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Posts posted by cruisellama

  1. On 6/22/2023 at 10:38 AM, Jill said:

    We will get off at CocoCay but not Nassau. New Hideaway Beach will be open ūüėĀ

    Utopia really looks like a floating CocoCay.  Almost redundant.  They could sail into a port (empty) and just use it as a shoreside entertainment venue.   Floating amusement park that comes to a port near you.

  2. On 8/25/2023 at 3:04 PM, OCSC Mike said:

    It's not asking too much but you can book all those shows yourself in the cruise planner or app (usually 30-60 days prior to sailing).

    What I would advise asking for are CK reservations if you plan to eat there some nights (which I highly recommend, unless you have the UDP or are sailing in Star Class).

    Yes - we do that all the time.  Easiest if you just give them a note with your "wishlist" for entertainment and dining and it can be set up when you board.  You can make any corrections if necessary when you board.  We put together a matrix with days and times we wish reservations.  They can even reserve the late comedy show when its not published in the cruise planner.


  3. On 8/26/2023 at 10:51 AM, cruisellama said:


    I hope they don't start charging for all "warm food".  Oops - allows for an out - if you get cold food, it's complimentary, if you want it warm, you'll get a $2  + gratuity surcharge.    Can just see it now in the MDR - my entree is cold - sorry sir - its a $2 upcharge for warm food.

  4. On 12/17/2022 at 5:15 PM, bakingbad3 said:

    I actually just posted something about this in a different thread!  Here are my thoughts:

    Bottom line up front: You can get there in as little as an hour, but you need to have an appropriately sized bankroll.  If you can walk into the casino with $12,500 cash, you will get to Prime.  You will likely pay somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000 for your trouble.  

    So how do you do it? Find one of the all-digital slot machines.  You are looking for buttons on the bottom part that say "x lines" with "x" being numbers like 1, 15, 25, 50, whatever.  The higher the better.  You should be able to find one that says 200 or 300 as one of the highest values.  You are also looking for a denomination button, or a 2 by 2 grid of a cluster of buttons.  They should say "1 c", "5 c", and so on.  This is the bet amount.  You are looking for at least 25 cents.  You should be able to find a machine that has somewhere around 200 lines to play and lets you bet 25 cents a line.  Find it?  Good, that's your machine.  Start feeding it $100 bills.  Pick the highest line amount and the highest denomination amount.  Hit the "spin" button. You should be betting about $50 a spin.  You can just smack the button over and over to skip the animations, though you might end up on a machine with mini-games that force you to interact.  There is zero skill involved in these.  Just go as quickly as you can.  If you can bet once every 5 seconds, you'll hit Prime in 21 minutes after pushing the spin button exactly 250 times.  Though chances are you'll play slower, and who knows, you might even get a hand pay (which is when you win an amount on a single spin that exceeds a certain threshold (I believe it is $1200 or something like that) where the attendant has to pay you in person and get your tax info and stuff).  So conservatively, let's call it 2 hours.  But definitely should be doable in a single sitting.  You might burn through a lot of your $100's in a row, but the game should ebb and flow and my guess is that you'll end up down a couple thousand, give or take, when you're through.  Though you could be down ten thousand or more.  But as long as you start with $12,500, you'll get to Prime guaranteed.  

    And that's it!  Congrats on getting to Prime!

    If you're interested in my logic and math, or how to reduce the risk of this costing a lot more than a couple grand, read on.  

    How do I arrive at my conclusions?  A huge part of my math revolves around the "RTP" value, which stands for "return to player".  These are values set by the casino and dictate how much money, over a long period of time, each machine will return to the player.  In Vegas, slots are usually in the mid to high 90s, meaning that if you spun a $10,000 penny slot machine a million times, you'd leave with $9,600 assuming it had a 96% RTP.  I am assuming that Royal has an 85% RTP.  I may be over or under estimating that, but I am confident that this is fairly accurate.  Here's why.  A good video poker machine in Vegas will have an RTP extremely close to 100%, like 99.5% or higher.  Some even have a hair over 100% RTP, believe it or not.  But the general consensus is that on Royal, video poker RTP is terrible.  So I assume that means it is somewhere the 90-95% range.  Call it 92.5%.  Royal gives you 1 point for every $10 you put through a video poker machine.  But they give you 1 point for every $5 you put through a slot machine.  This isn't out of the kindness of their hearts.  Logically this must be because slots have an RTP that is around twice as bad as video poker.  So that's how I get to 85% RTP for slots.  If you brought in 1,250,00 pennies and you played a single penny machine 1,250,00 times, you would walk away with Prime status and be almost statistically guaranteed to have roughly 1,062,500 pennies left over.  But it would take you over 72 days of playing 24/7 to do this.  Obviously we can't play a penny at a time.  So we trade statistical certainty of the outcome for time spent playing.  Playing $50 hands as in my instructions above, this could take less than a half an hour.  But the chances that you end the session down 6, 8, 10 thousand dollars are not insignificant (you could also end the session up several thousand dollars too!).  You have to trade your comfort level with knowing the final result (which if you remember will ALWAYS converge to you losing $1,875) with the amount of time you are willing to sit and play.  There is a lot of math that goes into figuring out the odds, and it depends on the standard deviation of the pay table (which is impossible to know and varies greatly by game).  But for our purposes we can just double the amount of time it takes to get to Prime for every time you cut the bet size in half.  My conservative guess for the $50 bet size was 2 hours, so $25 bets would take you 4 hours, $10 bets would take you 10 hours, and $2 bets would take you 50 hours (though with $2 bets you should never have a hand pay and could always play fast, so this may actually be closer to 10 hours at a consistent 5 seconds a spin).  If you had groups of people doing each different strategy, the group making $50 bets would have some people leaving the casino with Prime status and $1,000 left over, while others would be leaving with Prime status plus $20,000 in their pocket.  The group playing the $2 hands would all leave with Prime and with cash amounts somewhere between $9,000 and $12,000.  But they traded more time at the machine for that tighter window of likely outcomes.

