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Peter D

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Posts posted by Peter D

  1. 16 hours ago, JNS123 said:

    We booked our first cruise last May through Costco Travel, and since we booked a room on the more expensive side, we received a 1200 dollar Costco gift card. I personally think booking through Costco is better than NextCruise since we use Costco very often and can purchase a wider array of items, but what is your opinion? Thanks. 

    These are not exclusive issues.  When you book onboard through NextCruise, you get the benefits of reduced deposit, onboard credits etc.  After it is booked, you can then have it assigned to Costco travel (or any travel agent for that matter), and then you will get all the potential Costco travel perks.  Best of both worlds.

  2. 21 hours ago, Xaa said:

    Oh, so no booking access before @Peter D?  What did you do, just keep checking?  How frequently was it offered if you recall sir?  Have a couple of teenagers interested in it.


    What I did was on day 1 (while onboard), I just watched the app entry for the escape room for the 'reserve now' button to become available.  Once it did, I had no problem booking 3 of us to participate.  I do not know how many events there were throughout the week, but I can say that I saw many group of people queued at the entrance throughout the week.  If you are vigilant when the app allows booking, you should not have any issue getting a spot for the week.  good luck.

  3. 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.😢

  4. 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.  

  5. 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? 

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 18 minutes ago, EM1016 said:

    How do we make reservations for the show? In the app when we board?

    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.

  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. 43 minutes ago, CruiseGus said:

    Really what bothersome protocol's are in place other than the silly testing 2 days before the cruise.  No masks anymore for customers. No Vax only areas.  No masks in terminal. Almost no Caribbean ports requiring only ship's tours (that is not under Royals control anyway)  No more testing for b2b.

    Things sure have been getting better compared to last year at this time during the initial start up.  But then that's just my opinion

    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.

    2 hours ago, Toby said:

     I think the term "return to normal" is a pipe dream.  It is a popular political slogan to garner support and votes.  "Learning to live with the disease" is really what it is about and we still have much to learn! 

    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.

  12. 4 hours ago, CharmMicah68 said:

    The question I    have is, would anyone participating in this blog NOT cruise if RCCL dropped from the CDC voluntary program?  Would anyone actually cancel their cruise or NOT book one because of dropping the protocols of the CDC program? 

    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.  

  13. 18 hours ago, JimnKathy said:

    Hello cruising friends!

    Anyone have good hotel reservations for the Port of Boston area they wish to share? We would love a place near the Port that has cool local restaurants nearby.


    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.

  14. 8 minutes ago, OrlandoDad said:

    So I just got off the phone with RC about another issue I am having.  While I had them on the phone, I asked about Pre-Cruise Covid testing.  She stated the test must be done no more than 48 prior to my boarding time.  I was under the impression the time didn't matter, just the two days.  So I thought I could do the testing anytime Saturday (tomorrow) and be good.  My intention is/was to do the at home eMed test very early Saturday morning, and I have a backup appointment with Walgreens that I was going to cancel if/when the eMed at home test went well.

    Do I really have to wait until 48 hours prior to boarding, or did get a little bad advice?  Do they look at the time on the documents at the port, or just the day?

    I think you got bad advice.  it has been 2 days for over a year, I am sure that it is still 2 days. 

  15. 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.

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