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Everything posted by jbrinkm

  1. The app can be used without paying for the Voom internet access - my kids used it to see what was open (food & activities), as well as the map of where to find things. If your kids were younger, they wouldn't need to use the app, most likely, but if they are teens, they may want to. There are lots of threads about each person having their own Voom internet access/code vs sharing Voom internet, so if you are interested in purchasing Internet access, I'd check those out or repost your question with a new title. There's no age limit or restrictions with Voom access - just whatever you pay for and how you choose to share it.
  2. We enjoyed our cruise this year so much that we started looking at spring break for next year, and our best option is the same ship and the same itinerary (although leaving from a different port). Have any of you gone on an identical cruise in a short time frame? Were you disappointed, or was it just as good the second time?
  3. They can have their own account once they turn 13. My oldest was 15 on our last cruise and they set up their own account. My younger was 2 weeks away from turning 13 so could not have his own - I logged him in with my account and it worked just fine for both of us to be logged in on different devices at the same time. I just warned him not to accidentally cancel any of our reservations!
  4. No problem! My kids ended up not using the arcade at all this cruise! They were busy with port stops and free activities, and when they were interested in the arcade, it always ended up being closed. I did ask this question at the help desk and they confirmed what you said - the amount accumulates over the cruise and once they hit $50, they get the benefit.
  5. No, just the age 13 shift to adult fare. I call mine "kids" but they are teens.
  6. Sea bands may not work for everyone but they worked for me! I bought them a few years ago when traveling with my uncle who gets very seasick and they worked for him on that trip. I don't usually get seasick but I did one one night of our recent cruise (rough, stormy weather) and found them still in my toiletry bag. I do think they need to be snug enough to really leave an indent on the inside of my wrist.
  7. Some thoughts about communicating on our cruise on Allure, just back on Saturday from a 6-night. My husband needed internet for work on the ship. I originally bought a one person, two-device package (months before, around $170), thinking he would use one and the teens & I could split the other (teens would be together and one of them logged in for communication when they were not in the room). Then as the cruise got closer, I went back and forth about adding the app texting package (I could see potential communication problems with the current system) for all of us (because the app is useless unless you pay for everyone who wants to chat or check in). And I also read that you don't get notifications, so it seemed like a lot of wasted money ($8/day for 4 people) to spend on something that was just to text each other. So I looked into adding one more Voom package and since we were about 2 weeks out from the cruise, I wasn't happy with the prices to add even a single Surf line - it was about as much as the original, two-device package of Stream! But then I saw that a 4-device Stream package was 40% off, and was around $270 total, and booked that, cancelled the first. It was $100 more than the first package I booked, but it felt like a steal since the text alone would have been $48 more. For us, it was really worth it. Anyone in our family could communicate with anyone else in the family without worrying about going back to the room or who is logged on and will they see the text. One of my teens would communicate with other teens on the boat about meeting up, etc. They uploaded pictures to the album. Once, my 12 year old son forgot his card in the room and got locked out - we were able to help him quickly to get back in (connecting rooms). They were each able to have some down time in the room watching a movie or checking in with friends at home (my oldest got very sunburned one day and couldn't handle being outside). They weren't glued to their phones and did a lot of other stuff on the ship and during excursions but it was really nice for them to have. We only had a problem one night with the logging on/kicking off issue. I was going back and forth between tablet and phone, and I thought I logged off of my tablet but it hadn't worked fully so it cascaded into other devices being kicked off, but it was a minor thing and we got it figured out pretty quickly. And we found WhatsApp to be the best way to communicate. There were delays with regular texting (for us) but WhatsApp was really, really fast. It was worth it for us to all download and use it, even though I was the only one who had used it before. You can always just delete it after the cruise.
  8. Just back from Allure - we stopped at Costa Maya on Thursday and didn't see any sign of work on the waterpark. Admittedly, we didn't get close, but we could see it a bit from the ship when we docked.
  9. Just off Allure and I found the Main Dining staff to be extremely accommodating. I read before the cruise that the staff were excited to meet your needs - and I admit, I scoffed a bit. I thought that they are most likely willing, but probably not "excited" to do so. Now that I'm post-cruise, I stand corrected. The staff in the dining room bent over backwards and genuinely seemed thrilled to respond to requests. They really want you to be happy. I was never hungry enough to order two of multiple courses, but I did order appetizers for first and second course one night, and two main dishes for first and second course a different night. But the biggest thing they did for us was to bring us cold fruit soups. I asked on the first night if there would be any cold soups available during the cruise. They went out of their way to create a cold fruit soup EVERY NIGHT for my whole family. They were almost mischievous about "surprising" us with the flavor of the soup and were so excited when we arrived in the dining room to present our soup to us. Also, the night my oldest child got really sunburned and had to leave the dining room early to go and lay down/put aloe on, the staff volunteered to pack up dessert for them. When we got back to the room, they had packed up multiple desserts on the plate, not just the one my child ordered. AND, our assistant waiter worked at Windjammer during the day and always recognized us and came over to say hello. On our last sea day, he saw (from WJ) my husband getting on the Zipline and videotaped him going across to show us at dinner (and then sent the video to my husband's phone). Really phenomenal service from all of them in the dining room.
