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ThyriC

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  1. I bring a USB hub for my chargeables. Pretty much everything I have is USB chargeable. That way all I need to do is plug in my laptop and my USB hub, and I have my charging situation in hand, and if I need an additional outlet, I can always unplug the laptop to use the plug it occupied. One tip I like giving is, bring a travel adapter. That way you can make use of all of the plugs in the room. In the rooms with a limited plug situation, they'll have one plug that's a US plug, and one Euro plug. Get the adapter that goes from euro to US, and you now have two outlets when before you'd only have one. (or if you're Euro, one US to Euro adapter so you can have the benefit of two plugs as well)
  2. See I love that look! There are a few videos on Youtube about getting a bermuda shorts suit in bermuda, about the colors used. Like that suit there isnt as vibrant as many of the bermuda shorts suits I've seen. Dont get me wrong, that's a great suit, but I want one in vibrant colors! These men look so SHARP!
  3. I'm tempted to do the "when in Rome" model of dressing for the MDR and wearing a bermuda shorts suit. I've always wanted one and I'm getting one when in Bermuda.
  4. Oh definitely! And I know ladies who get their hair colored before a cruise. If you're not coloring with vibrants, you'll "probably" be fine with non paraben, non sulfate free hair products. Down the line your color might fade a bit faster than usual, but on permanent color you should be OK. However if you're using a semi permanent or demi permanent hair color, you need to stay AWAY from the parabens and sulfates. (should probably also stay away from the pool with semi permanent hair color, especially vibrants) How do you know if you're using a semi or demi permanent hair color? Is ammonia involved in your coloring? If so, you've got a permanent color. If not, its likely a semi permanent and you need to be careful. Also, if the color is something not naturally occurring (ie vibrants or pastels) its a semi permanent. Semis can last a good long time but you need to care like crazy for them. Pastels the same way and can wash out crazy fast if you're not mindful of what goes on your hair. Sorry for getting on a rant. I love vibrant "fun" hair colors and I've made them last as long as permanent hair color with a lot of work and care. Stay AWAY from the parabens and sulfates!! Even some "color safe" products have these ingredients (Redken I'm looking at you!!!)
  5. I'm really super picky about my haircare products and have super long damaged hair, so I bring my own. They do provide, and they're decent products, but I like my old faithful. When it comes to soap, i'm the same way. Same with lotion. They provide it, but I like bringing my own. This said, I dont fly. So I dont need to consider the liquids rule for flying. But I do have a method to my liquids madness. I have a packing cube I use exclusively for my liquids. That way if any happen to spill, the spill is isolated to the liquids cube. I keep shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, hair spray, sunscreen, and my face care products in the cube. Within the cube I do additional isolation of liquids in quart size ziploc bags. Hair stuff goes it their own isolation bag, body wash has its own, face stuff, etc. On shorter cruises I'll use samples. I wind up with SO many freakin samples from Sephora and a cruise provides a great opportunity to thin the sample herd. Curling irons are not provided, but are allowed. Hairdryers are permitted and are provided. So its up to you if you need your super high power blow dryer, or if you're good with a hotel hair dryer quality. Personally, I use a little extra conditioner or a hair mask, and I use nature to get my hair from wet to nearly dry. Then I style with the in room dryer to finish the job. But my hair is thin and doesnt need aggressive blow drying. The in room hair dryer isnt like a high end blow dryer. Think the cheapest blow dryer you can possibly find at Walmart, and put about 500 hours of dry time on that inexpensive hair dryer, and you've got about the quality of blow dryer onboard.
