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Everything posted by Jack805

  1. @Tjones Below is how I experienced each port’s disembarkation/embarkation process. I had excursions through Royal booked for each port, which can definitely affect how the process goes, but I’ll try to give a good overview of how each port was experienced. Cabo: Because this is a tender port, it does make things a bit more of a process for getting off of the ship. Because I booked an excursion, we met in the Royal Theater and boarded a larger tender from below there. General tenders with other tickets for other passengers boarded from the midship/aft area and used the smaller tenders. There was another ship in port (Disney) with a morning arrival and afternoon departure, which competed with Royal for tenders in the afternoon since we had an afternoon arrival and evening departure. There also seemed to be a lot of general boating traffic in the port impeding flow of traffic for the tender docking, etc at shore. I think there were other behind the scenes issues in play too since on the pier there appeared to be some heavy discussions between Royal officers and the port personnel. For the return to the ship, it seemed like a lot of tours returned at the same time making long lines for the tenders back and dragging out the process. Mazatlán: Where the ship docks is part of a commercial zone, so you board trams back and forth from the cruise terminal. They go every 5 min or less (and is only about a 1 min trip) so this didn’t give too much issue. If you’re wanting to head to the downtown/central area there is a blue line to follow along the ground that leads you there from the terminal if you want to walk, or the official taxis have flat rates to go to various parts of town. Puerto Vallarta: This port was designed to be a cruise port, and we were there with two other ships (Celebrity and NCL). We docked at the dock furthest from the terminal, but there were shuttles available or a 10 min walk if going there for taxis, etc. But if just walking around town, there are closer gates to where the ship is docked that you can enter/exit from as a pedestrian. In terms of ease of process, I’d rank the ports in this order: Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas. Security screening is done as you board the ship for all ports, though some entrances to the port in Puerto Vallarta have additional screening and some do not so you may have double screening here. For Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, after my excursions I dropped off some of my stuff and went back into town and had no issues or delays in the process. Without shore excursions booked through Royal there shouldn’t be any issues with Mazatlán or Puerto Vallarta for getting off the ship, most of my delays at these ports were because of the tour group. Cabo will depend a lot on how busy the port is in general as well as if another cruise line is in port for rendering process, as general boating traffic in port adds traffic which can delay things too.
  2. Hope everyone had a fun time this last week. We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather and seas (even though there were some obvious logistics issues at ports). Have safe travels back to wherever home is, and hope to see you on board on another sailing again soon.
  3. I heard at breakfast this morning before going the disembark/re-embark process for the B2B that occupancy is in the high 3K to almost 4K passengers! Should be a busy cruise, but didn’t get any request to rebook - maybe because I’m on a B2B. Though I might have been tempted to take their offer since I’m more local.
  4. I haven’t done Hooked specifically yet (but will for my next cruise where I purchased the dining package), but have found that almost every restaurant will work to get you finished in time for the show if you let them know when seated.
  5. Another update since I just saw this listed: I’m on Navigator for a week long cruise and noticed a Cruise Director’s Language Class listed. I’ve got another activity scheduled for that time so won’t be able to provide updates on content, but the description suggests basics for a few languages aimed at conversation with staff on board. So on board language activities may be up to the individual cruise director.
  6. If only they gave that as a choice in the departure section… and I just checked because I’m on board my first of a B2B and it’s just for true departure timing requests. But like all, I don’t want to see departure in the app, it’s sad enough to leave the ship as it is!
  7. I’m sure it’s what will make the most money first (just as @twangster says), then beyond that who knows. But with most pricing I’ve seen if you’re doing anything in the upper part of the range you probably should have just booked the higher category to begin with since the price would be similar (but without the benefits of booking that category originally, if any, when done through RoyalUp).
  8. Mine was sent within minutes (to within the hour, I didn’t check until a bit later). Maybe check spam/junk folders, and confirm the redemption actually happened in the “redeemed” section of the app. One time there was a glitch in my redemption and it wasn’t actually redeemed, but all redemptions show in the redeemed section across all the family of apps.
  9. It has looked like they’ve been updating the app frequently lately (I’ve seen 1-2 updates a week on my phone). Great if it works to just book via the app. Noticed a few weeks ago I had the option to book excursions via the app too before on board, but had already booked via the cruise planner.
  10. Welcome aboard everyone, it’s time to get our vacation started! Hope everyone makes it on board without issue and has a great time. Hope to bump into all of you soon.
  11. All my recent offers have been quite similar I've received for one ship lately. But I've bid just the minimum and gotten stuff.
  12. No reservations needed even for the ice-skating show iSkate. They do have some reserved seating for high C&A people, but the open that up to everyone just before showtime.
  13. @twangster hit the nail on the head with the info. Last week I was assigned a room by Royal that was right next to the elevator, wouldn't have known it from inside the room if I didn't know where it was. Absolutely no noise noticed related to "elevator traffic". Definitely had zero complaints about location for that room.
  14. LA's requirement came from county mandates for all transit hubs, but they dropped that at the beginning of October. But even then, as soon as you got outside the building to walk to the gangway, they almost all came off. (Don't know if it was from mask mandate being dropped in LA, but now there's facial recognition for CBP clearance too so that makes things great for that!)
