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melski94 last won the day on August 21 2018

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  1. There are some big box stores that will give extra discounts. I also book all my own travel arrangements to most places except a cruise. Using a TA helps me as I typically book connecting rooms and those aren't the easiest to find on my own. I can and sometimes will tell the TA the exact rooms to book but she still does the booking as she needs to call RC since I have my kids under 21 in a room and we'll be in the other. That being said let me share what my TA (Nancy at MEI) has done for me in the past 6 weeks. This is the first time in 5 or so years of cruising where I've had problems. 1. My TA called me out of the blue to tell me about my July Navigator cruise. RC moved one of the rooms (my kids room) to a different deck. When we booked, the room had a 4 person occupancy but after dry dock it was only for 2 people. My TA caught it and spent 3 days working on what she knew would be an acceptable solution to me. She and her supervisor finally had both of the rooms moved so they are still connecting. While she explained this to me, she casually mentioned the next problem in #2. 2. May Symphony cruise. RC said I suddenly owed a balance. My TA showed them the paperwork that we were paid in full. I think it was because I canceled the Key and rather than refunding me, RC somehow said I owed them the money. My TA worked it out so I could get my refund and show it was paid in full. I couldn't print out my set sail passes and she spent some time on the phone working through their IT issues and it was finally solved the day before my cruise. 3. Another email from the TA. "Did we cancel your 2 sons on your March 2021 cruise? RC refunded the deposit for them." She quickly put my 2 boys back on the reservation so I didn't have a repricing situation. Talk about bad luck with RC over the past few weeks. I've been dealing with a family crisis and absolutely would not have had the time to been able to resolve these on my own. While I don't pay her a dime directly, she has been a wonderful advocate for me when problems come up. And that doesn't even talk about my Alaska cruise where she's priced out so many different options for me.
  2. Check out this previous post. There is a consent form in the post.
  3. While I love Uber and use Uber in most cities, I find a taxi is almost easier at the airport and cruise terminal in Fort Lauderdale. We (family of 6) typically just jump in a taxi van after our cruise at Port everglades to go to FLL. I find it easier than waiting around and figuring out the Uber driver is along with hundreds of other people.
  4. I think the OP's problem is that she was willing to pay a higher price to pick her room but never given the option by RC to select a room. Hence, she felt like she was taken advantage of by RC as she was paying a higher price for a guaranteed room. Having seen this first hand on the Royal website, I agree that it is quite misleading. It is unfortunate that in today's IT age, that the Royal website is so bad. We all know this and laugh about it but it really gives a horrible impression for first time cruisers. I've been recently looking at other companies, even Celebrity, and it is amazing how much better their websites are compared to Royal.
  5. I've recently seen this when I was looking at an Alaska cruise. I was trying to figure out what rooms were available. When I was looking for an Interior for 4 people, it would go from you pick your room to where you put in your info. I always use a travel agent but I like to figure out my own rooms. My travel agent later said that the only interior rooms that were available were in a guarantee interior rooms. It is unfortunate the website isn't more transparent but I don't think it was a bait and switch just a very bad website. I do most of my travel plans myself. I also do most of my own research including picking my staterooms, however, I still use a travel agent to actually book the cruise. In the last 6 weeks, my travel agent had to advocate for me on 3 of my upcoming cruises! The power behind a good agency can really help one out when things go wrong!
  6. Going for a different date would certainly keep cost down. We love an Oasis class but those get really pricy for a family too. To me the best value is the Freedom class ships. You get quite a bit of activities without the sticker shock of an Oasis class ship. All school vacations will have a surge in pricing but not like the holiday sailings. My suggestion is to pick the ship first and then the ports especially it being your first time. You will be on a ship much longer than the maybe 8 hours in port. You can find something to do in all ports and if not you can chose to keep it a ship day. What works for us may be different than you but a must have for my family is the water slides. If you can afford a Harmony or Symphony then go for it but if not Independence is a great ship too.
  7. Just select yourself to receive one package. Royal does this with several things: VOOM, cabanas, and more. If you only want 9 chocolate strawberries, just chose yourself. If you want 18 (2 plates of strawberries) then chose 2 people.
  8. Sorry to hear about your cruise but it really does sound like you had a good cruise. I think you have to realize that every vacation both cruise and land has changed from 10 years ago. It sounds like you had a very good cruise outside the lines at the bars and the flowrider. I tend to have high expectations in my mind about the cruise. I do agree about bar service as that can be a source of major frustration for me too but I've learned to find a roving server and tip a few $ to make sure they come back. I wonder what happened at the flowrider as I've seen them shut down the line at say 10:30 if it closed at 11 to make sure everyone who was in line was able to ride. My family has aged beyond Disney and while we like WDW, a Disney cruise is not worth the premium to my family. Similar to what @Rose City Cruiser said, for the price of a DCL balcony, my family can live the suite life on OA class.
  9. I would keep calling. I'd hate for RC to cancel your cruise due to a computer glitch.
  10. I would suggest My Time Dining (MTD). Everyone would need to be on the same dining and that would have been arranged through your TA or Royal when you booked. It can be changed. Once everyone is on MTD, then get everyone's reservation number and book for whatever day/time you decide and request it. You typically can only request up to 12 people but someone over the phone may be able to help if bigger party. Just verify it with the MTD desk on the first day. The other nights, each family is free to make individual reservations. If families don't want to switch to MTD, then I suggest a big Windjammer gathering. If you are in Traditional dining, this would be impossible as each family would already be assigned a table.
  11. I will suggest you make a reservation for MTD for every night of your cruise. It is much easier to cancel it that day if you decide to go to Windjammer than waiting in line to be seated. You can make a reservation once you board the ship. Just an FYI, the first night tends to be the longest dinner time. I suggest you bring coloring sheets and crayons or something to keep her occupied. The other nights move much quicker
  12. Typically for specialty restaurants, you can only order 1 main entree but several appetizers and sides. Personally, I couldn't even finish my Captain's platter as it was so much food!
  13. I take my passports off the ship as that is when I could potentially need them. Minors do not need photo id in any port. However, I disagree about getting a new passport if your DD's isn't expired. Minor passports are only good for 5 years and the children never look like their passport photo. Customs agents are used to it and it isn't a big deal if they don't look like their photo. We used my DD 1 yo passport until she was 6. It is such a pain to get a new passport as it is plus expensive and really not needed.
  14. If you don't see them on the cruise planner, the shows might not be able to reserve just yet. On my recent Symphony cruise, the shows opened at 58 days before the cruise. There is no set time for entertainment to open so keep checking back.
  15. I wouldn't have taken my 2 year old on a Mayan tour and a scenic (ie boring) bus ride but thats me. It just seems like misery to my family but you know your family best so it might be good for you. Personally, I would suggest the Playa Mia beach break. It is offered from RC but I did in on my own for cheaper and spent more time thee. However, since you want an RC excursion I would suggest that. It has a decent beach but a great splash area for the 2 year old. You can take your 7 yo on the inflatables in the ocean which is really fun too. You can look directly on the Playa Mia website for pictures.
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