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Posts posted by WAAAYTOOO

  1. Also be aware that you could (and probably would) lose any other "booking incentives" that apply to the original onboard booking if those incentives are no long being offered at the time that you move your booking to another date.


    When you move a booking you will only get the booking incentives/promos that are in effect at the time that you rebook...so if you were offered any special OBC, drinks or internet or dining discount packages as part of your original booking and that promo has ended by the time you switch to a new sail date, you would not longer qualify for them.  Of course, there might be some NEW promo that's going on that is even better than the one you originally booked under !  They are always making these changes so you never know what they're going to be offering !

  2. Why not ask the agent for an updated confirmation/receipt.


    Every time Michelle makes a payment for me she sends me a new confirmation that shows the amount paid and the balance due.


    There's no reason why this agent should do the same.  If he hesitates in doing this, then I would DEFINITELY go straight to Royal and insist on getting a receipt from SOMEONE.

  3. I have been reading on CC about this inaugural sailing and it really sounds like they were not ready.  Hard to believe they would run out of simple things like orange juice, bottled water and fresh fruit.  Makes you wonder if they got a full stock before they sailed.  I guess there is a lesson here...to steer clear of the inaugural cruises or those cruises coming right out of drydock.

  4. Welcome to our family, Kim and Jeff !  Addicted after just 1 cruise.  That's my kinda' cruzer !


    1.  MTD is just that - ANY time you want to dine (during hours that the MDR is operating, of course).  That is precisely why MTD was created.  Feel free to make reservations for whatever time you want or don't !  You can just walk up to the "no reservations" MTD line and be seated without any reservations at all.  It's very easy and very flexible.


    2.  Specialty dining is definitely a matter of personal preference.  I will caution you about the Samba Grill.  If you are a BIG meat eater, then that is the place for you !  Unless you like sampling a lot of different cuts of meat and different meat options (chicken, sausage, lamb etc.) then I would caution you not to allow them to fill you up on the cheap cuts early in the meal.   They save the good stuff 'til last !  I had never had meat that actually melted in my mouth (I always thought that was just a fantasy) but that picanha cut actually WILL melt in your mouth.  I'm NOT saying that the other meat isn't good....I'm just saying that if you don't feel you can eat it all, and you want to really enjoy the picanha, then I recommend that you pass up on some of the early cuts.  I'm not a huge meat eater so that's easy for me to say...and it's just my opinion.  Giovanni's Table is really excellent.  They serve "family style" so while they normally allow you to order only 1 entrée, they will bring LOTS of side dishes for everyone to try and there is soooo much food.  Again....go hungry !  I'm not a huge fan of Chops...but that's the whole "non-meat eater" thing.  Many people swear by their steaks.  For me, not so much.  The red velvet cake is not as good as it looks.  The Sabor restaurant on Allure isn't nearly as nice as the one on Liberty.  The food is still good...but the ambiance isn't the same.  I will say that Sabor is a damn sight better than Rita's Cantina was (which is where Sabor is now)...so that change was definitely a step in the right direction.


    3.  I am also an over-planner....so I start making reservations as soon as they open them up !  That can be anywhere from 1 year to 60 days ahead of sailing.  You just have to keep checking to see if the reservations have opened up.  They will, eventually.  Food will usually open up before entertainment...but again, there's no rule about that.  Just the way it USUALLY works.  If you want to have MTD reservations during the busy hours (6 - 7:30 ??) then I would make those reservations as soon as possible.  Those times fill up first, followed by early seating times.  Late dining is usually easy to get.


    4.  Opinions about MDR food range from wonderful to awful.  I am in the "wonderful" category.  I love the MDR food and never feel the need to pay for specialty restaurants.  Some menus are better than others but I have never failed to get something that I liked on any given night.  Do NOT pass up the Grand Marnier Souffle.  It is the best thing on the entire ship (along with the cream of mushroom soup).


    You will not go hungry.  That's for sure !

  5. Bill[Carney], Dan and I did the Scotch tasting thing at the Pub a while back, too.  Can't remember which ship it was.  Oasis maybe.  There were only a few of us there, then, too.  Dan enjoyed it but he said they included too many blended Scotches and he is a single malt snob so I guess you get what you get.  There turned out to be not too many of the more "exotic" SMS at that event. 


    I don't think I even had a single drink.  I probably didn't even pay...just tagged along with him.


