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Everything posted by RTripp

  1. Hi all, we did the once in a lifetime cruise on HOTS in June. As a newbie i had a difficult time finding the sizes of the wow band and seapAss. Uploaded photo, wow band ALL the way. Women’s clothing has absolutely NO pockets, let alone wearing a swimsuit and cover 60% of the vacation, NOWHERE to put tge pass. In addition to not digging through your entire sun bag to find a seapass to get in your room, you just scan your wrist for drinks at bars(there is a scanner right where you order), and at towel stations, when getting on / off ship and ALL over CocoCay. Worth every penny of the $4.95 get it the first day as mentionedat Boleros. Also, if you need to get into a second room you booked, have tgat room get the same color since no names on them. Hope this helps the first timers.
  2. Hi JennyJenny, I read on this blog that this was done, & i am a treat baggie gift person, so this was up my alley. I made 20 little baggies(two rooms), clear celephane bags with name tags to fill in( don’t roll your eyes ....). Since It was our first and only cruise, i really wanted to say a special thanks to the nice people working away from their family. One of the gentlemam mentioned that they are away from their familys’for over six months! The baggies included individual candy sized packs of m&m’s, mentos, tic tacs, & the tiny bottled water flavoring packs. I was going for microwave popcorn packs too, but since this was our first cruise, i overpacked and simply had no more room. We had one attendant the entire cruise on HOTS, and usually two servers for dinners, and then any Bartenders, and i had extra that i ended up giving out to the Flowrider guide. Oh, perfect to mention this here...we traveled with Young Adults whom actually ASKED me for a favor bag. One of our servers at Jamies Italian Eunice, recognized them the next night out and went out of his way, on his night off to get something from another restaurant(she had food restrictions) made suggestions for her & then went & got her whatever it was. So nice that they could see the value in a tiny favor bag. Oh one more, if you have any extra cans of soda, instead of leaving them in your Stateroom fridge at tge end of the cruise, had one to the Port people towing the luggage carts, that went over really well. Happy cruising!
  3. HI HinoDrinker, we did our once in a lifetime cruise on HOTS. I am a non drinker & Hubby cocktails it. Each one of our drink packages was covered on ship anywhere and on CocoCay. (wrist band was super useful and convenient). Pre Cruise, I kept watch on the daily planner for dinner package that suited us( $$), none did so we saved the $ to decide when we got on the ship. I really only wanted to make sure I tried atleast one Specialty Restaurant. I did not know that AAA as my agent, there was an INCLUDED paid for Specialty lunch AND then, with my type of room I also had an INCLUDED Specialty dinner or lunch I had to use within in 2 days. So it turned out perfect for us to NOT have to pay RC another dime. I should mention that I was ill from when we book to when we sailed & just started back to eating food so even though I am a foodie, my eyes were bigger than my tummy. We really had NOTHING bad to say about the food in MDR, I read mixed reviews and was waiting for sub par or ucky looking salad bars every day. We were so surprised on the GREAT variety salads & the interesting menu items. Yes the menu was small, but very nice choices and just ask for two is your that hungry and want to try something else, so you have a secondary entree if not what you like. Only one inc"included" meal not so good, so we skipped that place the rest of the cruise. Also, FYI my friend had the same type of room, even though she had THREE people in the room, the "free "Specialty meal is ONLY for TWO people++ so the cost was $50 to pay for her third person. NO issue, just wanted to mention so no surprises since everything for first timers is. Oh, any "special" or very unique drink that was "above" an average cost, was billed to your seapass, stated on the menu with "$". For instance a special. made by table side Martini concoction at Jamies, was an extra $4 bucks. Hubby had maybe THREE cool type of drinks we had to pay above and beyond, that total was only $15 total the whole cruise.
  4. HI tdcackler, we had an excellent adult day in Costa Maya at the ocean bar called Tropicante. We emailed ahead of time and reserved the type of chairs & arranged shuttle to($8 each way) and fro. Chaise loungers under a tarp like structure or sit down table for four... or both, front ocean view or back a row under palm trees. Keep in mind, that the whole island has a brown seaweed, this area did a really good job of raking and keeping the smell away. There was a net set up in the water about 100 yards out that kept most the icky seaweed out from the "swimming " area(about maybe 4 feet deep). The restaurant ?bar had EXCELLENT service (Ivan Mr Clean pic below with pail of beer), brought a table to you for your food and placed it in the water or wherever you wanted, dug in an umbrella for you. Continuously brought iced pail's of bottled water or beer & freeze drinks. Tropicante staff arranged for guides if we wanted to snorkel, or do a banana boat. There was an okay for Mexico bathroom, toilet flushed and had running water soap and towels. We ate and none of us got sick!!!. The port was super huge and cool and I felt secure, lots of shops, clean bathroom and food area, live flamingos and parrots. The port was gated and even coming back into the port, security stopped our taxi and required a seapass to enter.
