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Everything posted by Riley

  1. I didn't get to be this size by turning food away... I pretty much enjoy everything! Also - though we are happy carnivores, we've tried items off the vegan MDR dinner menu and some of them are really good when we're doing multiple B2B and want to mix things up. There's a grilled peach salad appetizer that is superb, for example, and a grilled asparagus and white bean hummus dish very much worth a try.
  2. RC offers an Everglades debarkation tour and drop-off at either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale airport. There is also a hotel inside the Miami airport, depending on how you want to work this. The hotel is nothing exciting at all but it's reasonably priced and very convenient - I stayed there one night late last fall when I changed my flight to avoid incoming bad weather. A single (and seriously, this was a crackerbox of a room but it was clean and quiet) was under $100 and the location could not have been more convenient....
  3. Depends on what works for that person - we have never used it but keep a small supply of bonine on hand just in case. The medical clinic will very likely have a tub with single-serve packets of generic dramamine (often on a wall outside the clinic door so it is available 24/7) - some people swear by the patches or the bracelets and unfortunately it's sort of experimental. All ships carry Gosling's ginger beer (to make Dark and Stormy drinks, yum) - try a can of that to settle the stomach in a pinch.
  4. Side note I recommend one that has a little flotation device as part of it... otherwise if you drop it overboard on a snorkel adventure you're chasing it to the bottom of where ever you are!
  5. No such thing as a dumb question, though below may be some dumb answers.... 1. It depends on the ship. We have been on "Serenade" but I do not recall the number of outlets. There is likely a few in the cabin and one in the bathroom. NOTE: you can't ordinarily bring a multi-plug power strip so I'd recommend a couple pre-charged batteries in case your phones are running low and the outlets are taken. 2. Can't help you on this one but someone with more technological know-how might be able to. 3. Yes if you have the streaming service you should be able to use WiFi. We use WhatsApp and it's seamless. 4. Continental room service breakfast is complimentary (tip your crew person a buck or two!) which includes coffee, tea, juices, cereal etc. Breakfast in the main dining room is usually pretty good and the Windjammer has anything/everything you'd like to try. 5. Depends on the cabin (interior cabins are seriously dark!) but yes, there is a double curtain to keep light down. 6. Once the gangway drops at each port you can wander on and off at will. There is a big crush first thing to get off, especially if you end up disembarking when all the shore excursions are heading out as well, but you're only looking at maybe 10 minutes... they have to scan everyone's seapass card leaving and coming back plus xray to get onboard, which is the delay. These ports are SMALL and you can cover the whole place on foot in a few hours so you'll have plenty of time. For example in Skagway we got on and off several times to eat lunch, pick up a jacket, etc. (NOTE: if you stop in Ketchikan look into the Totem Bight State Park - it's way better than the Totem Pole places the shore excursions take you too and it's a $4 bus ride round trip. Ask at the information stand.) 7. Never encountered bed bugs but one of our folks had SOMETHING bite her in bed (could have simply been the scratchy sheets....) and she reported it to the cabin steward. A guy from maintenance came and went over the cabin with great care including taking the entire bed apart and examinig each seam with a flashlight and blacklight. He didn't find anything but they take it seriously. HAVE FUN!
  6. Yep - our ticket includes one small personal item and a carryon up to 10kg (HA HA) so I added one checked bag up to 25 kg as part of the cost and we will stuff everything even remotely heavy into it the night before. Thanks for the alert.
  7. Agreed - I use an old business card. Slip it in behind the seapass card then take the seapass card out. Works like a charm.
  8. Be sure to check on B2B lunch options in the main dining room. Depending on the ship, they offer nice early lunch (11:30 or so) to give you something to do while the next batch of travelers is checking in. Back to back is easy and you're going to enjoy it!
  9. Anyone sailing to Europe has to complete an entry document (check the country's web site for more details) - Italy you can register ahead if you know your entry point and where you are staying but Spain can only be completed 48 hours prior to arrival, which is going to make for an interesting time on ship. It *seems* that even if you are going directly to the airport from the terminal you have to complete the registry, but that is not 100% clear. Like other posters said, things might change in just a couple of weeks.
  10. As far as I know cash tips for cabin stewards and wait staff do not go into a communal pot. Tipping the bartenders may go into an open jar and get split at the end of the shift (which is what happens at land-based bars anyway) but table service (the kids walking around) and other staff I do not believe so.
  11. There is a great museum in the area, some nice walking paths, the Fairmont Empress hotel (terrific High Tea) and whale watching tours, depending on what you want to do. HOWEVER the inner harbor where all this sits is not near the cruise port. It's probably a mile and a half walk each way to the museum and the city is hillier than you might think. I think they have a hop on/hop off bus tour though - maybe check into that.
  12. It should be - off the ship when they release it, through the shipside customs and grab a taxi, it's only 15 minutes or so to the airport that time of the morning. Even taking my own sweet time I've always gotten to the airport by about 10. Unless you're flying International 11:30 should work.
  13. We are going across FtL to Barcelona and then flying home for about $800 per person but I got creative - cheap flights within Europe are well under $100 each way so we are jumping Barcelona to Paris for about $59 each then Paris home to Chicago. You should be able to search which major European hubs are the most reasonably priced and then cheap flights there. Same with landing in the US - check flights to O'Hare and then a cheap flight O'Hare to Cincinnati. Or stay a day downtown and take the train for $42 a ticket (nice ride, I've done it) or even drive the .53-4.5 hours to Chicago or Detroit (which has a big international hub as well), depending on how much you can spend.
  14. I print out the test result paper and highlight each person's name and the "negative" line - speeds up the process and the check-in person really appreciates this.
  15. Heard Allure was at about 5,000 this week, which is 95% capacity.
  16. You can always request something different or order off the vegan menu (no really - some of the appetizers at least are really good, like the grilled peach salad). We usually request a side of grilled veggies regardless of the day's offering, for example, and it's never been a problem.
  17. I heard the system crashed at Allure's Saturday boarding and it took FOREVER to get 5,000 people on. Glad I wasn't on that one, but hope nobody got too sunburned waiting in the very long line outside the terminal.
  18. This should be classified as reimbursable if you have a health reimbursement account (HRA) or savings account (HSA) through your employer or insurance provider.
  19. If you test from where you're flying within 2 days RC will accept the same result. If you test on the 29th, fly out on the 30th and board on the 1st you can use the same negative test from the 29th. Good luck.
  20. They are good in that there are protections against delays etc. but there are significant limitations in booking flexibility - if you need to change anything (even upgrading to an exit row seat, which costs a little more money) you have to work through A2S and can't make changes on the airline's site. Also it's best to understand your options ahead of time to make sure they don't route you home from Miami to Chicago via Seattle (real-life example).
  21. Call the toll-free number (there's one on the Walgreens web site) to see where walk-in sites are available. There's lots of other sites to take a test, including the Miami airport and a rapid test site right close to the terminal but you'll pay out of pocket for those.
  22. Every cruise, including back to back (each segment is counted individually).
  23. We are D+ and just got off a cruise on the 25th of February. Free laundry was still being offered.
  24. No. The only accepted at-home tests are video proctored ones. RC will not accept a test not overseen by a healthcare professional. NOTE: by the time you're cruising in 2023 the rules may have changed...
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