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Everything posted by coneyraven

  1. My first cruise was on "Sovereign" back in '07. It was a gift from my mother to myself, my sisters and all of our kids.... The next one was in '09 on Navigator. I guess what sealed the deal was the feeling I got crossing the gangway onto the ship ..... Knowing that the stresses of life are on one end and I was going towards the other...... Knowing, that if only for a few days, it's all about me, no schedule, no transportation (unless you call an elevator a form of transportation) and the ability for every member of my family to create their own vacation completely different from yours. Also, I've never slept better than when I was on a cruise (I guess the gentle rocking acts like a cradle).... As the years progressed, and financial / relationship stresses took their toll, I'm ecstatic to now know there's another cruise on the horizon with my bride of 3 years. We've never had a honeymoon plus this is a marquee birthday year for her, so, after some prodding and explaining to her how a cruise makes sense from a financial point vs, going to a regular beach like Myrtle Beach, she has decided to "go for it" --- Knowing that Bermuda has been on her "bucket list" and that we live in Maryland (the far western end that's closer to Pittsburgh vs Baltimore ... GO RAVENS!!!) --- Being able to take advantage of Grandeur out of Baltimore was the logical choice, we can leave the house at 7:00 and be at the port by 10:00. I know it's early, but I believe in allowing extra time because you never know what's going to happen on I-70, plus, going in September after the kids are back in school is a positive for her too. We don't have kids plus mine are grown up. I just pray the weather cooperates, that's the only thing out of my control. As we board, I'm going to let her set the pace, the newness of the experience, I want her to fall in love with it the way I have and I have enough faith in the crew of Grandeur and Royal Caribbean in general, that she'll be hooked. This will make booking the next one a heck of a lot easier. I'll even promote the benefits of booking it while on board and scheduling it out enough to make paying for it very easy. Counting down the days (150) --- Mark
  2. Just make sure you have all the documents that you need for the friend, including, the documentation that you need from the friends parent(s) giving you permission for her to go.
  3. Thank you for the quick response ..... Just the answer I was hoping for .... Sounds like we made the right decision going with MTD
  4. This one should be very simple .... Do you Have To Make A Reservation each night for My Time Dining, or can you just show up? My wife and I like the idea of flexibility because we never quite know how each day will go.... and making an advance reservation might be counter-productive for us ... Also, assuming we are seated at a table with others ..... do they work it so you sit with those that are also being seated at the same time.... I know I wouldn't want to sit at a table with others that are finishing up their meals.... plus, the thought of that seems a bit like sitting at a dirty table.... Just trying to get a feel for how it works from start to finish. And yes, Matt, I agree with you whole-heartedly, the planning and anticipation of an upcoming cruise is almost as much fun as the cruise itself.......almost.
  5. I was looking at the Celebrations packages ...... my wife is also celebrating her 50th when we go later this year, question, if you purchase one, will they set up the stateroom with the added items that come with the package before your arrival? What a blast it would be when you show up at your cabin with the "Happy Birthday" magnet already on the door and the decorations already installed and in place.
  6. Thanks for the tip Walls ..... although, thanks to that dang Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast -lol ..... I MUST have some Honey Stung Fried Chicken from the Wind Jam-Air (going for pronunciation here) which is ONLY available on embarkation day......
  7. Let's put this in perspective .... IT'S A CRUISE!!!! My first Cruise was on the sister ship Sovereign of the Seas .... same floor plan, same itinerary, different ship ..... The ship is a lot bigger than you would think, especially if it's your first cruise because you really have nothing to compare it to .... There are a ton of things to do on board, and if there's one thing I've noticed in a lot of the comments, having a smaller ship means your not packed in with the masses.... which, in my opinion, is a good thing ... Relax, he will have a GREAT time, Royal Caribbean will not let you down, even though the focus is on Quantum and Oasis Class ships, they never took their eye off of the other classes..... Just walk on board, grab a Pina Collada and relax... Oh, and later this year, I'm taking my wife on her first cruise, Grandeur of the Seas (Vision Class), a little bigger than Majesty, but not much so I have as much at stake as you on this one, but knowing Royal Caribbean, I'm not worried (I just wish I could control the weather) -- I'm going to let her set the pace and let the fun sink in without me forcing it ..... Walk on board, grab a drink, get a bite to eat at the Windjammer, and just let the fun happen, he (and you) will be just fine ---
  8. Just a quick question..... What ships have them and what's the timetable for them going fleet wide?... I personally can't wait .... the convenience factor alone makes them worth the wait. For those that have had them, thoughts? Tnx
  9. I've had connecting rooms twice .... both by request because of the kids .... They don't affect the cabin size at all, and as Matt said, just like in a Hotel Room, they're locked unless the cabin steward unlocks them by request. What's amazing is that when you requested, the cabin steward verifies all parties in both cabins to make sure it's ok to open it up. The only thing I notice was that instead of having a sofa in the cabin, it was a chair..... but who cares, it's not like you're going to be spending much time in the cabin anyhow.
