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Everything posted by CruisingNewb

  1. No apologies necessary. 1. Host at Chops can make all resos for all venues. 2. Yes but it is quicker and easier to make the resos in preson. 3. Prime Times? That depends on when you board. If you are one of the first 100 or so people to board, like we usually are, there is no times that you should worry about getting. You should get the times you ask for. If you board later in the day, then the Host will tell you what is available according to your preferences. 4. I don't know about large resos. I only cruise with my family of 4. 5. Yes. Lunch and Dinner reservations. BUT---your question is do you "need." You can always see if the venue can accomodate you. For instance, Izumi was usually pretty empty between 11:30 and noon-thirty most days and I saw walk-ins often. BUT----Jamie's Italian had wait lists 10 names long for most lunch and dinners. My advice is to eat at specialty restaurants early. Since you are an early diner, my advice would be amicable to your needs. I say eat specialty early because you can always eat a second dinner around 7 or 8, or even 10, but specialty dining venues are really packed later in the evening. Besides, I don't want to eat a second dinner at Chops after still digesting food from Windjammer; do it the other way around.
  2. Best thing about dining Royal....or any cruise....within minutes, you are back in your room for a nap. And no....Nothing is like Vegas dining. Nothing. I say this with extreme prejudice because I was born and raised there and had a career as a chef there.
  3. There has only been 2 $0.99 buffets since the mid-80s that I know of...the Boardwalk Casino (which is long gone) and Arizona Charlie's. Trust me when I say, those buffets made Carnival and Royal's buffets look EXOTIC. Powdered eggs? No thanks. LOL
  4. Here's one: Not getting to know the staff. First, these crew members serve thousands upon thousands of new faces every week, yet many of them get to know at least your name or some food/drink preferences. Why not return the courtesy? Second, crew members are away from home 6 to 9 months out of the year. Many of them must be homesick. I know they are there to serve you and you paid for it, but no reason not to be friendly and perhaps easing their homesickness? Third, you would be surprised at what kind of wonderful return on investment you may get from being kind and courteous. I am not friendly in order to receive, but I can tell you that I have gotten much greater service for doing things like remembering a staff member's name and asking how their day is going. For instance, I have gotten around the single drink rule and been offered doubles, my 9 year old asked our room attendant about his kids and gave him some candy..a few hours later, we had extra hot chocolate packets and a premium childs' face mask in our room, an events coordinator let us ride the Northstar twice for free (only free one time), I had a latte and americano waiting for me at 5am at the coffee place on debarkation day. Fourth, where is the rule that says you can't be friends with the people who serve you?
  5. Mid June of this year. in the 14 days we were in Seattle and Alaska, we saw sunshine three times in total. LOL
  6. It rained most of our entire trip to Seattle and Alaska. Never found the need for "rain" shoes. We walked approximately 18,000 steps per day. We did moderate hiking. Its just additional luggage that we felt unnecessary.
  7. I agree. BUT--here is one logical reason for leaving passports on the ship (keep in mind that I am on Team Take-Your-Passport): Theft is always a possibility in a foreign country. Leaving passports on a ship, and IN THE SAFE, may alleviate any fears of passport theft. In case you fail to make the on-board time at port, the Room Steward and whomever else are trained to go directly to your room and in the safe to retrieve passports for you to leave behind. Again, I don't agree with leaving passports on board, but I am all about trying to see both sides of the argument.
  8. Just a gentle reminder of the First and Second Rule in travel: 1. When you think you need something, you may end up not needing it; but when you don't think you may need something, you may end up needing it. 2. If you have any doubt, refer to Rule 1.
  9. Wut. We photocopy Monopoly cash all the time. Accepted everywhere within the four corners of the Monopoly board.
  10. By using "we," I take it more than one person. You can order drinks every 5 minutes or so. You and your partner get a cocktail. Pour it into your insulated beverage cup that you get on board. Walk to the next bar and get two more drinks. Go to your room and enjoy your beverages. That is how we did it.
