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niksal

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  1. I think the new areas should be opened in February. That should triple the beach areas, and I’m sure the experience will be much nicer. More space for the crowds to spread out on.
  2. Internet was really bad on Chill Island. Didn’t really work at all. My wife said she had read a warning about that. Yes, at splashaway bay and oasis lagoon the connection was better. That was later in the afternoon when many had returned to the ship, so it could be related to smaller loads.
  3. Thank you for all the comments! Let me try to answer some of the questions: -Our sailing was December 8th-15th -I had looked at the perks for Sea Class here: https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruise-rooms/royal-suite-class I did not experience priority boarding, coastal kitchen dinners were available but at a late time that didn’t work for us with children, and we had some special shampoo etc but it was not L’Occitane-branded. So I was aware, but I didn’t really think the promises were lived up to -We ended up at Chill Island. If I’m not mistaken, the whole area including wacky seagull junior bar to south beach was closed. Even the map handed out on the ship, and in the app, was wrong. We wanted to go to the beach next to snack shack, but it was closed. The maps indicated it would be open. -Did I get what I paid for? Good and difficult question. I think the specialty dining was well worth the price. Had we only been at MDR and Windjammer, I think we would have been disappointed. The drinks package was also worth the money for us (although I do understand the comments about drinks fatigue). I would say we just about got what we paid for, but I do not consider the cruise to be of great value. It was a nice experience, but I think it will be a one-off for us. I checked some pricing for future cruises, and I am not sure I would pay the same or higher prices for a similar experience anymore. A couple of other comments. The internet package didn’t work as well as I had expected. I found many places where the connection didn’t work. I did seem to notice that this was correlated with the number of people in the area or on the ship. In St.Thomas, we returned quite early to the ship, and then the connection worked very well. Later, when more people boarded, I had severe problems with the connection. Adventure Ocean wasn’t anything for our kids (6 and 4). The main reason, of course, that my kids don’t speak English apart from a few words. But their main critique was that the rooms looked dull. No toys, no books, not really anything visible to play with. We attended one science event (making a volcano), but they would have liked to understand more why the reaction happened. Now it was only a fun demonstration, without the explanation behind it. I’d be happy to share more comments or answer more questions.
  4. We have now finished our first cruise. It was with the Allure, 7 nights going to St. Thomas, San Juan and Coco Cay. We were a family of four (kids 6 and 4), travelling in a JS. We had the drink package, Chops+1 and the Voom Surf+Stream for 4 devices. We are from Europe, Finland to be more precise. That was a bit of background to the following 3 positives, 3 neutrals and 3 negatives that I want to list below. 3 positives: 1. Entertainment The quality of the entertainment was high. Mamma Mia and the aquashow were fantastic, and I also listened to the guitar player in the pub, as well as the jazz and guitar in Central Park. The only negative was the piano player in Schooner. He was probably very good, but since he insisted on letting drunk passengers singing (mostly poorly) instead of him, the end result was bad. Overall, entertainment was a clear positive. 2. The cabin The Junior Suite was definitely the right choice for us. Spacious cabin and nice balcony. Maybe a large balcony room would be the same, but for us the JS was good. 3. The gym The gym was very good! A few laps around the track in the morning, followed by a 45 minute session in the gym, finished with a great juice was the perfect start to the morning. Free classes were also arranged. I didn’t participate, but following from the side, they seemed of high quality. I was surprised of this, it hasn’t been mentioned much on this forum. The neutrals are things that are not good nor bad, but general observations I want to raise. 1. Drinks We had the drink package. I like to drink, so for us it was good value, especially when counting in the juices in the spa, or the freshly squeezed orange juice in the central park cafe. The cocktails were nice, but I would never pay the regular price for them. They weren’t very genearous with the alcohol. Beer selection is bad. Leffe is probably the highlight. 2. Food This is very mixed. Chops was by far the best experience. The MDR (my time dining) was a disappointment. The food was of fairly low quality but the most annoying part was the ”entertainment”. Loud parades that really ruined the evenings for us. 150 central park was too upscale for us in terms of ambiance, and food was not good. My lamb and my wife’s duck was very overcooked, despite asking for medium rare. On the other hand, windjammer was surprisingly good during lunch and dinner (breakfast not so good). So all in all I have to consider the food being neutral. 