  10. Well, we did see the charge post on our account, so maybe it worked? I just hope Royal doesn't pocket the money - how would anyone ever know? I'm tempted to ask on the roll call for the cruise that left today to see if anyone has him as their attendant...
  11. Thanks for the "tip", although I avoid the casino at all costs and would rather pay an ATM fee than deal with the smoke in there. Hopefully next time we actually bring enough extra to cover any unexpected expenses that come up! I couldn't believe that my husband had totally forgotten to get the cash that was on his to do list. I had enough cash with me this time to give extra cash tips to all of the dining staff and would have still had enough to give our stateroom attendant but had two separate things happen in Cozumel (a bad cab experience AND a "broken" credit card machine at a beach club) that used it all up. I also didn't anticipate that there would be any problem with the form at guest services as I'd seen it recommended on the boards before.
  12. If anyone has experience with this, is there any way to confirm that the person you tipped actually got the money? We had onboard credit that we weren't going to use and I filled out the form to have it go as an extra tip to our stateroom attendant, who was fabulous. We were also running lower on cash than we would have liked, having run into a few issues during our Cozumel stop and thought this would be a good way to avoid an ATM fee. We left him a note, but he seemed (maybe?) disappointed and I'm second-guessing myself now. Can anyone confirm that this process actually works? Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I'm trying to figure out why he didn't seem happy. Is there a delay in receiving it? Maybe is it taxed or reported in a way that cash isn't? It wasn't my first choice but DH didn't bring ANY cash and this seemed like a win-win. Can anyone share their own experience doing it this way?
  13. What might be confusing is that there is a Wipe Out Cafe (15) and a Wipe Out Bar (16).
  14. There was a period of time when Royal was also providing the full American breakfast from room service with no charge in order to reduce crowding in the Windjammer. But alas - no longer, it appears.
  15. Every cruise, I debate getting a drink package, and every cruise, I decide against it. If my kids (or I) want a few drinks here and there on the cruise, I'm happy to let them and just pay for those a la carte (plus we're bringing our Pur filter pitcher and some sodas on board). I honestly don't want my kids to have unlimited access to sweet drinks - even on vacation - and prefer to drink filtered, free water as much as possible. Also think about how many days you'll be in port and not able to use the package (we'll be off the ship for 3 of our 6 days and have an AI one of those days). Our tabs at the end of our cruises have never even come close to what we would have spent on the drink package. But that's us - no judgement for families who choose differently! Just maybe a few more factors to consider...
  16. In my app, the dining rooms (Allure) are called: American Icon Grill (Deck 3 aft), My Time Dining Room (also Deck 3 aft), and The Grande (deck 4 aft). I thought I had also read about a dining room called "Silk" on Allure, but it is not showing up in my app, so maybe that was a different ship or I'm remembering wrong. Is there any way to know before boarding which one you'll be assigned to, or any rhyme/reason/logic as to who gets assigned to each one? (obviously My Time room is for My Time diners, but the others?)
  17. I really wish I had known this before ordering mine... I came across the pricing on their website about a week after ordering from the Royal link. It would have been $50 less for 6 tests (although I did read that emed has been charging a lot for shipping? so maybe not that much more...)
  18. @roundabout - did your young person buy the whole $50 in credits at one time, or was it spent a bit at a time, adding up to at least $50 total? I feel like it would be easier to keep track if it wasn't "credits" but rather just 'at least $50' spent in the arcade prior to the last day.
  19. Really good to know, thank you! I'm going to cancel my planner credits and wait until we're on the ship. If the arcade is functioning in a way that will be fun for my teens, I'll have them use the C&A deal by purchasing the credits with their own SeaPass cards.
  20. BTW, this thread is where I'm seeing the offer for teens. Looks like the most recent one was from February 2022:
  21. Yep - this was what I was reading about checking the balance, LOL!
  22. We're on Allure although your comment definitely makes me want to lean towards cancel the planner credits and (maybe after we check it out) book on the ship!
  23. Has anyone had experience recently with the arcade, and using credits? I've been reading stories on the boards that are all over the place with regards to: having problems with credits, having problems checking the balance, having problems with spending limits at the arcade, etc. I pre-purchased the sale credits in the Planner for my teens ($40 for $50 worth of credit). I also see the most recent C&A onboard offer for teens is 'buy $50 worth of arcade credit and get $25 back' so that seems like a better deal if it is easily redeemed and maybe I should cancel my planner purchase. Has anyone successfully used this C&A deal? Did you get the credit, either applied to balance or refunded back to card at the end of the cruise? I'm also wondering if minors can still override daily spending limits on their cards by purchasing at the arcade? Any recent experience with this? And current practice for checking arcade credit balance?
  24. You are absolutely correct and I apologize. I misread it. I just somehow skipped over the word "not". I went back and edited my statement (thank goodness for the edit button!!). It is in lieu of testing in some situations...
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