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DunkelBierJay

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DunkelBierJay last won the day on June 17 2018

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About DunkelBierJay

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  • Birthday 11/28/1964

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  1. It's true that rooms aren't ready until 1:00 pm. Show up when you want, especially if you're in a Grand Suite...bring a carry on with essentials. If you board in the morning starting around 10:30, you can go to lunch or the pool or both. Ideas for complimentary lunch are the Windjammer, Park Cafe, and I believe the Solarium Bistro...you can also get food at the Promenade Cafe Chops, Jamie's are open for an extra charge. I wouldn't sweat when you board.
  2. I usually keep my SeaPass in my phone case under a towel and hat on the lounger. I don't worry about it especially if it is close to the pool or hot tub I am using. I have also put my SeaPass on a lanyard, looped it on the lounger and covered it with a towel secured by towel clips. It may be a slight risk, but if my SeaPass disappears, Guest Services can take care of that issue quickly.
  3. Next time I am there, I will definitely do the port area and just hang around. I really like the lounges and the pool options.
  4. You're looking at a 30 minute drive from the cruise terminal to SEATAC, and that's not considering during rush hour on a Friday...I think there are a lot of variables for you to be comfortable disembarking and getting to your flight on time. I would try to see if the flight can be changed. If you can't, self carry off and be among the first to go through customs if you can.
  5. I have loved every ship! I flip flop between Navigator and Empress as my favorite. Navigator because it has all the features of Freedom Class and is a little smaller, and Empress for the character of that ship, and the best Boleros and Schooner bars I have been to. And the cafecitos you can get at the coffee bar at the starboard entrance to Boleros.
  6. I'd love to know where your husband read that! I don't think I've ever been in the Windjammer other than embarkation day with fully covered shoes. Could it be that this was in documentation about a behind the scenes tour? They are sticklers for it when you tour the galleys.
  7. The Cruise Planner will list hours each day.
  8. 1. Hats, Lanyards, anything you can hang that the hook will support. 2. About 20-30 minutes...bring a hiliter to use on your Cruise Compass each evening to map you the next day 3. The press tends to over sensationalize events on cruise ships for some reason. My experience and understanding is that events you hear about are much more frequent on land than on a good cruise line. We will use the Key for the first time on our next cruise. The benefits I see are --> embarkation day lunch, VOOM surf n stream is included, priority seating at shows...I think priority boarding and embarkation are icing on the cake. The only time boarding took a while was due to extra time for a ship to be cleared, and that was beyond the cruise line's control. As far as stress avoidance...if the way finding signs for The Key are easy to spot when you arrive at the terminal, that's a plus. Have your Set Sail Pass cued up on your phone app, and possibly a backup paper copy of your set sail pass within easy reach. That will alleviate a lot of stress. Get to the port early. Since you are on a 4 night sailing, I would guess that there will be a lot of first time cruisers figuring it out too. I think you are ahead of the game judging by your great questions. 4. Explore the ship on embarkation day do find areas that are appealing to you. The Solarium on every ship we have sailed has been fantastic. Each ship I have sailed has had an area that appeals to mostly everyone. Myself, I like ships with seating at the aft to watch the wake. It has always been peaceful. It depends on the class of ship you're sailing. 5. Yes, port days are a great time to enjoy the ship. If you haven't been to Cozumel before, there are lots of posts in this blog about great things to do there, especially out of the port area. Taxis are easy to use, and whether it's shopping, an excursion, a day resort or just exploring, it is a very fun place to visit.
  9. On our first cruise (on a Vision Class ship), we went to a similar presentation that included a tour of the public areas. I sort of laugh about it now that we have a few cruises under our belt. The main benefit I remember was asking the tour leader who was on the Cruise Director's staff questions about places to go/do in port, and not necessarily on an excursion that Royal was selling. He jokingly said that he wasn't supposed to say anything about that, but gave us some good tips anyway. In terms of what you are asking, if you have not cruised before, I think it would be beneficial in terms of learning where things are and how to get around easily. Also, nothing substitutes for exploring with no other expectation than to see what you discover. Don't be afraid to go anywhere that is not marked "crew only." Our tour was fine, however, it was a Vision class ship, and absent a bunch of questions, it didn't take long. Later that day, I realized that if you know forward, aft, port and starboard, that getting around is very easy on a Royal Caribbean ship. Hands down, the best tour I have taken was an All Access Tour on Allure...it is expensive, but if you have any interest in galley operations, behind the scenes, seeing I-95, the bridge, the massive laundry operation and the incredible hustle bustle that you wouldn't see otherwise, it is worth every penny. I think such a tour on a Voyager Class ship (Mariner) would be as amazing as on any other class ship.
  10. If you typically shoot manual, aperture priority and/or raw, bring your good camera. If you would only use the automatic feature on a good camera, a good iphone camera works well and you're not lugging extra stuff.
  11. We like South Beach for the atmosphere and to see some crazy...the food options are great too. So far, we have stayed at Hotel Ocean and are currently booked at The Mercury Hotel which is further south...I am a geek, so I plan on getting up early to see the ships come through Government Cut from the beach and the area next to South Point Pier, and it is much closer. Hotel Ocean is about 13 blocks north from there.
  12. It's a deal based on the price the day you see the promo and your willingness to take advantage of it. Past pricing is irrelevant.
  13. I am wondering if anyone who is going to Perfect Day at Coco Cay has experienced seeing the half day pass disappear from their CP...I hope only to book a half day for the morning and then chill at the Oasis Lagoon Pool. I hope it reappears on my CP, but if not, I will wait till I am on board.
  14. Thank you for posting the question. I had not thought to look at Empress' itineraries yet since Cuba was disallowed. My best guess is Havensight, yet was surprised that it had been closed according to @WAAAYTOOO. I will say that I would absolutely LOVE some of those itineraries they have posted for that ship, and the prices are great values. She is small, but mighty, and could be my favorite ship.
  15. To me, this sounds like the most plausible explanation, and the person in the RC call center may not have picked up that perspective. It's unfortunate that this really seems to be a misunderstanding...that a travel advisor would have been able to avoid. It also goes to how confusing some of the category designations can be for experienced cruisers and first-timers alike.
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