  15. Bought mine the next day after posting, and my brokerage issues statements on the 1st of each month so I was able to have it to submit for the upcoming sailing (that turned into 3 upcoming sailings quickly after) and already got a $200 return (since 2 were short sailings). Since all the required info was on separate pages of the statement, I just decided to save the PDF and use the markup feature on my iPad to draw big black boxes over all the stuff they didn't need. Turnaround time was generally 12 hours (submitted late at night after getting home from work, got confirmation email the next day before leaving for work - though sometimes just the updated invoice showing the OBC). Only thing I have hindsight regrets for is that two days after I bought my stock the earnings call came in where prices dropped $7 a share. Made it back the next week, but as a human I had that "if I had only waited" moment, but that easily could have gone the other way too. Still bought it for a good price, and enjoying reaping the benefits so far!
  16. @TessOR I haven't used Messenger/WhatsApp but did just use WiFi calling that's a part of my AT&T plan for the first time on ship last week. Got a call from my landlord I needed to take and had no issues during the call on board. And as far as I can tell it doesn't look like any extra charges either from looking at my account online. Looks like you've got a plan similar to mine (that includes Mexico), so the built in WiFi calling should work flawlessly (and SMS texting works well also via the WiFi Calling feature). As for using the phone in Mexico, to fully use the plan you do have to turn roaming "on" but confirmed from AT&T rep that since this is an included perk there won't be any roaming charges.
  17. Just noticed MyVegas T&C changed from before and now state only 2 redemptions for Royal Caribbean rewards within a rolling 180-day period. So now I'll have to be a bit more judicious in my reward selection...
  18. Not full-on packing day for me, but I've also got some stuff staying in the luggage from my return on Thursday LOL. I always *try* to pack lighter, but I'm an over packer at the core. Doesn't help shoes fill up a good amount of space for me just from a couple of pairs. I am packing an extra duffel bag to have extra stuff to bring back souvenirs (since I have been tasked with purchasing some for family that haven't been to the areas in a while), and it should fit in my regular luggage and be a nice bonus bag for the end. I've also got some bug spray and other warm weather toiletry supplies donated to me by a coworker who realized after buying them a couple months ago they were stuff that couldn't be taken by air travel, so bonus for me!
  19. Parking at the cruise terminal is $20/day, but not much for parking alternatives around there. I'm decent driving distance away and all of my calculations to try and get there cheaper always end up with just paying the parking fee... Give yourself a little extra time just to get off of the highway and to the terminal (which is just across the street) - the offramp from the highway isn't well designed and with all the Port traffic (there are lots of trucks) and the light not being timed well it took me almost 30 min to go that last 1 mile of the journey last week. (I looked up an alternative route I'll be trying this time, but since it's untested I don't want to post just yet in case it doesn't help). I've done the RoyalUp, before and gotten upgrades, but haven't been trying for the higher-level ones like balconies. I didn't do it for this trip though because I secured the same room for both sides of a B2B and don't want to risk having to pack things up for the turnaround day. Haven't done the MyVegas for the whole cruise purchase, but have used it to add OBC to the sailing (including this one). But noticed in the last week or two the T&C changed for the MyVegas rewards to be only 2 redeemed in a rolling 180 window, which will have me choosing carefully when I want to redeem now I guess...
  20. The experience was night and day for me between the two recent sailings. I'm sure the efficiency of this at customs will only be increased in coming weeks as it seemed like a VERY recent addition with the setup and the queueing still to go through the facial recognition lanes. But most I talked to after had a longer wait to get scanned off the ship than the walk and going through customs.
  21. Just got off of a sailing in Los Angeles, and in the 2 months since my last trip CBP has added the facial recognition tablets to the Customs clearance process. Wanted to share with the entire community since it dramatically improved clearance times after debarkation. Seemed to have a few hiccups still being new to LA, but it was great to be off the ship and in my car in less than 10 minutes this time. (Also, @Matt could you update the RC Cruise Terminal directions and parking post to show LA parking at $20/day?)
  22. Just got back home from my last sailing, and ready to head out again in 8 days with all of you! Port of LA has added facial recognition for CBP clearance, so it has dramatically sped up the process. CBP officers are still guiding everyone through the process since it's so new to LA, but it made the entire CBP process immensely easier and faster. Also, for anyone that wants a printed Cruise Compass, ask your stateroom attendant when meeting him/her on the first day. Navigator (like others) are trying to go digital with them, but the QR codes are more miss than hit to pull them up and they still happily provide on request through your attendant.
  23. @TessOR I am on a 3 day trip this time, and did check back twice on the first day but each time they started by trying to “sell” me on the convenience of My Time dining. So I ended up just sticking it out. But when I went to dinner at which normally has been a less than peak time for My Time last night there was quite a wait to even check in. Seemed like a lot of big groups and people trying to change up who they were grouped with. Once I got checked in I was even told to make reservations for tonight before leaving, when usually traveling solo they say I don’t need to. I made reservations though, and met another solo traveler who was on my excursion today that is going to try and join me tonight at the table (shouldn’t be an issue since they’d put me solo at a table for two anyway). I’ve got a feeling there’s a lot of first time cruisers here on this trip, if I think about it tomorrow I’ll check in with the Loyalty Ambassador to see if they’ve got numbers for first timers. But besides that there have been a couple other glitches that makes me feel this was a weird scheduling for Royal. Either way, I’m making the best of the reasonably priced trip for me and looking forward to our upcoming one in 10 days!
  24. Much like anything YMMV depending on the crew handling the experience at the time. Just found out as I got on board for my current sailing that my dining was changed from traditional to My Time - had I known that was happening I probably would have added the UDP to this sailing. Oh well, still happy to be on board.
  25. Two drinks (and lunch) in, I’m almost in full vacation mode. Once I hear the ship horn sound and feel the push off the vacation mode transition will be complete!
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