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Everything posted by Tylor

  1. Bryce, RoyalCaribbean.com > All About Cruising > Royal Weddings > Wedding Packages > Royal Proposal Starting at $450 For a romantic surprise, Royal Romance can arrange a marriage proposal for your special occasion complete with everything you need to "pop the question" in style. Choosing an ideal onboard setting with input from a Royal Romance Specialist Coordination of details that ensure the perfect proposal moment Cruise program administrator available onboard the ship for consultation Single long-stemmed red rose Champagne breakfast-in-bed for two Chocolate-covered strawberries in your stateroom one evening at turn-down ;)
  2. Well, if you're taking a taxi, just ask the driver where the nearest drugstore is and have him stop there. The Port is a stones throw away form the airport, so it won't be like you'll be driving through town to get there. You'll most likely see the ship right before you land, it's that close.
  3. I agree that the cruise contract guarantees very little, but I think in all honesty that Royal Caribbean would do all that it could to protect the lives of its guests. Since everyone "now" is looking at what the cruise contact does not guarantee, we must remember that this type of thing applies to many things we "buy and do". Example: when buying a new car the manufacture provides the latest in safety equipment but makes no guarantees that you will survive an automobile accident. When you fly, there's no guarantee of a "safe flight", etc.
  4. Here are some photos: Allure of the Seas docked in Labadee, Haiti Dragon's Breath Flight Line (Zip Line) - Costs Extra The views Labadee offers are spectacular! Falmouth, Jamaica Falmouth, Jamaica Falmouth, Jamaica Allure of the Seas in Cozumel, Mexico
  5. Hello and Welcome to the Royal Caribbean Blog! Wow, you are embarking on a big adventure taking your very first cruise on the largest cruise ship in the world! And solo? I think you're going to have the time of your life. Feel free to ask any questions you have. There are many knowledgeable people on this message board. The ports of call for your Western Caribbean Cruise onboard Allure of the Seas are Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico. Labadee, Haiti This is Royal Caribbean's own private port on the Northern coast of Haiti. There are no (to my knowledge) excursions into the interior of Haiti due to security concerns. However, there is plenty to do at this newly enhanced private beach destination. Get your camera ready for some stunning ocean photos! I have been to Labadee, Haiti 3 times. Things to do: Beach & Barbecue - Beach, Splash Zone, and BBQ Lunch (Food for the BBQ is brought from off the ship and lunch is still served onboard in the Windjammer Marketplace) - All No Charge Dragon's Breath Flight Line (Zip Line) -Costs Extra Dragon's Tail Coaster - Costs Extra Haitian Market - Hand made crafts and clothing made by the locals - Costs Extra Aqua Park - Located in the ocean, this "blown up" park includes floating islands and slides - Costs Extra Water Sports - Wave Jet personal water craft, kayaking tours, and parasail rides are available - Costs Extra Don't Miss: Labaduzee - Royal Caribbean signature Labadee island drink in a souvenir drink cup, available non-alcoholic - Costs Extra Nellie's Beach & Barefoot Beach Club (Suite Guests) - Private beach cabanas available for rent - Costs Extra US Dollar is accepted. Falmouth, Jamaica This is Royal Caribbean's newly built port on the northern side of Jamaica only 18 miles east from Montego Bay. There are many things you can do in and around the port. Trips to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios are popular places to visit. I have not been to Falmouth yet, only to Ocho Rios in 2010. Things to do (Courtesy of Royal Caribbean): In Port - Numerous vendors offer shopping and dining opportunities Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville Restaurant located in port Good Hope Great House - Explore Jamaica history and culture Appleton Estate - Sample and learn how real Jamaican rum is made Dunn's River Falls - Located near Ocho Rios, Dunn's River Falls is a popular cruise guest destination Beach Resorts - Located near Montego Bay are several beach resorts for a price offering their facilities for day guests US Dollar is widely accepted. Many stores and restaurants accept credit cards. Cozumel, Mexico Here you will experience a sliver of what mainland Mexico has to offer in the tiny island of Cozumel. The port area has several vendors, downtown shopping and restaurants is approximately 3 miles form the pier. Taxi's are available to take you anywhere you choose from the port, or you can walk (like I did) to the downtown area. You will most likely see other ships in port with you. The ship you're sailing on will be the envy of the crowd. I have been to Cozumel once. Things to do: Beaches, Shopping, Restaurants - All are available in the downtown district Jeep Safari Tours - Explore the interior of the island Golf - Hit a round at the Cozumel Country Club Beach Resorts - Several hotels near the port for a price offer pools, bars, and restaurants for cruise guests to use Snorkel, Submarine, and Dolphins - Swim, sit and play with all the things Cozumel has to offer US Dollar is accepted - The $ sign is used to refer to pesos, don't be shocked at price tags. US$ or USD refers to the US Dollar. Many stores and restaurants accept credit cards.
