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Everything posted by dmattinson

  1. do you like Indian food? https://bombaydarbar.com/
  2. I did a video screen grab... https://imgur.com/a/Ozp7y8Z
  3. I did the math for package price of $67.99/day - 5 mixed drinks or 9 beers/seltzers per day (or any combination of them keeping in mind drinks are $14 ea. and beers/seltzers are $7.50-$8.00 ea.) That is just essentially breaking even. If you get coffee, soda, water bottles, smoothie, non-alcoholic (virgin) drinks, etc. those are all bonuses. Port days this can be tough unless you like to get back on board early and don't mind closing down the bar past midnight. I drink high proof bourbon at home so over the course of an afternoon and evening, 5 whiskey drinks are OK to me. If you are not a frequent drinker of the higher proof stuff, think about whether you really want to drink that much and if you will be functional afterwards. For most, buying the non-alcohol drink package for $20/day and then a la carte purchases of an adult beverage when you want one works for most people.
  4. If you have an iPhone and add the pass to your Apple Wallet, the barcode number gets populated at the bottom automatically. The format is the same with the stateroom being the last 4-5 numbers (typically after the dash).
  5. I have used a lanyard with a clip and a retractable badge holder on a couple cruises this year and I swear I will never go without one. Search Amazon for "2-Pack Cruise Lanyard with Retractable Badge Reel, Waterproof Badge Holder, and Snap Buckle" and you can select from multiple designs. $10-$12 for 2 of them. With the drink package its as simple as unclipping the buckle and handing the badge in the holder with the retractable reel hooked up. It makes it easier to recognize when the server brings it back and it is noticeable if you forget to clip it back on (due to the limited extra weight of the retractor).
  6. I equate it to a Disney vacation, no matter how hard you try, you won't be able to experience every single thing without multiple visits or a very long trip. Just do what appeals to you and if you don't like it, just get up and move to the next thing. I am not one to sit around and just be idle with my own thoughts (i.e. day at the beach or all day at the pool) but on a cruise, I am in such a relaxed state of mind, I don't feel like I am searching out the items of enrichment I do on land (I am a strong believer that everyone can learn something new each and every day and take advantage of the time we live in with the world's information at our fingertips). Just enjoy it! Have fun! Take some pictures to make others jealous and look to when you are going to book the next one!
  7. If you have never been to Coco Cay, do not spend any money to do extras there on your 1st trip. Plenty of beach areas, plenty of umbrella covered seating, plenty of food options, the pool is huge (and very nice), and any beverage packages transfer over to be used on-shore. Explore the island and enjoy the included amenities. Spending extra for a cabana or to wait in line for waterslides on your 1st visit to this stop is something I wouldn't advise.
  8. What I've seen is that it mainly seems like December sailings are getting this ability. Your cruise over Thanksgiving week may be constrained by the number of passengers booked and proximity to the sailing. I'd be interested to see if they open it up sooner to departure date.
  9. Odyssey on Dec 3 - "The Book" is available but "Showgirls" isn't - I booked what I could now
  10. Was able to book "The Book" last evening for the sailing - if you want to see the show, check out the availability and lock it in now
  11. On Odyssey on Dec 3 and was able to book "The Book" last night for our sailing
  12. I was on Independence and Harmony earlier this year and both had them - no one was buying them because at $200 or more for whiskey, that's a leap of faith hoping you will like them (hence the tastings) - but to have tastings and no bottles to sell seems counter-intuitive
  13. https://www.zillow.com/house/royal-caribbean/ What a bargain at $10B!
  14. I'm seeing drink packages on sale with the Halloween sale for $67.99/pp before the gratuities. Came out to $641.76 pp total for me after the cancel and re-buy.
  15. I don't know if it will be 5 years but definitely after the next Icon class launches. Until then, I'll have my choice of other perfectly adequate Oasis and Quantum class ships if I want that big ship experience and Freedom and Voyager class ships that are nothing to sneeze at either.
  16. On Apple Wallet, the barcode has the number right underneath it - that will update as RCL pushes updates for your reservation and should show the stateroom on the barcode in the format of 123456789-xxxx with xxxx being the stateroom number (1-9 is the 9-digit number assigned to you specifically for that sailing)
  17. I'll also say that I spent over $3000 on a vacation in 2003 to the Dominican Republic for my honeymoon. It was an all-inclusive resort and the package included airfare (direct from PHL to Punta Cana). At the same time, I was able to cruise for about $500 pp for a week on Carnival or NCL in an inside room. I had way more fun on the cruise, got to see a bunch of different places (GC, Cozumel, Jamaica, Roatan) and as a bonus, didn't get dysentery like I did at the Riu Palace in Punta Cana. I think if cruise lines drive comparisons to all inclusive resorts AND offer some type of beverage inclusion package, the rates could go up and be justified by a majority of the vacationing public, even if they don't drink. Royal does a good job of touting the adventure aspect of the cruise vacation but very little about the cruise being a destination, a resort, a broadway venue, a casino, and by the way, stops at 3-4 exotic destinations during the course of your week long adventure. I have in my head all the things that make all-inclusives seem great but after a bit, become boring and could be a bit dangerous should you try to venture out on your own.
