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About JBC

  • Birthday January 22

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    CPA for a living. Chauffeur to my kids. Enjoy boating, ATVs and live music. Fan of most things alcohol related.

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  1. I'm actually a little relieved to see that many others have been having these same issues and that it wasn't just me. Next cruise I will try the prop the door open trick. It's ridiculous to have to do something like that but if it helps me get my necessary work done faster, then so be it. Regardless, Royal needs to address this issue fleetwide sooner rather than later.
  2. Meanwhile the price isn't being throttled down. This is a lousy development. A lot of people need the internet while on a ship for a multitude of reasons, me being one of them. I am willing to pay for it, but it needs to provide a usable connection. I was on Allure last month and the internet was terrible. Maybe it's time for people to get more vocal about it, and not just at guest services or on post cruise surveys. Royal would pay more attention if more people started voicing criticisms about it on the various social media platforms.
  3. I am on Mariner this summer and I use the internet a lot while on cruises (work and business needs). I was on Allure last month and the internet on that ship was terrible. That was the first ship I was on that had starlink and I was really disappointed with it. I am hoping Mariner isn't the same.
  4. I can see it both ways with the waiter. Yes, he is just doing his job, but they do ask constantly if they have met expectations, is there anything additional they can do for you, etc., almost to the point of being annoying. So simply informing them that they have not met expectations, and that yes, there is something they can do additional for you, I don't think that is totally out of line. I just wouldn't word it that bluntly that their survey will suffer if they don't bring me two entrees at once. And I also agree that speaking to the head waiter will likely resolve this issue. It ultimately is a really dumb thing, and if you need to play games to get around it, it is possible. Just have one other person order with you and state the order you want them brought in. As soon as they come, combine two plates and viola, now one person is done with their first meal and please bring the 2nd dish. Last week this is the first time this happened to me so it caught me off guard. Now that I know about it I would easily fix it while ordering without being overly rude or threatening. At the end of the day, they genuinely want to do whatever they possibly can to make you happy without getting in trouble.
  5. Yes, this is what I experienced last week. It's dumb. Royal really isn't accomplishing anything with that policy other than to annoy a guest.
  6. You can always order more than one app. I typically always order two. That is never an issue. For entrees I typically only order one, but on my last cruise I did order the lobster and the steak entrée. The waiter brought the lobster first and I ate it slowly waiting for the steak, and he asked me if I was finished with the lobster and I told him I am waiting for my steak, which he then brought but commented that he isn't supposed to bring more than one entrée at a time. It appeared as though a lot of people were doing this. With the changed MDR menus and the charge for a 2nd tail, Royal needs to come up with a surf and turf option for the 2nd formal night ("lobster night"). Not the Chops surf and turf option that is available for purchase every night. It would waste less food, because people just want the surf and turf, they don't want the accompaniments of both entrees.
  7. No other lines are offering anything for free. Price out a cruise on NCL and then price one out on Royal and add in the drinks and what not so you are comparing apples to apples. Pricing will be close. Royal gives you the option to carve out some of these costs that are "included" in other lines. You need to drink 6-7 alcoholic drinks everyday to break even on the deluxe package. If you are questioning if it is worth it, then it probably isn't. Drink fatigue is real and will set in after about day 4. If you really feel like soda and specialty coffee is what you are after, and are concerned about cost, you could get a refreshment package for you and your wife and pay for your alcohol a la carte. Those packages will come with refillable soda cups for the freestyle machines, you absolutely could let your kids use those cups without buying additional soda packages for them. I would certainly do that instead of lugging a 12 pack of soda on board and rationing it all week.
  8. Wait, we are supposed to read the questions on the health questionaire before just answering them all no?
  9. Unless you are ok sitting in total direct sun, in the smoking section or near the kiddie splash area, then it will be Lord of the Flies when it comes to getting pool chairs on a sea day. The windjammer will be slammed from 8:30-10:00 every morning. As others have mentioned, trivia at the smaller venues will fill quickly (people love their trivia, lol).
  10. Interesting observation about the crew possibly being provided a list of who pre-paid gratuities or not. I'm not sure why the cruise line would do that. To encourage better treatment of those who pre-paid, or to work extra hard for those that didn't to try and win them over for a tip at the end? I would think it would be best to not have crew know and have them operate under the instruction of treat everyone the same. I had the debate with a friend recently of tipping the dryers at the car wash. My friend tips at the end if they do a good job drying the car, and his assessment of a good job is basically how well they do with his windows and the windshield. I tip before they even start, which in my mind will make them think, hey, this guy already took care of me, I better do a good job on his car. I don't know which practice yields the best results. But then again like the luggage porters, their only job is to dry the car, so I shouldn't have to tip at all, lol.
  11. I'll start off by saying I always auto pay my gratuities, I just consider it part of the cruise fare. I would never have them removed. Then I will tip extra cash to the wait staff, room attendant, bartenders as I go, blah blah. I've never really had bad service on a cruise. However, tipping culture and expectations have gotten way out of hand in the US. I get waiters and waitresses, they have to be tipped. With inflation driving up the cost of your average restaurant tab though, along with 20% being the new minimum tip, most servers are doing just fine. They are making no where near the minimum wage. So we need to dispel the myth that anyone working as a waiter or waitress is barely making ends meet because of their job. That said, we need to go back to tipping being for a service provided that exceeds expectations. The Dunkin Donuts worker handing me coffee at the drive thru window doesn't need to be tipped. They really can't exceed the expected service level. Same goes for the majority of other positions that now have tip jars and gratuity options on payment screens. Another cruise related one is luggage porters, I throw them a few bucks mostly because I feel like I am supposed to, and so they don't "accidentally" leave my bag off the cart because I didn't tip them. But in reality, them taking my bags from me and putting them on a cart to take to the ship is their only job. There is nothing they can really do to exceed that expected service level. So I kind of feel like I shouldn't have to tip for that, even though I do. At the end of the day though, I won't let an extra $50 or $100 in tips negatively affect my $10,000 vacation.
  12. 3 ships at Coco Cay would be lousy. The waterpark lines are bad with 2 ships. If you were the 3rd ship to arrive that would definitely be a bad break. I would also say Beach Club for sure, but with 3 ships there it would probably be over $200pp.
  13. That's weird, I don't think I've ever had a 5 pm first seating time. My cruises have always been 5:30. I would be annoyed about that too.
  14. Haha, truth! I am a bit of a germaphobe, and it may seem weird, but I have never felt like the hot tubs were dirty or gross on a RC cruise. Some people are appalled and say they would never dare go in a public hot tub, and for me that holds true a lot of the time, but I really do think Royal does a good job with theirs as far as cleaning goes. It wouldn't surprise me to hear that they are drained and cleaned nightly.
  15. I have been looking at NCL POA for a future cruise. It's attractive because it is year round and hits all of the islands, but wow is it expensive (plus the airfare to get there). Some of these comments here are giving me pause. I am so used to royal, I would be so disappointed if I went and paid a small fortune and came away with a lot of negatives. I am wondering if it may make more sense to do a land based Hawaiian vacation instead. Royal's Hawaiian cruises don't work for me because of the timing (kids in school).
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