  6. Transportation is always usually charged per person. There will be large vans too. You can always arrange in advance transportation for a larger group. Lots of limo type transportation companies will pick you up at the port. Many have small buses, vans, limos, etc. The Hyatt House transportation was a small bus. If your group all plans on staying at the same hotel, I would recommend the Hyatt House. It offers 1 and 2 bedroom suites. Each bedroom has their own bathroom. It was very convenient for my group of 10 and was cheaper since I only needed 3 suites verses 5 separate rooms for 10 people. Hyatt House Ft. Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port - 2 Bedroom Suite
  7. Typically round trip transfer to and from pier is scheduled through Royal Caribbean to and from the airport which you are flying into. I have used this service twice, for a cruise leaving from Cape Liberty, NJ and for a cruise leaving from Port Canaveral. Both instances I had to go back to the airport to catch the Royal Caribbean transfer bus. It was not cheap, $37 per person each way, but it is convenient if you don't want to rent a car or hail a taxi. The price depends on which airport you are flying into and how far away the port is. Your travel agent can book this transfer for you, or you may do it yourself by calling Royal Caribbean directly. I will tell you that most people do not use this service as it costs more generally than finding your own way to the pier. Some hotels offer transportation to the pier (some free, some you pay extra for), but most don't offer pick up after the cruise to the airport. However, there will be plenty of taxi's and buses available to take you to the airport for a price once you return from the cruise. Look for hotels near the cruise port to find ones that offer transportation to the pier. If leaving from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale I would recommend: Hyatt House Ft. Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port http://fortlauderdaleairportsouth.house.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html Hyatt Place Ft. Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port http://fortlauderdaleairportsouth.place.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html They both offer transportation to the pier for $10 a person and are across the street from each other. Hyatt Pier Sixty-Six http://pier66.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html This hotel offers a view of the port, you'll see all the ships on boarding day. Transportation can be arranged for a fee.
  8. While the ship is in port the casino and merchant stores will be closed. There will also be no bingo. However, there is still plenty of things to do. There will be spa specials when the ship is in port. The pools and gym will be open. If you are sailing on a ship with a Flowrider, it might be open for select hours. The rock climbing wall might also be open for select hours. Check the Cruise Compass for exact open hours.
  9. Young children require more attention, so I think all programs have a fee. For older kids (starting at age 3), Adventure Ocean programming is included. From Royal Caribbean: Just For Babies & Tots Dedicated Nursery: 6 to 36 months At our colorful Royal Babies & TotsSM Nursery, littlest guests (ages 6-36 months) are cared for by trained professionals while enjoying specially designed programs. Daytime and evening drop-off is offered; hourly fee of $6 in the daytime and $8 during the evening applies. Available on select ships. Adventure Ocean Explorers: 6 to 8 years Space Mud, Fossil Fever, Meteorology Madness! Hands-on science gets young minds churning – along with explorations of the fine arts with Adventure Art and Adventure Theater. Round out the night with dancing through the decades and ice cream for all. Onboard, kids aren't just kids. They're scientists exploring the insect world, eye-patched pirates or the next great athlete to take the gold at the Wacky Olympics. With interactive programs and activities designed just for their age group, Adventure Ocean gives kids the chance to discover a whole new side of themselves. All children participating in Adventure Ocean activities are required to be 3 years of age, 100% toilet trained and diaper and pull-up free. All information can be found here: http://www.royalcaribbean.com/findacruise/experiencetypes/category.do?pagename=onboard_cat_kids_teens_and_families
  10. When arriving back in port at the end of a voyage you are at the mercy of US Customs and Boarder Patrol and port officials. Sometimes problems arise that cause a delay in getting off the ship. I experienced this in 2010 when getting of a 7 day cruise on Freedom of the Seas. I had a 11:30am flight out of MCO and almost missed my plane because I didn't get off the ship until 9:45am. Customs was backed up and had computer problems processing inbound passengers. I will now not book any flights before 12 noon.
  11. Is the scattered release dates so that booking agents don't get slammed all at once? I love Royal Caribbean like I love my mother, but the itinerary release schedule is about as annoying as it gets. I have friends who book their vacations 3 years in advance, but you can't do that with Royal Caribbean. You can barely book a summer cruise 14 months in advance!
