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Everything posted by Sushitex

  1. If you and your spouse have both earned dollars-off certificates, or are receiving other offers from Club Royale, and each one of you has the same offer code (with perhaps a difference in the last digit) you can combine your offer with the same one as your spouse. Sometimes, if the cruise is a short one and during off-season, you can combine said offers to book a really inexpensive cruise - we have had some cruises that amounted to paying only for taxes because of the combined discounts. Just food for thought. If for some reason you don't know about the offers website, here it is: https://www.clubroyaleoffers.com/ You can insert the needed information to find out if your wife has any other offers listed (the one you referred to should be included.) You never know - something better than the certficates may be listed. The general rule of thumb is to book a comped cruise a.s.a.p. - they go fast.
  2. Now, Carnival: https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/28044-carnival-cruise-line-removes-pre-cruise-testing-for-vaccinated-guests-more-changes-announced.html
  3. ...and here is your chance! https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/28044-carnival-cruise-line-removes-pre-cruise-testing-for-vaccinated-guests-more-changes-announced.html Too bad our next 2 cruises are with Carnival (shh...casino cruises) and they are scheduled for August 20 and 27th.
  4. Lighthouse Parking has raised or elevated lots. There are photos of their lots on their website that will show as much. I just checked and they are accepting reservations for November and beyond.
  5. Thanks for all your responses. It sounds like Terminal 1 will be put to good use - I had forgotten that Disney and Princess will start to cruise out of Galveston.
  6. I read that earlier, and thought, "Hey, I hope this is enough incentive for the cruise lines to discontinue the mandate of COVID-19 testing." I'm not against it inherently, BUT it's so darn expensive if you have to pay for it, and fewer and fewer places are offering it for free.
  7. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cdc-covid-19-guidelines-updated-recommendations/ Especially: "Detailed recommendations are expected to be updated and "streamlined" over the coming days, including for travel, nursing homes, and other high-risk congregate settings. "
  8. An alternative to Daniel Johnson’s excursion in Roatan are the those by Victor Bodden (independent shore excursions.) We have booked with him 3 times - the first 2, we had our then-teenage son with us, and he did the Zip & Dip tour, which included zip lining in a cool jungle environment, seeing the monkeys and macaws, and a ride to and from Bananarama, a beach and restaurant complex on the West End. Son was 16 the first time, then 17 the second time. The Zip happened at Bodden’s own Monkey Business complex. Hubby and I skipped the Zip, but we did everything else. Our third visit was last December. Our son is working in another state now, so it was just hubby and myself. We returned to Victor Bodden’s, and now we were also able to be hugged by a sloth, besides seeing the monkeys and birds. We were supposed to go to Bananarama and everyone else on the bus did go, but the driver kindly dropped us off near the cruise terminal (we just didn’t want to go to the beach and it had been raining steadily anyway.) Looking at his current website, it appears that he is still in business. Although we reserved online all 3 times (and paid cash upon arrival) I am not sure if things have changed since last December. I recall that one could also book by simply walking up to their kiosk at the cruise terminal.
  9. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but when the new cruise terminal in Galveston opens in November, will all Royal Caribbean ships sail from that terminal, or will Royal use the older terminal for the older/smaller ships (those with 4 or 5 day sailings?) We have several cruises booked from November through March based out of Galveston- 3 on the Adventure and 2 on the Allure. Naturally, we expect to be able to use the new terminal for the Allure sailings, but have no clue about the Adventure. We are not too concerned about parking because we usually book with Lighthouse, but out of curiosity, is the Port of Galveston building a parking lot near the new terminal? Thanks for any words of wisdom or genuine news!
  10. Ok, I get it, gas prices are high and we decided, at the last moment, to fly from the Gulf Coast of Texas to Seattle. I don’t understand why you chose this forum to complain about that issue - the high price of gas has nothing to do with cruise ships or cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean. Not only that, you or someone you know chose to go on an Alaskan cruise- no one twisted your arm. You could have switched to a cruise that sails from a port on the East Coast. Everyone not living on the West Coast has to decide whether the ability to visit Alaska is worth the extra travel expenses - just a thorn to go along with the roses. I am not sure what you were trying to accomplish by submitting your original post. You stated that you enjoyed the cruise but pretty much complained about the food, the itinerary being changed (due to a medical emergency), having to stop in B.C., the fact that someone caught Covid, and so on and so on. What part of the cruise or Alaska did you enjoy? I’m sure some of us would appreciate more details about the positive experiences. Or were you merely venting and expecting sympathy?
