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DunkelBierJay

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Everything posted by DunkelBierJay

  1. Curious...when is that sailing, and how did you run the pricing?...I did a dummy booking for Indy 3 nighters through April 2023 and chose to pick the room, did the adder for mid-ships and came out with a total of $912.76 total for two people.
  2. My thought is it depends on whether there is more than one Royal ship in port on a given day. I think the larger ship prevails for the new terminal if there are two ships.
  3. My wife, Kim and I are sailing this itinerary. Will be doing some scuba and maybe a tour of Lamanai Ruins and a trip to Cozumeleno or Nachi
  4. It's part of the terms you agree to when booking. If it is a non-refundable deposit, that's on the customer and not the cruise line. They incur a cost to deal with you whether you go through with the cruise or not if you engage them. They should have a way to offset the labor and infrastructure to deal with the public who don't end up using them.
  5. About 45 days prior to sailing I'll be able to check in and I should do that attempting to get the earliest slot possible. -- Yes, obsessive people like me open the app at 12:00:01 in the timezone of the embarkation port and check in. Pretty much guarantees an early slot. On Embarkation day we're going to be driving into Port of Miami. I expect that I can park there and the walk from car to terminal is not far. Is that right? Are we talking 100 yards, half mile? The garage is right next to the terminal and parking and walking is short and easy. Then going to the terminal will I see porters outside? When I do, I give them my luggage (and tips of course) and they send it on toward the cruise. Is there generally a line for porters? If there is any kind of a wait, it will be short...no problem here. In videos I've seen some really long lines outside the terminal. Any idea what I'm seeing there? Not sure about the context...this has not been my experience. Then, after porter, I enter the terminal and get in line for security. There my carry on's will be x-rayed and someone will review our paperwork. Most likely, someone will screen you for vax documentation, test, set sail pass and maybe passport before entering the building. Have hard copies at the ready...this will make it go quickly. After that, we go to a holding area until we are called to board the ship. After entering the building, you go up the escalator and then to security...it goes smoothly and quickly. Then we board and I should connect to wifi and book shows right away. Most likely, with the new check in procedure, etc, you wont wait in the terminal long, if at all. You should be able to connect to the ship's wifi right upon boarding. Complete the muster drill in the app and then go to the muster station. Some ships have crew at muster stations at noon. If you boarded before then, go to a bar and try a drink as you watch the video on your phone. Expect my room to be available in the 1:30 range -- Yep Expect to see my luggage late afternoon. -- Yep Boarding a ship for a cruise is nothing like the nightmare of dealing with the airport...it is a well organized, almost fun process now that is full of anticipation as the lump in your throat grows while walking on the boarding bridge staring at the monstrous ship you are about to call home for a few days.
  6. Ah...I get that....One thing I have done that has been successful in the past is a one-way car rental. There used to be a Hertz office two minutes from the port. Currently there is a Budget office about four minutes from it...still very close, next to the Radisson. It has a shuttle to the port which could work if you don't mind waiting a few minutes. I used this company the day before and on embarkation day of my last cruise. I ended up using my Port Canaveral hotel shuttle because the wait was in the air conditioning instead of outside at Budget.
  7. after hemming and hawing, I booked GoPort shuttle and it worked out well getting back to the airport on debarkation day. It may be slightly more difficult if you fly in the day before, but their website is easy to use.
  8. I did Margaritaville a couple months ago, and I am not sure it is worth the money unless you want a sort of a water park experience. I went up to a mezzanine area inside the hotel where it was quieter and had a great view (I later realized my day pass didn't work on the door) that had a bar and in infinity pool which was nice, but the bar wouldn't order food to be delivered. So, I went downstairs to get lunch to take back up, and it was mediocre and over priced. The funny thing, is that I ordered a $9 Kalik at the bar while I was looking at Junkanoo down to the left...maybe 50 feet away selling the same 3 for $10....Next time, if I get off the ship, I will pack light and just go to Junkanoo. I keep giving Nassau a chance, but it's always just yucky.
  9. I detect no difference in the time to be served with or without the drink package. You still get the CVS sized thermal printed receipt process either way. I can't wait till these go away.
  10. I have TSA Pre-check and haven't noticed so much of a pattern as inconsistency between airports and times of day. When I travel with my wife who does not have TSA pre-check, and I maybe added a ticket for her at a later date after mine, and I go through the pre-check line and she doesn't, I get through quicker about 60% of the time. She gets through quicker about 40% of the time. It all depends on how may pre-check buiness travellers are ahead in line.
  11. Tipping 20% is great, however, on a cruise you are tipping 20% of what? Main Dining Room is complimentary, and the stateroom attendant gets a portion of the pre-paid gratuity. I don't know what percentage. One thing that pre-paid gratuities does is cover everyone that delivers service to you and you don't have to keep track of it. Without it, would you tip the head waiter, waiter and assistant waiter? I know that I would forget to cover the head waiter because I see that person less than the others, and the contribution they make is more behind the scenes. I like practice Matt's approach above and always give an honest review in the post cruise survey. I also find that I get really good service with eye contact, a smile and good manners...I would do it anyway, because interacting with the crew on board is one of the best parts of cruising, IMO.
  12. Really sad the OP disappeared...they could have received some reassurance that Explorer is a great ship, Amplified or not. Maybe the "refit" was an article about a dry dock dealing with the regular propulsion and standard maintenance on mechanical issues. Judging by the way the post was written, I doubt they will be doing a sky pad or water slides...
  13. TAs are independent contractors who either hold a CLIA number and other industry certifications or work for an agency (I think almost all are 1099 contractors with them) and have been trained. Customer Service reps with Royal are trained by the cruise line and can't book outside their company's system.
  14. Flights would be covered if you book air2sea, but you lose some flexibility...personally, on a recent cruise, I couldn't use a commuter airline with Air2Sea recently because it wasn't in their system. So, I did third party insurance and booked the flight on my own saving about $300. I have found third party insurance to be close to the same cost as getting it through my TA or Royal. I also always book refundable.
  15. pretty easy...if you don't have an easel for the phone, you can prop it up on a glass or something
  16. Coco Beach is fun if you haven't been there. I never miss Ron Jon Surf shop when I am there. Other than that, there are three pretty good restaurants near the main RC terminal...the area is pretty much a long stretch of strip malls.
  17. I had that intention on my last cruise. I sailed from Port Canaveral and went to the bar at Grills, had breakfast and a beer with a view of the ship to my left and did some work. At 10:55, I paid, got up and walked next door, and was on board about twenty minutes later. I went straight to my muster station, and it was closed until noon. So, I bought a beer at Playmakers and did some work.
  18. Who remembers this? Ironic that the namesake is the same...Freedom of the Seas in 2015. I sailed on her not long after this.
  19. I would never book Air2Sea directly. I would use a travel agent, and my MEI travel agent has been flawless when I used this option.
  20. Idea...consider issuing SeaPass cards at muster...the con of this is how do they staff that... Idea...open the muster stations right as boarding begins...it opened a full hour after I boarded my last cruise...have signage making it the first requirement once you board... Otherwise, it seems like this is a characteristic of return to cruising.
  21. Even if you don't notify Royal of this, and you are the only one who checks in, there will be a port taxes and fees refund put on account for the person who doesn't go. Otherwise, the charge remains for double occupancy with no changes.
  22. I might be wrong, but I think it has something to do with a deal Royal made with the government there after they kindly allowed docking of ships there during the shut down.
  23. a second cruise with the itinerary choices, in your shoes, I would do Oasis. Enchantment has the best pool bar in the fleet though...and Bermuda would be cool....
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