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LanaH last won the day on August 21 2015

LanaH had the most liked content!

About LanaH

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  • Birthday October 27

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  • Location
    Innisfil, ON Canada
  • Interests
    cruising, reading, gardening, singing
  1. Here's the first installment of incredible service staff. I wish I had been able to get pictures of my cabin stewards (my unsung heros!) but they were usually like ghosts and when I was able to see and chat with them I never had my camera handy!
  2. Do a couple of 7 day BTB in a Jr Suite - worked for us - wasn't planned that way but what the heck!
  3. First cruise in 2010 on Explorer - loved the size of the ship and everything was absolutely perfect - including the weather. My husband was a little harder sell. Took him a while to "get into it". First, it took me over a year to convince him to go and then finally one day I just booked it (our friends were going on the same cruise with their motorcycles so we tagged along). It took him until Day 3 to fall in love with cruising but as soon as he could sit outside and feel the ocean breeze and the warm tropical sun - that was it - he was hooked. now he starts his countdown for his next cruise the minute he disembarks from the last!
  4. I'm with you. We did Domenica in 2010 and loved it, although it does has some very impoverished areas. We're happy Adventure is going back there again when we're on her this spring. St. Kitts - ya not so much.
  5. Our first three cruises were out of Bayonne - simply because we could drive from Ontario - in January and February. Matt (as usual) was right on the money. Sail Away - a tad "nippy" especially as we hit the open ocean breezes. Not cold enough however to keep us Crazy Cunucks out of the hot tub at midnight! Being from Philly - you can handle it! the drive in through whatever Mother Nature chooses to send is much worse than what you'll find on the ship (although I do remember one day the captain saying at the end of the morning announcements that everyone should TRY and have a good day lol). Day 1 was long sleeves and pants, maybe a light jacket if the wind was up by afternoon into T-shirts and shorts for Day 2 and Day 3 we were soaking up the rays in our bathing suits. On the trip home it was usually only 2 full days back (depending on the itinerary you would get either 3 day and 2 back or 2 down and 3 back Two years in a row we had winter storms going out and coming home so he seas could be a little rough (ok 21 feet is a little more rock and roll then rough) but if you don't get seasick easy, you'll be fine. We'd be going out of Bayonne still if the cruises were cheaper. On the new ships it's cheaper to fly to a warmer port and sail from there then pay the price of the newer ships but I miss the sea days :(
  6. Not sure if you're on Voyager or Explorer (you right Voyager but your next cruise listing says Explorer - hence the confusion, however, if it is Explorer, they changed 90% of the beds when we were last on her in 2012 and since she's been in dry dock since, I would suspect they have been changed again since. We have been on 3 separate ships and I have always found the beds to be exceptional and I'm pretty fussy as I had a severe back injury in 1997 which nearly left me paralyzed - even my bed at home gives me some rough mornings but not so on these ships. I think you had a one of on Radiance although I'm surprised they didn't change the matress for you as they do keep spares in stock...hmmm
  7. Actually, the Explorer's balconies are half glass/half steel unless they were changed in the last dry dock. Pic below is from January 2010 (please disregard mess - we were in a drop and go mode - it was our first cruise and also the date - used hubby's point and shoot because it was handier and he NEVER changes his date! This was a rear aft cabin - 8642 and it was a super cabin and we loved it. For some reason the pics show up blue when you click on them but should be fine if you open in a separate tab.
  8. Sad to say I have to agree with Celebration. We are at the same point (all though only lowly Diamonds) - because, frankly there isn't much incentive to continue to Diamond Plus or Pinnacle anymore. We have done a not quite Suite (Jr. Suite) the last 3 cruises because it was cheaper to do a 3 or 4 way split on a slightly larger room then it was in some cases to do a regular D class balcony and an inside room, but I'd rather have a lowly D class balcony which is more than adequate for our needs and save the money to spend on what I want to do - not make RCCL richer. the fact that we've stuck with them for 10+ cruises should count for more than the person who decides to throw out $6000+ for one trip. Almost every ship does, if not the exact same itinerary, the same ports - and almost exclusively the more commercial ones where they can get a bigger bang for their buck. They claim they don't get any kick backs but I'm finding that hard to believe with all the DI stores and the likes at the various ports they do stop at. The cruises to Samana and similar, less commercial ports, are harder and harder to find and, in fact, the cruises are all much shorter in distance then they were even 5 years ago. We have jokingly said that they just sail out of port for half an hour - just far enough to drop anchor so they can open the casino and shops and then they sit and troll for the night until they can weigh anchor and sail the half hour it takes to get to the next port. Geez just arrange for a water taxi service and let me see some of the nightlife in Port A or charge me an extra buck to pay for the additional docking fees to stay later. If I can see the lights of where I just left and the lights of where I'm going - I've NOT gone far enough already. If my loyalty means nothing and I'm going to stay in one spot I think I should be booking an All Inclusive next year!
