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bobroo

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Everything posted by bobroo

  1. Here’s what I don’t understand because this is quite a frequent thing, the last happening in March in San Juan. OK, so the GPS is out of wack with ships computer, or the ships guidance system is not communicating with the engine room; really the mechanical issue doesn’t matter. There is a pilot that has boarded the vessel sitting in one of the command chairs, the captain is sitting in the other. (FYI: in these instances responsibility and fault falls on the captains shoulders, NOT the pilots) There has got to be at least a dozen people with stripes on their shoulders assisting with the docking. None of these dockings are anybody’s first time there. Collectively it’s hundreds of dockings if not thousands at any particular port; no matter what cruise line. So, with all that experience and human oversight. How do they not know “Hey, we should be much slower at this point in time” “Dude, there is another vessel that is way too frick’in close to our berth” or “We are Waaaytooo close to the dock” It seems awareness of a problem should have been known well before the ship collides with the end of the pier and some evasive actions taken beforehand.
  2. 8,000 cruise points?.....That's like a boatload of glass blocks!
  3. And.....another well said, easy to understand post by Twangster explaining the slightly confusing world of Royal Caribbean! @Twangster has touched on something important here that is worth talking some more about, cruising benefits once you are Diamond and above; because they might not be what perceive them be. To be fair, it's always easy to look down from a ladder and much harder to climb up it; I get it. Benefits wise; some are OK, a couple very good, and some I find not valuable and don't care to use them. But over time the benefits are slowly being eroded away. The biggest benefit I find at being D+ is not written on some webpage; I am grateful for the experiences I have had. I am thankful that Royal Caribbean has provided an affordable way to travel and see the world; many places I would never have been to if it were based on my own doing. I respect Royal for providing a clean, safe environment no matter what ship I'm on. Any of the Royal fleet, I feel very comfortable once I finally get onboard. Cabin wise, I have never had a bed, washroom, or carpeting not feel like home--no matter what class I happened to been traveling in; I've done most of them. I have always had plenty to eat: I average gaining a pound a day. Royal Caribbean is a great way to vacation. Pressing to climb the Crown and Anchor ladder? I think many of us would say "It's the journey, not the destination. Enjoy it!" As Twangster is recommending, check out different itineraries. Sail out of a new port. Let an excursion introduce you to something new or bring you slightly out of your comfort zone. And....it doesn't have to cost a million dollars. A word about the Diamond Lounge: I (affectionally) call the nightly Diamond event "Raccoons entering the Dumpster". 'Cause it is a lot like that and you can set your watch to them; just show up about 15-20 minutes early, you'll see. But that being said, at 53 years old, I am a younger aged raccoon. It's not exactly loud music, dancing, and crazy party time. It's quiet conversation. Yes, for me it replaces buying a drink package; but on the other hand, it's not worth spending thousands for extra cruise points just to receive the perk. The coffee machine is nice if you like cappachino. The concierge is is great and can work out your difficulties or bend some rules, as a Diamond or above, you should have fewer and fewer issues.
  4. On my own there last March and March of 2018-- it's awful. Both times the water was milky with visibility of just 2-3 feet. It's because of the breakwater creating the coves on either side of the resort. The view on Google maps is deceiving. A more open water area would be helpful. Perhaps the excursion to Rat Island/Amiga Island is a better choice? I would be willing to try on my next visit.
  5. Just throw'n this out there.... Aircraft carriers are built in Virginia.
  6. Here is some experienced cruiser advice for anyone with a cruise on Oasis departing in the next oh.... 3 or 4 months. Sit down and make a written contingency list of substitute places, people, events, opportunities, or even cruises. Make it a written list and the longer the better. And under each one write how you would get to the Grand Canyon, visit Aunt Edna, kick back at a caribbean resort, spend some quality time in Montreal, etc. etc. Explore each of those possibilities what a room might cost per night, daily allowance for meals, airfare, car rental. Get yourself some ball park numbers for each of those proposals. Figure out some sort of ranking system as to the ones you like the best, the amount of hassle, and perhaps most importantly the potential cost; taking into account Royal might not immediately pony up the money you have already paid for your trip. Be prepared! Be Proactive! Do some of that legwork now. Waiting till you get a email from Royal saying your trip has been canceled and they are working closely with an insurance company to issue a full refund---ahhh, important time will have been lost to plug something else in. About 5,500 other passengers receiving the same email will be saying the same words "Well, just put me on another boat." Sorry Charlie, 5,500 people are not just going to get on another RCL ship next week. Please don't get mad and frustrated at Royal over this. This is a part of cruising we passengers all risk. At sometime in your cruising career your are going to encounter a hurricane, miss an important flight, have all your checked bags lost, a war being fought, all kinds of potential disappointing events that are going to step on your cruise buzz. We are all rolling the dice. Let this be a good lesson on how to make lemonade out of a bunch of lemons.
