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Everything posted by WesKinetic

  1. There seems to be no rhyme or reason. My March cruise was canceled and I've been refunded for our drink packages and one shore excursion, but still waiting on refunds for our taxes and two other excursions.
  2. Snagged the beverage package for my Thanksgiving cruise on Liberty for $41/day. Barring another $18 glitch, I'm thinking that's about as good as its going to get.
  3. The only advantage is that you have a guaranteed reserved table so you can come right in and sit down at dinner time. With MyTime, if you go at a peak time, you might have to wait a little bit for a table. Otherwise, the experience is basically the same. So it's just a personal preference of whether you'd rather have the guaranteed table at a certain time or have a little more flexibility with your schedule.
  4. Just got this from Royal Caribbean: Dear Guest, Over the last few weeks, we’ve implemented new and enhanced health & safety protocols, along with travel regulations, to ensure we maintain a healthy environment onboard as developments related to coronavirus COVID-19 continue to change globally. While we continue to assess the impact, we’ve decided to add a new health screening which supports all our initiatives put in place to help keep you healthy & safe! So, starting March 6th, 2020 on all Royal Caribbean International ships, mandatory temperature screenings will be conducted for all guests and crewmembers on embarkation day. If your temperature is above 100.4°F or 38° C, you and those in your party will undergo a secondary health screening. Temperatures will be taken with a digital, no-touch thermometer. So, no need to worry. If you require a secondary screening, this is what you can expect: Your temperature will be checked again. You’ll undergo a pulse oximetry reading. This means, a small device will be placed on your finger to measure your oxygen level. If you happen to have a chronic lung illness, like asthma, please bring a letter from your medical practitioner that indicates your normal baseline oxygen saturation levels. This will help ensure you are not denied boarding if you are healthy otherwise. Then, a medical professional will check you for flu-like symptoms, respiratory illness, etc., and would make a final assessment to understand if you’re fit to sail. If it is decided that we must unfortunately deny you boarding, you’ll receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit for your cruise fare paid, and any precruise Royal Caribbean International purchases and taxes and fees will be refunded to your original form of payment. And, if for any reason, you happen to have a fever before your cruise, we kindly ask you to not come to the port. Please contact us or your Travel Advisor immediately and we will happily provide you with a credit for future travel. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation while we do everything possible to keep our ships safe for you! We look forward to seeing you onboard! Sincerely, (And apologies, this probably should have gone on the RC News page. Mods, feel free to move it.)
  5. Now that’s a question I haven’t seen before. 😀 The RC website says “you are free to bring non-perishable prepackaged food in limited quantities”, so I don’t see why you couldn’t. My only suggestion would be to bring it in your carry-on so, if they want to question it, you could deal with it quickly at the time instead of getting called down on board later and having to wait while they go through your suitcase to see the “suspicious item” that showed up on the scanner. Welcome to the message board!
  6. On paper, you might have an earlier check-in time. But those aren't really enforced anyway, so like @SnickerTail said, no huge benefit other than it's done and you can start counting down to your cruise. You will need to have your passport information and head shot photos ready to upload to complete the online check in.
  7. We (group of 13) have booked a couple of South Beach cabanas for our upcoming trip. In the description, it talks about "cabana concierge service to deliver food and beverage orders." My question is: will our cabana have a dedicated attendant who will be the same one we have all day? Or does it work differently on Coco Cay than it does on Labadee? Just trying to figure out how much/what denominations to bring for tipping purposes.
  8. Favorite thing about cruising is the ability to unplug. With the nature of my job, I am basically on call 24/7 most of the time. So when I go on a cruise, I very intentionally do not get an internet package and let everyone know that I will be unavailable for a week. Dream cruise, I'm a sea day kind of guy, so I'd love to do a transatlantic someday and be able to spend some time in Europe.
  9. In most cases, the on-board deals are just a certain amount of on-board credit. The cruise price itself is the same whether you book on board or online. Normally I'd say book it as soon as you are sure you have your trip picked out. In this case, you are close enough that you could roll the dice that the price won't change dramatically between now and then and get the OBC. Just depends on how much you like to gamble. 🙂
  10. You cannot use the drink packages at the standalone Starbucks kiosk on Oasis. (On some ships, the Cafe Promenade is branded as Starbucks because they serve Starbucks products. But it is not a freestanding Starbucks location, like on the Oasis-class ships.) Cafe Promenade (and I believe Park Cafe) have hot chocolate available, so I can't imagine why you couldn't get it made with cream there. FWIW, you can use Starbucks gift cards at the Starbucks onboard Oasis.