  9. Your son got a bag?? Seriously. The day you turn Diamond, trot yourself right down to loyalty and get them to give you your pin (and maybe change your Sea Pass card to read Diamond too. Don't let them tell you they can't. I didn't do that on the two previous cruises and was told by the Loyalty Manager herself (she is a senior manager as she has been in that position for a number of years) that I should have - even though supposed it doesn't go into "effect" until after you complete the cruise, she said that is only because they never used to be able to do it live from the ship so had to wait for Corporate to do the updates, now, everything is online and can be done immediately. You paid for the perks so you might as well get to use them.
  10. I've had to go to the Loyalty desk for each and every one of our pins. They are beyond slow. Four days into the cruise where we were Diamond I went down and finally got the pins so we could get into the Diamond Lounge and didn't even know what we were entitled to. I even had them change our Sea Pass card to one that read Diamond because the original one wouldn't open the door even though we were told it would and it was always a pain to try and convince whomever was on duty that we truly belonged there. That night what shows up in our stateroom? Emerald pins for the two of us and our daughter who was at platinum at that time - go figure.
  11. We were in a Junior Suite which is about 100 sq ft larger and it was "cozy" by times. Kids were just a little older but different sexes so we asked for a cot so I didn't have to give up my comfy bed and shoehorn either my 6 ft 1 1/2" husband or 6 ft 2" son on to the sofa bed. Save the bloodshed at the very least try and get a cot and pack light!
  12. I have to agree with this statement. Also, the increase in costs on items that already have a huge markup (pop, booze, photos etc.). I have found the value has really dropped off on these items and I miss the candy on my pillow :(
  13. We've been on Adventure 3X (#4 will be be February 2016) and she's a great ship (OK could use a little lipstick and mascara here and there but...) and each time the staff has been excellent. Trust me there are TONS of things going on all the time. I'm kind of a "lazy" cruiser when on ship but there was always stuff going on. Even if you don't want to participate there's a lot of entertainment in watching others! My suggestion is what I was told on my first cruise. Read your compass when you get if for the next day with a hi-lighter and mark the things you are interested in doing and plan your day accordingly. (just make sure if you want a clean copy to keep to run down to Guest Relations that night to pick pick up a second copy because you WILL forgot to get it the next day!)
  14. We experienced the same thing, on the last three cruises (2 different ships, 3 sets of "staff"), so there is definitely some "encouragement" to tip over and above. I have now chosen to opt out of the automatic gratuities as soon as we get on board. Much as it is a pain to have to juggle the extra cash, I am now preferring to do the old envelop thing to maintain a little control. On our last cruise, for the first time ever, I refused to be "guilted" in to tipping. Despite having the Head Waiter stop by and "chat" at surrounding tables, not once in the fourteen days that we sat at the same table in the same Dining Room at the same time every night, did they feel the urge to come over. I get that they are busy but I'm pretty sure the two minutes it would have taken to say hi, how is everything could have been managed. Our wait staff and steward were incredible so I divided the Head Waiter's share between them as, in my opinion, they were more deserving. As stated by someone above, the gratuity is to reflect a service level therefore - no service no gratuity!
  15. Just to add fuel to the fire, in Canada at least, if someone works in the Service Area, such as a waiter etc., when they go to file their Income Tax to our version of Uncle Sam, up until three years ago (haven't worked in the tax industry since but I doubt it has changed), they were AUTOMATICALLY assessed at double whatever they legal statement of earnings were as the federal government "assumes" they earned undeclared tips equal to the amount paid in salary - nice huh? Although the upside could be if you were really good at your job and amassed a large amount of tips, you would only have to pay the same tax as the owner's kid that really didn't want to be there and showed it with their service lol.
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