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Everything posted by Tylor

  1. Well you said you didn't get that concept, so I thought I would explain it. Tipping actually is a cultural issue. Many countries throughout the world do not promote or accept tips for goods and services, unlike here in the US or like your homeland in Canada. It obviously isn't something you must do, but most do it. Sorry if my reply upset you, that wasn't my intention.
  2. It's a concept of goodwill and courtesy. It's a concept that not everyone gets, especially if you're not from America. We tip for simple things like someone taking our luggage for the same reason we give clothing and other items to shelters, and resale stores or put cash in the Salvation Army kettles at Christmas. Whether the porters are wealthy or not is irrelevant. Personally, last time I cruised I gave the guy a $20 and the smile on his face made my day. I feel like if I can afford to fly from Michigan to Florida and board a billion dollar cruise ship, then I can give up $20 to a stranger.
  3. I would recommend not tipping additional for bar bills. It really isn't necessary. %15 is already included. Like Bryce said, if it was over and beyond service, then maybe. Like if the bartender delivered your drink to you while doing a hand stand. ;) I believe in tipping for everything, except when gratuity is already included in the bill (see above) so I agree with Matt that you should tip your porter, the person who takes your bags once at the port. After all, it is their responsibility to get your luggage onto the ship, and without that luggage you'd most likely be in big trouble. It is a small expense to pay to make someone's day. Also tip hotel bellman and concierges.
  4. Thank you for your opinion! I loved Hairspray. I just love the music and dancing of Saturday Night Fever. B)
  5. Thinking about booking a 5 night Liberty cruise in December when my wife has a break from her masters classes. I gotta see Saturday Night Fever before they take it off! ;)
  6. I guess I'm boring because I love the Windjammer salad bar. Especially the tomato, cucumber, olive and feta cheese salad.
  7. That looks great Dave!
  8. I think Port Canaveral is building a new terminal and dredging the channel for an Oasis Class ship. Explorer and Adventure would already fit fine as Freedom of the Seas already docks in Port Canaveral on a regular basis.
  9. Your wife will be fine wearing a pant suit or women's dress slacks and a blouse. Not every woman onboard wears a floor length dress or cocktail dress. That is just a suggestion.
  10. The Windjammer Marketplace does have afternoon tea, as posted in the Cruise Compass, however, since Independence sails the UK market on a regular basis and has tea kettles in the rooms, I would say the daily scones with cream and jelly are probably available based on the passenger ratio onboard.
  11. Please do! Love it when people post food photos. The menu's change occasionally so maybe you'll see something new? Look forward to seeing what you eat! ;)
  12. I will admit I have never tried the honey stung chicken. When I eat at the Windjammer Marketplace, I usually make a big salad. Then I get really bad and go for a couple pieces of pizza and some french fries. I'm not a huge buffet person, but the Windjammer Marketplace offers a good variety of choices.
  13. Have you seen photos? One has more of a wow factor than the other. ;) Grand Suite Crown Loft Suite
  14. I see Carnival is jumping at China/Asia as well. If this doesn't go well, it will be like Europe 2 years ago and everyone will be heading back to the US soon. :huh:
  15. Independence as it is newer, offers options like cantilevered whirlpools, flowrider, sorrentos pizzeria.
  16. Hello Neighbor! My wife and I bring travel sizes of shampoo, normally ones from previous hotel stays. Staying at a pricey hotel that offers travel sized shampoo, soap, etc. can come in handy! You can also buy travel containers that are 3 ounces and fill them with your favorite shampoo or soap. Bar soap will be available by the sink and in the shower. Also a dispenser mounted in the shower has a soap/shampoo combo liquid available for you to use.
  17. Welcome back to Royal Caribbean. Since you've cruised last you probably noticed a revamped menu. This has mostly been a big hit with many Loyal Royals. Food, like entertainment, is subjective and what is right for you won't be for the next person. Many people from all walks of life cruise on the same ship and all those people dine at a few hundred different restaurants on land and they must all choose from only a handful of places to eat onboard. So not everyone will always be happy with the choices. But I believe Royal Caribbean does a good job at covering all the bases for everyone who sails onboard their ships. I have sailed on Royal Caribbean since 2005 and haven't noticed a decline in food or service, but I'm not overly picky and I don't dine in 5 star restaurants on land, so otherwise wouldn't expect that type of service or food onboard a ship. With that said, I do enjoy the specialty restaurants onboard and think Royal tries hard to be creative with menu planning and making sure there is a good mix of restaurants on the ship. I have noticed a slow migration to more casual dining onboard the ships. I do like to "look the part" when eating in a nice restaurant but don't mind if others don't care to match with the attire of the evening. Quantum of the Seas is a good example of how Royal Caribbean is creating different dining experiences so guests can choose what they want to do with their evening, creating restaurants where formal night is every night and others were dressing up isn't required. Thanks for your review.
