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Traveling Mike

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Everything posted by Traveling Mike

  1. I am/was a 3XL and that is the largest they had on the Symphony of the Seas. Last month on the Ovation of the Seas the largest they had was XL. The selection was very bad, and I was told they never know from one cruise to the next what items or sizes they will have. The bigger the ship the more they will have. Also, Caribbean will have more Royal Caribbean things and Alaska will not have much RCL but more Alaska things. Note: If you are going to Alaska go shopping at the Alaska Shirt Company in Juneau Alaska. In the front of the store, they have a couple racks of 3XL to 5XL at a very good price.
  2. I did not want to worry about what I am paying so I pre-paid all my gratuities for the next 2 years. I know it is only $1.50 a day but I keep track of everything I spend on a cruise, and I do not like it when my numbers are not correct. I also like having the daily gratuities cluttering my onboard account.
  3. Here is some advice to get the best out of your drink and quiet. I like to find quiet and read a good book. There are lots of quite places on the cruise. One of my favorites is the solarium. It is an adult only place that has lounger chairs, couches and sleeper to look out the glass at the sea going by. There are bars that are not used very much and are very quiet. Most of the ships have a wine bar that is quiet. If you walk the medium decks (like deck 5) that has walking outside, you will find places to set outdoors and enjoy the sea and it will be quiet. For the first few days when you head to your room stop by a bar and get a water to take to your room. Before you know it, you will have extra bottles of water for night and early in the morning. You can take your drinks almost anywhere like they have said above. If you stop by and have a drink before dinner don't worry about taking that drink to dinner. If you are full at the end of dinner you can order your desert to go. They will give you your desert in a plate with a cover to take to your room for a late-night snack. According to my son, the last thing you do at night is stop by the pizza place and take pizza back to your room for a late-night snack.
  4. First, it is a programming bug. I have been writing software for years and there are a lot of bad programmers out there. Second, I get all of my soda from a waiter or bar. To use the freestyle machine, you have to carry the big cup around. I find it easier to gust pop in a bar and get my soda. Even if you only look at the freestyle machine someone has to fill it with soda and Ice and keep it clean.
  5. Don't order the french-fries. I did on the Symphony and all I can remember about the dinner is how bad the french-fries were.
  6. In February I did the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas then got off it and jumped on the Celebrity Reflection. As soon as I got on the Celebrity Reflection, I meet up with a friend that just got off one of the newer Princess ships. Looking around the Reflection we were disappointed and felt it was dated. We were wondering if we made a mistake taking that cruise. By the second day we seen the Celebrity Reflection in a different way. The staff on the ship make it a great cruise. Celebrity caters to the people and the Celebrity Reflection was no different. They had lots of things to keep us busy and everyone on the staff went out of their way to make us happy and give us a great cruise. I am looking forward to cruising on the Celebrity Reflection again.
  7. A couple weeks ago I was on the RCL Ovation of the Seas, and I pulled extra OBC into one of the slot machines. Then I cashed it out and took the ticket to the cashier for cash. I was told to use the slot machine and not the tables. I was told the tables will charge a fee and the slot machines will not.
  8. In February I did a week on the RCL Symphony out of Miami then the Celebrity Reflection out of Fort Lauderdale. Royal Caribbean had a 48-passenger bus that took people from the port of Miami to Fort Lauderdale airport then to the Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Because I was on a B2B (technically S2S) there was no cost for the transportation.
  9. I hate to be the 1/2 empty person, but we just got done with our Alaska cruise. I had my 25-year-old with me. There were not kids in their 20's wondering around the ship. They were already in groups or families. There is plenty of things to keep them busy but do not plan on them making friends like they do in teenage groups.
  10. I came from a background of Disney sailing where they would often upgrade us at the check in. I have not seen that after leaving Disney cruising except for when they needed my room for a covid floor. I am also like you where the room does not mean that much. What I do is look at the price and see if it is worth it to me to upgrade. I do not put in a bid to move up to Oceanview. I will put in a bid for Balcony if it is what I consider a low price. So, with all that said i would look at the minimum bid and decide if that is low enough to make you move. If you make a bid, bid the minimum +$10. Everyone bids the minimum.
  11. I just got off the Ovation and the problem was not having time but the people in the NextCruise desk were not very friendly or helpful. They reminded me of a car salesman that determines if you are going to buy as soon as they look at you. I must look like someone that doe not like to cruise. On the Symphony in February the person was very helpful and I booked 3 cruises with her. I was ready to book 2 more but did not have any one that wanted to waste their time with me.