    Those kinds of events are interesting I think, and I'm glad that they have them on the ships.  It's something different.

  6. Yes, Christy. I go online and check room availability. 


    Recently, I found a suite that I wanted (Harmony, group cruise Sept. 17) to upgrade to, and even though the original reservation was booked through Club Royale they were able to make the room change for me through Crown & Anchor.  Some things they can change and some things have to be done through the TA.


    I have found them to be very reasonable regarding making changes to my reservations whether booked directly with Royal or through a TA.  If they can help you, they will.  I don't think I have EVER had them tell me, "we can't do that for you.  You will have to get your TA to do that"....whatever "It" happened to be.  Granted, I rarely ask them to make changes for a TA booking, but I don't think they have ever turned me away.

  7. I think the Islay Scotches smell even worse than the others (if that is possible).  It's all that peat.  OMG, it's so overwhelming.


    I guess smelling like band aids beats smelling like ass.  LOL


    All in good fun.  I actually enjoy the "condescending elitist" aspects of Scotch drinking (if not the smell and taste).  I didn't realized (until Dan fell into it) that there are rules to pouring, drinking and sharing Scotch (even more so than other drinks).  I find those aspects, along with the distilling history, very entertaining.  SMS drinkers are definitely in a class all by themselves.

  8. Yeah, those wedge-shaped rooms look REALLY big. 


    When are you going to be on Freedom ?  I'm going June 26.


    I'm hoping that they will start upselling/upgrading rooms soon for this sailing.  I'm hoping to snag a Grand Suite.  We're in a JS but would love to upgrade to a full suite.

  9. Not a specific date, per se, but it is usually pretty close to sail date.  I have gotten 2 such upgrades in the past  - one Jr, Suite and 1 virtual balcony inside.  You just have to be there to catch them when they open up on general inventory.  My guess is to start checking about 30 days prior to sailing.  I check every day....so I cannot tell you for sure when they come available, but that's generally when they start shifting rooms around to try and fill the ship (30 days out).


    Good luck.  I have really enjoyed the extra space in the room, bathroom and balcony (obviously no balcony with the inside room) that comes with the accessible room.

  10. Sue, I assume you mean you want an ocean view balcony ?  There are 3 types of balcony rooms on an O class ship (without including suites)...but only 1 that actually faces the ocean (many categories of ocean view balconies though).


    It also depends on how much money you want to spend.  The D1 balconies on the Bump-Out are the best, IMO if you're going for ocean view rooms - they have a slightly deeper balcony (at least, they do no O and A.  I haven't seen them yet on the H).  As for the deck itself, it is really entirely unimportant (IMO) which deck you choose.  The only deck that you might want to eliminate would be Deck 14 (directly beneath the pools and WJ) but you said you were only interested in 8 - 10 so that's not an issue !


    I usually go as high as I can afford...so that would presumably be Deck 10 for you.  To me there is really no BAD choice with ocean view balcony rooms.  Those that are very far forward or very far aft will be the least expensive (for obvious reasons).  Those more amidships will be a little more expensive but will have less movement, if that's important to you.


    I think you will love the O class.  SOOOO much to do.

  11. Billy, Dan is also a fellow single malt scotch drinker.  He also has had limited luck in finding the better ones on RCI.  In fact, I don't think he knows that the champagne bar has some of them....unfortunately, aren't they doing away with the champagne bars on most of the ships ??


    We will be on Freedom June 26 (and Navigator at Christmas and New Year) and he will be on the hunt for SMS once again.  We will make a scavenger hunt of it. and report our findings when we get back.


    His faves are also Lapfrog (that's what we call it), Lagavulin and Ardbeg.  I have never heard of Cao lla or Bunnahabhain.  Are these highland, lowland or Islay scotches ?  Personally, I think Scotch smells like ass (also another personal joke we have) so I steer clear...but Dan is all about it....


    Just for the record, we are sailing on Celebrity in Feb. 18 and as part of a current suites promotion, we are getting their unlimited premium drink package.  They have a few nice SMS that are included.  Of course, they don't give you the distilling date so you don't know what year they are, but they are sure to be better than the Macallan and Dewars that RCI routinely serves. I'll see if I can attach the flyer.  I have such bad luck with these things.


