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Hawkes

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  1. So a few things I learned during our cruise on Harmony this past summer. Each guest can download and install the RCCL app and if I remember correctly once everyone is signed up and connected to their reservation number you can use that as a means to communicate even without having an internet package. We did not do this ourselves as we had bought a four device internet package. We just put everyone's phones into Airplane mode, turned on WiFi calling on them and were up and running. The only phone that had an issue was mine since I was the only Android user. Texting between iPhones and Android does not work. Period. All iPhones users were able to text between each other with no problem. WiFi calling worked great as well especially to get back in touch with our realtor back home who was in the process of selling our house while we were away. This allowed me to avoid roaming charges on the cell network and still be reachable. What I can't say is if anything has changed since July when we went and I also can't say if it allows you to communicate with other reservations that are not connected to yours. We had three cabins for the six of us and the kids two cabins were connected to our main cabin and for the kids that I setup and registered the app with, I could see them, but never really used it because of the other options I mentioned above. The RCCL app is a great tool though and I suggest you install it and get it set up before getting on the ship because once you are on the ship and they are broadcasting to everyone to install it, it will take forever to download. One other note about the internet is you decide to get it. You will get one passcode that works for as many devices as you pay for unless you buy a passcode separately for each person (more expensive). Once you connect the max number of devices to it that you paid for, no more devices can use that code UNLESS you log one of them off from the system. It's a specific URL to go to on the browser of your phone to logoff. Once you do that, a different device can connect. We did this all week as necessary. It allowed the four kids to share two of the four devices we paid for. I think it enhanced their experience as they were able to do what they love to do... "snap" their friends and post to their stories and share their experiences in close to real-time. The other two device connections we paid for went to my wife and I so we could stay in touch regarding the house and since I'm in IT I was still "on call" for my clients. Have a great time! -Hawkes
  2. @JLMoran Yes, July 21, 2019. Sorry about that. None of the kids are soda drinkers, but I do have one who enjoys sports drinks and two who are coffee and smoothie lovers. My oldest is the "up in the air" one. I think I'm stuck with the refreshment packages for them. For my wife and I, it's a tough nut to swallow over $800 for a week of just drinks. We may do the refreshment package as well and just pay for the alcohol when we drink it. We're not heavy drinkers to begin with and we will have the kids so that tames us a bit too. It's hard to try and capture how much we would wind up spending this far in advance so we're just going to have to bite the bullet and roll the dice we break even. Any opinions on the snorkeling I mentioned?
  3. Hello everyone! Lots of great information on this site. Thank you to everyone for their recommendations and opinions. It's not technically our first time, but our last cruise was over 20 years ago before we had kids and boy have things changed! We weren't ready to have to choose between drink packages and specialty dining options, etc. It's really stretching our budget in ways we overlooked. We just booked on the Harmony of the Seas for July 21st. I'd like to ask thoughts on the drink packages. We would not drink enough to break even with the unlimited drinking package. I am a beer drinker with an occasional frozen drink and my wife is a wine drinker for the most part, but usually no more than 2 glasses at a meal. Also, getting all six of us the refreshment package can be a doozy too even with the discount running until tonight. Any insider tips or secrets you all would like to share in this area? I think this time around we are going to skip the Thrill Waterpark. From a budget view, the cost of this for a family of six would crush any additional excursions for the week. I believe there is still a lot to do on the island that is not so pricey. I am interested in thoughts on two of the excursions that we are looking at in St. Thomas. We have four kids... 11, 13, 15, and 19. Not worried about the 19-year-old as she goes with the flow MOST of the time. My wife is looking forward to snorkeling. We are trying to decide between the St. John's Trunk Bay Beach & Snorkel OR the Pirates of St. Thomas Sail, Snorkel, & Beach. My thought is why go to St. John's for snorkeling if you are in St. Thomas. St. Thomas was beautiful the last time I visited almost 30 years ago. Seems like a lot of time is spent in transit from one island to the other and that MAY frustrate the kids if the ride is too long. I have a horseback rider in the family and she wants to do the horseback riding on St. Maarten. Has anyone here done this one and have any feedback? If my daughter and I do the horseback riding, the rest of the family is looking to do something. Any suggestions on St. Maarten? This will be our first time on St. Maarten. Thank you in advance for any suggestions, comments, or opinions. Best, Hawkes
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