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Posts posted by Riley

  1. It's possible but you will have no wiggle room if disembarking is delayed for any reason. Check your schedule - it will list what time the ship docks, but that's not when passengers can leave. Walk-off (where you carry all your luggage with you) usually begins around 7:30 but that assumes several things. For example, we were delayed a couple hours on my last cruise because Customs and Border Patrol were not ready. 

  2. You will be fine.  Breakfast options open early for port days - the Windjammer is usually open at 6:30 or 7:00 am and the coffee/snack bar (called "Cafe Latitudes" if you're on a smaller ship - the coffee costs extra but the snacks are free) is open 24/7. Also, Room Service for continental breakfast (coffee, tea, bagels, cereal, yogurt, etc.) is free and can be ordered as early as you'd like.

    Plan to give yourself, say, 45 minutes to get to the Windjammer, have a nice breakfast, go back to your room to brush teeth/grab day pack and tickets, then go to the meeting place (which is usually the theater).  

  3. Talk to the head waiter or maitre' D on the first day. I am very sodium-restricted and have had no issues so long as I maintain reasonable expectations. The kitchen can provide sauces, dressings, etc. on the side, and in the MDR we pre-ordered the next night's dinner so the kitchen could adjust. NOTE: on some items like soups, braised meals, etc. the kitchen can't adjust so that's where "reasonable expectations" come in. Some nights I ate a grilled chicken breast, baked potato and steamed veggies... but usually one of the entrees could be made salt-free. Also you can request fresh fruit for dessert. 

  4. 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!

  5. On 8/25/2022 at 10:50 AM, Cruisin Dovers said:

    Just for some clarification almost all cruise ship workers earn a minimum of around $32,000 year which is around $16hr. That is not including cash tips, free meals, lodging, and other benefits.

    $16hr is more than the minimum wage in most States. Here in Arkansas it is $11hr. 

    This does not mean they should not get tips for a job done well, especially if they go out of their way to provide a great service. It does mean they are not getting ripped off working on a cruise ship . (They are not victims of a having a very low wage.) Yes they may work hard and do a great job. Just like others in other fields and make much less money.


    PS the increase in ‘minimum gratuity price’ is certainly reasonable.

    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. 

  6. 12 hours ago, tjcruisers said:

    What error are you getting? Are you going through the phone app or via the website?

    Maybe try saving the images in a pdf. Most provinces we download the cert as a pdf (no actual vac card). 

    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.

  7. 15 hours ago, TempoGL said:

    so are you saying they brew a little pot of tea to order if you ask for iced tea?

    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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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 🙂

  10. 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.

  11. 55 minutes ago, Morganno said:

    Oh which part isn't true? 


    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.  

  12. 21 minutes ago, EmersonNZ said:

    Wow! I can't believe it takes that long to get a passport renewed in the US. Last time I got mine renewed in new Zealand I had it back in less than 10 days and that was npt paying for the expediated service (I believe they garantee 5 days for that). It use dto take a lot longer here but they moved to the enw online renewal process about 10 years ago and it really has made a big difference in turn around time.

    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. 

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