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  2. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from DublinFC in Any Problems Trying To Get Covid Test 2 Day Prior To Sailing?   
    @DublinFCThe Abbott test is at https://store.optum.com/royal-caribbean/
  3. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Matt in Frequently asked questions.   
    I appreciate the suggestion, but the nature of this site is people posting the same questions over and over.  It's just the way it is, because I think people want to ensure in their exact scenario, they're doing the right thing.
    So reading the same question many times doesn't faze me. We're all here to learn and have a better cruise experience.
    Certainly you can use the site and message board search feature to find answers to questions you may have. It's a good starting point.
    If you can't find an answer that fits your scenario, post a thread asking about it! That's what this site is here for.
  4. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to WAAAYTOOO in Best place for cruisers to live in Florida?   
    I have an entire thread about moving to FL as it relates to cruising. 
    There are so many things to consider but after many visits and much analysis, we chose the Treasure Coast as it is equidistant between MIA/FLL and Port Canaveral.  It is only slightly further over to Tampa.  We chose this area strictly b/c of its location relative to the cruise ports.  
    We built a house in Port St Lucie, which is 1 hr north of West Palm Beach.  This area is exploding with development which is both good and bad.  Prices are becoming completely unreasonable and we are fortunate to have made our move when we did (signed construction contract in Sept 2020 and moved down here in Nov 2020 while the house was being built).  FL is like anywhere else….different parts of FL have different vibes and different influences.  As a general rule (always exceptions), south FL is more expensive than northern FL and the west coast is less expensive than the east coast.  The interior of FL is rural.  These are all generalizations and there certainly are exceptions but that will give you a good rule-of-thumb.
    I guess if I have any advice it would be -DON’T WAIT.  I mentioned prices.  It’s really getting insane.  The base price of the house we built has gone up $109K in 16 months….and you can’t build my house right now at ANY price b/c all of the lots are long gone. Of course, like anything else, it depends on what you’re looking for.  We wanted an over-55 gated community but there are plenty of other  options.  Since you are going to be snowbirds, I would definitely recommend some type of gated community just for the security since you will be living elsewhere for months at a time.
    There are many others on this blog that have made that move somewhat recently, so, no doubt, you will get lots of other advice !
  5. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to twangster in Crown and Anchor tier levels need changes?   
    When you normalize Crown and Anchor versus other cruise lines they are all very similar.  Normalization is required since they use different points systems and the top levels vary in terms of the absolute number required.  Carnival for example tops out at 200, Celebrity at 3,000, NCL and Royal at 700.  
    What the graph does show is the weird anomaly between Platinum and Emerald for Royal.  Platinum should probably be lowered slightly for a smoother transition compared to the other cruise lines.
    As mentioned there are incremental perks within Diamond Plus between 175 and 700.  They are published so it's not a secret, just something that isn't discussed frequently.  

  6. Haha
    IRMO12HD reacted to smokeybandit in Harmony caused a SpaceX scrub   
    To make up for it the Icon class ship will be named Elon of the Seas.
  7. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to mattymay in RC Announced onboard protocols through April 14   
    I'll counter the above. Had household family members with Omicron. Applied simple measures like wearing a mask in common areas, washing hands regularly. Guess what? Didn't get it. Simple measures like this work..maybe not 100% of the time but they do help. 
    Also, masks don't just stop someone spitting on you, they also prevent you from touching your nose and mouth (which we do more often than we realise) after touching an infected surface.
    Anyways, back to cruising. 2 years this week since the ship ban. Life sucks in Australia.
  8. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to PG Cruiser in We’re Diamond!   
    They reset at midnight. Unused vouchers don’t roll over the next day.
    From my experience, I still got 4 vouchers on disembarkation day.  I asked a barista to go into my account to confirm it.
  9. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Matt in Binax home test   
  10. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to SPS in Lunch on Embarkation Day: What’s your go-to?   
    Park Café or the Solarium are our usual lunch stops since the WJ can get so busy. (with Pre-COVID crowds anyway)
    This coming week, however, we want to try out El Loco Fresh on Odyssey.
  11. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to PG Cruiser in Lunch on Embarkation Day: What’s your go-to?   
    I missed lunch at Windjammer by a few minutes and the crew suggested I try Park Café.  I loved their roast beef sandwich. The salad was also good.
  12. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from cruisellama in Lunch on Embarkation Day: What’s your go-to?   
    Park Cafe and Solarium are two of my favorites.
  13. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from Kathleen in Royal Up Program   
    @mnshortie21I received a 20% discount on a minimum bid for Interior - OV Balcony on Oasis in early December.  Minimum bid was reduced to $125 from $145 or $150 (can't remember which); I bid $135 and won the upgrade.  I probably could have won it with a minimum bid of $125.  If you don't care too much for your present location, I would double check current balcony fares and go from there.  I ended up saving about $300 total -- and my daughter's first cruise was in a balcony vs. in an interior 🙂
  14. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to twangster in Odyssey of the Seas, Jan. 15, 2022 - The Not Live Blog, Blog   
    For any teens out there here is quick sample of what Social180 offers:

    Bumper cars!  Again?  Why not?  No line.

