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Mike_

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Mike_ last won the day on February 10 2016

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About Mike_

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    Philadelphia, PA
  1. Thar she blows! My wife and I have been wanting and waiting to go on Freedom for many years, but the heavens never quite aligned for us. Last week we were in San Juan leaving on an NCL cruise and as I took our traditional "first drink" photo, what photobombs me? Freedom! I have been chasing that elusive whale for many a voyage, and finally I have come in contact with her. I checked your "Events" page and saw that you had an upcoming cruise aboard her, so threw my harpoon and I am booking. See you soon! Mike_
  2. I noticed that the reviews were missing this week, which I assumed they removed to kill any "negative" reviews that were present. Hey, I'm a negative thinker. Instead I used cruisecritic and tripadvisor to zero in on good vs bad. Mike
  3. I leave the auto gratuities in place, because I think Royal has a better idea of how tips are distributed and who they should go to then I do. There is some percentage of how it's distributed that I saw on their tv channel. It's split with your steward and dining staff I think... and one other. I also tip my steward in cash, and my wait staff additionally on the last day/night of the cruise, not of these people provide extremely personal service to me, and it feels right to me. My first steward also told me he only gets paid for the rooms that are full... so if he has 12 rooms assign
  4. I don't have any problem washing my hands or using sanitizer. I wash my hand in the bathroom, I use the hand towel to open doors, I sanitize into a dining area, leaving a dining area, and sometimes when moving into a new location. It does not feel like an inconvenience to me at all, it's about keeping the ship and it's passengers as healthy as possible. If you think about it, in the buffet everyone is handling the same serving utensils. Wait staff are picking up glasses, cleaning dishes, bringing you drinks. It's general health and welfare. We all get shots and inoculations to ensur
  5. Oh my god, this song is sooooo stuck in my head still!
  6. ..and, any day on a cruise is a day not at work. ;) I'd take a cruise just about anywhere, from anywhere, anytime. I like them that much. :)
  7. I am not so sure of tipping either... at least my views are changing. On day one when we meet the attendant I introduce myself, ask for the extras I will need, such as extra pillows, ice in ice bucket, extra towels, etc. Then, when the cruise completes, I tip at the end. If he was great, and the room was exceptionally clean I will tip. I don't want to tip early because I don't want the attendant to think that's all they get, or that since they were tipped they can forget about me either. I have never had bad service, but I have had "great" service, and there is a difference. I c
  8. On NCL they gave seasick meds out for free at Guest Services. I called down, they asked some questions, and went and retrieved it. I also heard you can ask your cabin steward and they will leave it in the room. They ask questions about allergies, pregnancy, etc. On RCCL, I do not know if they give it out for free, but I can't imagine why they would be different. I do not use them, so I can't speak to their effectiveness.
  9. Elle, I have found personally that I do not beat the cruise ships on drink packages. The package for two can cost me $800 for two people, and I usually end up spending under $500 on a 7-8 day cruise, and that's with $1 tip for each drink. If the cruise is port intensive, more than 3 in a 7-8 day cruise, I loose. I end up on an excursion, walking around town, drinking some in town, etc. If your not on the ship you are not drinking for free; except in Labadee where your drink package is extended to the island. I prefer better beers or foreign types, and they are cheaper than domes
  10. Looks like fun! Free drinks? Did someone say free drinks? I think I heard free drinks. Who said free drinks?
  11. Well, I finally booked all the entertainment venues. I have not booked any excursions, but I am interested in doing something in Jamaica or Cozumel; not sure what yet. We decided to fly into Ft. Lauderdale two days early too, since it's a Sunday departure. So I plan on enjoying a few relaxing days before the party starts! Good luck to all, I am excited for vacation, and meeting everyone. Toot, toot! Mike_
  12. Okay, we're under 50 days until this group cruise and I am starting to get excited! The holidays are over, and I have not been on a ship in three months, and my palms are getting sweaty... Who is in on this cruise? What plans are you making? What excursions are interesting? Has anyone prebooked anything on the cruise yet, such as water theater show? I've never been to Jamaica or Haiti, so they are new ports to me. I was so excited, I booked another cruise in September. Ugh, this podcast/blog is supposed to be helping quench my addiction... I don't think it's helping.
  13. Matt, My initial feeling is that the smaller ships it feels like the center of the ships are where everything happens, and the elevators are located there. However, on these big ones the elevators are severely forward or aft, which always makes for a long walk. And, they appear less intimate. Just a feeling. Thanks, Mike_
  14. I feel like the Freedom of the Seas continually comes up in Podcast and comments as being a special ship... am I crazy or is it regarded as such? I am looking for future bookings and was thinking of giving this ship a try. Thanks, Mike_
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