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RCVoyager

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Everything posted by RCVoyager

  1. To us, the Voyager Class (Adventure) is the sweet spot of cruising. Perfect size and layout of ship with lots to do.
  2. Yes there are upgrade charges for the things you mentioned. Still RCCL is cheaper than Disney. There is no comparison between the ships or itineraries of the two cruise lines. I know a lot of people really like all the Disney characters walking about. It's a huge turn off for me. For the life of me, I don't understand why anyone would want to vacation with 1000 or more of someone else's kids. My own kids (19, 16, 10) would choose RCCL over Disney for these reasons, although I think my 10 year old would enjoy lobbing spitballs at Mickey and company. It's not to say RCCL is perfect, because it is not. But, they have great ships with amazing layouts, lots of choice in itinerary and ship style, really good menus in the MDR, and generally good service all over the ship. Everyone has an opinion, and if you go back to Disney, it will mean more opportunity on RCCL for us. One more thing regarding communicating with family. There are less expensive ways to do it. Through my carrier, texting is not expensive to or from the ship or ports. Phone cards can be purchased in most ports (not expensive). The price for the internet on board isn't cheap, but it's not a budget killer. The problem is the quality of the service.
  3. My view is that the food in the MDR should be pretty good. If you upgrade, and pay extra, it should be an excellent experience all the way around. If I don't get that excellent experience, I would be disappointed. I've been critical of Norwegian Cruise Line because they have taken advantage of the upcharge restaurants by cutting the quality of the food in the MDR. The times I upgraded, I thought the food and service was really good. RCCL to my view, has not cut the quality in the MDR. I hope they don't. That would cause me to reevaluate the high regard in which I view RCCL as I have with NCL.
  4. We did this a few years ago (out of Ensenada, Mexico to Hawaii). The sea days were great.
  5. For a little perspective, I had the opportunity to meet Andy of 6th Man about 10 years ago. On a 2180 passenger Carnival Ship, in 2007, the price was $250,000 per day. Don't know if that included staff and crew.
  6. In my opinion, the MDR menus on NCL are poor. It's like they purposely cheapened the MDR offerings to force passengers into the upcharge restaurants. I have only sailed NCL once. Other family members have a few other times for various reasons, and they all share the same opinion.
  7. I've cruised from Galveston twice. It is a decidedly different crowd than Florida, East Coast, or San Juan. It appears to me that many of these passengers are truly getting the best bang for the buck. I'm not saying this with any sort of agenda or overall lifestyle judgement. I'm not sure a 10 day cruise would sell well there.
  8. Given the current issues with crime and drug lords on the west coast of Mexico, I look for Riviera cruises to be more difficult to come by than they've been in the past. My brother and his wife are on the Carnival Miracle now. The Acapulco stop was cancelled months ago. So they ended up with two days in Cabo. Puerto Villarta is having crime trouble now too. It's probably a matter of time until the issues creep in to the gulf side as well.
  9. We would love to do an Oasis Class ship, but as mentioned the itineraries aren't that exciting. Being in the Midwest, we pretty much have to fly to a cruise. If we're going to fly, we might as well head to San Juan. We love Old San Juan and there is more variety of islands in the South. We are looking at the Symphony in Europe next year.
  10. Grand Cayman's very own Barefoot Man would also apply here. He once said that he is the Jimmy Buffett of Cayman without the headaches or the money.
  11. In some ways I get it when it comes to spending tax payer money to accommodate private interests. Here in the US, professional sports franchises hold cities hostage exactly the same way all the time. It's not pretty, but it's how business gets done. I don't know if Auckland should build the facility the RCCL is requesting or not, but I get the feeling this particular writer has an agenda that is beyond a yes or no answer to the question. When I see an article that is so one sided that contains rhetoric such as "Armstrong's pride and joy the Ovation of the Seas", I smell a rat. Why was there no mention of the economic advantages such an investment would bring? Why was there no mention of civic pride? There was nothing about opportunities for Australians to travel around the world from Auckland. There wasn't even really a complaint about how much it would cost. It was a one-sided hit piece from beginning to end. Again, I don't know if the local Government should build this thing or not, but reading an article like this, with its agenda, tells me it's a pretty good idea.
  12. I will help you bump this, because I'm interested too, and I have no idea.
  13. Thanks for your more detailed explanation. It sheds new light on the situation. And I agree RC should not have cancelled a month of cruises to finish the refurb when the ship is barely scheduled out for 18 months. Poor planning there for sure.