  11. While we were on the Oasis last November for a short 4-night cruise, I made a point of going to the Park Cafe for an embarkation lunch. From what I recall, they had the famous Kummelwick (roast beef) sandwich, a salad bar, maybe soup, and some desserts. Oh, and bags of chips if you asked for them, lol. It is located on deck 8 (Central Park) which was convenient for us - our cabin was on the same deck. Central Park seemed to be quieter in general than other decks, and definitely less hectic than the Windjammer.
  12. htmlWe were on the Quantum from May 23-30, and we did not feel that it was our worst Royal cruise ever. I'm a research fiend, so I knew way ahead of time that most of the shore excursions were sold out by the time we booked. I had to make the best of what was available. In fact, our Skagway excursion was canceled by Royal and I found a good walking tour guide online, downloaded it, and we ended up walking around the historical buildings and shopping for a bit during our day there. Relaxing, cheap and enjoyable. I also asked other cruisers beforehand what a good excursion in Victoria might be and one lady mentioned Butchart Gardens, so that is what we did (plus the Butterfly Museum.) Hubby and I are certainly not gardeners (we live in a condo) but we still were amazed by the gardens' beauty. Yes, we arrived in Victoria about 5 p.m., but the tour operators (great guys, btw) said that they received permission to stay in the gardens after closing hours. Same thing for the Butterfly Museum - they re-opened their doors for our tour buses. Elevators weren't too bad on the ship, from what I remember. We usually ate before 8 a.m. in the Windjammer (we tried Cafe 270 for breakfast once, we preferred the Windjammer.) I honestly don't see what was wrong with Quantum's Windjammer; the food was tastier than several other Windjammers that we've been to, and it was very decent at lunchtime as well. We were able to sail through part of Endicott Arms, but had to stop and turn around before we caught sight of Dawson Glacier because there were multiple ice floes in the water and it was not safe for a large cruise ship. It was absolutely true - we observed the Endicott Arms through our large window in our cabin at the very front of the ship, and yes, there were many, many ice floes. The OP neglected to mention - or maybe didn't know about this - that in the SeaPlex, FREE bumper cars are available for anyone willing to wait in line to enjoy them. Hubby and I went twice, I guess we are kids at heart! We are in our early 60's, lol. I believe that the most disappointing event that happened during this cruise was that when returned from our Victoria excursion, there was only 1 bar open (we wanted sodas) and only Cafe Promenade was available for a late-evening meal (around 9:15 or so.) So naturally, the line for pizza was long, and the line for getting 2 cans of soda at a nearby bar was even worse. Hubby grumbled about it, complained to guest services and of course, nothing could be done. It turns out that we should have read that morning's Cruise Compass - on the front page was a disclaimer stating that due to Canadian regulations, they were forced to have only 1 bar and 1 eating establishment available on each deck while they were in port. So I didn't do my research for that one item. Another disappointment was the musical performance held in 270. While it was incredible as far as techonology goes, there was no plot or cohesion between each musical number, and like several of the musical performances in the regular theater, the sound was so loud that it became distorted and hard to understand. Honestly we are much happier in smaller theaters/venues such as on the Adventure or the Liberty. Not as fancy, but they make sense, lol. We also flew into Seattle to board the ship, but I guess we were lucky and it wasn't that bad. As far as Covid goes, we wore KN-94 masks on that ship whenever we walked around in crowded areas (the Esplanade) and certainly in the elevators, and we did not come home with Covid. We were not the only folks wearing masks btw. All in all, not a bad cruise. At least we experienced a Quantum-class ship for the first time. Next time, we may sail on a smaller ship to Alaska, simply because it's becoming evident to us that we prefer the Freedom and Voyager class ships with every new ship we sail. But, to each his own - that's the beauty in being able to choose from 26 ships. See photo below for a view of just one of the gardens at Butchart. All of the gardens there are simply spectacular! So, yes, a visit to British Columbia is NOT a waste of time, IMHO.
  13. Or, if your smart phone is working while in port, the ship's time should still be displayed on the home page of the Royal app.
  14. A few months ago, I earned 800 points during our cruise, which was enough to earn an interior room certificate. Please note that, sadly, the 800-point promotion ended April 30. Anyway, I recalled having bonus play, which in this case, was $16. I spent it in a slot machine, of course. I believe that if you have a significant amount of bonus play, you will have the option of converting bonus play to OBC - I am just not certain what the minimum amount would be to qualify. BTW, if you like FB Groups, there is an excellent one that is for Club Royale Casino Patrons ( do a search if you’re interested, easy to find. ) I think they could answer these type of questions in a flash. I just hope I don’t get into trouble mentioning the group here.
