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Peter D

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  1. What is particularly interesting is it seems that only wait staff does this. I do not ever remember a room steward ever mention it. Of course, bar staff never says much of anything. Maybe there is something to the whole script thoughts and wait staff (dining rooms) was selected to be the messenger. Honestly, as I think of it, it is probably the cruise director that should give a 'survey is important' spiel. Maybe we need our own passenger pre-emptive spiel. " I know the end of cruise survey is important and if your service is worth a 10, then I will give a 10, but do not ask for it." (of course, this approach is only partially in jest) Sadly, I will have to wait until May2023 before I get another survey.
  2. I think this question generally skews all the responses I make for for all of the services, not just dining. I'm incline to give a 10 for a bar service, for example, even if I had one bartender not meet expectations at all. It's probably warranted to lower it to an 8 or 9 due to one interaction, but is that fair given the apparent weight of a 10? Maybe on all my future surveys, I will add a comment on the question specifically, and see if it helps lead to a clarification or omission of it all together.
  3. I just completed my Oasis of the Seas survey. Overall, we had a great time, and my survey responses reflect it. However, I always hesitate on one question. 'Has any cruise member requested a positive rating, and if so... who?" I never really know how I should answer this question. My experience over the years is that we always have at least one crew member does in fact says something like 'remember, you will be getting a survey and it is very important that you provide your feedback, but my manager considers anything less than 10, a failure". I never answer the survey question 'yes', because I don't really want to throw anyone under the bus... but should I? Do the crew members know that this question is on the survey? If so, why do they still request a 10? Am I doing a disservice to all, by not 'reporting' the crew member? Anecdotally, it is almost always dining room waiters/asst waiters that even mention the surveys and comment on it. What are some other thoughts on this?
  4. Can anyone confirm if Pinnacle is allowed to go to Coastal Kitchen for dinner or not? My wife and I are going on Oasis on Sunday in a suite and we are traveling with my mother who will be on her first Pinnacle cruise and we were hoping to go to CK together. The Royal website description of Coastal Kitchen says "Exclusively for suite guests and Pinnacle Club members, Coastal Kitchen fuses Mediterranean influences..." But my mother says RCL customer service said it was not included.
  5. On several occasions, my family of 5 had tried many of the spacious staterooms on Freedom class. We tried interior on deck 2 (2309), Ultra spacious ocean view (9200/9500) and the spacious promenade stateroom (7307/7607 and 8307/8607). By far, the promenade ones worked out best for us. These were quite nice from a location perspective (mid ship) and accommodation perspective (large room with a bunk room). It was also nice as we used the promenade windows as a 'sign system' to let the rest of family know who was in the room... my youngest daughter also put a 'bring cookies' sign in the window. While these days, the two room connecting balconies is probably preferred, we did enjoy these staterooms and promenade specifically quite a bit.
  6. Even if it is a lab generated report, I would be careful if the report lists her anywhere on it as the 'proctor' of the test. The last thing you want if for someone at the port to question it and delay boarding.
  7. I priced the Villa Suite for Harmony in April 2024 for 8 adults (no children). It was $22k, so essentially $2750 pp. Obviously balcony rooms would have been much cheaper, but we were looking for the Star Class experience as well, which does have an inherent dollar value as well (UDP and Deluxe Drink package for example). All depends on what you are looking for in the overall cruise experience, but from a shear cost perspective, the balcony options are likely cheaper.
  8. I am not sure that Independence of the Seas has show reservations, but if they do, then you are correct, reservations are done through the app once onboard. Even if they do have reservations, and you do not make them, you can still show up at the shows at showtime and they open up seating to those without reservations.
  9. They do make make Dark n' Stormy as you mentioned. I have never asked for a can of the ginger beer by itself, but I think they would undoubtedly give you a can of it under the deluxe drink package.
  10. I have never been in any of them, but as I look at the deck plan, 8500 as the front-facing cabin, and I would think it would give you a good view of both starboard and port sides. I just did a quick Youtube search for radiance of seas 8500, 8502, and 8002. The search returned many views of these cabins for Radiance or sister ships Brilliance and Serenade. Here is a good one for Serenade of Seas (should be identical to Radiance) that features both forward facing and side facing cabins. The forward facing cabin seems to have two windows vs one window on side cabins. Conventional thinking on the Alaska cruises (whether true or not) is that starboard side for northbound cruises and port side for southbound cruises are preferred, but front facing is probably very nice as well. Basically, there are a lot of great views from the ship on the Alaska cruise and where ever you are, you will have something to look at. For what it is worth, a balcony room is very nice and might be able to suit your family needs. If views from your cabin are important, there is no comparison between the balcony rooms and these ocean view rooms. Balconies have superior views.