  5. HI, just did the bucket list one cruise in a lifetime HOTS. Our attendant was awesome & made towel animals almost every day AND ####+++** there was an EVENT TO LEARN TO MAKE TOWEL ANIMALS, of course I missed it. It was 10am on I think day 4 for us. FYI the green long luggage tags are what you put on your luggage the last night, place your luggage in the hallway by 9pm. Take a picture of ALL your luggage so JUST IN CASE your missing one or forgot your number, viola. Then the next morning when you dissembark, and get to the terminal, you go to your number & pick up your luggage. At that point, there are extra handlers scooting around with rolly carts to assist those like me that had allot to carry. He guides you to the shortest lines all the way to your car or to your shuttle destination. Tip if you are so inclined, or I had cold drink for him.
  6. HOTS Rising Tide, the Expresso Martini ( no pic that I want to upload, only pic I have is with our faces glued to the glass!), picture of Miami Vice which is part Strawberry Daiquiri and part Pina Colada and rum floater... PS BRING YOUR OWN STRAWS ++++ the provided paper straws melt before your one third done with your beverage, and bring several since you sometimes leave or forget to bring your straw to the next place when you leave your drink for bar crawls.
  7. Hi Tweetybird, we just came back from HOTS out of Port Canaveral. I found & would highly recommend Radison Resort at the port on Astronaut Dr. They have several differsnt packages, a park and shuttle package( you car is parked and left behind the hotel( not gated, but seemed secure enough), a room and breakfast package, or just room and you arrange your own 10 min shuttle to the port. The room is nothing spectacular needed updating, open air long hallways , but clean & comfortable beds. There were 27 of us, ALL would stay again due to price and convenience. There is a restaurant on site, and ones within walking, absolutely excellent pool area, seperate kiddie pool, a fantastic waterfall and huge lava rock walls that keep the pool noise in and away from the rooms, a bar inside and out. The shuttle to the pirt was great i think $10 per person, as much luggage as you want, you choose your time to be in the air conditioned lobby and wait till your name was called, or jump in early if there is a no show. We missed our time, but no issues, people jumped on inour place and 5 min wait and we were on the next shuttle over. Coming back there was a longer wait than i would have liked, but nothing we could do about it.
  8. Hi CrainiumDrain, i got a set for my 17 year old Niece. They were packaged, i did not open. from what i what i recall, it was a regular adult size, the “slipper” i think had velcro tops to adjust the fit. Pretty thick, so remember to save room in your luggage for the way back home.
  9. Hi Orlando Dad, we had our phones with us on CocoCay & all went on the slides together, used the pictured below item called Lockdown which is a combination locking bag i bought from Kohls, it was under $20 & is supposed to be slash proof. Locked it to huge unbrellas attached to picknick table we had as home base.. locked it to arm of chair in cabana as well. Also locked to beach chairs as i swam and was in view, for my passports( put them in a baggie since not waterproof) in Mexico. This size fit three phones and passports.
  10. Hello all, here is our rundown CocoCay June 17 HOTS. We were the only ship, i kept checking cruiseMapper.com since Cuba issue took place. One ship and Thrill Water Park sold out about 1 or 2 weeks before our sail day. The weekend grand re-opening (i think May) the price was $38 and we bought it.. then two days later shot up to $129 per person and sold out. My friend missed buying for herself and kids, tried once on the ship, no go..all sold out.
  11. Hi TFinNC, another suggestion is in the Royal Gifts section, a gift certificate! I bought this for my friend, two things : 1-there is a limit on when you need to spend by. If the gift certificate $ is not used by 10 days before the cruise, you turn it into onboard credit. You do not get $ refunded back to you. 2- there was just a crummy email when i bought it, THIS BLOG has a SUPER great template for cruise “tickets”. I added the adobe editing ( its free for 7 days) and added a personal note on the “ ticket” cut it down to size and placed it into a card. She was thrilled to be able to buy a spa day, or a bottle of alcohol or an excursion fir the cruise at her discretion. Fyi, you get a special code emailed to you that took four days to get, (just in case your in a hurry to get the code) & apply towards an upcoming cruise.
