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Traveling Mike

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Everything posted by Traveling Mike

  1. Ovation had the cheap plastic one. We left them in the room, not worth bring home.
  2. Shareholder Benefit | RCCL Investors (rclinvestor.com) this is the page I have saved. It tells you about the program and has a link to submit your request for the OBC.
  3. You do not have to check with your travel agent. I just pop over to the Royal Caribbean website and run a dummy booking to see if the price has changed. I am on the computer all day every day for work. I do it a couple times a week.
  4. The cruise ships do not have Donuts. They are round and look like donuts but they are not donuts. One bite and they get thrown away. It is kind of bad bread.
  5. They do not know who paid and how much. They just see an additional amount on their paycheck.
  6. When I cruised out of Miami, I used an Airbnb. The one I stayed at was between the airport and the port. It is an older neighborhood, not a bad one. The house is a two-story house, and they have a entrance on the side of the house that goes upstairs for the rooms they rent out. It was clean and very inexpensive. The way I looked at it, I had a clean bed and shower. I used Uber and Lift to get me to the Airbnb and port. Overall, I saved lots of money. Here is a link to the one I stayed at. Jay's Profile - Airbnb Note: You have to carry your luggage up a flight of stairs.
  7. I am not going to say too much because I do not know too much. I was watching a video by a person working on a cruise ship. She was talking about tips. The staff is separated into jobs that get part of the tips. Then all the money collected for gratuities paid (the daily gratuity, gratuity on drink packages, water packages, purchased drinks...) are tossed into a pool. Then their share is added to their paycheck. She said there is no documentation of how much was collected or how it is split up. They are just happy to see it on their paycheck. That is what I heard and how I remember it.
  8. I like and hate this question at the same time. Right off the bat it makes me happy and sad at the same time. That is sailing solo in a single thought. Pros: You answer to no one. you get up and go to bed when you want You eat what and when you want. You can get through the entire dinner in 40 minutes because you are not waiting on others. You get to go to the shows you like. If you do not like the show you leave. You can change your plans at a moment's notice without any discussion and compromising. You do not have to worry about how the other person feels. Speiclaty dining and excursions are cheaper because it is for one person. You can be alone when you want. Cons: The formal nights are a hard night because you are alone. The ship is full of couples and families taking specialty pictures and having group dinners and you are alone. When you go on excursions you are the person on the bus or boat setting alone. It shows and feels worse there because seats are in groups of 2. You pay double occupancy on cruises and hotels. You pay the same for taxi or uber as a couple. You have to be careful with people. Women or men think you are hitting on them some of the time because you are looking for someone to talk to. Women or men will be looking to sleep with you because you are solo. It is hard if you do not like being alone.
  9. I cruised out of Fort Lauderdale in February and stayed at an Air BnB that I really liked. The host Rosemary are retired and have worked for the cruise lines in the past, so they know the system. For a little extra Rosemary will pick you up at the airport and bring you to her home. The morning of the cruise she took me to the ship. Other than that, it was a nice quiet place on the river. You can see her listings at Rosemary's Profile - Airbnb
  10. You might look at the Drink Price Calculator at Cruise Line Drink Package Calculator | Cruzely.com
  11. There will be lots of people give you different answers. I can tell you there are lots of people that cruise out of America with just a birth certificate (original). I can also tell you there have been some that had issues when something happened, and they had to get back without the ship. The first time me and my son (8 years old at the time) cruised we got passports. It makes me feel secure when traveling and we have used them lots of time when on flights and cruises. Hopefully your family loves the trip so much that you want to do it more. Note: If you like the ship, you might look at a trans-Atlantic cruise for your family. It gives lots of sea days to take real advantage of the ship and exposes your kids to Europe.
  12. I did the UDP on the Symphony of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas. Both times I found it worth the cost and not much of a hassle. The selection was much better on the Symphony, and I ended up eating every meal on the UDP. Playmakers and Jonney Rockets was my friends at lunch time. Every dinner was at a high-end restaurant. My other 4 cruses this year I have just did a dinning package of 3 or 5 nights and was really happy with that also. I would look through the main dining room menu and pick nights that did not look great, or I would go on formal nights. Note: On my Alaska cruise all the restaurants filled up and could not be booked by people with the UDP. Plan your nights ahead of time and while waiting to get on the ship see if you can connect to the ships wifi. If you can book your dinner reservations. If not, as soon as you get on the ship go to one of the specialty dining restaurants and book all of your meals.
  13. I set a reservation ahead of time and eat early. I like to have my dinner at 6:00 pm and most of the time get right in and they are very accommodating. Covid has messed things up and it is harder to get a table with a group. They have set me at tables right next to other solo travelers.
  14. Like @smokeybandit said, both are correct. On your computer you have to do everything. On your phone app you can just grab your time. I often end up using both.
  15. On my last cruise I had extra OBC near the end of my cruise. I went into the casino and pulled my OBC into a slot machine from my on-board account. I then cashed out the machine and took the ticket to the cashier. She gave me my cash. Note: You just have to be strong enough to not play the machine.
  16. I know there is nothing anyone can say to make you worry less. What I can tell you is in June my son tested positive for covid 7 days before our cruise. We canceled and rebooked, and we are still both alive and well. In July we had a very nice cruise to Alaska. In 3 weeks, I fly to Europe, and I run around Europe for 7 days before my Artic cruise. I just hope I don't get covid on the flight or running around Europe. If I do, it will be a different experience than I expect but I will be OK. You will be OK
  17. I am in the same price range as @Ampurp85 and tip $5 or $10 a dinner. They are happy to get it and they remember you if you come back.
  18. I find this less stressful for me. I do self-assist, so I do not have to worry about putting bags out the night before. I can pack whenever I am ready; the night before of the morning of. I get up and shower and be ready to leave the room at 8:00 am. I wonder up to get a bite to eat at the last part of breakfast at the buffet. Then I mosey off the ship about 9 am with my bags.
  19. I always travel solo. Most likely you want my time dining. This allows you to go at 5:30 pm and gives you the option of setting alone or with other people. It also give you the option of meeting different people each meal.
  20. We are still waiting on some of the excursions to post prices on our September 4, 2022 cruise. My April 2023 only has 3 excursions for 3 ports.
  21. We purchased a case of water and kept the fridge full. The water was plenty cold for drinking.
  22. I cannot find them. Everything I am looking at or that is in the spreadsheet are 200% single sup
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