  10. I love the gift card idea, constantly depositing $$$ on to your Seapass account. My wife and I have a jar we throw change, singles, whatever extra cash we have at any given moment into it, and have declared the contents, "Our Vacation Fun Money" --- right before the cruise, we'll have the majority of it put on a Visa Gift Card, and then will, in turn, apply it to our Seapass account .... Seems an easier way to control, and most importantly, monitor expenses and spending.
  11. When it comes to size restrictions, it is an issue from Baltimore, especially with the Key Bridge (I-695). Now, what other classes will fit? Not 100% sure, but looking at how close Vision Class gets to the bridges, I doubt very much that anything Voyager Class or larger could fit. Which leaves us with Vision and Radiance Class (I'd be curious if Radiance Class would fit). Now, if the port was east of the Key Bridge, and all you had to deal with was the Bay Bridge, who knows, maybe others could fit.
  12. Exactly Ragman, but WAAAYTOOO may have it right, Baltimore can deliver the people without fail, but where are they going to go? I guess the New England cruises do provide an additional option, but my idea of cruising involves palm trees, not Maine (no offense).
  13. Have a FANTASTIC time .... we're in September ...... Counting down the days ..... 176 days never seemed so long...
  14. You may be right ..... Dang shame ...... Great Port ..... Close to the People, Far from the destinations.....
  15. Here's a question ...... why aren't there more sailings out of Baltimore? Now, before you say anything, I'm from the Baltimore area so I know the most obvious issue, Bridge Hts. Most Notably, the Key Bridge (I-695) and the Bay Bridge (US 50/301)... But one thing is very clear ..... Vision Class Ships will work (we have Grandeur and have had Enchantment). I am curious, would Radiance class also work here? ....... that's a question for another day.... I guess what got me a bit annoyed was the sale of Splendour..... We could use that here. You would think with the MAJOR draw this port could have... ...Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, Richmond ..... and then go further west..... Pittsburgh, and the Ohio Valley.... they would want to capitalize on it's close proximity to major cities and interstate access (I-95, 70, and to a lesser degree, 81,83 and 68) ... What's the issue? The State of Maryland? The City of Baltimore? As a Maryland resident, I would love to have more Royal Caribbean cruising options here locally -- Just Sayin.... Thanks for letting me Vent... Mark p.s. --- See you in September on Grandeur
  16. Greetings all, I'm Mark ---- I live in the mountains of FAR Western Maryland (closer to Pittsburgh than Baltimore) --- in a small Coal Mining town called Lonaconing. I have my 3rd Cruise Scheduled this coming September (5-night to Bermuda) out of Baltimore --- This is the first one since 2009 .... Yes, it's been torture. I've been binge listening to Matt's podcast to bring me up to speed -- I was able to use knowledge from Episode 71 to explain to my wife the economic value in cruising --- she wanted to go to Myrtle Beach (ugh) --- once we compared dollars to dollars, well, she finally opened her eyes. She and I have yet to have a honeymoon (this will be it) -- plus she has a marquee birthday this year too (another reason I was able to sort of encourage it) This coming cruise will be my wife's first cruise (as if that wasn't obvious by now)..... I have faith that she'll get bit by the bug the same way I did (I'll push to book the next one while on board) --- get me further up the C & A ladder Thank You all for all the information I have been able to acquire .... it has helped me immensely.
  17. Grandeur of the Seas ---- September 24th 2016
  18. It's an open parking lot at the terminal, and from what I've noticed, it's never completely filled so meeting in the parking lot itself is probably the easiest way. You're going to love this, the port is right along I-95 just SOUTH of the Ft. McHenry Tunnel .... I know for Northbound I-95, I look for McComas St (not sure about southbound what the signage says) --- The Port of Baltimore Signage along I-95 is GREAT, you should have no problems..... When is your cruise? My wife and I have one booked to Bermuda later this year. This will also be her first (my third). Have Fun
  19. So very true ..... I work at our local newspaper, many forget that we are a "For Profit" Business. And yes, Funny Man Matt, I doubt they would ever decline additional $$$'s coming their way ..... Just checking.... I'm binge listening to your podcasts and your Episode 71 about ways to save really opened up my eyes --- Thank You (I'm on #80 now and working my way up) Thanks guys
  20. Very interesting, My final payment date isn't until July so there is plenty of time to stack on some savings..... Question though, someone referenced above a penalty to change after the final payment date, then Matt references upgrading the cabin..... is there a penalty with cabin upgrades after final payment? This will be my wife's first cruise and she's the money manager of the household (and that's a VERY good thing) so we went the least expensive route with an inside cabin. I would love to surprise her with an unexpected upgrade without an unexpected expense.
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