  12. HI all, we did HOTS last week. 8 days and VOOM was DOWN two days and unreliable the rest of the time. We could not connect with each other and spent allot of time trying to catch where eachother was or going, I forgot I had a dry erase board in the room. There are phones near the elevators, so you can call back to the Staterooms. I would recommend to PRINT OUT your daily planner and toss as you go through your day, or take a picture of you plans each day to share with friends since NO internet. Then Young Adults attend the things you paid for and everyone in your group is aware of where you will be at one point in the day. When VOOM was down, EVERYTHING was down, HOTS could not determine dining scheduled for anyone it was a cluster of grapes... I had my print outs and had to PROVE I booked dinner times and excursions I paid for (Rubicon). I requested and received two days of VOOM back.
  13. Hi Hoski, yep for the Chill Island Cabanas a total of eight wrist bands. those standing with you at check in get it and then i mentioned names and or room numbers of those coming. **IMPORTANT** make your band loose, so you can trade out with friends & get more. I was told, a total of eight allowed in... as the day went on, noone was checking fir wrist bands.. PS area did not seem that secure later on since no one checking bands...++NEWEST MAP OF COCOCAY & the now twenty cabanas, my location was #10 on the end next to the rocks.
  14. Hi Bob_ky, Advice is to KEEP your Chill Island Cabana... ALL had a very good view, they were staggered enough, not blocking each other. #1 to #10 were the “front”, #11 to #20 were in “ back”. I would buy it again if i ever wanted to cruise again. My frustration is the promised ameneties that were not included. I purchased mine was back in Oct 2018, had to wait for Coco to be finished and then, the month before my cruise i was reading NOTHING about what was supposed to be included. i emailed RC, required they provide me pictures as proof. After two weeks they said items not included “ sorry”, at that time Chill cabanas are up to $1200. So RC would make tons $ off me cancelling. I did get back $100 to buy a combination locking bag and a speaker since now not included. The location is GREAT, view is magnificent, food and bathrooms & bar were just too far for me. I just learned to walk in March & deep sand (3-4 inches) was just too much/ far for me. As well my tummy issues & i could not walk fast to make it in time. I started crying trying to explain to Excursion CS that the location they assigned was just too far due to my handicapp issues & they refused to change location for me( handicap was noted on my reservation since i was expecting to be in a wheelchair on Coco). The Chill Island cabanas were nice and quiet, #10included roof to keep rain out(which it rained fir us),ceiling fan, electrical outlet, round cooler where lid lifts that had 8 Evian iced waters, 6 towels, 3 person couch, two comfy chairs, toy chest sit down on lid, 2 floattie matts, 2 snorkle gear upon request. I can upload pics if anyone wants them.. included in another post on this blog.
  15. HI all, was on CocoCay HOTS June 17th. Here is the newest photo, the hammocks were by #30 South Beach in the big flash spot upper part, .but might be moved now??? so could not rotate for ya(Im a dork on computers).
  16. Hi no, sorry. Wish I did, we just did not have enough time and I concentrated on the Chill Island Cabana since I could get NOTHING from RC on pictures, sizes anything about the Chill Island Cabana I paid a HUGE amount for, only to discover that RC miss-represented what was supposed to be included. Within the week when I got back(June 17th on CocoCay), I read that the Clamshell loungers were moved since they are where #29 on the map SouthBeach is. What I've read (...did NOT happen to me) is that RC MIGHT try to lower the price, to get you to go for it & then NOT let you re-purchase.. so careful. If your price lowers, get CS to re-purchase for you so you dont loose the one you got?
  17. HI all, just back from CocoCay HOTS June 2019. uploading NEWEST MAP. Specifically showing that Chill Island Cabanas increased from 10 to TWENTY. Going rate 2 weeks before out cruise was $1200 YES twelve HUNDRED Dollars. Ask any questions if you want, I loaded lots more pics on other threads specifically about the Chill Cabanas and what's included. Happy cruising, first and last time for me .. dissapointed with how RC handled many excursions for me. I worked hard to not need a wheelchair and walk the beach.