  7. Royal charged me $60 for a two way transfer from/to FLL-Port Miami for my cruise on Allure last week. There was no indication that this transfer was even available on my cruise planner, the royal app, or the royal website; I had to call in to request it. Yes, there is free public wifi at FLL.
  8. I love this post Twang, thanks so much for sharing. I am going to spend some quality time with this tomorrow.
  9. Waaaytooo is exactly correct. A few years ago it would save you like $100 on a cruise because I think you could combine it with other offers; if memory serves. But those days are long gone. There shareholder benefit is less than other offers and is now uncombinable. I think all of us shareholders here would say investing in RCL has been a good thing and we all recommend it. What I think we would all agree on being super RCL fans is the transparency. While onboard you can see how the ships are sailing full, while online here you can see the FOMO and the consistent "buying of a better experience", and there is seemingly a never ending news releases of new, additional ships. At this point, all a very positive outlook.
  10. +1 for Barcelona Day Tours! We used them a couple years ago post cruise and were very happy. The monastery in Montserrat impressed me more than I expected. The views of the countryside were incredible, the boys choir sounded angelic, and then there is the Black Madonna. Very, very happy and this was half the tour. The other was Gaudi sites in Barcelona. Enough can not be said about Sagrada Famila. Absolutely stunning, even if you don't like Dr Suess. Anyone spending time in Barcelona need to make Sagrada Familia a part of their visit. Incredible, It is really something! @mom2mybugs we can discuss on Allure in 3 weeks.
  11. Why??? I'm going to need a lot of people to explain to me why this was a good choice. I am all for public displays of art and grateful for those people and institutions that have the inspiration and money to do it. But RCL management could have made a better choice because this is going to haunt them.
  12. We spent a few days in Honolulu after our RCL Hawaii cruise two years ago. Going to Pearl Harbor was a big bucket list item while we were there. As much as a quintessential luau and splurging to stay in the same Hilton our grandparents stayed in on their Hawaiian trip of a lifetime. There are seemingly dozens of companies that offer Pearl Harbor excursions. Walk into the lobby of any of the big hotels and they assuredly have their preferred vendor's literature. Their deal is this: they will pick you up in their small bus at or near that hotel, provide an escort of sorts that will tell you all sorts of background info during the ride there (I'm thinking it took 45 minutes from the Hilton), they will give you an entry ticket to the park, and then they will take you via bus back to that hotel. For some unknown reason these tour operators like to pick you up at ridiculous times in the morning so you can be waiting in line at the Harbor at a vacation ridiculous 6:30 in the morning. It's not like you are beating the rush, as a matter of fact we we visited two years ago, leaving at about 10:30 there were no lines to get in what-so-ever. I scratched my head. If you are getting off a ship and have time to spend before an evening flight, I would think you are better off just getting there on your own. Importance of the Arizona Memorial? While it is an iconic piece of American architecture, it by no means is the entire Pearl Harbor experience. If it happens to be under construction while you are there--so be it. Is it raining that day? You still need to go. It is what it is. Pearl Harbor is an important part of American history even though it exposed our worst management. The self guided tour through the museum gives an excellent account of what led up to Dec 7; what exactly occurred that day and the days following; and tells both sides of the story. It is very well done, much the same way as the Book Depository is in Dallas. No guarantees but often you will find a survivor or two near the book shop. I think our excursion was about $125 a person (?). Some easy internet searches will tell you what the entry fee actually is and what the going rate is for the tour operators and their ridiculous hours. A simple internet map search will tell you where the port is in relation to Pearl Harbor and what taxi, Uber, rent-a-car, or scooter rental might be a better option for your circumstance. Don't let a perceived high price get in the way of going; it's Hawaii, everything is going to be expensive. Lastly, everyone leaves Pearl Harbor somber. An afternoon of beach balls, surfing lessons, and foo foo drinks will not be what you are in the mood for. It's a hard punch in the gut.
  13. Some day I would love to belly up to a Champaign Bar and have you explain to me how Nassau, Bahamas continually manages to suck so bad because I. DO. NOT. UNDERSTAND. The King Louie XIII will be on me.
  14. One final note: The same thing happens to me time and time again when I disembark. I walk past those tables of shame; those couple of folding tables just before the final swipe of my sea pass. Tables full of irons, hair dryers, 100' orange extension cords, heating pads, and always but always an object that surprises me. All rubber banded and thinly disguised by a sheet of white copy paper. I'll shake my head with a disappointed smile and say "Jesus Christ...." As I walk down the gangway I'll think "Gee, can you believe all that? Dude, C'mon." Then I'll say "WAIT! I've seen that disappointed smile and headshake many times before, I am really turning into my Grandfather!"
