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Posts posted by Rackham

  1. On 8/4/2022 at 8:01 AM, tonyfsu21 said:

    I have received this email and actually received the upgrade at the port. 

    I've received that email, actually for an Oasis sailing too, and then received notice that my bid was accepted a few hours later. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    On 8/12/2022 at 12:36 PM, FSUFAN said:

    RCCL newbie here and just tried the RU.  So, I think my observations are correct.

    There was a little "slider bar" that you pushed with your mouse (or right arrow key).  It started at Zero and then the next bid up was a set amount.  Each segment/increment of the slider bar was a set amount.  The minimum could be $100 (per person) with $10 or so increments. So, if there was a $100 minimum, you could not bid $101 or similar.  You have to slide up the segment.  The there is a little fan graphic that says how weak or strong your bid is.

    See the example below - (I did not bid on these)



    I'm forgetting where I read this, might have been a trade publication, but you want to ignore the bid strength meter. It's been publicly mentioned from someone at the company that the gage is to encourage higher bidding and does not reflect the odds of the bid being accepted. 

  2. 6 hours ago, CrimsonCruiser said:
    • Make sure your ship has the freestyle machines. When we were on Liberty we only discovered on board that there are no freestyle machines and by the end of the 4-day cruise I didn't want to see Coke or Sprite again to save my life.

    Great point. Royal has a list here [https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/what-are-coca-cola-freestyle-machines] of the ships which have the machine.

    Copied for convenience:

    • Adventure of the Seas® 
    • Allure of the Seas® 
    • Anthem of the Seas® 
    • Enchantment of the Seas® 
    • Explorer of the Seas® 
    • Freedom of the Seas® 
    • Grandeur of the Seas® 
    • Harmony of the Seas® 
    • Independence of the Seas® 
    • Jewel of the Seas® 
    • Mariner of the Seas® 
    • Navigator of the Seas® 
    • Oasis of the Seas® 
    • Odyssey of the Seas®
    • Ovation of the Seas® 
    • Quantum of the Seas® 
    • Rhapsody of the Seas® 
    • Symphony of the Seas® 

    Edit: Seems the list is out of date. Wonder also has the Freestyle machines.

  3. Back to the nice, double walled cups for Freestyle last week on Oasis. Never had issues with machines being out and staying out, excluding creme soda which wasn't in the machines on either Adventure or Oasis this summer. I'd occasionally run into the machine lacking a flavor, but it'd be restocked during the same day. Only issue I regularly ran into was machines being out of ice at times.

  4. Shore excursions start appearing in earnest at around the 6 to 9 months before embarkation. 

    Personally, due to the cost and transit time, I'd avoid the Orlando theme parks (assuming you don't have an annual pass and just want to pop in for a few hours). I did Kennedy Space Center on a recent Oasis sailing and there was just enough time to literally walk through most of their exhibits with seeing the shows as you enter the individual buildings, the bus ride out to the Saturn V Center, and one ride on a Spaceport KSC simulator. Skipped the IMAX and Universe Theater films along with Journey to Mars and the Shuttle launch simulator off the top of my head. I'm considering booking this again next time I'll be porting in Cape Canaveral with the idea of focusing in on what's not at the Saturn V Center. In many ways, Kennedy Space Center reminds me of what a space museum built by Disney would be like. Entry isn't cheap, but it's obvious where that money is going. 

  5. On 7/18/2022 at 10:18 AM, JPI said:

    Does anyone know if there is the dish Poutine (french fries with gravy and cheese curds) available on the boat at some point.  I don't think we can get it on the excursion we want and it is the only thing my one son wants to do on this vacation.


    On 7/19/2022 at 11:22 AM, JPI said:

    Thank you....another question...does anyone know if  shops/dining is walkable from the cruise port in Halifax?  If we have an afternoon excursion would we be able to walk around the port and see some things in the morning?


    Poutine isn't available aboard the ship. It is available at several food stands a short, 15 minute walk from the pier. Off the top of my head, within the food stand area along the waterfront, there's Smoke's Poutinerie (a Canadian chain of Poutine fast food restaurants) and BeaverTails (a Canadian chain of topped fried pastry which is long like a beaver's tail). 

    The ship will port at Pier 21. Besides shops and the Canadian Immigration Museum being right there, there's a range of shops and restaurants within a 15-20 minute walk to the right as you exit the terminal. There's also the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and Discovery Centre within that walk too.

  6. My preference for carry-on only is no wheels. Besides having a lighter bag with more volume without wheels, you're more maneuverable in tight quarters using a shoulder strap, the bag isn't going to have wheel problems over uneven surfaces (like cobblestone streets), you don't need to worry about a wheel breaking, and they work better with overhead compartments in aircraft. 



  7. 23 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

    Wow. That was unexpected.

    If I'm king of the cruise world I would immediately:


    1) eliminate pre-cruise testing. But give some perks or enticements to those who show up with a negative test in hand. 

