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Everything posted by Luly

  1. I’m not on this sailing but am doing the same itinerary in March. I’d sure appreciate if you posted your cruise compasses when you’re back.
  2. I’m looking at getting the 3 night dining package on our upcoming vision of the seas 10 night cruise. I was really hoping the price would go down for Black Friday, but unfortunately the price remains the same ($95). My questions: I have a 4 year old who would be free, but the system doesn’t seem to know that and charges her at the child’s price. How do I go about booking her so she has a reservation at the table without paying for her? Can I just book 5 out of the 6 of us then tell them to add her at embarkation when I make the remaining reservations? Also, any feedback if that’s a good price for this package on this small ship? I have a 12 year old who would probably prefer a petite filet over the kids steak at chops. And a 7 year old who would rather have shrimp over chicken tenders at Giovanni’s. Can they order off the adult menu?
  3. Navigator occasionally does a Cabo overnight.
  4. I’ve done that itinerary on navigator and have 4 kids aged 4-16. They loved the ship, just were sad there was no Sorrentos. Cafe promenade pizza just isn’t as good. I’ve never been on Allure. My big question is when are you looking at going? Whale watching season is mid December through mid March and was really incredible from the ship, we were so glad we had balconies. We also did a whale watching excursion in puerto Vallarta and watched for nearly an hour as a female slapped her fin on the water and males breached with huge splashes around her. Such an incredible experience. We loved PV and ended up going there for a full week over the summer to see bioluminescence and just enjoy the city.
  5. No, I don’t believe navigator has solo cabins.
  6. I haven’t personally done what you’re saying, though I know it’s been recommended here. I can tell you that personally I called to book solo and was told they could book me at the guarantee rate at the price of a double minus the second persons taxes and fee; you can’t book a guarantee rate for a solo traveler online so that was great to hear. So basically the same as booking for two and having a no show, as you said above. Having said that, one person told me that, but I wasn’t ready to book yet. Then when I called to book the next two people I talked to had no clue what I was talking about so I gave up. I then happened to get one of those “I’m your senior vacation planner” emails, which I sometimes seem to get when I call in about pricing. I usually ignore those but decided to give it a try. She knew exactly what I was asking for and had me booked quicker than I ever have been over the phone. The next day the rate went down $83 and so I called her back directly and got OBC (it was after final payment but they guarantee lowest price within 24 hours of booking). My solo interior guarantee ended up being $355 for a 4 nighter and after the double points on that my family of 6 will be diamond. The person I talked to is Madeleine Valladares, call 18008597225, opt 1, ext 26848. I think I’ve also read on this forum that a TA can do the same, but I haven’t tried that.
  7. My kids have been on quite a few cruises so they do enjoy Flowrider, my 7 year old LOVED the mini golf on Freedom and spent a lot of time there, and my 12 year old enjoys the pickleball freeplay on Navigator and other ships. The 4 year old is just happy with a pool but wishes she could climb (unsure why there's a 6 year old limit). They've also been on Anthem so they've experienced iFly and the Seaplex. I let the older two wander together, so yes, they will notice the lack of these activities and a promenade. It looks like on Vision the teen club is for 12 and up? My 16 year old is very shy and has never gone to the teen club, but with her little brother in tow she might spend more time there and that would give them something to do together. All of that being said, we travel a lot, and no matter where we travel, they ALWAYS say they'd rather be cruising. Every. Single. Time. We also are scheduled to go on Quantum in May, so they'll get to do all of those fun on board activities just 7 weeks after the 10 night April cruise. I wish airfare would go back down to the mid $200s!!!
  8. There's a 10 night sailing on Vision of the Seas and I can get my family of 6 adjoining ocean view rooms for just $3700! Maybe even less after I get off my next sailing and become Diamond. However, my husband is not convinced. It's a smaller and much older ship and we have 4 kids ages 16, 12, 7, 4. He's worried there isn't as much for them (or us) to do without flowrider, a sports court, mini golf and other activities the bigger ships have. Personally, the smaller ship capacity seems endearing, the itinerary INCREDIBLE, and with adventure ocean, teen club, and the rock climbing wall I think the kids will be fine on the 3 sea days. Has anyone sailed Vision lately that could give me something to read to my husband for encouragement (or I guess sway me against this). We might end up spending more on flights than the cruise itself which is my biggest hesitation. Last April they were $550pp for our cruise and are looking to be about the same next April, no matter which airport in Florida we fly into. We live 36 hours away via car so that's not an option. Also, there's a mid-December 2023 sailing on Explorer that's also a great price, but same issue with it being older. I think I read Explorer is supposed to go into dry dock early 2023 so that it has similar amenities to Freedom and Navigator, is that correct?
