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About FionaMG

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    The Land of Custard Tarts

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  1. Yup. I log on to my cruise planner and then find myself thinking what's the point. 😕
  2. The build-up. Counting down the days and obsessively checking the Cruise Planner to try and snag a good deal on something. Checking a gazillion excursion websites for each port in an effort to find the best ones. Reading and re-reading the live blogs for our chosen ship in the run-up to cruise day. It's hard to get excited and enjoy the thrill of planning when you can't be sure your cruise is even going to happen.
  3. Yes, you're absolutely right. I had forgotten about that. But even without actual codes I think it might help people understand what they mean.
  4. It is confusing. They could make it clearer on the cruise planner by calling it access codes instead of devices.
  5. Oooh, that's bad. I received an email with "Cruise Planner Balance Due" in the subject line which detailed the items and the date they had to be paid by, and then when I logged on it flashed up immediately on the screen.
  6. Something to watch out for is if you used OBC to book cruise planner items. If you lose that OBC because of modifying the booking then the items purchased with it will become liable for payment. Royal will notify you if this happens and you get a few days to pay up before they cancel them.
  7. And depending on which ship you're on and/or current policy, they'll either leave a written note in your stateroom or a message on your stateroom phone every day to remind you that you need to settle up! Just ignore all of these seemingly dire warnings and pay on the last day like you plan to do. Our strategy is to go quite late on the last night, close to midnight-ish before we go to bed, because there is usually no longer a line by that time.
  8. You actually don't need to print any of that out. I usually print the "Cruise Summary" and "Travel Summary" pages (in my e-docs those were pages 2 and 3) just because I like to have them. And I kept the whole document saved on a tablet that I took with me. What you do need is your "Set Sail Pass" and you get that by checking in online. It sounds as though you may not have done that yet. If you haven't, then you should go ahead and do it. Since you're only 3 weeks out it should be available and there should be a link in your account. During the check-in process you should be asked what type of account you want to set up (cash or credit card). All you have to do is tick the box for cash account and that's it. Hope this helps and you have a great cruise.
  9. I'm glad to have helped. Have a great cruise! 😀
  10. Had to go and look it up! We were on Harmony, 25 September to 2 October 2016. Our port call in La Spezia was on 28 September and it was 12 hours too, from 8.30 am to 8.30 pm, so you definitely have time to do it. We did not realise there was such a nice beach at Monterosso (the last stop) as we did not make it that far on our previous visit. If we had, we would have worn swimming costumes under our clothes and taken a couple of towels with us. Something to think about if you think you might want to enjoy some beach time.
  11. We have been to La Spezia twice and both times we did the Cinque Terre on our own by train. It is very easy to do. We walked from the port to the train station. It took us about 20 minutes at an easy stroll. The route takes you slightly uphill through a pedestrianised shopping street. On the way back it's downhill, which is good because you're tired by then. There is a dedicated Cinque Terre ticket office in the station with very helpful staff who will not only sell you the tickets (there are concession rates for over 60-somethings I think) but also give you a map with a train timetable. You need to validate your tickets by sticking them in the machines on the platform. There are plenty of trains. Then it's just a case of getting on the first one and off again at the village you want to visit. The tickets cost us 15 or 16 euros each but this was about 3 or 4 years ago so they've probably gone up a bit now. Even so, it's waaay cheaper than the excursion. I would recommend getting on and off on the way out because then you can spend some extra time at the last one having some lunch at one of the beach bars and then do the straight run back to La Spezia when you're ready. The trains do get busy in the afternoon and this strategy means you are more likely to get a seat! The villages are really nice and it's definitely worth your while visiting. Our favourites were the first one (Riomaggiore) and the last one (Monterosso). There's a ton of information on the Cinque Terre website here: https://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en/the-five-towns Hope it helps. It's a fabulous port of call and I would love to do it again some day.
  12. We were happy with the Hampton Inn in Brickell. Very decent breakfast included in the rate, shopping and dining on the doorstep and a free monorail thingy at the end of the block that will take you to Bayside. When we stayed we used their shuttle service to the port at $8 per person but if there are any more than two of you you'd be cheaper with Uber/Lyft.
  13. Thanks, this is really helpful. We have sailed Oasis twice before (Caribbean in December) and Harmony once (Med in September). DH really likes this class of ship and is keen to return but I can see it's going to be a whole different ball game in early May out of NY. We have not sailed a Quantum class ship before but SIL did one of the very first European cruises on Ovation and says it is her absolute favourite class. Decisions, decisions... I suspect it's going to come down to ancillary costs, such as airfare and accommodation in the NY area. Like @DublinFC (apologies for hijacking your thread!) we are looking to have 2 or 3 days of sightseeing in the Big Apple beforehand.
  14. Thanks for posting this question @DublinFC and to all who have answered. We are considering this same cruise (Anthem 18 April 2021) so the information is priceless. Can I do a mini hijack and ask how much better the weather might be a couple of weeks later, since we are wavering between this one and Oasis on 9 May?
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