  11. I can only speculate that this may be because you can order room service on your stateroom television.
  12. Well I am biased. 1. I am Korean LOL. 2. We live in Southern California-KBBQ everywhere. The smell is wonderful...until its not. When we make KBBQ at home, it smells amazing until about an hour later when the smell doesn't leave our house.
  13. LOL my family said the same thing. Who doesn't like a KBBQ? But reality is, there are people who might not even give it a second look because they don't know any better. Plus, the smell would permeate all through the ship--not that I am complaining.
  14. Order exactly like your title. "Lava Flow with Kraken Rum."
  15. Say what??? Frosted mugs are the way to go!
  16. My definition of vacation means relaxing and taking the fewest number of steps possible. Cruising on a big ship is not entirely relaxing....BUT it was SOOO FUN! No regrets! Bonus: I lost 15 pounds prior to our cruise knowing that I would gain about 8 pounds. All of that walking helped me gain only 3 pounds back.
  17. I am all for a good craft beer. Having said that, I don't go to restaurants expecting them to have craft beers. Many restaurants have craft beers on tap, but this is not the norm, it is the exception. So, if I want a craft beer, I go to a bar that has craft beers. If I want a craft beer with my food, I choose restaurants that offer craft beers. When I am cruising, I am not cruising for the sake of satisfying my craft beer cravings. So, if a ship has a couple of options, great! If not, that's where the ports become more attractive. It doesn't make or break a cruise for me though. I don't recall whether Amber and Oak on the Ovation had craft beers. They had a good selection of beer though.
  18. The thing is, it really depends upon your own family dynamic and ages of your kids. For us, we have raised our kids to earn and enjoy their own freedom and at the same time love spending time together. So, if it is a family cruise, why not make it a FAMILY cruise? We enjoyed spending time together in small quarters playing card games and eating room service. We enjoyed talking as a family for 30 minutes before lights out and recollecting highlights of the day. For us, that is a family cruise.
  19. We were in Baltimore 3 years ago and despite what anyone else told us, we LOVED Baltimore!
  20. 1. Are you the only one making pre-cruise purchases? The purchases that my wife made did not show up on my account and vice versa. 2. Are you sure you are logging in as yourself? I logged in on the app under my wife's account once and freaked out when my pre-purchases were missing. 3. What are your pre-cruise purchases? Gifts do not appear on the app/order history. Receipts for gifts are e-mailed to you separately. I double checked this because I ordered things for my family and the room as my surprise gifts to the wifey and kids. Didn't want them knowing by looking at the Order History. 4. If none of the above, it may be a glitch. This happened to me as well, but I deleted the app and reloaded it, logged back on, and they orders were there.
  21. Yes. But--we only booked the Glacier bus tour and the bus driver pretty much summed up the city tour part for us traveling to and from the glacier. Honestly, between that tour, the cable car ride, and walking, we only spent 4 hours total and felt that it was enough considering the weather. The total price for the two was $850 less than our float plane tour which was only supposed to be an hour. In retrospect, my wife and I are glad that the float plane tour was cancelled. We had crab at Tracy's Crab Shack instead and ended up spending a total of $650 instead of the $1250 for the 1 hour plane thing.
  22. June was our first sailing with 2 kids. One is a teen and the other 9. For us, we didn't feel too cramped at all in a balcony room. The cost of adjoining cabins was about $1,200 extra and we spent that money towards the UDP and the DBP. We are contemplating 2 cabins for our next cruise, but do not feel it necessary for us to enjoy our cruise.
  23. According to my Apple watch and iPhone, I walked an average of 15,000 steps while on board and 25 floors of stairs. My peak steps were while at port in Juneau for 24,000 steps.
  24. Book the cable car ride as soon as you get off of the ship directly with the State vendor. It is in a stand alone building on the same side of the street as Tracy's Crab Shack and you can see it from the ship as you debark.
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