  9. Depending on the cruise terminal, I’ve seen the lines for those with birth certificates ridiculously long and sooooo slow, while the passport line zips through with the new facial recognition systems that some terminals have. Time and risk of missing your flight home is enough for a passport in that case. But like others said, you don’t want to end up stuck in an emergency situation in another country without a passport.
  10. My family of 6 will be Diamond for our 7 night Alaska cruise next May. This will be our first cruise as Diamond. I believe this means we all get one free day of internet for one device. So does that mean on one day we can use my 5 year olds free day and all take turns signing into and out of our devices to check our emails etc? Then the next day use the 16 year olds free day and so on and basically never pay for a Voom package? Also, just to be sure I understand. There is a Diamond lounge on quantum but it’s basically useless except for maybe a place for my husband to have a silent and empty place to catch up on work or a place my kids could bring card games to play if the library is full? What are the yummiest mocktails or daiquiris the kids can use their drink vouchers on? Anyone know if Johnny rockets on quantum lets you use drink vouchers for shakes? I’ve read it depends on the ship.
  11. I’ve done two Christmas cruises on anthem and navigator. They are my absolute favorite and so magical. My kids ask to do a Christmas cruise every year, in fact my daughter just begged me yesterday, but we try to just do it every other year! They much prefer that over getting gifts, though we do bring stockings for Christmas morning since I have young ones that would be sad if Santa didn’t visit. Bring ugly sweaters, get ready to sing Christmas carols on the promenade, and kids collect a gift from either Santa or royal Caribbean employees (one cruise it was Santa, the second it was just employees). Ask me any questions you have.
  12. I arranged and travelled with a party of 19 in April. Since our reservations were linked our tables were all together and we didn’t have to go in and make a request.
  13. I just booked my first solo cruise yesterday. I’m “sacrificing” a week so that come May my family of 6 will be Diamond for our Alaska cruise. Reading that I could be seated at a table of 8 in the MDR is giving me anxiety. I am the definition of introverted and rely completely on my extroverted husband to start conversations when we’re around others. I am looking forward to doing everything absolutely alone and not talking to a soul for 5 days. So upon embarkation should I go see if I can sit solo or should I just switch to my time dining now? In all of my cruises I’ve never done My Time so I’m not sure how it works.
  14. Just booked yesterday! First solo cruise so that my family of 6 will be Diamond for our Alaska cruise in May. The sacrifices we make as mothers.
  15. I’m replying with the caveat that I haven’t been to thrill waterpark however we did just cruise to cococay in April and I did watch the waterpark prices closely for nearly a year beforehand. On Black Friday they were something like $35. I couldn’t believe it and really should have bought them, my oldest kids were so disappointed not to go to the water park (it was intentional not to purchase them though because we had tickets to universals volcano bay after the cruise). After Black Friday they went up to $75, then closer to sail date they were $110. So if your cruise is next year hold out and hope for a Black Friday sale.
  16. Hi! Adding 20 more people to this roll call! I booked them all for extended family! Our nightmare of travel is unbelievable as well. Our flight to Miami Saturday evening was also cancelled. We flew to Atlanta early this morning. Currently we’re driving 9 hours from Atlanta to Miami. With so much family going all paid for by Grandma (my mother in law) we were willing to drive from Atlanta, New Orleans or Baton Rouge. We couldn’t get a rental car in Atlanta but luckily 14 of our group came to Orlando on Wednesday and my father in law drove ALL the way to pick us up. Then we get a rental van in Orlando and finish our journey to Miami. We should be there around 1-2am. I hope you make it onboard Monday! Best wishes. If you see us in matching tie dye hoodies come say hello!
