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  1. Hi all, I’ll be sailing this December with my partner, parents, siblings etc. all together we are 10, possibly 11. We all have My Time dining, and as it is a Christmas cruise I’ve gone ahead and pre booked dinner for us all together in the main dining room for 3 nights of the 9 night cruise (one of which is Christmas night, plus night 1 and night 9). Now that our cruise has started to get closer, we’ve been talking about schedules, meeting up, how to stay in touch. And my mum has mentioned that she wants to just make a MTD booking in the MDR for every night of the cruise for all 10 of us for the same time each night as a standing booking. While I have heard others doing this and rocommending booking your MTD for the week as soon as you can, I have a few issues with this. - We don’t really know what time shows are, and what time we should book for. - My sister is bringing her 3 kids, and I can’t imagine them wanting to even eat in the MDR every night. She has already said she wants no part in formal night - We are a large group. If we make the booking for 10, and they reserve it as such, but only 5 of us show up, this just feels kinda rude. I know this isn’t an odd thing for traditional dining, but when MTD is a supply and demand thing, I just feel uncomfortable doing this. Does anyone have some thoughts or advice for me on this situation? Thanks in advance!
  2. Thanks heaps for this! Helpful to see all the changes clearly laid out. Curious about the removal of the Arcade. They are still selling arcade credit on my cruise planner for December. Do you think they will put the game machines somewhere else, and if so where? My Sisters kids will be on this cruise, and I'm sure they'd like to play if there is an arcade available.
  3. I personally don't care about getting bigger ships. A ship of 5000 people seems over whelming to me. What I really would have liked to see was the ships that are coming here being treated the same as those in the rest of the fleet, i.e. Voyager getting an Amp to, not the same level as mariner and navigator, but a bit more of the the promised hype that those ships made. I am going on her in December and I am pretty concerned about getting food boredom. The only free places to eat are the dining room, buffet, and cafe promenade. Any only 3 paid places. Mariner and Navigator both have 4 complimentary eateries, and 4 & 5 paid respectively. Particularly considering that cruises from Australia tend to be on the long side what with everything being so bloody far away. I get that Voyager is a ship shared with the Asian market which Matt has repeatedly mentioned is an outlier in the industry, and therefore can't be treated as similar to the ships in the US, but as there has been so much hype in the community around the amplification program, and the successes of both Navigator and Mariner, and also taking into account that the Australian consumer is far more similar to the US market than the Asia market, I think it's understandable to be feel like the ship is disappointing in comparison. Regardless I plan to have a great time on the ship, as well as in port. I wonder if the level of investment is indicative of how long they plan to continue with the Voyager ship. She is 20 year old now, could this be an indication that they don't expect her to remain in the fleet for that much longer, and therefore are restraining their investment into it?
  4. Unfortunately Voyager was the only ship cruising from Aus that had Johnny Rockets. I'll certainly be considering booking another cruise though, just as soon as I've actually gone on my first cruise.....(104 days away now)
  5. My thoughts exactly. I was so sad to hear that Johnny Rockets was being removed. Burgers and shakes are my guilty pleasure and I was so looking forward to indulging.
  6. @TJ! we used a company called Flight Centre. It’s an Australian chain. My mum booked the cruise, and she lives in a country town nowhere near the sea, let alone the cruise port we’re departing from. I think she simply didn’t know as it’s not a very common thing.
  7. @Colbysmom That is actually a great idea! Thanks for the suggestion. When he joins the cruise it will be on the first day of 4 consecutive port stops, so he wont have much time to look about before we're on and off for a few days.
  8. @KathyC Yep, I am all over the cruise planner, however I don't know if it has the full offerings of what is on board yet, as we're still 120+ days away. I guess I am thinking ideas that may not be included in the cruise planner, or that maybe aren't even things that you purchase or have someone else organize on your behalf.
  9. Hi all! So after a while of waiting to see what was going to happen, it has been decided that my partner isn’t going to be able to join us at embarkation of our cruise in December. The good news is that he will be flying to our first port of call and joining us there! (Despite our TA initially just saying no, that isn’t a thing that is done, and me having to send them two links directly from the RC website saying it was available by request, but that is another story...) anyways. I was thinking that it might be nice to organize some surprises for him on board, both for when he arrives and just in general through the remaining part of the cruise. So far I am thinking some sort of treat and drink situation in our room when he embarks, and maybe a dinner reservation later on. What surprises have you organized before? Or what do you reccomend? Keen to hear some ideas! Ship will be Voyager of the Seas, and it’s a Christmas cruise. thanks!