  12. You just entered my world. Most people do not know what it is like cruising as a single adult with a child. They have ideas but they have not lived it. I have been a single father for the last 24 years (since my son was 1). I have been cruising with him since he was 8 years old. First of all, you probably will not see your son much. I had a rule that my son must have dinner with me every night. By the age of 9 he figured out how to shorten dinner for himself. He would get his main course when we were eating our appetizers; have his desert with our main course and would excuse himself to join his new friends. The rest of the time I was a solo cruiser. What I would change: I would keep the dinner rule but I would add a rule that my son and I would pick one thing in the middle of the day that we would do together. Meeting People: Get on Facebook, Cruise Critic and Royal Caribbean Blog and find your cruise. Meet people before you go. On the ship go to the ship trivia and ask to join a group. Most people do not mind you joining them. I look for a group that does not look like a couple. Don't be afraid to start a conversation with someone at the bar. Even if you do not drink you can hang out and have a soda or water. On the RCL ships I hang out at the flow rider and there are always people to talk to. Advice: Don't be afraid to be alone. You get full control of your life. You get to go to the shows and sit where you want. If you do not like the show you can get up and leave. When I go to dinner I set alone and can get done with dinner in 30 to 40 minutes and not the 2 hours with a group. With covid going away you can always ask for a large table at dinner. This give you 6 to 10 new people to talk to. Take a book or computer and set in the Solarium and enjoy the scenery and quiet. One of my favorite things to do is hang out at the flow rider and rock climbing wall and watch people. Go to the shows, events and dances; you will enjoy them. My last advice and it sounds like it is not you; do not use your child as a replacement for a partner. One last thing: I find formal night a very bad time to be solo. I make it a point not to do dinner at the main dining room on formal night or I do a 5:30 dinner time. To me it is depressing to be around all the couples dressed up. I do the buffet, burger joint or a non-fancy specially restaurant.
  13. I am the type that always have travel insurance for all of my cruises. I have collected on it a few times and think it is a good money spent for a peace of mind. I am currently making up for missed Covid time and have 5 cruises booked in the next year. I am retiring next November and plan on traveling a lot including 5 to 10 cruises a year. I am looking for input from people that have / had annual travel insurance. Is an Annual Travel Insurance a good policy to replace purchasing it one cruise at a time? What travel insurance company would you recommend? Anything else I need to know to make my decision?
  14. If everything goes fine, you will not have a problem. If the worst-case scenario happens you will have big problems. If you have medical issues out of the United States, you will have issues getting back to the United States. If you miss the ship in a port the ship will take your passports out of your room and leave them with a representative on the dock. If you do not have passports, you will have issues getting back home. I do not want to sound like the half empty person, but I just like to be prepared.
  15. I would talk to the airline and cruise line. I have not had to deal with a wheelchair in years but I still notice them because I grew up pushing a wheelchair. The airlines will give you a person and wheelchair for her. You see them all the time getting on and off the flights. The cruise ship can have the same thing. Here are a couple of pages that will give you information for Royal Caribbean. Mobile Disabilities | Accessible Cruises | Royal Caribbean Cruises Assistance Onboard & Offshore | Accessible Cruises | Royal Caribbean Cruises From American Airline Website: Accessible travel We're dedicated to providing a positive travel experience for all customers. You can request special assistance when making or managing your reservation online or call us if you have special requests. A coordinator will contact you before your trip to make sure everything’s ready. Request special assistance online When you book or manage your trip online, choose 'Add special assistance' on the passenger details page. There you can: Request wheelchair service State if you're traveling with your own mobility device Request individual assistance if you have a hearing, vision, cognitive or developmental disability State if you’re traveling with a service animal. Keep in mind, notice and approval is required at least 48 hours before your flight.
  16. I was in Miami in February and Fort Lauderdale in April. Both places and times I found that AirBnB with a Lift was much cheaper than a hotel. Both times I just needed a bed and shower so I just got a private room at someone home.
  17. I keep hearing they are picky about check-in times but I have not been asked in any of my cruises in the last year. 6 cruises in 4 ports. Maybe they are checking when we get to the window but I doubt it. Back to your daughter... I can not believe they would not let your child board the same time as you.
  18. The last think I put in is the last thing I remembered I forgot.... Now the last thing will be an itinerary from the time we leave home until we return home. thanks @Paid4c4
  19. I just got back from Alaska. You need to remember part of the time you are in Canada waters and you might be in international waters. Keep your airplane mode on unless you like high cell phone bills. I was able use TMobile in all of the cities but like @BowTieBrigade said it was 3g at the best. Also do not purchase the internet thinking you are going to use it. Above Juneau it does not work very well. Below Juneau it seems to work fairly well as long as you remember the internet from the 90's.
  20. You are testing my memory... that was last week Police Tribute Band Band with a girl that was on Mexico's the voice (not the winner just a contestant) Two different solo singers with guitars singing ??? MO5AIC in the theaters then chasing girls around the late night dace floor
  21. I feel a lot better about the $30 I dropped in the Ovation Casino last week.
  22. If you cruise once a year just print on plain paper and keep on cruising. If you cruise multiple times a year or you are worried about them breaking or tearing purchase the wider ones from Amazon.
  23. I would not call them Souvenir Cups. I was so impressed with the ones they gave us last week I filed mine in the round file before leaving the ship.
  24. I have been on multiple of both cruise lines and the way I explain the difference is... Royal is where you want to play with toys and do things Celebrity is where you want to relax and enjoy shows and events Royal is where you want to take your kids and have fun Celebrity is where you want to avoid the kids and enjoy peace and quiet Royal (Symphony) has old ladies on the wall when men are going to the bathroom Celebrity gives you riddles on the wall when men are going to the bathroom
  25. I am like you. I would think they would want to make us happy, but Crown and Anchor does not seem to want happy customers. They told me I had to show them pictures and I showed them pictures with date stamps, and they would not take them. I ended up finding the booking number from my old travel agent and they were not going to take it until I asked for a supervisor. I tried to work with the C&A rep on my cruise last week and she was a nightmare to work with. I left her never wanting to sail on a Royal Ship again. I had to tell myself that is just one person; the bad thing is the entire C&A seems to be that way. They need to do something different.
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