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Everything posted by JBC

  1. $200 is steep for the beach club. I echo what others have said and feel $80-$120 is about what I would be ok with paying for passes. Wait for a sale. And while I have never had a cabana there, if you have regular passes and get off the ship first thing, you will have your choice of spots, and the attendants are just as good/timely as I imagine they are in the cabanas. I can't speak to the difference, but I have never had to wait very long if at all for an attendant the times I have been there (for drinks). I'm going there this February during winter break week on Symphony and we bought the passes for $118 a few months ago. Currently they are "on sale" at $179. I always keep an eye on it and will watch for any Black Friday sales but I am not expecting them to go lower than that.
  2. We were booked on Freedom in Feb 2022 and have been switched to Explorer. We are going to change to a different cruise all together. This is a big disappointment, we were on Freedom a number of years ago and loved it, were really looking forward to the amplified Freedom. We cruised on Adventure before and just are not fans of the voyager class. It just seemed lacking compared to Freedom and Oasis class, most notably the quality of the on board entertainment and shows. We will probably use this as an excuse to sail on Symphony.
  3. The percentage off really doesn't matter, Royal plays with that math all the time. Generally anything under $50, regardless of whether it is "on sale" is a really good deal. Oasis class ships seem to be a tad higher, anything in the low $50s is good. The lowest I ever paid was on Adventure and that was $44. I think I snagged in on Harmony 2 years ago for $48 or $49. I am on Oasis in February and I bought it recently at $53, no sale. It hasn't gone cheaper yet, but I am always monitoring my cruise planner.
  4. The system overloaded line is a bunch of crap. They charge you immediately for any purchases you make, you should get refunded in a similar fashion. 3-5 days at most. I am waiting on about $1,000 in cruise planner cancellations currently, little over three weeks now. Based on what I am reading from people here, I won't expect them anytime soon.
  5. There are plenty of words/phrases in that declaration that could make me lose it! I tried to read the whole thing, but then I got to the granddaddy of them all "ABUNDANCE OF CAUTION". At that point, for the well being of myself and my monitor, I had to close the link. I am still holding out a sliver of hope that I am on Ovation in August. Have a great day everyone!
  6. We get a bungalow every time we go to Labadee. They are worth every penny IMO. Water and sand are nice in that area, bathrooms and lunch are right there, the aqua park is right there, and the attendants are always very nice. You can have shade or sun if you want, and the bungalow area is not crowded at all. It's nice to not have to rush off the ship to secure a spot. For a tip, the guys in the golf carts at the end of the pier will drive you there. If you have a drink package, $5 or $10 to the attendants when you arrive will guarantee you will never be without a drink all day!
  7. If you book a cruise and get OBC as part of your booking, do you get shareholder OBC on top of it? I've never booked a RC cruise where I haven't gotten OBC of some amount as part of the booking.
  8. We sailed on Anthem the week after it had it's 3 day quarantine last month, and I didn't hesitate or worry about it. We don't have anything else scheduled until Ovation out of Seattle in August. If the ship sails, we will be on it. This media driven over blown panic is ridiculous, and the immediate and future economic ripple effects are going to be severe and long lasting. People need to take some extra precautions, turn off the news and stay off social media. If you are elderly or are in a high risk group, then yes, stay out of public places for a while until it clears up. Normal, healthy people do not need to go into panicked hiding. End rant.
  9. Food and dining on a cruise ship is so subjective. You could serve two different people the exact same meal and one could hate it and one could love it. That said, I find that a pleasant MDR experience mostly depends on your servers. If you get good servers who chat, joke with you, etc, it makes the whole experience better, even if the food isn't great. No matter how good the food is, bad servers will ruin the experience.
  10. Pro tip - stay off of that "other" website! I am sailing on Anthem in 11 days, and I am not concerned whatsoever. On my past RC cruises, I have never had a cleanliness issue with a room. As WAAAYTOOO said, Royal would be all over that type of issue if they were made aware it existed.
  11. At night outside on the pool deck there will be a lot of people smoking cigars. Usually close to the pool bar. This seems to be the new Connoisseur Club. Also, I believe all the ships sell cigars in the store on the promenade that sells liquor. I was last on Freedom when they still had a Connoisseur Club. It was very nice and I had a couple of cigars in there during the week, but there was never more than a few people in there. All they had on was a tv, the atmosphere wasn't great. At night on the pool deck there will be music playing and it is more of a party atmosphere. I actually prefer it to the old Connoisseur Club.
  12. I was on Freedom a few years ago, and they had a connoisseur club for smoking. I believe it is being removed now during Freedom's dry dock. These are becoming a thing of the past. On other ships that I have been on that did not have connoisseur clubs, the only smoking areas were the casino and certain outdoor areas. Other than the casino, in the evenings by the pool bar is where the majority of smokers seemed to gather. A couple of us enjoyed cigars and drinks there a couple of times during the week, as did a lot of other people.
  13. I am going to Coco Cay this February on Anthem, right now in my cruise planner the water park is $139 per person. I bought it a while back for $73.99 and I had a hard time swallowing that. Mariner will also be there the same day as us, so maybe that is why? Either way, that is crazy. Looking around the cruise planner, everything is more expensive now, no sale banners on anything. I thankfully made the last of my purchases on black friday, beverage and internet packages are all significantly higher now. Well, except for arcade credits. Those are still 20% off ?
