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Posts posted by leesam82

  1. Hi Bob 

    I have used casino royale before for cruises. One thing that does occur is that everyone (travel agents, individual travelers, and RCL agents) all book through the same system and rooms. This means that some times a sailing could be sold out. However, what happens sometiems is that agents can do a 24 to 72  hour courtesy hold for the passenger. Once that hold is done the room is freed up to be booked again. I would keep on calling in until you see the sailing be listed as sold out on the RCCL website. 

  2. With additional passengers and training up some additional staff members, I do expect MTD to have issues. Personally for me we always do the earlier set dining time as this allows us to get out to see the shows. Plus it still frees us up to snack on Sorento's later in the evening. We also had a hard time getting the specialty dining reservations. But that was mainly due to the fact that we had such a large party (17 of us).  

  3. @Salca definitely watch videos that Matt suggested. They will help you with some general tips. I would also see if you can find a video on YouTube about the cruise planner specifically when it come to the drinks packages and dining packages. Other videos I would watch is about how to pack for your cruise on YouTube. There are a lot of great videos with awesome insight. One suggestion I have since this is your first cruise is also watch videos about the LIberty OTS on youtube with your family so that everyone can identify things they want to do onboard. I think your family should have a fun experience. Happy sailing! 

  4. I think it really depends on many different factors. I would ask yourself the following questions

    1) What is the make up of the traveling party? do you have a multigenerational group or is it mainly adults? seniors? I personally find the bigger ships better for multigenerational family trips as there are larger venues for all ages (eg large casinos, larger theaters, largers adventures ocean kids club etc). 

    2) What are you looking for when you travel? Are you looking for all the bells and whistles? then definitely go to larger oasis class or quantum class ships. If you are looking for more of a low key just hang out by the pool type of vibe, then a smaller ship maybe better for you. 

    My last piece of advice would be look at the youtube videos from royalcarribeanblog.com or other travelers to get a sense of the ship. This will also help you decide what works better for you and your family. 



  5. I would search both your spam box and your generl email for the following email [email protected]

    If you have gmail it may also go to your "promotions" inbox. I know when I purchased my photo package my link to the digital photos ended up there and not in my primary inbox. 

    Secondly I know it is annoying but if you cannot find it you need to get in touch with some one from RCCL. I think that the photos are available for limited time. 

  6. I've been on two Oasis class ships in the last three years. I was on the Allure OTS pre pandemic and Oasis OTS this past June. Both ships were at similar capacity when we were on board. I will agree with the post above that there is a difference. I think some definitely can be attributed to the staffing levels and also the newer staff trying to learn. On the Oasis I did see staff from many departments training new employees. Also some issues just arise due to the demographics of the passengers. Sometimes some sailings have more passengers elect for MTD which will mean alot more waiting for prime MTD times. Or some times you have a sailing where passengers just gravitate to a certain area of the ship. For example on my Allure sailing, the casino was packed anytime it was open which worked out as it made the pool deck alittle less packed. I think that as staffing levels and staff experience improve, I am optimistic to see improvement in some of the onboard experience. However as RCCL tries to pack their ships to the brim (which I don't fault them for as they are a business and also want to recoup from the pandemic), I expect some experiences to suffer. 

  7. On 7/22/2022 at 10:16 AM, bostoncruiser said:

    We have amassed a significant amount of points on our RC Credit card that can be turned into OBC before our cruise in December.  A couple of questions for those of you who have used it:

    1) When you redeem it does it just get applied to your cabin for spending during your cruise OR can it be put on your cruise planner to purchase special meals, packages etc before sailing?

    2) Can it be used to pay gratuities?

    3) Can it be used to pay taxes/port charges - all the special things on your bill on the last day...



    1) & 2) It gets applied to your reservation. You can use it to make purchases on cruise planner or save it to have it offset gratuities 

    3) You don't really use it to directly pay for those charges but indirectl you can. eg, you apply those credits to your reservation and any new charges will get deducted from there. 

  8. 6 hours ago, RCIfan1912 said:

    I just booked the 3 night dining package on Oasis for a cruise that's a few weeks away. We are 2 adults and 2 kids. It would only allow me to book even I put in for 2 but I thought it would book for 4, 2 adults and 2 kids. 

