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Everything posted by ScooterScott22

  1. I have a friend that could be coerced to book Star Class based simply on this!!!!! Might have to tease him over WhatsApp, if we can get some on our upcoming Star Sailing.
  2. @Templecruiser did you mean Crown Loft Suite (or maybe the Star Loft Suite) on Harmony? Sky loft would be on the Quantum class ships. I’m thinking you meant CLS but don’t want to assume. If you would stay with the same room category you could switch with no charge, but once you change categories (especially if jumping from Sky to Star class with the Star Loft Suite, expect there would be a repricing.
  3. I’ll expand a little bit on @twangster comment that ships will sail at full capacity. I’m pretty sure that he means cabin capacity, not necessarily ship capacity. We have the flexibility as a family to sail when we want and not stuck to family vacation times. Because of that we do notice small variations in total capacity. There are small variations if you use that perspective. A ship may be totally occupied according to cabin capacity, and that is where the sales and comps help. But there HAD BEEN some trends prior to the shutdown. This was mostly due to less family trips and more singles and couples, which means cabins that could sleep more than two only had two. Running through the prior peaks and valleys that we trended based on season starting at the winter holidays - - post holidays there was usually a few weeks with a drop in total capacity. - presidents week and/or maradi gras (LA) would typically start the more unpredictable winter/spring/Easter breaks with the schools. Therefore depending on where some of those holidays fell and which schools had time off capacity typically increased but exact demand was a little harder to predict on a specific week. - after Easter before Memorial Day was another pretty reliable waning period. - summer demand usually started right at the end of May and went right up to Labor Day. - September to Thanksgiving was the next easing of demand. As more schools have recently added a fall break we have noticed a little variety week to week but it is still less families as opposed to summer. - Thanksgiving is the next big increase - post Thanksgiving there was a pretty reliable drop up to the Christmas and New Year holidays. That was all pre-COVID and as mentioned there are quite a few factors that are shifting demand. Remember that I am referring to total capacity, so many times every room may still be full but every room may not be full to it’s individual capacity. There are other factors that can also influence total capacity. I know the OP was referring to the Oasis class but ship can make a small difference, newer or amped ships might draw more than others, but some of the smaller ships might also have less families. Itineraries are another thing that will create fluctuations in total capacity, with round trips usually having more demand than repositioning. (Pretty sure that the cruise lines know the demands I mentioned and that is why more TA’s and other repositioning cruises happen in May, October, and December across the different lines). Just a different perspective, and this is not going to be reliable at this time. Things might start to fall back into these patterns sometime into the future but my crystal ball is not telling me when or if, LOL.
  4. FLL is definitely an option and traffic should not be too bad at the time you described, but anything can happen with Miami traffic. Sorry I can’t comment on prices or options since I usually have a car. Will add that FLL is probably my least favorite airport out of some 200+ or so I have been to over the years. Think of it as a mini - LAX, with all of the headaches, but no break for being smaller. It Is doable but may not be the easiest. Personally I would factor in some of the hiccups and frustration for FLL into the equation but I am biased.
  5. I know there is a recent second thread going about the FLL area hotels but this one was first and the one I have been following. I think I stated have been in the area for work and at a number of different hotels. The Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa is not one I am not familiar with, and really haven't seen much feedback. Does anyone have anything they can share? We found a decent rate so it is under consideration.
  6. We booked this itinerary quite a while ago but I have not posted to the roll call. I was a little hesitant since we are bringing my parents and this will be a more family focused cruise. Definitely starting to get excited. Hope everyone has a safe and fun sailing!