  15. I see we have four problems here: 1) The failure of many people, even seasoned cruisers, to understand the concept "different ships have different rules". 2) The failure of many, many, many people thinking that because there is an empty outlet it is absolutely OK to plug something into it; completely disregarding everything else that is consuming electricity on that circuit. And, the thought by creating more more receptacles, the more stuff can be plugged in at the same time. 3) The failure of the cruise industry to provide enough electricity to lower class cabins despite an increased need to charge phones, cameras, laptops, portable speakers, Fitbits and iWatches, vaping materials, etc etc. The big cabins have many, many outlets to choose from. 4) Do as I say, not as I do. It's surprising how many surge protectors and artificial outlets Royal uses at various venues. Places that with known electrical requirements when they built the ship. It's baffling, really. Our friend Monorailmedic made a great post a couple years back why surge protectors are a bad idea onboard. I agree with everything he said and from a engineering perspective he is very correct. To me the issue is even simpler than the science of ground fault on DC circuits. Look at the things that are strictly prohibited: irons, hair dryers, extension cords, hover boards; all things that consume a lot of electricity. There is a reason why Sparky the vacuum cleaner is plugged in the hallway by stateroom attendants--he's thirsty.
  16. Here is what Carny's policy is regarding Missing The Ship (fast forward to 1:35):
  17. There is protocol for folks who don’t make it to the ship on time beyond blasting the ships horn. It begins with announcements onboard requesting they call guest relations (because it is entirely possible they are aboard); you can be sure their recent seapass use is researched to see if they have entered their stateroom, bought a drink, played a slot machine, bought some art from Park West, etc. etc. I’d like to think somebody onboard is calling, emailing, and texting the important contact information you were required to submit when you bought the cruise. Finally— security enters their stateroom and ransacks it to obtain their passport and then those missing persons passports are handed to the local port agent before the ship leaves. Offenders are left high and dry but with access to their passports, just no luggage. On the bright side they do have plenty of time to head back to Froggies or Margaritaville. Who is the port agent you ask? Well, somewhere buried in your cruise documents is the name, address, and phone number of the port agents for the ports you will be visiting. You sign your name that you are aware of this people when you first get onboard. Remember? We all can be sure the ports where people are frequently late like Rome (Civitavecchia) or Nassau everyone who works on that pier will know which way you need to go and who you need to see. Not every pier runner is drunk. Hey, sometimes medical emergencies happen while passengers are in port. In those cases, the hospital will usually notify the ship that Mr Smith has had a heart attack and Mrs Smith will be staying with him while he is in surgery or Mr Jones is in traction from a zip line injury earlier that morning; in those cases Royal security will ransack the room and the little safe looking for passports as they do but they will also pack the personal belongings and leave those with the port agent. So maybe hospitality has not completely left the cruise industry?
  18. Boy, there's lot's to like in this post! I like that you are planning ahead--well in advance. I like that you are combining cruising and scuba because I think they go really well together. But best of all, and we'll see how this all pans out; I like that you are creating a unique family activity that all of you can share cruise after cruise. Even if the ol' man is footing the bill for all of this, little do they know he is the one getting the most out of it. <insert big thumbs up emoji>
  19. Matt is exactly correct but forgot to add that their theater smells like a wet basement. And don't bother to ask for "a big glass of 151" at the end; it only makes the bartenders giggle like schoolgirls.
  20. This private island concept benefits RCL in the future because there will be guaranteed dock space for it to put its ships. With all the cruise lines adding ships, available ports (in particular those with docks) are in short supply. When a major storm occurs or a ships major mechanical failure, now there may be a nearby safe harbor. Smart thinking! But, for the "...each markets idea of a perfect day is." ahhhh.......my perfect day while I'm vacation and already at a beach has nothing to do with screaming riders on roller coasters. Sadly, the members of the Royal Caribbean board room think they are competitive with Disney. Sorry fellas--not even close.
  21. If this guy got that Bahamian navy boat (you know the one I'm talking about) to actually move and do something--I think we all owe this man a round of applause.
  22. Yes, if there is a Discover Scuba class (or excursion) it will be taught by the instructor(s) and a dive master or two; all of whom work in the ships dive shop. The class will happen at whatever shop is the dive excursion provider at what ever the port of call is. There is orientation, some learning, issuing some gear and cumulated by a dive. They will be there within an arms reach every step of your dive. Those first few breaths underwater are very trippy soon turning into being very cool. Multiple Discover Scuba sessions? Ummm......you sure you don't wanna rethink just getting your Open Water cert on the ship???? I understand being uncertain or nervous about scuba but on the other hand there is no good reason for doing Discover Scuba several times over during the same week. And, there is no carryover or credit that can be applied to getting your OW in the future. So if someone is showing this much interest in diving before they go on their cruise, I would recommend becoming OW certified; not doing the same introductory class over and over again.
  23. The Barcelona cruise terminal and the airport are pretty close. Since there is no customs to pass through at the cruise terminal (you just pick up your bags and walk out the door) it will quicker and easier to just take a cab rather than wait for a bus to fill up. The very modern Barcelona airport is a pleasure to fly in and out of. And it's huge, Texans would be proud to have BCN in their state. If you arrive to the airport early, don't be in a hurry to get to your gate. At BCN, if you are at a international gate and then want to grab something to eat or go wander around the stores; you have to go through security again.
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