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Everything posted by WAYNO

  1. In our experience, the nicest is Miami. We wait in nice chairs or couches in the suite lounge with coffee, juice and pastries, while the folks come to us to complete the check- in. As soon as the ship is open, we board the ship. At 10:30-ish, we were in the suite lounge. Very slightly later, the ship was open for us and we boarded. In other ports, the suite lounge is a bunch of chairs in the port, with beverages and treats available. In L.A., the only amenity is our own line. Nothing more is provided. These suite lounges are all different, and sometimes non-existent. But no matter what, I sure appreciate the abbreviated line and check-in.
  2. We recently cruised Symphony from Miami, Feb 25th-Mar 4th. Junior Suite. Arrived at the port early and were immediately ushered into the suite lounge at the terminal and onto the ship. We've done Navigator recently also, from L.A. Also JS. Definitely priority boarding.
  3. Mostly I've seen very few receipts, and I don't recall ever seeing a drinks remaining number posted on the receipt. When I ask at the bar, they tell me how many drinks I have left.
  4. And already I must amend my previous post. My Wife and her brother just got off Navigator yesterday. In just a months time, they have decided to really clamp down on when they serve the second entree. They absolutely hold off serving the second entree until the first one is consumed.
  5. I've been on two cruises very recently. On Navigator, we shared a table for six. Any one of us could order additional entrees without question. We could order them as two complete meals, or we could order a complete meal with an extra entree without the side fixins. On lobster night, I/we ordered lobster and steak, and some of our tablemates asked for them to be served simultaneously. They were served together without issue. I didn't care, so even though I did not ask for them to be served together, they were still delivered close together. The next cruise, on Symphony, there were only 3 of us at our table, all family. I don't think any of us specified if we wanted our second entree served simultaneously, but again, the food came so close together, it didn't matter. I will say, the lobster came first, on its own plate. The steak came along before we could even get into the lobster, and without even a suggestion, our server shucked all our lobsters and slid both entrees and side fixins onto one plate. And I've gotta say, our waiter and assistant waiter were absolutely wonderful.
  6. Neither. Neither. I like it how it's always been. Our cabin attendant always seems to magically know when I'm away from the cabin, and magically, when I return, everything is ship-shape. And if there's a change, I've never noticed.
  7. Not really, but it no longer matters. I understand, rules are rules, but for us, the rules have changed so often that I don't know what the most official rule change is the most correct. My wife and I both went into our previous cruise, each with 161 points shown by C&A. That was after many discussions to get the points corrected to this number. They agreed at that time! Now, I'm down to 147, and I don't understand this either, they said because we didn't "share" a room, I also don't get credit for my last Jr. Suite, which on paper, I was solo. See? Whatever rules they're enforcing, they convolute it with other new rules. And when I discuss these issues, either on-board with a concierge, on the phone, or via email, they never understand the points I am trying to make, and they insert more rules that have nothing to do with the discussion. Again, I give up. I have no more hair to spare. It is what it is.
  8. Update... Royal no longer is allowing my Wife and I to share points. We don't always cruise together, so they have taken away any points, from both of us, if we didn't earn them together in the same cabin. On our latest cruise, my Wife booked a room separate from me, so we could bring family along. She is not given credit for my room, nor do I get credit for her room. Bottom line, in the stroke of a keyboard, they've taken 14 points away from me. I'm tired. They win.
  9. I was on Symphony very recently. When I saw another passenger struggling to make his Wow band work in the casino, I was glad I did not have a Wow band.
  10. I keep reading this on this forum, but I've tried and they say a free day of internet, or buy the full package with no discount. They will not discount the package for one day of free internet. That's a problem. Royal is inconsistent. One passenger is treated one way, the next passenger is denied.
  11. I very much like Navigator. But the port, maybe not so much. We've booked it 3 times between last fall and now. My Wife is aboard with her brother, as we speak. Just a heads up, and nothing I would have ever thought of. Friday when they boarded, Los Angeles was quite rainy. That's not an every day occurrence there, so maybe they don't totally prepare. Wherever they stage the checked passenger luggage for the cruise, was apparently exposed to the elements. Their luggage was soaked, in and out. Must've been quite the downpour. Required them hanging many of their clothes in the cabin to let them dry out. This is just an observation... I've traveled countless times during rain, but this is the first time I've known of drenched clothing while inside a suitcase. The ship however, remains wonderful.
  12. Sounds good, and I also do all of this. Still doesn't work for me. The concierge admits to us having all the points we claim, but she, at least on this cruise, does not have the authority to correct the point total. So, they admit we should be a Diamond Plus, but they will not do any correction, even temporarily. It probably doesn't matter, other than the very few perks Diamond Plus gives us. Diamond Plus offers preferred seating in some of the shows on some ships. And an extra drink per day, but ironically, we don't drink.