  12. I knew that they had implemented GE at Port Everglades but I didn't know they had a kiosk yet.  When I last used it, you kinda had to know to ask someone where the GE line was.  Basically, they put us into the Suites line.  If there is a dedicated line for it now, that's a big step forward.  I think that other ports are implementing it too.  My company pays for my GE so it wasn't an expense I had to incur...but knowing how much the program has helped me, I WOULD pay for it myself if I had to.  Probably the biggest imposition of the program is that you have to go to a Borders and Customs in-person interview.  For me, it was very easy. I just went to Dulles International Airport - a short trip.  I have heard that it is not always so easy to get to that interview location in some parts of the country.  That's an issue I did not have to deal with.


    I don't really want to start a political discussion here...but I believe all of this SUDDEN mob mess at the airport is a TSA ploy to get increase funding.  I think it's a manufactured crisis that they know will get the public's attention.  JUST MY OPINION !

  13. WHStoneman, you are SO right about taking your prescription medication with you.  I have a friend who just got back from an NCL cruise.  It's a very long story but due to AIRLINE f-ups, he did not get his luggage before he sailed.  They (airlines) kept telling him, "it (his luggage) will meet you at the next port" and with each and every port stop - nothing.  So he was on this cruise without anything...including his medication.


    He had to make 2 very expensive (and time-consuming) visits to the ship's physician(s) (who changed, mid-sailing...who knew that a ship's doctor would change mid-cruise ??.  Learned something new) to get prescriptions to be filled in different ports.


    Now...did he know better ?  YES !  ...but he didn't follow his own "best practices" and paid a dear price.  I'll bet he won't make that mistake again !


    BTW, he did not get his luggage for more than 2 weeks after he left for his cruise.  God only knows where it had been all that time...but I learned ANOTHER lesson from this - never trust the airlines when they tell you that your luggage will meet you at the next port. 


    Apparently NCL was extremely gracious to him over all of this even though it was in NO way their fault.  They gave him free laundry service and  some OBC to purchase necessities.  He also said that the Guest Services Manager, with whom he worked ALL week trying to get this solved, was very gracious and actually told the airlines representative "you're lying to my guest !" when they ONCE AGAIN said that the luggage would be at the next port. Of course, it wasn't there, as he had predicted.



  14. TSA Pre question: If I have TSA Pre and am traveling with my minor child or even my 16yo child, can they go thru TSA Pre with me?


    Thinking of getting DH and I TSA Pre as we'll have some travel over the next 5 yrs but we'll only have 1 trip with the kids.

    I do not know the answer to your questions about your child but I have a strong inclination that he/she would be covered by your status.


    I will make another recommendation for anyone considering TSA pre check. If you are going to go to the trouble (and expense) of getting Precheck, get a Global Entry instead. It only costs a little bit more ($120 vs $85 or something like that) and GE is so much more useful - especially for those who travel abroad or cruise ! GE automatically gives you Precheck plus it substantially expedites reentry into the US. Port Everglades provides GE holders expedited entry (even though I don't think the kiosk is in place yet) and other ports are coming online with GE as well.


    I travel abroad quite a bit and I love GE. It saves so much time in the customs lines.


    Both Precheck and GE are good for 5 years.

  15. Yes. On St Thomas go to Dynasty Dazzlers. They have a shop in town and also in the compound. Tell Bimla that Raye recommended her to you. Bimla is the mother of the owner (Raj). They are honest and reputable and will give you a good deal. They stand behind their merchandise. They replaced a stone that I lost from a diamond ring I bought without a question. I highly recommend them.


    Beware of Diamonds International. They are reputable. I am not suggesting otherwise, but DI is owned by the cruise lines and they tend to have extremely high prices. They do stand behind their mdse but will pay a lot for it.


    Please do not buy any expensive jewelry on the ship. There have been a few threads about that recently. Among other things, they are way way overpriced.


    Here's a rule of thumb. If you are buying a good piece of jewelry - $5000 or more - expect that jewelry to be marked up at least 5 times its value. So begin negotiations by cutting the price by 5 and then go from there. The less expensive jewelry won't be marked up as much (less margin) but it will probably be 2 -3 times markup. Walk away....they will come down. Trust me on that.


    I purchased a diamond tennis bracelet from Bimla that was marked $30k (11 carats). I ended up paying $7500 and it appraised at home for $14,800. Negotiate ! ...even with your "friends".

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