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Clear Laker

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About Clear Laker

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    Clear Lake, Indiana

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  1. I have worked in Information Technology for over 30 years was many of us here do. In the years we have been cruising, Royal's IT department has always had a way to go to reach the best practices standards employed by others. All tasks involving technology are rapidly evolving. RC is not a small uncomplicated business. Our answer for anything other than Cruise Planner purchases … use a Travel Agent. It costs nothing and they will work with RC for you.
  2. You usually will not find good deals on the ship. At every port there are Esty & DI shops. Not really good deals even through they are advertised as such. You need to really know your stuff to get good deals. Good luck
  3. We use AAA for travel as well. Understand that each office or collection of offices are independently owned (franchised). Promotions are through AAA national's contract with RCI. It does not surprise me that your travel agent doesn't know the details. They sell packages for many operators (Cruise Lines, All Inclusive Resorts and other package providers … hotel chains or airlines). As for AAA provided Onboard Credit. We usually see it available after we have paid in full (sometimes earlier). It depends on if the credit is being offered by the Agent's office or is it is part of a larger AAA promotion..
  4. Prepay gratuities and cruise planner items (speciality dining, internet, drink packages, and excursions) prior to your cruise. It will allow you to budget for the most common additional expenses.
  5. Of the major lines only Norwegian Cruise Lines allows this.
  6. Both will be great for you then. Slight lean towards #2. Based on the islands you will visit and the activities. I will tell you that with 5 port stops you will be worn out but you will have some great adventures. Be sure to allow a day or to for San Juan … great place to visit.
  7. I will take a slightly different take on this. Why are you booking this cruise? If you are crusing for activities on the ship. ie dining gaming or shows I would choose something other than the Southern Caribbean. The S Caribbean has the best islands to visit. As for itineraries, are you a beach person, an excursion person or a sightseeing person? These should drive your choices. If it is the ship, I'd skip the Southern Caribbean and San Juan. If it a combination of the islands then tell us what appeals the most to you. Curacao is best for sightseeing and shopping. But the shopping is standard Caribbean fare.
  8. We have done both. Both are great. When we did Opt 1. it was an 8 night adding St. Thomas. When we did Opt 2 It had Martinique instead of St. Kitts. I would lean slightly to Opt 2 for St. Lucia & Barbados.
  9. It is the same booking window as the airline has available. As stated previously, it tracks similar to what booking direct with the airline or Priceline etc. The two times we booked with them we were not charged a fee by our travel agent who normally charges a booking fee for air travel. Air2Sea does not book Southwest or airlines that only book directly.
  10. First ignore the recommended time. Come when you want. Early is 10 am. Usually they start checking people in at 10 am. The early birds get there just before that. Typically boarding starts around 11 am. Sometimes a little earlier or later depending on the ships arrival and clearing of the ship. Upon arrival you go through security (like an airport) then you go into check in lines based on your Crown & Anchor status. It goes fairly quickly. From there you go to staging chair areas. Then you board.
  11. Our last cruise at 92 days prior (final payment is due at 90 days prior) we repriced and changed our cruise from refundable to nonrefundable. We saved almost $500. To us that is real money especially when sailing from San Juan.
  12. Your daily Gratuities (or prepaid Gratuities), cover your stateroom attendant, wait staff etc. When you purchase a drink or drink package you are charged a 18% service charge. That goes to the servers and bartenders. Feel free to tip anyone over and above for great service. Remember that between daily Gratuities and service charges you have already tipped them the standard amount.
  13. We have the RC Credit Card. It's rewards are refundable onboard credit. We checked the policy with RC. On 2 sailings we had small amounts remaining that we had to go to Guest Services to collect the night before the end of the cruise so we didn't donate it to RC. We can confirm this is how it works. We like to give cash tips beyond Prepaid Gratuities so we take remaining $$ and leave it for stateroom attendant.
  14. It shouldn't be an issue other than charges made by your son going to your bother's Seapass account. When you do your online check-in set him up to post to a separate account. I would carry on as if there is 2 to a room.
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