  13. This saga continues. We recently achieved Diamond Plus, or should have. Our Sea Pass and C&A does not agree, so we receive no Diamond Plus benefits on the cruise my Wife is on right now. We have the points, we have the proof, and even the Diamond Concierge admits to this. But she does not have the authority to correct this dilemma. Their authority continually changes. Two cruises ago, on the same ship, that Concierge was able to make a similar correction that was due at that point. Too many times, our total points have been incorrect. As soon as we finally get things corrected, subsequent cruise points are conveniently not added, or incorrectly added, to our total. So we are always in a deficit. So, since the concierge can't fix it, and customer service never answers us, I wrote another letter to the CEO. My point is... Watch your totals and get on it right away when they are incorrect.
  14. Yep, open for anybody without any required qualifications. No matter how creative, or even simply to the point, I enjoy reading what other folks are experiencing.
  15. Symphony last week... The tub/shower also had the hinged half door and no curtain. Try as I might, I could not prevent water from splashing outside the shower to the floor. Interesting, this modern bathroom architecture. As gorgeous and wonderful as this ship was, including our room, the faucet spout in our bathroom was so short, when we used it for something as simple as washing our hands or brushing our teeth, it was difficult to not flood the counter surrounding the faucet. Had to use a wash cloth to contain and absorb the water.
  16. Just got home from our last cruise. We stepped into our house which had just been spit shined by our Daughter in Law and Grandson while we were gone, and found this most wonderful ever-changing light base for our crystal block. It's so wonderful to be loved.
  17. I do this too. Far easier than grabbing a bottle from the bar each time to haul back to the room.
  18. Between the casino and C&A, we usually receive a couple bottles of wine, cookies and a fruit plate throughout the week. Even on our cruise two weeks ago we received this assortment. Last week, another cruise, and we received one bottle of wine and three cookies. They must've known I am on a diet.
  19. I agree, but I could also add, just like with the carne asada on Mexican night, leave off the sauce and you just have a steak. Or so I was told by our waiter when he learned we purposely skipped Mexican night. The waiter was convincingly concerned when we only returned for night 6 and 7 after night 1. I don't know what I could do to make French night okay. But, this new menu is not about me. I understand, although I prefer comfort foods, others celebrate expanded food opportunities..
  20. Mediterranean menu... I worried, but needlessly. I ordered the Mediterranean steak on two different but very recent cruises. The chimichurri sauce, or oil, whatever it's considered, was quite good on the New York steak. It comes on the side in its own little tiny cup. And if a person wasn't interested, leave the oil off and it's a steak from Texas.
  21. I have not seen the movie, so I am unable to answer. But in fairness, I just read the Cliff's Notes version of the movie. The version on the ship was quite close to the movie.
  22. Actually, yes we did have multiple cabin services each day. The day we were forgotten, was a long day, so when we got back late to no towels or other services, our attendant did return that evening to make our bed and provide new towels. We're easy on the cabin, so there are really few other services necessary other than empty the trash and provide hygiene paper, which remained barely provided. I don't know if Royal has caused the attendants to be so cheap with toilet paper and Kleenex, or if this gal took it upon herself to save the company some money. And ya know, I think they've abbreviated the survey. There's really nowhere to enter such thoughts to the survey. After you rate the service 1 thru 10, further information is not asked. By the time you've realized that you could've/should've proved more thoughts, the survey said I was done.
  23. More... I'm not bothered by movement in a boat, but I've gotta say, this ship was a rocker and a roller most of the time, and the seas were not rough. For my boy, it was his first cruise. It did bother him a lot. When I talk with new cruisers, they often ask about sea sickness, and I always say it's overrated to non-existent. I think this cruise will cause me to not downplay that so much. The theatre shows. I was very disappointed with the two we saw. Hairspray. The performers were great, but the story line was not entertaining. To each his own. Same with the show, Flight, Dare to Dream. I hoped this would have been an aviation documentary, but it was not. They spent an extended part of a scene, portraying a fully garbed Nun, drinking and cavorting on an airliner. It was so unnecessary and completely out of place, it caused me to want to leave the show. They had technical difficulties and the show ended early. As above, the performers were great. There was a Veteran's tribute on the Promenade. For the most part it was great, until it became a tribute to the Skipper and the crew. That was the wrong place for that, and it really bothered many of the Veteran's attending. The Main Dining Room. We ate a total of 3 meals there. The food we ate, as well as the service, was as good as the best I've ever had on a ship. And as I said earlier, we only ate 3 meals there, as I just could not get interested in the menu changes. In the survey later, I still didn't see a place where they specifically asked, or even wanted to know, what we thought of the new offerings. Not wanting to discount my praise of the food we ate or of the service, I rated everything a 10, and now they'll think their menu changes are wonderful. Sad part too, we ate the balance of our meals at the Windjammer. The food quality wasn't bad, but the choices were very poor. Carved beef and/or minute steaks were only offered once. And pork chops, once. Every other meal