    Just last week on Adventure OTS we booked 2 specialty restaurants and it did allow for 4, 2 adults and 2 kids. 

    Do we just let each restaurant know when we book we also have 2 kids with us? Also I guess you can't book any of the restaurants until you board? No pre-booking before the cruise? Thanks for any help. 

    Hello I was on the Oasis OTS in June and ran into the same as we have kids and only the adults of the group bought dinner packages. On the day of embarkation, go to any specialty restaurant and just update your reservation. You will need to go to a specialty restaurant anyway to reserve your other dinners anyway since you can only reserve chops on day 1 or 2. 

  9. On my recent cruise in June on the Oasis OTS. I want to say my guesstimate is about 20-30%. It also depends on where on the ship. I saw more people wearing at specialty restaurants and smaller venues or areas where there were a lot of people. 

  10. @LonB I've done the past two cruises with my physically disabled brother who needs a wheelchair onboard. We have always had a hard time booking accessible cabins as there are not that many onboard. My suggestion would be is to try and book out as far in advanced as possible allowing you to have the room you want. I would also double check with your travel agent or if you are trying to book directly with RCCL book via the phone. 

  11. As a person who works in the in vitro diagnostics industry, I'm a little bit worried about how RCCL will proceed. Although I do understand the angst and the headache for passengers that need to do pre-cruise testing. I can also understand the argument that pre-cruise testing is still letting covid onboard. But I can also see the other side of the picture which was eloquently put by Tony for La Lido Loca pre-cruise testing will catch people who can are infectious. The testing allows the cruise line to mitigate some of the population that are infected. Are there passengers that will get through because the test was done too early to catch it? Yes. But by getting rid of pre-cruise testing completely I think you then allow even more infection onboard. Pre-cruise testing was one of the tools used to prevent covid from spreading on board.  From a healthcare perspective I am also worried that by inviting more infected onboard ships could face a situation where their facilities are overrun. This can definitely be the case with the new variants. I would say that if the cruise line gets rid of covid testing then they should increase safety using other tools such as mandating vaccinations for children now that the emergency use authorization for that age group is available.          

  12. This is a non-food advice

    1) Bring a small battery pack for your phone. Its nice to have so you don't run out of power for your cell phone

    2) Bring magnetic hooks. They are nice cause you can hang your hats/lanyards/and other items. I have also used them to hang up a shoe rack organizer and use it to put common items eg sunglasses, sunscreen etc. 

    3) bring a USB splitter such as this it allows for charging of multiple devices rather than having a plug for every single device. 

    4) if you do buy a photo package via the cruise planner just know that once you choose a digital print you cannot un-choose it to get a different photo. So wait till the last night before picking your pictures

    5) Ask a lot questions on this blog. There are many experienced Royal passengers on this forum that are willing to share their experience. 

    6) Final advice is have print outs and don't just rely on your phone for digital copies. I don't know where the Mariner is sailing out of but when you sail out of Cape Port liberty in Bayonne NJ and have T-mobile as your cell phone provider, the second you step into the terminal you have no signal. So it is really hard to pull up your set sail pass on the app or communicate with other members of your party. So rather than leaving that to chance if you have a print out of all your documents you will have no issues. 


  13. I live near Philadelphia and Cape Liberty is the port I usually sail out of when I drive to the port. One suggestion for driving there is to leave early and ensure you have plenty of time to get to the port. 95 sucks because there is almost always an unexpected accident or construction. By accounting for the extra time you won't feel rushed. 

  14. My advice is the following: Since you ruled out covid so far, and since you know your body the best, you should be the one deciding on if you can go on the cruise or not. From a cruise protocol standpoint you should be fine to go. However from a general health standpoint it may behoove you to be a little cautious. Cruises have expanded their medical facilities to include advance life-support systems on board, but realize that you really don't want to be on a ship if things go downhill. 

    If you are able to go see your primary care physician to rule out any other respiratory infections and perhaps if its diagnosed early enough you can take antivirals or antibiotics for treatment to help you recover. 

    I hope you feel better. It always sucks to get sick right before a vacation. 

