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BrianB last won the day on April 11 2022

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  1. I made the same mistake as a lot of others….thinking this was the list of available cruises. Got excited until I read it here. C’mon Royal IT! Even a non-IT savvy person like me would at least put an ‘Excluded Cruises’ watermark diagonally over the pages.
  2. I like what they’ve done with the port revitalization. They invested quite a bit. Much nicer, modernized. No more trip hazards and broken pavement. Easier to walk around. Very nice area just past the gate with lots of brightly colored booths and shops. Don’t have to run the gauntlet of people vying with each other for your attention, and your money as you try not to trip over uneven and broken pavement. Now it’s all new. Calmer, clean, airy and spacious. Some places for snacks and drinks in that area. A very convenient excursion boat docking area attached to the pier…before the security gate so still inside the port. There's plenty of videos posted showing the new port area. Check them out.
  3. Ports may have different procedures and different port workers may have their own way of doing things…but… If you have the Key, there should be signage directing you where to go. I have had the Key many times in the past and the only time I had a worker try to turn me away because my boarding pass had a later arrival time, I just went to a different worker who pointed me to the correct line for early entry. After checking in at a kiosk, I made sure the worker directing passengers where to sit knew I had the Key and she sent me to the right row. With the Key…you have early check in and early boarding. This is so that you can take advantage of the perks. Dropping off your carry on isn’t a perk if the rooms are already open. Boarding after the Key lunch is over would be a waste. Those perks, along with the internet and early walk off priority, are the reasons I got the Key in the past. But, you need to make sure whoever is directing passengers knows you have the Key. Sometimes it’s not easy to see on the boarding pass.
  4. I posted a while ago how I checked in at midnight for my May Liberty cruise from NJ and the first available slot was 11:30. I kept checking back and no earlier time has opened. My cruises over the winter have all had 10:00-10:30 available. Keep in mind this is the time to arrive at the terminal. It is not ‘boarding time’. I sail primarily from NJ and found it’s pretty good. Usually they just wave everyone into the terminal on to and the security lines. The only hold up is the security line. It can get pretty crowded. Especially with people who don’t pay attention and have to waste time emptying their pockets and putting their metal stuff into their carryon when they get to the screener rather than before. So everyone else has to wait for them. Then there’s those who go overboard (pun intended) and waste time taking off their shoes and belts even though it was obvious nobody in front to them did that. If the security line gets too crowded, they may start enforcing times outside the terminal. As long as everything goes as planned, there is usually little delay in getting checked in at a kiosk and then boarding. But…here’s where that ‘Vacation Patience’ comes in…if the ship was delayed getting into port (diversion to medivac a patient, propulsion issue, harbor traffic, assist another vessel…or many other possibilities. Or the ship is undergoing a coast guard or public health inspection…or needs a ‘deep cleaning’) then boarding new guests can be delayed. Then everything gets backed up.
  5. The ‘Chair Hog’ conundrum involves more than just releasing hogged chairs. For the cruise line, and especially the crew members, the issue includes taking action that results in passengers confronting each other over who ‘stole’ whose chair and what did you do with my stuff! Many passengers who unknowingly find a recently cleared chair have no idea that the previous occupant had their stuff removed. The returning occupant has no idea that their stuff was removed by the crew. Also, confrontations with crew members simply doing their jobs. Tempers flare and can have unintended consequences. Hopefully by consistently publicizing and enforcing this new policy…it will become common knowledge and have a positive effect on preventing hogging, and confrontation between passengers. Also, the crew must be able to release the right items to the right passenger. Once they take possession of someone’s property, they are responsible for safeguarding it until they release it back to the rightful owner. Mistakes can happen. Not to mention dealing with passengers who claim they were ‘only gone for ten minutes!’…or so many other excuses. Finally, the crew and the bosses don’t want negative reviews because of their actions trying to deal with hogs. I’m thinking that there have recently been so many negative reviews about chairs being hogged that the ship has decided to take action, knowing that it will generate negative comments…but less than they are getting now.
  6. Can’t wait to experience the Iconic Icon of the Seas! I know there are many who love going big…and many who prefer less is best…but I want to experience it all!
