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Traveling Mike

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Everything posted by Traveling Mike

  1. Alaska Cruise: Book an inside room to get the dark room to sleep. Spend extra time in the Solarium soaking up the warm water watching Alaska go by.
  2. Just remember that you will not be able to get on the ship no matter what until it is cleared by customs. Every passenger from the previous cruise has to be off the ship and cleared through customs before anyone can get on for the next cruise. I have had some cruises where the first people did not get on until 1 pm because of issues clearing the ship.
  3. I have used this company for years and have collected a few times. They were great helping me deal with Covid cancelations and moving my cruise insurance and collecting for non-refundable hotels with canceled covid cruises. Travel Insurance | Get a Quote and Buy | Travel Guard
  4. The last two cruises I have done with my son they have done the beds wrong no matter what the invoice says. We just tell the room Stuart when we get there, and it is fixed before we go to bed.
  5. I am an ex-truck driver, so I am not very picky. I am 61 years old, so I don't eat what I don't like. Now with that said I will hardly eat at the buffet on the RCL ships. Every time I do, I am sorry because of the quality of food. The main dining on the RCL is not bad and I have a good dinner. Lately I have been purchasing the Unlimited Dining Plan and eating all my meals at the Specialty Restaurants on the RCL ships. I have been very happy with the quality in the Specialty Restaurants. On the Celebrity Cruises I have been very happy with the food in their buffet. The main dining room is very good and makes me want to eat there and not the specialty restaurants. The Specialty Restaurants on Celebrity are just OK. I do not think there is enough difference in the main dining room and the SR to spend the extra money. Sad to say I have not been on Silver Seas. Note: if this helps... I can lose weight on the RCL ships, and I seem to gain weight on the Celebrity Ships.
  6. I got Soda and Internet for $17 last Black Friday. Booked it for all of my 2022 cruises.
  7. My April cruise I was assigned my cabin 7 days before my cruise. My September cruise I was assigned my cabin 20 days before my cruise. My November Cruise I was assigned my cabin 6 months before my cruise. Do you see a pattern.... I don't
  8. Here are a couple of items I think help: Do what you want. Plan to do everything but don't try to do it. Take time to relax. Don't stay behind your camera taking pictures and video of everything. The internet is full of pictures of your ship. Enjoy the ship with your eyes. The walls are magnetic. I like to take magnetic clips to keep my paperwork for the cruise: Daily planner, reservations, shore excursion tickets... Find time to just set at a bar or on the pool deck and just enjoy the day. You do not need the internet unless you have someone not on the cruise you need to stay in contact with. You can find a Daily Planner for your ship and often cruise to see show times to see what dinner time is best for you. Here is the link Royal Caribbean Cruise Compass | Royal Caribbean Blog
  9. This is for non-suite cabins: I am a guy's guy with old man hair, and I take my own shampoo and conditioner on all RCL Ships. With a week of their combo products my hair is all over the place.
  10. I have done UDP for my last 4 RCL cruises. The first day is reserved for you and you can change it when you get to the cruise port. I would recommend that you try to connect to the ship internet and book all of your reservations while you are waiting to get on the ship. If you are not comfortable with that, I would go to one of the Specialty Restaurants and reserve all your dinners. On my last two cruises all the dinners were overbooked, and people could not get reservations even with UDP. It might be different on your cruise but I would not risk it.
  11. If you change it now, you are on the phone with a travel agent or cruise line. If you wait until you are on the ship you are standing in a long line at customer service.
  12. I would assume it helps the staff. If someone is wearing their pin (especially Pinnacle) it lets them know "Beware". These people are going to be picky and hard to please. Their glass is not half full or half empty... it needs to be filled or refreshed.
  13. I just got off a TA Cruise and the Specialty Dinning was over filled every night. A full night is 60 seats, and they were running 80 to 90 seats. If you did not book your dinners the first day you did not get a reservation. I am guessing they are wanting to sell the packages so they will keep every night over full. I expect them to start forcing dinner times of 5:30 pm to be able to use a table two times a night.
  14. I just went through a similar thing with my son. He cruised from the age of 8 though 18 then we stopped while we paid for his college. In July he did his first cruise at the age of 24 as an adult. Cruising as an adult is way different than as a kid. What I had to learn was to give him options then do my thing. I wanted to take him to everything and have him experience everything with me but after 2 days I figured out that was not working. I ended up letting him know what I was doing and giving him the option to do it with me or not. I would let him know I am doing breakfast in the windjammer and then hitting the hot tub. I am doing bumper cars at 10 am and doing waive runner at 11:30 am. He would join me or not and I ended up doing my thing, some of the time with him and some without him. Every day we did dinner together then the shows in the evening because that is something we both liked all the time.
  15. Make sure you do the cash pull on a slot machine. If you do it at a table, they charge a 5% fee. The slot machines there is not a fee and they do not know how much you played before cashing it in. The only risky part is self-control. Can you control the urge to pull the handle and get rich.
  16. The only time I have not gotten a price drop is when there were no more cabins in my category.
  17. I know this is not the question, but I used both. The app is better for watching when it opens up and getting the first boarding time. The website is better for being able to see and type my information. The app is better for scanning my passport and taking my picture. The website is better for seeing everything at one time. The app is better for see that everything is checked off. So.... my answer is both
  18. The one with the link I supplied was multiple rooms. When I was there, I had one room and another group of young people had the other 5 rooms. I liked this place because it is separate than the owner's house. It was just a bedroom, two shared bathrooms, a setting room and a kitchenette. The only issue was it was on the second floor and you had to carry your luggage up the stairs.