3. Service Overall service was ”ok”. There were some stars (Jorge in Chops) but some really poor experiences (one of the bartenders in Schooner, the maitre d at Sabor) as well. Any special requests (e.g. ordering wine in MDR) seemed to cause a lot of problems. I also didn’t appreciate the ”begging of tips” and the requests to give high ratings in the feedback questionnaire. Both are given based on high standard of service, not based on requests. On average the service was adequate. The negatives are things that I know will cause controversy, or be temporary problems that others may or may not face. 1. Royal Suite Class In a junior suite, we had something called royal suite class. I also know the JS was ”Sea Level” so the lowest level. To me, that meant no perks whatsoever. We were turned away from the suites security line during embarkation, we were given 8.30pm times for coastal kitchen (too late for our kids), and I did not experience any special service at any time from anyone on board although having the sea pass with a different colour. A bit of misleading advertisement, but I didn’t expect much either. But this shouldn’t be the reason to choose a junior suite. 2. Coco Cay Please note that South Beach and also the beach next to it, on the north side were closed. This meant there was one beach available (plus the lagoon) for all passengers of this ship. It was super crowded and not a nice, relaxing experience at all. Stupid passengers leaving their food on the beach meant that seagulls were everywhere. The lunch experience at the chill grill was disgusting. Nobody seemed to wash their hands before taking food, seagull s*** on the tables. The pool was cold, and the bar had some quite drunk people. If I wanted something like this, I could go to Tenerife for a third of the price! Splashaway bay was the only positive that I saw with Coco Cay, the kids loved it. The situation probably becomes better when the construction is finished and people can spread over a larger area. 3. Crowds and noice The Allure is a big ship, which means there are a lot of passengers. This also means that pool areas get very crowded, so much that even our kids didn’t want to swim there very much. I didn’t enter the pool once, as the majority again ignored the request to shower before you enter. In addition, there was too much ”spirit-lifting” in terms of loud music etc. The Solarium, where I went two times in the hope for peace and quiet, was packed with adults who clearly over-enjoyed their drink package. Lesson learned, if we ever go on a cruise again, we should choose a smaller ship and perhaps a cruise line with a different clientele. So those were our observations. Will we cruise again on Royal Caribbean? Never say never, but I doubt it. If we ever cruise again, we will probably save money for longer and choose something smaller, more exclusive, fitting better our European taste.
  5. Where have you seen this? I don’t see any issues in my cruise planner.
  6. We will be on the same cruise. Lots of firsts for me: first cruise, first time in Florida, first time in Caribbean. Only a JS for us, that was plenty of money for our family. Looking forward to it already, although my wife claims I have already experienced the cruise by spending so much time here and viewing so many videos in advance.
  7. Thank you for the replies. We decided to book the Magens Beach excursion, and then see on board if we can change it to the other excursion.
  8. Our family would like to book an excursion (sail to Christmas and Honeymoon coves) but are somewhat surprised that there is an age limitation of min 5. Our youngest is 4.5 at the time. Do you think I can call in and get this booked? Or is this a hard limit?
  9. Not the same thing, but similar. I booked our cruise via a travel agent. I also booked the beverage package. Still, the cruise planner keeps offering to me the same beverage packages I have already bought. So no, I don’t think the cruise planner is very smart in that way.
  10. For our Allure cruise in December, we are considering the Chops+1 package, and pre-booking Sabor as well (3rd specialty, wife wants to try it). Seems we save a few euros compared to the 3-night package, and we are guaranteed Chops on one of the first two nights plus we can pick the time for Sabor. Travelling in JS so no genie etc. Am I missing something here?
  11. I’m going to follow this thread. Going Dec 8th on the Allure and am in general interested how to figure out how booked the cruises are.
  12. We chose the JS partially due to the tub. It’s a part of our kids’ evening routine to take a bath, read a book, and then go to bed. Showering isn’t the same thing.
  13. As a first time RC cruiser, I am disappointed to read this thread. We are booked in a JS primarily for the added space (travelling with 2 children), and access to CK sort of clinched the deal. I did not see anywhere any disclaimers related to this. I feel that I need to lower my expectations towards our Allure cruise early December. First an itinerary change, then possibility of no access to CK. What more disappointments are there to come?
  14. I just booked surf+stream for 7 days, 4 devices on allure at 166€. This was a sale price and the lowest I’ve seen.
  15. I bought 4 device package for 166€ for 7 nights on the Allure for our December cruise. If I recall correctly, this was more than 250€ before the sale, so a good saving.
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