  6. I think its GREAT! I have a floor length black gown I like wearing for formal night. I love embracing formal night. My mother has borrowed an old prom gown of mine for a cruise (was kind of funny seeing her rocking my circa 1990 peach colored prom dress but hey, like daughter like mother!) She now has a sequined jumpsuit and a silk pantsuit she uses as well. I dont think there's anything that would be "too fancy" for formal night. If you want to rock a ball gown, you rock that ball gown. If you want to rock a gown with a train, you do you. And if you want to rock a sundress or a pantsuit, you rock that pretty sundress or pantsuit. In the end, if you want to wear that black sequinned gown, then you rock out that gown! Have photos taken (you dont have to purchase them), take your own photos, dance with your +1 if you have a +1. Make it a wonderful night to remember!
  7. I admittedly miss the midnight gala or the midnight buffets from the "old days" But I also remember during the "old days" the regular buffet wasnt nearly so expansive as they are today. I seem to recall the usual fresh fruit and salad, but the entree selections were incredibly limited while now the entree selections are so vast I couldnt possibly dream of anything else. Not to mention, if I'm really feeling noshy at midnight, I can call up room service and make my own midnight buffet! It just wont have carved fruit or ice sculptures. Maybe the lack of midnight buffet can be chalked up to food waste. Buffets can really waste a LOT of food. And having not just your standard breakfast lunch and dinner buffets, but also a separate midnight buffet? Yah that's a lot of wasted food. Though something at midnight would be nice. Even if it takes one of the premium lines doing it, that might bring back midnight food. There's also the staffing needed for a midnight food offering even if its just for setup and takedown. Not to mention, most ships today dwarf the ships of yesteryear. While midnight buffets used to be able to serve a ship full of 2500 passengers on larger ships, can you imagine a fully loaded Oasis having a midnight buffet? Sounds great on paper but trying to coordinate 6k people blasting into one area at midnight is bound to disappoint people in terms of lines.
  8. I'm a fan of Samsonite or American Tourister for being able to stand up to the abuse of travel. I've gotten both from Ebags and they've lasted me a good long time. I also have a carryon from the ebags brand and I think I've owned this little green piece I got for like 30 bucks for almost 10 years now and its never had an issue and its been though a TON of business travel
  9. I'll be waving to you both as you pass under the bay bridge!! Love watching Grandeur.
  10. In reaction to the "mens only" post, that's pretty much what my hub did. I told him he didnt need to wear a tuxedo, but he'll do the suit thing because I'm wearing a formal dress. For me, formal night is like adult prom, I get to have fun dressing up in something I almost never get a chance to wear, and hub isnt too put off by having a suit on for a few hours.
  11. Finally saw this sale be effective for my Grandeur sailing. Its only $3 a day difference though from the package I got that included Voom, so while the waiting was worth it, I dont think its enough worth it to rebook both. I'm happy at my 52 for the deluxe drink package and 12 for 2 voom users vs 49 for the DDP and 20 for voom for 2 or drop to voom for one user at 14. A dollar savings per day to me, to lose one of the vooms, just not worth it to me. Even though I likely wont use both, its nice to have in case my hub wants to use my phone while I use my tablet or something like that
  12. I think online reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt. Should negative reviews be completely ignored? No I dont think they should. However I think that they need to be looked at critically. If someone is completely bashing in a review, of anything from a cruise ship to a candy bar, I'd look critically at their review, what are they trying to say or what are they trying to gain by the negative review. Same with positively glowing nothing is wrong reviews. Everyone is different in their needs and expectations. Some people expect a Silversea experience for Carnival prices. Others are absolutely thrilled if someone brings them a glass of water. Both are both unreasonable expectations both positive and negative. Also 4 year old reviews for a cruise you're going on next week arent that valuable because a lot likely has changed in the past 4 years. However in depth reviews or blogs have more value to me because then people tend to explain their expectations so you can decide for yourself if these expectations are excessive. I dont think a ship naming change needs to happen unless the ship has undergone something traumatic like the Triumph. If a ship is refreshed or has extensive renovations, I dont think that's enough to warrant a name change. Most reviews arent based on the deck plans, most reviews are based on the customer experience and customer expectations. And those are mostly in the hands of staff. Should a ship get a name change after a crew change? That can impact the customer experience far more than the addition of a waterslide or a bar. Not to mention, more people are likely to post negative reviews on any product rather than positive reviews. So people are more likely to be critical in reviews, and sometimes unnecessarily so.
