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FionaMG

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  1. The closest thing to a roll call forum is the People Connect forum here: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/forum/5-people-connect/ But it's not quite the same thing as the roll calls on the other site...
  2. Beat me by about 30 seconds. Guess I need to work on my typing speed.
  3. There is usually a desk set up in the Royal Promenade, which is where you board the ship, so you can go straight there and they will take care of the bookings for all 3 nights. Alternatively, you can go to any of the specialty restaurants and they will do it for you. It can all be done in one go, but the sooner you do it the better your chances of getting the days and times that you want. Some flexibility may be required so it can be helpful to have a plan B in case any of your first choices aren't available.
  4. One thing to bear in mind is that the buffet in the MDR is much smaller than in the WJ so the choices are more limited. It's also proportional in size to the ship, which can be a deal breaker. We found that on Harmony and Navigator it was sufficiently varied for our fairly limited needs, but on Serenade it was not, so we only went once on Serenade and used the WJ thereafter on that ship.
  5. Just to add to @DandA's answer, the opening times are quite limited. On sea days we are never up early enough for breakfast in the MDR and the knock-on effect of a later breakfast in the WJ means that MDR lunch has usually finished by the time we're ready for lunch.
  6. Honestly it is absolutely no hassle at all to do it the way the customer service rep says. You'll probably be asked at the port if you want to add a credit card and it will add a total of about 30 seconds to your check-in time.
  7. Also note that there are set hours for the buffet; it's not an all-day thing. On our cruise it was 11.30 to 1.30. I've seen those times on Compasses for other cruises too. We found there was a massive queue at 11.30 when it first opened but hardly anyone in line when we ready for lunch at 1pm.
  8. Royal are highly inconsistent as to what deals they offer and when, and it also depends on where you are booking from since the various special offers are not always the same across all markets. For example, in the UK a "free" beverage package is sometimes offered (although it's not really free; they usually increase the price of the cruise to compensate!). Sometimes there will be a kids sail free promotion in one market that is not being offered in another market. And in European markets refundable fares and repricing if the price of your cruise goes down after you book are not usually options. Prices fluctuate enormously; generally they are cheapest when the itineraries are first released and in the two months prior to the sailing date, when the cruise line is trying to sell off unsold cabins. If you're flexible you can get a good deal by waiting but at the risk of not getting anything at all if all the cruises sell out. Basically, it all boils down to the bottom line. When you see a price you're comfortable with, book it. Then it's up to you to decide whether to give in to temptation and keep checking the price afterwards. If you're in the US, you might catch a price drop. If you're in Europe, you'd likely have to cancel and forfeit your deposit to get that price drop, but in some cases it can be sufficiently significant for it to be worth your while doing so.
  9. So are the ABCs the closest distant ports that would validate a repo not covered by the SJ waiver?
  10. You're not obliged to avail yourself of any of the perks so if you want to hang on to your carry-on it won't be a problem. But perhaps you could consider packing the absolutely essential stuff likes meds and docs in a small, light backpack and give them your larger carry-on (assuming you have one). This will allow for greater comfort while exploring the ship prior to the cabins being ready.
  11. It's to do with the American law governing foreign-flagged ships not connecting two American ports unless it calls at a distant foreign port somewhere between the two. On such a short trip it's not's possible to call at a distant foreign port so it has to sail empty. Pinging @twangster who explained this to me a while back when I had precisely the same question. He can explain it better than I have done.
  12. Essentially the only information you get about the actual excursion is what's on the description in the cruise planner. If you post the specific excursion you've booked here on the board someone may reply who has already been on it and can give you some more detailed information. The tickets will be put in your stateroom by your stateroom attendant. Sometimes they will already be there when you board and sometimes they will appear later on. We have booked at least one ship-sponsored excursion on every one of our cruises and have never had to go chasing for tickets. The tickets state on them where and when you have to meet for your excursion. Sometimes it will be on board (often in the theatre) and other times it will be on the pier. In this latter case, give yourself an extra few minutes leeway to allow for any hold-ups getting off the ship. Hope this helps.
  13. I have to say I thought their announcement saying they were honouring it was quite cleverly worded. Congrats to those of you who snagged the deal. 😆
  14. Does it have to be the UDP? Is there a 3-night dining package you could go for instead? That would save you some money but still let you try some of the specialty restaurants.
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