there, to me, was the same. Hamburger patties and hot dogs. The service in the Windjammer was also, actually, pathetic. Drinks, over and above tea, pseudo lemonade, and water, are not available within the Windjammer, so a server must fetch other drinks. If a server never finds his way to your table, you won't get any drinks if you don't get them yourself, elsewhere. I will say however, breakfasts at the Windjammer remain as great as ever. I'm into comfort breakfast foods, and those choices abound! I also mentioned earlier, problems at the Dog Hut on the Boardwalk. I did speak with a manager, and surprisingly, they knew full well of these continuing problems, and just cannot get them solved. Simple enough for me, I didn't go back. The Promenade had returned to the ways of past Promenades, and I very much enjoyed and appreciated that. It was a vibrant and exciting atmosphere with a lot of entertainment, as well as the never ending sales tables, which surprisingly, I had also missed. I try to visit the Chapel on a ship at least once on a cruise. I never found one on Symphony. The Casino... I get my rooms thru the Casino's and I know them pretty well. I think this Casino was the largest of any onboard Casino I've ever seen. It was nice, with a ton of newer machines. It was however very smoky, and there were almost never enough servers throughout the gaming areas. Often I'd have to go to their bar, or elsewhere, to get a drink, which in my case is almost always just a soft drink. I still tipped heavily, over and above the multiple tiers of prepaid gratuities, just to keep these guys coming. Still didn't work. I also witnessed an awful altercation directed at a lady from another male gambler at a table. It went on for minutes, the screaming and flipping off, and the foul language. And the casino, the dealer, and the manager did nothing. It was bad enough, I told the manager to call somebody to address the problem, and he still did nothing. Eventually it settled down, until this customer was done at that table, and he started in all over again as he left. Nothing was ever done. Anywhere else, he would have been eighty-sixed. We nearly always pay for a sight seeing excursion at every port. No different this time. And more often than not, the tours are purchased from the ship. We were on a tour bus in St. Maarten. The bus operator spoke such heavy Creole, he was not understandable. And that was the few times he did speak. Mostly he sped thru any given area, said nothing, and would not slow for picture taking. And he did not go through Maho Beach. So back at the port, we hired a cab, and the lady driver was delightful. She gave us the personal tour we so desire, and she took us to Maho Beach, and waited as long as necessary until we could see a couple planes land. Total cost, 70-bucks American. And worth every cent of the tip, over and above that cost . Next stop, St. Thomas USVI. My boy picked out the tour, and I was a little surprised to find us boarding a a passenger ferry. The direction from the tour ushers was nearly non-existent, and our tours as well as other folks' tours were all huddled together with no further direction. We were lost. Enough people with similar wrist bands thought we were going the right way, so we followed the crowd. Again, I had no idea this was a boat excursion. Cut to the chase, this was a boat taking us 45 minutes away to another island, Once at St. John, we boarded a converted people-hauler pickup truck, and from then on, it was a wonderful tour. Speaking of the passenger ferry, again, it was rough. And this is the ferry that folks rely on daily to travel throughout the islands. St. John Island has no hospital, high school, or most other amenities or services, so these ferries are used extensively with no down-time. Understandable they are so rough. It's breakfast time. I'll compile more thoughts.
  24. I am now home. Our flight was cancelled. Delta did get us home a day later, but they were not easy in doing so. But that's another story. Today is Monday morning, up at 4 AM with a jet-lagged brain saying it's really 7 o'clock. This cruise was terrific and wonderful. Here are some random thoughts, post-cruise. The cruise port in Miami is grand and beautiful. We were of course early, but they ushered us right through and onto the ship in short order. A perk of having a Junior Suite. I've cruised from Miami before, but for whatever reason, I don't recognize this cruise port facility. Maybe it's new since I've last been here? We brought our adult Son with us this time and he had a Balcony Suite of his own. Our two rooms were casino comps, so we had to twist the bookings to make it work. On paper, my Wife and Son shared the comp'd Balcony Suite and I had the Junior Suite alone. In reality, of course my Wife and I were in the Junior Suite. I don't understand all the differences between Junior Suites, but this one was somewhat larger than other Junior Suites. And it was quite perfect. In addition to the sofa bed, it had a bed that pulled out of the ceiling. I didn't know such a bed even existed. We usually get well acquainted with our stateroom attendants, but not this time, other than her greeting when we passed her in the hallway. And the extra service lacked, at least a little bit. The room was quite clean, but extras, such as paper products especially, remained in short supply. Simple things, like a box of tissue in the bathroom as well as on our desk in the suite itself, was not to happen. To have facial tissue in the bathroom, our only choice was to keep a partial roll of toilet paper on the counter next to the sink. The attendant never picked up on this. And one day, some munchkins apparently turned our "out having an adventure" door magnet over, so it instead said "sleeping in". So we received no attendant service while we were out. We learned later, a long bunch of rooms surrounding ours also had the magnets turned over. That must've made for an easy day for the room attendant. More to follow so I can insert photos where they're easier explained...
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