  14. Your experience at Coco Cay is a bit troubling. I am headed there in February on Anthem, and Mariner will also be there the same day with us. We bought beach club passes to try to avoid a total overcrowded situation, but we expect the beach club to be crowded as well. I am really hoping that stop won't be a a big disappointment.
  15. I always thought the general rule is that they allow shorts in the MDR on regular nights but not on formal nights. I have witnessed them not allowing entry to people in shorts on formal nights. I suppose that is a loose policy that is getting even looser. Specialties I have seen plenty of people in shorts. I don't ever wear shorts to dinner in the MDR or in specialty restaurants when cruising, but obviously plenty of people do. I know it takes away from the ambiance of the room a little, but it doesn't bother me as long as they are dressier shorts, a button down or collared shirt, etc. I wish they would steadfastly enforce a rule of no casual shorts, bathing suits, t shirts, flip flops, etc. The market dictates these things I guess.
  16. I love the pedialyte powder packets. 1 packet per bottle of water. After a night of "heavily enjoying" the various establishments onboard, I make sure I drink a bottle of water with the pedialyte packet in it right before bed. Makes quite a big difference in the morning. Also, after a day of a lot of sun with alcohol, drinking one of these before heading to dinner or continuing your evening will give you a nice re-charge. I buy the packets on amazon. Pedialyte powder packets - I don't leave home without them!!
  17. Anything under $50 is a good price for the unlimited drink package. The lowest I have ever paid was $44. My upcoming February cruise it has been hovering between $51 and $55. I am expecting on Black Friday or Cyber Monday for it to drop to $46-$48, which is when I plan on buying it. Fingers crossed.
  18. It's not my experience on any class on sea days. If you want a chair that is not in constant direct sun on a sea day, then you need to be at the pool before 9 am. And even at 9 am, in my experience, most chairs are already claimed. The chair saving is insane, and people have no courtesy whatsoever.
  19. Never stayed in a cabana at Labadee but I am a big fan of the bungalos. Just a suggestion if there are any available. They are usually cheaper than a cabana, and (I think) are basically very similar. Biggest difference is they are not quite as private, but I have never had an issue.
  20. That is terrible, and for the price they are charging for these cabanas, that is unacceptable. I can't believe a customer service person told you it's because they have to walk across the island to get drinks. One, that is not true, who the hell would layout those logistics, and two, even if it was true, that is a Royal problem and not a customer problem. We are going to Coco Cay in February, and while we are not renting a cabana (way overpriced), we are probably going to buy beach club passes. There are two ships at Coco Cay the day we are there (Anthem and Mariner), and we are worried the main pool and other areas may be really crowded with two ships. Hopefully they cap the ticket sales for the beach club. I really hope Coco Cay lives up to the hype, but I have seen a fair amount of negative comments here and there. Labadee is great. Give me a bungalow on Labadee and that's all I need. Never had a bad experience there, the attendants are always great. Hoping for the same experience at Coco Cay.
  21. I did this exact thing this past April (Adventure in FLL). Here is my story: Our flight was like 9:20 or something like that, it was direct. The next options were like 12-1 pm with layovers and they actually cost more. I decided to risk it. Did the self disembarkation, was in line around 6 am. There were a lot of people already in line, I would say a few hundred probably, the line was long already at that point. The ship got into port on schedule, but then there was a hold up for something, we didn't start moving until about 7 am. I asked someone from Royal what the issue was but they didn't know, said it should start soon. I was nervous already from the night before because I debated last minute to change our flight and there literally was not a single seat available for purchase from Southwest on any flight that day, they were all full. I even called the airline in case the website was wrong. I had a group of 8 (my wife and two kids, my sister and her husband and my parents). So if we missed our flight then standby for a later flight wouldn't really be an option. We got through customs relatively easily and made it to the airport around 8:15. My group of 4 have pre-check, the other 4 did not, but thankfully we all made it through with about 20 minutes to spare before boarding began. So when I was home at my house by 1 pm the same day my cruise ended I was thrilled, but I was a nervous wreck for about 4 hours that morning. Worst case we had about a 40 minute window before they closed the boarding door. A 9 am departure is very risky, but we would have made it. If there wasn't a holdup with starting to get off, we would have easily made it and I wouldn't have been as nervous. The uber or taxi ride to the airport in FLL is like 10 minutes, and there are lots of taxis and shuttle vans waiting. It really depends on whether you like to gamble or not, lol. I would say the ship is on time and things go smoothly more than 50% of the time, so the odds would be in your favor. But it is far from a guarantee. Would I do it again? I'm not sure, it would have to depend on how bad my flight options were. If I did do it again, one thing for sure is I would make sure I was in line to get off at 5 am. I guarantee even if you were in line at 5 am, you still wouldn't be first in line. Good luck!
  22. I have been looking hard at that Freedom cruise out of San Juan, but the airfare is crazy. With the wife being a teacher and also really not wanting to take the kids out of school, we are limited to the winter and spring break weeks, which greatly compounds the problem. The flights are just about more than the cruise. Flights to Florida at those times have gotten crazy in recent years, but San Juan is worse. I really try to stick to the major airlines, some of the budget airlines are brutal. Frontier just got added recently to our airport, although I have heard mixed reviews. I would ride in the bed of a pickup truck before flying Spirit again.
  23. I agree, that is pretty lousy. Those are the little things that they should do. The difference on their bottom line is minuscule, but it goes a long way towards good customer service. I would be very annoyed with that.
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