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  1. I know this is a bit of an old thread, but I think there's an exception to the good advice, above, that may be helpful to someone considering special-occasion jewelry on their cruise (happy 20th, btw!!) When my wife and I were on Spectrum of the Seas in July, we stopped into Tiffany & Co to take a look, since we also had an upcoming anniversary and thought it'd be fun to browse. (There's a Tiffany & Co on Oasis as well, not sure about other RC ships.) The store is small, as you'd expect, but it had a reasonable variety of jewelry types, styles, and price points. My wife found a br
  2. We're on the same sailing and also in a 2BR Aqua! (With our teen sons -- we'll ask them to keep their volume down so they don't disturb the nice neighbors... ) I think you made a great decision. Now the tough part... waiting two years!
  3. Hi, we had a fantastic cruise on Spectrum in a J4 Silver Suite earlier this year (5-night July 7th). The indoor Silver Dining area, which is very nice, has a small lounge off to the side and a speck of a space for the concierge. The entire area connects to a HUGE solarium area for Silver Suite guests. Signage also indicated Diamond and up C&A could use the area. The Solarium is fabulous, with a couple of hot tubs, a mini-lazy-river thing, a dedicated bar, and tons of comfy seating with great views. I don't think we ever counted more than a dozen people in the entire area. That
  4. I haven't been keeping up on cruise news lately and only just read about what happened. Incredibly horrifying, frustrating, and sad, and I feel awful for all those affected -- can't imagine going through something like that. Using the internet as the basis for a decision may be an issue, but I suspect those that were affected were made aware of visa-free transit from a variety of sources: internet sites (including official Chinese government sites), travel agents, airlines, and even embassies/consulates. What's particularly insidious is that the visa-free transit rules appear to have been
  5. I'm no expert, but it seems like you'd be eligible for visa-free transit, since you're entering from Country A (Japan), arriving in B (Beijing is eligible), then departing to Country C (Australia). https://www.travelchinaguide.com/tour/visa/free-transit-144-hours.htm In your case I frankly wouldn't be so worried, since you'll already have enjoyed your cruise by the time you arrive China and will simply be looking to leave -- I'm not sure what else they'd do with you except send you home, lol! Enjoy the cruise -- sounds great!
  6. Sorry for the delay in replying, Dave C., I only just saw this (after more than a month )! But yes, that's exactly right, you will get two separate visa-free transits: one for arrival into Pudong pre-cruise, then one for disembarkation. (Fwiw, these are not visas -- they allow you to transit through China without the need for obtaining visas).
  7. The Key price for our Harmony Jan 12th, 2020 sailing had been steady at $37.99 since it appeared in the cruise planner a month ago or two ago. It dropped to $25.99 yesterday.
  8. We wish we would have known how much our kids would love the RC youth clubs and activities, how much great sans-kids time my wife and I were able to spend together because of that, and what an amazing value the complimentary clubs are. We would have started cruising years earlier had we known.
  9. We tried SC for the first time on a 7-Night Oasis sailing on May 27th, 2018. In case it helps, I dug up our pre-cruise communications timeline with our Genie: Apr 11th: We received a generic email asking us to complete the SC questionnaire Apr 25th: We received a personalized email from Smitha, our Genie (who turned out to be wonderful), Her email provided info on her Genie hours (and when she's "in her lamp" and unavailable), a reminder of all the amenities that come with SC, a request for information on our arrival plans (so she could schedule/meet us) as well as minibar and a
  10. You look eligible for the 72 or 144 hour visa-free transit to me. We recently took advantage of it on a flight from Auckland to Shanghai, with an overnight stay and then a cruise on Spectrum with a first stop in Okinawa, Japan. We again used it on the return from Nagasaki, staying three nights in Shanghai and then back to Auckland. A good resource is here: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/tour/visa/free-transit-144-hours.htm Someone with a similar question to yours, re: Dubai is here: https://answers.travelchinaguide.com/question/825694.htm (note that the people answering the qu
  11. Ok, got it -- thanks so much!!
  12. We're excited to be sailing on Spectrum in a couple of months, which will be our first ship that offers Laser Tag. I thought I'd read it's complimentary, but the Cruise Planner shows a price of $20. Have you done Laser Tag on other ships, and was there a charge? I know it's subjective, but do you think $20 is worth it? (In particular, for boys ages 15 and 14.)
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