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Everything posted by jticarruthers

  1. It depends on whether you want it for the whole cruise or not. If you are going to get it for the whole cruise then the 20-30% cruise planner sale should be equal to or better than your onboard Diamond discount ... if you only want it for a day or two then the free day or two onboard is the way to go IMO. Disclaimer: Off the cuff remarks based on my experience on a couple of Mariner cruises this summer, not backed by actual math performed in a spreadsheet.
  2. I noticed this as well when looking at the Alaska itineraries for 2021 last night ... i think they have figured out a new way to fleece people. Oh you want two rooms with an adjoining door ... upcharge 🙂 It was clearly coming up as a whole separate category of room with a higher price, regardless of occupancy levels.
  3. Just got the exclusive invite for C&A Members to book Alaska before the general public ..... 🙄
  4. The king bed can be split into two regular beds (twins?). Not an ideal solution but at least they arent sharing a bed.
  5. Consistently inconsistent .. the Royal Caribbean motto.
  6. Adding to that i live in Tampa and have cruised out of Tampa 6 times ... 5 no issue, 1 disaster. If you get a fog day and cant dock then it doesnt matter which flight you book but if you are willing to do early walk off and the ship docks on time you will be fine.
  7. Like all ports there can be good days and bad, airport is about 20 minutes or so from the port. Personally i would be ok with booking the 11.45 flight but planning to do walk off disembarkation to get into the line early.
  8. Firmly in the TMobile camp. Its good enough at home but every cruise i have been on you just turn on the phone, connect to the local network and facebook/texts/emails work normally. And its all included at no additional charge (At least on my plan, check your plan before you assume its the same on all plans). The best part is voice is not included so unfortunately i don't answer calls while on vacation 🙂
  9. The best advice here is to try not to dwell on what you could have saved if you had waited to book and focus on the fact that you were happy to pay what you are paying for what you are getting. I would look at upgrades though, I just moved up from standard Oceanview to panoramic Oceanview because the price for the better room had fallen below what i was paying for the lesser room. I try to look at it as "i got to pick the room i wanted and now i get a better room for the price i would have been happy to pay". It does feel sucky in some ways but it beats waiting for the price to fall and then not getting on the cruise at all 🙂 !!
  10. Mine has always been adventurous and has forced every friend he brings with him to try the escargot ... so far he is about 75% on liking it vs hating it with them 🙂
  11. You can get bumped, happens rarely but it does happen. Reasons vary but it is always basically at the discretion of the cruise line.
  12. Yes they can. They will usually do their best to find similar or better accommodations for you, and/or offer some on board cash as compensation, but the short answer is they can move you for any or no reason if they choose to do so.
  13. Nope, i probably would have booked with someone else anyway ..my loyalty to RCI has dropped from 100% Loyal to Royal to Royal is just one brand among many. Several other brands got their itineraries out on time and i have already reviewed them and figured out what i like, some of them have sales ending this week. If i wait to see what Royal ends up offering (knowing that i am not wowed by their 2020 offerings that i looked at in comparison shopping) i potentially lose those sale windows. So I will probably put down a deposit on something else instead. I may reconsider once Royal does release their lineup but probably not.
  14. I believe the official answer is no, but personally have never tried it. My guess is some bartenders will do it, others wont, inconsistency is the most consistent part of Royal's customer service program.
  15. Depends, there's probably about a 50/50 chance i will just book with someone else since i have everyone else's information in front of me and see several options that i like.
  16. Its amazing how bad they are at sticking to these schedules. I know there are a lot of moving parts involved but it always seems like its RCI that cant get their schedules out in a timely manner ... and it still doesnt stop them from shifting stuff around after the fact anyway. Looking at a 2021 Alaska ... was all excited that NCL has their options out, CCL just dropped theirs on Friday and RCL was going to drop on Monday .... or not ....
  17. All three cabins (your inside, the oceanview and the balcony) are essentially identical in terms of layout and amenities. The biggest difference will be that one wall will have a window in it or lead out onto a balcony if you win one of the upgrades. The cabin sizes might change very slightly but the size and layout are really not all that different between the three.
  18. Dress code is increasingly "not really a thing".
  19. Depends on what you want from the TA. If you want them to be proactive in booking repriced fares, giving you advice, etc. than you want someone like MEI that gives a little less OBC/Perks but does more for you. If you just want the rock bottom price and you are going to price watch, etc. then go with the one that offers more OBC/Perks. Speaking solely for myself I am in the second group, I dont need my TA to reprice for me, I get the daily sale email from RCI and book so far ahead that it doesnt matter anyway. On the rare occasion i do need something done, I call in and have them take care of it, no problem. But on 20+ cruises the additional OBC/Perks has paid for at least 1 by now. If RCI would just give me the discount for booking directly with them then i would be in a great place, no TA needed at all (for me now, many people do need and value their services and i certainly did when i was new to cruising).
  20. There used to be a half day option, you were probably thinking of that. Discountinued as far as i know though ... only full day tickets now.
  21. Amtrak already does a service from Tampa through Orlando (not up to downtown but near Disney) and then down through Fort Lauderdale to Miami. We used it for a cruise to/from a year or two ago ... as the DD i liked not having to drive but the rest of the crew voted for the convenience of having me drive. Departure time was roughly 1pm on each end and arrival time roughly 6pm so we left on Friday around 1 from Downtown Tampa, got into Miami at 6 something. Stayed at a hotel, boarded on Saturday and then we got back the following Saturday took the train back to Tampa getting in around 6pm again. Times werent ideal (but clearly it isnt driven around the cruise schedule) but price was reasonable. Im interested in seeing how much the high speed option moves the needle but preliminary pricing looked like airlines to me so might as well drive if its more than a couple of people.
  22. It happens, we just switched from the standard oceanview on Mariner to the Panoramic at no addtional charge ... nobody was buying the Panoramic's so they lowered the price to increase uptake to the point it was lower than what we had paid for the regular. On the one hand as my TA kept trying to explain "you are losing the money you paid for the regular since you are switching to the panoramic and you arent getting the difference back" on the other hand, I got the better room at a price i was willing to pay for the lesser room, so no complaints.
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