  12. Hi Nikki, Congratulations on your recent engagement! My wife and I were married on Liberty of the Seas in 2008 in Miami, Florida (the port Liberty was home ported at the time). We had a group of 10 sail with us and the over all experience was wonderful. I do know the process has changed a bit though. Back in 2008 only a marriage officiant could marry, but now I believe that a captain can marry. Also legal ceremonies had to take place either in a US port or while docked at an island. But I believe this has changed too. Now you can have a ceremony at sea in international water. I could be wrong, but I have read this on Cruise Critic. Royal Romance (now called Royal Weddings) did all of the leg work, which made things very easy. Since we got married in Miami, Royal Caribbean obtained our State of Florida wedding license on our behalf. This is something some states allow, some don't. Most you have to show up in person to get a marriage license. With island ceremonies, you are at the mercy of whatever their rules are for obtaining a marriage license. The first thing to do is to contact Royal Weddings and go over what you want and check on dates, when sailings become available. And if you get marriage on Oasis or Allure you'll get some amazing photographs that you'll be able to take home with you at the end of your cruise. Ship photographers took us all over the ship for photos! Good luck and feel free to ask any questions. Posing with our wedding officiant Marty. She was amazing! Taken in the wedding chapel on Liberty of the Seas. We have a photo of us sitting in the Morgan with the sign switched to Just Married.
  13. I want to sail on a Disney ship, but the price is such a turn off. I'm sure it is worth it, but honestly I would take 7 days at Walt Disney World over a 7 day Disney Cruise.
  14. Here is a great link to dining menu's from Allure of the Seas courtesy of Gambee. http://cruisewithgambee.com/royal-caribbean-menu/ Drink menu's are also shown. Dining room menu's are fleet wide, however you might see some substitutions. There are variations in the menus.
  15. This is true. I say exactly the same thing. Play it by day. I would even say there are 2 menus during a 7 night cruise that I don't particularly care for anything on the menu, so I tend to skip those nights and opt for a specialty restaurant.
  16. This is a great thread! My first cruise was on Explorer of the Seas in 2005. I didn't know anything about cruising. I had never logged onto Cruise Critic. I never looked at any deck plans. My group of 6 got on the ship and had the time of our lives. I think that is what made the trip so great. I truly believe people are really anal planners today, because they don't want anything to go wrong. It is almost like they are expecting things to go wrong. "When you're planning Life happens". I've seen people ask a million question on Cruise Critic, make spreadsheets of all the activities, the times they happen, etc. They want to see photos of the staterooms, how big is the shower, etc. Does it really matter how big the shower is? It just takes all the fun and excitement out of the whole trip. And yes I know some people are high anxiety and don't like the be "surprised" by things they don't know about. I think that is probably why, like Bryce said, for most their first cruise was their best. Mainly because they didn't have any expectations at all. I've taken several cruises with big groups and I've been mainly in charge of planning the trip. I will tell you having to make reservations for everything, making sure people make it to shows, dinner, etc. really does take the fun out of it. You feel exhausted by the end of the trip and it isn't as enjoyable as when my wife and I just go and can cut loose for the week.
  17. I have heard both Galveston and New Orleans ports are a mess. The travel time from Houston Hobby to Galveston doesn't sound like much more than Orlando to Port Canaveral. But like you and Matt said, I've heard once you get there it's a mess. Hopefully Royal Caribbean will make port improvements and the town itself will get things rolling.
  18. Galveston isn't any closer for me than Florida, however I could get to some new ports of call from a ship that sales from Galveston. Only down side is Galveston is far from nearest airport, Houston Hobby. Not very convenient, but the cruises seem cheap from that port.
  19. I have been on Oasis. The Oasis Class ships offer the same children's programs, which are the best in the Royal Caribbean fleet. Like you said, only differences are shows, some restaurants, and Allure features a Guess store in the Royal Promenade. Both ships have a Coach store in Central Park. Oasis leaves Saturday and Allure leaves on Sunday. A suggestion for picking one over the other would be price, departure preference, and show preferences.
  20. My wife works in public health and would tell you that infectious virus/disease outbreaks happen all over the world and are very hard to control. The situation isn't Royal Caribbean's fault, but unfortunately they take the blow and are forced to deal with the problem which ultimately affects their bottom line. I personally think Royal Caribbean has handled the situation with care and a timely response. They really don't have to offer anyone anything, however Richard Fain said due to the situation Royal Caribbean isn't able to offer a world class vacation and so therefore they are cutting the cruise short and offering partial refunds. I believe this was the right thing to do in these circumstances. And I believe they really do care about their guests and take personal responsibility for what happens to them, which has obviously been shown. And despite all the negative press, RCL stock is up 3% on 4th quarter earnings report. A good job well done.
  21. Not shocking, lobster is not kosher. My wife and I don't eat it either. ;)
  22. Shawn, I was on Oasis in 2012, I can tell you there is a set different menu each night (each nights menu has a different name), however, they are not always in the same order. So planning ahead of time which nights to skip MDR might be problematic. My suggestion to you would be to wait and make the decision to skip after you've seen the nights menu. You can view it on your stateroom tv. Don't worry about the specialty restaurants booking up, they usually do, but staff is good about squeezing people in. Don't stress yourself out too much about what you're going to do, it's your vacation so enjoy! ;)
  23. Interesting! So the new virtual balcony staterooms only sleep 2.
  24. Matt what stateroom are you staying in? A new virtual balcony or a panorama window stateroom?
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