  11. Its a sandwich I get every time its available on a sailing, but it is definitely variable in quality. That said, on my Symphony cruise in March and Radiance cruise in May, they were both superb.
  12. The two most bothersome protocols are the 2 day testing and the vaccination mandates. I have many friends and family would love to cruise, but will not do so under these current rules. I do not agree. What I am looking for with 'return to normal' is for Covid to be treated the same aboard cruise ships as it is in every other industry/business. 'Return to normal' also means 'Learning to live with the disease' which is what everyone did for every other disease prior to 2020. The days of Covid being treated as special given all the medical advances is what needs to end.
  13. For me, its the exact opposite. I've done 5 cruises since July 2021 and have one final shutdown/FCC/lift-shift related cruise happening in August and then nothing else booked until mid 2023. Over the last few post cruise surveys, I have shared my thoughts to Royal on the protocols/requirements and that this August cruise will be my last cruise while the protocols are in place. I currently have two booked in 2023 and one booked in 2024, but I have had enough of it all and will not go on them if protocols are still in place. I certainly hope things change sooner than later.
  14. It should already be there for an August 18th sailing. if you can see the sailing on the app, then you should be able to access it.
  15. If you go on the app for your sailing, you can go to the dining and select main dining->menu, and you can see the menu for each day. You can also go to the dining tab and see the menu for all specialty dining.
  16. The seaport has tons of restaurants and bars. There are also several hotels in the immediate area. As I live in the area, I have never stayed at any of the hotels near the port, but a quick search shows many. Hampton Inn Boston Seaport District appears to be the closest to the cruise terminal. Hyatt Place/Boston Seaport District and Renaissance Waterfront Boston are also very close. While Marriott Long Wharf is not as close to Seaport, it is within walking distance of Aquarium, North End, and Faneuil Hall.
  17. I think you got bad advice. it has been 2 days for over a year, I am sure that it is still 2 days.
  18. Is the best price guarantee still available or did that go away with cruise with confidence program?
  19. We are doing our first cruise in August with CK as an option. How does it work with regards to seating times? Do you make a reservation on day one for the entire week or is it more a 'my time dining' format and dinner time changes every day? What do you do with MDR seating? Right now I have a traditional time on the books, but should that also be changed to 'my time dining' as we will definitely not be going there everyday? I like the flexibility of going to one or the other depending on menu option.
  20. The port is not that large, so after you park your car, (presumably in parking garage), you can wait outside the building for the drop off and enter the building together. You will not have any problem with it.
  21. For the Voom question, each Diamond Plus person is eligible for 2 free nights worth of discount off the voom package when purchased onboard. Typically that is ~$52-$54 per person off the full voyage plan, as long as you each get single device plans. if you get two device plan, you will only get one $$ discount. For me, I always wait until at least morning of Day 2 for the internet, because I don't like paying full price on embarkation day. I am pretty sure there is no diamond plus discount for the UDP/Voom combo while onboard. You just get the 30% off UDP per person, and the separate Voom discount mentioned above.
  22. I agree its a trivial effort, but my issue has more to do with need to give my personal medical information to a foreign government. I did it, because i wanted to go to Alaska, but I was not happy to do so. I will be happy when they drop it, and I will not be going back to Canada until they do.
  23. Calls grow to ditch ArriveCan app now that COVID-19 travel mandates ending | Calgary Sun This would be nice. The system seems pointless at this point seeing Canada is dropping vaccination mandate for domestic and international travel (for Canadians). Hopefully this comes just in time for the Alaska trips and fall east coast trips.
  24. We used the Diamond Plus free Wash/fold on our last Radiance cruise in May. We asked the room steward for a wash/fold laundry bag, and he provided us with the plastic version mentioned above, and the wash/fold form (also above, not ala carte pricing form). I would estimate that the plastic bag is about 5-7 gallon bag. Royal returned the clothes in the paper bag. I think the plastic bag is frequently (always?) hanging in the closet, so as long as you are using the wash/fold form, I would have no problem using that bag as well.
  25. For 14 days, I would typically pack this standard attire plan (including sleepwear and bathing suit). I plan to wear things like jeans and sweatshirts multiple days, but plan for clean underwear, socks and shirts every day. Anything that can get wet, I make sure I have additional items to allow time for wet to dry. I would also plan for a couple pairs of shoes/sneakers/boots. As for ship laundry, we do use the wash and fold service for underwear, socks, shirts, shorts (maybe jeans). It costs $35 per bag (discounted or free for Diamond/Diamond +). Not sure of the cost for other laundering services. Your other option is laundry off ship after 7 nights. If this ship goes to Seward, the laundromat is about 1.5 miles from the ship and there is free shuttle service. Call it a shore excursion .
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