70s night is done on the Promenade. We sat at the Copper Kettle. Got there about 30 mins. prior. Sorrento is the optimal spot if you want to sit, but there were no chairs at least 45 mins prior....ticking off passengers so we they weren't eating. A great place if you don't mind standing is by the photo kiosk. They do the show right next to Schooners. 4. No Quest. 5. Hiro is ending their run. I believe the new aqua show starts 5/21. We saw them practicing on our cruise during the afternoon. It looks like its going to be 80/90 music. I also believe Hairspray will start than also. 6. Schooners sing along nights were amazing as always, but our piano player was ending his tour so this week has a new one. He did a Billy Joel, Elton John Neil Diamond tributes. 7. Chops impo has gone downhill. We tried it twice and both times I would rate it as poor. Service was slow, food came out cold. Trust me I was excited to go there just for the goat cheese salad is my absolute favorite. We ate at CK the night before and i purposedly ordered the steak so we can compare it to Chops the next night. At CK came out med/rare. Chops it came out med to medium well even though we asked for med/rare. We waited so long for our food we just accepted it and mived on. Chops Branzino is one of my favorits, the skin was not crisp and it was luke warm. If you eat there ask for a table outside. Its terribly noisy in there. It does not have that cozy steakhouse feeling like it does have on the Freedom class. The tables outside on the Park makes it feel cozy. 8. 150 is amazing...order the lamb wellington. Jamie's is amazing too. No complaints. Hooked was eh for me, but my husband loved everything they served him, oysters, lobster roll and clam chowder soup. I would say the soup is great. ---- Ask any of them for a dessert to go. They will gladly give them to you. We did that every night. Playmakers will also allow you to do this....order wings and take it back to your room for your late night snack. 9. Try Vintages for your pre dinner drinks. It is so cozy. They will bring you a charcuterie board. They get a 10 out of 10 for me. Trellis bar too 10. Be smart when returning to the ship on port days. There are 2 gangplanks. St.Maarten, St. Thomas go to the aft . everybody sees the 1st one they see. Go to the next 1 . here's why, it will take you to another elevator bank and you won't wait forever. For Coco Cay go to the bow gang plank. same reason. 11. If you can get the Thermal spa at a good price, DO IT. Sea days we went to the pool in the a.m went to the spa before we got ready for lunch. The rain she were is so amazing. On port days we would go straight to the spa. Spent time on the beds, steam room and hit the shower to get the saltwater off. I had a JS,so we had a full bathtub. If you have a cabin with that shower tube there is another beauty to it. The locker room has showers . they give you nice robes too. 12. Pool towels can be delivered to your cabin ....just ask the day before. If you are going to the Beach Club no need to take towels they have them there. If you can only afford 1 excursion The Beach Club is a must. I have done loungers, beach beds, cabanas. We got it for 89. per person. Negative if you like snorkeling go to Chill. Now for my bad 1. I have sailed on many classes, but I would say that I hoofed it almost everytime on this cruise compared to my other cruises. The elevators were packed. It was really annoying by the end of the week. You can see the banks packed complaining on the pool deck ...15 that it skipped them for going up. HELLO how about you walk it 1 flight to the WJ....I will touch upon this later. 2. Sapphire Beach excursion is not worth the $$$. This excursion felt like I entered a run down hotel site, but because of the beach they milked it for everything they could. Beach was amazing. No good snorkeling. 3. Chair hogs...no new tHing. 4 passengers complained in the Solarium regarding the covered beds. Someone placed towels at 6 am. At 8 2 different passengers approached the attendanAt 8:00 I approached at 8:30 and was told the clock started now...the other 2 came up and said I came to you at 8. They tried to avoid, but everyone kept on them. I get it, they don't want to address the passenger, but in the end they faced us. They did remove their stuff. Spoke to the couple that got it. They were mad when their showed up at noon. Where is my stuff ? They not only took the bed, but 2 loungers. Nobody cared about the loungers. Attendant said here it is, you can't leave it for 5 hrs. Seriously you have to be assertive when it comes to chair hogs Big big thing. I would say 25% tested positive covid on sunday the day aftwr. believe it was tied to 3 things A. Elevators seriously walk 1,2,3,4,5 flights. Hub and I saw maybe 1 couple on the staircase as we traversed alp week. , yet let's cram into a 6x6 elevator. Lets cram in the elevator banks too. B. Be smart in the vasino. The tables they will make the ok use Pyrell, the sl ok vs the womy. C. Pay attention to passenger----- I saw many women that did not wash their hands after editing the bathroom.
  17. I know someone that is going on Symphony OV and has placed 9 bids, thus, I do agree it probably has more to do with what's available compared to where you start via cabin level.
  18. Its really easy to know when their ready just watch the massive flow of people leaving every area, such as WJ, bars, the pool etc. They lock the hallways to the cabin and everybody stands right outside them so if you miss the flow of people you won't miss the crowds there.