  17. Agreed that Ovation didn’t spend much time at the glacier or do a 360 like radiance did. The fitness center on ovation was a great viewing place though.
  18. I’m in agreement on the MDR. Precovid the staff would get to know my kids, do magic tricks, chat, and have all of their favorites ready to go. In December that was not the case and it just didn’t feel the same. We’re headed out on our third cruise in 6 months and the menu in the MDR is exactly the same as it was the last two cruises every single night. Nothing is different. All out of different ports: Seattle, Los Angeles, and Miami. I used to get multiple apps, and desserts but the quality just isn’t as good as it used to be. I also felt like our stateroom attendants haven’t been as great. On navigator he told us what his hours are. It’s fine and great to set those boundaries, just not what I’ve ever experienced before and definitely made me feel like I needed to be out of my room during those times so he could do what he needed to. Twice he cleaned the room while we were hanging out on the balcony. Just much less personable, not much chit chat in the hall, things like that. I’d never give any of the staff bad reviews because I don’t want to effect their jobs. I hope possibly more staff can be hired so there is better morale.
  19. I understand the NAAT is accepted, but is it accepted for unvaccinated children? I’m just afraid someone at the terminal won’t see the magic letters “PCR” and will deny boarding for my 3 year old.
  20. Sorry just saw your response. The rest of the story…We were already out of state and our cruise left on Christmas Eve. Would’ve been a miserable Christmas with not a single gift at home if we had to cancel. We waited in line for an hour for a $300 rapid pcr for the 3 year old the day before the cruise. For my other two kids I hadn’t realized I could get them antigen tests since they were vaccinated (this is when the rules were ever changing as vaccines came out for 5-11 year olds), but since it was the day before the cruise and toward the height of omicron there were of course no free rapid antigen appts at cvs etc. So I had to find a private company and I think those tests were $80 each. I was just happy they could get rapid antigens so I didn’t have to spend $900 on three rapid Pcrs. Gave ourselves a 50/50 chance of getting on the ship. Very stressful. Good news is we got to meet @Matt as he was on the same sailing and we happened to both be on the same whale watching excursion in Cabo.
  21. I’ve done Alaska cruises on both radiance and ovation. As another poster said, on Radiance you can get much closer to glaciers and do a full turn so both sides of the ship can enjoy listening to the creaking glaciers. On ovation I was SO disappointed how far away we were and the lack of time spent at the glacier; the ship was just too large to get any closer safely. However, also as others have said, the venues on Ovation, like the shows and the cafe in Two70 are amazing, as well as iFly, and the Seaplex. We spent many many hours hiking the Alaska wilderness while in port (hiking upper Dewey lake is the hardest hike I’ve ever done and I live in the mountains of Utah) and found that there was still plenty of time to explore and enjoy the ship venues on sea days. Some day I’d like to take my 4 kids and personally will be choosing ovation or quantum when we go.
  22. The PCR test can be done Sunday. But I’m warning you- pay for the rapid PCR. Just do it. I got PCR tests for 3 of my kids 3 days before sailing at CVS which said results within 48 hours. I got 2 back at 3:30pm AFTER I had boarded the ship and the one I needed the absolute most, for my unvaccinated 3 year old I never ever received the results for. It’s been 2.5 months. I was so stressed the day before the cruise finding very expensive rapid PCRs and wish I’d just done it that way in the first place. We’re sailing in 25 days and I don’t care that I have to spend $300 for a rapid PCR. I’m doing it. The anxiety and lack of sleep I experienced before our last cruise stressing over getting results in time was so miserable. I got the rapid PCR results in an hour. Worth every penny.
  23. Thanks for the response. I also contacted the shore excursions department and they said you are escorted on and off the ship for your RC excursion if you have unvaccinated kids in your party so you cannot stay off the ship after it. My sailing is next month so it’s unlikely the rules will change so I’m bummed not to be able to take my kiddos to the beach since my sailing has no beach excursions. The number of excursions is extremely limited, one port only has three options and the others only 5-7. But I’m just happy to be cruising with my kids and will enjoy it regardless.
  24. I’m wondering the same thing. The other question I have is: if I’m already off the ship with my kids for a royal excursion, can I remain off the ship and head to the beach? Or can I get off the ship early to explore then go to the excursion?
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