  10. I am not surprised about that actually. My first cruise is coming up with some of my family who are also first time cruisers. Our TA didn't say we had to wait to purchase anything, but nor did she say anything about the cruise planner portal at all. I found that all on my own, and only because I am an obsessive over planner and was trawling for any information available. Then again, it was actually my mum that booked the whole thing and I wasn't there. So it's entirely possible that she mentioned it and my mum had no idea what she was talking about......
  11. January is the middle of summer here, so you can expect temperatures anywhere between 25 and 40 degrees Celsius. Normally the south would be cooler, but during summer it’s just bloody hot everywhere. Except maybe Tasmania. In Queensland it will be hot, but the worst part will be the humidity. North of Brisbane is tropical region, so expect 70%+ on the humidity scale. Really, shops closed on Tuesday? I’ve never heard of that. Restaraunts closing Monday isn’t unheard of, but never heard of shops closed Tuesday. But then again I’m generally working so.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ i am going to noumea in December and their local market will be closed the day we’re there. Pretty bummed about that 😞
  12. Haven’t been on my fist cruise yet, but I am Australian and have done quite a bit of travel around the country, so I can at least comment on that! The commenter above mentioned Australia zoo, and I can’t reccomend it highly enough. I live in Melbourne where we have a great zoo, but Australia zoo is something else. Do not miss the midday show. It blew me away. North of Brisbane is where is really gets beautiful. Cairns is ok (can’t swim in the beach) but just an hour on from cairns is port Douglas and that place is beautiful! Cape tribulation, mossman gorge, the Great Barrier Reef, and the dain tree Forrest are also accessible from cairns as well and are all beautiful. A cruise up north might also include Hamilton island, from which you can see the barrier reef as well, or I’d also reccomend Hayman island which has some of the whitest sand in the world! I don’t know much about Sydney, but the blue mountains outside of Sydney and Bondi beach north of Sydney are pretty cool places. Melbourne is great (course I’d say that right?), but would definitely say Melbourne is more of a cultural experience than site seeing. We have art galleries and festivals and food and drink to the brim. Adelaide is very great for food and wine. The barossa valley is know as one of the best wine regions in the country. I can give more info on the west of the country as well if you like, but the east cost is most certainly where you’ll be going. The other commenter also mentioned beach days. And so you aren’t disappointed, I have to let you know that a ‘beach day’ here won’t be like other places that a cruise docs. You likely aren’t going to find a beach that has loungers and umbrellas that you can hire. It’s not a big thing here. We just take out towels and lay on the sand with them. Sometimes we get fancy and bring a small beach chair. I’ve never heard of resorts giving out day passes, and that’s probably because we don’t have many resorts on the beach for conservation purposes, and because they aren’t all inclusive anyway, so they can’t offer it to you in the first place. Having said that, the beaches on the east coast, particularly up north, and some of the best in the world! They’ll be beautiful, but if you’re expecting to enjoy a beach day ‘for the service’ you’re probably barking up the wrong tree.
  13. That's crazy! I'm located in Aus, and taking just a week off seems like such a cop out. If you only take a week off you can't even get anywhere. Takes 24 hours to get to Europe, 14 to get to the US; and that's only 1 way! Only place you could conceivable go with just 1 week off is South East Asia, and I am not one keen on repeating holiday destinations. Taking your full 4 weeks over here is pretty normal.
  14. I bought packing cubes last year, and have used them twice. First instance was when I went on a camper van road trip for 2 weeks. SUCH a small space that I shared with my partner, and we needed all of the organization we could get. Most recently I went on a 12 night trip to the US. We did 4 cities, 3 nights in each place. Lots of moving, lots of in and out. I found them really great for quickly looking for what I wanted, and being able to easily repack my bag. I also only used a carry on duffel bag for this, and duffels so easily get messed up. So it’s great for bags that aren’t reallly suites to storing and extracting your clothes in.
  15. Oh dang. First of all, my December cruise is now cheaper than when we booked it September last year. Second of all, now I really wanna book another cruise! But I haven't been on my first cruise yet! Great rates for cruises to NZ.
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