  18. Hello all, just got back from CocoCay June 2019 HOTS. Not much info on the Chill Island Cabana so here ya go: the NEWEST MAP and of course RC added TEN more Chill Island Cabanas (the going rate 2 weeks before cruise was $1200 yes twelve HUNDRED dollars) Need I say more on why the cabanas are smaller and squished together.. All had a good view, NONE blocked each others view, staggered nicely. Included three person couch, two comfy chairs, toy box lid/seat, round cooler filled with 8 Evian iced waters & lid lifts up, in sun were 2 full chaise loungers, 2 long floattie mats, good roof that kept out the rain, ceiling fan, switch for far, and **OUTLET** NO special menu you eat what everyone else on island eats, total of EIGHT people allow and they get wrist bands so make them loose so you can switch people out. Food on island was very plentiful, good choices and hot. Cabana person came around about once an hour and brought drinks only. Had to talk her into bringing a burger, she surprise us with desert. This was Chill Island Cabana #10, farthest away from bathrooms, bar and food- right next to rocks. NO bird issues since no food brought to us and we did not feed them or let them dive bomb us for food.
  19. Hi jakesosa, one of many of the things we were disappointed in. Promised (via comments/ highlights) when i bought the item...read thru this blog items were not provided or given... emailed RC proof via a photo they took 3 weeks to say..um no, we are wrong & misrepresented, that stuff is not included. I fought and got $ back since i had to go buy the items. ++ ok finally unpacked and can add the pics. (RC could not provide them for me via email and took 2 weeks to tell me they could not??). Three person undercover sofa, Two comfy chairs, round cooler that lid lifts filled with 8 Evian iced waters, large wooden toy box flip lid/seat, 6 towels, good ceiling to keep out rain, ceiling fan, switch for fan, an OUTLET!!! to plug in your speaker that YOU must bring and was not provided, ++the prized NEWEST COCOCAY Chill Island Cabanas numbered MAP***!! We were in #10, farthest from bathroom, from bar, from food(NO special menu, NO special food) you eat what everyone else on the Island eats. Good choices and hot food. #10 was right next to rocks. NO issues with birds, probably because our Cabana person would not get us food. Only brought drinks about once an hour, talked her into getting us food when we saw other cabanas persons bringing. The Chill Island Cabanas are staggered so really EVERYONE had a GREAT view, just 1 to 10 were forward, the 11 to 20 were farther back, but NOT blocked view of ship . Happy cruising everyone, cabanas worth it, it rained and we stayed dry.
  20. Oh my gosh, the video was goofy, but informative. Too many strange things... i found out that cruising is just not my thing.
  21. Hi Hoski, the Chill Island Cabanas allow a total of eight guests. One person buys it...stays on Daily Planner for that one person only. The daily planner seems to allow you to pick the rest of the group, but never makes it to that process on the daily planner. On Chill Island, when we signed in we were only given bands to those standing there with us. We mentioned names and rooms of the remaining expected guests.
  22. Hello all, we just got back from our first cruise HOTS Western Carribean. Since it was our first, we wanted to share things we brought/ bought needed or did not need to help out others. 1- RC luggage tags are a completely a different size and type than flying oron other ships, you only find out 2 weeks before your cruise when your able to print your documents. Check out the picture below before buying the cutesy luggage tags! 2- some rooms Oasis class called “interior” / consider it streerage .. do NOT have doors, have a type of sliding doors, so the door hanger cubby holes will not hang up in the rooms. 3- this blog site is awesome, read read read, and on far right you can put hearts and smilely faces on blogs you like. 4- the Cruise Compass is your friend! Take a picture of every page every day if you do not want to carry it around. On HOTS, extras are under the stairs by the excursion desk. Specifically need the times that restaurants are open & what deck they are on. 5- if your completely lost on the ship, the elevator area will give names of the locations & cooresponding decks.A wall ouside of each elevator deck is that deck’s floor plan a “ you are here spot” and where the bathroom is on that deck. 6-Almost all of the restaurants do NOT have bathrooms, go before you go in. 6- bring a disposable raincoat. For HOTS there were umbrella stands and RC umbrellas, but you want your own if your going to a nice diner since several Specialty Restaurants are in the Atrium/ open air area. 7- Bring one long sleeved sweater/ light jacket. Last week it rained most of our cruise, it was cold inside the dining areas & we were wet from running in heals to get to the location. 8- and bring capri or one long pant for mid June Caribbean cruise. 9- we did not need as much bug spray as we brought, look for the small half can of bug stuff..it’s all about small stuff to pack as light a weight as possible. 