    2) eliminate special quarantine cabins. No reason for them, even if you still want people to quarantine in their booked cabin if they test positive on board. Those things need to be sold, not set aside just in case.

    3) taper down to a date where you get rid of the need to quarantine at all. I'm not sure you could do that immediately

    4) scrap the 90% rule. Again like #1, give enticement and perks to those who are vaccinated, but let the unvaccinated back on board.


    I'm going to assume mandatory quarantining for COVID will still be in place like any other contagious disease aboard. For example, they're not letting people with norovirus shoot craps in the casino.

  8. The point of pre-cruise testing is to keep people off the ship who knowingly have COVID. While I'm sure the test catches some people unaware, and false positives can be retested before embarkation for a negative result, without the required test there would be people who know they have COVID, but have no qualms about exposing others so they can have their vacation.

  9. Back recently from Bermuda. Took the Hidden Gems Adventure Tour through Royal. Here's the itinerary.

    We started at Tom Moore's Jungle hiking through Subway Cave (entered one side then exited another), then swam in Walsingham Cave (swam back into the passage beside the entrance to see a rock face), before ending with cliff jumping in the Blue Hole. The taller of the two spots to jump from, 15 feet, is apparently easier than the shorter due to how the cliff juts out. Spent about 2.5 hours in the Jungle. The morning part of this tour was fantastic.

    AllTrails: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/bermuda/hamilton/blue-hole-and-walsingham-cave

    LonelyPlanet: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/bermuda/st-georges-parish/attractions/blue-hole-park-walsingham-nature-reserve/a/poi-sig/1544638/357985

    After lunch, we went over to the Cooper Island Nature Reserve for snorkeling (about 45 minutes of water time). Beautiful above water, lackluster below.

    The tour was well worth the fee, however, it'd also be easy enough to do on your own if you were so inclined. Do be aware that while Subway Cave isn't that big, I wouldn't attempt navigating through it on your own unless you've got spelunking experience or have already been with a guide. The exit we took didn't look like an exit until we'd squeezed past a certain point and some of the navigation within the cave was slightly tricky. There was nifty things to see in the main entry room without needing to go further.

  10. On 7/13/2022 at 4:27 PM, travelislife said:

    What are the prices like in specialty dining restaurants? Are they comparable to what you pay when you go out to eat at a similar restaurant at home? When you dine at a specialty restaurant, do they just bill it to your room? Do you tip the wait staff like you would when dining at home? Any examples of menu's (that include prices) at the specialty restaurants (specifically on Adventure of the Seas)?


    If you check in the app for your sailing, restaurant pricing and menus are available. 

    When it comes to pricing, my particular position isn't "How does this compare to pricing at a land based restaurant?" it's "Is the premium for specialty dining worth it compared to the included options in the main dining room?" and "Is the experience worth the required fee?" 

    FYI, Izumi on Adventure has a paired down menu compared to the larger ships.


  11. 11 hours ago, Moby Dick said:

    Just looked at their availability map and it doesn't make sense to me.  I guess it does if the intent is for the rural areas to get it first.  But, there are a lot of major metropolitan areas that don't have service, yet.  I would think that at start-up they would concentrate where the masses and money is to help pay for the expansion.  But, my name isn't Musk.  

    It probably has something to do with the current constellation size, how many subscribers each satellite can handle, and the links between satellites and the ground. By keeping subscriptions limited to rural areas, Starlink reduces the amount of users per satellite, so service quality stays higher per subscriber, and basically gets their customers to test their network over a larger area.

  12. 8 hours ago, smokeybandit said:

    That brochure doesn't appear to be correct. THe graphic says out of Miami, but the dates at the bottom show out of Port Canaveral but if you look at those dates on the website, it is indeed out of Miami but not with 2 days at Coco Cay



    Good catch. For the curious, here's the actual itinerary for those sailings that comes up when you go to book.

    Miami, Florida
    Departs At 4:30 PM
    Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas
    From 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Day At Sea
    Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
    From 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    Basseterre, St. Kitts
    From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    6 - 7
    Day At Sea
    Miami, Florida
    Arrives At 6:00 AM
  13. Worth is subjective and the benefits moving from Platinum to Emerald aren't as impressive as moving from Emerald to Diamond. Personally, for $1,400 I'd much rather cruise another week instead of spending $1,400 to change levels from where you're currently standing. Moving from Emerald to Diamond? I'd consider taking the plunge if I was cruising as a couple instead of solo. Switching levels above Diamond? Eh, we're back to cruising another week versus trying to fast track C&A levels.

    Since you're paid in full, you'd need to call Royal and see if that particular change is possible. Most likely the answer is yes, but the difference would be refunded as on-board credit instead of a cash refund.

  14. 1 hour ago, nferr said:

    Cruised in the summer when the ship is full with kids, complaining about the weather, parking lot was full, etc, etc etc.  Jeez.

    To be fair, the parking situation needs to be drastically improved at Cape Liberty. When I was there last month, it took approximately 30 minutes to park at the terminal as they had us either waiting in lines to enter a lot or circling the terminal area to reach parking they had closed off previously.