  15. I had a coworker that went on a RCL cruise and had to be available for a single meeting. He could not really use the video conferencing as we used Zoom for the meeting. However when everyone went to no video mode and voice only setting it became more stable and we were able to complete what we needed to do. I would say that that I think some work can be done on the surf and stream but larger video conferencing would be a little hard to do reliably. 

  16. I was just at the Atlantis this past June with a 5 yo/ 7yo. Due to the fact that were were traveling with such a large group we decided against getting the day pass. There is a nice viewing area at the lower level of the main lobby. We did spend some time there and meandered about while other family members went off to the casino. Unfortunately we returned to the port area bit later than expected so we were not able to go to Junkanoo beach. The beach is walking distance from the cruise port. Many have suggested it as well.  

  17. @egd207 

    One thing to think about is Trip insurance vs Travel Insurance. Many times policies will have benefits to cover a little bit of both. But overall Trip insurance covers canceled flights, trips etc. While Travel Insurance covers sickness/illness that may occur while traveling abroad. Many credit cards offers basic trip insurance if you fully book the trip with your CC or book through the CC's travel website. Travel insurance usually is done through a third party and rates will be determined by many different factors such as where you are going, your age, where you currently live, the duration of the travel etc. Travel insurance will cover hospitalizations abroad and may include some trip insurance as well such as get a partial refund if your trip is cut short due to illness or if you are not able to go due to an illness. One thing that has saved myself some money is I look into my own employer's benefits as some employers offer travel insurance for the employee and their direct family members (eg spouse and children). I was recently pleasantly surprised that the company I work for offers a basic travel insurance at no additional cost for myself and my family even though it was a non-business trip.  Another way to save some money is to work with your travel agent as you do not necessarily have to always go with the company that RCCL works with. 

    A final tip I would leave with anyone purchasing any insurance is to read the fine print (even though it is super annoying). Just as your cruise ticket has fine print so does your travel/trip insurance make sure at the very least you know what is and is not covered as well as any exceptions. I recently read in the travel insurance agreement that is provided by my employer that injuries due to war or weather are not covered, meaning that if I was on vacation and a war broke out and I was injured or harmed due to that I would not be covered. 

  18. My First experience on a Oasis Class was the Allure OTS in August 2019. That happened to also be our first RCCL cruise. I knew before going on the ship that I wanted to go an Oasis class ship due to its sheer size. Everyone in the family had a great time and I think that when many of our family members caught the cruising bug. We also lucked out and due to the hurricane our cruise was rerouted (western Caribbean instead of the eastern Caribbean as originally planned) and extended (7 night turned into a 10 night). Since then I have only cruised with RCCL. The family did try the quantum class (Anthem OTS) and had a good time as well. I think for me I still prefer the larger Oasis class. I will also say that for me since majority of the time is spent on the ship than at ports, I am very particular in what I like and didn't care for on the ships. I am looking forward to the ICON whenever it comes out. I want to see how RCCL changes with this new class. 

  19. Hello Cruisers, 

    I was just talking with my lovely wife who isn't the biggest fan of cruising but cruises because the family likes to cruise about what her ideal itinerary would look like. It got me thinking about it as well. Personally for me I would love to see an itinerary for an Oasis class ship that leaves from Port Cape Liberty goes to Fort Lauderdale or Miami (instead of port Canaveral), then goes to Labadee, Cococay and then comes back to Bayonne.  I like sailing out of Bayonne as it easily drivable from my place. 

    What would your custom itinerary be? 

  20. @FluffyBumples

    It sucks that your first cruise experience sucked. One suggestion I would say is do not write off cruising due to a single cruise experience. The cruise experience will vary from itinerary to itinerary, sailing to sailing, and ship to ship. Perhaps RCL was not the cruise line for you due to the variety of passengers you find onboard (I find this to be an advantage as I mainly travel with a multigenerational group). Maybe going with a more adult centric line eg celebrity or virgin voyages maybe more what you are looking for. Or go with a smaller cruise line that is even more exclusive such as regent or silver seas. Or if RCL is still something you want to to stick with maybe spend more time in the adult only are the solarium. I know that I learn something from every time I cruise and use it to help craft a better experience for the next sailing.  

    I can definitely tell you that even if you were to go on the exact same cruise and the exact same time next year the experience will be different (could be better could be worse).  

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