  7. There are quite a few options and most are fine but would depend on your preferences. How much do you want to spend, how long are you staying (when does your flight arrive, is it a short overnight), and do you belong to any loyalty programs are just a few thing to consider. I have stayed at quite a few places there for work and once for a cruise so I’ll share a few thoughts. If you are doing just an overnight, and especially with a later arrival, the blue lagoon area mentioned above is a pretty good option. It should be a little less $ than downtown, convenient to get to from the airport and has a few things like dining and shops nearby. In the morning taxi or Uber down the expressway to the port. The Hampton mentioned above is really decent and probably the best value compared to the others in the area. Downtown is a better option if you have a full day or even maybe up to two days. It is usually a little more but closer to the port and there are a few more things to do. Bayside marketplace and the park are a very easy walk and there are some other options for sightseeing. Most of the hotels in the downtown area have been around for a while. They have been kept up pretty well but most are definitely not brand new builds. More to the south of the port area, the intercontinental is probably the best choice, the Hyatt is a few blocks back and is another option as well as the JW. North of the port area is a Hilton, Doubletree and Marriott. Those three are actually all connected via a little mall (and a walkway from the Hilton). They overlook the port and that little mall area has some dining and shops if you don’t want or need to venture out too far. if you have more time or plan to stay for a while then Miami Beach or other areas might be more interesting and have more entertainment and dining options. Happy planning.
  8. @Dods you did not mention which ship/class. Oasis class ship might be easier, on the Wonder it was at the Aquatheater. I dropped by a little late and no one was checking. If it is held at one of the indoor locations on any ship they will probably be more careful.
  9. Come on @Vancity Cruiser even us in Florida have to get out of the cold in January. Seriously though, the cruise lines go there year round since the weather is pretty nice most all the time. Depending on which port you might have a cool to cold day. It is not unusual to have a front that brings cool weather even down at Port Canaveral, if you are using one of the more southern ports there are still cool fronts but usually not as bad. Once out closer to the islands typically it will be warmer.
  10. It is pretty simple - Order food, eat food YMMV but the staff at the Jamie’s (we have been at three different ones) usually allow a little variety with desserts and apps but typically will keep you to one entree. We did get offered a chance to taste another that we were interested in, but that was while sailing star class so may not have been the norm. Likely you will find one app, one entrée and one dessert should fill you so to best experience multiple things either a group and sharing or more than one visit seems like the best strategy. Enjoy!
  11. Just because it went into a pocket doesn’t mean it wasn’t pooled. At the casino bar on Harmony the pooled tips were in a bucket, in a cabinet under the back counter. Saw the bartender put some tips in there when he had a moment. My guess was since it didn’t appear to be easy to access he pocketed tips until a lull. When I asked to break a 20 at one point they brought out the bucket and made the switch.
  12. Worked from the ship, with varying degrees of success. With regards to the multiple devices question. It is possible to switch devices pretty easily as mentioned before. The issue might be timing. If you are solo that might be an issue if the timeframe for the code entry is really short. But if you are traveling with someone you can use their device access for a short switch. Just make sure that “borrowed” code is not the one you plan on utilizing for the actual meeting, because when they log back in it will kick you off. As far as real success to do everything it might be a little tricky. Slow speeds were felt at times. I found it was easier to do as much as possible off-line and wait to sign in and then link and do everything that requires a connection. You can connect and let the outbox work while you go get lunch or a drink, LOL. On Teams if you can do without sharing your camera, that also helps. I found that Teams on the phone (iPhone) actually did better compared to the laptop.
  13. We enjoyed the CLS on Harmony about a month ago. Personally can not think of any issues really other than if you have issues with steps. Got it via Royal Up so didn’t get to pick the location and we had one overlooking the sports court/boardwalk. We would typically pick a side/ocean view. While we still would have preferred the side, the aft facing suites were not that bad. Probably did decrease some of the time relaxing out on the deck. Time out there was a little more people watching and we could sort of see the Aqua show. May want to factor that (suite location) into your consideration points since you may not have as much freedom to choose.
  14. I’ll be following this since we will be bringing my parents down from the Midwest for our September cruise. We have not stayed in the area for a cruise but I have been at a number of the hotels for work stays. Since it was mentioned so just adding that I have been to the restaurant at Bass Pro on a couple of occasions. It was decent, more of a convenient thing on the second and third times. If you are in the area or shopping there it is an acceptable option but there are some better options if you want a fancier meal. It seems to be on par with a little bit nicer chain restaurant. There was a dish or two, I think it was a smoked fish dip app that was pretty tasty, but don’t quote me on that. edit: Yes to the Rustic Inn. If I recall the food was good but parking seemed to be an issue around there.