    Also had a similar experience with My Time Dining (which I was involuntarily assigned after check-in; booked traditional late*). Reserved an 8:00pm slot for My Time on Day 1, then after waiting 20ish minutes in line, with at least another 20-30 minutes to go before dinner, decided the Windjammer beckons. Didn't step foot inside the MDR on that sailing.

    Full notes from the voyage for the curious (since I'm not live blogging when I should be living it):

    * I'm sailing OPs itinerary in a few days, but this go around I'll have a printed copy of the ticketing booklet with me. Royal does the Traditional to My Time switcharoo again, and I'll be politely requesting a switch back after boarding. Should they not be able to honor my Traditional request, I'm already setup to timestamp the relevant parts of my dinning experience (when I entered the My Time line, when I was seated, when I left the MDR) and will be voicing my displeasure with hard data; assuming they haven't managed to get the situation right-sided. Totally not holding my breath though.


  15. 21 minutes ago, HawkeyeSarah said:

    I'm trying to understand this very thing before I buy the dining package.  For example, on the app there are currently no open times for Izumi Hibachi between 6-9pm any day of my 7 night cruise. I'm not sure if they hold times back until you are onboard for the folks who have the dining package, or can they fill up reservations entirely on the app purchases? I don't want to get the package if I can't eat at the restaurants I want without having to eat really early or really late. 

    Hibachi is notorious for selling out pre-cruise. The common suggestion I've seen for Izumi Hibachi is to book it through the cruise planner, then once on board, swing by guest services and get them to refund the pre-paid Hibachi reservation since you have a dinning package, but keep the reservation for you. 

    I haven't seen anything specific to Royal holding back tables for dining packages. My WAG is that Royal knows an approximant amount of specialty dinning slots are available per sailing and limits them appropriately. This could mean, however, that your package gets you dinners at Johnny Rockets or Playmakers, instead of Hibachi or Chops, if you're not on the ball making reservations once aboard.

  16. 9 hours ago, Moby Dick said:

    I agree with the RFID/proximity.   But, it makes me think that there is a possibility that it really doesn't ID.  Reason:  I overheard a person that said to another person that he found the tumbler that was in his hand, on the 2nd or 3rd day of the cruise and I heard this conversation on the day before the end of the cruise (a 7 day cruise) that he tried it in the special Coke machine and it worked.  And he's been using it since he found it, yuck!  So, I'm thinking that either the person that lost it, never reported it, which I doubt, OR when a tumbler is lost, the crew just makes sure you are authorized a tumbler and just hands over a new one without inputting the loss of the original.  I'm guessing that chips in the tumblers just authorize its use but not necessarily provides ID to any one person.  So, if you have a tumbler, it works.  It may be programed for the ship and particular cruise, only.  I don't know.  Just fruit for thought.

    That's my understanding of how the system works. When the cup is first used, the machine registers the RFID serial, then the cup is good for 14 days (I think it was 14 days?). After 14 days, the cup will no longer activate the Freestyle machines aboard as the serial number is no longer valid.

  17. 14 minutes ago, Moby Dick said:

    I'm not sure about this:

    I've always been under the understanding that there is a "chip" in the bottom of the tumblers that activate those special Coke machines, you have to purchase the drink package or be in Star Class to get one.  I have no idea what kind of chip it is or even if it is a chip (silicone) that are the kind the world is having a hard time getting right now.  Is the chip one of those or is it something like a magnet?  If it is a silicone chip, could that be the reason for the shortage of the tumblers or at least a switch to another type of tumbler and activating device?  ??????????  Just thunk'in out loud.

    The cups use a RFID chip for verification. I wouldn't be shocked if Royal's cups are stuck on an ocean freighter somewhere waiting to be unloaded.

  18. 23 minutes ago, RogerC1 said:

    How do you switch to the current sailing happening now?

    In the app when you first open it up, after logging in:

    1. Tap the person icon towards the top of the screen (right most of the icons ship | calendar | person).
    2. Under the name of the sailing, tap "Select a different sailing >".
    3. A list of your booked cruises appears. Scroll to the very bottom, if they go offscreen, and tap "Get more details on the ships we support >"
    4. A list of ships appears. Tap the ship you're interested in seeing its current itinerary.
    5. A list of sail dates appears. Tap the one one top.
  19. 1 hour ago, PPPJJ-GCVAB said:

    Rechecking price for parking in Bayonne.  Looks like end of 2021 was still $25/day.  We are heading into July 2022…is the price still the same?  I am heading there in August.  Thanks for any updates.

    When I was there earlier in the month, it was still $25 / day.

  20. Is it still showing the original itinerary and times when you sign into the "Look up my reservation" site? https://www.royalcaribbean.com/reservation/lookup

    From what I can tell, what's there when you look up your reservation is Royal's current plans for your sailing. On the main website, when finding a cruise, the itinerary presented is Royal's ideal itinerary and times for those dates they're sailing it, but may be adjusted if needed. 

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