  18. If you are concerned about motion sickness Less-Drowsy Dramamine works well. I would suggest you only take it if you feel like you need it. No sense drugging yourself for something you expect to happen that doesn't. ;)
  19. I wouldn't be surprised. And an Oasis class ship is going to go to Asia. If O5 is built wouldn't be surprised to see one in Asia, Europe, eventually Australia, and 2 in the US. Europe has begged for an Oasis class and people from Australia are flying to Florida just to sail on one. Article: http://www.seatrade-insider.com/news/news-headlines/royal-caribbean-orders-oasis-4-at-stx-france.html According to Wells Fargo analyst Tim Conder, the Oasis order fits into the context of Royal Caribbean's stated long-term 4% annual growth goal and 'further strengthens RCL's innovative leadership positioning in the industry.' Conder thinks that over the next 12 to 18 months, the company could announce the deployment of an Oasis-class ship to Asia, at least for part of the year.
  20. If you're a frequent Royal Caribbean cruiser, then there is no doubt that a dish you loved is probably no longer on the menu. For me, it was the Blue Cheese Tortellini. Served in the MDR, I had this on Liberty in 2008 and Freedom in 2010. Rich and full of flavor, cheese tortellini topped with a cream sauce and crumbled, melted blue cheese. Blue Cheese Tortellini MDR
  21. Post your food photos here! If you haven't noticed I enjoy food, especially dessert. Well, okay I really enjoy tiramisu. If you're sailing on a Royal Caribbean ship that has a Portofino specialty restaurant, you should really have dinner there. Each year the number of ships that have Portofino goes down as they are converted to Giovanni's Table. Giovanni's is good, but serves more casual Italian cuisine family style. Where Portofino is a fine Italian dining experience. Tiramisu Portfino, in an edible chocolate cup. From Matt's Portofino reivew, found here: http://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2013/03/12/restaurant-review-portofino I love this photo Matt, you've got mad photog skills. On the hunt: Tiramisu is served in other locations onboard. Italian night in the MDR offers tiramisu on the dessert menu. Although it lacks in presentation when compared to the Portofino version, it is still good. Giovanni's Table also serves tiramisu which is made in a large tray and scooped onto a plate. Again, not as fancy, but good. Sorrento's Pizzeria also has a number of dessert cups which include a tiramisu dessert cup. It is a must try portable version. You won't be disappointed. Tartufo al Cioccolato Portofino: Presentation is key with the desserts at Portofino. This is good, but I'm biased and nothing will overrule the tiramisu for me. Photo credit: RCLBlog member Marc Portofino also has a great bread basket and selection of tapenade for spreading. Royal Caribbean serves kalamata olive tapenade in Portofino as well as in the MDR when lunch is served. Passion Fruit Mousse Chops Grille, light and refreshing. Chops also serves a number of heavier desserts like NYC Cheesecake and Chocolate Mud Pie, both pictured above. There's something guaranteed to suit your fancy on the Chops Grille dessert menu. Now, don't just go to Chops or Portofino for dessert. The food is excellent at both. Even if you don't eat steak, Chops has chicken and the side dishes (served family style) are amazing as well. You'll find everything from steak, chicken, seafood, and pasta at Portofino.
  22. Today in France a keel laying ceremony was held for Oasis 3, completion in 2016. Also plans for Oasis 4 were announced by Royal Caribbean with completed expected in 2018. Photo credits: Cruise Critic and Surinder Manku, Seatrade Insider. Articles: http://www.seatrade-insider.com/news/news-headlines/royal-caribbean-orders-oasis-4-at-stx-france.html Photos courtesy of Lloyd555
  23. Yes magnets should work on most (if not all) cruise ship doors. From CruiseCritic: A cruise ship is really just a big, beautified floating piece of metal, and that includes your cabin. So even if the walls don't look or feel metallic, they are -- and that means you can use magnets to help organize the abundance of papers the ship's crew will usually throw your way. For instance, have a cocktail invitation you don't want to lose? Use a magnet to stick it to the wall nearest the door so you can grab it on your way out.
  24. Photo was taken in Labadee, Haiti. Glad you're back and hope you are feeling better.
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