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Everything posted by Biff215

  1. Adventure Ocean is free up until 10:00 pm. After that it’s $7 per hour per child. So all the activities they offer throughout the day are included. My kids are 7 and 11 and we just completed their 5th cruise (4th on Royal). We love AO as well as the many activities available all over the ship. Which ship are you sailing on?
  2. We ended up hitting the Publix which I would also highly recommend. Spent less than $20 on two bottles of wine and a 12 pack of water for the weekend. Filled the rental car with gas right in front of Publix, made a quick stop at McDonald's for breakfast across the street, and we were back on our way to the port in no time. Thanks again!
  3. My NJ EZ-Pass worked like a charm from MCO to Port Canaveral and back. Of course then we made a quick trip to Disney and had to pay cash tolls up and down that route!
  4. Just an update: Izumi didn't charge my wife and I the extra $10 but the cover for our kids was $15 each ($10 at Chops and Jamie's). Meal and package was totally worth it at the $76/person price for unlimited (3 night cruise).
  5. Friday night on Mariner out of Port Canaveral was a pretty rough ride to Nassau. Although the winds continued through the weekend, the seas settled down a bit and we didn't notice the motion again and both Navigator and Mariner docked in Coco Cay on Sunday. It was definitely windy but otherwise a beautiful day for January, no complaints here!
  6. I love my GoPro. I bought the base model Hero about two years ago for around $150. It has now replaced a much more expensive (and larger) Sony camcorder I always used while on vacation. Sure the Sony had a zoom and better audio, but I also had to lug around a bag to store it in. The GoPro fits in my pocket and takes equally good pictures and video while being much tougher and waterproof. When I get home, I transfer everything straight to my computer (don't use the GoPro app, just a large SD card and reader). I then dump the video straight onto a Bluray disc if I want to watch it away from my computer. Simple, high quality, raw vacation video. Truth is I get way more footage now that it fits in my pocket. We returned today from Mariner and the Space Center. I have over two hours of video from the long weekend. Already enjoying watching the kids on the Flowrider, water slides, Sky Pad, Coco Cay, and more. I highly recommend a GoPro as long as it has a preview screen on the back (my first one didn't). No need to spend a fortune on the top of the line model, but I also wouldn't recommend buying a "knock off" since they don't typically have a proven track record or warranty. Good luck with whatever you decide! Brian
  7. Yes, I noticed this last month when we were booking a cruise on the website. It doesn’t say you can’t refuse them later, but it did require prepaying to finish the reservation. Not sure of the reasoning or whether it applies to all sailings, but it’s definitely a thing.
  8. Just got the email that it was unsuccessful. Off to our first cruise in an interior, I’m sure we’ll survive!
  9. I agree, I would likely never pay the fee unless there was no way to avoid it. I have EZ-Pass at home, so when I saw that they accepted it, I considered bringing it with me. I just remember Florida toll booths being painfully slow. Maybe I'll bring quarters so I can use exact change?
  10. Magnetic clips for the Cruise Compasses
  11. We’re renting a car at MCO tomorrow morning and headed to Port Canaveral. I know there are tolls, but are any cashless? Also, I know EZ-Pass is accepted on some roads but would that get us all the way to the port? I found this but its not clear whether there are tolls after the split.
  12. I won’t disagree that arriving early is safest, but price and work schedules often prevent that. Not much you can do other than to be prepared and hope for the best.
  13. We’re flying in tomorrow morning and renting a car. What’s the best and easiest place to stop along the way for some bottled water and wine to take on board? Thanks in advance! Brian
  14. I bid the minimum $200 ($100 pp) to upgrade from an interior to a balcony on Mariner sailing tomorrow. Did that about two weeks ago and still haven’t heard. I’m assuming it failed (which I’m fine with for a three nighter) but it was fun to try anyway.
  15. It would definitely be crazy to have to pay more for a baby as the third person in a room. Hopefully Royal or a travel agent can help you out. We have learned some lessons about pricing through the years. Last summer, we almost gave up on a Harmony cruise as it was $8,000 for the four of us in a balcony (about a month out). On a whim I checked on two balcony rooms and the total was $5,500. Extra beds, space, and bathroom for $2,500 less and only two rooms apart? Sold! So crazy, but as it was stated above, there are only so many rooms that can accommodate more than two people. From there it’s all supply, demand, and dynamic pricing. It’s why Matt always recommends booking early. Some of us just don’t have that kind of patience!
  16. RC is certainly taking the hit on the difference between the $18 and whatever the price should have been, but the question is whether they’ll also cover the difference in gratuities collected which is unlikely in my opinion. When someone gets BOGO 50% off for example, does the company cover the lost gratuity? Very unlikely. Now those fortunate enough to get the $18 package are not all on the same cruise, so hopefully the difference isn’t that dramatic to begin with. With all that said, I would also simply tip more on the drinks you get. It’s not perfect but it will help to even it out.
  17. I’d definitely find a way to bring those two bottles of wine on board. When we don’t have a car, I will either walk to a nearby store by the port or use a delivery service like Instacart to have it delivered. Nice to have in the room and two bottles often cost less than ordering two glasses on board!
  18. I have always gone to Cafe Promenade (Independence and Harmony) and used the card. Keep in mind iced drinks and larger sizes will we be charged two “punches”, although it can differ from ship to ship. I have rarely waited more than 5-10 minutes, and many times it’s even less than that. All depends on when you catch it.
  19. Thanks. So no reservations for lunch at Chops or Jamie’s? That’s good to know! Crazy how policies differ between ships on something like this. I wish Royal would make it consistent so you didn’t need to find out the hard way.
  20. I was thinking that, although I also didn’t see it anywhere in the cruise planner. Not a big deal, just glad we got it in time!
  21. I jumped on the $76 last night before the sale ended. Now I notice it’s no longer being offered. We’re a week out, does it disappear at that point or did it sell out?
  22. On Harmony in August ours never got delivered. Guest Services refunded the purchase then sent them the next day which was cool of them.
  23. We just purchased the package for next week on Mariner. It gave us 8:30 for the first night with no other choices, even though I can see that all times are available at each restaurant. Sounds like I should have no problem getting that changed once on board. Another question, should I make any lunch reservations at that same time? And are Johnny Rockets and Bamboo Room included in the $35 credit?
  24. Mariner for January 10 is currently $76. Seems hard to beat and might tempt us to try specialty dining for the first time.
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