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eaglesfaninfl

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Everything posted by eaglesfaninfl

  1. Thanks to all of you for your help and suggestions!
  2. We will be sailing on Serenade in February out of Ft. Lauderdale and driving down that morning to embark. Where is the closest/most economical place to park for a 10 day cruise? My wife has mobility problems and will most likely need a wheelchair once we get into the terminal. Thanks in advance for any assistance!
  3. We took a tour that included the Mayan ruins at San Gervasio a few years ago. It also included a tour of the island with a beach stop and others. It probably took about 3-3 1/2 hours but the tour guide, a native Mayan, was excellent. The ruins are most likely not as spectacular as Chitzen Itsa, but it is a lot closer (and shorter), quite enjoyable, entertaining and informative
  4. OBC can be used for gratuities unless the gratuities are prepaid when the final payment is made.
  5. Horseshoe Bay is much better than Snorkle Park. You can get a jitney bus for $7 just off the ship that will take you directly to the entrance of Horseshoe Beach, where you can rent umbrellas, lounges, etc. and purchase refreshments. Snorkle Park is closer but a 10-15 min. ride gets you to one of the most beautiful beaches in the WORLD!! I took our teenaged granddaughters there this past summer and they loved it. The water is pristine, the sand is inviting and there are caves to explore. Can't address the snorkeling, but I saw snorkelers in the water. You will not be disappointed at Horseshoe Beach.
  6. Brilliance for Thanksgiving this year...did Brilliance over Christmas three years ago (our first cruise) and loved every minute of it!
  7. Both of our granddaughters requested and quickly received extra pillows this past August on Grandeur. Just ask the cabin attendant
  8. Generally deposits are less than booking direct or thru a TA and OBC is offered.
  9. We had port fees adjusted downward on our final bill during our recent trip to Bermuda.
  10. Just checked our reservation for February and the drink package prices have not changed from what they were charging last week, including the 20% discount.
  11. November 24, 2016 (Thanksgiving) Brilliance ...then, February 24, 2017 Serenade (for our 50th wedding anniversary)
  12. Just got off Grandeur two weeks ago and soft drinks ARE included in both of the alcohol packages.
  13. I just checked our Feb. 2017 cruise on Serenade and the premium package was still available for 20% off (US $44/day + 18% grats). Maybe it is just a UK increase?
  14. We have never been on Independence but have sailed on Freedom once, and on Brilliance twice (with two more booked this Thanksgiving and the next). Everything everyone else has said is true about both ships, it really comes down to your personal preference. It seemed when we sailed Freedom, it was a long walk to get everywhere, an annoyance if your spouse has difficulty walking as mine does. The size of the Brilliance seems "just right" for us and there is more than enough to keep you entertained, especially on a short four day cruise. Also, Tampa is a joy to cruise from and sailing under the Sunshine Skyway on your sailaway is a fitting beginning to any trip. As somebody else already said, you won't be wrong with either choice! Happy cruising!
  15. My wife and I cruised to Bermuda with our two oldest granddaughters (almost 17 and 14) on the Grandeur last week. We normally cruise out of Florida in the winter but planned this cruise for when the girls would be on summer vacation. The Baltimore cruise terminal is incredibly easy to get to, and out of, as the exit (#55) is immediately south of the Baltimore Tunnel on I-95 and the parking entrance is literally just a few feet from the exit. We parked the car and were through embarkation and in the Windjammer within 45 minutes. Rooms were ready exactly at 1PM and the bags were there when were allowed into our rooms. Even though the two reservations had to have one adult and one child in each stateroom (since the girls are under 18), the attendant had one room made up with a king size bed and the other with separate twin beds. The rooms were connecting and adequate for two; some rooms on our deck had fold down beds so a family of four could share one cabin but I looked in one while it was being made up one morning and it was very crowded and looked uncomfortable (tight and one small bathroom for four people. The beds and mattresses were quite comfortable. The cabin started out a little stuffy (there was an “excessive heat warning†in Baltimore that day), but with the A/C cranked to the max, all was fine by dinner. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer, the food was good buffet but the venue may be a little small for the capacity. One morning the Captain made an announcement around 8 AM over the loudspeaker explaining why we had stopped to recon a floating barge adrift and notify the USCG. This woke everybody up at pretty much the same time so everybody went to breakfast at once and a mob scene ensued. At a few other times it seemed crowded also but not to that extent. We have previously sailed on Grandeur’s sister ship, Vision, and don’t recall experiencing that feeling. The waitstaff was attentive, checking on refills and clearing as well as helping people find available tables. Our dinners were MyTime scheduled in the MDR and were a highlight of the trip. The waitstaff couldn’t do enough for us and our granddaughters. The food was very good and extra entrees/appetizers/drinks/desserts were there promptly, often without our asking! In fact, throughout the ship, the entire crew was the most pleasant and accommodating of all the RCL ships on which we have sailed. We only attended one show, a Broadway song and dance review, and it was very entertaining. We have never before cruised with children/teens before but we were quite pleased with the Teen Club activities and so were the girls, who enjoyed them every night. They also really enjoyed the pool and the rock climbing wall. The entertainment in the R-Bar, The Real Time Band (cover dance band) and the Harmony Duo (piano and violin) were excellent. If there were negatives (and there always are!), one we knew going in, it is that two half days is not enough time to spend in Bermuda. My wife and I have vacationed there six or seven times over the years, so there is little we haven’t seen but for those without that experience, it is unfortunately a short overnight stay. RCL used to also run a seven day cruise to Bermuda out of Baltimore but that ceased last year. Too bad, really. Occasionally, the A/C in the elevators wouldn’t be fully functional but that was sporadic. All in all, a great trip!
  16. I agree, PRC...we love the Radiance class and will sail on Brilliance for the third time this Thanksgiving. In February, we sail on her sister ship, Serenade on a southern Caribbean itinerary. For us, Radiance class is the perfect size!
  17. Thank all of you for your info...Gina_E, we sailed on Freedom last February, good ship, good crew...hope you also enjoy it! Good sailing!
  18. We are taking our (almost 17 and 14 1/2 y.o.) granddaughters to Bermuda in August on Grandeur. Does anyone have information on teen activities on board? We know about the pool and such from our previous cruises and I know about structured activities for little ones but I cannot find much info on what is available for girls that age (besides the obvious...boys that age! Lol!) Any forthcoming information would be much appreciated! Thank you.
  19. Marc--That's what RCL did. When I looked ahead to our Feb. 2017 cruise, the Ultimate is now $67/day and the premium is $57/day, both plus grats. Bump up the price and run a "special." Certainly makes me want to recommend RCL to others! Lol!
  20. I am cruising to Bermuda out of Baltimore in August and went onto My Cruises to look at excursions, dining, etc. I decided to get the Premium beverage package ($47/day regular price) when I saw it was being advertised at 20% off, as was the Ultimate package. So I loaded it into my cart but when I went to check out, the price was the full $47/ day plus the 18% gratuity (which I knew would be added!). There was no 20% discount. Has anyone else encountered this problem? I remember some months back on this board there was a similar situation but the thread just seemed to peter out and I couldn't find out the resolution. Before I get my TA involved and start calling RCL, I would appreciate any input from posters here who have had similar situations. Thanks!
  21. My wife has suffered with motion sickness since she was a little girl (throwing up on trains, riding in a car, etc.) A friend told her about these wristbands a while back and she swears by them. Whether it's a placebo or not, it works for her and she has no trouble cruising. I do agree about being as close to midship as possible and with the bands she has no problem with the horizon while at sea.
  22. Really enjoyed your report on your Vision cruise. We took the identical cruise 15 months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I like the Radiance class a little better but Vision is also very nice. Glad you enjoyed your brief stay in Tampa Bay, we live on the other side of the bay so we see the cruise ships leaving in the evening shortly before they go under the Skyway Bridge. If you haven't been on deck when the ship cruises under that bridge, you will really enjoy it and your children will love it! Tampa is a wonderful port from which to cruise and very efficient but we cruised this past February out of Port Canaveral and it was even better! The new RCL terminal makes embarkation about a 5-10 minute experience.
  23. Agree with Jacki_MEI...Cruising with wife and two granddaughters (17 and 14) in August, got adjoining rooms with connecting door (thanks to Michelle at MEI !). You will need the second bath (and so will your wife!!). Enjoy the cruise!
  24. Thanks for the help and suggestions, guys!!
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