  19. I am on the same cruise and it shows on my planner I am booked for dinner too. Any word yet for you on your bids...still pending for my 3 bids
  20. That gratuity is shared among many levels. Do you leave your dishes in the WJ at your table? No, well that person cleaning up after you is part of the gratuity you refuse to pay. Are you washing them? No. Taking out the trash you make and leave at the WJ? No At the pool do you always bring your drink and never go to the bars even to get a glass of water? The bar staff is responsible for filling the water container at the bar. Do you say no to the wait staff when they walk around picking up empty glasses, but instead do it yourself? Again, do you empty the trash on the pool deck where you tossed your trash? Are you making your bed daily, and replenishing your towels, toilet paper, etc? No. Do you eat at the MDR for lunch or dinner? Would you not tip your waiter at Applebees? So why not them? Your tip at Applebees is like on the ship...a waiter/waitress in the food business shares it with the person clearing your dishes. People do not understand that the gratuity you pay includes not only food but cabin attendants. You may say RCCL should pay their staff more. Sure, but the fact and reality is this is a common practice among their industry. My husband and I worked through college in the food and beverage industry. I get not tipping for poor service, but anyone that has worked in the industry knows they live by tips since they are not paid min wage. I am totally opposite than you. I respect your opinion, but disagree with it. We are like many and tip personally certain staff on top of our tips added via RCCL. For example, we tip about 100 to our cabin attendants for 7 nights. Day 1 we ask for pillow toppers if we are below a suite. They have made the bed and now have to remake it again . I request due to a knee issue that I need 2 more pillows. They have to get them. They went out of their way to make me happy, impo they deserve a reward. We tip our MDR staff at the last night we eat in there , we do specialty so we're not in there every night. However, when we show up they immediately remember our bevs. and ask if we would like that again. Finally, look at the hours the wait staff works. If you only eat in the WJ for all of your meals you probably don't know that the wait staff picking up your dishes also work in the MDR on sea days for lunch and dinner. When you hit Coco Cay or Labadee before you get to debark you'll see staff leaving. They will be your bartenders, wait staff at their private island. They will than return to the ship and start their shift that night. These are people that live on the ship for 9 months in cramped quarters and long hrs. Yes, they chose this life, but many do it to support their family. They work probably 12 hrs a day. In essence for your tip, it equals to a dollar or 2 per hour. I don't know how anyone Done with my rant and only hope you see
  21. I am of the same mind set or at least hoping it is the case. We booked our JS 2 years ago, and due to covid, we lifted and shifted 3 times. I did fake bookings for some time and in the end our cabin, which is an ideal location, hump deck 9, was selling for 2.5k more than we paid. Plus it was still a few hundred more than an ocean balcony. Thus, if someone place a bid of lets say 500 total for a JS and purchased a balcony at a cost that was only 300 less than I paid for my JS they actually make money off of my cabin. Ontw, I am on SoS 4/30 and still pending, along with at least 15 other posters on à private group.
  22. There are a lot of IFS in your oost. WHAT ship? WHAT ports? WHAT Cabin upgrades did you bid on? For example Anthem out of Cape Liberty, Enchantment out of Baltimore is different than Symphony out of Miami or Liberty ...they are all different class ships. Jumping from interior to a balcony is several jumps and bids may vary due to the week you sail.... And again the ship plus itinerary. Just bid on the amount you feel comfortable with paying in the end. Don't try to game it. I would highly highly highly doubt it will be 50%. Last I read they are at 80+%.
  23. Which ship? If its Anthem 10 will get me 20 you will be in the parking garage. Other ships may be kin the open lot. If you are in the open lot, pay for a porter when you debark. When we do the covered we don't pay for porters ....hubby and I get the luggage and than I wait by the garage as he runs to get the car and brings it down to loading level. Open air out door you will want to pay for a porter bc you can't drive the car closer and it's more of a haul....2 min walk in the sun, but when you are talking multiple luggage bags, carry ons and a stroller its a pain. The covered garage less than a min. and they can stand in the shade.
  24. Being a Jersey girl born and raised I know NYC traffic...exit 8A. I was only talking about once you get near the terminal...ship in sight Trumps golf course on the right.
  25. The one thing to realize there are actually 2 lots, one covered garage and 1 out in the open. They do not let you choose which one you park in, or at least they didn't pre covid. Both are a short walk and gated The point is if you are sailing in the summer, you should take a window shade for your car just in case. When we sailed Anthem we had the covered garage. When we sailed Adventure we were in the open lot. We were told that this is how it typically goes, which makes sense. Anthem sails on a different day than Adventure, it is a bigger ship. That means they fill up the garage leaving Adventure in the open garage. I do disagree about it not being super busy. There will be a bottle neck when you get close to the terminal. It can be a long line of bumper to bumper bc they funnel you down. Nothing insane, but frustrating. We always joke that it takes longer from the time we hit the FUNNEL for dropping off the luggage than it takes once we park the car and are on the ship ordering our 1st drink. One piece of advice keep your carry on with you in the car and not in the trunk. Learned that the hard way. We were traveling with another couple and drove our car. We placed our carry on in the trunk (SUV) and they threw their luggage on top of it. The porters just grab and pull. The next thing we knew after we parked the carryon was unloaded with the porter.
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