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Everything posted by bobroo

  1. While I have the floor and I'm admitting to all my cruising shortcomings: I'm so addicted to to cruising that I..... <deep breath> post video reviews of cabins that we have had in the past on YouTube. I'll be completely honest--I AM A BALCONY SNOB. I go to great lengths to select rooms for our cruises. #1 criteria is Price; #2 what is the balcony like? I can not be the only one who distrusts RCL deck plans. So I share fairly short, sweet videos of our cabins and their accommodations for all the world to see; usually when we first enter the room. I've posted 6 of them now. My YouTube channel is bobroo007
  2. Here is what I have learned and other stray observations from watching Love Boat episodes: When an episode begins, we immediately need to surf Wikipedia to find a biography of a former hollywood star/ or a wanna-be star. This is always a fun an informative stroll down memory lane. For example: Who would have thought that Olivia de Havilland is still alive, almost 100 years old, and currently lives in France? Or, what ever happened to ___ ___ (insert name)??? Or, why was so-and- so famous? Some of the episodes were filmed on actual cruises during sea days. A frequent guest, Bret Sommers has said doing a Love Boat was easy, fun money--and a free vacation. It's fun to watch the actors in the wind. I joke with my wife "Julie: she gets all the guys..." but in reality Captain Stuebing doesn't captain much but rather focuses his time on hooking up-- and is quite successful, nearly every episode. I can now identify with being a crew member. Because when I hear Julie say at the beginning of an episode "we will be sailing to Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan" I say "AGAIN??? Yuk!" It must have been great to sail when alcohol was included in your cruise fare. Sometimes the guest stars were wasted; and we think that is generally pretty funny. Makes me think an Alzamara cruise is not as expensive as the prices I've seen. There is always a sail away scene with guests on the top deck throwing streamers galore overboard. Nearly everyone in those scenes is holding a cocktail. Ahh the good old days. Baked Alaska was a big, big deal in the Dining Room; and everyones dessert. Ahh the good old days. Extravagant Midnight buffets with bands and dancing poolside. Ahh the good old days. Skeet shooting off the aft of the ship. Ahh the good old days. Every night was a formal night. But Love Boat formal nights are what current sailings make fun of on 70's night. Most of the tuxedos on the 1977-78-79 episodes are G-R-O-O-V-Y Man!...and I secretly wish I had one. The stars of the show always have a scene at the pool. The stars of the show are always fully clothed at the pool (unless the guest is Cheryl Tiegs or similar star known to show skin as their skill). Everyone else is wearing a scanty bathing suit. Not that I want to see Don Knotts in a bathing suit.... but the stars stand out for all the wrong reasons. The pool on the Love Boat is very, very small and completely unattractive. The Oasis has larger hot tubs. How could Gopher possibly be the purser of the ship? He can't tie his own shoes. He's in charge of all the money???? The accommodations for the crew are spacious, single bed per room, and have phonographs and posters and windows and various souvenirs. So I'm calling out the stories I've heard about current crew members living below deck in cramped quarters with a couple other roommates. Obviously that isn't true. Scenes on the bridge are funny because it so doesn't look like a bridge and Captian Stuebing is so unconcerned about the heading the ship. If he ever needs binoculars-- they are hanging on the wall. Captain Stuebing's quarters resemble a boardroom in a way. It makes me say myself "Why have I never seen a photo of a current captions quarters?" I bet they are equal to a Owner's Suite. Debarkation: When the entire crew shakes your hand and thanks you for coming aboard. Ahh the good old days.
  3. Hello-- My name is Bob and I DVR episodes of The Love Boat--all of them. Every single one of them.
  4. Another thing, irregardless of how one feels about RCL pricing; it's undeniable that at this point in time RCL ships are sailing at or above capacity. I believe every sailing is full. Therefore, -at this point in time- RCL needs to have more ships in the water. A note about RCL pricing in comparison to other alternatives. I think RCL is priced in line with Sandals, Club Med, or a stay at a Fairmont hotel. At the end of the day, when all taxes, cost of booze, excursions, etc. is taken into account. Compared to other cruise lines??? Well, RCL sure ain't as expensive as some, that's for sure!!!
  5. I suspect that in addition to whatever justification the BoD at RCL uses to green light building a new ship, somewhere in that reasoning is an effort to keep the shipbuilders obligating time and energy to RCL. Meaning: there are only so many shipbuilders capable of building these type of ships. Each ship takes several years to build. Therefore if RCL keeps shipbuilders busy building RCL ships, they don't have time to build for other cruise lines.
