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Riley

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Everything posted by Riley

  1. I do not personally get seasick but some who do recommend ginger candies (the bars serve ginger beer as well, which covers the carbonation); fresh air on deck including looking at the horizon (or another focus line that does not move); green apples like granny smith (Windjammer has these available); and the behind-the-ear patches. Best of luck and a smooth cruise!
  2. Not sure the benefits are what you think they are, nor the hourly rate. For example, these folks pay for uniforms (at a discounted rate) as well as washing them (laundry is not included for crew); and work 12 to 16 hours per day with no days off. An average hourly "year" is 2,000, so to do the math, working 3,200 hours per year works out to $10 an hour before taxes, costs etc. come out.
  3. On the web site and yes, I have tried saving to pdf, shrinking the jpeg and re-loading... I will keep trying. To the note above, yes I will need to put in the specific details 72 hours prior to embarkation, but I should be able to upload the vax forms online ahead of time. If it's still wonky today I will try to contact them.
  4. The AlCan site is having difficulties, too - we are on Ovation 9/2 and I cannot upload out vax cards for love or money... keep getting an error message even though I've resized, tried different formats, etc. I have an email in to their Tech Support and will see what comes from it.
  5. They may brew it fresh in the MDR (kitchens who brew their own have industrial 3-gallon brewers that are the same as coffee systems) but I don't think so. However, someone who knows what they're doing might at least be making it in the MDR... or the machines may be cleaned more stringently.
  6. Hey folks - does anyone know if the "buy one specialty dining get one free" offered on cruise nights 1 and 2 can be split for solo travelers? So pay for one night's specialty meal but get the second one free?
  7. Yes and no - the MDR does not have to-go containers but they will give you a covered plate. We often put in an order a cheese plate "to go" at the end of our dinner to go back and enjoy with a final glass of wine on the balcony. NOTE: these suckers are not the easiest thing in the world to balance so be mindful of how much you'd be carrying. Also you can carry out food from the Windjammer and even request the plate be wrapped in plastic, but same caution...
  8. So long as you have your room number you can get a drink. We usually look for a quiet corner of the R Bar to sit with our carry-ons and have a few while waiting for the rooms to open. Many travelers head right to the pool deck so the "inside spaces" (R Bar, the Schooner Lounge, the Casino if there's a bar tender there yet) are often quiet. As a side note, I usually pick one or two bar tenders as I always tip... they quickly come to know my drinks order
  9. Couple notes: if you can catch a shuttle between the ship and the train station it's a good idea as the port is pretty industrial - a 20 minute walk is a good assumption but much of it is not a pedestrian-friendly area. The trains are terrific and a cab between Termini Station and the Vatican shouldn't be more than $15-$20 each way. The tricky part is getting back.... give yourself time. If you miss the train it's about $120 for the cab and takes a lot longer than the train. Finally, if you're running late from the Civi train station there should be taxis for about $10 to drive you direct to the ship.
  10. Anyone know how many Royal cruisers have reached Pinnacle status?
  11. As someone who brings wine on board and also gets it via our C&A level, I have never been charged a corkage fee when carrying a full bottle into the MDR.
  12. I'm only going to state this once and then I'm tagging out, as I don't wish things to devolve: vaccines do not create a impermeable bubble around the person vaccinated. They simply make any COVID-based illness one contracts potentially less severe, in part through reducing viral load because one's immune system recognizes and therefore it more efficient combatting the virus. Reduced viral load also reduces transmission of the virus. Simply: an unvaccinated person who is carrying the virus carries it longer; deeper in their respiratory system; sheds more viral particles; and has a greater incidence of viral particles to shed. This includes to fully vaccinated passengers, who can then contract a potentially milder form of the disease. However, COVID-19 *REGARDLESS OF SEVERITY* has shown a significant chance of follow-on issues including so-called "Long COVID" and other concerns. ("Significant" in the statistical meaning, e.g., a 2.5 to 5 percent incidence of severe long-term effects that increases further with each diagnosis). Each person should consider their own risk factors and health concerns - as well as those around them - to determine what if any decisions they make regarding exposure. Cruise if you want to - I am, masked up where possible. But don't put out there "it's not harmful" because that is not true.
  13. Palma de Mallorca (once you actually get out of the terminal - longest walk EVER) has a hop on/hop off stop directly out the terminal exit doors. Look for the red "pillar" at the bus stop, pretty much straight ahead.
  14. Chocolate is always popular since they can eat it or trade it or give it away.
  15. It doesn't ordinarily take this long -another effect of the pandemic and service slowdowns. I live in Chicago, which has a full-service passport office, and got my previous one done in a day.
  16. Would you be flying out of Barcelona? The terminal is not at all far to the airport and it's not a large airport so I would think so. Plan to self-disembark with your luggage so you're off early and maybe just take a cab to the terminal. The Barcelona cruise port is tiny and the last time we disembarked (mid-May) it got really chaotic with workers overwhelmed. Despite the confusion we still made it to the airport in ample time for our noon flight.
  17. Sent my passport renewal in around 6/10 and got it back last week. I paid for expedited as I needed it by 9/1 but 6 months should be plenty of time even under regular processing.
  18. I always ask for the entire can when ordering a Dark & Stormy and have never had an issue getting it.
  19. Adding in - we often order at least one option from the Vegan menu in the MDR because there are some really nice options. The Chickpea "omelet" was surprisingly good, and all the soups are terrific.
  20. There is a test site at the Barcelona Airport as well as various locations throughout the City. We are packing self-tests as a backup.
  21. Exhibits A through Z as to why we never check bags!
  22. Whereas around the world won't work (unless I really do win the Mega Millions), we are currently fantasizing about blowing two years' travel budget on one of the legs. Two months at sea!
  23. Fairbanks the town is really unimpressive (think really big strip mall) but the scenery anywhere in Alaska is terrific. The drive between Anchorage and Seward is a great one though, and Seward is gorgeous.
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