  15. I have been on both ships as well, and hubby and I actually prefer the Adventure as a whole. We have been on the Adventure for 8 cruises ( hubby has 9, actually.) While the Oasis is a beautiful ship, we found the crew on the Adventure to be much friendlier. True, no Aqua Show, but their Production Shows at least made sense. We were recently disappointed in the Starwater show on the Quantum of the Seas, a much larger ship. It was indeed a marvel in technology, but there was no cohesion between each song and dance, and no plot as well, I’m sorry to say. The Oasis is also saddled with (by a long- term contract) the infamous “Cats.” As for the inside cabins, since hubby and I receive either discounted or comped cruises via Club Royale - yes, we’re lowly Prime - we have no problem staying in the interior rooms that we’re offered. We are usually out and about the ship anyway. Who wants to be cooped up in a cabin all day, no matter what the size? Might as well stay home, eh? BTW, we very rarely frequent the pools or hot tubs and certainly not the loungers (just not our way to relax.) We have never sailed out of Cape Liberty. We sailed on the Oasis out of Miami and on the Adventure out of Galveston. In fact, I’m looking forward to Adventure’s return to Galveston in November - we have already booked 2 cruises on her. But so far, Galveston ‘s terminal has been definitely acceptable, as was the terminal in Miami. Maybe it is time for you to try other cruise lines. It sounds like you might be much happier since the grass is so much greener there, lol.
  16. We went to a Dick's Last Resort at the Excalibur in Las Vegas last year - I was curious about the hubbub. Our waiter took one look at us, treated us very respectfully, and didn't offer to make us those tall hats that other people were wearing. Either he thought we looked too old to belittle, or that we had no sense of humor?! The food was okay, but it was comped by MGM Rewards (or whatever it's called) and I had no desire to return. The best Tex-Mex food around here is found often at local taquerias, with the exception of Chuy's. We're 2 hours south of San Antonio.
  17. As for the ship being fully staffed in May, then consider yourself very lucky. We have been on over 20 cruises since last September, with 3 on the Enchantment in April and early May, 1 on the Quantum in late May, and 2 on the Liberty and 1 on the Grandeur, in June. We did not notice any staffing issues until we boarded the Enchantment, and the problem seemed to be that there was not enough staff for the large amount of people boarding the ship (the first cruise was during Easter week.) The Windjammer was packed, and the wait staff was desperately trying to keep up with cleaning the tables and stocking the food. The servers in the MDR also had to wait on more tables than usual, thus slowing down service for all their guests. Those 3 cruises remain in my mind as being woefully understaffed, with the confirmation about their staffing issues coming from the hotel director and the restaurant manager themselves (we spoke with them about it.) Since April, there has been a steady increase in the amount of guests on the ships we have sailed, and I don't think that Royal has been able to hire enough staff to fully cover this increase. Yes, service has improved in May and June, but I don't know if they have "caught up" yet. I hope so! I also do not mean to sound snarky, but we were on a 4-day cruise on the Oasis (out of Miami) in early November, and we saw most of "Cats." This musical doesn't make a lot of sense anyway (in my humble opinion) but 3/4 of the way through the show, there was a long buzzing noise, the lights flickered off, and someone came out on the stage to announce that they were having technical difficulties and to please wait. Maybe 10 minutes later, the same person reappeared, and said the show was over for the evening. So, with the show being what it was, I don't think that you missed all that much. Oh, I forgot to mention that the sound was "off" throughout the performance anyway; it was loud but distorted. We also lost seeing the last 10-15 minutes of the Aqua Show because the rough ocean was making the pools that the high divers dive into, splash way too much and it would have been very dangerous for them to perform. Yes, we weren't thrilled with both these events, but we understand that some things happen that are out of Royal's control. We are obviously "frequent" cruisers and we play trivia (a lot!) on the ships. Before we sailed with Royal, we played trivia on Carnival and NCL ships. Carnival offers plastic "ships on a stick" and NCL had some kind of punch-card system, where at the end of the cruise, you went to a little store and redeemed your card for prizes. The issue was that they had only 1 size of t-shirt available - XXL. It fit me as a dress, not a shirt, lol. As far as I know, Royal gave the same prizes in 2019 as they do now. Oh well. We often give away our prizes (keychain, etc.) to nearby folks - usually kids, and they seem happy enough with them. Finally, no pandemic to blame? Hmm...I doubt that. In January, we were on the Adventure for several B2B cruises. Many staff members, including the Entertainment Team (Trivia Hosts, Ice Skaters, Orchestra musicians), guest performers (one of the "Oh What a Night" performers had to fly home after testing positive) and even the Cruise Director tested positive and were quarantined, either on that ship or on the Serenade. The pandemic also drags on. It's reached "high" levels in my county once again, and guess what? I tested positive after returning from my last cruise and I am isolating and recovering at home right now.
