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MattG

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  1. What’s your go-to Embarkation Day Lunch? Windjammer is the go-to for a majority of cruisers, but I assume most people don’t know what else is even open. MDR has the Chops Grille lunch menu for The Key holders, but what’s left? I remember going to Park Cafe on Grandeur a few years ago right after boarding, and it was a ghost town. Inspired by Tip #3 in today’s main site post (https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2022/01/21/10-tips-worked-out-our-royalcaribbeanblogcom-staffers-2021), I haven’t even thought about Playmakers, this will likely be our go-to when we hit Oasis in October. Spill the deets!
  2. Playmakers and Portside both came after Quantum launched in 2014, so the ship has neither. Portside is only on Oasis (Edit: NOT Allure, thanks @Ampurp85!)Playmakers is on a handful of newly-launched and recently amplified ships. If Quantum is ever amplified, it will likely have a Playmakers added to the second level of the SeaPlex, a la Odyssey:
  3. Atlantis has entered the chat "Hold my martini..."
  4. Included in UDP: Wonderland (dinner only) Jamie's Italian (lunch and dinner) Chops Grille (lunch and dinner) Izumi (lunch and dinner, up to $35 per seating) Not included in UDP: Noodle Bar Vintages English Pub La Patisserie Included in cruise fare: Main Dining Room Windjammer Solarium Bistro Sorrento's Cafe Two70 Seaplex Dog House
  5. Then the drink package isn't for you, and that's okay. I can say with our kids, we don't actually leave the ship while in port, except Coco Cay. My break-even was 5 cocktails/day, which was easy if I did two during the day, one at dinner, and two after dinner. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Plus coffee and fresh-squeezed juice at breakfast, plus a milkshake or two, and we made out like bandits. Also remember, the drinks on-board aren't as heavy of a pour as anyone normally does at home. Here's how I budget it out: i'm a spirits drinker, so $13/drink. On vacation, I like to drink, so average 5/day ($65/day), plus 10% on top for all the other items included in the DBP, now i'm at $71.50/day. Any time DBP is under $70/day, i'm in.
  6. This is about average to low-average. On-board Anthem in December it was $88/day BOGO 50% off. That's what it's currently offered on Oasis in October, with the "sale" price at $69/day (no BOGO50) Keep in mind, the DBP is not JUST alcohol - it's also milkshakes at Johnny Rockets (if available), smoothies at Vitality Cafe (if available), premium coffees, fresh-squeezed juices, bottled water, and all the soda you want. Make sure you're tapping ALL of these available options to make best use of your DBP.
  7. It's possible the "% OFF" is how much you're saving if you otherwise paid on-board cover charge every night. On our Anthem sailing last December, UDP floated between $189 and $210. On our upcoming Oasis sailing in October, UDP is going between $167 and $188. I imagine it fluctuates from ship-to-ship depending on the specialty offerings.
  8. I'm more impressed at the engineering of the Aquatheatre stage - they let THAT many people on there? That's amazing! I'm also wondering how that many passengers affects displacement or load on the ship.
  9. I posted this in another thread, but seems relevant here: In the planner, there are "high" and "low" prices that are set for each cruise (every ship, every sailing, every itinerary, based on some fuzzy logic). These prices are normally at the high value, but then go to the low value during a "sale". They just toggle back and forth for months. As the departure date approaches, certain thresholds are checked (120 days out, 60 days out, etc) and if the threshold isn't met, the low price is adjusted down for the next "sale" - for instance: If The Key isn't selling as well, they may drop it another 10%. Then throw in a RC-wide sale like (Black Friday, or a holiday) where everything gets a few more dollars knocked off, until they're adjusted back up to the high value at the end of the sale. For example, my current Oasis sailing in October 2022 has the "high" price of the deluxe drink package at $88/day BOGO 50% off, and the "low" price at $69/day. Will it go lower? Maybe, nobody really knows. Here's another good rule of thumb: If you find something you're DEFINITELY going to want (drink package, massage, dining), buy it TODAY. Assume the price will never go down, and be pleasantly surprised if it goes on sale. If you're on the fence about something, then it's on you to vigilantly check if the price changes, and you can't be disappointed if it goes up (see rule of thumb above).
  10. To re-affirm responses to OP's question: You can pick check-in times for anyone linked to your cruise without prerequisites. That's what we did a few months ago and then followed up a week later by doing the formal check-in steps (passport, personal info, COVID info, etc). If there's one thing i've learned about cruising with RC, it's constant vigilance: Always check your cruise pricing after booking, it may have dropped Always check your Cruise Planner pricing after purchasing, it may have dropped Always check your Check-in times after selection, earlier times may have opened
  11. Everyone in our group had a draw-string bag, I kept my phone in there and nearby. If it's on a beach chair, it's with a towel over it. I kept my SeaPass card in my pocket (even in a bathing suit) so it was always with me. Never had an issue. There are cameras all over the ship in public areas. In the unlikely event of a theft, note the time and then tell a crew member. They can possibly review the footage.
  12. How is the lighting at the outdoor seating in Chops? Is it dim to reinforce the Central Park atmosphere?
  13. This will exceed the maximum allowable amount, unfortunately. Attempt at your own risk. That being said, I’m totally getting this for home!
  14. Yes. You can see it from port. It’s not big, but it’s there. We didn’t get any closer during sail-away.
  15. I had $50/day on Anthem to Canaveral/Nassau/PDCC last December. I am truly curious what goes into the algorithm of setting prices. I'm a statistics nerd, so my best guess is: There are "high" and "low" prices that are set for each cruise (every ship, every sailing, every itinerary, based on some fuzzy logic). These prices are normally at the high value, but then go to the low value during a "sale". They just toggle back and forth for months. As the departure date approaches, certain thresholds are checked (120 days out, 60 days out, etc) and if the threshold isn't met, the low price is adjusted for the next "sale" - for instance: If The Key isn't selling as well, they may drop it another 10%. Then throw in a RC-wide sale like (Black Friday) where everything gets a few more dollars knocked off, until they're adjusted back up to the high value at the end of the sale.
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