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Mike_

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  1. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from Matt in Group Cruise - Freedom of the Seas   
    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. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from RickinSTL in Group Cruise - Freedom of the Seas   
    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_


  3. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from melski94 in Group Cruise - Freedom of the Seas   
    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_


  4. Wow
    Mike_ got a reaction from WAAAYTOOO in Group Cruise - Freedom of the Seas   
    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_


  5. Love
    Mike_ got a reaction from SpeedNoodles in Group Cruise - Freedom of the Seas   
    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_


  6. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from Geema in Mattress Experiences   
    I concur on the quality of rccl bedding on Jewel. They were as good as any Marriott I've been in, and slept like a baby. (Slept for two hours, woke up crying with wet pants ;) jk)
  7. Like
    Mike_ reacted to Floski in Self-Tipping   
    This is interesting.  Just what types of "goodies" do you put in this bag?
  8. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from lildawgscottFL in Self-Tipping   
    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 assigned, and only 10 are filled, then he's losing money. They work awlful hours too; my stewards always look like they never sleep a straight 8 hours. And my assistant waiter for dinner, was handing out juice at breakfast!
     
    P.S. I heard they pool their tips anyway, so even if you hand a direct cash tip, it goes into the pool. If they don't hand money to the pool they can be terminated for hiding money. That was on a Podcast interview... so not sure if that's the same on all cruise lines, but if it is, you're not gaining anything by removing the tips if you are just going to hand out the same exact money anyway. e.g. $12.95 x 2 x 7 days or however long your cruise is. I think... :)
  9. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from WHStoneman in Self-Tipping   
    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 assigned, and only 10 are filled, then he's losing money. They work awlful hours too; my stewards always look like they never sleep a straight 8 hours. And my assistant waiter for dinner, was handing out juice at breakfast!
     
    P.S. I heard they pool their tips anyway, so even if you hand a direct cash tip, it goes into the pool. If they don't hand money to the pool they can be terminated for hiding money. That was on a Podcast interview... so not sure if that's the same on all cruise lines, but if it is, you're not gaining anything by removing the tips if you are just going to hand out the same exact money anyway. e.g. $12.95 x 2 x 7 days or however long your cruise is. I think... :)
  10. Like
    Mike_ reacted to WHStoneman in Self-Tipping   
    Prepaid gratuities are the only way to go.  If  it comes down to "nickel and dime"ing  every one of the service personnel, maybe you really can't afford to travel on a cruise.   Pay the prepaid..and you will have one less thing to be concerned with.  It's taken care of and everyone will be happy.  
  11. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from Matt in Wash your hands.....   
    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 ensure a healthier populace, same goes for washing hands.
     
    But the song gets stuck in my head!!!!!!!
  12. Like
    Mike_ reacted to DocLC in Wash your hands.....   
    How is 10 more than 15? I'm trying to figure out how you've determined RCI has had the most outbreaks.
     
    Given how much more strict HAL is, I'm surprised that they have the same number of outbreaks as Royal. For example, HAL doesn't allow guests to serve themselves in the buffets for the first 48 hours of a sailing until they're sure Noro hasn't been brought into the ship by boarding guests.
  13. Like
    Mike_ reacted to DocLC in Wash your hands.....   
    Note that the gloves are to protect me from cross contamination from the shared serving utensils after having washed and sanitizing my hands.
  14. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from Bryce G. in Wash your hands.....   
    Oh my god, this song is sooooo stuck in my head still!
     

  15. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from whitsmom in Wash your hands.....   
    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 ensure a healthier populace, same goes for washing hands.
     
    But the song gets stuck in my head!!!!!!!
  16. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from Charlie92 in Wash your hands.....   
    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 ensure a healthier populace, same goes for washing hands.
     
    But the song gets stuck in my head!!!!!!!
  17. Like
    Mike_ reacted to J_Keeble in PLEASE post if you plan to PERISCOPE your cruise!!   
    I will be periscoping on Harmony of the Seas May 22nd Maiden voyage, a little nervous about doing it but I will show you everything !
  18. Like
    Mike_ reacted to Matt in Wash your hands.....   
    This stems from guests not washing their hands, either out of ignorance or laziness.  Outbreaks of norovirus are directly tied to guests not taking precautions to prevent the spread of such easily communicable viruses.
     
    This isn't about someone telling you how to vacation, as much as it is mitigating the spread of these nasty bugs.  It's a small price to pay to ensure a healthy cruise.
  19. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from J_Keeble in Wash your hands.....   
    Oh my god, this song is sooooo stuck in my head still!
     

  20. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from AGSLC5 in Wash your hands.....   
    Oh my god, this song is sooooo stuck in my head still!
     

  21. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from Matt in Wash your hands.....   
    Oh my god, this song is sooooo stuck in my head still!
     

  22. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from DocLC in Wash your hands.....   
    Oh my god, this song is sooooo stuck in my head still!
     

  23. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from RCVoyager in Anthem of the Seas, pulling into NY Harbor   
    ..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. :)
  24. Like
    Mike_ got a reaction from WAAAYTOOO in Anthem of the Seas, pulling into NY Harbor   
    ..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. :)
  25. Like
    Mike_ reacted to Matt in Anthem of the Seas, pulling into NY Harbor   
    While you may not favor a winter cruise from NYC, your first sentence nailed it.  The market for cruising is there in the winter and having done a Quantum of the Seas sailing out of NYC in March (where it snowed the day before the cruise), I can tell you it's not a bad experience.
     
    Yes, it will be too cold to hang out on deck but Quantum class ships have two indoor pools (Solarium for adults, regular indoor pool for all ages) and plenty going on indoors. In addition, by the end of day 2 it starts warming up usually.
     
    I guess the way I look at is everyone cruises differently and the value of not having to fly is a big deal for me.
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