  18. I thought that hubby and I were the only ones to receive the same email as seen above, but with our names and other info. We each received 2 duplicate emails. Being that we are currently on the Liberty, we went to Guest Services and they were able to have 2 of the BioReference people come up to meet us. I realized that we were actually on the Oasis on November 6 and we tested negative on their antigen tests in anticipation of another cruise on the Freedom, so those results were legitimate back then. The BioReference techs did mention that their company is ending its contract with Royal. Perhaps someone accidentally sent out the test results a second time instead of deleting the files?
  19. We were on the Enchantment for 21 days in April and May. Agree about the rust in the dining room. When our stateroom was on the 7th deck, we noticed that maintenance workers were removing and then adding back most of the handrails along the corridor - we are not sure if they sanded and cleaned them ( think so )but they didn’t look newly-varnished anyway. We moved to the 8th deck for the last cruise, saw no maintenance going on there.
  20. We were on the Enchantment in April for 21 nights, and just came home from an Alaskan cruise on the Quantum 3 days ago. We noticed staff shortages on both ships, more so on the Enchantment than the Quantum, but yes, on the Quantum as well. The most disappointing night was when we returned from our evening excursion in Victoria, B.C. I guess we hadn't read the Cruise Compass all the way through, and didn't realize that only 1 bar per deck was open while in port there. That meant all the people returning to the ship had to wait in line for sodas, etc. and that after 9 p.m., the only venues open for food were Sorrento's and Cafe Promenade. I know, I know, staff shortages and Canadian regulations required the closings, but I still feel that perhaps allowing the Windjammer to stay open until 10 p.m. for that one evening would have helped with the crush of hungry people waiting in line for food, anyway. The good news is that we were in Alaska and Victoria, and we saw magnificent scenery at every port, including Buchart Gardens in B.C. I'm sure that we will all be very glad once extra crew is hired and trained.
  21. Have you downloaded and started to fill out the required information on the ArriveCan (Canada) app? You can enter quite a bit of info now, but there are some parts that can't be completed until 72 hours before your ship embarks. I downloaded and filled in what I could a few weeks ago. We're set to sail on the Quantum on Monday, so I was able to complete the rest and get the required QR code this morning. Apparently, everyone who sails to Canada, whether they get off the ship there or not, has to get the ArriveCan QR code - Royal will be asking for it at the terminal. At least it's free - Bermuda charges $40/person, again, whether one gets off the ship there or not. https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2022/05/18/how-use-the-arrivecan-app-your-alaska-cruise
  22. Also, laxative pills dental floss multi-vitamins (I like gummies!) Benadryl (good for seasickness if in the evening) GasX and prepackaged, nutritious snacks for diabetic hubby (cashews, peanuts, cracker sandwiches)
  23. Ha! I never thought about insect repellent, and it was recommended for Gumbalimba Park (in Roatan) by a fellow cruiser. We did not check the ship's store, but did look at the little stores at the pier area in Roatan. Only the small pharmacy stocked Off, at $12 for a small can! I ended up trying a bit from an "all-natural" insect repellent pump at a nearby kiosk. It must have worked, because no bugs "bugged" me at Gumbalimba. Hubby also tried a bit of the stuff on his arms, but had to quickly wash it off once the attendant pointed out that it contained aloe (he's sensitive to aloe.) Next cruise, I will try to pack our pump bottle of Deep Woods Off.
  24. We’re on the second of 4 cruises on the Adventure. So far, the Windjammer has been open for dinner. We like eating dinner in the MDR, so not sure about crowds in the WJ at that meal. Breakfast and Lunch have not been crowded in the WJ because the ship itself is not crowded ( less than 1200 for each cruise.)
  25. We’re on our second leg of 4 B2B’s on the Adventure. During the first cruise, our Cruise Director went into quarantine and Sani did assume her duties. The 2 production shows are not going on right now ( besides the ice skating show.) However, service everywhere has been great and the entertainment team remains upbeat. Tonight, several crew members were transferred to and from the Serenade, which was docked alongside us in Cozumel. The 800 point instant certificate promotion has been going, off and on, for a few months. Hubby and I have made use of it, and it’s a great deal, but once you get your certificate, don’t waste any time in booking a cruise, because the popular (summer) weeks are going fast. Oh, and the way it’s currently been working, you earn one certificate and receive it at the end of your cruise. Then, on the second day of your next cruise, you’ll receive another, similar certificate, unless you earn a “better” certificate by earning more points. However, a casino host on the Liberty warned us that this promotion could stop at any time, so take heed.
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