  6. I vote for Jeff Dunham to open for Blue Man Group. But I gotta admit those Blue Man shows must take a while to clean up after and I don't think RCL wants THOSE kind of shenanigans going on in a new multi-million dollar theater. But I can wish all I want, right?
  7. This is a great question! Thanks for asking!
  8. Check out this discussion: http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php/topic/642-first-cruise-with-royal-caribbean-have-some-questions/ If I didn't mention in one of those posts, having a doorbell will always having you want another one. Our next doorbell is in March.
  9. I was very skeptical of CoCo Cay and boy was I ever wrong! CoCo Cay is plain and simple a great day at the beach. Plenty of space, plenty of activities, and it's well organized. Bringing your own snorkel gear is a good way to save some bucks. They will make you wear a vest, so bring one along. I've found the best snorkeling to actually be where they want you to go! In particular, head out to the island that will have a lifeguard and beach umbrella on it, then vere left twords the ship to the end of the roped off area. Being deeper water, there will be some large fish there. It is quite impressive. Having snorkeled on just about every Royal Caribbean snorkeling excursion, this area of CoCo Cay is my #3 favorite of all time--and it's free!
  10. Seemingly we've been on that boat a half dozen times over the years. We never experienced terribly rough seas; or any worse than any snorkeling excursion I've ever been on and I've been on nearly all of them offered by RCL. <Hey! there's a blogcast idea, What Is Supposed To Happen On A Snorkeling Excursion!> I've read those rough water horror stories too, I'm skeptical. To me the worst part is the 40 minutes it takes to go each way.
  11. Or, you could decide to go "rogue".... http://www.ebay.com/itm/Drawer-Cabinet-Security-8mm-Triangle-Spanner-Key-54mm-Long-wt-/281704816605?hash=item4196ea5fdd
  12. We went to the Meet the Stars and the Behind the Scenes tour when we were on Oasis last May. OMG! VERY IMPRESSIVE!!!! Both those events completely changed my opinion of RCL stage performances, the ability of the performers, and the amount of $$$ and effort to put on the shows. I'm a changed man! While both these events may be for upper level C and A members; you don't necessarily get carded at the door and they don't take attendance. So I think it's safe to say that interested adults who can behave themselves are just as welcome as folks who get the invitation slipped under their door.I strongly recommend going; it will be yet another Oasis experience in which you totally forget you are on a ship. And still another Oasis experience which is completely different than your other experiences even though they are very close in proximity. Sorry Andrew Lloyd Webber, there are some format issues with your Cats production. 1) Not everyone understands London vernacular. So, a lot of what your characters say goes right over the heads of English speakers from other parts of the world 2) The story is far from a cliff hanger 3) The costumes and set are fantastic! But by the end of the first act the audience has seen them all. And finally 4) Memory is sung at the end of the first act. If there is a song on Broadway that says "Shows Over" it's Memory. BUT......Had those exiting audience members been the the Behind the Scenes and/or Meet the Cast; they would have a whole new appreciation for the production and would be glued to their seats too amazed to even shake the paws of Deuteronomy.
  13. "Lovely Cruise" by Jimmy Buffett is the quintessential end of cruise song. I've often wondered why RCL doesn't play it and the RCL marketing department doesn't exploit it???
  14. So a related question: Are you able to select your cabin from all those available using a TA or just the cabins that the TA has available???
  15. If I could tell RCL of an issue I have (after many, many sailings) is "Why can I tell you with reasonable certainty what the nationality is of crew members based on job position???" I think this is wrong-- for a lot of reasons. The most glaring example: That syndicate called Head Waiters. I can with 99% certainty guarantee your future head waiter will be a male of Indian decent.
  16. Here are a few things we bring to make life on a cruise a little easier. As a matter of fact, these are dedicated cruise items; kept in the awaiting suitcases. We could go on another cruise faster than the fire department arrives if you called 9-1-1 1. Flameless LED tealights. Sold at Target and dollar stores across the country. Super cheap and the ideal night light in case you to use your cabins washroom in the middle of the night. 2. Magnets. The first thing that will get posted to the wall is the business card of the room attendant. Next will be all the party invites. Perhaps a written message or two. One magnet will be left behind holding our room attendants tip. 3. Clothesline and a couple clothespins. We have about 25' of that cheap nylon paracord we use as a clothesline on our balcony. We mount it so that the bathing suits, cover ups, and water shoes hang behind the glass of the railing. We are careful not to make a flamboyant display of laundry. Our stuff drys a lot quicker outside rather than in our shower. 4. Walkie Talkies. Despite all the opposition to them, they come in real handy occasionally; just for my wife and I. They do make a lot of sense. Our $20 Beofeng walkie talkies are awesome. 5. Wireless Speaker. A small bluetooth speaker is perfect for afternoons on the balcony or playing in the background when getting ready for dinner.