  14. I agree with this. If there is another view that could be worked through, I'd like to hear it.
  15. In NJ in June of 2019 and Ft. Lauderdale in December of 2019. It may be a seasonal thing.
  16. Not really fair to say they screwed up the refurb. It was done in Freeport. Much of the refurb supply was affected by a hurricane. Not much could be done about that. Also worth noting that the Adventure is moving out of San Juan to eventually land in Ft. Lauderdale. The Freedom of the Seas is headed to San Juan... and I think I will too!
  17. The problem with that is prices would go up for everyone. If you take an average jet, say an MD 80, holds about 125 people in 1st class/coach combined and remove 10 available seats, you're talking about over 8% of available revenue. They would have to make up that money, and those seats would be empty at least 50% of the time. While it could use a few tweaks, the current system of overbooking and buying back a few seats (with restricted travel vouchers rather than cash) on a small percentage of flights works pretty well most of the time for the airline and the travelers.
  18. Most of your proposal sounds good, but it's not really how things work. For instance, many destinations don't have another flight available within two hours. Secondly, most of the time, flights are not overbooked at the time of purchase. Third is that bad weather anywhere in the country can put any airline in a bind. Where I draw the line is forcing paying passengers off a flight on which they purchased a ticket, were assigned a seat, showed up on time, and played by all the rules only to be forced to leave for another individual who did not do those things. If the airline is in a tight spot, they should up the ante until the number of people needed come forward. What happened to United on the Chicago/Louisville flight was to accommodate a flight crew who needed to get to a destination (not paying customers). Most pilot contracts are written so pilots would not have to wait more than 1 flight to be deadheaded when necessary. I think the price listed on travel websites should actually have seats available for that price to be assigned at the time of booking. Just last week, we booked our family on a trip. At the time of booking, there were no seats available at the quoted price. We had to upgrade (at about $10 per person per leg) to more expensive seats. Another thing that would help would be that airlines be forced to use other airlines to accommodate passengers who have been displaced through no fault of their own. The airlines will do this, but they are reluctant to do so.
  19. correction. The website is sixthman.net. Highly recommended for anyone who loves cruising and music. These people have a great business plan.
  20. I haven't had the experience you describe then, but if you like music, I would highly recommend a sixthman cruise.
  21. Was your 2013 trip on the Jewel a chartered music cruise? There are companies out there (sixthman.com for one) doing just that. They are booking every genre of music you can think of with about 20 acts on board. There is an annual Rock Boat Cruise, oldies cruises, Southern Rock, Country Music cruises, Barenaked Ladies is scheduling another, ect. They give the regular entertainment staff the week off and then rock the socks off the passengers. I've been on three such cruises. Two of them were amazing. Ships and Dips l & lll were headlined by the Barenaked Ladies. The lineup was amazing. There was music about 20 hours a day. BNL took an 8 X 10 photo with every party as they boarded the ship and gave a copy to each passenger of their photo. Not only did they play two full length concerts during the cruise, they appeared multiple times each day. Don't even ask me about the Barenaked at Sea photo on this family forum! But you can google it. In the sail away concert on the pool deck, they said that they were on board with their families. They asked for privacy when seen with their families, but asked the passengers to approach to say hello, pose for a photo, or ask for an autograph when they weren't with family. The undercard was just great. In fact, the band, Gaelic Storm, has become an absolute favorite of most of my family and many of our friends. We now see them regularly when they are close by and have occasionally traveled to see them in Dallas or Chicago with other family members. Gaelic Storm s great for so many reasons. One of them is that after every show the entire band comes from back stage and poses for photos, converses with the fans, and signs autographs. They know many of the fans who see them often, and that is the case with my family. In fact, at one Indy show a couple of years ago, their merchandise people showed up late, and Patrick asked me to run the merchandise table for until the people showed up, which they did just before the show. But to answer your question, I don't think you will have that experience on a regularly scheduled cruise. In fact, I'm not sure how you booked such a cruise without knowing it the first time.
  22. Thanks Matt. I like reading where others have been and will be. I am but one humble user. If it is or becomes a problem, don't keep them up for me.
  23. Thanks for the explanation. I kind of liked looking at the ships others had been on, but it is not as important as the information discussed and delivered here.
  24. I noticed there is a new look to this site recently. I went to make a correction on my signature that comes up with each post, and I notice that is gone too. Has anyone seen a note about the change?
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