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RCVoyager

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Everything posted by RCVoyager

  1. I completely agree with your position on the subject. If your group (you mention "we") is all doing it, and it was a goal of the trip, it seems to me you have hit on the one way that it is productive to do it. My comment was based upon my experience where there was 4 of us (3 brothers and 1 best friend), and 1 did it. It turned out to be a drag on the group. Here is an example of how it would not work: for me to do it on a trip with my wife only or on a trip with my wife and children (21, 19, and 12). By the second day of my trip, their trip would be ruined, and I would have to drop out of the course to save it. I would want to save others from the same pitfall who don't think in advance just how involved the process is.
  2. I appreciate the effort here, but I would highly recommend not doing the course if you can avoid it. My friend did it some years ago on vacation. It dominates your vacation. The OP talks about it above. It was like he wasn't even with us. He was in class, in the pool, and had to study at night. If it's important to you and you have time do it at home before your vacation. Just my opinion, but it should be a real concern.
  3. I've never posted on a message board in my life. Only a nerd would do that. Oh shoot, I guess I'm busted by my rating. Just kidding. This is a great place for information about all of cruising... not just Royal Caribbean. I appreciate the atmosphere as well as the info.
  4. I did a little digging. The Mariner is scheduled to port there this week. However, it is a chartered cruise. RCCL must have been granted an exception for this ship this week, because it's the only ship not from the Carnival family I see porting there for the next several months. Interesting to say the least.
  5. I just noticed for the first time (that I have noticed), the Mariner is headed to Grand Turk (per cruisetimetables.com). Is this news? I thought only Carnival and it's umbrella of companies could go there because Carnival owns the dock.
  6. Thanks for all the responses. Seems like a pretty good way to go. Free parking at the Country Inn & Suites. Less than $100 (with taxes and fees) for the rental, and we can use it Friday evening to go to dinner as well as Saturday morning before drop off.
  7. Rather than start another thread on the subject, I tried to go back to older threads to answer my question, but didn't see it answered directly so here goes: We can rent a car from multiple agencies at MCO for $45 per day. That's pretty cheap for transportation to the port plus having it available for the overnight. Which agency is most convenient to the port?
  8. Thanks for the tip on Ace Luxury. To your knowledge, will they pick up at Sanford airport and drop at one of the Port Canaveral hotels?
  9. Highly doubtful I would highly recommend one of these repositioning cruises. We did one a few years ago (Ensenada MX to HI). It was a really good value. We had to check-in in San Diego and then bus to Ensenada.
  10. Why see a Bon Jovi or Journey cover band when you can cruise with the actual bands? I know Bon Jovi has done this. Not sure about Journey. Sixth Man is one company that does it (mostly on NCL). Carnival now has their own brand of music cruise.
  11. Yes, we did Ships and Dip twice and the Mayercraft Carrier. Gaelic Storm now does the Rock Boat annually. I'd like to do it. It's already sold out for next year.
  12. This is just my opinion, but to me, there is no comparison whatsoever to the current trend of music cruises where the normal entertainment is given the week off and touring music acts (usually at least 1 headliner and a bunch of lesser knowns) are brought on board to entertain. I've been on three of these cruises, and they are amazing. The first two were headlined by the Barenaked Ladies. We were guaranteed 1 full length concert with the band. We got 2 and several additional appearances and experiences. At the sailoff show they said the following (or something similar) "We are here with our families. If you see us with our families, we ask for privacy. If you see us out by ourselves or with other band members, stop us to say hello." In addition to that, the band sat for hours for each travel party to come through a line in which a photo was taken of your party with the band. Each passenger was given a free 8X10 photo. On top of that was the legendary Barenaked at Sea photo in which some 700 people gathered on the Lido Deck to drop their robes for 5 seconds to create a moment we will never forget (it can still be found on the internet). Then the best part of all was that we were exposed to some bands we never heard of. Most of them you might hear for a couple of songs as you walk by the venue in which they were playing. However, you might also hear something fantastic... and we did. The band 'Gaelic Storm' started playing on the stage in the casino one night. I'm convinced, this is the greatest band noone has ever heard of. I always suggest people check them out. Crazy talent, amazing stage presence, strong lyrics (drinking songs, funny songs, meaningful songs), and without a doubt the most fan friendly band in the business (they come out to do a meet and greet with fans after every show and are known to have fans on stage during the show). Great band. Check them out. You won't be sorry.
  13. No chance for us. We don't get alone time near enough, so that time is important to us. Our two daughters are up and out. When they have traveled with us, they have their own cabin (s). Our son is 12. He stays down the hall with Grandma. I get it that some have other views, but no chance here.