  18. Top Hat doesn't open until 8A BTW The diners may be open 24 hours. In the airport, the only thing open is Starbucks, Einstein bagels, Harvest and Grounds and the like (https://www.broward.org/airport/Passengers/Pages/terminals.aspx) - I'd camp out in Starbucks with a coffee or three and watch the world go by for a bit - depending on hunger around 7:30, hit one of the spots mentioned but note that even if you go to one of these places, you still need to stash your luggage somewhere.
  19. If you have the right AT&T plan with AT&T International Day Pass activated, the international fee is $10/day for the primary phone number and $5 per day for subsequent phone numbers on the same account - this doesn't count in US territories but will hit you on each day you are in a non-US port. Some higher tier AT&T plans (i.e. Unlimited) have Mexico included as well. So depending on Eastern or Western itineraries, you may have a day or two of included services (St Thomas and Puerto Rico on Eastern and Cozumel and Costa Maya on Western). Coco Cay and the Bahamas are part of the $10/day coverage and you will likely connect to BTC for service once in port for a little bit (I suspect cell coverage in Coco Cay is turned on around 8A as it doesn't seem to work when we dock around 7A for some reason for me). International does NOT include being on the ship! DO NOT use [email protected] Turn off roaming when on the ship and keep it in airplane mode! Using Voom may let you make calls through WhatsApp or other Messaging apps but will be very YMMV depending on the bandwidth constraints at any given time.
  20. That is a very generous balcony - congrats on that awesome space.
  21. I'm not sure about that - if the standard drink is $14 vs. $13 previously, wouldn't the DDP people still have those standard drinks included? It doesn't specifically say "up to $xx in value" on the website - the PDF does but old documents tend to live forever on some sites anymore. Overview Quench your thirst onboard with the Deluxe Beverage Package and enjoy unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options all cruise long. Start the day off with a premium cup of joe, sip on a poolside piña colada, rehydrate with a fresh juice and wind down with the perfect wine pairing or top-shelf cocktail. With a handpicked array of brands to choose from, you can toast to bottomless beverages with your preferred drink of choice. Highlights Enjoy a discount of 40% off bottles of wine under $100 and 20% off bottles above $100 in bars and dining rooms. What's Included Vodka: Absolut, Belvedere, Grey Goose, Stoli, Tito’s Handmade Vodka Rum: Bacardi, Bacardi 8, Captain Morgan Rum, Malibu Miami Club Gin: Aviation, Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, New Amsterdam, The Botanist Tequila/ Mezcal: 1800 Avion Silver, Camarena Gold, Patron Silver, Del Maquey Vida Blanco Mezcal Scotch: Chiva Regal 12 Year Old, Dewars 12 Year, Glenfiddich, Johnnie Walker Black, The Glenlivet Whiskey, Bourbon/ Rye: Buffalo Trace, Canadian Club, Jack Daniels, Jameson, Makers Mark, Whistle Pig Rye Cognac: Hennessy VS, Remy Martin VSOP Spiked Seltzers: Truly Beers: Domestic, imported and craft beer brands Wine by the Glass: Iconic varietals from California to New Zealand Non-Alcoholic Beverages: Can and fountain soda, fresh and bottled juices, premium coffee and teas, bottled and sparkling water, Johnny Rockets Shakes Important details and advisements Each adult of legal drinking age assigned to the same stateroom must purchase this package. All Beverage Packages exclude any beverages served inside licensed Starbucks® stores.
  22. MSC just dumping money into building cruise ships, Virgin coming online in the last couple years, bargain cruise lines like Margaritaville at Sea, etc. all have an impact. Coupled with the new ships coming online for NCL, Disney, Princess, and Carnival and you now have a glut of overall cruising inventory. The older ships need to go offline (aside from a few niche itineraries or seasonality destinations) and cruise lines need to stop discounting the older (but still new within the last 5-8 years) as soon as a new ship comes into the fold. The old model of capturing revenue when cruisers are on board isn't what I see as the new way of going. Sure, you will capture liquor sales revenue and some shopping, but photography isn't as big as it was 10-15 years ago. Shore excursions seem like poor value for the dollar especially if you do a little research on tours available at and just outside the port and again, not like it was 15 or longer years ago. Casinos make money I'm sure, but they still seem to be giving away free cruises for fairly low throughput which tells me that perhaps the gambling isn't like it was pre-pandemic. I also think that the packages they offer in advance takes some of the revenue away. If I can pay about $86/day (gratuity included) to drink whatever I want while on the cruise or one of the cruise island destinations, I'm drinking more than if I pay out of pocket for those drinks. A couple coffees, a couple beers, 4-5 bottles of water, a few whiskeys and I'm taking advantage of the package, not adding revenue while paying per drink. Same with dining, if they charged cover fees and didn't offer the packages, it might net into more overall people trying paid dining vs. catering to the person that bought a package that can get mostly what they want for something like $30/day.
  23. I like staying in Coconut Grove. Its a little south of the hustle and bustle but close enough to Bayside if you want to venture up there. At 9 miles from the cruise port, it isn't terribly far and on the weekend, should be about a 20 min drive max. The Marriott Courtyard on Bayshore is a recently redone and modern facility that has a Fresh Market and a CVS across the street plus some dining options all within a few blocks of walking (I'd recommend Bombay Darbar if you like Indian food).
  24. Carnival jumped because they entered into an agreement to issue bonds to pay down their debt (by putting up 12 ships as collateral BTW). The market liked it as it pretty much avoids bankruptcy at this point and it took the other cruise stocks with it.
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