10- FYI the reef safe sunblock is almost like the consistancy of white paint looking, is confiscated at airport AND required in some countrys like Roatan . Do not buy it on the ship till your sure you port is not cancelled. We were about to pull into port, but Captain cancelled due to waves & high winds (yes 2nd largest ship The Harmony!), my friend had replaced her airport confiscated reef safe sunblock, but did not get to use it $40 bucks gone. 12- Hydrate..its free drink non alcoholic drinks too . Or buy to try powdered electrolight called liquid IV, as supplements to stay hydrated. 13- If your traveling with different groups, discuss before hand with each other that your on “couple time”, “only Family time”, “Friend time” , or “Me time” for each event/dinner or bar time. So your not torn trying to divide up your time and the pictures you want of couple or groups for that day. Or friends do not feel ditched for the day. 14- Expect VOOM not to work, tell important persons where you will be in 5 hours so they can plan if your out of communication ( our VOOM was down 2 out of 8 days & spotty the rest of the time RC actually gave us our$ back since it was so unreliable) . 15- Dry erase board for room, if 2 people and only one phone. Hubby slept in, so i went to breakfast ( he does not eat breakfast) and water aerobics or towel animal making (yes its vacation do something different). Note where you are going the place & deck and time & meeting pkace/time if you loose eachother. So not wasting time looking for each other or upset. 16- There are phones around the ship, you can call back to rooms, if needed. 17- Bring dramamine,/ or wrist seaBands. HOTS slightly rocked with the swells the entire first four days ;day and night , sleeping, during dinner, top deck, bottom deck everywhere. I have Vertigo, so it have affected me more, but others were mentioning it too. Gosh this went longer than expected.Hope this helps! Happy cruising
  23. Hi Tira04, we just got back from our first (and last)HOTS Western Caribbean. Hope this helps. Roatan port, we book an RC BOSS underwater adventure that should have been 3 hours. Port was 8am to 6pm and a two hour time difference throw into the mix. RC knew for days or even WEEKS ahead of time that the excursion start time changed, which eliminated our second Third Party ordered excursion. RC did not notify any of us, 4 rooms 9 guest pre cruise/ during cruise. The daily planner was up and down all cruise so we could not see a difference & we all thought the Country’s 2 hr time change was being accounted for if someone did see a difference. I got my money back for VOOM on some days since it was so unreliable. Only way we knew of a start time difference was a piece of paper staple on back of “ ticket” that was not a ticket but a receipt that said we had to go to a location for a real ticket. On the real ticket it showed a start time difference. Advice is, take into account any time changes the Port or Country may have, that RC might NOT tell you of a change in start time, and if booking a third party try not to pay ahead of time so if the Port is cancelled( ours ended up as such) your not out your third party money. RC partly reimbursed my credit card for the cancelled port/ excursion, i had to wait in line at Guest Services to “prove” to them i paid for 4 and should get my $ back on 4 though.
  24. Hi ericgoodwin, i just got back from HOTS Western Carribean. I cannot drink alcohol, there were 27 in our group. For myself and an 18 year old I bought the highest NO alcohol, called refreshment package right away and then watched for deals to get the cost lowered. I tried a non alcohol Miami Vice, which i guess was a lemonade slushie on the bottom and a layer of fruity slushie on top. Since our goal was to try every bar, each bartender made the drinks differently so i just started asking them to suprise me since they were all free. The bionic bar i tried cranberry shaken with soda and a lime. FYI i guess the bionic bar only uses half shots? I did a few mocktails of strawberry daiquiri, but was realizing i was intaking way too much sugar. Then, switched to mostly seltzer or soda water and a lime, when i first ordered the non alcohol drink the bartender asked for my seapass/ wristband, and never asked for it again. At the Solarium bar there was a really goid Fuzzy Navel non alcohol drink, but when the bartender changed, so did the taste. Oh, i did buy Starbucks gift cards for nice coffee drinks, just in case my TYA’s (two young adults), wanted since i did not link a credit card to their seapass account. Hope this helps! ** oh also, the Vitality Spa had carrot/ orange juice drinks and smoothies . ONE drink per seapass, so bring extra seapass’ to suck down a drink there , and then one drink to find your way back since its location is hard to find( was for me anyways.. guess i wasn’t drink’n enough non-alcoholic stuff!)
  25. Hi kittysoul, we just got back from first cruise HOTS. Hubby does not eat breakfast and i love it. I went up the WJ or Solarium, asked a passing serving if i can have their tray and loaded up a plate and fresh juice or a boxed milk. I placed an upside down plate on top of my filled plate walked back to my room. The elevatir always had people on it, so someone always pushed the botton for me. I had the wow band on my wrist, so no digging for a seapass..Viola..Worked great everyday, and left the tray and empty plate outside my room when done. Meow! ( happy cruising)
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