  15. @dustfsu the situation you described sounds closer to the description of the Ovation more than the Quantum. We were on the Ovation’s inaugural Alaska sailing in 2019 (and so was the member above) and there were no issues with signage even though Ovation had been predominantly sailing Asia based itineraries prior. The only item that was noticeable was they were still working on changing one of the quick counter services near the pool to the fish and chips restaurant.
  16. There was a scavenger hunt on our Harmony sailing in May. Not sure of the actual title listed but it was similar to other trivia and events. You got a list and your team recorded the items in pics on a phone. There were different point values for different items and high score wins. Point bonuses for first 3 teams to return, and there is a deadline.
  17. Port of Miami to the airport should be a 10-20 drive, barring traffic. Traffic can be an issue in Miami so the question is really how much before noon are you thinking.
  18. Yes, heated and I’ll add that we swam at both the “indoor” pool and outdoor pool while sailing in Alaska. On one of the cooler days and we tried both and the outdoor actually felt warmer. Not sure if they can adjust the amount of warm water they send to each or if it was another factor in pool temp controls, or simply our perception. YMMV but check each pool to find the one that’s “just right”.
  19. You may want to bring some balls also. (No pun intended there.) Back in May we had a room overlooking the sports court. Yes there was players. They typically had 3 courts and usually all three were occupied. While I didn’t watch much there was an interesting play. The ball was hit and I watched it head out of the sports court and down into the Boardwalk. It landed about 10 feet from some people but they failed to return it, so Harmony may be low on supplies.
  20. We can drive to the Florida ports so no issues there but the four cruises at other ports we have always arrived a couple of days early. I travel a lot for work and typically do over 100 flights a year. In the past I was never too worried as I was pretty well practiced at making flight changes. Lately it has not been quite as easy even with having airline status. Things just are not as reliable as they once were. (And that is saying something, since it wasn’t terribly reliable in the first place.) Time of day, frequency of routes, and number of connections are all things to consider in how complex your travel is and risks. As long as you know what your alternate routes are and your options you might be able to decrease some of the worry and some of the days you need to possibly budget ahead of the cruise.
  21. Reviewing this and had a couple of thoughts to pass along. First I agree with others that the size of the party (9) might be the most influential piece on getting a reservation. Agree that to head to one of the restaurants right after boarding and work with them to see what you can schedule. Don’t forget that you can also update or find new reservations while cruising in the app. So adjustments still might be possible. The other item is a question, how far out is your cruise? We did UDP on Wonder in March and Harmony in May and on both occasions not one location, other than Mason Jar, had every table occupied. The issue seems to be staffing, not enough servers to cover every table. If your sailing after Labor Day there are a few reasons, it might not be as difficult. Stick to your plan, know your spots where you can be flexible and good luck.
  22. Reading through this thread and I wonder if the ship will impact this late arrival situation. Especially on Oasis and Quantum class there are a fair amount of specialty dining options. We have been on at least 4 cruises on Royal where we have never went to the MDR. We know specialty dining isn’t for everyone but since we have dId the last cruise with friends that had the same view, there are a few other that will leave open tables in the MDR. So does the presence and number of specialty dining venues possibly impact the flexibility of the MDR to accommodate parties that are late. (I really wanted to type “parties that are tardy” there.)
  23. There are some good points/strategies about staying on ship time already. We also typically are back at least by 30 minutes but usually 60 minutes or greater. We enjoy getting back and watching for Pier Runners. Our last cruise was one of those exceptions. We were on one of the ships tour and it got back only 10 minutes or so before departing. My view is that there is increasing degrees of risk related to being left behind. The ship will never want to stay longer in port due to the associated costs of extending port time. Being on a cruise line excursion decreases the chance that they will leave. Also factoring in is the next port/stop. If the ship is making a short hop, something like Aruba to Curaçao or St. Thomas to St. Martin, the risk is also pretty low and port fees are the likely factor. If the ship is making a long run then not only are the port fees an issue but they are worried about making the departure time because being late increases risks for being tardy at the next location or burn more fuel ($$$) making up time with extra speed. So the risk probably varies, but as long as you even pay a little bit of attention, it shouldn’t be a worry. Happy sailing.
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