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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. My family took a Med cruise, and we were excited to see so many historical sites. However, I had already spent 5 weeks in Spain as a high school student learning Spanish. I was content with the cruise because I wanted to find out where I should go next for a land trip. I know now that I'd like to go to Italy for a couple of weeks... Whatever you choose, have a great trip. PS. My friends tell me that river cruises are like bus trips (land vacations) except the ship is better than a bus!!
  2. I concur with all of the above with one comment: If I don't wear long pants on the ship, I pack a pair of dockers so I have long pants for the Main Dining Room I sometimes don't get my suitcase until after dinner (we opt for early seating traditional dining). My carry on is a back pack (intermediate size).
  3. I wore mine to the Diamond Lounge once, and then lost the pin later that cruise. I thought they would need it for ID, but the lounges generally use your Sea Pass (the door is typically closed so you scan yourself in). My advice is to save it as a souvenir, or put in on your SeaPass lanyard, etc. At any rate, congratulations!
  4. Marketing. Look at the bottom line price, not the percentage discount. Some folks use spreadsheets to track the price. The general consensus is that if you want the excursion and the price seems fair, book it. You can cancel and rebook later if the price goes down (or change your mind altogether and cancel before the cruise). You will find that excursions with a meal are more than those without, and the length of the excursion can be a factor. On occasion I've saved $10-$15 per person off a $50 or $100 excursion, but that is about it. The main point is that it is more expensive to book on the ship. You can download the entire Cruise Planner excursion brochure, peruse it at your leisure, then go into Cruise Planner later when you are ready to select. Have a great cruise!
  5. I know, I was really suggesting that drinking 10 drinks in two days is overdoing it....but I was trying to be polite and used my legitimate excuse. The 10 drink cards I saw were about $80, so not really a great deal even if you can down all 10 by sharing. But I admit $8 is less than $13...I find the other ways of getting cheap or free drinks kind of undercut the unlimited drink packages or the drink cards. Just my opinion.
  6. On our last cruise in September 2019, our excursions for Mexico said we needed the environmentally friendly sunscreen, which we purchased on Amazon - more expensive than conventional sun block (a small tube at about $20 for 3 fl oz; Steam2Sea). At Roatan (Maya Key), I asked our host if it mattered which sunscreen we used (due to the reef system), and any sunscreen was OK at that site.
  7. When you get old and take meds, it reduces the amount of alcohol your liver can process...honest truth.
  8. It is hard to predict, but usually by 45-60 days out. I will yield to a recent traveler on the Symphony, but that is been our experience on other ships.
  9. When I purchased a coffee card, I was able to get a Chai Tea for my wife at the Cafe Promenade. That is one type of premium tea.
  10. One problem with the drink card is that when it is offered late in the trip, you don't have enough time to safely use it. I can't safely dtrink 4 or 5 alcoholic drinks in a day, so I have no interest in the card. Remember also, as others have said, that there are specials on the ship, likely cheap mimosas or free champagne, etc.
  11. Concur with others, including @JLMoran , and we now generally use Allianz. You can select a "tier" of coverage -- more expensive if you want extra $$ for medical, for example. We found it easy to submit a delayed baggage claim online with Allianz when we traveled to New Zealand. One benefit of Royal's contractor is the "cancel for any reason" provision, whereby you could cancel at almost the last minute, forfeit your deposit, and get the balance in future cruise credit. So it depends upon your needs -- luggage issues, medical issues, schedule/weather uncertainty, etc.
  12. We liked the Maya Key excursion, which includes beaches, snorkeling (with a guide), a small zoo, buffet lunch, swimming pool, lockers/showers. gift shop, etc. It is peaceful and less crowded than the main tourist attractions. The key is just a short boat ride from the arrival pier, and you can return early to see other sights in Roatan.
  13. Have you seen this link? https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/does-royal-caribbean-offer-luggage-valet And here is a previous post from this blog. https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/6573-luggage-valet/ You should probably contact Royal to verify the terms for your specific cruise. Enjoy!
  14. ChessE4


    At Coco Cay, we have typically snorkeled off the beach at Chill Island. To see the fish, you need to swim to the rock reefs at the edges of the small cove. Next trip, I am going to try an excursion that goes to a natural reef nearby. It wasn't very expensive, and I am thinking it would be a better snorkeling experience at Coco Cay. At Puerto Rico, as @JLMoran has stated, we typically check out the fort or walk through the old town area for shopping, vendors, cafes, etc. Have a great trip!
  15. You will be OK, but try to be sensitive to others-- different venues have different suggested attire. That means wear your best on formal night in the MDR, whatever that ends up being. We once lost our luggage and didn't have the nicest clothes to wear, but we explained to our wait staff it was the best we could do, and we were readily accommodated. Attire at dinner isn't about judging others, but it is about trying to create an atmosphere where all can enjoy the sights and sounds as well as the food and the companionship. Other nights might be casual (still no shorts/T's at dinner), tropical, or even smart casual, although that seems rare these days. Also, some ships have a white night party, and guests have gotten in the habit of wearing white to dinner. That might be another option when it falls on a formal night. Have a great cruise!
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