  14. I like this idea. We could use some of these. I'm going with a pre-cruise idea to get people excited. I'm doing a question a month to the group and then I'll supply the prizes. One of my questions to to see which of the people in our group can figure out my "handle" on this website. I'm not trying to draw attention to myself, but rather draw people to this site to see all the information that is here. There are plenty of clues as to who I am for people who know me. My questions are not limited to RCCL or cruising. Below are a couple more. Another of mine is for me to supply a photo of a map I picked up on our recent trip to Las Vegas. It has a pretty big error on it that anyone with geographic awareness would spot in a second. (It shows US 95 as Interstate 95). First person to figure that out gets a prize. We are going zip lining in San Juan pre cruise. First one to post a video from the zip line company gets a prize... ect. Trying to get folks excited pre cruise.
  15. Thanks for that review. It is on my list. It really is the heart of OSJ.
  16. For us, if it is a 1 night stay, the Sheraton Old San Juan is the choice. If 2 or more nights, the Caribe Hilton or one of the other resort hotels. We also want to try the El Convento Hotel but haven't yet. What a premier location in the heart of OSJ. Adjacent from that beautiful Church and right up the hill from the San Juan gate. We had breakfast there once, but have not stayed. Has anyone stayed there?
  17. One other note with regard to NCL taking chances with things like 'bomb cyclones'. From my bio, you may see that I have sailed NCL just once. There were some things my family and I didn't like about their operation, and we have not booked them since. One of our concerns was that while on inside passage day, the other cruise lines we saw cruised much closer to the shore line than we did. The passengers on those ships got really nice looks at the wildlife on shore. We were so far away, we couldn't really see anything. so that trip went from overly cautious to bomb cyclone being too risky. Seems weird.
  18. I'm not going to defend NCL other than to say that I keep a fairly close eye on weather, and I had to look up the term 'bomb cyclone'. By definition, it is a rapidly developing storm. Maybe there wasn't enough notice or there was no notice at all. Just a thought. Even if the bomb cyclone wasn't their fault, this thing with Hurrincane Dorien was not handled well.
  19. I would agree the Pride trip is questionable, but it can go East then South and stay 200 to 300 miles away from the storm. At this point, there are no watches or warnings that far North that I know of. Coming out of Charleston today, with the main interstate in contraflow away from your site, is really taking a chance.
  20. I would also hope Carnival would offer a 100% refund for any passengers who can't get to Charleston, don't want to leave their car with possible on shore flooding, or who don't want to be subject to the rough seas they will encounter, but I don't see any mention of it on their website. When people come on here with complaints, I'm usually one of the first to say "the cruise line did the best they could" in a given situation. This one has me scratching my head.
  21. I'm a little surprised Carnival is still planning to go forward with it's 5 night trip, on the Sunshine, from Charleston this afternoon. They have cancelled the Half Moon Cay stop but currently still plan to stop at Nassau on Thursday. I guess they will try to dart out a couple of hundred miles directly East and then come back in behind the storm. It will probably be a bumpy ride.
  22. For the most part, once on board, the cruise line can adjust pretty quickly to a storm to stay away. It seems the big impacts involve the port of origination. If it hits there on turn around day, it would impact a lot of people which appears to be the case this weekend.
  23. I see the Freedom of the Seas is out of service from January 12th to March 8th of 2020. We've been thinking of scheduling a cruise for a group of couples (March 8th), and I am interested in what is being done to her while she is laid up. It would be nice to have some cool new features, but also I have concerns the work won't be done or most importantly, the cruise be cancelled after a lot of planning has been done by your's truly. Looking for some thoughts. Thanks. As a side note, the group of 20 includes some seasoned cruisers all the way to one person who has never seen the ocean, so making a good impression is important to us. As another side note, a four night pre-cruise stay is in order in San Juan complete with sailing, zip lining in the rain forest, and a walking tour of Old San Juan. So San Juan will be the port. It's a matter of whether March 8 will work, wait til the 22nd (like the Aruba intinerary)... or possibly jump the fence to the Norwegian Epic in February or March.
  24. It seems there is a Northern cruise (HI to Vancouver) and a Southern cruise (San Diego to HI). We purposely chose the Southern cruise because of the potential for better weather. I would not hesitate to do the Northern cruise, but would choose the Southern route given the choice.
  25. We did a 12 night repositioning cruise from Ensenada, MX (just south of San Diego) to the islands. It was remarkable and a really good value. The 5 days across the ocean were wonderful sea days. Then there was 7 days in the islands. The cost was not much more than a typical 7 night cruise. We did it on the Carnival Spirit. I'm guessing there are many choices. April and October would be the months. I will say some things didn't go perfectly smooth. We think it was because most of the trips most of us go on are done by the cruise line every week. A repositioning cruise is out of the norm, and it showed itself a couple of times.
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