    Hope this helped!  The most important thing to remember is this: Royal does not lose money on the casino program.  Statically, they are charging each person who makes it to Prime $1,875 to get there.  Some pay more, some pay less, but the house always wins.


    Very interesting observations.   Had a sense there was a process that could be followed to "ladder up".  I'm not a gambler, but I have family members who are at that level.  I enjoy watching.

  5. 10 hours ago, NCBuckeye said:

    My April 2025 on Apex was canceled and I'm miffed about it.  I had an excellent room and rate. 

    Seems to be a few ships all getting redeployment orders: Apex, Summit, Equinox, Reflection.   Some are from the south and central American rotation.  Wondering if they can't get the bookings they want.  New president has to make her numbers.



  6. 15 hours ago, Arlene Waters said:

    They say that they will not be charging for pizza but they are certainly charging for a$2.50 for an incredibly small box of popcorn on Symphony of the Seas  Really, like they don’t make enough money from the amount they charge for a single sailor supplemy  



    I was surprised they even serve popcorn as it tends to be something that can get all over the place like in a movie theater.

  7. 11 hours ago, RCIfan1912 said:

    Who would I contact and how do I contact them, email about the displeasure of this idea of charging for Sorentos pizza. Anyone have an email? Thanks for any info. It's pissing me off enough to actually contact them about. 

    Executive Contacts

    Primary Contact
    Carlos Jimenez
    Sr. Manager, Guest Experience
    1050 Caribbean Way
    Miami, FL 33132 

    Secondary Contact
    Aurora Yera‚ÄďRodriguez
    AVP, Guest Experience
    1050 Caribbean Way
    Miami, FL 33132 

    Chief Executive
    Michael Bayley
    President and CEO
    1050 Caribbean Way
    Miami, FL 33132 

  8. On 5/8/2023 at 10:07 AM, ZMontrose said:

    Im currently emerald with 78 points and have a upcoming cruise on Harmony of the Seas that ends on May 27th that will result in me being Diamond. I'm embarking on Celebrity on the 27th for my first Celebrity cruise and was wondering if anyone knew if they would honor my Diamond status on Royal given the extremely short turn around.

    This year I've been observing points about 7-days from disembarkation of previous cruise.  That's just what me and my wife have seen this year, can't speak for across the board.

  9. 4 hours ago, D Alt said:

    I know Azamara is no longer owned by RCCL, but I booked a cruise on the Journey for a 10 night Adriatic cruise for 2025. So exciting!! They are offering a nice deal for early booking. 

    It was a great experience when we sailed with them.  (Just as the sale happened).  They have on-board destination "history buffs" who  provide pre-excursion review of local history and politics.    Very interesting small ship - you'll probably recognize all your fellow passengers by the end of the cruise.

  10. We were on a "cabin crawl" on Allure recently and we visited a very interesting family cabin located forward, ocean view, with an inclined window facing forward.  The room was a nice size with a curtained cubby area with bunk beds, a queen sized bed and a pull out couch.   Can't remember if it was on deck 8, 9 , 10...  as we were visiting so many cabins during our venture.  Does anyone know what such a cabin is called or classified as?  Have friends with kids who want ocean view but don't feel comfortable with kids and a balcony at this time.



  11. On 4/29/2023 at 1:48 PM, RCIfan1912 said:

    Thinking of possibly trying Celebrity cruises after the 3 Royal Caribbean cruises we have booked. 

    It's not as straight forward as booking a Royal Caribbean cruise. There is a "just cruise" booking and the inclusive booking but as far I could tell it was like 250 bucks difference and included a lot like drinks and gratuities. Again this is only going off visiting the website once or twice. 

    How is the Celebrity Eclipse? The cruise I was looking at was May 2025 on the Eclipse. 

    Please let me know anything I need to know about Celebrity cruises. Oh we have kids, right now they are 9 and 15 months. Kids are ok on Celebrity or is it kinda we are gonna get rude looks from the regular crowd? Thanks for any help or advice. 

    DIfferent ratńô structure that offers the ability to purchase a more inclusive experience. ¬†They offer "perks" which include pre-paid beverage, tips, internet, and OBC based upon what class and package you elect to purchase. ¬† ¬†Most of the time is an uncharge from RCL fare (except for lower suite packages), which can be less than Royal when you consider the perks. ¬†Also, Celeb ships are medium sized ships without any notable toys for adventure seekers. ¬† Only pools, hot tubs and spa. ¬† Kids are welcome and they have programs for them, but its ships are not a draw for kids as they do not offer the "attractions". ¬†We sail both brands, but Celebrity a little more.

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