  7. I know it’s been discussed before…but… One of the most important tasks to perform just before leaving is to make sure nothing gets left behind. I understand the difficulties when dealing with a family group including children, especially toddlers. One positive thing is this regard is usually the cabin isn't so expansive as to include lots of space. I recommend a quartering search. Search like your looking for a lost quarter! Once everyone with you steps out of the cabin, one person goes back and starts moving through the cabin…left to right, up and down…bathroom first, every shelf, hook…then the cabin, opening every drawer, cabinet and door…every nook…the safe…over and under the bed, including moving pillows and sheets…behind the curtains…on the balcony…the mini fridge…all the way back to the door, including the back of the doors. Search with your eyes and with your hands. Be thorough and patient. Finally, I always make sure that the last thing I take is the card I inserted into the power slot (if one wasn’t in there when I arrived). If it is mine, then I usually hook a hanger over it the night before just to remind me. Even though I usually travel solo…sometimes I find something that would have been left behind if I didn’t do my search.
  8. Wear whatever makes you comfortable…within reason of course. From a tuxedo and formal gown…or military dress mess uniform…or formal top with kilt………all the way through nice shorts and a polo. You will not stand out. So many others do the same, you’ll fit right in.
  9. This happens to me every time I book at NextCruise. I book solo in a balcony or suite and I figure their system automatically splits the OBC into two. Each time, the NextCruise worker always tells me to ignore the OBC on the confirmation page they print out. I know as soon as the cruise goes through the landside system, the correct full OBC amount is applied and I get a new confirmation page.
  10. I have one that even comes with its own commercial…. Seize the excitement! Seize the action! Seize the day! Seize the moment!…. On Royal Caribbean’s new… Seize of the Seas! Seize the Seize as she seizes the seas! Come be a seize seizer while sailing the seas on the Seize of the Seas! See?
  11. Threads live forever! My issue is I have sleeping difficulties at home. But onboard I sleep much better. Even in very heavy seas when I’m getting pushed around, I still seem to sleep a lot better while on a ship. I asked my doctor, solely in the interest of my health and wellbeing, to write a prescription for me to cruise as much as possible…but my cheapskate insurance company still won’t pay for my cruises. Ba$t@rds!
  12. Prayers to all of those affected by this horrible tragedy. I’m sure the investigation will be federally led and include the Coast Guard, NTSB and other federal investigative agencies. The loss of commerce due to the stoppage of container vessels and also the interstate road system used by trucking will be substantial. Although rerouting vessels and vehicles to other ports and roads will quickly take precedence. As for replacement cruise ports…Bayonne is a good possibility. There are many days each week where there are no ships in port. Right now it’s only the Anthem on Sundays. In May it will be the Liberty and Symphony. There’s also the possibility of the Manhattan Cruise Terminals which consist of piers 88, 89 and 90. Pier 88 is the one most used at this time…primarily by NCL. There is also the Brooklyn cruise port used primarily by MSC and Cunard.
  13. Bayonne has been pretty loose as far as arrival times are concerned. Lots of people show up early and as long as the security lines don’t get too backed up, they just keep waving you into the terminal without checking SeaPasses. Just keep in mind the garage doesn’t usually open for new passengers until approximately 10am…to allow disembarking passengers to leave first. Even after checking in, the seating is first come-first serve for general passengers. Suites have their own seating area. When general boarding does commence, they have each row stand one at a time and they board. Hopefully they don’t change this as the weather gets nicer and being forced to stand outside isn’t the issue that it is during the winter in NJ.
  14. Onboard the Anthem sailing from Bayonne NJ… Last night (day 1) in the casino there was an issue with the player card recognition system on the slot machines. Only the machines…not the tables. When players tapped their cards, the receiver turned green and screen said ‘Welcome Guest’ instead of ‘Welcome (players name)’. Because the receiver turned green, many players thought their card was accepted and the points would count. However, although the points played would count on the display…they would not be applicable to the player. The casino host had to keep making announcements over and over as the casino became more crowded after dinner. Apparently, there was an IT issue resulting in all of the player’s information being deleted from the system. The onboard technical members were working with shoreside to manually enter each player’s information into the program and that was taking quite a bit of time. The casino host kept telling people to take a photo of their points before leaving a machine. Otherwise, there would be no way for them to post the points to the player’s account when things got back to normal. As time went on, the host kept announcing how many more players had their information restored and kept asking for patience from those still in the queue. Wondering if this was just on the Anthem or were other ships affected.
  15. @RCIfan1912 Agree…strange and concerning. I commented on both sailing’s Roll Call pages to see if anyone else had any different experiences…waiting.
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