  13. I have Pam Richter and she's been awesome to me, asking on my behalf to Royal about some weirdness on their cruise planner, and handling my multiple payments. She has made everything super simple for me and very confident that I'll have a wonderful trip for my hub's first cruise.
  14. I would say this is a great opportunity to break in to the adult activities. Really the only activity you cant do is drink alcohol. Mocktails solve that real quick. So for things to do for the not quite 21 crowd is.... 1. Shore excursions. You're definitely not left out of those! 2. Flowriders and pools. You may find others in your age range in these areas. Its not that organized of an activity but its activity 3. Trivia. Just think, the pop culture trivia things you'll absolutely crush! There will be many older groups who will want the pop culture guru on their team! 4. Athletic activities. Things like basketball, bumper cars, ice skating. Might not be your thing, might be right up your alley. 5. FOOD! No teen or kids club telling you when to get your grub on! You want a bagel at 10am? Its yours for the taking! I think you may mean scheduled activities for just those in your age range. I think that since the under 21 over 18 crowd is so small, it just may not be feasable to have a meetup or activities just for that particular group. It may feel a bit like a limbo state, but its really a great opportunity to start doing the adult activities, just they're not going to involve drinking alcohol. One of the beautiful things about common age groups is, they find each other. My first cruise I'll never forget. I was 15 and there was no teen club to speak of on the Princess cruise I was on. Within a day I managed to find the other teens and we took over the club one night. Wasnt organized by the ship, but it was organized by the resourceful teens. And I'll be frank, I'm a bit of a social butterfly type so for me its very easy to just go up to those in my age range and say hello. But if you're not the social butterfly type, it might be an opportunity to spread your wings a little bit and start just by saying hello while enjoying a mocktail. And that goes for any age range. Cruises are magical in that they really can give introverts a chance to try out extroverting a bit. If the social interaction leads nowhere, that's fine, nothing lost. Its not like you'll be faced with the less than successful interaction for years to come. But if it IS successful, you can make friends for life. Your conundrum isnt really exclusive to the 18-21 crowd either. All age ranges experience this. And your cruise director does get a list of ages on the cruise. So if they do see an influx of the 18-21 crowd, then they'll organize activities with that crowd in mind. Same if the cruise director sees more in the 65+ range. If they see more in the younger crowd, you may see more activities by the pool and the clubs. You'll see trivia with younger themes. But be prepared to enjoy less organized activities if there isnt an influx of your age range.
  15. To answer your question, yes you "can" bring on a garment bag as a carryon on the ship. However, consider the size of your garment bag for your own comfort sake. Many modern garment bags roll up or fold for ease of carrying on. If yours does not however, consider holding your arm up at shoulder height for an extended period of time. How comfortable you'd be? You dont want to be dragging the garment bag behind you. Consider your activities before the rooms open and bringing that garment bag along with you. Will you go to the windjammer? Where will you put the bag? Over your chair? Would you trust that someone wont step on the tail end of your bag? Would you trust that someone wont spill an entire plate of food on that bag? If you're travelling as a pair or solo, will you be OK taking up a 4 top table for one or two people and extra seats for your bag? If you're ok with the glares from other people who cant find a seat and you're sitting at a 4 top with a chair for your bag, you might get some awkward looks. Are you bringing any other carryons? Consider how you're going to manage navigation with multiple carryons including the hanging bag. Think elevators packed to the gills with people and all of their carryon luggage. I'd highly recommend if you intend to bring a garment bag as carryon luggage, that you use the foldable type. Its a very gentle fold so you shouldnt have rumpled clothes in it. There are even foldable types that look like standard wheeled carryon luggage. It might help you if you must have your garment bag as carryon
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