    Another trip to NextCruise means another cruise booked.

    The main dining room is so different compared to the earlier non-ultra Quantum class ships so it was dinner in the MDR.

  15. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to twangster in Odyssey of the Seas, Jan. 15, 2022 - The Not Live Blog, Blog   
    If you haven't figured it out already this is pretty much a normal restart cruise.  I know there is a lot of FUD out there making it sound like it should be impossible for a cruise to operate normally yet here we are, operating like a normal restart cruise.  
  16. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Pattycruise in Crown & Anchor On Board Offers - 2021/2022 Edition   
    They didn't deliver it on one of my recent cruises.  The girl at Guest Services had no clue what I was talking about.  I wasn't leaving until I got one.  She finally pulled out a book and pulled out the sheet of paper for me.  
    I usually take pics of the specials from whatever I am offered so I can refer to them as needed.
  17. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to AshleyDillo in Crown & Anchor On Board Offers - 2021/2022 Edition   
    They are..should be waiting in the room when you arrive unless you did a last minute upgrade. If all else fails you can ask at Guest Services or the Loyalty Ambassador desk and they'll print you one out.
  18. Like
    IRMO12HD got a reaction from PPPJJ-GCVAB in Lunch on Embarkation Day: What’s your go-to?   
    Park Cafe and Solarium are two of my favorites.
  19. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to MattG in Lunch on Embarkation Day: What’s your go-to?   
    What’s your go-to Embarkation Day Lunch? 
    Windjammer is the go-to for a majority of cruisers, but I assume most people don’t know what else is even open. MDR has the Chops Grille lunch menu for The Key holders, but what’s left? 
    I remember going to Park Cafe on Grandeur a few years ago right after boarding, and it was a ghost town. Inspired by Tip #3 in today’s main site post (https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2022/01/21/10-tips-worked-out-our-royalcaribbeanblogcom-staffers-2021), I haven’t even thought about Playmakers, this will likely be our go-to when we hit Oasis in October. 
    Spill the deets! 
  20. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to CruisingNewb in Ensenada / CatalinaTips? (Navigator OTS)   
    Honestly, if you have not been to Catalina or Ensenada before, I would not book shore excursions.  
    For first timers, there is so much to explore and see just by walking around.  
    Catalina - eat at Avalon Seafood.  Cheaper ocean fare and the smoked Albacore was amazing! Also, there is a mom and pop coffee place called Catalina Coffee that has good coffee and free wi-fi (at least they did when we went in 2018.  Just walk around, go back to an empty ship and enjoy the ship.
    Ensenada - well...my wife has a saying, anywhere you go, just don't look down.  Many people will likely comment on how dirty and smelly Ensenada can be.  This pretty much describes any major US metro.  Go walk around, have some Mariscos, eat tacos at a small taco shop.  Buy (or don't buy) a cheap ukelele, and go back to the ship and enjoy an empty ship.  Oh...we spent some time at Hussongs, but we are older folk now with older kids...not likely going to do the drinking at 10 am scene anymore.
    IF you want to do an excursion in Ensenada, we tried the horse back riding on the beach.  For what its worth, it was nice.  
  21. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Matt in Oasis / Atlantis Cruise   
    Totally true. But it's worth reminding non-cruisers of this double standard when brought up.
  22. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Matt in Oasis / Atlantis Cruise   
    The Atlantis group has a very checkered past with their charters, with people dieing on sailings in the past.
    That being said, while I would not think this is a good thing to do at all, here's another great example of the double standard cruise lines face.  
    Large unmasked grouping outside is a problem?

    Disney World recently
    Bills vs Pats game last weekend

    WWE Monday Night Raw earlier this week INDOORS

  23. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Karla Jensen in Ensenada / CatalinaTips? (Navigator OTS)   
    See my previous post about Ensenada above.
  24. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to BowTieBrigade in Ensenada Excursions   
    Has anyone done one of the RC excursions in Ensenada they really enjoyed or really didn’t?
  25. Like
    IRMO12HD reacted to Karla Jensen in Ensenada Excursions   
    We have not done those thru Royal, but years ago we did horseback riding.  We were there last weekend and we just got off the ship and walked around.  We went to the "Giant" flag and they had a water fountain show that was short, but very nice.  From there we walked into town and took a horse drawn carriage ride.  It was short but they stayed on a busy road so it was hard to hear the driver especially thru his mask.  We then walked to the Huge Catholic church.  We arrived just as services were letting out.  It was beautiful.  We walked back towards the tourist district and went to the Taqueria.  Yes from Church to Tequila!   We went in and those in our group that drink paid 10 USD for a tour and Tequila tasting.  Those that didn't drink were able to hear how Tequila is made and walk thru the exhibits.  It was very interesting.  We had been to Ensenada many times years ago when RCCL cruised there.  It is sooooo much better now.  There are still those trying to sell things, but the number is down and we saw NO beggars.  Hope this helps!
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