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Everything posted by eaglesfaninfl

  1. I always make MTD reservations as soon as they are available to make (which varies by ship, it appears). In fact, I just made our reservations for our Thanksgiving cruise on Brilliance last weekend. Knowing that we have a time means we don't have to wait on board. Also, if our plans change when on board, I just call beforehand and have never had a problem switching to another time, even for the same day. One of RCL's systems that seems to work well.
  2. "...or like the example booking a cabin on a cruise that you have no intention of taking at all, just so you can move it to a future cruise and reap the OBC benefit at the Next Cruise desk. " I agree that there are abuses of the system; however, what was written above was EXACTLY the advice we were given in February by the gentleman at the Next Cruise desk on board Serenade, since we were looking at 2018/2019 cruises and they had not been rolled out yet! We were not trying to game the system but had no room for an earlier cruise. It would appear that RCL may have contributed to creating their own problem...by the way, we booked a "phantom" cruise that we had absolutely no intention of taking, waited until the newer cruises came out and booked the cruise we wanted in 2019. If RCL is going to restrict that practice, then coneyraven's comment comes true and Next Cruise is much less attractive
  3. We have the same itinerary problem cruising out of Tampa. Luckily,we can drive to Ft. Lauderdale or Miami in 4+ hours, so we are able to get away from the Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Belize, etc. rotation, if we want. In fact, we did just that last February and have two more booked in 2018/2019. But as others have already said, there's no requirement to get off the ship just because you're there!
  4. Like Coneyraven above, we cruised to Bermuda last August out of Baltimore and had smooth sailing both ways
  5. I have never had a luggage problem with Southwest (don't bring up American, tho!). What you and your hubby can do is each pack half a suitcase with a complete complement (shoes, underwear, shorts, tops, etc.) then switch suitcases and pack the remainder of what you are taking on the cruise in the other suitcase. If one gets lost, you still have a reasonable wardrobe of clothing to wear!
  6. It is not uncommon to see men dressed as you describe (no tie). As for myself, I forgo a suit and wear a sport coat and slax, dress shirt and tie (except for the cruise where I packed the ties and forgot the dress shirts :) Duh !!)
  7. I have never had that happen to me (I drink martinis before dinner, so the glass would be empty!) but I did experience something similar. On our recent cruise on Serenade having purchased the deluxe drink package as I always do, we were dining in the MDR and I requested two different red wines from the list. Coincidentally, they were both under the $12 maximum and were the only ones of that varietal that were. I was informed that neither wine was available! Now this was a ten-day cruise so that is possible....BUT, this was on the first night of the cruise and we had just left port! The headwaiter gave me a song and dance when I questioned him about this and never did get any logical explanation. Also, on the same cruise, a glass of Kim Crawford SB, which for years on various ships/cruises, was priced around $8-9/glass was $16 in the MDR. The next day at lunch in the WJ, I glanced at the wine listing on the table and it was $12! Don't know if it was a printing error or what but it seems RCL is doing some strange things with drinks/drink packages.
  8. Ordered room service breakfast once and never again. Showed up 1 1/2 hours after the requested time (we had given up waiting, gone to and gotten back from the WJ) and I sent it back. No tip, no nothing. Another indication of the continuing, ongoing deterioration of RCL's quality and commitment to customer service
  9. Just booked my beverage package for Thanksgiving, so that is available at least eight months out. Dining times generally 60-90 days before sailing
  10. I enjoy taking my Kindle on board as someone else has said, it is a WHOLE lot lighter and easier to tote around than books, especially hardbacks. I also like using the Schooner bar tables near windows as a relaxing place to read (assuming Trivia, etc. is not going on) plus libations are easy to get to!
  11. Thanks to all of you for your help and suggestions!
  12. 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!
  13. 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
  14. OBC can be used for gratuities unless the gratuities are prepaid when the final payment is made.
  15. 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.
  16. Brilliance for Thanksgiving this year...did Brilliance over Christmas three years ago (our first cruise) and loved every minute of it!
  17. Both of our granddaughters requested and quickly received extra pillows this past August on Grandeur. Just ask the cabin attendant
  18. Generally deposits are less than booking direct or thru a TA and OBC is offered.
  19. We had port fees adjusted downward on our final bill during our recent trip to Bermuda.
  20. 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.
  21. November 24, 2016 (Thanksgiving) Brilliance ...then, February 24, 2017 Serenade (for our 50th wedding anniversary)
  22. Just got off Grandeur two weeks ago and soft drinks ARE included in both of the alcohol packages.
  23. 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?
  24. 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!
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