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About ChessE4

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    North Carolina
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    Playing chess during sea days

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  1. We enjoyed going to a nearby shopping area, I believe it is Cocoa Village or something like that -- took a bus from Ron Jon's, I think. There are lots of gift shops, restaurants, art galleries, etc. We have also just taken a bus to Cocoa Beach to enjoy the sand and water.
  2. As has been said, we found the Escape Room underwhelming. We also found the Specialty Dining over-rated; if it's free, we do it (coupon). Otherwise, we actually prefer the MDR as we get to know other cruisers. Finally, I'll never order a birthday cake or strawberries -- in our experience, the food doesn't arrive on the date scheduled, which ruins the "surprise".
  3. On a related matter, we discovered to our chagrin that the $100 transfer to the port would have been included in the price of a pre-cruise excursion. It would have involved arriving a day early and staying in a local hotel, but adjusting for the transfer price, it would have been worth it (the excursion ended at the port). When we traveled in 2015 we had no trouble locating the Royal rep at baggage claim, and we were then directed to the appropriate location to wait for the bus. We actually had enough time to get a quick bite and go the ATM for local currency.
  4. We have used AAA exclusively because we are members. We have enjoyed going to the local office (MD and NC) to discuss plans with an agent, and we've had fantastic support when problems have come up (e.g., lost luggage). We find that our agent is knowledgeable about multiple cruise lines and can integrate land packages with cruise packages, such as when we took our son to Australia for a semester abroad program. That said, we have heard great things about MEI and would consider them if we ever stop being AAA members. I might also add that when we started cruising, RCI didn't have so many au
  5. We took a couple when our son was younger, and we enjoyed them. We found that the staff really took an interest in making the cruise a delight for children. However, we also missed going to church. Now that we are retired and son has moved away, we don't go to church as much and will consider Christmas cruises.
  6. We are trying to get to Papeete on a cruise and saw a couple out of Australia, I believe in April 2022. We are hoping to continue from Papeete to Hawaii. If that doesn't work for us, we'll go in 2023. Our son recently got married and is postponing his honeymoon 1 year+ because of COVID. Congratulations and best of luck!
  7. From a public health perspective, wearing a mask is important as long as COVID-19 is a serious risk. Vaccinated persons can still be infected (we don't know how long the vaccines will be enduring, and different vaccines have different efficacy rates), and we can't really track asymptomatic people. I expect we will have a transition period during which masks are recommended to protect both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests and staff. There is also the hope that the virus will mutate to be more benign, but that may take many years. I am not banking on that.
  8. For my 2022 cruise I tracked old prices from a previous cruise and then the online "brochure" price, which is generally less than onboard by a 10% or more. I found an excursion we liked that was 25% below the brochure price. A few others were also discounted, but most of our other candidate excursions weren't discounted from the brochure. So I'd say it's really hit or miss on Black Friday.
  9. We saved 25% off the online brochure price of an excursion. Only a few excursions were discounted, though. Most were still at the original price I'd been tracking for months.
  10. 5 February 22 -Chess E4 (Rhapsody)
  11. On my 2022 cruise the listed price is about $43 something plus tip per day. That seems to compare to the other posts.
  12. Instead of trying that, we have used a chat feature of Royal's Ap to contact others. Not sure which ship you will be on or that status of their infrastructure in 2022. With COVID, I believe the Ap will be deployed on all ships. I am sure others have a more direct and accurate answer to your question.
  13. I don't really think it is about the $$, but your enjoyment of the cruise. That is, if you can get the room type you want at a fair price, do it. That has been our strategy. We have learned to get better prices by booking well in advance, but we certainly don't think a $100 here or there would make a difference to our lifestyle. I still regret not paying $300 extra per ticket to fly non-stop to London, choosing a cheaper method that almost caused us to miss our cruise. Having this airline experience behind me, I approach cruise pricing looking for a fair deal but not a "killer price". We
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