  19. Most of the time I have found Airbnb people willing to work with you. The one I used in Fort Lauderdale picked me up at the airport and then took me to the port the next day for a small fee. I have had ones let me come to the house early before check-in and hang out and watch TV until the room was ready. You never know what they are willing to do until you ask.
  20. Everyone has an opinion. What you need is way different that what others need. I do all my own research and booking and I just need a travel agent to give me extra money on my cruise. You might need someone to find what you want and explain everything to you. What your question should have been is how do I find a travel agent that can help me ?????
  21. its not a hotel and you have to carry your bags up some stairs but it is the right price for a good bed and shower. I stayed at this AirBnB and it was half way from the airport and port. I just took a Uber to the room and one to the port. Was much less than the $300 they wanted for a hotel room in February. Airbnb: Vacation Rentals, Cabins, Beach Houses, Unique Homes & Experiences
  22. One last thing I want to leave you with. The only real issue I had on the trip was I got real tired of hearing people complain. Our cruise has over 300 Pinnacle cruisers and the most of the rest was Diamond and Diamond plus. The ship had a couple of meetings with the staff warning them how picky the cruisers on this cruise were going to be. Most of the people on the cruise were great but there was enough that were not that you got tired of hearing it. I was told that the ship had to leave about 350 staff in Copenhagen because the USA would not give them a work visa. All the ships are short staffed to start with. All the staff was working their hardest to make a great cruise for us. I seen the glass half full and appreciate everything they did. Please, going forward do not be the glass half empty person and only see what you did not get on your cruise. Thank you for following, Mike
  23. Traveling Solo There are lots of people that wonder what is like traveling solo. This was a different trip so I thought I would share some of my thoughts. Planning: It was really nice to be able to pick what I want to do and not worry about what anyone else wants to do. When I got to Prague and Copenhagen I changed my plans while out on the town because how I felt changed. Things I wanted to do changed. I did not have to compromise with anyone, I was traveling solo. Flying into a strange country alone: This was a challenge. I had no one to ask what they thought. I had to trust my own judgment and figure it out on my own. I also had to be secure enough to ask other people for directions or how things worked. Traveling on an European Train for the first time: This was a challenge even if there was someone. This was a very uncomfortable adventure and I am not sure if it would have been better or worse with someone else with me. Not speaking the language and the process was so different I was uncomfortable for most of the adventure. Now that it is done it would be much easier the next time. The biggest issue with being solo is you have strangers setting next or right in front of you. On the ship: my favorite saying is a solo traveler is only alone if they want to be. This cruise I was getting tired of people and wanted more alone time. Now to be fair with you I need to remind you I was in charge of some of the Cruise Critic / Face Book activities. That is over 600 people. I did the Sail-a-Way Meet and Greet, the Group Dinners at Chops, Giovanni and Izumi, and the Poker Pub Crawl on three different days. On top of that I helped on two different private shore excursions that was 100 people and 80 people. With all this organizing I meet lots of people and was never alone. I had to find time for "Me Time".
  24. More Internet Issues I will be so glad when all the RCL Ships are upgraded to SpaceX Starlink. I was going to update and finish my blog on my flight home but there were so many issues I did not feel like messing with it. For some reason setting in an airport for 6 hours two different times make you want to do nothing. Flight Home I walked off the ship with my bags and figured out it would take me 1 hour to get off the ship and through customs. Then I figured it would take me 1 hour to get to the airport. My flight was at 11:50 am so I needed to be at the airport by 10:00 am. With those calculations I had to be out of my cabin no later than 8:00 am. Well.... I left the cabin at 7:00 am because I was awake. I went to the cafe and ask if I could get a egg and bacon muffin without the muffin. They brought me the most beautiful over medium eggs with 3 slices of bacon. Best breakfast I had in 3 weeks. I was heading off the ship by 7:15 am. I did not stop much on the way out. Customs took about 45 seconds. I was in my Uber by 7:30 am. There was no traffic and I was at the airport by 7:50 am. So... I got to set 4 hours for my flight. My flight from Boston to Phoenix was uneventful except for the fact the person in a full plane did not show up. We got to spread out and watch movies. When we landed in Phoenix I found out my 3 hour layover was delayed by 2 hours because there was not flight staff. Then the plane coming in for us was delayed and my 5:45 pm flight soon became a 8:20 pm flight. Not fun waiting almost 6 hours for your connection. I did eventually get to Fresno by 10:00 pm. I was setting outside the Fresno Air Terminal (FAT) when my son pulled up with our two dogs in the car. Those two dogs made me feel loved. They were running in circles in the car and barking up a storm. Once I got in the car they were not sure if they should continue to run in circles or jump on my lap. It is true, Man's Best Friend....
  25. Sea days Now I am in the last leg of my cruise. This morning I got up, checked my cloths, and washed out a couple of shirts. I bring Tide Pods with me to allow me to wash a few things if I need to. Then I figured out what I needed for my last 4 days. Then everything else got packed in the suitcase. When Sunday morning comes there will be nothing to do but grab my bags and leave. I am glad I have these sea days. They should be relaxing but I am ready to go home. These vacations are great but there is nothing like home.
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