  17. My wife and I enjoyed the time we sailed out of Galveston on Navigator. I completely agree that since there are many Texans aboard they have a way of taking over the ship and there is a lot of Texas focus such as the Trivia contests and one of the bands will be an old school country band. This band played at the Top Tier event. You'll see hats on formal night. We enjoyed the Belize cave tubing. I would not call it a river, a creek is a much better term. I posted a very detailed review of that excursion on the RCL site. Check it out, if it's not there I'd be happy to share our experience. Cozumel is wonderful and is really the "IT" destination for Caribbean sailings because there are so many offerings and it is so tourist friendly. If it is Mayan ruins you are looking for, Cozumel is the place. I have been on RCL excursions to all the major sites and find them fascinating. If you'd like details...just ask me. I'll start by telling you to watch a couple interesting Netflix videos to wet your appetite. Steel drums and creole food? Well......No. You are going to the wrong part of the Caribbean. There will be a band onboard that plays Caribbean flavored music poolside (most likely Jamaican). But if it's Soca music, tin pans, and smoked catch of the day in a banana leaf you are intent on; St. Lucia, Grenada, and Barbados are the heartbeat of that culture.
  18. My wife and I use $28 dollar Beofang walkie talkies from e-Bay. Only 2 watts and not complete coverage but for our purposes they work great! We use them for specific circumstances. 1) We are headed two different directions on a port day, such as separate excursions. We agree to communicate at a certain time; many times excursions are a little late in getting back to ship. 2) One of us is headed to Guest Services to sort some things out and the other (my wife) is stuck in a Solarium whirlpool. They work great just to get word back or get a second opinion on whatever Guest Services has told me. I think walkie talkies are essential "must haves" for cruising; like magnets, a clothesline, a bluetooth speaker, or LED night lights.
  19. Markinct forgot to mention that his tux rental was for the entire week, not just one night. He could have been James Bond all 7 nights if he liked. I'll +1 on European cruises being overall less formal. When we go I think that European cruises are all about the ports you visit and that the boat is just a very familiar cheap hotel.
  20. Another way of looking at it ang73 is that you are going to learn a lot about RCL while babysitting your upcoming cruise. We certainly have in the past and it has made us better cruisers. In the same breath I'd have to say "Don't expect miracles." Under current cruise line economic conditions; literally the fish are jumping into the boat. Each of todays RCL cruises are at 104% of occupancy capacity. There are NO open rooms. Therefore there is no incentive for RCL to lower rates, but rather every incentive to raise them. The surplus of customers also explains the loss of hospitality by RCL.
  21. We too invested in open bookings,..... 'cause ya' never know. Well, unfortunately in our case a couple things happened. 1) RCL goes out of their way to not disclose that you have them in hopes that they are forgotten. 2) We did not forget! But it was a wrestling match to get RCL to "find" our past open booking numbers that we had not used yet. Several phone calls and literally 2 hours on the phone. Even after coming up with the credit card data we used to purchase them. Finally we received our magic numbers and still have two remaining. 3) After that ordeal I flat out admitted defeat that we should receive the benefits available when we originally purchased them. Forget about it! So my advice is: GOOD RECORDKEEPING IS A MUST! I'll get even with RCL in the Diamond Lounge the next time I'm onboard! And really punish them on Lobster Night--my personal best is 6 Fisherman's Catch entree's w/ 2 appetizers and a basket of rolls.
  22. I am under the distinct impression that the Casino and Gaming is subcontracted out; just like the Spa, Park West and the Art Gallery, and the Shoppes Onboard. And like the Spa, the company that actually operates the Casino and it's employees; probably does so for all the cruise lines. So, what we see as changes in RCL policies may really be changes in the policy from the Casino operator.
  23. Another thing Jill; let's strike a bargain. We all here can give a bunch of tips and pointers, opinions, experiences, or whatever.... if you, after your cruise, report back to us. Tell us how everything went. What you liked. What you didn't. And perhaps a little comparison/contrast to the experiences you've had aboard other lines. Seems fair..Deal?
  24. Absolutely beers are included in Concierge Lounge! Hor d'ourves are served there. Nice hor d'ourves especially made for the suite guests. Hor d' curves made by a chef who appreciates food. The differences of the big suites are really noticeable by those who have cruised a lot in the past and can appreciate the details and differences.
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