  11. Don't worry too much about that--the arrival times are really more "suggestions" that RC uses to try to spread out the crowd arrival. But they are generally not enforced, so you can arrive whenever you want. The terminal parking facilities are 24 hours, so that won't be an issue. But in most cases there's no real need to be at the port before 10 or so as they are still disembarking passengers and getting everything ready for your cruise. I usually try to be there between 10:00 and 10:30 so I can get on the ship as soon as they start boarding my group. Others like to show up later and just be able to walk on board once they get through security. It's just personal preference. Have a great trip!
  12. We got some silicone straws for our last cruise. One advantage is that you can get different colors and color-code your drink cups if you have multiple people with drink or soda packages.
  13. Thanks so much. Yes, we booked them at the same time. It wouldn't let me book two under one name, so one is in my name and one in my wife's. But they were booked the same time and to the same cabin #. I'll check at the excursion desk when we get on board. Thanks again.
  14. Are the Coco Cay cabanas assigned ahead of time? Or do they give them to you once you check in when you get to the island? We have two South Beach cabanas booked for our large group, and we'd obviously like to have the two together. So I didn't know if that was something we should request on board or if we need to make sure we're off the ship early at Coco Cay to help make that happen.
  15. Yep, that's a pretty decent sale price. It's rare to see it go much lower these days. Personally I'd lock it in now and, on the off chance it ever does drop lower, you can cancel and repurchase at the new price without penalty. @Matt did a pretty good summary of the drink package pricing a while back.
  16. My daughter is the same age and has been on three RCL cruises now. She is not a huge fan of the club itself, but going there the first couple of days she meets some kids her own age. The rest of the cruise, they aren't in the club that much but spend a lot of time with her new friends doing other things on the ship. She does enjoy a lot of the teen activities such as scavenger hunts and such that take places throughout the ship, instead of those just in the club.
  17. If I recall correctly, while you're on board, I believe you can look at your account in the app and it shows all of the drink purchases there. So you should be able to screenshot that info on your phone and then use that to figure out your numbers later.
  18. FWIW, I tweeted to RCCL and here was their response. “Hey, there. The Expedited Arrival will appear for those that check in though the app.” So it sounds like that is just the default setting on the app and that the program has not necessarily expanded to additional ships or ports.
  19. I know when RCCL launched the “expedited arrival” option a while back, it was only available for a handful of ships in certain ports. Does anyone know if this has been expanded more widely throughout the fleet? I’m going on Majesty out of New Orleans next month and my Setsail pass shows expedited arrival. I’m assuming that’s probably just a default setting in the app once everything is entered, but I’m just curious if it might actually be something of which I can take advantage.
  20. If you go to the top of this page and click "Cruise Compass," you may be able to find some past Cruise Compasses from previous Anthem cruises that are comparable to yours. That way you'll have a little better idea of all the options that might be available.
  21. I was in St. Thomas in November and was sadly disappointed. There used to be a few local shops in the downtown area where you could to tastings and from which I would pick up local rum to bring home. Since the hurricane, it seems that most of those are now gone and replaced by (yet another) jewelry store. There were some duty-free shops that had a handful local offerings, but mostly the mass market stuff. I'm sure there are some other off-the-beaten path places that have stuff, so hopefully someone can point you in the right direction. All that said, there were some nice local restaurants and bars with good local offerings if you just want a drink while in town.
  22. I've searched for this, but can't find anything so thought I'd ask here: is Thrill Waterpark on Coco Cay open the whole time when ships are in port? I'm assuming the answer is yes, but was just looking to confirm. I'm going on Majesty in a couple of months and some members of our group were planning to go to the water park. Our ship gets in at 7:00 and Anthem arrives at 9:00. So the question came up will the water park be open that early if our group wants to get off the ship ASAP and have a couple hours before the next ship's passengers get there?
  23. 7.7 magnitude earthquake between Cuba and Jamaica. Safe travels and smooth seas to all the ships in the area. https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/powerful-earthquake-reported-between-cuba-and-jamaica-usgs/2182881/
  24. I can't claim credit for this. @Grenadyr created a very useful calculator to estimate how much you might spend without the drink package, so you can decide if it is a good deal or not. https://connect.calcapp.net/?app=9tts3#/ My only advice would be to do an apples-to-apples comparison. Most people only think about the price of the package vs. getting nothing. But to really get an accurate comparison, you need to think about what would you get if you DON'T get the drink package? The soda package? The refreshment package? Or nothing? Figure out the difference based on what you would get otherwise, and then decide if the drink package is right for you.
  25. 300 days 'til Liberty 11/22/20.
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